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MA - Applied Theatre: Drama in Educational, Community and Social Contexts

Goldsmiths, University of London Department of Theatre and Performance

Full time & Part time See Course MA 1 year full time or 2 years part time

About the course

Develop your ability to contextualise, critique, and create. This MA addresses the historical, political, theoretical and ethical issues of applied theatre, and explores the ways in which theatre and performance are created by diverse groups of people.

Why study the MA Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths?

  • The Masters is aimed at early-career practitioners with a background in theatre, education, activism or social change, as well as at more established practitioners who want to reflect, refresh and develop their skills.
  • Develop your skills as a collaborative, responsive, imaginative, politically engaged and culturally-aware artist practitioner.
  • Explore how theatre is created in schools, on the streets, in children’s homes, care homes, conflict zones, creches, youth clubs, prisons, women’s

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Priority is given to applicants with experience in the applied theatre field. This could be volunteering or assisting in work that is about working collaboratively through drama, using drama as a learning medium, or using drama for social change.

Course Content

Open days

15 March 2021
Postgraduate Virtual Open Day - 15-19 March 2021

Where is Goldsmiths, University of London


Student Profile(s)

Ally Walsh

122.gif I had been working in community theatre and educational theatre for several years, dreaming of further study. I was looking for career development possibilities, and decided to come to the UK as an international student. I had been working in a drama department, and my Head of Department recommended Goldsmiths to me as an excellent choice. I was thrilled from the first moment I had contact with my tutor, who was supportive and stimulating during my interview, and the decision to study Applied Drama at Goldsmiths was easy.

The university has such a creative fun atmosphere and I was impressed by the many options in the humanities. I especially enjoyed making use of the wide variety of texts in different disciplines to mine in the library. The on-campus events and lectures were a great source of current theory and practice. The Drama Department is a thriving laboratory for developing contemporary practice, and their programming of special events and residential guest artists and tutors serves the students’ desire to learn from the best and to locate themselves within the profession. There are also exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

The MA Applied Drama course was particularly effective in locating the subject within the industry, with a whole term devoted to a placement with a relevant theatre company or arts organization. For me, the placement was an invaluable opportunity to network within my field and learn more about how arts organizations work in this country. I worked at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre), and have since been involved in three freelance projects with them.

My MA from Goldsmiths has undoubtedly set me up for my career in the arts, and the warm and supportive staff made for a year of fun, debate, stimulation, and loads of learning. At present, I work as a writer in residence in prison, am learning manager for a dance education project, and have been working as an artist facilitator for Contacting the World which is an international youth theatre festival which runs biannually. I have worked in New York, Rio, Zambia, Gdansk, Manchester and London.

I still attend events, and have remained a member of the library so that I can continue to enjoy the atmosphere of Goldsmiths.


"I chose Goldsmiths because I wanted to steer clear of the mainstream, and engage with people that don’t frequently have their stories told. Living and studying in the South East really helped me to achieve this ambition.

Prior to Goldsmiths, I was working in conflict resolution with a trade union in New Zealand. However, ever since I discovered the possibilities of theatre a tool for individual and community development, I knew I wanted to return to studying, grounding my practice in robust theory and reflection.

In April 2016, I was lucky enough to travel to Malawi, funded by a Goldsmiths Spring Encounters Grant. This gave me a chance to engage with a diverse cross-section of Malawian society. We worked with young people and prison inmates, and built professional relationships with our colleagues at Solomonic Peacocks Theatre. I'm hoping to return and continue to promote social change. Already Solomonic and I have been discussing a possible collaboration for the New Zealand Festival.

The course provided opportunities to engage with diverse groups of people, practitioners and pertinent social issues. I hope to apply the knowledge and experience I gained at Goldsmiths, by returning to New Zealand and strengthening the Government’s refugee resettlement programme."

Aviva Neff

"After spending my undergraduate years at a small liberal arts college in the American Midwest, Goldsmiths' MA in Applied Theatre was a life-changing decision for me. This program grounded my art praxis in community-engaged ethics and sharpened my scholarly abilities so that when I began a PhD, I felt confident and well-prepared. The close-knit cohort made this a supportive place to learn and grow as an artist, and the vibrant, political community of Goldsmiths inspired me to think locally and globally about my impact.

My dissertation has become a living document that continues to grow and influence my current work. I felt empowered to explore Practice-as-Research methodologies as a means of developing my study as a stage performance one that I think embodies the bold, provocative nature of my experience at Goldsmiths.

I am a recipient of the Ohio State University's "Global Arts and Humanities: Discovery" grant, which has allowed me to develop a solo performance based on my dissertation research about mixed-race women in America. My play, entitled "The Blood, the Earth, and the Water", draws from archival and psychogeographic research that was conducted throughout the Southern United States. This performance will serve as a critical aspect of my PhD dissertation which focuses on cultural trauma, erasure, and the representation of the "tragic mulatta" stereotype in American literature, history, and performance."

Lindsay Bytof

"Studying Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths meant that when I returned to the USA, my resume stood out from the crowds of others looking for full-time work in higher education.

Goldsmiths taught me the importance of collaborative and active learning, and I enthusiastically bring this into my work. Creating a safe space in each room for every student while encouraging exploration of pre-conceived ideas about theatre and holding individual voices with equal weight is only something I could've learned from the Faculty and my fellows at Goldsmiths.

Additionally, Goldsmiths provided tools to be an agent of change in difficult and divisive times, to free myself from the importance of product-based work, to embrace process, and approach each new theatrical venture with passion, awareness and consideration."


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