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.
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:
The flexible programme allows students to study for a PG Certificate, PG Diploma, or MA.
* All modules are subject to availability.
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.
If you’re passionate about using theatre to help stimulate processes of change in the lives of individuals and communities then this is the course for you.
You’ll gain the skills to become an applied theatre practitioner. Through practice and theory you will explore applied theatre in all of its forms including community theatre, theatre-in-education, theatre and health, prison theatre, theatre for development and the arts therapies.
You’ll gain a broad understanding of some of the wider issues faced by applied theatre practitioners including ethics, boundaries, evaluation, policy and funding and have the opportunity to apply your learning in a placement context.
Core modules will look at practice-based workshop techniques and the development of facilitation skills; concepts and theories underpinning applied theatre and interventionist practice; and research training. You will also choose from optional modules that will allow you to pursue your personal interests.
Our purpose-built landmark building [email protected] houses two professional-standard and publicly licensed theatres that regularly host work by both students and visiting theatre companies – one of which is a technically advanced research facility.
Find out more about [email protected].
Our School includes rehearsal rooms, two black-box studios, costume construction and wardrobe stores, a design studio and scenic workshop, video editing and sound recording suits as well as computer aided design.
Our links with external organisations are among our biggest strengths, giving you the chance to take performance to different environments outside of the university context. We’re always developing new relationships with partners in different contexts to offer you more opportunities to participate.
Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, the National Media Museum, Leeds City Council, Red Ladder Theatre Company, Limehouse Productions, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the National Coal Mining Museum for England, HMP New Hall, Blah Blah Blah Theatre Company, the BBC and HMP Wetherby are all among our partners.
Core modules allow you to develop the skills to facilitate workshops with different groups of people in a variety of contexts, along with an understanding of the historical and philosophical underpinnings of applied theatre practice, the key ideas within this practice and some of the complex issues that can arise.
As you progress through the course you will have the opportunity to apply your practical and theoretical learning within an applied theatre context through a placement. This may be with an established applied theatre organisation or in a setting where applied theatre is practiced such as a hospital, school or young offenders’ institute.
Alongside these modules you will develop research skills through a core module alongside students on other programmes within the school. You’ll explore a range of research methods and consider the roles and responsibilities of the researcher, ethics, data gathering and analysis. You are also able to choose an optional module to further pursue your own personal areas of interest.
In the latter part of the programme you will work closely with your supervisor to undertake a research project on a topic of your choice, allowing you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve gained. This could be a conventional written dissertation or a piece of practice-led research with a written commentary.
If you choose to study part-time, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods including practical workshops, group learning, lectures, seminars, tutorials and fieldwork. Independent learning is central to this programme, allowing you to integrate your learning and develop your understanding and skills.
You’ll be assessed using a range of methods including practical assessments, written work, presentations and reflective logs. This diversity allows you to begin to integrate theory and practice, develop a range of skills and become a reflective practitioner.
Applied theatre is a wide field, which is constantly developing in response to social and economic changes.
This programme will equip you with a range of skills within the area of applied theatre. You’ll have an understanding of applied theatre and its use as an intervention as well as advanced skills in communication, collaboration, presentation, analysis and research. You’ll be able to set up, lead and facilitate workshops as an applied theatre practitioner with diverse groups of people in a variety of health, social and community contexts.
You may decide to apply your learning in the context of arts administration or arts policy work. You may wish to further your understanding by undertaking specialist professional training in areas like the arts therapies (dramatherapy, dance movement psychotherapy, music therapy or art psychotherapy), play therapy, teaching; or pursue your research interests at PhD level.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
The aim of the MA in Musical Theatre course is to provide you with the advanced skills to prepare you for work in a diverse industry. The course reflects the varied nature of working in musical theatre; it will provide you with the opportunity to focus on professional practice, whilst enabling you to learn how to promote both yourself (as practitioner, academic and/or performer) and the work you create. More importantly, it creates an environment where you have to work collaboratively.
The MA in Musical Theatre provides you with the unique opportunity of a residency, designed to help you create, prepare and stage work in a theatre. Working closely with industry specialists, you will nurture the skills required to help you make a contribution to contemporary musical theatre. You will also foster flexible skills which can be applied to a wide range of career opportunities in the musical theatre industry and beyond, including; teamwork skills, problem solving, self-promotion, working to deadlines and critical thinking.
You will experience a wide variety of learning activities in Musical Theatre to ensure your professional development as an emerging practitioner in your chosen specialist areas. Contact hours are tailored to both full-time and part time delivery; part time delivery allows you to study alongside full-time employment.
Teaching and learning will normally take place in a variety of continually evolving contexts, including an appropriate balance of the following kinds of activity:
a) Workshops, rehearsals, productions, practical classes, laboratory or studio-based practice, screenings, lectures, discussions (both online and in class), seminars, and tutorials. You will be encouraged to apply your knowledge and understanding of critical theory to case studies within regional, national and international contexts;
b) Group and individual learning;
c) Residency in Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton with a view to creating an annual festival of musical theatre (especial relevance in enhancing your employability and ability to be enterprising)
d) There will be the opportunity to participate in and contribute to Musical Theatre West Midlands Writers’ Hub, regular monthly composer/writer hubs to showcase new writing.
Each semester students are invited to attend optional musical theatre productions in the local area and nationally. We suggest budgeting £100 for these trips if you wish to participate.
Most years, students take an optional international field trip to a major city of musical theatre production. Future visits may include New York, Washington D.C or Bochum, Germany. We suggest budgeting around £1000 for the trip if you wish to participate.
We continue to develop state of the art facilities which will greatly enhance your learning experience. Our state-of-the-art performing arts and learning centre; The Performance Hub, opened in 2011 and is the home for all of our performance courses. The hub features five performance studios with semi-sprung floors that are ideal for rehearsals and small performances. . The studios feature state of the art audio/visual equipment. As well as several music rehearsal rooms, The Performance Hub has recording facilities, with two computer suites equipped with iMacs running Protools, Logic, Cubase and Sibelius software and two recording studios with analogue and digital recording equipment. The university is proud to be an All Steinway School and home to 17 Steinway pianos, five of which are in rehearsal studio spaces. Our 108 seat Black Box Theatre is one of the most technically advanced small theatres in the country and is ideal for a range of performing arts activities.
We are a thriving department of research active academics in musical theatre, teaching is research led. Journals we have published in include Studies in Musical Theatre and Journal of Bisexuality; with forthcoming book chapters in Routledge’s Twenty First Century Musicals: From Stage to Screen (2017), Oxford Press’s The Oxford Handbook of the British Musical (2016) and Bloomsbury Methuen’s The Disney Musical on Stage and Screen: Critical Approaches from 'Snow White' to 'Frozen' (2017). We have presented our research nationally and internationally at leading conferences in the field.
Current research specialisms include: gender and racial politics in musical theatre of the 1960s, the film musical and the female spectator, subsidised revivals of the American canon, queer theory, reception theory, contemporary musicals and masculinity, the British musical.
Dr Sarah Whitfield: Course Leader MA Musical Theatre, Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre
BA (hons), MA, PGCHE, PhD, fHEA
Dramaturg, lyricist/librettist, director, theatre historian, education, course development.
Sarah Browne: Principal Lecturer in Musical Theatre, Head of Department of Music
BA (hons), MPhil, PGCE
Conducting, arranging, orchestral and vocal arrangements, musicology, vocal tuition, education, course development.
James Lovelock: Lecturer in Musical Theatre
BMus (hons), MPhil, PGCE
Composer, lyricist/librettist, director, dramaturg, vocal coach, improvised musical, musicology,
Upon completion of the course you may consider a number of potential employment routes, depending on the path chosen. These may include, but are not limited to, for example; writer/composer/choreographer or musical director, teacher or workshop facilitator, marketing administrator, or work in production and promotion. Alternatively, you may also consider further study at doctorate level.
Graduates of the MA in Musical Theatre will exhibit;
• a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of musical theatre practice
• a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship
• originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in musical theatre
• conceptual understanding that enables the student:
- to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in musical theatre
- to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows you to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. It will provide an excellent foundation for undertaking postgraduate research at doctoral level, but will also benefit the professional development of musicians intending to pursue careers in teaching, arts administration, broadcasting, and other domains.
Students on the taught MA programme join a vibrant international postgraduate community and study with scholars, composers, and performers who have achieved international recognition in their fields. The Music Department was ranked #1 in The Sunday Times University League Table 2016, and was in the top three music departments in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2017.
The MA Music programme supports study of the following areas of specialism:
In addition, other options typically available have included:
You will choose modules from sections A, B, C, and D below:
A. Major project, weighted at 60 credits (a dissertation, a public recital, or a portfolio of compositions/orchestrations and arrangements – depending on your chosen area of specialism)
B. A 30-credit module linked to your chosen area of specialism
C. Two compulsory core 30-credit modules embedding research training and engaging with major intellectual issues attendant on all subject areas
D. An additional 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B, subject to approval of the Board of Studies in Music.
Example: MA with specialism in Musicology
A. A 12,000-word dissertation on a musicological topic weighted at 60 credits
B. 30-credit module ‘Contemporary Musicology’
C. Compulsory core 30-credit modules, ‘Core Research Seminars’ and ‘Research Methods and Resources’
D. 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B
the following specialism-specific modules will be offered every year:
Optional modules in previous years have included:
The programme is delivered through a mixture of seminars, practical sessions and one-to-one supervision. Seminars provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues, and to present your own original work, informed by the knowledge that you have gained through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practical sessions in areas such as studio or field recording techniques help to prepare you for your own independent work. All students must undertake an independent project (dissertation, composition portfolio, or performance), which is developed with the help of one-to-one expert supervision. Finally, optional modules can be drawn from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of Music or of other departments –these free-choice modules may involve other forms of staff-student contact, depending on the subject area. The Department actively promotes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of music and you are encouraged to engage with other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.
The contact hours experienced by each individual student will vary considerably, given a high degree of flexibility in the programme. You will typically attend between 2 and 4 hours of seminars per week in term time, as well as additional practical sessions as appropriate. Individual supervision of dissertations, performance projects and composition portfolios amounts to an average of 6 hours spread over the second and third terms.
Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to attend research seminars, both student-led and those involving staff or guest academic speakers (typically 1-2 hrs each week). You must also undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and assessments, to broaden your subject knowledge and to prepare your dissertations or portfolios. You are encouraged, as an integral part of your studies, to take advantage of other opportunities including participating in performance opportunities (including staff-led ensembles) and attending research and composition seminars, some of which are organised in conjunction with University research institutes.
There is a busy programme of musical performance, both within and outside the Music department, which complements your academic programme by providing opportunities both to listen to and to perform a wide variety of music. The many musical ensembles to which you can contribute includes both independent societies (including orchestras, choirs, opera and musical theatre as well as a Javanese gamelan) and department-run ensembles such as the New Music Ensemble and Korean percussion group.
Become the musician you want to be with a flexible taught-Masters degree at Hull.
The MMus programme is sector-leading in allowing specialisation and mixing of interests in a wide variety of areas including performance, composition (acoustic, electroacoustic, sonic arts), conducting, music technology (recording, production, pedagogy), film music, aesthetics, philosophy, semiotics, historical and critical musicology, jazz studies, popular music studies, music psychology, theory and analysis.
This course is aimed at those who have a particular interest in pursuing their study of music to a higher level and equips students with a wide range of transferable skills. Obtaining the MMus opens up career possibilities in music and in many other fields where skills in critical enquiry and a demonstration of advanced aptitude are essential.
This programme provides you with a host of opportunities, such as internships, through our professional partnerships and a range of international visiting speakers including composers, performers, and academics to expose you to key individuals in the field.
You’ll develop skills in your chosen specialism within one or more of the four broad areas of study - musicology, composition, performance and music technology - as well as acquiring a wide range of other transferable skills in critical reasoning and intellectual enquiry.
Music Studies 1 and 2
The central aim of these modules is to explore options within a range of musical manifestations and to demonstrate an understanding through reflective and critically engaged work.
Technical Skills 1 and 2
These modules focus on the technical and structural aspects of music, and equip you with the technical skills required to complement your specialist musical study.
Contexts of Music
Designed to introduce you to both the range of critical and theoretical approaches to music and how these have been framed in academic terms.
You’ll look at the techniques for undertaking postgraduate music research, including the use of IT, principles of descriptive bibliography, the acquisition of bibliographical control, and the methods of source-critical research.
The Special Study is the culmination of the MMus programme in music, giving you the opportunity to engage in an extended project within your specialist area.
* All modules are subject to availability.
The aim of studies on the MMus is to link your abilities directly to industry-led areas of music and employment. As such, preparation for employment is both vocationally-orientated as well as intellectually broadening.
You’ll be able to get involved with a range of music opportunities such as participating in ensembles, running collaborative projects, organising your own projects and preparing performances. These opportunities will develop transferable skills beneficial in a wide range of careers as well as music.
You’ll have the opportunity to get involved with career-based schemes, such as the School’s Students for Hire scheme, giving you the chance to fulfil external engagements. The School has developed a range of internships in partnership with professional organisations, including Hull Truck Theatre and Opera North.
The School runs engagement activities where you’ll get the chance to work with members of the public in different organisational contexts, including local schools, the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Truck Theatre, Hull City Council Libraries, the Stroke Association (for music therapy), and community groups.
You may also be involved in supporting Out of Character, a theatre company comprising service users and students. or watch a documentary of their production at The York Theatre Royal.
Make exciting work and develop creative approaches - As part of York St John University’s Creative Practice hub, this MA programme shares some of its modules with companion MA awards in Music Composition, Theatre and Performance and Fine Arts. This offers exciting cross-disciplinary opportunities to develop creative skills.
Study at a centre of expertise - Applied and community practice at York St John University is well established across a range of art forms. Experienced lecturers have expertise and research activity in the fields of health, youth, education and community contexts.
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.
The modules are:
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.
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.
Creativity and Knowledge
This strand, consisting of two 20 credit modules, is designed to deepen your understanding of key interdisciplinary questions, concepts and methodologies in the arts.
The modules are:
You will be invited to interrogate a range of key themes relating to the relationship between art and the wider cultural, social, economic circumstances of its production and reception.
consists of investigation into concepts of practice-based research in the arts and the examination of the epistemological and ideological implications of the widening of traditional concepts of research that such developments entail.
This strand of modules is taught cross-disciplinarily with students on the MA programmes within Creative Practice.
Masters Independent Project
Together these taught elements lead into the final Independent Project module, where MA students undertake an extended period of supervised practice-based research.
The programme begins in September each year. The taught modules will normally consist of weekly sessions scheduled on one day a week. There may also be the occasional intensive weekend sessions.
Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.
York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.
Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements.
You will benefit from the diversity of our research strengths, numerous ensemble performance opportunities and expertise in a range of musical fields, including contemporary music for the concert hall, popular music, film music, opera, acoustic, electronic and computer-generated music.
The Composition pathway of the MMus Music programme is designed to develop your individual compositional style and technique through tutorial guidance and opportunities for performances, workshops and recordings.
Various stylistic and generic strands can be pursued individually or in combination, including jazz, music for screen and multimedia, contemporary music for the concert hall and computer sound design.
You will take two compulsory research training modules followed by a combination of composition-related options. Having completed the Postgraduate Diploma stage of the programme, you will progress to Masters stage and submit a composition folio.
The programme provides ideal preparation for future research work at PhD level.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The School welcomes applications from students who wish to undertake one module of study from the Masters programme.
Potential applicants may make an appointment for an informal interview with the Programme Director if practicable. All applicants will be asked either to submit a sample of written work, a DVD of their performance, or samples of their compositional work, or to sit an audition depending on their chosen specialism.
Our work achieves wide international circulation, both through established scholarly channels and, distinctively, through broadcast media (such as BBC TV, Channel 4, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and National Public Radio in the USA).
School staff are much in demand for pre-concert talks at venues such as London’s South Bank and Barbican centres. The research environment at Surrey is sustained by open discussion and debate, and through the regular airing of work-in-progress.
Our work is strengthened by the ready input of our peers and research students at various stages allowing collective engagement to foster innovation.
The MMus (Composition) programme aims to provide students with a high quality education in the creative, re-creative, technical, critical, vocational and academic areas of the subject. It aims to provide students with the necessary skills, techniques and methodologies to work at an advanced level with a critical awareness of the discipline.
The programme aims to reflect current developments within the theory and practice of music composition and, in so doing, to educate students so that they may work confidently and constructively within the musical culture of the present.
The programme aims to offer the necessary preparation for students wishing to undertake doctoral level study in practice-based areas.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.