The MA in Theatre Making at Kent offers an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of practices, traditions and professional contexts of theatre making. Students have the opportunity to advance their skills in their chosen area of directing, devising, playwriting, dramaturgy, or applied theatre.
This MA is intended for graduates from theatre and performing arts degrees and other subjects as well as emerging theatre artists who want to further pursue their experimentation with a range of advanced theatre-making practices.
During the Autumn Term, you initially work in a varied range of artistic approaches, while also getting an insight into key key critical discourses as well as into practical theatre production concerns. You then work collaboratively as a theatre ensemble during the Spring Term, focusing on your chosen area while realising a range of projects. Throughout the year, the research-led teaching by Kent’s world-leading specialists is complemented by a sustained engagement with professional theatre-makers in workshops and guest sessions. We also work closely with the Canterbury theatres (Marlowe and Gulbenkian), who have mentored and supported many previous graduates to further develop their artistic work.
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About the School of Arts
Postgraduate Drama and Theatre studies at Kent has a very strong reputation for research and supervision in contemporary theatre and performance. We are the home of two renowned international research centres, the European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) and the Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance (CKP).
The wide-ranging interests of our international team of leading and emerging researchers (from the UK, Australia, Greece, Germany, France and other countries) include research strengths in contemporary performance, applied theatre, Shakespeare, 18th-century theatre, multimedia performance, popular performance, theatre directing and dramaturgy, and physical acting.
Our distinctive focus at Kent is on theatre as practice, whatever the topic, area, mode and methodology of research. We were the first department in the country to offer, since the late 1990s, MA and PhD degrees by practice-as-research. We encourage postgraduate students to make use of our close links and contacts with local, national and international (especially European) theatre companies, venues, schools and artists, both for research and to encourage professional development.
The School of Arts’ award-winning Jarman Building offers professional standard drama facilities, along with social spaces and a dedicated centre for postgraduate students. In addition to the two performance studios and the Gallery in the Jarman Building, Drama & Theatre facilities across the Canterbury campus include two further theatre spaces – the 113-seat Aphra Theatre (a courtyard-type gallery theatre space) and the Lumley Theatre, which is a flexible and adaptable studio space – as well as further rehearsal facilities in Eliot College, a sound and simulation suite, and an extensively equipped construction workshop and costume collection.
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.
In this course, you learn how to make and think about theatre in a way that challenges conventional assumptions and boundaries. We also prepare you for the world of work by giving you opportunities to network with professionals and practise how to raise funding and market your portfolio. Over the course of the year, you will be taught by academics who are international experts in their fields.
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.
Modules may include:
Teaching and Assessment
Assessment consists of 100% coursework, including essays, performances, funding budgets, reviews, written reflections on own practice, analysis of professional practice, presentations, reports, placements, practice-as-research portfolios.
Graduates of Kent's comprehensive theatre studies curriculum are suited to work as freelance artists, directors, teachers, and theatre makers, as theatre managers and managers for educational projects, and in other theatre-related roles. Kent Drama & Theatre graduates have also formed their own companies (Little Bulb, The Noise Next Door, The Three Half Pints, White Slate, Accidental Collective), joined existing companies, and developed careers as innovative and influential theatre practitioners.
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, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.
English language entry requirements
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.
Need help with English?
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.
Based at Kent, the UK’s European university, the European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) facilitates and fosters the exchange of theatre traditions, contemporary practices and academic discussion on theatre work from the European continent and also in the new European states. The MA Theatre Direction forms part of this expanding network, drawing for instance on our connection to the Schaubühne Berlin, the Grotowski Workcentre, and other European theatre institutions. For further information, please see www.europeantheatre.org.uk
Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance
The Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance brings together Drama staff and staff in Engineering and Digital Arts; Psychology; Anthropology; and the Tizard Centre to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, interactive performance, digital media, disability studies, and applied performance. For further information, please see www.kent.ac.uk/ckp
Popular and Comic Performance
The Popular and Comic Performance (PCP) research centre brings together academics from a range of disciplines (e.g. Drama, Film, Social Anthropology, Philosophy). Their research investigates a real variety of related areas including: stand-up comedy; music hall and variety; 18th century popular theatre; melodrama; Greek Old and Middle comedy; community performance work; puppetry; TV and film production; and punk performance. For further information, please see
Other Research Centres within the School:
Centre for Film and Media Research
The Centre draws together scholars from across the University who use film and the moving image as an integral part of their research. We are open to ideas that extend the reach of the Centre and seek to support projects that promote collaboration between individuals and other research centres. Our aim is to produce a more proactive engagement with other disciplines, to open new lines of communication and to produce innovative knowledge formations through the activity of pioneering research projects.
Aesthetics Research Centre
The Aesthetics Research Centre coordinates, enables and promotes research in philosophy of art and aesthetics at the University of Kent.
Art History and Visual Cultures
This Research Centre promotes and co-ordinates research amongst the growing community of staff and PG students active at Kent in the field of Art History.
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Dr Roanna Mitchell: Lecturer
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
Professor Peter M Boenisch: Professor of European Theatre
Theatre directing; dramaturgy; dance theatre; theatre aesthetics; political theory and critical thought; theatre and philosophy.View Profile
Dr Freya Vass-Rhee: Lecturer
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
Dr Rosemary Klich: Lecturer
Multimedia theatre; new media performance; contemporary live art and performance; history of performance art; the 20th-century avant-garde; theatre reviewing.View Profile
Dr Melissa Trimingham: Senior Lecturer
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
Professor Paul Allain: Dean of the Graduate School - Professor of Theatre and Performance
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
Dr Helen Brooks: Senior Lecturer
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
Dr Oliver Double: Reader
Stand-up comedy; punk performance; variety theatre; Karl Valentin.View Profile
Dr Clare Finburgh: Senior Lecturer
Modern and contemporary theatre and performance, French and Francophone theatre, modern British theatre, representations of war and conflict, theatre and human rights, Jean Genet and theatre translation.View Profile
Dr Margherita Laera: Lecturer
Contemporary theatre in Europe; adaptation and translation for the stage; ‘classical’ Greek tragedy and its modern appropriations; intercultural and transnational performance.View Profile
Dr Shaun May: Lecturer
Intersection of theatre and philosophy; comedy; popular performance; puppetry and object theatre; cognitive approaches to understanding performance; site-specific performance.View Profile
Professor Robert Shaughnessy: Professor of Theatre
Shakespeare and early modern drama in performance; post-war and contemporary British and Irish drama; theatre and national cultures.View Profile
Professor Nicola Shaughnessy: Professor
Contemporary performance, live and participatory art, cognition, creativity, auto/biography, autism, gender, neurodiversity, well-being.View Profile
Dr Angeliki Varakis-Martin: Lecturer
Greek theatre; commedia dell’arte; masks and theatre.View Profile
Will Wollen: Lecturer
Acting pedagogy, psychophysical approaches to acting, arts funding policy, Commedia and mask, Shakespeare and directing.View Profile
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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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 email@example.com
General additional costs
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