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Masters Degrees (Drama And Theatre)

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Designed to help you develop your practical skills and theoretical knowledge of drama education, this MA is aimed at practitioners working in both schools and colleges, and community and educational theatre settings. Read more
Designed to help you develop your practical skills and theoretical knowledge of drama education, this MA is aimed at practitioners working in both schools and colleges, and community and educational theatre settings.

There is a balance between the study and practice of drama as a subject in schools and colleges, and the wider use of drama for personal and community purposes. Teaching is built around practical workshops, which give you hands-on experience of drama, as well as providing ideas and techniques for use in your own workplace.

A core module in Drama and Creative Learning explores the role of drama and theatre as a means of encouraging creative learning. Optional modules unique to this course comprise Drama and Theatre in Theory and Practice, The Role of Story in Drama and Theatre Education, and Drama and Literacy. You’ll also complete a supervised independent research project and associated dissertation.

Course structure

You will study four modules (30 CATS each) intended to develop your subject knowledge, pedagogical skills and understanding of drama’s cultural importance as well as its educational significance. One of these is a core module, and you must take at least two of the remaining three course specific optional modules (however most students choose to take all the specialist modules). The final element of your study will be a dissertation (60 CATS) with integrated research methods learning. This will be your individual research project, and you will receive one-to-one support from your academic supervisor.

Course delivery and learning styles

All of the modules provide a balance between practical experience of a wide range of drama and theatre practices and a planned reading programme. The weekly sessions are built around practical workshops led by the programme tutors, invited guests, and students themselves. These workshop opportunities are designed to give students a hands-on experience of drama as well as methods and ideas for using drama and theatre in their own workplace. The course is taught mainly in afternoon sessions of three hours in length.

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The Drama and Theatre Arts department offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in a dynamic environment which allows students, scholars and theatre practitioners to work together to achieve a new breadth and depth in the study of drama. Read more

The Drama and Theatre Arts department offers promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research in a dynamic environment which allows students, scholars and theatre practitioners to work together to achieve a new breadth and depth in the study of drama.

It also takes advantage of Birmingham's exceptional resources for theatre research as well as the University and Department links with world-class theatres in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and beyond.

The MA by Research programme requires you to prepare a dissertation of up to 40,000 words on a topic of your choice, for which an academic staff member will provide expert supervision.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice and under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff.

Distance learning

You can study an MA by Research or PhD programme on campus or by distance learning. Please note that if you are studying with us by distance learning, the programme includes a fully-funded annual visit to campus for each full year of your programme (every two years for part-time students).

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website.

Research activity is led by staff and our traditional research strengths lie in: Contemporary theatre and new writing; playwriting, directing and performer training; Russian theatre; Shakespearean performance and adaptation; Victorian and Edwardian theatre; the history of film; popular theatre; theatre history - Renaissance to 21st Century; theatre and science

At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.

About the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

"Welcome to the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, in the College of Arts and Law. This is one of the largest Schools in the College, and variety is our watchword. We offer one of the most extensive ranges of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the country. Our research expertise is equally diverse, and we welcome students and researchers from all over the world." - Professor Andrzej Gasiorek, Head of School

We particularly encourage creative thinking, with a range of pioneering programmes including Masters opportunities in Creative Writing, Film and Television and Shakespeare and Creativity. Our creative offerings are also strengthened by the development of our Department of Film and Creative Writing – established in 2015 – which has opened up exciting new opportunities for postgraduates to benefit from synergies between the two fields.

Our well-established Departments also provide an excellent environment for postgraduate study. The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts has a highly respected national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. We are also one of the leading centres for the postgraduate study of English in the UK, spanning language and literature. The Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics is a world-leading centre of excellence for both teaching and research in this field.

We are also proud to be home to the world-renowned Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon. Situated within walking distance of Shakespeare’s birthplace, school and grave, and the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the Shakespeare Institute offers postgraduate students and scholars an academic experience unrivalled by any other university.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.

Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk



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This innovative programme allows academic research to be conducted through practical experimentation, such as the investigation of processes of theatre making or the practical application of particular aesthetic theories. Read more

This innovative programme allows academic research to be conducted through practical experimentation, such as the investigation of processes of theatre making or the practical application of particular aesthetic theories.

It provides a unique opportunity for you to specialise in a particular area of practice (Dramaturgy, playwriting, or Performance – which includes Directing) and prepares you for your chosen profession.

The practice-based MA by Research lets you conduct academic-based research through practical experimentation in performance, playwriting or dramaturgy, accompanied with a 20,000 word thesis.

The practice-based PhD is assessed by a thesis of 40,000 words and a practice-based component appropriate to the original research specialism.

Research activity is led by staff and our research strengths lie in: contemporary practice, playwriting, directing and performer training; Russian theatre; theatre and politics; theatre and critical theory; Shakespeare; theatre and science; theatre history (Renaissance to 21st century) and Eastern European theatre.

At Birmingham you also have the option of studying languages, free of charge. Almost no other UK University offers you the opportunity to learn the intense graduate academic language skills which you may need to pursue your research.

About the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

"Welcome to the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, in the College of Arts and Law. This is one of the largest Schools in the College, and variety is our watchword. We offer one of the most extensive ranges of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the country. Our research expertise is equally diverse, and we welcome students and researchers from all over the world." - Professor Andrzej Gasiorek, Head of School

We particularly encourage creative thinking, with a range of pioneering programmes including Masters opportunities in Creative Writing, Film and Television and Shakespeare and Creativity. Our creative offerings are also strengthened by the development of our Department of Film and Creative Writing – established in 2015 – which has opened up exciting new opportunities for postgraduates to benefit from synergies between the two fields.

Our well-established Departments also provide an excellent environment for postgraduate study. The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts has a highly respected national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. We are also one of the leading centres for the postgraduate study of English in the UK, spanning language and literature. The Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics is a world-leading centre of excellence for both teaching and research in this field.

We are also proud to be home to the world-renowned Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon. Situated within walking distance of Shakespeare’s birthplace, school and grave, and the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the Shakespeare Institute offers postgraduate students and scholars an academic experience unrivalled by any other university.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.

Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk



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The specialism is provided for recognised teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary education, youth leaders, drama and theatre in education practitioners and others with a professional interest in the arts in education, who have a primary degree or equivalent. Read more
The specialism is provided for recognised teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary education, youth leaders, drama and theatre in education practitioners and others with a professional interest in the arts in education, who have a primary degree or equivalent. Students will be involved in practice focused workshops and seminars covering approaches to drama and theatre in formal (primary, secondary and tertiary level) and non-formal educational settings.

Drama is both an art form in its own right and also a highly effective teaching and learning methodology, and students will be introduced to the philosophies underpinning this creative educational approach, to its history, and to a wide range of drama and theatre in education techniques and to their use in diverse educational contexts.

Components include:

The nature of the art form and key components in drama
Key practitioners and their work in structuring drama and theatre sequences for learning
Advanced issues in drama and theatre education
Online critical reading seminar

The course has a taught component delivered as a Summer School with on-line support during the academic year, and a dissertation. The duration will normally be two years part-time or three years part-time or one year full time.

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This innovative MA allows you to explore ways in which drama and theatre might be applied to educational, therapeutic and community contexts. Read more
This innovative MA allows you to explore ways in which drama and theatre might be applied to educational, therapeutic and community contexts. Applied drama/ theatre is an umbrella term which includes the practice of drama in a wide range of settings, such as drama and theatre in education; young people’s theatre; drama, health and healing; reminiscence and heritage theatres; theatre in prisons; theatre for development and community theatre.

This course addresses the 'social turn' at the cutting-edge of contemporary theatre, where new forms of participation are blurring the boundaries between performer and spectator. During the course you will have the opportunity to explore creative and research opportunities in some of these diverse and dynamic contexts and analyse the politics and values of applied drama. You will experience radically different approaches to performance-making in both conventional theatre spaces and in non-theatrical settings, enabling you to consider the relationship between innovative performance practices and work in applied theatre. The programme considers the international dimension of applied and participatory theatre, and the local and global implications of artistic practice.

By the end of this degree you will be well prepared to work in different locations and have developed your own praxis and practical skills as a practitioner, workshop leader and artist.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/dramaandtheatre/coursefinder/maappliedandparticipatorytheatre.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The course is taught by world leading experts in applied theatre, whose published research includes theatre education, theatre and health, theatre and refugees, devised theatre and applied drama/theatre.

- You will have the opportunity to benefit from our industry partnerships and our professional links with theatre companies. Previous students have benefitted from working with Age Exchange Theatre Trust, the Lyric Hammersmith, The Globe Theatre Education, Attic Theatre, Bravo 22 Company and many local schools, museums and hospital settings.

- The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise ranked the majority of the Department's research activities as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).

- Royal Holloway has the largest Drama Department in the UK with 25 academic members of staff working at the cutting edge of the discipline.

- We foster an excellent research environment and support a vibrant community of postgraduate and doctoral students.

- You will benefit from a range of unique performance spaces which include a traditional Japanese Noh theatre, the fully equipped Caryl Churchill Theatre and the substantial Victorian Boilerhouse.

Department research and industry highlights

You will benefit from working in partnership with professional practitioners, undertaking placements in different settings and developing your own practice. Previous practical projects have included reminiscence theatre in a day centre for the elderly; theatre with young people at risk of offending; drama and film with young carers; an interfaith installation with students of different religious beliefs; theatre with young people in hospital; theatre with young disabled performers; performance with unaccompanied refugees, and many, many more. Each project is designed and facilitated by students, and professional placements support their development.

Course content and structure

You will study three core course units and complete a dissertation.

Core course units:
The MA in Applied and Participatory theatre will appeal to anyone who is interested in socially engaged art. It is focused on theatre in different institutional, therapeutic and community settings, and raises questions about how artists might encourage public participation in a range of different forms of theatre and performance-making. You will study three core course units and complete a dissertation.

You will follow a course called Applied and Participatory Theatre Workshop where you will develop your skills as a practitioner and artist, as well as engaging in critical debates about the field. The next specialist module is the Independent Practical Project, where you gain valuable professional experience in community settings.

In addition to the two modules above you will study a shared module for all MA students in the Drama and Theatre Department that considers the contexts for theatre and performance, its histories and practices. The details and assessment methods of this course are being updated for the new year and will appear in more detail on the department website once validated.

The fourth module is the dissertation on a chosen subject within your field of study with accompanying Research Methodologies course that supports students in independent research and writing.

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- enhanced and applied their skills as reflective theatre practitioners
- explored the scope of theatre studies and its critical and research methodologies
- developed their understanding of contemporary performance practices and its contexts
- explored the links between theory and practice
- developed their ability to undertake independent research and analysis.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of means including essays, performance analyses, evaluative reflections on practice, and practical projects, as well as a final dissertation of 10-14,000 words. Practical projects are sometimes carried out in a group and may include an element of assessment for an individual’s contribution to group working and direction. All students undertake a summer term practical project.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different drama and theatre-related areas, including careers in professional theatre, training and education. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies and many of our students go on to advanced research.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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A practical, community-focused programme, this MA allows you to explore how theatre can be made in a range of settings. Read more

A practical, community-focused programme, this MA allows you to explore how theatre can be made in a range of settings. Studying at Hull, you'll have the opportunity to make theatre for a variety of audiences, including in community, applied, and public venues, as well as receiving training in setting up and running theatre companies. The relationship between the theory and practice of theatre making is at the heart of the programme, allowing you to develop as a thinking theatre artist.

Drama at Hull has a strong reputation and a unique history as one of the UK’s first specialist drama departments. Our broad range of staff expertise has enabled us to design a programme that is challenging, varied, and at the forefront of research in the field of theatre making in local and community contexts. We have a reputation for international theatre research with connections to world theatres.

Our excellent dedicated facilities, including the recently listed Gulbenkian Centre and the Middleton Hall, make Hull a clear choice for students wishing to study with unrivalled access to theatre and rehearsal space. The investment will see some of the best facilities of their kind in the UK at the University of Hull, including a concert hall, surround-sound cinema, an ambisonic sound studio and industry-standard recording and rehearsing facilities. The refurbishment will include a new entrance and café with a 400-plus seater concert hall forming the centre-piece of the development. The versatile space is ideal for classical and popular music concerts. With adaptable acoustics, it will also be used for music, theatre and cinema screenings. 

Hull has a long tradition of both established arts venues and grassroots and community arts practice. Theatre Making students have opportunities to present their work at annual arts events including Assemblefest, Freedom Festival, and Vista, and to bring work to venues including Hull’s alternative performance space, Fruit. Students also benefit from links with Hull Truck Theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and with nationally renowned companies including Opera North, New Diorama Theatre and Out of Joint. From 2017, the National Student Drama Festival will be based in Hull, a further opportunity for students to present work at one of the country’s most significant student theatre events.

Study information

The MA Theatre Making is designed to connect the theory and practice of theatre and performance, to facilitate collaboration, and to explore and interrogate the interdisciplinary connections between different modes of theatre making.

The programme focuses on the relationship between theatre and performance, place, space and community.

Modules are core for all students and arranged across three strands:

  • Theoretical, historiographic and interdisciplinary models for theatre making
  • Practical exploration of theatre making in local contexts
  • Core professional and academic skills related to the study and practice of theatre making

The flexible programme allows students to study for a PG Certificate, PG Diploma, or MA.

* All modules are subject to availability.

 Future prospects

The MA Theatre Making is intended to prepare students equally well for further study or for a career in the theatre industry.

Hands-on experience in making theatre in local and regional settings gives students a chance to demonstrate advanced skills and practical experience when seeking employment. Students also have the opportunity to establish their own theatre companies, either during the programme or on graduation.

The programme integrates practice and theory, developing graduates who are ready to engage with either the world of professional theatre making, social and applied theatre, or further postgraduate study.



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This Master's degree in London Theatre explores London; the world’s stage. Learn from a range of relevant industry professionals and dedicated research-active academics. . Read more

This Master's degree in London Theatre explores London; the world’s stage. Learn from a range of relevant industry professionals and dedicated research-active academics. 

Why study London Theatre?

The London Theatre postgraduate programme is designed for students who have a thirst to understand the unique contribution that London theatre makes to the development of theatre practices in the UK and why London is recognised as an international centre for theatre development.

This degree gives you opportunities to explore the diverse and ever-changing nature of the theatre scene and critically comment on it through academic study and professional theatre criticism. 

Why St Mary's?

Drama St Mary’s is a thriving unit of undergraduate and postgraduate Drama training. Our courses aim to offer the very best academic and practical training within a supportive, university environment. Our programmes are delivered by a strong core team of academics and a wide range of professional visiting practitioners. 

Studying in London means that you can take full advantage of the staggering array of diverse theatre and art available in the theatre capital of the world. This postgraduate programme expands on established links with London theatre venues and organisations to give you the most relevant and up to date training.

Drama St Mary's also offers Master's degrees in Theatre Directing (in collaboration with the Orange Tree Theatre) and Playwriting.

Requirements, fees and funding

Please check our website for more information about entry requirements, tuition fees and student funding.

Career opportunities

Drama St Mary’s graduates have gone on to work in a range of related arts industries. Our courses prepare students to find consistent, professional work in their chosen field. 

The module London Fringe introduces you to the area of London theatre where you are most likely to find work in your initial career as a theatre writer, critic or researcher



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The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a portfolio of taught postgraduate Drama options based on the School's five specialist research groups. Read more
The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a portfolio of taught postgraduate Drama options based on the School's five specialist research groups. Students can choose from five pathways:


MA Drama (Contemporary British Theatre)

Contemporary Playwriting
Contemporary Theatre Companies
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Contemporary Performance Practice)

Performance Lab
Located Practices
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Playwriting)

Writing for Performance
Script Development
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Popular Performance)

Popular Performance
Making the Modern Musical
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Theatre and Consciousness)

Theatre and Consciousness
Indian Theatre
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

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The MA in Theatre Directing run in collaboration with the multi-award winning Orange Tree Theatre is designed to explore the art and techniques of theatre directing within the context of contemporary theatre making. Read more
The MA in Theatre Directing run in collaboration with the multi-award winning Orange Tree Theatre is designed to explore the art and techniques of theatre directing within the context of contemporary theatre making.

The MA in Theatre Directing is predominantly housed at The Orange Tree in Richmond, enabling students to embed their practice in the working life of this award-winning theatre. Modules are taught by both academics and theatre directors with the assistance of professional actors in the practical classes.

The programme is both academic and vocational. It aims to provide an advanced understanding of theatre production processes within a context of both contemporary theatre making and the dramatic tradition. It further aims to develop students’ craft skills and technical abilities in order to prepare them for a career in theatre directing.

The programme is aimed both at graduates who wish to advance their understanding of theatre practice in order to develop their work to a professional standard and at theatre professionals who wish to formalise their experience with a course of study and a qualification.

Why St Mary's?

Directing workshops explore rehearsal techniques, script analysis, performance, design and technical aspects of production. A key module focuses on directing as a career. There is a particular emphasis on the study of the working relationship between the director and the performer.

At the end of the course students present a showcase production at the Orange Tree, or another London fringe theatre. Study is over one year full-time or two years part-time.

Previous graduates have found assistant and associate directing work with all of the major companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Out of Joint and the Royal Court.

The Drama department has three fully equipped studios and a large theatre for rehearsal purposes. Technical and administrative staff support the programme throughout the year and students are provided with a production budget for their end-of-year production.

Course Content

The programme is both academic and vocational. It aims to provide an advanced understanding of theatre production processes within a context of both contemporary theatremaking and the dramatic tradition. It further aims to develop students’ craft skills and technical abilities in order to prepare them for a career in theatre directing.

The programme is aimed, then, at graduates who wish both to advance their understanding of theatre practice and to develop their work to a professional standard. It is further aimed at theatre professionals who wish to formalise their experience with a course of study and a qualification, as well as giving some the possibility of a career change to directing.

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This course will enable you to enhance your expertise in physical theatre through working with professional performers (this year from the Jasmin Vardimon Company) within the university context. Read more
This course will enable you to enhance your expertise in physical theatre through working with professional performers (this year from the Jasmin Vardimon Company) within the university context.

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to participate in independent and group-based practical projects, and to experientially and critically explore the methodological, historical and theoretical parameters of physical theatre. You will have the opportunity to produce solo and small group performances with an emphasis on integrating dance and theatre practice.

This is a stand alone continuing professional development course. On successful completion, suitably qualified students may apply to undertake two further modules from the MA Theatre (Physical Theatre and Performance) to complete a Master’s degree.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/dramaandtheatre/coursefinder/pgcertphysicaltheatrefordancersandactors.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The practical teaching for 2010 - 2011 will be undertaken by highly skilled and experienced members of the Jasmin Vardimon Company, renowned for groundbreaking work in physical theatre.

- The teaching group is capped at 15 and we actively encourage a mixed group of actors and dancers to share their professional skills in the class context.

- The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) shows strong results for the Department with the majority of our research activities ranked as world-leading ( 4*) or internationally excellent ( 3*).

- The Department fosters an excellent research environment and supports an active population of postgraduate and doctoral students. The topics taught reflect the research excellence of the course faculty and our distinctive commitment to fostering critically-informed practice.

- The Department is well resourced with three distinctive and divergent performance spaces: the Studio, the Boilerhouse Theatre, and the Handa Noh Theatre.

Department research and industry highlights

- The Department has strong links with a range of theatre companies, organisations and practitioners and regularly invites visiting speakers and practitioners to work with students.

- There are a number of active research groups in the Department that organise a range of activities each year addressing specific subject areas and research questions.

- Members of the academic staff are leading researchers in the field of theatre and performance practice.

Course content and structure

The course will consist of eight intensive weekend workshops and a full-time week in June and will cover the following:
- the practice of physical theatre in relation to the techniques utilised by a chosen performance company
- practical methods and skills of creating physical theatre work as a creator, a performer or a creative viewer
- how to move into a new area of work, namely dance theatre, by introducing new techniques that combine vocal, kinaesthetic and visual skills and responses.

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- developed insight into the practice of a chosen physical theatre company

- understood how a performer might use dance and voice skills to develop an independent creative response

- participated in research into new ways of creating physical dance theatre work

- evaluated and reflected on dance theatre performance and practice

- worked with video, set or props to understand how visual language can bring another dimension to dance theatre work.

Assessment

Assessment is primarily through practice, including a short solo piece and a longer final group project (70%). Constructive critical reflection and analysis of each practical project will be examined through a short viva for the solo and a written portfolio and performance critique for the final project (3,000 – 3,500 words).

Employability & career opportunities

This taught postgraduate certificate is designed as a stand alone qualification to enhance professional level performance skills and is the equivalent of the two practical modules in the MA Theatre (Physical Theatre and Performance). Suitably qualified candidates may apply to continue their studies by undertaking the two other modules on the MA.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Covering historical and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, on this degree you'll investigate indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural contexts. Read more

Covering historical and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, on this degree you'll investigate indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural contexts. The MA in World Theatres is one of the few freestanding taught Masters programmes in world theatres and performance in the UK and globally.

The programme aims to train graduates for professional employment in a range of positions in theatre, in government settings, in the culture sector and in HE internationally that require solid intellectual preparation and knowledge of the field. Practitioners who come on the programme can use knowledge acquired to extend the articulation of their career.

Programme Aims 

This one-year full‐time or two-year part-time programme of study aims to cover the historical contexts and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, some of which are rarely introduced in UK HE. It will thus involve the student in a study of indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural, national and international contexts. From this vantage context, students will be able to compare and contrast such work critically, within and beyond a European perspective, and in turn use this perspective to consider contemporary theatre in multicultural Britain.

The main aims of the programme are: 

  • To introduce the student to the whole range of drama, theatre and performance practices from many areas of the world 
  • To allow the student scope for creative yet rigorous and critical thinking combined with cumulative knowledge 
  • To enhance understanding of the interaction between practice and theory in all areas of performance study 
  • To encourage and foster independent research, carried out through the scholarly channels of books and visual archives, as well as through access to practice, if/when available 
  • To provide access where possible to industry opportunities to extend their study, in particular with our new Associate Organisation, LIFT and its biennial festival of international theatre as well as its on-going programming of activities.

Modules and Structure 

All students on the programme will undertake four taught modules and a research project. The programme may be taken full-time or part-time for the duration of one year or two years, respectively. For full-time students, the programme runs over three terms, of which Term One is devoted to two modules and students will also be required to undertake training for research and academic writing in preparation for the Research Project. Term Two comprises two modules and the Research Project, while Term Three is devoted entirely to the Research Project. 

Part‐time students have two terms in their first year of study and three terms in their second year.

Full-time students 

Term 1 (Autumn) - World Theatre: Contexts and Practices + Contemporary African Theatre and Research Project (training for research and academic writing) 

Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: From Bharata to Brecht and Eastern European Theatres and Research Project 

Term 3 (Summer) - Research Project

Part-time students 

Year One 

Term 1 (Autumn) ‐ World Theatre: Contexts and Practices or/and Contemporary African Theatre 

Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: from Bharata to Brecht and/or Eastern European Theatres 

Year Two 

Term 1 (Autumn) - World Theatres: Contexts and Practices and/or Contemporary African Theatre (depending on how many were taken in Year One) and the Research Project 

Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: From Bharata to Brecht and/or Eastern European Theatres (depending on how many were taken in Year One) and the Research Project 

Term 3 (Summer) - Research Project

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching is via lectures, seminars, workshops and practice sessions with our resident teaching team alongside guest lecturers and theatre companies. A mixed mode of assessments are used which can either be in the form of a written assignment or PaR submission.

Skills

The department is home to the African Theatre Association (AfTA) and its bi-annual journal, African Performance Review. The Department of Theatre and Performance has close links with two research centres: The Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing and The Centre for the Body, that each generate learning opportunities via programmes of talks, conferences and workshops. The Department runs regular extramural activities, including hosting international practitioners in the Performance Research Forum (Dis-Play) series. The department’s special relationship with the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute and its association to the Beijing Dance Academy, also contributes to the global performance practice opportunities offered. Together, these organisations provide a unique research and professional resource for students on Theatre and Performance programmes. 

Expertise is provided by the Department's resident staff, most of who are not only dedicated and experienced teachers, but are also distinguished practitioners and researchers in their own right, working in national and international contexts. The Department also draws on a large pool of visiting practitioners and academics to provide a breadth of expertise and contact with current practice.

Careers

The broad range of interests combined in this programme will prepare you for a diverse range of employment and/or a portfolio of careers in theatre and performance as well as the arts industry as a whole in different socio-cultural environments:

  • facilitation and animation in both mainstream, applied and community theatre contexts nationally and internationally
  • administrative and support servicescultural leadershipgovernment organisations
  • journalism and broadcasting (including radio, television and print journalism)
  • teaching at all levels
  • interpretation and translation in theatre and performance contexts
  • acting, directing, design, dramaturgy

In addition, you can use this programme as a springboard for further study, either vocational or intellectual (including entry into MPhil/PhD programmes).

In short, the multiple skills – intellectual, critical and creative – developed by this programme will provide you with the flexibility of thought and approach necessary for creative insertion into the global job market. 

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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Develop as a playwright by learning with professional and award-winning dramatists. On our MA Playwriting you produce a varied portfolio of dramatic works, culminating in a full-length original play, which will enable you to hone and develop your own unique voice. Read more
Develop as a playwright by learning with professional and award-winning dramatists. On our MA Playwriting you produce a varied portfolio of dramatic works, culminating in a full-length original play, which will enable you to hone and develop your own unique voice.

At Essex, we believe that the joint engagement of practice and theory produces a deep understanding of how drama works. We combine critical study of dramatic texts with practical workshops, so that you nurture your understanding of the playwright’s craft in order to produce your own new work.

Our course focuses on the range of possibilities that exist for contemporary drama, with an emphasis on British and Irish drama, and you also explore topics including:
-The principles of dramatic structure and scene construction (dialogue, the construction of plot, the development of character, development of themes, and the structure of scenes)
-Techniques for working as a playwright with youth and community groups
-The origins and possibilities of poetic theatre and verse drama
-Options for poetic practice or novel-writing
-Radio drama

At the end of the course your work will be rehearsed and given a public performance in the Lakeside Theatre at our Colchester Campus. Your dissertation gives you the chance to write a full-length play with one-to-one supervision from an award-winning playwright tutor.

We are ranked Top 10 in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2015), and three-quarters of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

Our expert staff

Our academic tutors tutors include:
-Professor Jonathan Lichtenstein is a playwright who has written for Radio 4 and the National Theatre. His awards include a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and his plays have been performed internationally.
-Elizabeth Kuti is also a playwright. She has won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Stewart Parker Radio Award; and has been commissioned by the National Theatre; the Abbey Theatre, Dublin; and BBC radio. She also writes and researches in the field of eighteenth-century theatre.
-Liam Jarvis is Artistic Director of Analogue Theatre and a playwright and theatre practitioner. He also writes and publishes widely on contemporary theatre theory and practice.
-Annie Eddington and Barbara Peirson have professional specialisms in Theatre-in-Education, directing, theatre and human rights. Other staff members bring expertise in acting, producing and technical theatre.

We also invite professional playwrights and other theatre practitioners to provide you with specialist master classes. Recent class leaders have included Max Stafford-Clark, David Eldridge, Paul Sirett, Lisa Goldman, David Thacker, Mike Attenborough, Annie Castledine, Bobby Baker, Robert Holman, Tony Casement, and Gari Jones.

Specialist facilities

-Our on-campus Lakeside Theatre is a major venue for drama, staging productions by professional touring companies and new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students
-Our Student Company runs weekly practical workshops, enabling drama enthusiasts to get involved in both front-of-house and behind the scenes
-Our Research Laboratory allows you to collaborate with professionals, improvising and experimenting with new work as it develops
Access the University’s Media Centre, equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and an industry-standard editing suite
-Write for our student newspaper The Rabbit or host a Red Radio show
-View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre
-Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading specialists at weekly research seminars

Your future

This course will be of interest to those who wish to pursue a career in many areas of the arts, creative writing and media.

A number of our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by dissertation in different literatures and various approaches to literature, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English, plus a number of other languages.

Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

We work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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MA Applied Theatre is an exciting taught postgraduate degree that offers the opportunity to explore key concepts and methodologies in applied theatre and performance. Read more
MA Applied Theatre is an exciting taught postgraduate degree that offers the opportunity to explore key concepts and methodologies in applied theatre and performance. Applied Theatre is an umbrella term, embracing participatory performance and workshop activity that often have social, political or developmental objectives.

Course detail

Why study Applied Theatre at York St John?

• Your own practice is at the centre of the programme - A central focus is your own individual practice, with specialist modules providing the opportunity to develop new skills and techniques in different locations and contexts.

• Establish a professional profile - This programme will offer you the chance to develop your professional profile within the growing field of applied theatre activity, building on your existing skills and knowledge.

• Engage with applied and community based projects - Central to the programme are workshop and project opportunities with established partners and locations in the wider community.

• Work with people who use mental health services - The University has established a formal relationship with local mental health services. The project, called Converge works in partnership with the NHS to deliver courses in theatre and other arts. You will have the opportunity to run courses and workshops for mental health service users.

Format

The programme is designed to focus on developing your abilities and capacities for professional, vocational and academic innovation. We emphasise relationships between practice and theory, reflection and documentation. This degree is structured to enable candidates who already have some experience of theatre, drama and performance practice to expand their artistic horizons, encounter related knowledge and discourses and develop specific skills in applied theatre.

This element of the MA award consists of two 40 credit modules, which are discipline specific modules particular to MA Applied Theatre. These modules will be primarily focused around your own practice, contextualised by examination of various key practitioners, modes or epistemologies.

Modules

- Applied Theatre Practice -

This module invites you to interrogate the processes – from conception and implementation to evaluation and analysis – employed in applied theatre practice. You will be invited to critically consider and evaluate a range of methodological strategies of making, thinking and doing as utilised in applied theatre practice. Emphasis will be placed on reflexive approaches to practice in order to heighten your appreciation of the impact of your work. Accordingly the political, ethical and aesthetic dimensions of applied theatre work will be foregrounded so that you will deepen your awareness of the contexts in which your work takes place and the implications of the choices made in your own practice.

- Critical Concepts in Applied Theatre -

This module provides you with the opportunity to critically explore, test and model approaches to applied and community arts practice. You will engage in the claims made for the ‘efficacy’ of applied theatre practices seeking to understand their underlying assumptions. The focus will be on the exploration of how the concepts and rationales at play in applied and community practice manifest themselves in the ethics, impacts and aesthetics of applied practice. This module will provide you with the opportunity to engage with conceptual and theoretical issues relating to applied theatre at an advanced level.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please see the following link:
https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

Other sources of funding

Information on alternative sources of funding can be found here:
https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/student-services/money/funding-my-course/postgraduate-/postgraduate-funding-/

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The Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Studies is an unusually flexible program, tailored to each student who is admitted. Read more
The Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Studies is an unusually flexible program, tailored to each student who is admitted. Accordingly, in addition to the formal credentials required for admission, a student must propose a program of study and a possible thesis research area, which is compatible with the research interests and expertise of the graduate faculty. Possible areas of study lie in the historical and cultural context of theatrical production, the interrelation of types of entertainment, Popular Theatre and the creation of performance collectives, performance theory, and dramaturgy. A Theatre Studies program culminates in a written thesis, which can be based on textual research or on a project. Project-based theses must be accompanied by a written component, which sets out the goals, hypotheses, and processes of the project, and any conclusions to be drawn from it. The program normally takes two years to complete. A student will take at least four full courses at the graduate level.

Prospective Students

Drama’s 10 permanent faculty members have a diversity of research interests and practices, maintaining profiles in both the professional and scholarly theatre communities. MFA students can select to study in one of four specializations: Directing, Design/Technical, Theatre Studies and Playwriting. Each program offers a great deal of flexibility, exciting opportunities and contact with faculty members. Drama maintains a full production schedule through the skilled technical and teaching contributions of 5 full-time professional staff. Facilities include 3 theatre spaces, full costume, properties and scene shops and the Integrated Arts Media Lab. All MFA students have office space in the School and access to computer facilities.

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This is a four term course (over about 15 months) that runs from Easter to the following July. We take four directing students each year and expect applicants to have significant experience of theatre including directing. Read more
This is a four term course (over about 15 months) that runs from Easter to the following July. We take four directing students each year and expect applicants to have significant experience of theatre including directing. You will have the opportunity to work with students of other disciplines – including actors, designers and technicians – as well as with experienced staff, visiting tutors and theatre professionals.

NB This course is only for candidates possessing a previous degree and substantial previous professional experience.

Please note Applications are a year in advance of the course start date.

Course Outline

Term 1
The first term comprises of a variety of workshops and projects that build skills needed to be an effective, confident and creative drama director. These include:

An overview of the ecology of the theatre industry.
Workshops with professional directors.
Text work.
Involvement in a range of acting techniques (physical theatre, combat, approaching Shakespeare etc).
Lighting/sound and other technical skills.
Design and model making.
Workshops in auditioning.
Observing actors’ classes.
Working with design students on ‘notional projects’.
Observing production weeks on shows in the professional venues we work in.
An introduction to TV directing course.
The term culminates in a presentation of a theoretical production. Each directing student selects a play and prepares for production. You present research and creative ideas, describe the approach that you are taking to the play and show a model box and costume drawings that you have made to a panel of industry professionals. You are then given actors and lead a short rehearsal of a scene from your chosen play.

Terms 2, 3 and 4
Over the following academic year (so from September to July) each directing student has an individually structured timetable allowing you to be involved in a variety of projects and productions. These include:

A text project: Where you work as director with a cast of final year acting students to prepare and present a play to staff and industry professionals (but not the public).

Assistant Directing: You would normally work as an assistant director on two or three theatre school productions, a television project and a radio play. You would be expected to help with research, attend production and design meetings and take some rehearsals under the supervision of the director.

Placements: There may be the opportunity for a placement at a theatre – including Bristol Old Vic Theatre with whom we have a strong working relationship. Recent theatre companies that directors have had placements at include Birmingham Rep, Hull Truck & Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.

Directing A Production: You will direct a play at a local Bristol venue using final year acting students. Recent venues have been the Alma Tavern Theatre and The Brewery Theatre (part of the Tobacco Factory). It will be a play that you select (with guidance given and parameters set by BOVTS).

There are three compulsory components on the MA in Drama Directing Course. These are:

Assistant Director; theatre
Assistant Director; radio/TV
Directing a Production.

PLEASE NOTE THAT APPLICATIONS ARE FOR APRIL 2016 ENTRY AND WILL CLOSE ON 27TH FEBRUARY 2015 AT 4PM.

Offline Applications
Please contact:The Admissions Office, 1-2 Downside Road, Bristol BS8 2XF.

Tel: 0117 973 3535.
Email: .

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