Expanded Theater

The Master in Expanded Theater is based on a broad understanding of theatre. It is aimed at actors as well as artists from other disciplines.

This degree program is being phased out. Applications are no longer possible.

Our master’s degree programme

  • deals with an expanded notion of theatre which transcends the boundaries of the art form,
  • supports you in independently putting your artistic ideas into practice – boldly venturing beyond existing conventions and the limits of a particular performing arts discipline,
  • offers you an open curriculum and the possibility of individually organising your studies and does so in collaboration with all the other Swiss theatre universities,
  • is aimed at artists in theatre, dance, puppetry, performance, music and fine arts
  • highly values the personal supervision of students and attaches great importance to individual mentoring

This degree programme is being phased out. Applications are no longer possible.


  • Title/Degree Master of Arts (MA)
  • Specialisations Individual
  • Mode of study Full-time or part-time (3 to 5 semesters)
  • Start date Spring semester: February 2024
  • Application deadline Applications for this degree programme are no longer possible
  • ECTS credits 90 ECTS credits
  • Teaching language English/German
  • Location Bern
  • School Bern Academy of the Arts

Structure + Content

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.

Degree programme + Modules

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.

This module group centres on the networking between students (also beyond HKB) as well as on artistic discourse. It also focuses on encounter and exchange with theatre professionals.

Objectives + Qualifications

As a graduate of our master’s programme you have the following qualifications:

  • You are able to develop and put into practice your own artistic ideas (authorship).
  • You can understand, apply and individually develop different methods of creation.
  • You can consciously use and actively develop your own means of artistic expression.
  • You know how to develop and use theatrical media and forms that go beyond the conventions of spoken theatre and reflect a broader understanding of performance arts.
  • Transdisciplinarity: you are able to enter into a dialogue with other artistic and non-artistic disciplines and incorporate them into your own creative work.
  • You can independently initiate, plan, put into practice and evaluate your own projects.
  • You can build a professional network of people and interest groups relevant to your artistic work.
  • You can present yourself and your artistic work in the professional field.
  • You can take responsibility in a team, recognise and tolerate conflict and contradiction and make them instrumental for your work process.
  • You are able to reflect on your own artistic practice and to position it with regard to other artistic discourses which it might be open to or demarcated and differentiated from.
  • You can deal with critical judgment of your own and other people’s work as well as appropriately substantiate your own critical opinion.

Partners + Exchange

The HKB is associated with numerous partner universities in Switzerland and abroad and collaborates with international partners in a number of projects. It is also a member of various international networks.

Networking at various levels is an essential characteristic of our master’s degree programme:

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.

Since our master’s degree programme is integrated into a university which teaches a wide variety of art forms you also get the opportunity to network across disciplines during your studies in Bern.

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 moreover 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 can extend your studies to five semesters if this allows or promotes your networking in the professional field during your studies. You can expand your network through your contacts with the programme's numerous guest lecturers from Switzerland and abroad.

HKB students have the opportunity to complete part of their studies or work experience abroad. In turn, interested persons from abroad can apply to study at HKB or spend part of their studies here.

Degree + 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.

Examples of our graduates’ job profiles

  • Freelance theatre practitioners and dancers
  • Performance artists
  • Company members at municipal theatre institutions
  • Choreographers & stage directors
  • Writers


Lecturers and mentors (selection)

Hans Werner Kroesinger (D)
Laurent Chétouane (F)
Matthias Lilienthal (D)
Lola Arias (ARG)
Alexander Giesche (D), Regula Schröter (CH)
Ed Hauswirth (A)
Rabih Mroué (LBN)
Stefan Kaegi (CH)
Yan Duyvendak (NL)
Archie Burnett (USA)
Simone Augtherlony (CH/D) & Jen Rosenblit (USA/D)

Ivo Dimchev (BG)
François Chaignaud (F)
Florentina Holzinger (A)
Sebastian Matthias (D)
Mirko Borscht (D)
Ted Stoffer (USA)
Lucie Tuma (D)
Giulia Palladini (I)
Roberto Fratini Serafide (I)
Kate McIntosh (NZ)
Johannes Kram (D)
Joachim Robbrecht (NL)

Cora Frost (D)
Machina eX // Mathias Prinz (D), Yves Regenass (CH)
Rolf Abderhalden (COL) // Mapa Teatro
Juanita Delgado (COL)
Viviane de Muynck (BE)
Johanna Freiburg & Berit Stumpf // Gob Squad (D/GB)
Hans-Thies Lehmann (D)
Ivna Žic (CH)
Eero Epner (EST)
Lukas Bangerter (CH) // Plasma
Big Art Group (USA) // Caden Manson & Jemma Nelson
Franck Chartier // Peeping Tom (BE)
Urs Dietrich (D)
Onno Faller (D)
Jens Roselt (D)
Christoph Haering (CH)
Niklaus Helbling (CH/D)
Knut Jensen (CH)
San Keller (CH)
Mikael Krogerus (FIN) // Roman Tschäppeler (CH)
Felix Kubin (D)
Bojana Kunst (SI)
Penelope Wehrli (CH)
VA Wölfl // Neuer Tanz Düsseldorf (D)

As well as the team of lecturers of the Bachelor in Theatre/Acting.

Prerequisites + Admission

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.

Admission requirements

Bachelor in Theatre, Dance, Performance or a comparable artistic degree at Bachelor level, or a proven practical artistic qualification whose equivalence will be reviewed by the admission committee.

  • basic artistic skills in the field of performing arts or related disciplines,
  • recognisable potential to create your own work (authorship) and pronounced innovative and creative potential in the field of performance,
  • recognisable potential for artistic work in a transdisciplinary context,
  • ability to describe and reflect on artistic processes and self-reflection,
  • Knowledge of theatre and its contexts as well as of cultural criticism

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.


Admissions procedure

There are two stages to the admissions procedure at HKB.

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.

Practicalities + Application

This program will be replaced by the Master Acting for Screen & Digital Media.

Application (per application) and aptitude assessment*  

CHF 250


CHF 100

Tuition fees (per semester) 

CHF 750

Tuition fees for international students*** (per semester)

CHF 950

Examination fee (per semester)  

CHF 80

Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)  

CHF 24

Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)

CHF 15

Leave of absence fee (per semester) 

CHF 100

* 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.
*** International students are defined as persons of foreign citizenship who at the time of obtaining their university entrance qualification were domiciled under civil law neither in Switzerland nor the Principality of Liechtenstein.

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.


Off-Stage Scholarships for Theatre Professionals in Berne

Every year, the Office of Culture of the Canton of Berne grants off-stage scholarships for professional theatre and dance professionals from Berne (individuals or collectives).

If you have any questions concerning scholarships and loans, please contact the theatre secretariat.

After consultation with the head of studies, you can extend the 3-semester master’s programme to a maximum of 5 semesters if you have the opportunity of working alongside your studies.

You can get information about how to coordinate studies and military or civil service from the HKB student administration (+41 31 848 49 49).

Consulting + Location

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.