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MA Stand-Up Comedy

Course Description

This taught MA programme offers a unique opportunity to study the theory and practice of stand-up comedy at postgraduate level. The University of Kent has a long history of teaching and research in comic performance, and the Templeman Library houses the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive.

*This course will be taught at the Canterbury campus*

Visit the website: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/345/stand-up-comedy

Course detail

You will learn how to write and perform your own material, reflect on your work, and engage with theories comedy through workshops, seminars and supervision. Stand-up relies on a dynamic interaction between performer and audience, and for this reason live performance is a central part of the teaching strategy. You will perform regularly for audiences of up to 200 people throughout the year, developing your performance skills, honing material and increasing your understanding of this vibrant form of popular theatre. Assessment is through performances, portfolios and essays.

Format and assessment

The theoretical aspects of the programme culminate in a practice-as-research project in which you explore ideas about comedy and comic performance through both traditional academic research and creative practice.

There is a strong emphasis on professional practice, with students performing open mike spots in established comedy clubs in the UK and beyond, as well as organising their own shows. Regular teaching staff include Dr Oliver Double, a former stand-up who has published widely on comedy and popular performance. In addition to this, we have guest lectures, workshops and master classes from professional comedians, including the seminal alternative comedian Tony Allen.


Arts graduates have gone on to work in a range of professions from museum positions and teaching roles to working as journalists and theatre technicians. Our graduates have found work in Pinewood Studios, The National Theatre and other arts, culture and heritage-related organisations, in roles including editorial assistants and even stunt doubles.

How to apply: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Why study at The University of Kent?

- Shortlisted for University of the Year 2015
- Kent has been ranked fifth out of 120 UK universities in a mock Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise modelled by Times Higher Education (THE).
- In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Kent was ranked 17th* for research output and research intensity, in the Times Higher Education, outperforming 11 of the 24 Russell Group universities
- Over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2014 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why/

Postgraduate scholarships and funding

We have a scholarship fund of over £9 million to support our taught and research students with their tuition fees and living costs. Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/scholarships/postgraduate/

English language learning

If you need to improve your English before and during your postgraduate studies, Kent offers a range of modules and programmes in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Find out more here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/international/english.html

Visit the MA Stand-Up Comedy page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Russell Bolam

My drama degree at Kent provided training in rigorous academic study and intensive practical application, which have proven to be essential grounding for my career as a theatre director.

The course is designed to cultivate and provoke interests and passions within the field and to guide you towards a position and context in the professional world. Quite simply if not for the degree, the staff, and the Drama Society at Kent, I would not be a theatre director today or have felt sufficiently equipped with the knowledge and starting skills to enter the theatre profession. The degree is brilliantly broad and eclectic, the staff are inspiring and inspired and the opportunities on campus among peers to create work and forge lifelong collaborative relationships are innumerable.


Entry Requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent). English Language requirements: View Website

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