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MA Performance: Theatre or Theatre Collectives

An artist-led masters programme, open to theatre makers of all styles and disciplines. 

We provide an unparalleled opportunity for emergent and established artists who want time and space to make high-­­quality theatre work and establish or refine their creative and professional identity.

The programme also helps you develop skills and abilities to work in FE/HE contexts or continue to advanced study (PhD). 

There is a 15% discount fee for alumni at Chichester.

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This year, we are pleased to be able to offer two opportunities, which are both made to expand the scope of our current cohort and make higher education more accessible for more people. 

See below for more information.

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Entry requirements/Fees

Applicants will possess a 2:2 or higher degree in Theatre/Performing Arts or related subject, or any other degree plus relevant professional experience, or an academic qualification equivalent to a degree plus relevant professional experience.

Applications are made direct to the department. Applicants will need to submit:

  • Application form
  • Reference form
  • Proposal/letter of application
  • Evidence of work/a portfolio

All applications that reach us before 1 May will be considered for one of our fee waivers/sponsorships.

You can also contact the department direct by emailing Senior Lecturer Brian Lobel at

Full fee: £6,980

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Student view

Aaron Reeves
MA Performance (Theatre)
This programme has really helped me develop myself as an artist. The course helped generate new ways of devising materials, refine my methodologies, and helped me create work within a professional context. This was a unique experience that gave me the opportunity to work closely with professional artists that are best suited to the work I create in order to support me and my practice. Aaron Reeves
Jemma McDonnell
The Paper Birds

The MA in Theatre Collectives has been invaluable to me as an artist, a collaborator and as an individual. I feel the course is structured to support and encourage the academic and practical learning and development of the business and the individuals who essentially make that business. As the Artistic Director of The Paper Birds I can feel the impact of the course shifting, shaping and enhancing the work of the company.

Andy Roberts
Co-Director, Bootworks Theatre – graduate MA Theatre Collectives

The MA in theatre collectives at Chichester was the perfect testing ground for my practice, I was given the time and space to create new work and, through the mentoring programme, the opportunity to tour the country meeting practitioners and artist’s in the industry. There’s something really special in that freedom to explore.

Rachel St Clair
Cool Hunting

The course has provided me with an excellent basis for my journey into my own professional practice. It caters to the needs of the individual and as well as this provides countless opportunities such as networking with professionals outside of the university which I find invaluable. It does all this and more in a friendly environment where your peers and academic staff are committed to providing the support needed in order to move forward. All in all, I couldn't be happier with the course and couldn't be more excited to move onto the next step after university with confidence in my artistic identity.

Course content

Our Performance programme has two pathways, “Theatre” and "Theatre Collectives”, and is designed especially for both emerging and established theatre and performance artists or groups.

A part ‘taught’, part ‘research’ model, the programme is centred on core modules in postgraduate research methodologies, around which you create a new piece of work, an artists portfolio, business plan, and a practice-led-research project.

We offer opportunities to establish a professional artistic identity and platform your own work in National and International markets, and develop prospects for continuing higher education, both in terms of teaching and in terms of continuing study. 

Key features include:

  • A range of sponsorships (fee waivers) available*
  • A supportive and creative environment in which your own creative practice can thrive
  • Flexible delivery, ideal for distance learning and International delivery
  • Rehearsal and administrative space and access to leading theatre technologies
  • A programme of external mentoring, with key international theatre artists
  • Postgraduate level academic development
  • Opportunity to participate and present work at research laboratory events and as part of the ShowRoom’s Formations programme
  • Opportunities to present work at National events, platforms and Festivals
  • Marketing support for future projects and ongoing membership of the University’s Graduating Artists Scheme

This programme is designed to be extremely flexible, reflecting the diversity of approaches to making artwork. It can be studied full-time or part-time.

Students are expected to develop two parallel projects: a work-in-progress piece informed by an extensive critical agenda and a major performance event. These projects are underpinned by extensive (written) critical study and the development of a ‘professional (business) portfolio’ that helps define the nature and purpose of the creative projects in an external context.

“Groups" and “Individuals"

A key feature of the programme is the ‘Theatre Collective’ strand: we welcome block-applications from groups of artists, who are keen to develop their creative identity as part of a shared collective. Individuals are, of course, welcome, either as solo performers or as individuals looking to share practice in new contexts.

Chichester: Working Environment

Students will be entering into one of the most vibrant and connected environments and communities for making contemporary theatre and performance. The Department of Theatre at Chichester has an established reputation for working with a wide range of established performance artists who recognise the opportunities of creative research and development within an applied university context.

Much of the work developed by students Department is presented in our ShowRoom Theatre, a key venue in the national touring network, with a reputation for programming innovative and radical work, but we also have firm links with venues and festivals in Brighton, London, Bristol and Edinburgh.


Our facilities

During the last couple of years we have considerable refurbishments to both our Bishop Otter and Bognor Regis campuses.

These renovations include a purpose-built Assembly Theatre, used by Theatre students for rehearsals and performance.

We also have a number of soundproofed practice rooms for rehearsals and lessons, as well as lecture and seminar rooms. Our Chapel is also a fantastic venue for performances and rehearsals, and is the centre piece of the campus.

There are also several dance studios, a fully-equipped 250-seat theatre, and a 110-seat studio theatre.

Our new award-winning Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the campus, and we offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research.

A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas. 

Also situated in our LRC is Costa Coffee and nearly 100 open-access work stations.

An equipment loans centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long term loans.

Where this can take you

You will be encouraged to think about your own future within theatre along with the help of our academic lecturers, many of who are professional artists with links to hundreds of theatres across the UK.

Your own new work will be stimulated by a continuous programme of professional performances from a wide range of international artists, many of whom support the work of the department through teaching and mentoring.

Work placements

Every year we offer students the chance to work with the technical, marketing, or outreach departments of our local theatres in art centres and other venues, theatre companies, independent producers, schools/colleges and various other related contexts. These programmes are designed to help get your foot on the ladder on graduating within an established organisation or professional context.

Students are also encouraged to work further afield – across the UK, Europe, or the USA – with the Department’s Cultural Exchange programme. Intensive weekend residencies and summer schools will be arranged in accordance students’ needs: the programme is designed to work around the calendars of working artists.

Indicative modules

This programme constitutes 180 Credits and is broken into five compulsory modules:

  • Developmental Project (Practice led Research and Development, including a written dissertation, 60 credits)
  • Production  (Practical Project, 60 credits)
  • Professional Portfolio (Professional development and representation, 30 credits)
  • Research Methodology (Critical Studies, 15 credits)
  • Cultural Identity and Performance (Critical/Practical Research Project, 15 credits)

Production and Developmental Project serve as the year-long core creative projects, supported by external and professional reflection through Professional Portfolio.

These projects are delivered in a rigorous, yet highly flexible, context, with regular masterclasses by professional practitioners, supported by tutorials and seminars with tutors and mentors.


International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

Our programme is run by a team of highly dedicated academics and artists, who also teach on the highly successful BA Theatre Programme and on the Performing Arts MPhil/PhD programme.

We work very closely with a wide range of established artists and performance collectives – both members of Faculty and Associate Artists – who recognise the unique contribution Chichester makes to supporting new theatre work.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Two Bursaries available

Working Artist Bursary

This bursary is for students who have maintained an artistic practice for over 5 years. This bursary will cover 1/2 of the fee for Full Time study and is available for any UK resident. There may be 1-2 Working Artist Bursary's available.

In addition to the usual application please send an email to Brian Lobel at with up to 500 words evidencing your previous practice and your goal in returning to academia. Please also send links to appropriate documentation online. All students who fit the criteria and are accepted via the Application Portal, will be considered.

Deadline for consideration for this bursary is 15 May. 

Travel Bursary

This bursary is for students for whom travel costs and being on campus 2-3 days a week would prove a barrier to MA study. Travel bursaries up to £200/month will be available for a limited number of students, based on need and budget.

In addition to the usual application, please send an email to Brian Lobel at with a short paragraph describing cost considerations, and a budget. If accepted via the Application Portal, the budget will then be considered for a travel bursary. Your travel bursary application will NOT be considered in relation to whether you are accepted or not. This travel bursary is available for all students (including those outside of the UK).

Deadline for consideration for this bursary is 15 May.