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Stillbilde fra "Knuter" av Ingrid Liavaag. KHiO master teater 2021
Stillbilde fra "Knuter" av Ingrid Liavaag. KHiO master teater 2021

Master's in Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research

Delve into diverse performance cultures and dramaturgical practices in this international double-degree programme.

Study programme title
Master's in Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research
Study programme code
Nominal length of study
2 years full-time
Language of instruction
Application deadline
No admission coming year.
Preliminary application deadline is 01 February 2025 for the study year 2025/2026.

“There has been a change in the work and identity of dramaturgs” – The new international master’s programme in comparative dramaturgy and performance research responds to today’s needs.

Our goal is to educate internationally active professionals with the ability and determination to cross a wide range of boundaries – artistic, cultural, linguistic and disciplinary – in order to create inventive performances.

The CDPR programme trains students to become research-oriented artists with the necessary knowledge and skills to analyse issues of their choice through the performing arts.

The curriculum prepares students for important challenges that have shaped the field of performing arts in recent decades. These include the expansion of the concepts of performance and dramaturgy; changes in what constitutes the work of the dramaturge; changes in the relationship between art and research; and increased international and multidisciplinary collaboration.

Studying at two different universities will allow you to delve into diverse performance and research practices and gain a detailed understanding of different local performing arts scenes. You will develop the ability to compare and connect different artistic practices, cultural systems, languages and fields of research and act as an active intermediator between them.

You enter the programme with an existing performance practice and a preliminary master’s research plan. This will give direction to your studies from the outset. The plan is revised and expanded during the studies.

The comprehensive and demanding CDPR programme comprises four semesters and requires full-time attendance.

The programme is tailored for dramaturges and theatre artists who wish to work in international and multidisciplinary productions. It prepares students for important challenges that have shaped the field of performing arts in recent decades, such as the expansion of the concepts of performance and dramaturgy; changes in the relationship between art and research; and increased international and multidisciplinary collaboration.

The programme is the first double-degree programme at Oslo National Academy of the Arts. You will study two semesters at two European universities and graduate from both.

In practice, the programme works so that the students study the first semester at their own university, and the next two semesters at one of the four partner universities. The students return to their own university for the final semester to complete their thesis.

We have tailored this programme for process-oriented students who wish to work in international and multidisciplinary contexts. The contexts include collaborative productions, research-oriented artistic projects and institutions that combine artistic activities and research.

All of the five universities involved in the network, that is, Uniarts Helsinki, Goethe University Frankfurt, Paris Nanterre University, Université Libre in Brussels and Oslo National Academy of the Arts, independently plan their own curricula and select their own students.

Applications are accepted from anywhere in the world. The language of instruction is English.


Brief Programme Description

The Master of Comparative Dramaturgy and Performance Research (CDPR) programme is a two-year fulltime study that leads to a double degree where students receive a diploma from both the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO) and one of the programme’s partner institutions:

  • the University of the Arts Helsinki
  • Université Paris Nanterre
  • Goethe-Universität, Institut für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, Frankfurt am Main
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles.

The CDPR network consists of five European art academies and universities and is aimed at students who are interested in dramaturgical practice and theory in an international context. The programme responds to possibilities and challenges within a field of theatrical art that more and more is being developed and shaped across national borders, something that affords students the opportunity to understand different theatre cultures and thereby also set up collaborations between interested parties and organisations across national borders and theatre cultures.

At KHiO, the programme is closely linked to the Master of Theatre programme, but with an expanded focus on dramaturgical theory and practice. The programme spans four semesters, with students spending either semesters 1 and 4, or else semesters 2 and 3, at KHiO, while the other two semesters are spent at one of the CDPR network’s partner institutions. The programme is particularly well-suited to students who are interested in working in international and intercultural contexts, such as festivals, co-productions and supranational collaborations.

The programme provides practice with and insight into theatrical art as a collective art form, develops dramaturgical competence and provides an understanding of the organisational, economic and social premises and conditions of the theatre and theatrical art.

The programme qualifies students to work within the field of theatrical art at a high level, whether locally, nationally or internationally, and students who achieve the degree will be able to apply for admission to the artistic research programme and other relevant PhD programmes.

Admission Requirements

The Master’s programme is based on a three-year Bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS credits) or equivalent education. Applicants must document specialisation of at least 80 ECTS credits in disciplines or courses within the theatre, theatrical art or equivalent.

In exceptional cases, the Academy may approve other documented qualifications as being either completely or partially equivalent to the educations mentioned above.

Admission takes place on the basis of a written application and admission tests.

When applying, the applicant must submit a letter of motivation in addition to a written assignment. The admission process will emphasise the applicants’ theatrical practice, in particular their dramaturgical practice, artistic potential and level of reflection.

All applicants must master and be able to document proficiency in English, equivalent either to TOEFL with a minimum score of 500, IELTS with a minimum score of 5.0, or other documentation on an equivalent level.

Applicants who document an educational background from Nordic countries or from English-speaking countries do not need to submit additional documentation of their proficiency in English.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the programme, students shall

  • be able to work as a dramaturge within various theatrical forms and formats
  • be familiar with and have knowledge about national and international organisations/platforms for the production of theatrical art
  • be able to create and help create theatrical art at a high artistic level, and be capable of understanding and working on theatrical art as a cross-aesthetic, collective art form
  • be able to develop their own and others’ practice through specialisation, oral and written reflection, critiquing and understanding
  • be able to take part in discussing and developing the ethical and aesthetic conditions of artistic processes
  • have practical and theoretical knowledge about, and experience with, various theatrical development processes and their conditions of production
  • have extensive knowledge about, and experience with, the expressions, theoretical discourses and work methods of today’s theatre
  • have knowledge about the connections between theatrical art and society, both nationally and internationally
  • be able to gather, analyse, document and present complex discipline-specific knowledge and thus help develop the field
  • be able to apply their knowledge and skills to other relevant practices/fields

Structure and Progression

The programme spans four semesters, and students spend either semesters 1 and 4, or else semesters 2 and 3, at KHiO, while the other two semesters are spent at one of the partner institutions within the CDPR network. The various courses support, develop and create a basis for the professional competence the students will need later in their careers.

The programme consists of courses that contain various components. All the courses emphasise the students’ work on the basis of their own area of specialisation.


The Dramaturgy 1–3 courses provide insight into dramaturgical theory, method and history as well as an understanding of theatrical art as a composition that is based on various artistic parameters. Central elements include analyses of text, space, music, visuality and movement, as well as a focus on an experience-based application of the dramaturgical competence.

The courses also emphasise dramaturgy as an ability to understand and analyse an artistic work’s organisational, cultural, political and economic contexts.


The Competence Development 1–3 courses are based on the student’s defined specialisation and build on the competence the students acquired from previous education and practice. In these courses the students shall continue to develop the skills that are necessary to enhance and realise their art. Each student will play a part in defining their goals, their progression and the skills they shall improve.


The Project Realisation 1–2 courses encompass various forms of individual and collective presentations, work demonstrations, études and productions. Central elements include conceptual development, investigation, project development and execution, reception and effect analysis, documentation and presentation. The various formats will entail encounters with diverse audiences. The courses will enable the students to create and present theatrical expressions and productions, in various formats and of a high quality, that can unfold in relevant contexts and showcase the student’s artistry.


The Master’s project consists of one or several independent artistic works related to the student’s specialisation. An individual artistic expression and personal distinctiveness is required. During the Master’s project, the student shall submit a reflective text that clarifies the context of the artistic work and that documents its process and applied methodology. The course is assessed individually but takes place in creative interaction with others. The Master’s project is taken during semester 4, but developing the problems and methods of the project is an integral part of the other courses.

ECTS credits are used to determine the scope of the study/work required by the programme’s courses. 60 ECTS credits correspond to a year of full-time study. One ECTS credit corresponds to 30 actual hours of work for the student. In total this amounts to around 1,800 actual hours of work per year. Actual hours of work include educator-led teaching, lectures, thesis writing, seminars, independent studies, artistic investigations, performance work, etc. Some courses are primarily carried out through educator-led teaching, while other courses emphasise the student’s independent work.

Go to course structure

Teaching and Learning Methods

The instruction builds on art-, research- and experience-based knowledge and takes place in close contact with the development of theatrical art at the Academy of Theatre (the Oslo National Academy of the Arts) and the various CDPR partner institutions.

Teaching may take place individually, in classes and in groups consisting of different cohorts/programmes. Taking responsibility for one’s own learning, reflecting on this learning and being able to cooperate are all central to the programme.

The programme’s work methods include educator-led teaching, supervision and independent work and may consist of for example practical exercises, lectures, work demonstrations, independent study, written assignments and the use of technology.

The semesters spent abroad allow for a comprehensive investigation of theatre practices and studies in various cultural surroundings. The practice provides incisive and valuable insight into a variety of production methods and production processes in different countries.

Project work and theatrical productions are central to the programme. These are adapted to the individual student groups, external partners and the programme’s learning outcomes.

The programme’s medium of instruction is English.

Coursework requirements for the programme:

  • active participation in the education
  • fulfilled coursework requirements within each course and the completion of all mandatory assignments
  • mandatory attendance in the scheduled classes (provisions on absence and leave are laid down in the regulations concerning studies at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts)
  • for further information on coursework requirements, see the individual course descriptions
  • for information about coursework requirements for the two semesters abroad, see the partner institutions’ respective web pages


All coursework requirements must be approved in order for the student to receive a final assessment in the given course.

The students’ work in the programme shall be supervised and assessed on an ongoing basis. The assessment is based on supervision, teacher assessments and student’s academic development as seen in relation to the course’s learning outcomes. The assessment usually takes place in cooperation between the student, teacher/supervisor and course coordinator.

In addition to the ongoing assessments, a course may also be concluded with a written exam, assessment of artistic results or a practical demonstration related to the course’s learning outcomes.

The Master’s project will be assessed by an internal and an external examiner.

For further information on how each course is assessed, see the individual course descriptions.

All learning outcomes and coursework requirements for the programme and for each individual course must be passed in order to achieve the Master’s degree.

The course uses a grading scale of A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a failing grade.

Further provisions on assessment and exams have been laid down in the regulations concerning studies at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Forskrift om studiene ved Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo).

Quality Assurance

The Oslo National Academy of the Arts has systems for assuring and enhancing the quality of all parts of the education. Students are important contributors to this work, for example by participating in student evaluations and the annual learning environment survey.

Course Structure


There are no plans for admitting students to master's in comparative dramaturgy and performance research the coming year.

About the Academy of Theatre

Since its founding in 1953, the Academy of Theatre has been Norway’s leading educational institution for the acting professions. The Academy offers a three-year Bachelor’s course for actors and directors and a two-year Master’s course in theatre, specialising in acting, direction, stage writing and stage design. The department also offers a practice-oriented teacher training course (PPU) for drama teachers.

The Academy embraces both traditional and experimental techniques. Our primary goal is to help our students develop all the skills they need for a career in theatre, uniting the traditional craft that has long underpinned our great theatrical institutions with the best of the more experimental and creative techniques coming from the independent field.

The Academy offers not only a valuable vocational education, but also a first-class arts education. We aim to encourage and develop our students’ artistic abilities, giving the theatrical world not only the supply of new talent it craves, but perhaps also some fresh perspectives it doesn’t yet know that it needs.

Read more about the department's staff and research focus