Home Courses Stage and Screen MA Devised Theatre – with The Paper Birds

MA Devised Theatre – with The Paper Birds

Explore devised and collaborative theatre making

Explore devised and collaborative theatre making

MA: 1 year Full Time, 2 years Part Time
MFA: 2 years Full Time, 3 years Part Time

Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)
  • Shape your individual practice through collaborative projects
  • Work in collaboration with The Paper Birds Theatre Company
  • Learn from experienced and expert theatre practitioners
  • Utilise our strong industry links with national events, venues, and festivals
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Saturday 22 June  |  Saturday 12 October  |  Friday 1 November  |  Saturday 23 November

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Expand your knowledge and skills in devised and collaborative theatre

Our MA/MFA Devised Theatre course explores devised and collaborative theatre making in partnership with the national leaders in the field – The Paper Birds Theatre Company.

Ministry of Defence's Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) Scheme

Shape your individual practice through collaborative projects

The programme focuses on socially engaged and applied arts practices, as you learn to shape your individual practice as you work to collaborate and then produce wraparound services and practices.

Work with a nationally leading theatre company

This course is delivered in partnership with the leading devised theatre company The Paper Birds, as you gain access to their extensive experience and expertise to help inform your own creativity and practice.

Learn from experienced and expert theatre practitioners

Our team of internationally reputed theatre and performance artists, practitioners, and researchers are here to help support your practical and personal growth, as you join an artist-led theatre-making department.

Join a community of theatre-makers with strong industry links

Our vibrant and collaborative departmental community of artists, practitioners, and performers, with the opportunity to benefit from strong links with venues and regional, national, and international festivals.

Access our range of excellent theatre resources and spaces

Our range of performance and rehearsal spaces and resources ensure that you have access to everything you need to support your creative practice.

On this course you will:

  • Develop your skills and knowledge in devised and collaborative theatre making.
  • Work in collaboration with The Paper Birds Theatre Company.
  • Join a vibrant and connected environment and community for making contemporary theatre and performance.
  • Utilise our strong industry links with national events, venues, and festivals.
  • Learn from our experienced team of contemporary theatre experts.
  • Use our range of excellent performance and rehearsal spaces and resources.

The Course

Shape your individual and collaborative practice

Throughout the course, you will engage in a selection of both core and specialist modules that develop your knowledge of theatre-making and performance.

Indicative modules include:

  • Research Methodologies
  • Cultural Identity and Performance
  • Developmental Project
  • Collaborative Devising Project
  • Devising Approaches
  • Shaping and Sharing Your Individual Experience
  • Approaches to Socially Engaged Theatre Practice
  • Wraparound Activities and Services

MFA Top-Up option

All postgraduate-taught programmes in the Department of Theatre are delivered as MA (12 months) and MFA (Master of Fine Arts – 22 months) pathways. Candidates can apply to follow the MFA programme from the start or apply to ‘top-up’ near the end of their MA programme.

The MFA offers additional professional development/practice modules, designed to further cement individual creative practice in targeted external contexts. The emphasis is on both individual and collaborative curation, as well as the possibility of internship and international exchange, using your existing portfolio of practice as a solid foundation.

You would choose two modules from the following:

  • Internship
  • Exchange
  • Festival

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of our expert and experienced teaching staff


Our team of expert teaching staff will provide you with the core skills and knowledge you will need to excel within devised and collaborative theatre making, as you develop your own research and practical ideas.

Delivered by The Paper Birds Theatre Company

The Paper Birds is a devising theatre company, with a social and political agenda. They are recognised as UK leaders in devised verbatim theatre. They are artists, investigators, entrepreneurs, educators. They pride themselves on taking complex, multi-faceted subjects and making them accessible. They have an artistic programme and a creative learning programme and nurture both equally.

Feel supported to develop your own artistic identity

You will be encouraged to work further afield – across the region, UK, Europe, and beyond – and externalise your work and identity.

You will have opportunities to establish a professional artistic and/or academic identity, and platform your own work in national and international contexts, which will help develop prospects for continuing education, in terms of teaching or continuing studies to MPhil and PhD, and in terms of your professional identity as a practitioner.


You will be assessed through a range of assignments including:

  • The creation of practical (public) performances
  • Sharing your work in progress and ‘scratch’ presentations
  • Practical workshops and interactive/participatory research activities
  • Monographs and artists books
  • Business models and plans
  • Research papers and presentations
  • A written thesis


Discover dedicated performance spaces, specialist equipment, and extensive resources

The Showroom

The ShowRoom is recognised nationally for presenting some of the most exciting companies touring on the UK circuit, and the programme is shaped to support the learning of students.

We often run workshops and post-show discussion for Theatre students with visiting artists. We believe that one of the best ways to learn about professional theatre is by watching a training with arts industry professionals. This is at the heart of the ShowRoom’s ambition.

The ShowRoom is highly adaptable, with retractable seating, making it an excellent teaching and workshop space in addition to its role as a venue. It is run by our Theatre Manager and Department Technician, who work closely with our students, helping them to realise creative and adventurous ideas in a professional working space.

Other facilities include:

  • Studio spaces exclusive to the department
  • Rehearsal Rooms
  • Recording studio
  • Editing facilities
  • Audio/visual equipment
  • In-house lighting and sound technicians to assist student projects


Find out more on the ShowRoom website.


Where you could go after your studies

Our MA/MFA Devised Theatre leads to various outcomes and opportunities for performer, practitioners, and researchers.

Over the years we have established and supported students as independent practitioners and touring arts companies/collectives, teaching (at all levels), and of course; PhD and further academic study and careers.

We also produce and support students looking to establish and develop careers in producing, creative writing, and arts management.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2023/24

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Entry Requirements

Typical offer (individual offers may vary):

Applicants will ideally have a 2.1 degree and dissertation in Theatre / Performing Arts or related subject.

We welcome applications from or any other degree subject who have relevant professional experience, or an academic qualification equivalent to a degree plus relevant professional experience.

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