As a student in MA Expanded Theater you can design your studies to a large extent according to your individual interests and focus. You can make up your course portfolio from the courses offered by Bern University of the Arts and the other Swiss theatre schools in Lausanne, Zurich and Verscio.
We focus on the practical examination of contemporary forms of theatre as well as on the development and realisation of your own artistic ideas. In addition, we address issues that go beyond pure performance skills such as scenography, light design, sound and media. Internationally active theatre practitioners accompany you in your process.
In different ways, these modules all deal with the aspects of the creation and presentation of your own artistic work. They include modules in which students – alone or in groups – develop and present their own work and artistic experiments.
The master’s thesis which consists of a written concept, the practical realisation of a project as well as a written reflection, is also part of this module group.
In these modules, students are usually accompanied by mentors.
These modules serve the practical expansion of your own performance skills. They teach skills in dealing with different means of expression and design in performance. Different methods and ways of working are used. An essential focus of these modules is the practical examination of different media such as space, image, text, sound, voice and body.
Theory and management modules address performance work from the point of view of theoretical considerations, research approaches, analytical and reflexive observations as well as methodical questions concerning the rehearsal and production process. In addition, they broach questions of project management.
The MA Expanded Theater at HKB is part of the Master Campus Theater CH, a cooperation of the four Swiss theatre programmes at university level in Bern, Lausanne, Verscio and Zurich. By combining the course offers of the four universities, the master campus creates links between the theatre traditions of the German, French and Italian-speaking regions. As a master student at one of the four universities you can attend certain courses at the partner institutions. Among these are the campus weeks, which allow you to network with students from the other cooperating universities.
In the choice of our students and lecturers we focus on quality as well as the greatest possible cultural and disciplinary variety. HKB is associated with numerous partner universities in Switzerland and abroad and cooperates with international partners in many projects. It is, moreove,r a member of various international networks.
During your studies you have the opportunity of completing exchange semesters and work experience placements in Switzerland or abroad.
You have the option of extending your studies to five semesters if this helps or promotes your networking in the professional field. You will also expand your network by working with the numerous Swiss and international visiting lecturers that are affiliated to the master’s programme.
Qualification + Career prospects
As a graduate of our master’s degree programme you are able to position yourself and your work in the dynamic professional field of performing arts and to work in interdisciplinary performance formats.
Master of Arts in «Theater – Expanded Theater»
Job profile + career prospects
The master’s degree qualifies you to work as a professional theatre practitioner with a specialisation of your choice. As a graduate you will have expanded your disciplinary training and will be able to participate in a wide variety of performance projects and to position yourself professionally.
In a professional world in which working and production methods are becoming more and more interdisciplinary, artists with the above qualifications are in great demand – both at theatre institutions and in independent companies.
In the admission examination, your artistic skills are tested on the basis of your previous work and a written project proposal. The number of places in the master’s programme is limited (Numerus Clausus). Your aptitude for this course of study is determined by an aptitude test.
The teaching and working languages in the master’s programme are German and English.
An active command of German or English at level B1 as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required of our master’s students. A passive understanding of English is assumed in any case. Upon entry into the second semester a command of German at level A1 is expected.
Foreign nationals must have valid travel documents recognised by Switzerland, often a visa is also required. In addition, international students have to apply for a residence permit and show proof of having the necessary finances once they have accepted a place of study. Moreover, they have to take out health insurance before the start of studies. Please find out about the details of your specific entry requirements.
The HKB admissions commission is responsible for checking the content of the application documents. The commission consists of the head of studies, two or more lecturers of the theatre division and at least two experts. The commission then recommends selected candidates for the professional aptitude test.
The candidates who have been recommended for the specialisation Expanded Theatre are then invited to an admission interview. If necessary, they may be asked to prepare and present further practical and/or theoretical assignments.
In justified exceptional cases (application from outside Europe) and only if the candidate’s practical work has been sufficiently documented, the admission interview can also be conducted online.
After the admission interview, we decide on admission and inform candidates immediately.
Organisation + Application
Please note the dates and deadlines as well as the information regarding the required documents and information.
Application (per application) and aptitude assessment*
Tuition fees (per semester)
Tuition fees for overseas students*** (per semester)
Examination fee (per semester)
Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)
Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)
Leave of absence fee (per semester)
* The application fee can be paid by credit card or by deposit slip / paper invoice (+ CHF 10.– processing fee). There are no waivers or refunds for withdrawn or abandoned applications. The application is processed after payment has been received.
** If the application leads to matriculation, the matriculation fee is covered by the application fee.
*** ‘Overseas students’ refers to all citizens of foreign countries who were not official residents of Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time they were admitted to the university programme.
There is also a fixed fee for materials whose amount depends on the degree programme as well as additional costs for teaching materials, specialist literature, supplies, etc.
The following content-related questions must be answered and the following documents submitted:
Based on your previous artistic orientation, please explain your motivation to study MA - Expanded Theater. Describe what you hope to gain from it for your future artistic work (max. 1 A4 page).
Please sketch a project that you would like to realise as a master’s project in the framework of your studies, and describe how you would put it into practice (max. 4 A4 pages). The following aspects should be addressed:
Describe fundamental issues or questions that you would like to deal with in your work and why you would like to do so. What is your particular artistic, aesthetic interest?
Describe your way of working. How would you proceed?
Draft a concrete image or a specific action from the project.
Describe one or more landmark shows or performances, which you have seen as a spectator (max. 2 A4 pages). Why has this work mattered to you?
Submit a video documentation of your artistic practice. Please take into account the following points:
Send a video summary of max. 5–10 minutes (we do not accept recordings of entire shows or performances, but of course you can include links to optional material).
Submit the video material per vimeo or youtube links. Please include the corresponding links in your application portfolio. (We do not accept broadcasts per WeTransfer, Dropbox, or the like).
Please observe the specified maximum length for each document. Note that we can only consider video summaries of max. 10 minutes.
HKB will welcome you with open minds and a personal atmosphere. Come visit us.
Student advisory service
In our master’s programme we regularly present students’ work to the public. These events are always an opportunity to get to know more about the course. You can also contact our artistic and academic collaborator Sibylle Heim.
The location of the theatre division at Zikadenweg features over 3,000m2 of work and performance spaces, including three adjustable stages (main, studio and rehearsal stage) equipped with professional theatre technology. 9 large project spaces are available to students as rehearsal and work studios. A dance and movement studio, several video editing suites, a workshop, a prop and costume store, as well as a theatre library provide an excellent environment for intensive theatre studies.
In addition to the infrastructure on site, students have access to the facilities at other HKB locations. The MediaLab is the skill and service centre for audio-visual design and photography at HKB. Workspaces and studios are fully equipped for production and available around the clock. Our MediaLab team offers courses and training in photography and videography. They are happy to help answer content-related and technical questions from students and lecturers alike. The multimedia library is the specialist library for the areas of design and art, conservation and restoration and the Y Institute (Institute for Transdisciplinarity). It is open to members of the HKB community and the public. 35,000 items are available in the open access library.