Apply for a PhD or Research Masters in Creative and Performing Arts at Newcastle

Creative and Performing Arts

Why a PhD or Research Masters in Creative and Performing Arts at Newcastle?

Gillian Arrighi Creative and Performing Arts RHD supervisorCreative and Performing Arts at the University of Newcastle is an inter-discipline spanning theatre, performance, visual art, digital technologies, and hybrid variants of these discrete areas of creative endeavour.

The University of Newcastle's Performing Arts research is rated as 'world standard' in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment conducted by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Research groups, such as Collaborative Environments for Creative Arts Research (CeCAR), and our Creative Industries Research and Innovation Cluster (CIRIC) bring together national and international researchers in the creative arts, humanities, sciences, health and social sciences with external collaborators in the community, industry, other universities and institutes.

The School of Creative Arts is home to the peer-reviewed, inter-disciplinary academic journal Popular Entertainment Studies

PhD and Masters by Research students will benefit from our lively inter-disciplinary postgraduate environment, which includes generous funding and material support for graduate research students.

What you can research

Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • digital technologies
  • live art
  • installation
  • contemporary hybrid performance
  • political and applied performance
  • circus (historical and contemporary)
  • popular entertainments
  • physical theatre
  • performer pedagogies
  • contemporary and historical Australian performance

Research methodologies

In order to facilitate the diverse span of research encompassed by the hybrid discipline of Creative and Performing Arts, a broad range of research methodologies are applied. These include, but are not limited to methodologies particular to the creative arts, such as practice-as or practice-led research, and methodologies that move beyond traditional research to include the reflexive and exploratory nature of research in the creative arts.

Additionally, some research projects naturally rely upon methodologies associated with the Humanities and Social Science, such as historiography, archival-based research, ethnography, and action research.

Find a supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Frank Millward: the intersection between fine art, music and theatre making; how technology is turning the arts into a fertile ground for innovative research.
  • Dr Gillian Arrighi: Acting theories and pedagogy, animals and performance, Australian performance histories, children in entertainment, circus studies, contemporary circus and physical theatre, contemporary performance practices, masks in training and performance, performance and intermediality, popular entertainments, role play and simulation pedagogies, Victorian & Edwardian popular entertainments, youth circus and social circus
  • Dr Sean Lowry: Conceptual and post-conceptual art, contemporary art, contemporary art criticism, creative arts pedagogy, curatorial practice, digital and new media art, electronic music production, evaluation of artistic research, expanded exhibition models, expanded painting, experimental drawing, experimental sound and music, installation, intermedial art practice, new Media, painting, performance art, sculpture, social practice, video installation
  • Dr Jocelyn McKinnon: Curriculum development, experimental theatre and performance, interdisciplinary, pedagogy in the creative arts, political and community performance, student centered learning

How to apply


Current graduate studies in Creative and Performing Arts

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Creative and Performing Arts at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • The Camera Close-Up: Its Challenges for the Actor and its Relationship to Intimate Space Violations
  • Legacy in Applied Theatre
  • Small-Scale Puppets within Australia
  • Evreinov and the Questions of Theatricality
  • Australian Physical Theatre