Theory and Criticism (8203T069)

master's programme qualification

No new students are accepted for the qualification. Qualification finishes 2024-12-31.

Specific arrangements for recognition of prior learning

The programme does not have any specific requirements for the recognition of prior learning.

The procedure for recognition at AMU is governed by Articles 89 and 90 of the Act on Higher Education Institutions No. 111/1998 Coll., as amended, and by the AMU Attendance and Examination Regulations (Articles 8, 14, 18).

Qualification requirements and regulations

A Bachelor`s degree in the field of theory and criticism or a related field (theatre studies, aesthetics, modern philology, etc.).

A completed secondary or completed secondary vocational education.

Regulations: The Czech education system is governed by the Act on Higher Education Institutions, as amended (Act No. 111/1998 Coll.), and by the internal regulations of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

Field of study characterization

The Master`s programme in Theory and Criticism - following up on the Bachelor`s programme - addresses mainly: 1. the current state of the art, through its tendencies and transformations rather than through its history; 2. through creative processes rather than through results. In this regard, the programme`s anchoring in the Theatre Faculty is of fundamental importance, because its methodology is based, among other things, on meetings with practicing artistic personalities throughout the programme.

The Master`s programme in the field of Theory and Criticism is focused on developing and deepening the knowledge, skills and competencies of graduates of the Bachelor`s programme in Theory and Criticism or related fields, such as dramaturgy, theatre studies, aesthetics, modern philology, etc. First and foremost, of course, the programme follows up on previous studies in theatre as a special kind of art (in particular in its contemporary forms and transformations), but it also places theatre in broader artistic and societal contexts, i.e. with a certain amount of overlap in particular with literature, film, media, as well as philosophy, anthropology and general theory of art. Compulsory in the programme are subjects which realise the field`s basic circumscription to theory and criticism. The backbone subjects include in particular the four-semester course Contemporary Theory of Theatre, supplemented by the more general course Artistic Criticism and Theory of Artistic Criticism, and a course on the history of world theatrical criticism called Development and Transformations of Theatrical Criticism. In addition to these subjects, the required curriculum of the Master`s programme also places emphasis on students` independent work connected with thematically targeted research and edified work with scholarly texts - their own as well as extant ones (this concerns in particular the subjects Principles and Approaches of Theatrological Research and Analysis and Interpretation of Scholarly Texts). A major component of the study plan and at the same time a creative output is the conception and realisation of a scholarly theatrical magazine as part of the four-semester subject Critical Practice I and II. The magazine should express argued generational opinions and postures, and also address in essay form wider questions transcending the borders of theatrical arts and touching on more general issues of contemporary culture and society. Within the scope of required elective subjects offered with a periodicity of 2-3 years, students encounter core departmental faculty members as well as other personalities in the areas of public affairs commentary, cultural studies, dramaturgy and philosophy who lead them to contemplate theatre in wider contexts; the work of experts from practice is completely fundamental for the programme, because it supports the continuous innovation of instruction based on the development and transformations of the professional environment.

Key learning outcomes

A graduate of the Master`s programme in the field of Theory and Criticism:

is able to analyse and critically reflect on a specific artefact, place it in wider artistic contexts, and judge its originality and contribution;

is oriented in contemporary performing arts, can spot contexts, identify trends and relate the development of theatrical arts to other types of art;

understands the functioning of theatrical institutions, both in the area of bricks-and-mortar institutional scenes as well as in the area of independent project-based and project-directed creation;

is oriented in media, understands their particularities arising from the form of the reader / viewer community and technical parameters; understands media as a broker of thought about culture, by means of which he/she can influence the public space;

practices artistic criticism as a component of societal processes (among others also in the form of discussion, moderation, etc.);

pursues all activities on an appropriate scholarly and expressive level, both orally and in writing;

has mastered the basics of investigative and scholarly work, is able to work with sources, to find, elaborate and analyse materials, to formulate an argued expert opinion;

has a solid foundation in editorial work, is able to work conceptually and in a team, has experience with various scholarly and publishing genres (review, essay, interview, study);

is oriented in the literature of the field - scholarly as well as artistic, Czech as well as foreign-language (in English and possibly in an additional language) - and is able to analyse it (including reviewing it);

has experience with literary / dramatic creation, and is able to realise an assigned genre or creatively elaborate an assigned topic in view of the particularities of the target medium.

Occupational profiles of graduates with examples

The programme cultivates creative experts capable of reflecting on contemporary theatrical art in wider cultural and societal contexts. Graduates work in professions immediately connected with theatrical creation and critical reflection on it, as well as in cultural administration, cultural policy institutions, in the media, in public affairs commentary, in editorial and agency work, and in education (examples of careers: art critic, expert editor, dramaturge, dramaturgy lecturer, researcher, pedagogue, employee in the area of cultural policy, etc.).

Access to further studies

Doctoral programme in the field of Theory and Practice of Theatrical Creation and in the field of Scenic Creation and Theory of Scenic Creation at DAMU, doctoral programmes in theatre studies departments at related universities.

Examination regulations, assessment and grading

For example:

Studies are assessed by credits and examinations stipulated by study plans. The student is informed of these through the information system.

The student registers for examinations using the information system.

The student is entitled to a second and third attempt to pass an examination. If neither of these attempts proves successful, the Dean may in exceptional cases permit a fourth attempt, known as a Dean`s Examination. A Dean`s Examination is administered by a commission with the participation of the Dean or a Vice-Dean appointed by the Dean. It is not permitted to repeat an examination for the main subjects or to repeat written examinations.

The credit is an ungraded form of assessment of studies. It is allocated upon fulfilment of requirements stipulated for individual subjects and is recorded in the information system with the word „Credited“ (Z). An examination is a graded form of assessment of studies, which tests knowledge and level of creativity in the relevant subject. In the main subjects, examinations are administered by a commission. An examination may be practical, written, oral, or involve a combination of these methods. For the main subjects, examinations are usually conducted before a committee.

Examinations are graded on the scale „A, B, C, D, E, F“.

Graduation requirements

For example:

The student fulfils the requirements corresponding to the study plan.

The State Master`s Examination in the field of Theory and Criticism consists of the following parts:

the diploma thesis and its defence;

the development of thought about theatre and its contemporary directions;

the development of theatrical arts and its contemporary forms.

Mode of study


Qualification director or equivalent


Field of study is part of study programme

Qualification study plans