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About the course

The MA Applied Theatre encourages investigation into the possibilities and contradictions of drama and theatre practice as transformative and rehabilitative, and engages practically and critically with a range of theories and current practices. As a student on the programme, you will:

  • Gain knowledge of theatre in extensive applied, community and drama education settings, in the UK and globally
  • Combine theory and practice in exploring how theatre can change lives
  • Offers industry placements globally

Key features of the programme

Key features of the MA Applied Theatre are:

  • exploration of theatre work in specific settings;
  • key practices in applied theatre;
  • a theoretical engagement with new ideas in the field;
  • project-based study examining specific professional work with a varied range of client groups;
  • or specialising in working with people whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system.

The course develops knowledge of the ways in which drama and theatre are used to benefit a range of distinct groups that are key to today’s evolving cultural landscape.

Pathway options

It offers two specialist pathways: Drama in the Community and Drama Education or Drama and the Criminal Justice System. Each pathway is specifically designed to support current practice at work, or a particular field of interest in the developing landscape of applied theatre and drama in the UK. You will have the opportunity to develop your own practice and scholarship.

About Applied Theatre at Central

Applied theatre at Central is highly regarded internationally as a world leader with the largest number of specialist teaching staff in the field.

Who is the course aimed at?

This course is aimed at those interested in developing current practice of using theatre and drama in community and education settings, or of using theatre and drama with people whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system.

Leverhulme Funding for Applied Theatre students

Central has the only applied theatre courses where students have access to funding from the Leverhulme Trust to support distant placements. Find out more about how The Leverhulme Trust is providing major funding for the many exciting Applied Theatre student projects in 2017.

MA Applied Theatre > Drama in the Community and Drama Education

This pathway is for individuals wishing to develop current, or new, practice of using theatre and drama with people in a range of settings that may include schools, theatres, outreach departments, hospitals and prisons. Concerned with advanced enquiry into theatre for change or education, it enables you to situate your own emergent/ developing practice within a wider understanding of the applied theatre field. Delivery of the pathway involves contributions and placement opportunities from prestigious key UK organisations.

MA Applied Theatre > Drama and the Criminal Justice System

If you want to develop current – or new – practice of using theatre and drama with people whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system, this pathway is for you. Concerned with advanced enquiry into prison theatre, it enables you to situate your own emergent/developing practice within a wider understanding of the applied theatre field. Delivery of the pathway involves contributions and placement opportunities from prestigious key UK organisations.

Both Pathways

During Terms One and Two on both pathways, you will investigate applied theatre in a variety of contexts, communities and settings. You will explore the field’s diverse practices and engage creatively with the forms and aesthetics of applied theatre, the transformative potential of theatre and the ethics of intervention and notions of inclusive practice when working with specific groups.

For both pathways, study is undertaken through traditional academic means, as well as hands-on learning in the form of industry placements. Learning will be guided by tuition from professional specialists involved in theatre in a variety of community settings, including the academic experience of Central’s renowned applied theatre and drama education tutors.

You will have the opportunity to engage with relevant research methods in your field, usually presenting your work at Central’s annual postgraduate conference.

During Term Three, you may undertake project work (or further placement/professional practice) as part of an assessed unit.

On both pathways, you will theorise this work, interrogating its relationship within current and seminal discourses in the field.

Term Three may lead to a performance with a specified community, or may be more process orientated.

You may also work alongside a professional host or in one of Central’s partner placement institutions in the third term, or use their own work-based practice. In addition, students have the option to join one of Central’s many cross-School optional courses.

At the end of the year, you will consolidate your knowledge and understanding through a Sustained Independent Project (SIP). This is a dissertation about an area of particular interest in applied theatre.

Routes onto the MA Applied Theatre

Central offers a PG Certificate Applied Theatre with Young People: Directing Text in association with the National Theatre, as part of their National Connections scheme.

All students participating in placements will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This is a mandatory government safeguarding scheme for all those seeking to work in any capacity with minors or vulnerable adults.

Assessment

Each unit has a written and/or practical assessment and submission of a dissertation addressing your specialist area of interest.

How to Apply for Postgraduate Courses

All applications to postgraduate courses at Central must be made directly to the School. We have an online application system through which you should submit your application.

Visit the website for further details. 


Visit the MA Applied Theatre page on the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama website for more details!

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