Theatre & Performance MA, PgDip, PgCert

This exciting taught postgraduate degree will allow you to focus on developing your own arts practice. Your practice will be supported by experienced tutors and guest artists and you will be encouraged to create performances for festivals, city centre venues and site specific projects or for the touring studio. We will encourage you to develop strategies on how to reflect, theorise and document your practice and offer you a platform to share your thinking for public dissemination.

York St John University
Course fees
2018 - 19 Full-time Home & EU students: £4,000, International (non EU) students: £12,500 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 - You will take practice-based modules throughout the degree, whether you are enrolled full-time or part-time.
  • Fluid interrelationship between theory and practice - 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.
  • Opportunities for cross-disciplinary work - The existence of parallel MA Applied Theatre and MA Fine Arts programmes will provide you with opportunities to develop cross-disciplinary awareness and practices.
  • Engagement with collaboration and context - The programme will invite you to engage in collaborative practice with others and to consider the implications of working in particular contexts or in response to particular commissions.

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 weekend session.

Reflective Practice

This strand, consisting of two practice-based modules, is designed to enhance your abilities as a self-reflective practitioner. It recognises the deep interrelationship between making, doing, reflecting and performing, in terms of the development of an artist’s work and practice. The modules are:

Composition and Reflection - This module aims to enhance your ability to think and reflect through the making of creative work while considering the compositional strategies that emerge in practice. It aims to give you opportunities and encouragement to generate and share performance material, and to enhance the conceptual, reflective and technical strategies that you employ in your practice. 

Collaboration and Commission - This module engages with how theatre and performance practice often entails working with others and in response to others; it entails working in context and in response to context. You will engage in processes whereby you are required to engage with others through acts of collaborations and/or commission.

Creativity & Knowledge

This strand is designed to deepen your understanding of key interdisciplinary questions, concepts and methodologies in the arts. The modules are:

Creativity and Knowledge 1 - This module invites you to interrogate a range of key themes relating to the relationship between art and the wider cultural, social, economic circumstances of its production and reception.

Creativity and Knowledge 2 - This module consists of investigation into developments of practice-based research in the arts and the examination of ideological implications of the widening of traditional concepts of research that such developments entail.


Masters Independent Project

Together these taught elements will lead you into the final Independent project module, where you will undertake an extended period of supervised practice-based research. You will be expected to draw together and use the resources provided to you earlier in 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.

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2018 entry to this postgraduate course is £4,000 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 2018 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,500 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 2018 entry must be submitted and completed by 5 October 2018.

Apply Now: Full-time

Apply Now: Part-time

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 876922.

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