This degree is heavily embedded into the theatre making industry and is useful for those wanting to develop careers as producers, directors, venue managers, writers, agents, company and production management, marketing, event management, casting agents, among many others.
An upper second-class honours degree or better, usually in a relevant humanities subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path or who may have relevant experience in the industry. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies.
Your application should include a sample of your academic writing. Ideally this will be an essay, on a similar or related topic, that you have recently written as part of your undergraduate degree programme. Please upload this to your application portal.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
The programme consists of four modules and a dissertation project.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
This team-taught module is intended to provide a basis of shared knowledge and understanding of theatre audiences to MA Drama students. The core subject of this module will be approached from various perspectives reflecting current available expertise in the Department. Lectures and seminar discussions on various theoretical and empirical approaches to audience research (including the study of audience responses as well as the identification of and marketing to an audience) will feature next to sessions about the histories of spectatorial practices and contemporary experimental theatre productions that engage audiences in particularly compelling ways (for example, participatory practices). Typically, there will be opportunities to discuss what audiences do, how they feel, and how their brain and body responds to theatre from various perspectives. Activities such as devising audience questionnaires to gather feedback from spectators in response to a specific production, and the reading of audience reviews in newspapers, blogs and social media will enable the cohort to question the supposed homogeneity of theatre audiences and to begin to think as theatre-makers about audiences in a nuanced, sophisticated way.
The students will learn the business skills needed to operate within the professional producing world of Theatre and Live Performance. They will work on real life scenarios and case studies, they will analyse and deconstruct contemporary productions, both individually and as a group. They will visit and analyse venues and understand the use of place and space in relation to production. The module runs at the beginning of the programme, through the Autumn term and will give the base from which they will develop their individual and group creative skills. The module will require them to show sound judgement, personal and group responsibility and initiative, sometimes in unpredictable professional circumstances. The students will be assessed through individually submitted reviews of a performance and venue, case study reviews of real life situations. A group analysis of a professional production, looking at its scope, audience, place, space, identity, market, demography presented orally with notes and slides submitted that demonstrate evidence of the administration, judgement, distribution and delegation of responsibility.
The students will experience the idea of pitching and selling an idea/concept within a short space of time, effectively communicating and answering queries credibly within a fixed time frame. They will also learn how the business operates either through the main part of the module being work placement engagement, or through an in-depth study of an individual or company operation. The students need to show initiative and persuasion to obtain a suitable placement and will understand the importance of reliability, timekeeping, adaptability and commitment through working with professionals within the professional environment. They will analyse an operation and observe how the skills and knowledge learned are applied and put into practice within the business.
Throughout their studies on a taught Masters-course, students will develop and pursue an in-depth research into a specific topic, thus increasing their potential as appropriate for a postgraduate degree. Students will start shaping and preparing their research early in the year, supported by mandatory seminars in academic writing, research skills and resources, and practice as research (PaR). Students will meet with their Programme Convenor and the Director of Taught MA Programmes in the Autumn term before deciding late in the Autumn Term whether they will pursue Options 1 or 2 as detailed below. Students will present either their practice-based research or an academic conference paper in Summer Term at a Postgraduate Conference organised by the Department, and they will submit their final dissertation by 31st August.
While building on research undertaken previously on their course, and the opportunity to extend any further aspects previously discussed, the topics and submission cannot duplicate material previously submitted for examination as part of the MA-programme.
Assessment is through a variety of written work and verbal presentations. This includes academic essays, in-class presentations, contributions to workshops etc.
The final dissertation requires you to research an individual project in depth, and to present its findings in writing and in a conference-style presentation.
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
In The Complete University Guide 2020, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2020 for more information.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Arts at Kent was ranked 1st for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research quality.
An impressive 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.
The Performance and Theatre Research Group’s mission is to create a warm and dynamic research community, welcoming everybody from 'Fresher to Professor'. We are a delightfully broad church, with well-established expertise in a broad range of subjects, including theatre history, performance and health, theatre and cognition, physical acting, applied theatre, performance and philosophy, performance and politics, European theatre, Greek theatre, theatre and adaptation, audience studies, cultural industries, variety theatre, puppetry, dance theatre, popular performance and stand-up comedy. We embrace a diversity of methodologies including, for example, Practice as Research, archival and participatory methods.
The Histories Research Group brings together staff and post-graduate students from across the School of Arts whose research involves a cultural historical approach to their field. It holds regular research seminars and supports student-led initiatives, such as organizing conferences.
The Group’s main objective is to support and produce cutting-edge research in the areas of film, media and culture. The Film, Media and Culture Research Group has interests in aesthetics, social roles, discursive formations, cultural meanings, psychological effects and/or economic realities. Drawing together scholars from across the University – including Arts, European Culture and Languages, Digital Arts and Engineering, History, English and American Studies, Law, Sociology and beyond – the Group has a lively, research culture. Through our journal Film Studies and pioneering research projects and outputs we actively seek to shape the field, open lines of communication with the local community and engage with colleagues worldwide.
The Aesthetics Research Centre (ARC) coordinates, enables and promotes research in philosophy of art and aesthetics at the University of Kent. It is embeeded in the analytic tradition, and it is deeply committed to making connections and exploring synergies with other approaches to thinking about art and culture. ARC comprises a vibrant community of staff and postgraduate students across the School of Arts and the Department of Philosophy, and its activities include an annual programme of research seminars, workshops, symposia and conferences.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Movement and physical performance approaches to actor training, especially the Suzuki Method; contemporary East European and Polish theatre, Grotowski and the Gardzienice Theatre Association; intercultural theory and practice and performance anthropology.View Profile
Researching the theatre of, and about, the First World War. Restoration and long 18th-century theatre and performance, with a special emphasis on women’s theatre of the periodView Profile
Stand-up comedy; punk performance; variety theatre; Karl Valentin.View Profile
Contemporary theatre in Europe; adaptation and translation for the stage; ‘classical’ Greek tragedy and its modern appropriations; intercultural and transnational performance.View Profile
Intersection of theatre and philosophy; comedy; popular performance; puppetry and object theatre; cognitive approaches to understanding performance; site-specific performance.View Profile
Contemporary performance, live and participatory art, cognition, creativity, auto/biography, autism, gender, neurodiversity, well-being.View Profile
The modernist period, Bauhaus and Oskar Schlemmer; puppet and object theatre; communication on the autistic spectrum using puppetry; the relationship between robotics and puppetry.View Profile
Greek theatre; commedia dell’arte; masks and theatre.View Profile
Cognitive dance and theatre studies; visuo-sonority of dance; dramaturgy; performativity; arts/sciences interdisciplinarity; psychology of the arts; critical dance and performance studies; dance history; world dance cultures.View Profile
Research focuses on the way in which body image discourse operates in the field of contemporary performance. This encompasses training contexts, industry practice, and the engagement of audiences with body image as dramaturgical currency.
Strands of inquiry include: Politics of the body in the interface between art, business and self; Body activism and its impact on contemporary performance practice; Body shame and the healing potential of psychophysical performance practices; Bodies beyond the visual: Dialogue between memory, imagination and movement in devising processes working from the senses of taste, smell and touch; In search of the holistic: application of Michael Chekhov training in the 21st century in theatre and beyond; Cognition and the embodied language of performanceView Profile
Our graduates now work as producers in the West End and Broadway, they have opened new theatres in Cape Town, become performer’s agents in New York and Los Angeles, run theatres across the UK, they work as casting agents, theatre managers, umbrella organization administration, large scale opera company managers, theatre marketing, TV and Film development among many other specialisms. Visit a West End producer and it is likely they have working for them, or know of, someone who has graduated from this programme.
The School of Arts’ award-winning Jarman Building offers professional standard drama facilities, along with social spaces and a dedicated centre for postgraduate students.
Additional facilities across the Canterbury campus include two theatres: the 113-seat Aphra Theatre (a courtyard-type gallery theatre space); and the Lumley Theatre, which is a flexible and adaptable white room space. Drama students also benefit from an additional rehearsal studio, a sound studio, a theatre design suite and an extensively equipped construction workshop.
The University’s Templeman Library is well resourced in our subject area and houses special collections of 19th-century manuscripts – playbills, programmes, prints and other theatre ephemera – theatrical biography and the history of the stage in the 19th and 20th centuries. It also has particular strengths as a research resource in English Renaissance drama, Russian and French theatre, and British theatre since 1900. We also house the Jacques Copeau Archive and the British Grotowski collection.
We have strong links with organisations such as the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA), and encourage postgraduates to present work within national and international conferences. Also, we run regular research seminars, workshops, and performance-related events led by members of staff, students, and invited experts and practitioners.
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: New Theatre Quarterly; Contemporary Theatre Review; TDR: The Drama Review; Performance Research; Shakespeare Survey.
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.