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MA Theatre and Performance

Establish your artistic identity on our artist-led course

Establish your artistic identity on our artist-led course

MA: 1 year Full Time, 2 years Part Time

Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)
  • Define and refine your individual practice with the support of professional artists
  • Create a new piece of work, an artist’s portfolio, a business plan, and a practice-led-research project
  • Learn from experienced and expert theatre practitioners
  • Utilise our strong industry links with national events, venues, and festivals
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Join an artist-led master's programme open to theatre makers of all styles and disciplines


This course has been renamed from MA Performance: Theatre or Theatre Collectives for 2024 entry.

A practice-led, contemporary theatre and performance making programme suited to independent practitioners (at any point in their careers) looking to define and/or refine their professional creative practice, artistic identity, and career goals. Options to study full-time or part-time.

Define your practice with the support of professional artists

Students will work to create a new piece of work, an artist’s portfolio, business plan, and a practice-led-research project with, the support of masterclasses and mentorship from professional artists.

Join our acclaimed alumni

Former alumni include, Abigail Conway, Jamal Harwood, Alfie Ordinary, Roughhouse Theatre, Sleeping Trees, The Paper Birds, and David Sheppeard. Previous mentors and masterclasses include, Shelia Ghelani, Manuel Vason, Bert & Nasi, Sh!t Theatre, Karen Christopher, Spymonkey, Luke Barnes, Lucy McCormick and Stacy Makishi.

Shape your practical skills through practice-led research

Throughout the course, you will develop your practical and study skills to postgraduate level as you take part in interdisciplinary practice-led research methodologies and contribute the development of new work.


MA Theatre and Performance
"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."

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:

  • Define and refine your individual practice with the support of professional artists.
  • Create a new piece of work, an artist’s portfolio, business plan, and a practice-led-research project
  • 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

Define and refine your professional practice and artistic identity

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

Core modules

  • An introduction to postgraduate study and research methodologies
  • Practice-led Research and Development project, including a written dissertation

Specialist modules

  • Professional Portfolio
  • Performance Project 

Both modules are year long, in-person, and complimented by intensive residences in the spring and summer semesters.

Andy Roberts

Co-Director, Bootworks Theatre – MA Theatre graduate
"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 artists in the industry. There’s something really special in that freedom to explore."

Theatre at the University of Chichester

The Theatre department at Chichester is rooted in contemporary theatre and performance practice. Our programmes are predominantly practical, underpinned by cultural studies and practice-led research. All programmes are designed to be flexible with options to study full-time, part-time, and blend taught and independent research approaches.

We are an artist-led theatre-making department and we are particularly suited to people (emerging or established) looking to define and/or refine their professional practice, artistic identity and portfolio.

In all aspects, our focus is on new work and contemporary theory and practice. We welcome students whose practice and approaches fall in-between, or outside of, or crossover, conventional and/or traditional labels and contexts for theatre, performance and the live arts.

Our programmes are designed to be extremely flexible, reflecting the diversity of approaches to making contemporary theatre and performance. The department of Theatre at Chichester has an established reputation for working with a wide range of contemporary performance artists who recognise the opportunities for creative research and development within an applied university context.

Our programme is run by a team of leading-edge interdisciplinary academics and artists. 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 the University of Chichester makes to supporting new theatre and performance work. 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.

On our courses you will:

  • Join a vibrant and diverse environment and arts community.
  • Make your own contemporary theatre and performance.
  • Develop your critical and practical voice as a performance maker or academic.
  • Be mentored and taught by internationally reputed theatre and performance artists.
  • Have access to leading-edge technical and practical resources, space, and expertise.
  • Create opportunities to present work at national events, platforms and festivals, and/or present research and publish in academic events and environments.

Programmes delivered by the Theatre department enjoy:

  • Dedicated teaching and rehearsal spaces
  • Leading edge technical facilities and resources
  • Tangible partnerships with professional theatres and festivals in the region and nationally
  • Other connections with the industry: relationships with visiting artists and companies
  • A high employability rate with students working on stage, in film and TV, as excellent teachers, and in various areas of the creative industries

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of our expert and experienced teaching staff

How you will learn

All programmes combine ‘taught’ and ‘research’ elements and are rooted in self-direction and the ideas and practical and/or research interests of the student.

The core hub of all our programmes focus on study and practical skills, and culminate in advanced practice-led research outcomes: essays, case studies, reflexive critical writing, and your main thesis.

From there, the programmes contribute and build; with taught elements focused on the teaching and learning of content specific to the programme’s theme and topic.

Alongside this you will develop your own research and practical ideas, usually resulting in the creation and presentation of new performance work to the public, either in-house or in public settings.

To do this you will have the entire university’s resources at your disposal: technical support, professional mentorship and supervision, leading-edge professional standard media and technologies, and a range of other learning and practical support.

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
  • 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

More About 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 Theatre and Performance lead to various outcomes and opportunities.

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 2024/25

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.


Full-time entry

To apply for the full-time entry of this course, please click the button below.

Part-time entry

To apply for the part-time entry of this course, please click the button below.

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

  • Application form and personal statement, with references
  • Evidence of work/a portfolio (a website, and/or resume with links to work)

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