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Master in Performing Arts

Master in Performing Arts

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  • Programme title
    Master in Performing Arts
  • Programme mnemonic
  • Programme organised by
    • Faculty of Letters, Translation and Communication
  • Degree type
    Master 120 credits
  • Tier
    2nd cycle
  • Field and branch of study
    Art/Audiovisual and performing arts
  • Schedule type
  • Languages of instruction
  • Theoretical programme duration
    2 years
  • Campus
    Outside campus ULB/Solbosch
  • Category / Topic
    Art - Arts du spectacle et techniques de diffusion et de communication
  • Jury President
    Xavier LUFFIN (Teaching/units 1 and 2European International Comparative dramaturgy and performance research/units 1 and 2), (Film and Performing Arts)
  • Jury Secretaries
    Karel VANHAESEBROUCK and Muriel ANDRIN (Teaching/units 1 and 2European International Comparative dramaturgy and performance research/units 1 and 2), (Film and Performing Arts)


General information

Degree type

Master 120 credits

Theoretical programme duration

2 years

Learning language(s)


Schedule type



Outside campus ULB/Solbosch

Category(ies) - Topic(s)

Art - Arts du spectacle et techniques de diffusion et de communication

Organising faculty(s) and university(ies)

Succeed in your studies

ULB offers a number of activities and resources that can help you develop a successful strategy before or during your studies.

You can make the transition to higher education easier by attending preparatory courses, summer classes, and information and orientation sessions, even before you start your studies at ULB.

During your studies, many people at ULB are there specifically to help you succeed: support staff in each faculty, (inter-)faculty guidance counsellors, tutors, and experts in academic methodology.


The Master in Performing Arts offers an approach that is both theoretical and practical, for students with a passion for the performing arts (theatre, dance, performance art, opera, circus, film…).

With this dual approach, students who graduate from the programme will be able—depending on their choice of focus—to analyse a theatrical event and provide support for the creative process in live performing arts; or to combine a reflexive and a practical process as they build their knowledge of the cinematographic language and learn to apprehend the various forms of screenwriting (fiction, documentary, adaptation, but also multimedia), the history of film, and cinematographic techniques.

Far from staying in an academic ivory tower, this Master is strongly oriented towards the outside world. This is why partnerships have been signed with other organisations, both in Belgium (with the Cinematek) and across the world (exchanges with universities in Europe and Canada). Students are encouraged to take part in work placements and research projects, as well as in Master Classes (where past speakers have included Agnès Varda, Bertrand Tarvernier, and Olivier Assayas). International conferences are also held on topics such as the philosophy and writing of films. Lastly, the programme features workshops hosted by high-profile professionals (e.g. Luc Dardenne and Anne-Levy-Morelle).

For more information on student mobility, please visit the following link: http://www.ulb.ac.be/facs/ltc/docs/InformationsAdministratives/Dispositions_MobEtudLTC_1617.pdf

The Master in Performing Arts at ULB offers an interdisciplinary approach of the performing arts, covering theatre, dance, performance art, circus, and contemporary art. Courses are given in French, providing analytical tools that give students insights into art performances while also introducing them to various aspects of contemporary theatre in Europe and beyond (dramaturgy, cultural policies, aesthetic codes, etc.).

Much of the curriculum is dedicated to personal projects (seminars, work placement, dissertation), as well as to direct contacts with the industry. The purpose of these two perspectives is to give students the tools required for an intelligent and critical analysis of contemporary practices in the performing arts. At the centre of the programme is the idea of the performance as an event within a society, whose role and function should be analysed within the surrounding culture and whose relationship with other art forms and new media should be examined. A workshop based on practice (‘Education on artistic practices’) and a mandatory work placement (6 to 8 weeks) provide a solid foundation for the development of a learning experience centred on reflection. Students in the Master programme will also have the opportunity to take part in the Avignon festival and to choose elective courses on circus and performance art, given respectively by ESAC (the Superior School of Circus Arts) and La Cambre. Students will be immersed into the vibrant community of Brussels, with close collaborations with institutions such as the Kaaitheater, the Brigittines, and the Tanneurs theatre.

The Master in Performing Arts with a focus on live performances places these performances at the very heart of society, studies how their work and how they contribute to global culture, and opens up new perspectives related to how we perceive new media. Its goal is to build the students' knowledge, methodology, and comparative approaches to live performances, especially (but not exclusively) theatre, in an interdisciplinary perspective. The Master in Performing Arts with a focus on live performances provides real-world experience—including through work placements—that contribute to the students' reflection on how art is performed. Several classes enable students to gain practical knowledge, with a course on live performances and a variety of related modules. The programme also maintains a close relationship with many theatres and other places dedicated to artistic creation. In addition to exchange programmes abroad, the Master programme gives students the opportunity to take part in international workshops, including during the Avignon festival. In addition, high-profile professionals in the industry are regularly invited to give talks as part of the programme.

With specialised training that explores all facets of film creation, students in the Master in Performing Arts with a focus on cinematographic writing and analysis will be familiar with screenwriting techniques, as well as with the history of film, new media, production, and research. The Master in Performing Arts with a focus on cinematographic writing and analysis is fully open to the world: in addition to Erasmus exchange programmes (with Montreal, Paris, Rome, Strasbourg, Bologna, etc.), the Faculty has hosted talks from celebrities of global renown, such as script doctor Robert McKee and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. Since 2013, students in the second year of the Master attend a one-week seminar as part of their curriculum—offered in partnership with the Emile Bernhein foundation—, with sessions hosted by professionals such as Agnès Varda, Bertrand Tavernier, or Olivier Assayas.

The Master in Performing Arts with a focus on Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research is offered through a partnership between four European universities. This programme is intended for students who plan to work in the international and intercultural context of festivals, co-productions, exchange programmes, and partnerships between organisations.

Students are required to complete a work placement, and spend a total of four semesters in two of the four partner universities: Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris, and Helsinki. Upon graduation, they will hold a joint degree in ‘Dramaturgy and Performance Research’, awarded by both universities they have attended.

This Master programme is a response to the challenge of developing international and intercultural collaborations in performing arts; it also creates a new field of research dedicated to general and comparative dramaturgy. Going beyond our traditional understanding of dramaturgy, the programme aims to train dramaturgists whose expertise on international and intercultural topics will help us perceive proximity to the Other as an opportunity rather than a danger. Through a comparative approach, the programme also intends to build bridges between different theatrical cultures and foster mutual understanding. At the same time, the concept of ‘general’ dramaturgy means that these future dramaturgists, as theatre theorists, will be able to answer questions that go beyond the day-to-day of theatre and instead look into its foundations.

This dual perspective—aesthetic and intercultural—is the result of a broader definition of theatre, and it changes the profile of work in dramaturgy as it has developed over the past decades with the development of practices such as ‘post-dramatic theatre’ and the ‘performative turn’. Future dramaturgists will also be equipped with the proper tools to engage with spatial theories, city planning, or networking, all of which have roots in the fields of philosophy, sociology, politics, and history.

nd specific perspectives (archiving and conservation problems, economical networks, juridical questions). From the screenwriting perspective, the MA offers the possibility to follow workshops given by screenwriters-directors, but also specialized Master Classes that allow students to undertake real fiction or documentary scripts. The Emile Bernheim Master Class (2012) gives the student to learn from the practice of an internationally known filmmaker.

Far from staying inside the university, the MA opens to the world, through screenwriting seminars by famous American screenwriter like Robert McKee, workshops given by famous screenwriters (Jean-Claude Carrière), known directors (E. Scola, B. Podalydès, A. Delvaux, A. Wajda), as well as international congresses (Revisiting Film Melodrama in 2009 or 4th Screenwriting Research Conference in 2011).

The MA program in Performing Arts focuses on an interdisciplinary analysis of all forms of spectacular representation and also aims at initiating the student to contemporary performance practice. An important part is dedicated to the development of personal work (seminars, internships, thesis) as well as to direct contact with the professional field, both aiming at providing students with the necessary tools for an intelligent, critical analysis of contemporary performance practice. It aims at understanding the spectular (« liveness ») as an integral part of our society, analysing its role and fonction within global culture, while at the same time investigating its relation with other arts and new media. A practice-based workshop (« Sensibilisation à la pratique artistique ») as well as a compulsory internship (8 weeks or 6 weeks) provide a solid basis for the development of reflexive experience. The MA program also offers the possibility to participate in the so-called Rencontres dramatiques internationales at Pont-à-Moussoin or in the Avignon Festival. The ULB program focuses on the development of professional skills by providing a number of specific courses : a dramaturgy course followed by a workshop of applied dramaturgy, two introductory courses on opera and dance and two optional modules of 15 credits each :« Publics et gestion » (15 credits) or « Critique et Rédaction » (15 credits). The European program offers the student the possibility to acquire specific, specialized competences (opera, dance, theatre anthropology, etc) within a network of 11 partner universities. Students will receive an international certificate of this European Master. The Didactic program prepares students for all functions related to education and offers theoretical and practical courses, exercices, tutoring for individual work and internships.

Access conditions


Depending on the focus chosen, the 120 credits of the Master programme's two years of study will be distributed differently. The programme includes a common core of courses (65 credits), a dissertation (25 credits), and courses that are specific to each focus (30 credits).

The Master in performing arts offers 4 focuses:

the focus on cinematographic writing and analysis is centred on theoretical knowledge of the history of film and on film writing and analysis techniques, with workshops hosted by professional filmmakers.

the focus on teaching prepares students to become performing arts teachers, with theoretical and practical courses, assignments, projects, and work placements. A number of elective courses are also offered, letting students focus on either film or live performances.

the f ocus on live performances develops skills related to the critical analysis of performances and to dramaturgy, while also offering insights into the industry both in Belgium and abroad—including with a supervised work placement and contacts with professionals in cultural institutions. For more information, please visit the following page: http://www.ulb.ac.be/facs/ltc/spectaclevivant.html

the international focus on ‘Contemporary Dramaturgy and Performance Research’ is offered in partnership with the Goethe University in Frankfurt, the Helsinki University of the Arts, and the Paris Nanterre university. The programme also includes a mandatory exchange programme. For more information, please visit the following page: http://www.ulb.ac.be/facs/ltc/spectaclevivant.html

What's next ?


With the professional focus on live performances and the international focus, this Master aims to build the students' knowledge, methodology, and comparative approaches of live performances, especially for theatre. This programme paves the way to a variety of professional opportunities, including dramaturgy, critique, theatrical programming, communication, journalism, research, and organising cultural events.

The Master's focus on cinematographic writing and analysis teaches screenwriting techniques and the history of film, while also providing insights into new media, production, and research. It prepares students for a variety of professional opportunities, including script doctoring, film critique, multimedia design, work in production studios, and academic research.

Graduates of the Master's teaching focus can teach in the various fields of the performing arts.