Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen Institute for Applied Theatre Studies

Degree programs: contents and structure

The three degree programs

The Institute for Applied Theatre Studies (Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft, ATW) offers three different degree programs: a three-year Bachelor‘s program, Applied Theatre Studies, and two two-year Master’s programs, Applied Theatre Studies and Choreography and Performance (CuP). Each course places equal importance on academic and artistic practice. In seminars, reading courses and tutorials, you will be asked to engage with theoretical issues, while in performance projects, practical courses and workshops you will experiment with different artistic approaches. Courses in the humanities and cultural studies offered by the Justus-Liebig-Universität are also incorporated into each program. In Choreography and Performance, certain practical classes are organized in cooperation with the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Frankfurt am Main), where these classes will also be held.


Bacherlor and Master programs Applied Theatre Studies
(BA and MA ATW)
The BA program offers the student a comprehensive understanding of theatre studies and artistic practices. It is designed for students who either have a general interest in theatre, dance and performance or who prefer to not specialize in their first university-level studies. The academic seminars, reading courses and tutorials aim to give fundamental insights into theory, aesthetics, history and performance analysis. Complementing this academic teaching, the student is asked to choose other courses from related programs: German studies, English studies, Romance studies, Slavic studies, art history, musicology, ancient cultures and philosophy. These interdisciplinary skills will serve to broaden the student‘s horizon. Through performance projects, students have the opportunity to explore and experiment with different forms. Supported by lectures, mentors, and a strong community of classmates, students have the foundation to pursue their independent aesthetic interests. Finally, the practical courses offer the students the chance to familiarize themselves with the different theatrical means, i.e. voice, body, movement, light, sound and video and enable them to experiment with these accordingly. The Bachelor‘s program concludes with a BA dissertation.

The two-year MA program Applied Theatre Studies encourages a more individually-driven pursuit of the student‘s academic and artistic interests. The structure of the program allows for a siginficant freedom of choice and the possibility to concentrate on a more academic or artistic practice, or a combination of both. The academic training takes place in seminars and colloquia, where questions of theory and aesthetics, but also questions concerning the politics and economics surrounding theatre are dealt with. The artistic practice takes place in performance projects, advanced practical courses and personal artistic projects that are individually supervised. In order to foster interdisciplinary skills, students are asked to take other classes, such as philosophy, sociology, political science, English studies, Romance studies or Slavic studies. The program is concluded with a written thesis or an artistic project accompanied by a written theoretical reflection.

For further information on the structure of both the BA and MA program, refer to the rubric BA and MA Program ATW.


Master Choreography and Performance (MA CuP)
The Choreography and Performance MA program is organized in collaboration with the department for contemporary dance at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. This program is explicitly international, with courses being taught in English and German. Accordingly, German language skills are not necessarily required as most of the classes are taught in English.

The aim of the MA program is to combine bodily, motional and compositional practice with a reflective approach that will help the student develop a more thourough and critical understanding of dance, choreography and performance. Bodily expression will not soley be understood and explored as an artistic medium, but will be analysed in the contexts of society, politis and economics. In order to help the student position their professional approaches, focus will be put on the contemporary and international dance and performance art and, especially, on the work strategies and modes of production involved.

Classes will be offered and taught not only by the Insitute for Applied Theatre Studies and the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, but also by other partners of the Hessische Theaterakademie, such as the tanzlabor_21. As a result of the wide variety of classes offered, including the academic seminars and reading courses on the one hand and workshops, dance training, dramaturgical classes and mentoring programs on the other, the student is given a multitude of theoretical and practical approaches to their indepedent work. The program is concluded with an artistic project and an accompanying written reflection. The written thesis option is not offered.

Further information about the structure of the MA Choreography and Performance can be found in the section MA Program CuP.

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