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Course content

Why study Theatre & Performance at York St John University?

  • Your own practice is at the centre of the programme - You will take practice-based modules throughout the degree, whether you are enrolled full-time or part-time.
  • Fluid interrelationship between theory and practice - Delivery of the programme will make use of workshop, studio, seminar and virtual environments, providing an opportunity to explore the interrelationships between practice, reflection and knowledge.
  • Opportunities for cross-disciplinary work - The existence of parallel MA Applied Theatre and MA Fine Arts programmes will provide you with opportunities to develop cross-disciplinary awareness and practices.
  • Engagement with collaboration and context - The programme will invite you to engage in collaborative practice with others and to consider the implications of working in particular contexts or in response to particular commissions.

Course structure

The curriculum is designed to focus on developing artists’ abilities and capacities for professional, vocational and academic innovation. We emphasise relationships between composition, reflection, practice and documentation across a dynamic range of performance disciplines and discourses.

If you already have some experience of performance practice, then this degree will enable you to expand your artistic horizons, develop your reflective abilities and expand your portfolio as a thinking practitioner.

The programme begins in September each year. The taught modules will normally consist of weekly sessions scheduled on one day a week. There may also be the occasional intensive weekend session.

Reflective practice

This strand, consisting of two practice-based modules, is designed to enhance your abilities as a self-reflective practitioner. It recognises the deep interrelationship between making, doing, reflecting and performing, in terms of the development of an artist’s work and practice. The modules are:

Composition and Reflection - This module aims to enhance your ability to think and reflect through the making of creative work while considering the compositional strategies that emerge in practice. It aims to give you opportunities and encouragement to generate and share performance material, and to enhance the conceptual, reflective and technical strategies that you employ in your practice. 

Collaboration and Commission - This module engages with how theatre and performance practice often entails working with others and in response to others; it entails working in context and in response to context. You will engage in processes whereby you are required to engage with others through acts of collaborations and/or commission.

Creativity and knowledge

This strand is designed to deepen your understanding of key interdisciplinary questions, concepts and methodologies in the arts. The modules are:

Creativity and Knowledge 1 - This module invites you to interrogate a range of key themes relating to the relationship between art and the wider cultural, social, economic circumstances of its production and reception.

Creativity and Knowledge 2 - This module consists of investigation into developments of practice-based research in the arts and the examination of ideological implications of the widening of traditional concepts of research that such developments entail.

Masters independent project

Together these taught elements will lead you into the final Independent project module, where you will undertake an extended period of supervised practice-based research. You will be expected to draw together and use the resources provided to you earlier in the programme.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Learning support

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.


Visit the Theatre & Performance (MA, PgDip, PgCert) page on the York St John University website for more details!

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