MA Theatre Practice

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Drama
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The digital age has intensified the need to study performance. Performance is no longer confined to a segregated place and time – the theatre – but is, literally, everywhere. The last three decades have seen an explosion of hybrid forms of performance worldwide: cross-cultural theatre, documentary and socially engaged performance, live art, one-on-one performance, immersive and site-specific theatre, traditional and contemporary adaptations of classics.

Located in a vibrant research environment in one of the best-equipped Drama Departments in the UK, our MA in Theatre Practice nurtures practitioners and scholars of the future. The diverse and flexible programme taught by internationally renowned scholars-practitioners allows you to research, construct and deliver highly articulate ideas. Our rigorous teaching encourages collaboration across genres, disciplines and cultures. It is rooted in physical training, environmental, scenographic, object and site exploration, ensemble work, creative and critical writing, and expert supervision of artistically challenging ideas and projects.

During a one year course you will:

  • Extend your practice by participating in workshops with leading professionals in your field of interest whether that may be performing, directing, socially engaged performance or Shakespeare
  • Learn to contextualise your work socially and politically
  • Sharpen your critical skills by engaging with theoretical and practice-based research
  • Develop compositional, technical and management skills and strategies for creating independent work
  • Forge relationships with an international network of organisations and/or universities
  • Build creative communities

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

The taught components of the MA Theatre Practice are delivered in the first two terms, leaving the third for your dissertation. Modules are taught in seminar groups, with lots of time for discussion and interaction. In seminars you will be expected to take part in debate and present your work.


Assessment is via a combination of seminar presentations, essays, continuous assessment, presentations of practice (only for practice options) and a written research project and dissertation (maximum 15,000 words).


A Masters degree in Drama from Exeter will provide you with a wide range of skills which will be useful in your future study or employment. Our students develop skills in researching, analysing and assessing sources, written and verbal communication, managing and interpreting information and developing ideas and arguments. There are a wide range of career options open to students including acting, directing, performing, teaching and technical roles. Graduates also find work in other very varied areas: website design, press relations, magazine editing, copywriting, account managing, national health practice, law and journalism.

Some destinations of graduates from Drama programmes are:

Actor/Performer/Freelance Artist
Assistant Editor
Associate Producer
Co-Artistic Director
Company Director
Deputy Stage Manager
Drama Club Leader
Drama Therapist
Events and Entertainment
Exhibitions Assistant (Intern)
Graduate Account Executive
Head of Dance Department
Interior Designer
Learner Support
Marketing Assistant (Intern)
Organising Assistant, Live Performance Department
Post Production and Production Schedule Manager
Press and Marketing Manager
Production Assistant
Project Executive
Publishing Assistant
Radio Presenter
Recruitment Consultant
Show Host
Subject Leader for Dance
Technical Support
Theatre Practitioner
Theatre Technician
TV Presenter
Youth Development Officer

Research areas

Drama at Exeter is an internationally renowned centre for practice, research and teaching. There are three research centres in the department with wide-ranging and interdisciplinary research interests.

Our connections span the world and include European, American, Australian, Indian and Indonesian universities and practice-based institutions. Our students have benefited from collaborations with organisations such as Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as local and national theatre companies, hospitals, prisons and schools. Our industry links are strong and our graduates have gone on to form such critically acclaimed companies as Theatre Alibi, Forced Entertainment and Punchdrunk.


As one of the largest and best equipped Drama departments in the country we have excellent teaching and performance spaces.

The Drama Department is based on the Streatham campus. All of the practical spaces are for use only by Drama students, giving us a high degree of flexibility.

The Alexander Building was custom-designed for Drama and was opened in 2007 to great acclaim. It houses the main reception for students, staff offices, 2 brand new sprung-floored studios, 3 additional studios, 2 seminar rooms, 2 sound studios, meeting rooms, computer suites, workshops and a large costume store. The postgraduate computer suite is accessible 24 hours.

The White House is a mansion building containing many original architectural features, and now contains 3 large airy rehearsal spaces and staff offices.

The Roborough Studios provides three large fully-equipped adaptable studio spaces along with a seminar room and technical facilities, and is used for large scale performances and events as well as regular rehearsals and practical sessions.

More details are available on the Drama website.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 Honours degree in Drama or a relevant subject, or its equivalent. This should normally be in Drama, Theatre Studies, Performance Studies, English or a similar subject.  

In special circumstances applicants whose first degree is in another area will be considered.  Practical and/or professional experience may be taken as constituting the equivalent of a degree qualification, provided there is also sufficient evidence that applicants will be able to cope with the academic aspects of the programme.

Evidence of a background which includes practical theatre work (this may take the form of professional experience, practically based University courses, or in certain cases, non professional practice).  An interview may be required as part of the application process.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2020/21

  • UK/EU: £8,750 full-time; £4,375 part-time
  • International: £18,500 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. A step by step guide of the application process which includes information on tuition fee payments can be found in the apply for postgraduate study pages of the University's Postgraduate Study website.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Contact us

Admissions Office - Exeter

Web: Enquire online

Phone: 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)
+44 (0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

Apply online

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