International Programmes 2018/2019

Master of Arts in Performance Studies Master of Arts in Performance Studies

Universität Hamburg • Hamburg

Master of Arts in Performance Studies
Course location
Teaching language
  • German
  • English

In general, the teaching language is German. Some courses by internationally renowned artists might be in English.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

31 May every year; see website for application information.

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

Experimental performance art in theory and practice.
The Master's programme in Performance Studies is both an academic and an artistic course of study. It combines reflections on issues of social and cultural theory with artistic practice and aesthetic training in the fields of dance, theatre, choreography, and stage direction. The programme is based on a broad understanding of the concept of performance, which encompasses theatre practice and poetics in social, cultural, political and artistic fields.
At the core of the programme is a critical/political and theoretical/practical analysis of performances and productions in performance art, popular culture, media, and everyday life. Particular emphasis is given to performance techniques in which body and movement are the object, means or agent of aesthetic discussion. The studies aim at fostering an understanding of performance concepts from a social, cultural and educational/theoretical as well as aesthetic and artistic perspective, while at the same time enabling students to gain competencies for self-critical artistic practice and communication.
The two-year course has a modular structure and leads to the degree of Master of Arts in Performance Studies. Prerequisites for participating in the Master's programme are a successfully completed Bachelor's degree in a related or comparable field as well as successful participation in a qualifying examination.
The course is supported by the Centre for Performance Studies, an interdisciplinary institute at Universität Hamburg which brings together scholars from different academic fields as well as artists, dramatic advisers, and theatre directors. A key task of the centre is to plan, implement and further develop the Master of Arts programme in Performance Studies.

Course organisation

The course is structured in modules and is based on interdisciplinary cooperation within Universität Hamburg and collaboration with recognised international artists as well as with different cultural and academic institutions in Germany and abroad.

The programme starts in the winter semester. The standard period of study is two years (four semesters). The Master's thesis at the end consists of a practical and a theoretical section. The course of studies is divided into four content-related areas: theory, practice, communication, and realisation, which comprise a total of nine modules. The Master's programme requires 80 semester hours. Classes are conducted in German and English.

Module one: Basic cultural and social science concepts in performance art
Module two: History, theory and aesthetics of performance art
Module three: Dramaturgy, media and aesthetics
Module four: Body, movement and stage
Module five: Methods of dance composition
Module six: Concepts and methods of theatre, dance and movement pedagogy
Module seven: Didactics of performance art
Module eight: Cultural management
Module nine: Performance project

International elements
  • International guest lecturers
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution
There is a semester fee of approx. 330 EUR per semester. This fee includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the Hamburg metropolitan area.
Costs of living
We recommend that single students budget at least 800 EUR per month to meet personal expenses (accommodation, living, health insurance, books).
Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university
International full-time students may apply for merit scholarships or exam grants of Universität Hamburg. For more information, please use the provided link. We also recommend contacting our colleagues in the Department of International Affairs for further guidance.
Academic Admission Requirements

International applicants must have a higher education entrance qualification (HZB) to be eligible for admission to Universität Hamburg. Officially certified copies of all certificates and, if applicable, a certified German translation of these by an approved translator must be submitted with the application.
All applicants have to undergo an entrance exam.
For further information on specific requirements and application documents to be submitted, please visit the programme website or contact the department.

Language requirements

International students must provide proof of their proficiency in German through a language test such as the German Language University Entrance Examination (DSH, level 2 or higher), the Test of German as a Foreign Language (TestDaF with 15 points or higher: at least three parts TDN 4, max. one part TDN 3) or an equivalent examination. These levels equal C1 according to the Common European Framework for Language Levels. All accepted certificates in detail can be found here:

Application deadline

31 May every year; see website for application information.

Submit application to

Universität Hamburg
Institut für Bewegungswissenschaft 
Performance Studies
Prof Dr Gabriele Klein
Turmweg 2
20148 Hamburg

Possibility of finding part-time employment

Students who enrol in a full-time programme will generally have only a limited time for part-time jobs.
As a rule, students who hold an international student visa may work for up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year. Further information on work regulations for international students at Universität Hamburg can be found here:


Accommodation is available through the "Studierendenwerk" (student services) or on the private market. The "Studierendenwerk" provides rooms in halls of residence, most of which are single rooms with shared kitchens and showers/WCs. We strongly advise students and researchers to arrange accommodation prior to arriving in Hamburg, as demand for affordable accommodation is sometimes larger than supply.
For more information on how to find accommodation and how to plan your first steps in Hamburg, please see:

Universität Hamburg

As northern Germany's largest research and educational institution, Universität Hamburg combines diverse study opportunities with excellent research. It provides a broad disciplinary spectrum with numerous interdisciplinary opportunities and pursues cooperation with an extensive network of excellent regional, national, and international institutions. Universität Hamburg is devoted to long-term scholarship and science and promotes sustainability research in all of its schools.
Universität Hamburg offers more than 160 degree programmes in the following eight schools: School of Law; School of Economics and Social Sciences; School of Medicine; School of Education; School of Humanities; School of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences; School of Psychology and Human Movement; and School of Business.
Furthermore, several museums and collections belong to Universität Hamburg, such as the Zoological Museum, the Herbarium Hamburgense, the Geological-Paleontological Museum, the Botanical Gardens, and the Hamburg Planetarium.
Universität Hamburg was founded in 1919 by local private citizens. Important founding figures include senator Werner von Melle and businessman Edmund Siemers. Nobel prize winners such as Otto Stern, Wolfgang Pauli, and Isidor Rabi have been active at the university, and many other well-known scholars taught here, such as Ernst Cassirer, Erwin Panofsky, Aby Warburg, William Stern, Agathe Lasch, Magdalene Schoch, Emil Artin, Ralf Dahrendorf, and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, to name but a few. 

University Location

With 1.8 million citizens, Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany and is also one of Germany's 16 federal states. Due to its location on the Elbe River linked to the North Sea, it has had a long tradition as the cultural and commercial centre of northern Germany. Commercially, the Free and Hanseatic City is known as the media capital of Germany. It is a leader in the shipping and transportation industries. Culturally, the city is home to, among other things, the leading ballet company in Germany, an opera house, numerous musicals, and annual film festivals. As far as action and fun go, Hamburg is the place to be. The Reeperbahn, known not only to sailors worldwide as the "Mile of Sin", has numerous bars, cafés, and clubs as well as many other interesting sites not to be seen elsewhere. The "Kiez", as the natives call it, even gave the Beatles their start in the early 1960s. Fortunately, Hamburg's many parks and green areas provide the opportunity to relax and recover from the city's active side. Moreover, the city's innumerable canals invite you to spend some time sailing, rowing or kayaking. For more information on the city, please see: