An International Masters Programme in Performing Arts


The Performing Arts MFA at the Iceland Academy of the Arts creates an international platform for students to deepen and expand their knowledge in the field of contemporary performing arts, as well as extend their individual practice, professionalism and thinking capacity as artists.


This is a programme for students looking to develop as independent, active, responsible and critical artists. The main focus of the masters programme is to provide a challenging and supportive context for developing each student’s artistic practice – through both research and artistic creation. The course is a full-time 12 month intensive programme, during which time students will be supported to develop their individual artistic practices, as well as deepen their capacity to situate their work in broader artistic, professional and social contexts. As such, alongside the programme’s emphasis on independent work, the course will also support active and stimulating group situations, in which students work together to reflect on and contextualise their working methods and artistic creations.


This masters programme places a big emphasis on each student developing a strong network of artistic and professional partners throughout their study. As such, this programme encourages its artists to collaborate with students from other departments, such as the visual arts, music or design – and encourages cross-department dialogue through the shared theory courses of the different departments. The Performing Arts Department also takes full advantage of its strong relations with all of the most prominent Performing Arts organisations and institutions in Iceland and works hard to provide professional connections with those organisations for its students, in ways that can lead to improved professional opportunities for students after they have graduated. Furthermore, the department is very well connected internationally, through its dynamic partnerships with other schools abroad – as well as through its active and on-going dialogue with an extensive network of thinkers, artists and entrepreneurs working today in an international context.


With a strong focus on the development of artists, this master programme foregrounds artistic practice and provides a context for students to work artistically and situate their artistic work in broader artistic, social and professional contexts.


Students get:


* Workshops, group discussions and lectures lead by a host of leading national and international artists, dramaturges, curators and theoreticians.

* Support and guidance in developing an independent artistic practice

* Support and guidance in situating artistic practice in broader artistic, social and professional contexts.

* Experience in taking an interdisciplinary approach

* Experience in developing a research through artistic practice

* Developing a strong base in contemporary culture and performance theory

* Support and mentoring in developing a concept for and staging of a final MFA project.


Name of Programme: Masters programme in Performing Arts

Name of Degree: M.F.A. in Performing Arts

Level of study: Postgraduate Studies on a Master’s level, second step, stage 3, according to the criteria of the Ministry of Education and Culture regarding higher education and degrees.

Credits: 90 ECTS

Course Length: 3 Semesters – 1 year (12 months)


Goals and Organistation of the Masters Programme in Performing Arts:




* To develop the student’s personal vision, researching attitude and artistic methods within the contemporary performing arts

* To activate the students to take independent artistic decisions

* Create a dynamic and inspiring environment developing each student’s individual artistic practice

* Deepening their understanding and expanding each student’s knowledge of the contemporary performing arts field

* Supporting innovation within the national and international contemporary performing arts field


This master’s in Contemporary Performing Arts is a 12 month full-time course worth a total of 90 ects. The structure of the course is divided into independent art creation, workshops, group discussions, theory classes and a final artistic assignment. It is expected that students will complete 30 ects per semester.