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School of Performing and Digital Arts


New international smartphone film festival launched - SMART

Royal Holloway is one of the founding partners of SMART, the new London International Smartphone Film Festival taking place online from 21-25 June 2021.


Dr Zubin Kanga awarded a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

Dr Zubin Kanga, lecturer in Royal Holloway’s music department, has been awarded a £1.4 million UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship for his major research project, Cyborg Soloists.


The Paris Commune Now!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune of March-May 1871. Professor Dan Rebellato of the Department of Drama, Theatre & Dance is delivering five essays for BBC Radio 3.

Welcome to the School of Performing and Digital Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London.

When the School was established in August 2018 it brought together the departments of Drama, Theatre & Dance, Media Arts, and Music. The School is home to over 1,000 students--approximately 831 undergraduate, 135 postgraduate taught, and 130 postgraduate research students from the UK and overseas. We have over 90 academic and administrative staff members, who bring a diverse range of teaching, research and practical expertise within and across our three departments. While we focus heavily on the distinct departmental strengths, we are also building interdisciplinary collaborations within the School, new courses and degrees which allow students to draw on the excellence across the School.

In the School of Performing and Digital Arts you will be taught by animators and social media experts, specialists in all kinds of instruments and world-leading scholars who study topics from Bengali Cinema to Wagner, from Play for Today to Black British playwrights, from electronic music to Japanese Noh Drama. We have prizewinning composers, BAFTA winner-filmmakers, talented writers, and experts in all forms of music, media, and performance as well as digital creativity in sound and image. We have a wonderful theatre, a world-renowned choir, and we’re the home of StoryFutures which studies immersive storytelling in VR and AR– and that’s just one example of the research and creativity that goes on here. We work with leading cultural organisations in the UK and all around the world, and we have partnerships with local companies and industries for research projects and student placements. Our School advisory board offers insights which guide us on future developments in the creative industries.

Together we form a creative and intellectual community who share a dedication to encouraging our students to achieve their very best. Please follow the links to our departments for a taste of what we do. Here, you can also find details of how to contact us and details of the School structure and who is responsible for what. Please do get in touch if you’d like to learn more about the School or have any general queries. We’re always pleased to hear updates from old friends and alumni too. You can also follow us on social media.

I am incredibly proud of the way in which staff and students have responded to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have maintained high levels of academic achievement, student satisfaction, and research outputs and continued to improve how we communicate digitally. We are learning from our students about what works in a remote or hybrid experience, and what to build on as we return to in-person engagement. We continue to develop our strengths and grow in alignment with student experiences.

I do hope some of you reading this will join us in your journey—as students or as research collaborators. Please explore the School of Performing and Digital Arts site and learn what stimulating collaborative experiences we offer!

Jen Parker-Starbuck, Head of School