Browser does not support script.

Prison Partnership Project

Student opportunities

Module opportunities for York St John University students.

Performers sitting on chairs with feathers on floor

At the York St John University Prison Partnership Project we offer student placement opportunities for you to come into the prisons, facilitate sessions and co-create alongside women prisoners, drama practitioners, and prison staff.

Here you can develop facilitation skills, gender and trauma informed ways of working, non-hierarchical practice and professional practice within a prison context.

It's a fantastic opportunity to have a real world, off campus professional experience.

For more information please email Rachel at

Courses with placement opportunities




Students on the Music BA (Hons), Music Performance BA (Hons), or Music Composition BA (Hons) courses can be supported on the Prison Partnership Project as long as they choose one of the Community Music modules.


  • Applied Theatre MA
  • Community Music MA

Modules with placements

A Prison Partnership Project placement can be part of the modules below on your course.

You will be allowed into the prison for 3 sessions without security clearance.

On this placement, you will be a model participant, supportive facilitator and have the opportunity to run elements of the workshop each week working towards an assessment moment.

You will work alongside professional Prison Drama Practitioners to develop your workshop plans, learn about the prison context, gender specific ways of working and receive valuable feedback on your facilitation, planning, delivery and reflection skills.

You can do your Project with the Prison Partnership Project from a range of 3 weeks to 3 months, depending on your ideas for the project.

You can work towards performance or practice based IPaR.

Example project

A student ran a 10 week movement and drama project in HMP Askham Grange alongside a Drama Practitioner.

You can come onto the Prison Partnership Project for your CPP module. You are able to do a 3 week, 3 month, or year-long project in the prison depending on what your company decides to do.

If you wish to go into the prison more than 3 times you will have to go through security clearance which can take up to 8 weeks. It is important to let us know in advance, so we can get your security cleared.

Example project

A group of 5 female students formed the theatre company Through the Gap and a performance. They worked with women in HMP Askham Grange on a weekly basis for a year to co-create the performance.

Students on this Year 2 module can engage in the York St John Prison Partnership Project for a short-term 3 week placement.

You will have the opportunity to work alongside YSJ staff, experienced practitioners, prison staff and women on a weekly singing and song-writing project.

You will be part of the planning processes, considering the contextual location, trauma-informed and gender-responsive processes and how these are integrated into the workshop facilitation.

You will be supported in developing as a self-reflective practitioner, as well as being encouraged to deepen your understanding through engaging in relevant literature. You will approach this placement as a participant observer, both working alongside the women and leading elements of the workshop.

This placement can support your 2 assessments for this module: practical facilitation of a workshop and a critical reflection discussing elements of practice.

During this year-long module, students on the Community Music pathway will have an opportunity to engage in a placement with the Prison Partnership Project, as either a short term (3 week) or longer-term (with full security clearance) placement.

You will be encouraged to develop more independence as a practitioner during this module and will need to negotiate the terms of your placement, as well as be willing to take on a more responsible and active role in the design, implementation and execution of the singing and song-writing sessions.

You will develop a professional approach to your practice and will situate your own practice within national and international discourses of community music.

Your placement can be used for both module assessments: practical workshop facilitation and development of a community music project (focusing on issues of activism and social justice, health, wholeness and wellbeing, contemplative practice, collaboration and diverse perspectives, inclusion and empathetic processes).

As part of your MA you can have the opportunity to develop your creative practice and facilitation and performance skills on the Prison Partnership Project, where you will be able to meet and work alongside Drama Practitioners, Prison staff, and the women in prison.

This course has been developed with the student practitioner in mind. We will enable you to deepen your understanding of applied theatre practice in the criminal justice system, by exploring practice-led research and performance and facilitation techniques, which is underpinned by relevant theory.

You can work on the project for 3 weeks or a longer period. Any longer than 3 weeks you will need to let us know in advance so we can start security clearances. Security clearance can take up to 8 weeks or longer.

This course has been developed with the student practitioner in mind. We will enable you to deepen your understanding of community music by exploring practice-led research, which is underpinned by theory.

You will have the opportunity to work alongside YSJ staff, experienced community music practitioners and undergraduate community music students on the singing and song-writing part of the Prison Partnership Project.

We facilitate weekly sessions with the women, working collaboratively to develop vocal technique and song-writing processes. The trauma-informed and gender responsive approaches used, facilitate a framework of practice within which we can respond with reflexivity to the women's needs and the complex contextual location in which the creative work is carried out.

Short-term placements of 3 weeks are available without the need for security clearance. Longer-term options would be by negotiation with the Prison Partnership team and would be responsive to individual students’ practice or research interests.