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Theatre Arts MA

Learn about the course below
January 2021
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£8,500 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Josephine Machon

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning for the first few months of the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting with us in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, check back for more detail on arrangements for this course in July and August, and see our current plans for teaching and learning.

This course will now start in January 2021 as we've changed some of our teaching arrangements in response to the coronavirus outbreak. You'll get the same great learning experience with lots of support to do your best with this later start date.

This course is no longer accepting applications for 2020 entry. The next entry is January 2021

This unique MA will give you the opportunity to collaborate, specialise and push the boundaries of theatre, whatever your artistic background. Whether you are looking to design, devise, direct, critique, curate, manage, perform, or write, this flexibly-designed course will enable you to investigate and evolve your practice to a professional standard.

Why study MA Theatre Arts at Middlesex University?

At Middlesex we prepare the next generation of theatre professionals to be pioneering and innovative practitioners with advanced skills and contemporary knowledge of their chosen discipline. Through a combination of practice-based assignments, theoretical inquiry and independent research in your field, you will develop the skills to locate and advance your work in both national and international professional contexts.

You will be taught by some of the UK's leading academic practitioners and associate artists and also have opportunities to interact with London’s booming creative industries, through high-profile guest lecturers, industry visits and professional placements while you study. Armed with these invaluable skills, experiences and professional contacts, you will graduate with the confidence to navigate an exciting career path in today's competitive arts industries.

Course highlights

  • The course is your opportunity to investigate and advance your own theatre arts practice, however broad or specialised it currently is.
  • You’ll benefit from national and international placement opportunities to expand your professional contacts and open doors to employment in the creative industries.
  • You’ll be taught in fully-equipped studios and workshops, supported by specialist technicians to support your exploratory research and performance-related work
  • You’ll have access to emerging theories and contemporary debates related to your field through our world-leading Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts (ResCen) – a multi-disciplinary research centre that bridges academia and practice
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

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What will you study on MA Theatre Arts?

Taught by a diverse range of academics, practitioners, specialists and associate artists, this course is divided into five modules taken over three terms (if studied full-time).

Each module is designed to be flexible, requiring you to bring your own interests and projects to the assignments, while extending the boundaries of your current practice through self-reflection, research, analysis, and creative exploration.

  • Modules

    • Collaborative Project: Connecting Practices (30 credits)

      This studio-based module explores and enhances the existing performance skills of each student with opportunities to experiment with new approaches and evolve your current techniques. As part of this highly practical module you will share your practice with your fellow students, opening yourself up to a critical analysis and deeper understanding of your own work while developing workshop techniques on a collaborative performance project.

    • Research Methods in the Arts: Reflecting Practices (30 credits)

      This module examines research theories and methodologies that are of relevance to the Theatre Arts with particular focus on how to relate these methods and findings to your own practice. Through research seminars you will explore innovative movements within your field and examine the ways in which these can influence your own approaches to performance practice.

    • Specialist Investigation: Exploring Practices(30 credits)

      This module is flexibly designed to enable you to explore your individual practice in a range of academic and professional contexts. Through a combination of studio-based exploratory workshop sessions and independent research into your field, you will develop and evolve your practice to an advanced standard.

    • Professional Contexts & Placements: Managing Practices (30 credits)

      This module explores crucial contexts for developing and managing practical, work-related skills. With expert support from a wide range of career specialists and industry experts you will engage in national and/or international networking opportunities with the chance to set up work placements at various stages of your studies.

    • Independent Project: Extending Practices (60 credits)

      This final module is an opportunity for you to take all the knowledge, research and skills you have acquired in the preceding modules and apply them to an independent project which extends the boundaries of your practice, challenges your working methods, and allows you to test your ambitions. As part of this project you will develop and deliver an artistic presentation, providing a bridge between academic and professional practice that will dramatically enhance your career prospects and future education opportunities.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How will the MA Theatre Arts be taught?

As a student on our MA Theatre Arts you’ll be learning with our expert and diverse team through a blend of the following methods:


These may take many forms and are usually studio-based, focused on the practical participation of a group of students with a tutor, guest practitioner or technician


A class of between 1 and 4 hours with one tutor or guest speaker. Some of this time may involve a presentation of information by the tutor or guest or by a student or group of students. The remainder is an opportunity for group discussion of the seminar topic(s)

Independent studio investigation

Student-facilitated explorations where autonomy is required, although supervision may be offered to support the research. Methods explored may connect with those outlined in Workshops and Seminars, and connected to independent or group field-work

Field Work

Group or individual visits to events off campus such as live performance, exhibitions, talks etc. which relate to the topics and practices under consideration


Sessions during which an individual or a small group of students discuss key topics, concepts, ideas and processes with a tutor. Tutorials are often closely linked to assessment tasks and commonly focus on individual work or involve small group discussions about group projects.

You will be taught both in groups and individually. E-learning will supplement teaching and individual research. You will be required to participate in advanced practice and engage with your fellow students, both individually and collaboratively, working and learning independently and as part of a group.


The programme is primarily assessed through practical outcomes incorporating critical documentation, such as creative or multi-media portfolios. Students will also be assessed through research papers and presentations.

The MA Theatre Arts is designed to appeal particularly to:

UK-based and international practitioners and scholars engaged in any theatre arts practice who want to develop their creative and reflective skills alongside their own unique signature; actors, composers, designers, directors, illusionists, live artists, musicians, physical-theatre practitioners, scenographers, sound artists, video artists, writers and so on.

UK-based and international arts-world individuals such as curators, producers, arts managers, arts/humanities theorists who wish to develop approaches to investigating practice as key contributors to the creative process.

UK-based and international graduates who are keen to explore the scope of their own emerging practice and/or who wish to test the potential of contemporary interdisciplinary performance.
Those who would be eligible for the programme include:

UK graduates (or those nearing completion of undergraduate programmes) in related specialisms including theatre, dance, performing arts, theatre design, acting, directing, dramaturgy etc. applicants will normally have an upper second honours degree or above. However, exemption can be made (at the Programme Leader's discretion) for those with significant relevant experience and/or who can demonstrate innovative approaches to thinking and practicing in theatre arts.

Professional practitioners who may or may not hold a first degree in a relevant field and who may be admitted on the basis of alternative qualifications or satisfactory training in their field and extensive experience in a performance related profession.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Interviews and portfolio
  4. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MA Theatre Arts support your career?

London is an international centre for theatre and the programme has been designed to provide an academic framework that places you in an excellent position for employment as well as self-managed careers. Our graduates go on to pursue successful careers in the theatre and creative industries, including performing, directing, producing and managing.

Last year’s graduates have already taken up roles including project coordination and management at Helen Chadwick Song Theatre and Turtle Song; script development at Dreamcatcher Repertory, USA, as well as performing work developed during the MA at VAULT Festival, London.

Work placements are proven to increase your success in the job market, as well as being a fantastic experience and we encourage as many students as possible to grasp this opportunity with the opportunity to carry out a short placement during your course. This will provide you with first-hand experience of an arts or performance organisation, with guidance and support from one of our dedicated Placement Officers throughout the process.

Last year, our students completed placements with Coney, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, The Bush Theatre, Finborough Theatre, EbonyLife TV and Nick Brooke Entertainment Production among other organisations.

Dr Josephine Machon
Associate Professor

Dr. Josephine Machon is the programme leader for MA Theatre Arts.

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