MA in Performing Arts

The MA in Performing Arts is a two-year research-based programme that supports artists, thinkers, and doers to experiment and develop as practitioners and researchers in the field of the Performing Arts. This is a two-year full-time programme taught in English.  
Students enter with a performance-related project proposal that they wish to develop and realise during their studies. This project should be specific to their artistic interests, questions, and concerns and draw upon their pre-existing practice. The students will then deepen their artistic practice through question-led research, peer-to-peer exchange, mentorship and encounters with leading artists and thinkers in the field. They become a part of an exciting and vibrant community, cultivating potential connections within IUA and with collaborators, audiences, and institutions. 
The focus of the MA in Performing Arts programme is to provide a challenging and supportive context for developing each student's artistic practice - through both research and artistic creation. This is a programme for students looking to develop as independent, active, responsible, and critical artists.


The theory component of the programme gives critical context and methodologies for artistic research practice and is designed to widen the students’ understanding of the performing arts and its relation to artistic, social, and political contexts. The programme approaches the field of performing arts as an expanded field of practice capable of producing experimental intersections between art and other fields of knowledge. Electives provide students with possibilities to deepen their competences in the field of performing arts/or expand their practice with electives across disciplines. The programme culminates with a research project giving opportunity for further research or a doctoral level study.
Graduates of the MA in Performing Arts can apply for an ERASMUS+ grant to complete an internship. The minimum placement period is two months and maximum six months and the internship must contribute to the students’ professional development in relation to their studies. More information about this here.
We are looking for those that aim to position their work in the field of the Performing Arts. The Department of Performing Arts wants to increase access for those who have not had equal access to university studies in the performing arts. Therefore, we encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply, such as People of Colour communities, LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people or other groups.  


IUA's Performing Arts Department on Vimeo


Programme: MA in Performing Arts
Degree: MA
Credits: 120 ECTS
Study length: 4 terms – 2 years


Opening of applications: January 8th 2024

Deadline: April 12th 2024

Application fee: 5.000 ISK


Electronic Application


Iðunn Arna Björgvinsdóttir, Department coordinator, idunnab [at]


IUA Rules


Course Catalog

"The programme offered me encounters and friction with different minds and matters, challenges and openings, through which I had to confront my own practice, my methods, desires and reasons for making work. I am deeply thankful for the care I experienced on this programme... There seemed to be no limits to how adventurous (lost) one could get in the hunt or research, while still feeling the programme was with you, ears acutely listening and following the possibilities of the work through to the end."
Saga Sigurðardóttir
"I found an incredible support in the several workshops technical staff, it felt as having additional individually specialized mentors, in addition to the two mentors of my personal choice - a magical concoction. Excellent black boxes, with an underground dungeon feel to them, perfect for electronic acoustics, two classmates over the age of fifty and Annie Charland Thibodeau! The MFA in Performing Arts at Listaháskóli Íslands allowed me to change direction, to turn my ship around. More than an institution, it feels like a social sculpture, which allows everyone involved to reach individual peaks, from which to soar from."
Michael Richardt


From the Programme Director

The MA in Performing Arts programme celebrates a space for radical experimentation, where the boundaries of art can be tested, expanded, or pluralised. Artists that have previously entered the programme have come from a diverse set of backgrounds; ranging from theatre to sculpture, poetry to politics or choreography to comedy. What tends to tie them together is a shared sense of urgency to explore existential modes of thinking, feeling, and acting in the world. As a result of this, each year a uniquely vibrant, critically thinking and supportive community is created where everyone can grow and learn from one another.
Brogan Davison -  Associate Professor of Performing Arts and Programme Director MA in Performing Arts