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Performance Training (MFA)

Course Description

Are you an emergent theatre and performance maker wishing to advance your career as a practitioner, instructor or critic? Hone your performance skills and enhance your knowledge of performance training processes. You’ll develop the confidence and ability to understand and analyse the nature of performance within a thriving artistic and research community. You’ll also undertake a major placement with a theatre/performance company or arts organisation to enhance your professional development.

Key features

Take advantage of our stunning, new, multi-million pound, purpose-built performing arts facility, The House.

Work in a vibrant interdisciplinary arts and research community where you’ll mix with staff and students from across the arts faculty creating opportunities for collaborative performance and practice-based research. This includes colleagues from areas such as theatre and performance, dance, music and creative writing.

Benefit from mentorship and teaching by highly skilled practitioners and scholars.

Undertake a major placement with a theatre/performance company or arts organisation that will enhance your professional development and inform your studies and creative practice.

Engage with Plymouth’s vibrant theatre and performance scene with Peninsula Arts, Theatre Royal Plymouth and Barbican Theatre Plymouth, alongside events and workshops arranged by the department itself. In the past visitors have included included Action Hero, Low Profile, John Nettles, Wildworks, Lone Twin, Earthfall and Robert Lyons.

Course details

You’ll take a series of modules taught through lectures, workshops and seminars. You’ll explore the larger implications of training in/for performance and specialise in a specific training of your choice (such as acting, live art or performance-making training). You’ll be offered support and mentorship from experienced staff and visiting practitioners. You’ll acquire a more sophisticated ability to reflect critically on performance practice, allowing you to realise your potential as a practical scholar.

You’ll also work, with the guidance of your supervisor, to produce an artistic and/or academic thesis on a subject of your choice, underpinned by relevant research, analysis and critical reflection. This programme includes a major placement with a theatre/performance company or arts organisation where you’ll advance your professional development and gain valuable experience that will enrich your studies and creative practice.


The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email .

If English is not your first language, you must have proficiency in written and spoken English (normally a minimum test score of 6.5 for IELTS, or equivalent). Given the nature of the programme, you’ll be expected to read and engage with complex theoretical texts and debates for which fluency in English is essential.

Visit the Performance Training (MFA) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You’ll need a good 2:1 or first class honours degree in an appropriate subject (e.g. theatre and performance, drama, dance, live or fine art, performance writing, etc.) or equivalent (for instance, you may have studied something else as an undergraduate but have established an artistic practice since then). You will also need to provide evidence that you are ready to pursue the project you propose in your application. This will take the form of a sample of critical writing, and if relevant, documentation of relevant creative or professional practice.

Course Fees

UK/EU: £5,660, International: £13,250, Islands: £13,250

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