Theatre & Performance MA, PgDip, PgCert

The MA Theatre and Performance programme offers you the opportunity to investigate the interrelationships between your own arts practice and questions arising about knowledge, research, studio practice and performance. The MA provides you with compositional, devising, reflective and research strategies through which to develop as a thinking practitioner. 

The programme offers an ideal opportunity for performance makers to create more in-depth and professional performances that you will articulate through presentation and documentation as well as through your performance. 

Your practice will be supported by experienced tutors and guest artists and you will be encouraged to create performances aimed towards festivals, city centre venues, site-specific projects or the touring studio.

York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 20 Full-time Home & EU students: £5,000, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
Full-time & Part-time options available
Study abroad
September 2019
Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

Course overview

Why study Theatre & Performance at York St John University?

  • Your own practice is at the centre of the programme.
  • Complimentary skills are brought together allowing positive connections to be made with other students for possible collaborations. From day one, in the module ‘The Reflective Practitioner’, students of all different disciplines share ideas and practices, and opportunities for collaboration often arise out of this. 
  • A fluid interrelationship between theory and practice is explored where the delivery of the programme will make use of workshop, studio, seminar and virtual environments, providing an opportunity to explore the interrelationships between practice, reflection and knowledge.

Course structure

The curriculum is designed to focus on developing artists’ abilities and capacities for professional, vocational and academic innovation. We emphasise relationships between composition, reflection, practice and documentation across a dynamic range of performance disciplines and discourses.

If you already have some experience of performance practice, then this degree will enable you to expand your artistic horizons, develop your reflective abilities and expand your portfolio as a thinking practitioner.

The programme begins in September each year. The taught modules will normally consist of weekly sessions scheduled on one day a week. There may also be the occasional intensive full day workshop.

Theatre Making

This practice-based module is intended to enhance your abilities to practice a variety of theatre making strategies and reflect upon the dramaturgical aspects inherent in the creative process. It aims to provide opportunities to make work using a variety of contemporary approaches to composition. Working through specific practices such as improvisation, performance writing and devised work, you will have opportunities to produce solo work and collaborative practice but as creators/authors or co-creators/co-authors of the material produced. There is an opportunity on this module to work with guest artists in the context of compositional practice.

The Reflective Practitioner

This module will interrogate concepts and methodologies of practice-based research through lectures, critical discussion and students’ reflective engagement with their own practice. They will be invited to consider how knowledge can be generated, questioned and communicated through practice, through making, doing and experiencing. 


Independent Project

This module represents students’ major project on the MA course, providing an opportunity to develop their own independent practice-based research project, developing on from the taught content of the programme. In this time-limited period of practice-based research students are expected to synthesise the practical, reflective and conceptual developments in their work over the course of the programme.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


Candidates are considered on the combination of all elements of their application, including existing arts practice, evidence of critical and reflective engagement and academic qualifications.

For all candidates there will be an interview and consideration of a portfolio of work. This is a central element of our consideration of applications and also an opportunity for you to find out more about the programme. At interview you will be asked to give a presentation which will:

  • demonstrate your readiness for graduate level practice
  • show evidence of your engagement with critical thinking.

We are happy to arrange interviews by skype for overseas students.

You must normally possess one of the following:

  • An honours degree at 2:1 or above in a related subject (eg Drama, Theatre, Live Art, Place/Space/Time Based Art). You will normally register for the MA.


  • An honours degree from another discipline plus you will be working in a professional arts environment or have extensive experience of arts practice. Academic tutors will consider such applications on an individual basis.

Applicants not meeting the above criteria may be considered for the Postgraduate Certificate. If you are successful at postgraduate level, you may be permitted to enrol for the Masters’ degree. In particular applicants with a 2:2 degree may be considered according to relevant practice based or professional experience.

Applications from candidates with disabilities are always considered and assessment of their abilities and needs are undertaken sensitively. The safety of the potential student and our ability to fulfil his/her learning needs and experiences are important in the decision to offer a place.

International Students

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (ie the same entry criteria as above). If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.


For certain activities a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check may be required (for instance if working in schools or with young people). It is your responsibility to obtain DBS checks as appropriate.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Visit York St John.

Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

Visit us

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £5,000 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For part-time options, see the Fees & Funding webpages for more information 

Postgraduate Loan: A Postgraduate Loan is available to help you pay for your Master’s course. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.

A 10% discount is applicable to all YSJU Alumni (subject to a minimum of 120 credits and achievement of a recognised award) undertaking PG level study (excludes PGCE).

Overseas 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration webpages.

International Fees & Funding

How to Apply

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full-time or part-time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Applications for September 2019 are open now.

Apply Now: Full-time

Apply Now: Part-time

Thank you for bearing with us while our online application form has been undergoing maintenance. We are pleased to confirm that it is now up and running, and you can submit your application using the link(s) above.

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876598.

Cookie Settings