Theatre Making (MA)

University of Kent the United Kingdom

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The award

How long you will study
12 Months

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How you will study

Course starts
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International course fees
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About Theatre Making at University of Kent

Location: Canterbury

The MA Theatre Making is intended for graduates from theatre and performing arts degrees and other related subjects, as well as emerging theatre artists who want to further pursue their experimentation with advanced theatre-making practices as an individual and/or company.

The challenging interdisciplinary curriculum will help you develop skills in a range of approaches to making performance, drawing on techniques from directing, devising, ensemble performance and performance art.

You will test ideas and various creative roles through intensive laboratory projects; conceive, develop and manage a full-scale creative project at an advanced level; and engage in critical discourse through academic study to support your work as a ‘thinking practitioner’.

The course also equips you with the ability to document and reflect on your practice, provides you with industry knowledge such as fundraising strategies and marketing, and gives you the opportunity to develop a portfolio with which to launch into professional artistic work.

Why study Theatre Making at Kent?

A wide range of expertise

You will benefit from studying with a staff team of leading specialists in the field of theatre and performance, whose teaching is informed by their own creative practice and world-leading research across subjects such as contemporary performance practice, community/participatory performance, arts and health, physical theatre, comedy and popular performance, theatre and conflict, Shakespeare, and European theatre.

Students regularly connect with the Department’s exciting activities in a range of areas, including participatory dance theatre (Moving Memory); autism, identities and creativity (Playing A/Part); Chekhov technique in and beyond theatre (The Chekhov Collective UK); activities and performance projects linked to the European Theatre Research Network; our Funny Rabbit Comedy Club; performance opportunities offered by the Gulbenkian Theatre; and much more.

Join a supportive creative community

Drama at Kent is distinctive for developing and supporting innovative arts professionals, both through our programmes and our bespoke Graduate Theatre Company Scheme. We celebrate our alumni’s achievements and contributions to the arts and to communities, including Olivier Award winners, companies leading in inclusive practice, internationally recognised playwrights and actors, industry-shaping producers, and so much more. You can hear from our alumni directly via our ProperJob Gradcast, the podcast that asks how Kent Drama alumni have built their career as artists.

Become part of a vibrant academic network

Postgraduate Drama and Theatre studies at Kent is a vibrant hub for the development and supervision of creative practice and research. We encourage postgraduate students to make use of our close links and contacts with local, national and international (especially European) theatre companies, venues, artists and research projects, to enhance their research- and professional development.

Drama at Kent was amongst the first Departments in the UK to offer, since the late 1990s, MA and PhD degrees by practice-as-research. Our international staff team of leading and emerging researchers and practitioners has an excellent reputation for research and supervision, ranking in the top ten of UK institutions for research excellence in our subject in 2022.

Excellent facilities

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 and an extensively equipped construction workshop and costume collection.

Knowledge and understanding

  • The histories, genealogies and current configurations of theatre and performance forms, practices and traditions, including but not limited to performing, directing, devising, performance art, and applied theatre.
  • Wide aesthetic, political, social, and intellectual contexts of drama, theatre and performance in Britain and Europe, and their funding landscapes.
  • Critical, artistic and conceptual paradigms of performance in order to comprehend, assess and intelligently engage with the work of significant practitioners and theorists in the field.
  • The wider interdependence of creative practice, critical theory, production processes and cultural policies in Britain and Europe.
  • The inherent interdisciplinary and trans-national location and context of theatre art and performance practice, and its relation to the public and audiences.
  • Innovative, challenging and informed methods and practices of making performance; the processes of rehearsal, writing, scoring, devising, scenography, choreography, staging, promotion and training techniques.

Intellectual Skills

  • The ability to understand and assess the range of approaches to professional theatre making, beyond narrow subdivisions and categories.
  • The ability to critically reflect on and evaluate various traditions, theories, contexts, ideas and ideologies that shape theatre making practices, both past and present, both in relation to professional productions and the students’ own work.
  • The ability to creatively and imaginatively engage with texts for theatre and other theatre making sources, such as objects, costumes, images, music, ideas.
  • The ability to understand the interplay between theory, academic research and artistic practices, and their mutual enrichment, and engage in practice as research.
  • The ability to work collaboratively on performance projects within given parameters and the ability to negotiate the various creative, artistic and administrative aspects of theatre making.
  • The ability to communicate ideas, information, critique and analysis in a professional or scholarly register, as required by a variety of audiences, both in a written or oral format.

Subject-specific skills

  • The advanced ability to practice and combine a variety of theatre making techniques such as directing, performing devising, performance art, applied theatre or puppetry– to further theatre and performance aesthetics.
  • The ability to carry out sophisticated conceptual research required prior to the creation of theatre making productions.
  • The ability to effectively organise collaborative work and/or lead rehearsals, and to work as creative producers of own companies, generating marketing material, funding bids and professional CVs.
  • The ability to develop, individually or in collaboration with an ensemble, productions that creatively engage with, and critically respond to, pre-existing material, such as texts, images, narratives, ideas, sounds, places, contexts, music and objects.
  • The ability to undertake nuanced academic research, including the ability to productively deploy practice-as-research methodologies, bibliographical and archival documentation techniques, advanced textual and performance analysis.
  • The ability to support creative work with rigorous academic research, appropriate documentation, and efficient conceptual and methodological considerations.

Transferable skills

  • The confidence to work in collaboration with others efficiently in teams, the ability to negotiate group dynamics and handling and solving interpersonal issues, as well as the ability to exercise leadership and project management skills.
  • The ability to articulate, critique and disseminate advanced and sophisticated ideas effectively, in a way that advances knowledge, both verbally and in writing, demonstrating competence in engaging a range of different audiences.
  • The ability to take personal responsibility to define, manage and complete a project over a sustained period of time in a disciplined way and within specified allocations of time, space and/or budget.
  • The ability to work and learn independently and autonomously, prioritise, manage one’s time and meet deadlines.
  • The ability to reflect on one’s learning in order to be able to continuously expand one’s skills and knowledge base independently.
  • An awareness of health and safety issues and risk assessment.
  • Offer an excellent learning experience through advanced engagement with a range of contemporary forms, styles and practices of theatre making and their histories in Britain and Europe more widely, such as for instance performing, directing, devising, ensemble work, performance art, puppetry or applied theatre.
  • Provide the opportunity for students to try out different roles and gain multiple competencies in theatre making, reflecting a fluid understanding of task division within professional practice.
  • Develop students’ comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of theoretical developments in the field of theatre and performance studies through research-led teaching and engagement with creative activities within the Department and School of Arts.
  • Develop students’ analytical, critical, conceptual, methodological and practical skills, and prepare them for further postgraduate research beyond Masters level.
  • Foster the abilities of students as critical and creative thinkers, and as independent and self-motivated learners and makers, and equip them for employment and/or independent artistic careers.
  • Offer master classes led by nationally and internationally celebrated companies, venues, directors and artists, therefore enhancing the students’ networking opportunities.
  • Offer a mixed mode programme of studio-based and classroom-based teaching, which embraces the legacy and ethos of Practice as Research.
  • Foster students’ engagement with theatre making practices beyond the UK, by building on the Department’s close international ties, reflecting Kent’s position as the UK’s European University.
  • Attract intellectually able and talented students from different backgrounds in the UK, Europe and overseas by offering a variety of delivery modes, including FT and PT.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR | Part Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Part Time Overseas: N/A

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

What students think about University of Kent

    Inspirational teaching - Patrique Tanque from Brazil is studying for a BSc in Forensic Chemistry.

    “Choosing Kent was an easy decision. The forensic programmes are ranked among the best in the UK and have a high graduate employment rate.

    “The teachers bring fresh ideas and up-to-date materials from real cases to enrich the lectures. They are keen to help out and always make sure we are getting plenty of support.

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    Academic excellence - Stephanie Bourgeois from France is studying for a BSc in Biochemistry.

    “I like the approach to teaching here; academics are happy to answer questions and to interact with students. I find the lectures very motivational, they pique your curiosity and for me the exciting bit is going to the library and pursuing the things you are interested in.

    “The lecturers at Kent are excellent. You get to know them well and, as you move through the course, they are able to guide you towards projects, ideas or career paths that they think you will like.”

    Specialist research - Sally Gao from China is studying for a PhD in Electronic Engineering.

    “I have been very lucky with my supervisor, Professor Yong Yan, who is a world-class expert and the first IEEE Fellow in the UK in instrumentation and measurement.

    “Professor Yong Yan has helped me to become a better researcher. I am inspired by his novel ideas and constructive suggestions. Under his supervision, my confidence has grown through such milestones as my first set of experiments, writing my first research paper and attending my first conference.”

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