Theatre and Film Studies - Subjects - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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2017 2016
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    • 2017 2016

Theatre and Film Studies


BA, CertArts, BA(Hons), MA, PhD, GradDipArts


Theatre and Film Studies (TAFS) students are encouraged to work both as artists and as scholars at all levels: to read, think and write, but also to create, to act and direct, and to shoot and edit films. Our approach to the study of theatre and film is interactive and interdisciplinary, incorporating literary, historical, aesthetic, philosophical, psychoanalytic and socio-political discourses through the experiences of doing and watching as well as through intellectual inquiry.

Ideally, students study both theatre and film as these disciplines have in common various theories of genre, representation and performance, as well as the practices of acting and directing, however students may also choose to focus on either theatre or film to fulfil their majors. All Theatre and Film Studies courses integrate theory and practice, with creative work serving as grounds for scholarly writing and all research having the potential to provoke artistic experimentation.

100-level courses

Not offered at 100-level in 2015

200-level and beyond

At 200 and 300-level, students explore theoretical ideas about theatre and film in increasing depth, through reading texts, by watching performances and films, and through working together on practical exercises based on artistic models. Discussions are focused on comparative analyses of plays, performances and films in response to questions about the relationships between theory and practice and between art(s) and culture(s).

In this way, TAFS students acquire: detailed knowledge about the history and practice of theatre and film; a practical understanding of key developments in and aspects of theatre/film making and the range of possible meanings produced for audiences as a result; and an awareness of the way theatre, performance and film work has been, and continues to be, produced in response to social, political and historical movements.

Classwork, rehearsals and performances for 200 and 300-level theatre courses are sited off campus. Students also have an opportunity to work in full-scale productions with the Free Theatre, which is an independent alternative theatre group with close links to UC's Theatre and Film Studies programme.

Further study

The Theatre and Film Studies programme offers three postgraduate degrees: BA(Hons), MA and PhD. The postgraduate programme is the logical culmination of the undergraduate courses and provides a valuable opportunity for students in Theatre and Film Studies to extend and intensify their explorations of theory and practice. Admission to the postgraduate programme is by application and interview. Applicants are expected to have earned a B average or higher in their undergraduate courses.

All postgraduate-level courses make it possible for students to choose to combine theatre and film studies, or to specialise in one or the other, and reflect the continuing commitment of the programme to the integration of scholarly inquiry with experimental practice.

Career opportunities

Many graduates build remarkable lives for themselves in a wide range of professions related to the performing arts – as actors and directors, on stage and in films and television, but also as producers, writers, curators, journalists, publicists, editors, designers, events managers, teachers, or as university lecturers.

For further career information, please go to


Dr Sharon Mazer
Theatre and Film Studies
Telephone: +64 3 364 2047