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Are you looking to develop and hone your skills as an independent creative practitioner? Located at the heart of the artistically vibrant city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, this programme offers a bespoke industry experience tailored to your own specialism and professional ambition, all within the Northumbria Performing Arts hub.

You will benefit from research groups combining academic innovation with critical exploration, engaging with the creative and cultural industries through established partnerships recognised for their excellence, including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Northern Stage and Live TheatreGallery North and GIFT, the Gateshead International Festival of Theatre will provide exciting opportunities to showcase your work.

You can also follow the Theatre and Performance Facebook page here. This page will give you up to date information on what students on the MA Theatre and Performance course at Northumbria University are up to.

Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
1 year full-time


City Campus, Northumbria University


September 2019

Remarkable students / MA Theatre and Performance

Discover more about the course by watching our students at their first scratch night, and looking through a selection of stills from their first semester solo shows.

Book an Open Day / Experience Theatre and Performance

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Theatre and Performance MA at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The programme sits within a wider culture of postgraduate research in the arts, incorporating a range of programmes such as the Master of Fine Art (MFA), the Contemporary Arts and Education MA, and the Arts MRes. You will be part of a sustainable and burgeoning postgraduate community, crucial to the development of community practice which is embodied in the vision of the NPA.

As a student on this programme you will form part of a wider interdisciplinary community of artistic research and practice, incorporating specialist resources beyond those tailored to Performing Arts, offering ongoing opportunities to share work and collaborate with a range of artists from other disciplines. Your learning journey will be bespoke offering you an opportunity to identify and explore in depth an area of particular interest to you. You will be encouraged to network amongst peers and acquire skills that will set you up for industry.

NEWS / New talent takes to the stage

MA Theatre and Performance alumni Jake Jarratt and Cameron Sharp are performing their new play as part of Live Theatre's 2019 Elevator Festival.

Book an Open Day / Experience Theatre and Performance MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Theatre and Performance MA at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The programme is designed to give you access to staff research expertise, including specialisms in solo performance, experimental practice, auto/biographical and documentary theatre and performance, new writing, directing, performance and philosophy, intercultural performance, collaborative, community and participatory projects.

The Northumbria Performing Arts team are frequently involved in creating performance work regionally, nationally and internationally and the collaborative nature of our practice is such that it already benefits from the interrelationship with our undergraduate programmes. You will benefit directly from our commitment to the integration of theory and practice and the production of contemporary performance work that is responsive to its practical, theoretical and social context.

Book an Open Day / Experience Theatre and Performance MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Theatre and Performance MA at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

NPA provides a base for your developing practice, incorporating a range of resources including specialist spaces and equipment, as well as access to a dedicated team of distinguished, internationally recognised and award-winning practitioners and researchers.

Based in the Department of Arts, you will be immersed in a vibrant culture, where performance work is produced and presented by staff and undergraduate students. You will have access to our seven studio spaces where performance work can be rehearsed and developed, and four spaces suitable for performances of different scales.

City campus has open access computer facilities, which are available to students during non-teaching hours. The Hylife project provides students with 24-hour access to library catalogues, electronic databases and periodicals. Students will use the learning portal PebblePad and will create their own personal website, to help build an electronic portfolio of their learning.

Book an Open Day / Experience Theatre and Performance MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Theatre and Performance MA at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Our programme builds on the excellent partnerships within NPA to provide a course rich in professional opportunity and research-led teaching.

Our researchers promote the global reach of the region through projects including the Neues Schloss curatorial initiative at Gallery North and GIFT, the Gateshead International Festival of Theatre. Key partners such as BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Live Theatre help us create stimulating environments for collaborative and interdisciplinary research.

You will benefit from research groups combining academic innovation with critical exploration, engaging with the creative and cultural industries through established partnerships recognised for their excellence. Our academics are experts in physical performance practices, narrative identity, gender performance and cultural studies and dialogic exchange.

Book an Open Day / Experience Theatre and Performance MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Theatre and Performance MA at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

A principal objective of this course is to facilitate the planning, management and review of your own learning so that you will function more efficiently and effectively in your future career. You will demonstrate a capacity for self-directed learning necessary for all independent creative practitioners.

The central pillar of the programme is the Performance Project module in which you will deliver a substantial performance project exploring a specific aspect of practice within a proto-professional environment. This project provides a unique opportunity for you to explore your specific interests and skillsets, while developing working relationships with professionals and organisations within the field.

Final Show / 2018

Watch our 2018 graduates showcase their talents at Live Theatre.

Book an Open Day / Experience Theatre and Performance MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Theatre and Performance MA at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

You will graduate from this programme with transferable skills including: self-motivation, innovation and independent thinking; the ability to think laterally and multi-task; effective organisational skills including project planning and time management; the ability to work creatively in individual and group situations; and the development of effective interpersonal skills through communication with specialist and non-specialist audiences.

You will also develop various practical professional skills, in particular the ability to produce a substantial performance project appropriate to the pursuance of a professional career, and the ability to work independently and manage projects to a professional standard.

Our graduates go on to advanced careers as theatre-makers of various kinds, or to seed or launch their own companies.


Our graduates are really making an impact on the cultural scene in the North East and beyond. Here are a selection of theatre makers who have studied MA Theatre and Performance at Northumbria.

Bonnie and the Bonnettes

A trio of MA Theatre and Performance alumni

Visit our website

Holly Gallagher

"Doing this course allowed me to step into the world of theatre making and solo practice for the first time."

Book an Open Day / Experience Theatre and Performance MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Theatre and Performance MA at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Course in brief

Who would this Course suit?

Do you want to develop your creative practice and your analytical and professional skills, whilst gaining experience of operating in a range of potential industry contexts? This course will also suit prospective students wishing to prepare for doctoral research or to pursue research or teaching careers.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in drama, performance, applied theatre, scriptwriting or a related discipline, or an equivalent professional qualification.

Applicants will also be required to attend a formal interview and/or audition in person or by telephone or Skype.

International qualifications
If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit
English Language requirements
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £6,990

Full EU Fee: £6,990

Full International Fee: £15,000


Throughout the duration of your course, you may incur costs for basic art materials, depending on your practice. This cost is individual to each student. There will be visits to theatres and performances and every effort is made by staff to keep costs as low as possible, but to help you budget accordingly an approximate cost for these events will be between £100 -£150 per semester.

Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.



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* By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Campus Management Corp. (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here

How to Apply

How to Apply

Application for most courses is direct to the University via our online application form. Simply click on the 'Apply Online' button you will see on each of our course entries.

However, there are some courses where the application method is not directly to the University. These are:


Postgraduate Research
If you wish to apply for postgraduate research then please submit a research enquiry.

Application Deadlines 

Whilst most of our courses do not set an exact deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early to secure your place and organise any sponsorship or funding. Overseas students should submit applications to us by no later than 31 July for courses starting in early September or 1 December for courses that commence in January. This allows sufficient time to process our decision, for you to obtain visas and to organise your accommodation and travel arrangements.

Graduate Teacher Training Courses
Equal consideration is given to all applications received by UCAS Teacher Training by the main application deadline, details of all deadlines can be found on the UTT website.

Law professional courses
For details about the selection and allocation process for the full-time Law Professional courses please see the relevant website. For the Legal Practice Course (LPC)/Common Professional Examination and the Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) courses, and for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC and BPTC LLM)

 Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Master of Fine Art (MFA) We encourage all applications to the MFA programme for entry in September 2017 to apply prior to our guaranteed application review date of 1st June 2017. After this date, we will review applications subject to there being remaining spaces on the programme.


Decision Making Process

Most courses require at least one reference, but some may need two. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure Northumbria receives a satisfactory academic reference. If you have not been in education for a number of years, then a reference from your employer may be acceptable.

We try to reply to applicants as soon as possible but you should receive a response within 10 working days, and this will be one of the following.

  • Conditional offer which will normally be upon the completion of your undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and achieving a particular classification or grade. You will be required to send us a confirmation that you have passed your current degree course as soon as you receive notification to enable us to confirm your offer. 
  • Unconditional offer is made if you have already met the entry requirements of your chosen course 
  • Reject your application 

You will be asked to confirm your acceptance in writing of any offer made.

Fairness and Transparency
The University is committed to a system of admissions that ensures fairness, transparency and equal opportunities within the legal framework of the UK and best practice. All reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no prospective or existing student is unreasonably treated less favourably on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental/carer status, political belief or social or economic class, or any other type of discrimination.

Tuition Fee Assessment
Tuition fees are set at different levels for Home/EU and International Students. Before you begin your course the University must establish your tuition fee status. In many cases, the University will be able to make this assessment without requiring any additional information.

Guidance can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website to help you understand how Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) make an assessment on your fee status.

Selection Process 

Applicants who may not have the standard entry qualifications are welcome to apply and may be interviewed. Some courses will interview as part of the selection process. This applies particularly to courses in art and design, teaching and health.

Health Screening
Applicants for Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Primary (Early Years) and Social Work will be required to complete a health questionnaire. They may be required to attend for doctor or nurse assessment at the University Health Centre.

Prior to beginning their programme, all applicants to Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are advised to start a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations, available from their own GP. In addition, Midwifery applicants must provide evidence before they commence training that they are immune to Hepatitis B or have Hepatitis B non-carried status.

Applicants to these courses who have had contact with MRSA in the previous 6 months may be asked to provide evidence that they are not colonised by submitting negative swabs results prior to commencement of training. Alternatively, they may be screened on commencement of the programme.

All applicants will receive vaccination screening at the University Health Centre on commencement of their programme.

Disclosure of Criminal Background
To help the University reduce the risk of harm or injury to any member of its community caused by the criminal behaviour of other students, it must know about any relevant criminal convictions an applicant has.

Relevant criminal convictions are only those convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking. Convictions that are spent (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant and you should not reveal them.

If you are applying for courses in teaching, health, social work and courses involving work with children or vulnerable adults, you must complete the section of your UCAS application form entitled 'Criminal Convictions'. You must disclose any criminal convictions, including spent sentences and cautions (including verbal cautions) and bindover orders. Further information on how to complete this section is available from the UCAS booklet 'How to Apply'. For these courses, applicants are required to undergo police clearance for entry and will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure form. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Access to the DBS checking service is only available to registered employers who are entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions - also known as asking 'an exempted question'. The University is such a 'registered employer' and will send you the appropriate documents to fill in if you are offered a place in the course.

If you are convicted of a relevant criminal offence after you have applied, you must inform the university immediately. Do not send details of the offence; simply tell the University that you have a relevant criminal conviction. You may then be asked to supply more details.

Anti-fraud Checks
Please note that the University follows anti-fraud procedures to detect and prevent fraudulent applications. If it is found that an applicant supplies a fraudulent application then it will be withdrawn.

The University reserves the right to cancel an application or withdraw any offer made if it is found that an application contains false, plagiarised or misleading information.


Disabled Students

Northumbria welcomes enquiries and applications from disabled students whether disability is due to mobility or sensory impairment, specific learning difficulties, mental health issues or a medical condition. Applications from disabled students are processed in the usual way, but applicants should declare their disability at the application stage so that the University can contact them to assess how to meet any support needs they may have. Disabled applicants may be invited to visit the University so that this can be done in person.

To find out more contact:
Disability Support Team
Tel +44 (0)191 227 3849 or
Minicom +44 (0)191 222 1051


International Students

The University has a thriving overseas community and applications from International students are welcome. Advice on the suitability of overseas qualifications is available from:

International Office
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel +44 (0)191 227 4274
Fax +44 (0)191 261 1264

(However, if you have already applied to Northumbria and have a query, please contact or telephone 00 44 191 243 7906)

Provision of Information
The University reserves the right at any stage to request applicants and enrolling students to provide additional information about any aspect of their application or enrolment. In the event of any student providing false or inaccurate information at any stage, and/or failing to provide additional information when requested to do so, the University further reserves the right to refuse to consider an application, to withdraw registration, rescind home fees status where applicable, and/or demand payment of any fees or monies due to the University.

Modules Overview 2019/20


Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

PA7000 -

Researching Theatre and Performance (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will be introduced to a range of research methods and strategies relevant to the contemporary fields of theatre and performance. You will also learn how to work as an ethical researcher, and will be expected to follow the University Ethics Code for research.

The research methods investigated on this module are particularly oriented towards Practice Research. You will be encouraged to align your developing projects with contemporary debates and approaches within this field and to view your own evolving performance practice as a developing ‘body of research’ from which you can extract, test, and process your own research questions. You will be supported by tutors to identify and refine specific research questions that underpin your developing practice, and to activate and explore these questions in and through your own (practice) research output in a symposium event.

Work on this module is designed to enhance the scholarly research based enquiry that will inform your work on Theatre and Performance Project. The module will encourage you to develop academic skills focussing particularly on: developing skills in reflective and evaluative writing; and supporting you to build an extensive bibliography and resources list that will lead you into your final project.

You will be introduced to a number of approaches and methods, drawing on existing practices and expertise within the core academic teaching team. Explicitly, staff research will inform a significant part of your learning on this module as you will engage directly in discussions rooted in staff research projects.

You can expect to encounter methods, theories and approaches such as:
Practice as Research; Ethnography; Action Research; Phenomenology; Applied Research; Qualitative methods.
Likewise, you can expect to encounter research topics, and questions in the areas of:
Performer Training and Research Practices; Documentation and Performance Practice; Research within Applied Theatre contexts; Researching the Body in Performance; Exploring Identity through Performance.

Through interrogating examples of staff research, you will be encouraged to identify, deploy and explore methods and approaches appropriate to your own practice/projects.

More information

PA7001 -

Theatre & Performance Skills and Applications (Core,30 Credits)

In this module, you will be introduced to a wide range of performance skills pertinent to developing yourself as a 21st Century theatre maker. You will then put these into application through the creation of a short assessed solo performance work supported by a Position Paper.

During this module you will develop and extend your skills in performance; devising/making; project management; professional development; self-marketing; critical feedback and evaluation. The module will encourage you to develop your own performance vocabulary, both in the styles and techniques you adopt in your making processes, but also in the language you adopt to articulate your own developing performance practice.

The skills, approaches, strategies and techniques explored will be determined by the expertise and specialisms of the academic staff and professional guest artists you encounter on the module. Approaches you can expect to engage in include: performance writing; body based performance practices; physical theatre; visual and immersive theatre; political theatre; documentary theatre; biography and autobiography.

Whilst there is an emphasis on practical exploration, the module is also concerned with the context and ideologies of varying kinds of performer training systems. The module is alive to the way that systems operate in close relation to cultural processes. With this in mind, the module places a strong emphasis on ‘making’ and ‘training’ as:

(i) a set of critical discourses;
(ii) a means of negotiation between performer, audience and wider social contexts;
(iii) a lifelong craft-practice that seeks to sustain the professional artist.

More information

PA7002 -

Theatre and Performance Practice (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will learn the breadth of skills that are required for the effective delivery of a major ambitious creative project. Theatre and Performance Practice supports you at the stage of initiating, planning and developing your ideas to fully prepare you for the successful delivery of Theatre and Performance Project, the final 60 credit module of the MA. The module is reflexive and responsive to the needs of the group and the planned projects.
You will learn how to plan your project in a professional context, and will be offered opportunities to test creative material in development with peers, tutors, and guest industry professionals. The module will encourage you to describe, define and refine your practice. Through the creation of a ‘Project Plan’ and by taking part in a ‘Viva/interview’ to discuss your planned project, you will develop and extend core skills in articulation; learning how to successfully write and talk about your own creative practice.
These assessment points in the module are designed to prepare you for the rigours of undertaking a professional application process. The production of a detailed project plan to outline your project will directly respond to a ‘real world’ opportunity or brief. Similarly, by taking part in a viva/interview with a tutor and industry professional (e.g. a theatre producer, venue manager, Arts Council Officer) you will gain first-hand experience of an industry led application process akin to those you will encounter on graduation.

More information

PA7003 -

Theatre and Performance Project (Core,60 Credits)

Theatre and Performance Project is the dissertation stage module for the postgraduate MA award. This is an independent study module in which you put into practice the major ambitious creative project that you have developed throughout the previous modules, and meticulously planned for in Theatre and Performance Practice.

Centred on the initiation of a major self-directed project, this module provides you with a period of sustained and concentrated study to rigorously explore the possibilities of performance and theatre practice and acquire in depth knowledge and understanding of the diversity of performance and theatre contexts.

The module offers you the opportunity to either individually or collaboratively, deliver a substantial performance project (or portfolio of activities of equivalent size/scale) in which you explore an area of practice within a professional environment. The final project is determined by your own area of interest and professional direction, and can therefore take on one of multiple forms. For example you might create a devised contemporary performance work; write a play/performance text; or deliver an applied theatre project.

The project should be designed to be delivered in conjunction with one of the key organisations with which NPA has developed a close working relationship. There is also scope for the project to be delivered at the university in a festival of MA performance works to which industry professionals are invited to attend.

Through participation in this module you will acquire and develop skills that are integral for successfully bridging the gap between university study and the professional arena. You will produce a website that captures and documents your work on the project, ensuring your project is outward and industry facing as you launch your career.

More information

VA7006 -

Cultural Management, Enterprise & Leadership (Core,30 Credits)

In this module, you will consider the skills and attributes that are key to effective management, enterprise and leadership within cultural and creative practice. You will examine the tensions that exist between cultural considerations and the more commercial, business aspects, where at times the focus may be on profit, at other times on creative development - and often a mix of the two. The cultural manager and leader thus needs to be familiar with both sets of demands. The emphasis throughout the module is on professionalism and ensuring that the creative process is effective and efficient and that goals can be met without compromising product, process or vision.

You will identify and reflect on the unique skills, capabilities and understandings required to deal with such complexities. From public-sector supported organisations and institutions at one end of the scale to micro businesses and individual creative practitioners and freelancers at the other end, the environment in which these disparate activities take place is shaped by the political, social and economic environment, and it is this framework that you will interrogate. The relationships between management, enterprise and leadership are considered, and you will be encouraged and supported to consider your own skills development needs in this regard. CVs and professional development will be considered with an eye to career progression and in readiness for the placement module that is part of the programme.

More information

No module Data

Any Questions?

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Contact Details for Applicants:

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