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Postgraduate Taught

MA Theatre Practice

UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year September 2024
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Creative Industries
Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • Specialised training for performers, theatre-makers, facilitators, educators and scholars on an acclaimed, long-standing programme that has generated famous practitioners and theatre companies
  • Learn about world-renowned theatre practices from specialists
  • Develop advanced skills for creating independent work and building creative communities
  • Extend your artistic practice, sharpen your critical skills and learn to contextualise your work culturally and historically in a chosen pathway of study
  • Join a diverse, international community of artists, researchers and students who are passionate about theatre’s role in society and are leaders in their field.

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Fast Track (current Exeter students)

Open days and visiting us

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Programme Directors: Dr. Konstantinos Thomaidis - MA Theatre Practice (Training and Performance) / Dr Erin Walcon - MA Theatre Practice (Applied Theatre)

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Discover MA Theatre Practice at the University of Exeter.

Develop transferable skills, specialist knowledge and professional experience through interdisciplinary teaching

1st in the UK for Drama, Dance and Cinematics

1st in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, the Guardian University Guide 2023 and the Complete University Guide 2024

Industry placement options

Opportunities for study in the field

Entry requirements

We are looking for graduates with a 2:1 or above in their first degree in drama. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criterion, if you have a high 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

Practical and/or professional experience may be taken as constituting the equivalent of a degree qualification.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

The course has enabled me to explore new creative possibilities which I have never had access to before. The lecturers are incredibly supportive and highly knowledgeable practitioners who are passionate about the arts and its future possibilities for you as a student.

“Dance like nobody's watching” - Completely let go of anything you “think” you know and be prepared to open yourself up to every possibility and more. Don’t be afraid to try something out because everyone else will be feeling that same hesitancy too. 

I waited until the moment was right for me to jump into the unknown and do what I truly love. Having a “hidden disability” made me feel worried about “fitting in” or being “good enough” but it’s the best choice I have ever made and I have felt truly supported in my creative journey as an artist.

Read more from Carina


MA Theatre Practice

Course content

Students can choose from two pathways: Training and Performance or Applied Theatre. You must choose your pathway at application stage. Please indicate your preference in your Personal Statement.

MA Theatre Practice (Training and Performance)

  Term1 Term 2 Term 3
  • Cultural Adaptation
  • Researching Theatre and Performance
  • Contemporary Performance Practices  
  • Researching Theatre and Performance
  • Performance Practice Project
  • Dissertation

MA Theatre Practice (Applied Theatre)

  Term1 Term 2 Term 3
  • Cultural Adaptation
  • Researching Theatre and Performance
  • Principles and Practices of Applied Theatre  
  • Researching Theatre and Performance
  • Applying Performance: A Reflective Practice 
  • Dissertation

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.

This pathway nurtures the theatre scholar-practitioners of the future. You will be taught advanced skills in movement, voice, text, adaptation and devising and will be invited to work collaboratively and imaginatively across various types of performance.

This programme is ideal for anyone wishing to further their practical training, integrate this with the study of cutting-edge performance practices, and the cultivation of advanced research skills.

We regularly train students in Grotowski-based movement and voice work, Phillip Zarrilli’s psychophysical training, Asian body-mind practices (including yoga, t’ai chi and butoh), Meyerhold’s biomechanics, polyphonic singing, and Viewpoints. Each year, students on this pathway can undertake a training residency outside the department, arranged by the university. In previous years, students have trained at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

Programme staff are experts in actor training, directing and devising. They lead professional companies (e.g. RedCape Theatre) and regularly collaborate with world-leading theatre organisations (e.g. the Grotowski Institute in Poland, the National Theatre of Greece, ArtsCross International, LADA-Live Art Development Agency, the National Theatre Wales).

We offer a rich programme of esteemed visiting speakers and practitioners throughout the year. This frequently features workshops in clowning, puppetry, sound and dance. You will have access to the Exeter Digital Archives, one of the largest collections of recorded training and performance sessions in the world.

This pathway will prepare you for the growing area of professional practice that applies theatre as a tool in educational, community and social settings to bring about transformation and change.

This distinctive, structured programme will provide you with a firm foundation in the theories and practices of applied theatre, building on real-life case studies drawn from both global contexts and local models of practice.

Taught by scholars and practitioners at the forefront of the academic and professional discipline, the programme will cover work in the fields of theatre and education, theatre and healthcare, theatre with the elderly, theatre in prisons and probation settings, theatre with and for community, politics, popular theatre and advocacy, and theatre in areas of conflict.

This pathway is built around experiential, project-based learning, with support embedded for you to reflect on your own practice utilising a range of research methodologies. Innovative, site-based projects and visiting guest workshops from industry-leading specialists will enable you to access employability and industry links throughout your study.

We are internationally oriented and the top regional provider of applied-theatre training. As part of the programme, students present their work to industry partners, which include:


2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time

International fees per year:

£24,300 full-time; £12,150 part-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

Teaching and research

Depth and breadth of our practices

The ‘Training and Performance’ Pathway introduces you to significant international practices and the core aspects of the theatre-maker’s craft: physical and vocal training, ensemble-making and collaboration, dramaturgy, directing and devising, space, props and technology.

Our teaching for the ‘Applied Theatre’ Pathway covers a wide array of practices from Theatre in Education to theatre in war zones, prisons, hospitals, dementia care homes, environmental action, and much more.

Structure of teaching

In your chosen pathway, in Term 1 you will explore the variety, richness and range of such practices, with chances for you to focus on the particular elements of practice that most interest you.

In Term 2 and in your dissertation, you will be able to specialise, deepen and hone your understanding of one or more key areas of practice.

Toolkit development

You will regularly take part in ‘Toolkit’ sessions with visiting specialists, masterclasses and training.

In the ‘Training and Performance’ Pathway, you can gain further skills through a training residency with a professional theatre organisation, allowing you to experience different approaches to performance taught by professionals in the field.

In the ‘Applied Theatre’ Pathway, you will lead your own Toolkit Skills Exchange Sessions. You will experiment and play with the tools/formats, sharing facilitation skills and techniques, with an opportunity to hone your practice by trying out facilitation in real situations/circumstances.

Project delivery

In the second part of the year, as a ‘Training and Performance’ student, you will create and perform a full-length project (solo or ensemble), with support by our expert staff and tech team. If you choose, you can perform your pieces to festivals of theatre work hosted by the University of Exeter, including the T3 Festival and the International Student Theatre Festival.

As an ‘Applied Theatre’ student, you will work responsively in several different sites, collaborating with partner organisations and developing a responsive project for specific briefs. This work is mentored by experienced industry specialists.

Praxis and reflective practitioner training

You will encounter key theory readings and engage in critical dialogue about them. As the practical elements increase via project-based learning, you will reflect upon your own practice using these readings, theories and resources.

This opportunity to self-reflect is as valuable for students who come into the MA with a substantive body of practice as it is for students with more limited experience. We value that each learning journey is unique.

Seminar modules and your research

In your theoretical modules, you will examine key topics in contemporary performance and skills for researching a topic of your choosing. In ‘Cultural Adaptation’ you will discuss how performance is made across cultures, and discover theatre-makers, applied-theatre practitioners and theorists influencing international performance. ‘Researching Theatre and Performance’ will introduce you to a range of skills to help you design, prepare and conduct your own research.

For your ‘Dissertation’, you will conduct in-depth research in your chosen area of interest, guided by a supervisor. This can be fully written, or you can select a mixed-mode dissertation: performance and writing, workshops and writing, or work placement and writing.


You will benefit from a balanced range of assessments, including presentations, essays, project proposals, annotated bibliographies, and performances. Your learning process throughout the term is an important part of practice-based assessments and is taken into consideration in the marking.

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Alexander Building

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.

Alexander Building

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.

White House

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.


An MA in Drama from Exeter enables you to develop a wide range of skills, such as those involved in creativity and public performance; research; analysis and source assessment; writing and verbal communication; managing and interpreting information; and developing ideas and arguments.

There are many career options open to students including acting, directing, performing, teaching and technical roles. Graduates also find work in other areas outside of theatre and performance: e.g., website design, press relations, magazine editing, copywriting, account managing, national health practice, law, and journalism.

Selected Alumni

Previous graduates lead performance companies around the world, including:

  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival (USA)
  • London Demidov Studio (UK)
  • Brite Theatre (UK)
  • Jammy Voo (UK)
  • Zero Point Theater (Greece)
  • Guild of the Goat Theatre (India)
  • Theatre P’yut (South Korea)
  • Doorstep Arts (UK)
  • Anthos Arts (UK)

Others work for arts organisations, including:

  • China Radio International, (China)
  • State Administration of Radio, Television and Film (China)
  • National Theatre of Northern Greece
  • Attis Theatre (Greece)
  • Grassroots Shakespeare (USA)
  • Marebito Theatre (Japan)
  • Exeter Northcott (UK)
  • Plough Youth Theatre (UK)
  • MED Theatre (UK)

Several graduates have become university lecturers in institutions including:

  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK)
  • De Montford University (UK)
  • University of Sussex (UK)
  • University of Chester (UK),
  • Roger Williams University (USA)
  • Clark University (USA)
  • Korean National University of the Arts (Korea)
  • the Drama School in Mumbai (India)
  • the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático de Madrid (Spain)
  • Aristotle University (Greece)

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My course is the perfect progression, having studied at Exeter as an Undergraduate. The course has offered me the opportunity to develop as a practitioner and researcher, and has an excellent balance between practice and theory work.

The postgraduate community here at Exeter is hugely supportive, and I feel very lucky to be part of such a wide-ranging and fascinating community of researchers.

I have undertaken two extra-curricular internships within the Drama department – one working with Professor Jerri Daboo on her work for the British Asian Theatre Project; and second with Professor Rebecca Loukes for her theatre company RedCape Theatre.

I feel my course and overall experience at Exeter has contributed significantly towards my development professionally, and there are multiple pathways which I am considering – including professional work, or a PhD.

Read more from Rosaline


MA Theatre Practice