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Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

MA in Theatre Making

Postgraduate - Taught MA

Open for admission in 2023/24

Start in September

Qualification Full time
MA 1 year

About the course

Theatre making at Hull has a strong reputation and a unique history.

The Drama department at Hull has been a centre of theatre making since the 1960s. It is the third oldest university drama department in the country with a global reputation and a unique history. Our graduates play key roles in the industry nationally and internationally. Our unique asset is the network of theatre companies and professional arts groups that emerged from the department and continue to work closely with us.

This newly redesigned MA in Theatre Making builds on this unique network and operates within it. It places a strong emphasis on internationalisation and Knowledge Exchange, and explores the modes of public engagement through the art. Thanks to the broad range of our staff expertise, this practical, community-focused programme is challenging, varied and at the forefront of research into theatre, place and space. The programme allows students to build on their artistic and academic portfolio and develop as practitioners working independently, in companies and with external partners in a range of performance styles and disciplines.

You’ll gain hands-on experience in making theatre in a range of settings, including schools, youth groups and care homes, and for a variety of audiences. You’ll also have opportunities to learn how to set up and run your own theatre company.

Our students love working in a close-knit, friendly drama community with excellent dedicated facilities and unrivalled access to theatre and rehearsal space. This includes the Gulbenkian Centre with its two performance spaces: the uniquely versatile Don Roy Theatre – hailed one of the most flexible theatre spaces in any European university – and the multimedia blackbox Minghella Studio. We have dedicated facilities and workspaces for our wide-ranging scenographic practice – from costume and props, through set design and construction, to lighting, sound and digital performance. These facilities are welcoming your talents and research interests, and will help you realise your theatre making inspirations. Take the virtual tour now and see for yourself.

Our specialist academic support staff are industry professionals with rich expertise in the practical aspects of making, from scenographic disciplines (light, sound, project, digital performance, costume, prop making) to stage management, dramaturgy and scriptwriting.

You’ll also benefit from industry and academic networks: the Prague Quadrennial, Hull Truck Theatre, East Riding Theatre, Absolutely Cultured, Back to Ours; nationally renowned companies such as the New Diorama Theatre in London, and graduate companies such as Middle Child, Silent Uproar, The Roaring Girls, Concrete Youth, Same Circle Productions; and with numerous academic partners and institutions.

Graduates from this MA course have a strong track record of success. Several theatre companies established themselves on the course, such as the award-winning The Roaring Girls or Concrete Youth Theatre Company. Other graduates have gone on to work as independent theatre makers, as performers, arts facilitators, producers, workshops convenors, Drama teachers or progressed to continuing study at a PhD level.

What you'll study

The MA Theatre Making integrates the theory and practice of theatre and performance on bespoke practical projects with and for external partners. The practical work on the programme is rooted in research (Practice-as-Research) and explores novel ways of embodied inquiry. The theoretical, practical, interdisciplinary and industry frameworks bring new insights and reinforce the collaborative and individual theatre making practice on the course.

Modules are core for all students and offer flexibility within them, dependent on individual students‘ expertise and experience, and on the external partners‘ impulses. Regular CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and mentoring sessions with numerous local, national and international industry partners are embedded in the curriculum.

The two modules in each trimester are interlinked in a tapered way. While all modules work on practical projects, one module approaches the competencies from the side of the public practice, and while the other complements them from the angle of academic study and critical theory.

Each trimester ends with a summative point that formalises the conclusion of the phase and integrates the tapered approach. It allows the student an exit point at the end of each trimester.

Trimester 1 (PG Certificate Stage)

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

  • Critical Components of PaR

    How can you become a researcher in theatre making? Learn what the life of an academic comprises, from such questions as the researcher’s relationship to and engagement with their peers, their institution, their society and their environment. You will also engage with methods of research carried out through practical work and will make a small-scale site-, place- or partner-specific performance.

  • Commissioned Project with Industry Partner

    How do you approach an industry partner? What can you offer them? How can you develop your own theatre making skills and competencies while working with an industry partner? Learn how to document your individual and group practice, how to place it within the context of the creative industries, and how to develop work that will benefit you as well as your industry partner.

Trimester 2 (PG Diploma Stage)

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

  • Creating Cultural Agenda

    How do you set up a theatre company? How do you make a business plan and apply for funding? Navigate the complexities of establishing yourself as an independent theatre maker. Learn about self-presentation, self-documentation, publicity, arts funding and grant writing. And you will be able to formalise your Continuing Professional Development plan and set up a mentor for yourself. You will also submit an application for funding towards your professional career after the course.

  • Curated Programme for an Industry Partner

    This module will get you involved with a partner instution and you will curate a programme of theatre events for them. As part of this programme, you will make a small-scale concept production to indicate how your programme fulfils your industry partner’s needs.

Trimester 3 (MA Diploma Stage)

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

  • Research Project (MA Theatre Making)

    How do you realise your own research project? Will it be a Practice Research project, a piece of theatre, a design, a script, a performance, an installation or a written thesis? In this module, you will realise an individual or collaborative project with your individual research agenda: a small scale PaR project or a portfolio with documentation and a critical commentary, or a written-only research thesis.

Assessment on the Programme

Practical theatre work

Group or individual practice that allows students to use the specialisms of their choice (performing, scenographic practices, dramaturgical practices and writing, facilitating, media production); the practical theatre work is an outcome presented to the target recipient and results from R&D, production meetings and rehearsal; the remit and specific needs, aims and objectives of the assessment and relation to module learning outcomes are formalised in a learning contract, which also allows and accounts for individual learning needs and any EDI issues of the participants.

Critical portfolio and CPD documentation

An individual assessment in a range of media: from written critical reflection, through logs, blogs and vlogs, profesional portfolios appropriate to the student’s specialism of choice, self-tapes, agency documentation, design books, maquettes and models, CVs, profiles on professional network sites, to professional websites; the remit and specific needs, aims and objectives of the assessment and relation to module learning outcomes are formalised in a learning contract, which also allows and accounts for individual learning needs.

Discursive assessment (presentation with Q&A)

Group or individual presentations in appropriate media (oral delivery, presentation slides, demonstrations of sample work, online presentation) with the opportunity of audience’s and interlocutors’ further questioning; this assessment models standard professional practices of pitching, presentation or hand-overs of R&D work; the remit and specific needs, aims and objectives of the assessment and relation to module learning outcomes are formalised in a learning contract, which also allows and accounts for individual learning needs.

Critical writing

An individual piece of critical writing in a range of research genres (critical essay, review, report, conference paper or presentation), meeting PG standards of research work (academic rigour, referencing, formal arrangement and delivery); the remit, aims and objectives of the assessment and relation to module learning outcomes are formalised in a learning contract or a detailed assignment, which also allows and accounts for individual learning needs.

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Click to view on Google Maps
Hull Campus

Click to view directions on Google Maps

Our teaching staff

Fees and funding

  • Home £9,400

UK students can take out a Masters Loan to help with tuition fees and living costs. For 2023 entry, they provide up to £12,167 for full-time and part-time taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Find out more about Postgraduate Loans.

  • International £10,000

Please see the terms and conditions for International fees 2022/23

Graduate PGT Scholarship

The University of Hull is pleased to offer graduates progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate taught study a £1,000 scholarship towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Find out if you’re eligible by visiting the University of Hull Graduate PGT Scholarship page.

International Scholarships and Bursaries

For a list of all scholarships and bursaries for international students, please visit the International Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships to help you with your studies.

For more information, please visit the Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Fantastic facilities include Middleton Hall, now a world-class cultural venue after a £9.5 million investment, and the listed Gulbenkian Centre.

Strong links with local and regional organisations including Hull Truck Theatre, Opera North, New Diorama and Out of Joint.

Make theatre for a variety of audiences, as well as receiving training in setting up and running theatre companies.

Our broad range of staff expertise has enabled us to design a programme that is challenging, varied, and at the forefront of research in the field of theatre making.

Entry requirements

You should have a minimum of a 2:2 Honours degree or international equivalent in Drama, Theatre, Performance or a related subject.

In order to ensure our students have a rich learning and student experience, most of our programmes have a mix of domestic and international students. We reserve the right to close applications early to either group, if application volumes suggest that this blend cannot be achieved. In addition, existing undergraduate students at the University of Hull have a guaranteed ‘Fast Track’ route to any postgraduate programme, subject to meeting the entry criteria (excluding Social Work).

International students

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.5 overall, with 6.0 in each skill.

See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses

Visit your country page to find out more about entry requirements.

Future prospects

The MA in Theatre Making prepares students equally well for a career in the theatre industry or for further study. The combination of practice and theory develops graduates ready to engage with the world of professional theatre making, social and applied theatre, or PhD-level study.

Many of our alumni, such as the playwright James Graham, theatre director Marianne Elliott  and David Byrne, the artistic director of London’s New Diorama Theatre, regularly come back to the University to take part in careers events to give the next generation of Hull drama students the benefit of their rich experiences.

Special Events for the September 2022 Opening

In preparation for the September 2022 opening, our School’s Centre for Performance, Technology and Aesthetics organises a Summer School at the University of Hull on 13–17 June 2022, to strengthen participatory, inclusive and needs-based research and research culture across the faculty.

The working theme for this interdisciplinary Summer School is “PLAY” and we will explore modes of Practice-as-Research with international and national practitioners in practical workshops and performance work.

This Summer School also builds on our collaboration with the Prague Quadrennial and with overseas theatre departments, and prepares for our active participation in the programme of PQ2023.