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Drama MA

Drama offers students the opportunity to combine practical with complementary and theoretical study through a dynamic course of creative learning

Students select to specialise either Theatre and Young People or Contemporary Theatre Practices allowing them to develop expertise and profile in one of these pathways and at the same time to benefit from taking a number of shared core modules common to both courses. Both programmes enable students to develop substantial work experience through the course’s close contacts with the profession.

This innovative post graduate programme is designed to enable students to engage with an advanced approach to practice against a framework of academic research, through group work, individual supervision, seminars, workshops and professional mentoring sessions. There is a focus on partnerships with the professional theatre community and students are able to form close links with directors, companies and theatre venues in the region, through work placements and production opportunities.

Drama at Worcester provides a vibrant research environment for students to develop and refine their own practice. The course is an excellent grounding for emerging theatre practitioners: directors, performers and writers. Graduating students may also follow careers in postgraduate research, lecturing or teaching, theatre administration, the media and community arts.

Mode of Course Delivery

This is a one year full-time course.  The majority of taught sessions are held in the daytime with some evening sessions. There are additional optional weekend and holiday courses.

Sessions are programmed in the University’s well equipped performance studios where students have access to an extensive range of facilities and digital equipment. Student production work may also take place in partner theatre venues in the city.

Teaching Team

The course is delivered by lecturers who are internationally recognized researchers, professional practitioners, and experienced teachers. Among the staff team’s specialist interest areas are theatre for young people, devised performance, multi-media theatre, site specific and immersive theatre and classical adaptation.

Earn-as-you-learn opportunities

All MA students can apply to take part in paid professional opportunities organised alongside the course. In the last year these have included performing in touring productions for schools and colleges, leading drama workshops for community groups, running comedy nights in a local club and undertaking a commission for a commercial company.

Intermediate awards

Students who wish to qualify at the level of PG Dip Theatre and Young People or PG Dip Contemporary Theatre Practices can do so by taking a reduced selection of modules. Students can achieve a PG Cert in Drama by taking a smaller selection of modules.


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Postgraduate Loans

New Postgraduate Loans for Masters degrees in the UK are being introduced for students commencing their students in the 2016/17 academic year.

Visit our postgraduate loans page for more information.


How to Apply

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Entry requirements

The MA programme is designed for students with a good honours degree in Drama or other humanities subject areas. It is also appropriate for theatre practitioners or drama teachers wishing to develop their academic qualifications and for overseas students seeking to deepen their knowledge and experience of theatre in the UK. In certain circumstances, people without conventional academic qualifications, who have significant experience in Drama, may be accepted onto the course.

Anyone interested in the programme is invited to contact Drama Subject Leaders Dr Daniel Somerville ( or Ildiko Rippel ( for an informal discussion about the course. All applications will be invited to attend an interview – in the case of International applicants this may be done online.

The IELTS score for international applicants is 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in each component). Other English Language qualifications will be considered. For more information please click here.

Study options


The MA is awarded on successful completion of nine modules. They include three mandatory modules; three optional modules; and a Dissertation, equivalent to three modules, which may have a substantial practical element. The Dissertation defines the Masters Award, enabling students to apply knowledge and understanding of the subject to a topic of individual choice.

The students’ personal choice of pathway, Theatre and Young People or Contemporary Theatre Practices will be stated in brackets after the title of the programme on their graduation certificates i.e. MA Drama (Theatre and Young People) or MA Drama (Contemporary Theatre Practices).

Postgraduate Certificate

To gain Postgraduate Certificate students must successfully complete three modules, which may be all taught or a combination of taught and individual study modules.

Postgraduate Diploma

After completing the Postgraduate Certificate, it is possible to complete a further three modules to achieve the award of Postgraduate Diploma.

Get in touch

Course Leaders:

Dr Daniel Somerville

Ildiko Rippel


Admissions Office
01905 855111



This MA is designed with the student’s future employment in mind. The course has a significant input from major professional organisations including theatres, arts centres, performance companies and community organisations in its teaching and organisation. A distinctive feature of the course is the opportunities it provides for work experience and for student engagement with the profession.

Both recent graduates and experienced professional will be able to enhance their employability through the skills and subject area expertise acquired on the course. Furthermore through taking advantage of the various professional opportunities made available to students they will be able to develop their work experience and CVs as they progress through the course.

Careers directions for students who successfully complete their post graduate course include work as performers , directors and writers. Community arts employment, drama lecturing and teaching, arts administration, TV, media and film employment are also among career options. The course can also serve as a foundation for a research at MPhil or PhD level.

Course content


A sample of available modules includes:

Mandatory Modules

Shaping Performance: Text and Dramaturgy

Audience, Performer, Space

Theory into Practice

Dissertation - The Dissertation may be written or a combination of practical and written work.

Optional Modules

Students will select according to their specialist pathway in Theatre and Young People or Contemporary Theatre Practices.

Writing and Performance for Young Audiences

Professional Practice in Drama

Applied Theatre & Education

Contemporary Theatre Practice in a Digital Culture

Site Related Performance

Specialist Performance Project


A variety of teaching methods are used, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, demonstrations practical workshops and individual and group presentations. There will be regular visits by guest speakers and theatre trips as well as performances presented in the University’s Drama Centre.

Modules are assessed by coursework, which will include practical work, performances and project presentations as well as written work. Detailed feedback is provided throughout the course to support your intellectual development.

Student views

Hayley Trust

"If you are interested in creating work that is innovative and inspiring, this is the course for you"

"You are guaranteed to be put through your paces, but is highly rewarding at the end"



drama student Ollie WardOllie Ward

Part time student

"This is not only a valuable qualification but a part of my development and creative journey as a theatre maker.
The tutors have strong academic foundations to their work as well as practical performance experience. They teach you how to shape and mould performance work that responds to the theories and issues studied whilst adding depth and maturity to your work."



drama student Julie Fisher

Julie Fisher

Part time mature student


My professional practise had been reinvigorated by studying the MA in Theatre & Young People.


I returned to study after a long break and have soon found my feet as a part time student balancing work and family life alongside assignments.


I can’t recommend it highly enough. I have been thoroughly absorbed and inspired by the course.


It has given me the confidence to take more theatrical risks with my work and the ability to back up my choices with theory.

Academic department

Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts

“We are a lively community of scholars, researchers and creative practitioners”
Professor Antonia Payne, Head of Institute

The Drama MA is within the Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts. Also within the Institute is the Drama and Performance BA which has approximately 200 undergraduate students. There are also research students working towards PhD and MPhil in the Drama area. Staff in the department is extensively involved in research and practice and there are several resident theatre companies working within the university.

By studying drama at postgraduate level at UW, students become part of a wide network of scholars and practitioners which brings with it extensive opportunities for professional experience and sustainable career options.

Worcester Masters students win University Scholarships

Four MA Drama students – Robert Brittain, Samantha Franklin, Victoria Stokes and Richard Wishart – were successful in their applications for University Scholarships to enable them to take their work to the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Working as Chandelier Horse Theatre Company, their devised performance, Limbo, was originally conceived and developed as assessed work for their MA. It was performed at Whitespace Art Gallery in Edinburgh in early August before touring to venues elsewhere in the UK.