Our interdisciplinary MA Theatre Practice provides an opportunity for you to develop advanced knowledge of different processes of theatre-making, international performance traditions, approaches to practice-as-research (PaR), and methods of writing, directing and devising in professional contexts.
You will explore a diverse range of artistic approaches, gain insights into related critical discourses and develop an in-depth understanding of the possible interrelationships between ‘practice’ and ‘research’ – investigating how practitioners at the cutting-edge of the performing arts make their ideas a tangible reality.
Our course gives you the opportunity to advance your skills in your chosen area of:
Your teaching is research-led by staff in our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies. It will often be complimented by engagement with invited professional theatre practitioners and guest speakers. You also have the option to choose selected modules delivered by our School of Philosophy and Art History.
We are ranked first in the UK for Drama in the Guardian University Guide 2020 and top 5 for Dance, Drama and Cinematics in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.
Become part of the theatre industry by studying with people who currently work within the industry. All staff in the Centre for Theatre Studies are professional theatre-makers as well as leading academics in their individual fields. They share a passion for creative and engaging teaching, and will introduce you to ideas and practices informed by their global research interests.
Our high ranking in the Guardian University Guide is made possible because we are a community of award-winning playwrights, directors, performers and practitioners, as well as pre-eminent critics and theoreticians. Alongside specialist guest tutors in acting, directing and stage-management, our core teaching staff includes:
Liam Jarvis is Co-Director of Analogue and a playwright and theatre practitioner. He also writes and publishes widely on contemporary theatre theory and practice, with a specialism in immersive, interactive and digital theatre.
Elizabeth Kuti is also a playwright, and is currently Writer-in-Residence for Hampton Court. She has won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Stewart Parker Radio Award; and has been commissioned by the National Theatre; the Abbey Theatre, Dublin; and writes regularly for BBC radio. She also researches in the field of eighteenth-century theatre.
Annecy Lax is a specialist in Applied Theatre and human rights in performance, with over a decade of experience in testimonial and verbatim theatre. She has worked in numerous community and educational settings as a facilitator and playwright, and has had work produced by the National Theatre, Soho Theatre and the Bush Theatre.
Jonathan Lichtenstein is a playwright who has written for Radio 4 and the National Theatre. His awards include a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and his plays have been performed internationally. He is a recognised expert in teaching playwriting and dramatic form.
Mary Mazzilli is a renowned specialist in World Theatre and is also a practicing playwright and Creative Director of Lumenis Theatre company. As well as touring her work internationally, Mary has published on Chinese Theatre, dramaturgy, translation and digital theatre.
Be an actor, a writer, a director, a stage-manager, a producer – or something even more exciting! An MA Theatre Practice degree opens many doors. Creativity, communication and versatility are highly valued skills in our rapidly changing world.
We work with the university's Careers Services to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
A mid 2.2 degree in Creative Writing, Theatre/Drama Studies, Literature, Film and Media Studies, Modern Languages or Art History.
Applications from students with a 2:2 or equivalent will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.
Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years.
You work either collaboratively (within an ensemble) or independently during the Spring term, focusing on your chosen area while realising an original self-led practical project.
You will also have the option to substitute a taught module, or the dissertation for a professional placement in a work-based environment that complements your research focus in a relevant professional context – linking the learning outcomes of the MA to hands-on experience within the cultural industries.
Your final assessment is by dissertation which can be a written submission, or by practice.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
If you are applying to a masters course in the department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies you must provide a piece of critical academic writing (2,500 words) on a topic relevant to your application.
Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
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