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Creative Arts & Design×

University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Theatre Studies

We have 2 University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Theatre Studies

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This programme offers a unique approach to the study of Shakespeare’s life and work, fusing traditional scholarly approaches with the thrill of being involved in new creative work. Read more

This programme offers a unique approach to the study of Shakespeare’s life and work, fusing traditional scholarly approaches with the thrill of being involved in new creative work. It is delivered by and taught at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon.

It makes the most of the unrivalled resources of Shakespeare’s Stratford and involves expert tuition from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Library of Birmingham. The programme is particularly enhanced by the Institute's collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), offering unique and extensive opportunities to work on its premises with RSC artists.

This programme will attract aspiring academics, actors, writers, directors, arts administrators, as well as anyone with a lively interest in Shakespeare.

Course details

This programme brings together academic, theatrical and civic interests in Shakespeare and creativity, generating a comprehensive and forward-looking conversation about what Shakespeare is and can be in today's world.

You will produce traditional academic essays as well as creative work, all of which will explore Shakespeare’s potential in the modern world. You will make new creative work with and at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and benefit from unique and exciting access to the RSC's studio theatre, The Other Place.

You will study four core modules: [full descriptions available below]

  • Shakespearience
  • Shakespeare and Theatre Practice (formerly Shakespeare and Creative Practice)
  • The Shakespeare Ensemble
  • Shakespeare and Society

You will choose two optional modules from a range of Shakespeare Institute modules.

You will also attend weekly Thursday Seminars at the Shakespeare Institute (term-time only), which feature papers presented by a range of established visiting scholars as well as Institute and University of Birmingham staff.

Assessment

Shakespearience and optional modules are each assessed by written assignment; Shakespeare and Theatre Practice is assessed by either two performance assignments and a 2,000-word research paper, or a 4,000-word research paper; Shakespeare Ensemble and Shakespeare and Society both combine shorter written assignments with creative work. 

You will complete the MA with a 15,000-word dissertation. For your dissertation, you will have the chance to work intensively on an RSC project at The Other Place theatre.

Explore the Shakespeare Institute

Learning and teaching

This programme will make use of the unrivalled resources of Shakespeare’s Stratford, involving expert sessions from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Library of Birmingham

It also particularly benefits from the Institute's collaboration collaboration with the RSC, offering unique and extensive opportunities to work with the Company and at The Other Place. Students will also have access to the Shakespeare Institute Library, the Library of the Shakespeare Centre that curates the archives of the RSC, and the Shakespeare Collection held at the Library of Birmingham.

The programmes will also draw upon the expertise of key members of the Shakespeare Institute team: co-convenors Professor Ewan Fernie and Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall; and Director of the Shakespeare Institute, Professor Michael Dobson.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Shakespeare Studies

Postgraduates at the Shakespeare Institute are able to develop a broad range of creative, research and theatre skills, as well as in-depth subject knowledge.

Over the past two years, over 93% of our postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

In recent years, our postgraduates have successfully entered a variety of sectors from teaching in secondary and higher education to performing arts, publishing, museums and library and archive work. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: National Trust; Royal Shakespeare Company; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; Shakespeare's Globe, University of Birmingham and University of Oxford.



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Are you interested in learning the ways in which Shakespeare has been used in the classroom at different historical and cultural moments?. Read more

Are you interested in learning the ways in which Shakespeare has been used in the classroom at different historical and cultural moments?

Do you want to immerse yourself in the works and plays of Shakespeare? 

The Shakespeare Institute's MA in Shakespeare and Education is a unique, modular programme that is particularly appropriate for practicing teachers, offering the opportunity to enhance expertise in different aspects of Shakespeare’s work. Throughout the programme you will be incorporating the study of Shakespeare's plays in performance and adaptation. You can study this programme on-site at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon or by distance learning.

Course details

This programme offers you the opportunity to enhance your expertise in different aspects of Shakespeare's work, while maintaining a pedagogical focus. 

You will study three core modules:

  • Shakespeare and Pedagogy
  • Shakespeare’s Theatre
  • Research Skills

You will also choose three optional modules (see module information below). 

The flexible structure of this course allows study in a wide variety of ways, on a full- or part-time basis. Modules are available to study through a variety of routes that may include:

  • Three long weekends at the Shakespeare Institute at approximately monthly intervals
  • One day a week throughout a semester at the Shakespeare Institute (ten days)
  • Distance-learning option via online study
  • One intensive week for the Shakespeare and Pedagogy module, delivered before the Easter holidays.

Full-time study is on site in Stratford-upon-Avon and part-time students can choose to study the whole programme either on-site, primarily by online distance learning or a combination of the two. The schedule of delivery allows access to all modules through a range of modes over any three-year period, although some are not available to study via distance learning. The compulsory Pedagogy module, which is co-taught with the Royal Shakespeare Company, must be studied on-site due to its interactive nature.

Assessment

Each module is assessed by written assignment with the exception of the optional module in Shakespeare and Theatre Practice, which is assessed by either two performance assignments and a 2,000-word research paper, or by one 4,000-word research paper. You will complete the programme with a 15,000-word pedagogical dissertation.

Explore the Shakespeare Institute

Learning and teaching

The programme allows access to the unique Shakespearian resources of the Shakespeare Institute Library, the Library of the Shakespeare Centre that curates the archives of the RSC, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Study materials for this programme are enhanced by the close ties that the Shakespeare Institute has with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the archives associated with both of these institutions.

Studying by distance learning

Many of the programme’s modules are also available via distance learning, meaning that you can study online from anywhere in the world. Distance learning modules will combine print, audio, and video teaching methods in order to give students a varied and enriching educational experience.

This means that you can study for a Masters degree (MA) almost entirely by distance learning. However, you will need to come to Stratford-upon-Avon for a one-week residential school in the spring in order to complete your core module on Shakespeare and Education, which is scheduled to coincide with the Easter holidays.

Although self-study is central to doing a programme by distance learning, support is always available. 

You will have a personal tutor and dissertation supervisor to guide you and answer any questions, and you have access to a wide range of online resources too. You also have the opportunity to meet other students and academic staff through online chats and discussion forums and at the Easter residential.

Read more about distance learning with the Shakespeare Institute 

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Shakespeare Studies

Postgraduates at the Shakespeare Institute are able to develop a broad range of creative, research and theatre skills, as well as in-depth subject knowledge.

Over the past two years, over 93% of our postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

In recent years, our postgraduates have successfully entered a variety of sectors from teaching in secondary and higher education to performing arts, publishing, museums and library and archive work. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: National Trust; Royal Shakespeare Company; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; Shakespeare's Globe, University of Birmingham and University of Oxford.



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