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About the course

The cultural hub of London is the venue for the MA Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy at Central (MA TCD). The course balances theoretical study of theatre and performance with the development of diverse skills for dramaturgy and criticism, with applications in scholarship and across the creative industries.

  • A unique course offering routes to dramaturgy and criticism through critical practice and scholarship 
  • Engages with its London context and embraces the diverse theatre offerings of the city 
  • Critical practice and theatre scholarship are central to the course

Our approach

Engaging with theatre and performance practice of the past and the present, and attuned to the economy and ecology of the landscapes in which it takes place, MA TCD students embrace Central’s unique status as a conservatoire and a University of London college. 

At various points, MA TCD students work collectively with students from across Central’s postgraduate portfolio, emerging theatre practitioners and scholars with a range of specialisms and interests. Learning opportunities include seminars and lectures, classwork, independent research, group work and field study in and around London or other cities. 

See 'Course Detail' below for information on the structure, assessment and units available on the course.

Course Detail


This course is taught by way of six units, each of which is self-contained, focusing on a specific aspect of theatre and performance, followed by a final independent unit. At all points, learning combines critical reflection and the development of specific skills relevant to theatre criticism and dramaturgy, with a focus on appropriate outputs and practices. 

You can develop your particular research interests and professional profile in the final unit, the Sustained Independent Project (SIP). This unit, taking place following the summer term, will give you the opportunity to work intensively in a specific area, with tutoring and support from faculty. You will determine your own focus for the SIP in conjunction with tutors, and projects may take the form, for example, of a scholarly intervention or a critical report relevant to theatre-sector issues and concerns.

Units may include: 

  • Reviewing Performance 
  • Shakespeare in London 
  • Archiving Practices, Practising Archives 
  • Critical Contexts 
  • Performing Research 
  • Cultural Landscapes. 

Each unit is intensive and, where appropriate, may be delivered with the participation of relevant experts, e.g. theatre journalists, arts managers, academic specialists, or in partnership with cultural organisations. You will have the opportunity in the third term to take an option unit hosted by another MA course.


Assessment via formats used in the relevant industries and in academia, e.g. visual presentations, conference presentations, essays, reports, reviews and written submissions; and a personal portfolio or dissertation.


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 Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy page on the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama website for more details!






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Recipient: Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

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