Explore the potential of performance design with this wide-ranging programme.
You’ll develop an awareness of the performance events and experiences that can be created with the aid of lighting, projection, settings and objects, puppetry, props, costume, sound as well as newer technologies such as digital and pervasive media. You’ll have space to experiment and come up with innovative and creative ideas for performance, while learning more about the theories and concepts that are shaping emergent forms of theatre, art and performance practice.
As you build up your MA portfolio you’ll engage with contemporary performance and arts practices – including immersive and participatory forms of performance, as well as those outside of the theatre – while considering the role they play in their wider social, cultural and economic landscape. This is the only research-orientated programme in the UK tailored towards academic and practical engagement with performance design.
You’ll be based in our purpose-built landmark building [email protected], with two professional-standard and publicly licensed theatres that regularly host works by students and visiting theatre companies. One of these is a technically advanced research facility, and both are fully equipped with the latest technology. A dance studio, dressing rooms and box office are also in the building, and our School includes rehearsal rooms, two black-box studios, costume construction and wardrobe stores, a design studio and scenic workshop, video editing and sound recording suits as well as computer aided design.
But our biggest strength is our links with external organisations, which give you the chance to get outside the theatre and explore performance in different environments. Our partners include Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, the National Media Museum, Leeds City Council, Red Ladder Theatre Company, Limehouse Productions, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the National Coal Mining Museum for England, HMP New Hall, Blah BlahBlah Theatre Company, the BBC and HMP Wetherby.
Throughout the programme, you’ll develop an awareness of research methods and approaches in performance and the cultural industries. In Semester One, you’ll also take a core module which introduces you to key concepts, theories and ideas in performance design, exploring ideas such as visuality and the theatre, spectacle, audience experience and multi-sensorial performance.
This foundation will inform the rest of your studies, including your practice. In Semester One you’ll also work with a range of scenographic materials to develop your own creative practice, spending time in practical workshops alongside lectures where you’ll consider current issues and debates in performance design and the role of practice-led research.
In Semester Two you’ll apply all the knowledge and skills you’ve gained to an independent research project, which could be practice-led or a written dissertation on a topic of your choice. You’ll also be able to spend more time on your practice – you’ll have the chance to complete an individual project, or to collaborate with fellow students from across the School, or work on another small-scale research project based on a two-week placement in an external organisation. Alternatively you could choose from optional modules on topics such as audience engagement or debates on culture and place.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
We use different teaching and learning methods to help you develop your skills and make the most of our tutors’ expertise, including, practicals, seminars, tutorials, lectures and group learning. Independent study is also integral to the programme, since it helps you to form your own ideas and build skills in research and analysis.
The assessment methods you experience will vary depending on the module. However, to allow you to develop skills in a range of areas they will include essays, performances, visual documentation, verbal presentations, critical evaluations and reports.
This programme will give you the knowledge and skills to become an articulate and creative performance design practitioner. This could include; working as a designer or director in theatre, live performance, festivals or the events industry (either within a company or freelance), creating your own performance events or performance company, or working in community arts.
You’ll also gain a range of transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation and communication, as well as imagination, independence and cultural awareness. This will equip you to work for a variety of roles across the cultural and creative industries, for example, in administration, marketing and management.
Because of the emphasis on research, it’s also good preparation for PhD-level study and teaching.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This Master's degree in London Theatre explores London; the world’s stage. Learn from a range of relevant industry professionals and dedicated research-active academics.
The London Theatre postgraduate programme is designed for students who have a thirst to understand the unique contribution that London theatre makes to the development of theatre practices in the UK and why London is recognised as an international centre for theatre development.
This degree gives you opportunities to explore the diverse and ever-changing nature of the theatre scene and critically comment on it through academic study and professional theatre criticism.
Drama St Mary’s is a thriving unit of undergraduate and postgraduate Drama training. Our courses aim to offer the very best academic and practical training within a supportive, university environment. Our programmes are delivered by a strong core team of academics and a wide range of professional visiting practitioners.
Studying in London means that you can take full advantage of the staggering array of diverse theatre and art available in the theatre capital of the world. This postgraduate programme expands on established links with London theatre venues and organisations to give you the most relevant and up to date training.
Please check our website for more information about entry requirements, tuition fees and student funding.
Drama St Mary’s graduates have gone on to work in a range of related arts industries. Our courses prepare students to find consistent, professional work in their chosen field.
The module London Fringe introduces you to the area of London theatre where you are most likely to find work in your initial career as a theatre writer, critic or researcher
The aim of the MA Contemporary Theatre and Performance course is to produce graduates who possess a systematic understanding and a critical and creative awareness of practice and theory at the forefront of the discipline.
During the course, you will critically evaluate the current practice and theories and apply a comprehensive range of techniques to develop your own work. You will develop an understanding of philosophies of performance and consider the ethical implications of performance practice. You will investigate a line of experimental performance practices that inform and define the discipline. You will be given opportunities to apply knowledge in original ways, for instance through a significant individual research project which can include a practical component.
The modules you will study include: Advanced Performance Making, Performance: Body, Space and Identity, Advanced Research Methods and Professional Practice.
You will receive support for your learning from: your personal tutor, the subject librarian, the Performing Arts technicians, the Drama department administrator, departmental careers support.
Learning activities in Drama will support your personal development, enable you to apply your learning to a range of different contexts, develop your understanding of how you might manage your future career, support your acquisition of subject-specific and generic skills, and help you to develop an understanding of how to deal with risk and uncertainty.
The course provides an opportunity to develop a specialism in contemporary performance, in both practice and theory. The choices open to you within modules will allow you to develop your own creative and academic voice across the course, but will also give you a firm grounding in the breadth of contemporary performance practice. A particular feature of the course is the integrated exploration of theory and practice.
We continue to develop state of the art facilities which will greatly enhance your learning experience.
Our state-of-the-art performing arts and learning centre; The Performance Hub is the home for all of our performance courses. The hub features two bespoke drama studios that are ideal for rehearsals and small performances. The studios feature audio/visual equipment and facilities for hanging lighting for performances.
"As a teacher it has given me more knowledge and practice which I have used in my own teaching practice as well as challenging my own perceptions of drama and performance". Lenny Love, Head of Drama and Theatre Studies at Cardinal Griffin Catholic College.
You could use the MA to develop your career as a teacher or lecturer, or as a youth/community worker. You could use your skills and knowledge as a performer, director, writer, or create your own small-scale touring theatre company. As a practitioner, you will have a deeper understanding of your craft and a qualification recognized by FE and HE establishments.
Those aiming to apply their skills in the heritage industry, probation service and/or personnel development will have acquired strategies and techniques appropriate to such applications. Schoolteachers will be qualified for posts in Further and Higher Education, in addition to gaining a qualification to enhance their prospects in their current institutional base. Freelance artists will have additional skills and techniques to offer in the arena of arts projects in schools, theatre educational outreach work and community arts.
You could continue your academic studies by progressing on to a PhD. You could go on to train to teach, through either a PGCE course or a Graduate Training Scheme, or study a vocational course in, for example, dramatherapy.
At the end of this course you'll be able to:
1. demonstrate a systematic understanding of the field of drama, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the academic discipline
2. apply a comprehensive range of techniques relevant to their own research, scholarship and practice
3. apply knowledge in original ways, together with an understanding of how established techniques of research and practice are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
4. evaluate critically current practice, research and advanced scholarship in drama
5. deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
6. demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level