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Full time & Part time October MA 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

About the course

This highly distinctive MA Text and Performance, run as a partnership between Birkbeck and RADA, brings together cutting-edge practice and scholarship in theatre and performance. Join us and you will work with Birkbeck's experts in theatre and performance studies and RADA's faculty and visiting theatre practitioners to experience both making and studying theatre.

This course does not offer actor training, but will deepen your critical and practical understanding of theatre and performance practices in context and leads to a prestigious postgraduate qualification from the University of London.

Taking the dramatic text as a critical starting point, our course encompasses drama from the early modern period to the contemporary. In the rehearsal room, you will create new theatre and

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Entry Requirements

A second-class honours degree, usually in an arts subject.

An essential part of your application is a 1000-word critical analysis of a production you have seen recently.

In exceptional circumstances, appropriate career experience - for example in theatre - may be considered as an alternative qualification.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Content



Where is Birkbeck, University of London


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Student Profile(s)

Cath Day

4058.jpg Cath says: ‘I finished my undergraduate degree twenty years ago (!) and Birkbeck was very good at providing sessions before the course began to help us prepare for returning to study. They were very good at emphasising the need for good time-management – which proved essential.

‘Despite the long break in my studies I didn’t feel too daunted about coming back to university. It was only after I began the course that I realised just how intellectually rigorous and academically challenging it was, but for me that was very positive and pleasant surprise.

‘A key benefit of the course was that it provided a plethora of opportunities for students to build networks and make contacts within the theatre world. Both Birkbeck and RADA organised guest lectures and provided a forum in which you could make contact with playwrights, theatre directors and other industry professionals. It put me in touch with people that I just wouldn’t have come into contact with otherwise.

‘The regular lecturers on the course were also fantastic - not only engaging and challenging but also able to meet the needs of every level of ability in the class. The staff within the School of Arts were incredibly accommodating in terms of finding us rehearsal space and the library staff were able to source materials from other libraries for me whenever I needed it. Of course Birkbeck’s location is also fantastic for arts students – it’s so close to London’s theatres and galleries.

‘My ideas about what I wanted to do professionally changed during the course. Initially, I wanted to be a theatre director but am now setting up my own theatre company - Hell Bent Theatre - with another student from the course. We are currently developing my dissertation project – UKIP! The Musical – and are taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe in August.

‘I remember reading in the prospectus people saying ‘Birkbeck changed my life’. For me, I think it freed up the creative side of me that was only partially fulfilled through teaching. It has nudged me down a route that I wouldn’t have been able to access if I’d stayed doing what I was doing. I think of it as a career reboot – and a very energising one at that.’


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