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Course content

The aim of the MA Contemporary Theatre and Performance course is to produce graduates who possess a systematic understanding and a critical and creative awareness of practice and theory at the forefront of the discipline.

During the course, you will critically evaluate the current practice and theories and apply a comprehensive range of techniques to develop your own work. You will develop an understanding of philosophies of performance and consider the ethical implications of performance practice. You will investigate a line of experimental performance practices that inform and define the discipline. You will be given opportunities to apply knowledge in original ways, for instance through a significant individual research project which can include a practical component.

What happens on the course?

The modules you will study include: Advanced Performance Making, Performance: Body, Space and Identity, Advanced Research Methods and Professional Practice.

You will receive support for your learning from: your personal tutor, the subject librarian, the Performing Arts technicians, the Drama department administrator, departmental careers support.

Learning activities in Drama will support your personal development, enable you to apply your learning to a range of different contexts, develop your understanding of how you might manage your future career, support your acquisition of subject-specific and generic skills, and help you to develop an understanding of how to deal with risk and uncertainty.

Why Wolverhampton?

The course provides an opportunity to develop a specialism in contemporary performance, in both practice and theory. The choices open to you within modules will allow you to develop your own creative and academic voice across the course, but will also give you a firm grounding in the breadth of contemporary performance practice. A particular feature of the course is the integrated exploration of theory and practice.

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 is the home for all of our performance courses. The hub features two bespoke drama studios that are ideal for rehearsals and small performances. The studios feature audio/visual equipment and facilities for hanging lighting for performances.

What our students think

"As a teacher it has given me more knowledge and practice which I have used in my own teaching practice as well as challenging my own perceptions of drama and performance". Lenny Love, Head of Drama and Theatre Studies at Cardinal Griffin Catholic College.

Career path

You could use the MA to develop your career as a teacher or lecturer, or as a youth/community worker. You could use your skills and knowledge as a performer, director, writer, or create your own small-scale touring theatre company. As a practitioner, you will have a deeper understanding of your craft and a qualification recognized by FE and HE establishments.

Those aiming to apply their skills in the heritage industry, probation service and/or personnel development will have acquired strategies and techniques appropriate to such applications. Schoolteachers will be qualified for posts in Further and Higher Education, in addition to gaining a qualification to enhance their prospects in their current institutional base. Freelance artists will have additional skills and techniques to offer in the arena of arts projects in schools, theatre educational outreach work and community arts.

You could continue your academic studies by progressing on to a PhD. You could go on to train to teach, through either a PGCE course or a Graduate Training Scheme, or study a vocational course in, for example, dramatherapy.

What skills will you gain?

At the end of this course you'll be able to:

1. demonstrate a systematic understanding of the field of drama, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the academic discipline

2. apply a comprehensive range of techniques relevant to their own research, scholarship and practice

3. apply knowledge in original ways, together with an understanding of how established techniques of research and practice are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline

4. evaluate critically current practice, research and advanced scholarship in drama

5. deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

6. demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level


Visit the Contemporary Theatre and Performance - MA page on the University of Wolverhampton website for more details!

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