School of Art, Design and Architecture

MA Applied Theatre

Programme code 7543

1 year

Course type

Full-time, Part-time route available

Study location Plymouth

MA Applied Theatre focuses on using theatre practices to bring about positive social change both locally and globally. It is designed for socially conscious students interested in trying to make the world a better place through the art of theatre and performance. This bespoke degree includes community-based learning, coupled with research-led teaching, allowing you to learn ‘in the field’ with communities.

Applied Theatre

Careers with this subject

Possible destinations and graduate projects include: working with the Department for International Development (DfID), with Plymouth Octopus Project and creating ocean literacy with the Department of Education in partnership with Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. 
The programme will train our students to be employment-ready, resilient global citizens who are empowered to make a difference in society. Our curriculum will allow you to develop the capabilities needed to ensure your success in work and society, designed to allow for agility, flexibility, and personalised learning, focused on soft, hybrid and digital skills.

Key features

  • Use theatre to help create a better world, learning more about the areas of sustainability that inspire you and drive you to act.
  • Benefit from access to our dedicated Placements Officer and Theatre Royal Plymouth's professionals, placements, internships and volunteering opportunities.
  • Rehearse and train in a world-class and fully accessible award-winning theatre and studio space. Access all areas of theatre with our dedicated tech team.
  • Access to industry professionals through our partnership with Theatre Royal Plymouth, one of the UK’s largest regional theatres.
  • You are taught by passionate practitioners and academics who are driving real change in their fields.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Explore current areas of debate within the field of applied theatre, including the nature of cross-disciplinary research. Practical research skills developed include library and digital research skills, the use of databases, and the structuring, managing, and presentation of a project.
    The programme enables you to develop workshop skills necessary of an applied performance practitioner, exploring areas such as: safeguarding, ethical considerations, funding bids and documentation.
    Placements allow you to experience first-hand a professional working environment where you can advance your knowledge of the internal working practices of an applied theatre company, while developing as an individual.
    Under the supervision of our expert staff, you produce an independently managed applied theatre project underpinned by relevant research, analysis and critical reflection.

    Core modules

    • Final Major Project (MAAT700)

      Within the framework of defined programme outcomes and with supervisory guidance, students will produce an independently managed artistic and/or academic project underpinned by relevant research, analysis and critical reflection. The theoretical underpinning of this project will be in reference to sustainability theory and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

    • Placement (MAAT701)

      In this module, students will be assigned a working placement. Working as an apprentice and learner, the students will learn the characteristics and techniques required for that specific area (i.e. theatre for education, theatre in prisons, theatre for the elderly, etc.). Students will reflect on the importance of that knowledge as it applies to sustainability interests in line with the Sustainability Development Goals.

    • Placement 2 (MAAT702)

      In this module students will be assigned a specific professional working relationship at a theatre company offsite from Plymouth University. Working as an apprentice, the students will learn the elements of that working theatre and will have the opportunity to work on their theatre and networking skills while fulfilling jobs required of the theatre company. Students will reflect on the importance of that knowledge as it applies to sustainability interests in line with the Sustainability Development Goals.

    • Research Methods and Debates in Knowledge Exchange (MAAT703)

      This module introduces the resources, practical skills and methodologies specific to research in applied performance and knowledge exchange. It will consider a range of concepts and theoretical frameworks that are relevant to Applied Theatre including sustainability theory, practice as research, critical writing, analytical approaches and documentation.

    • Learning for Sustainability and Global Citizenship (MASU755)

      This innovative module uses an applied community engaged approach to look critically and creatively at notions of sustainability and global citizenship competencies, and the learning contexts and systems in which individuals, institutions and communities gain these competencies. This entails applying the UN Sustainable development Goals to real world projects that seek to address sustainability priorities in and around the city of Plymouth, enabling students to explore ideas of interdisciplinarity and interconnectedness, with a dynamic and experiential link between theory and practice. This inclusion of a service learning pedagogical approach enables consideration of the potential contribution of formal and non-formal education, whilst emphasising the links between our lives and those of people throughout the world. In so doing, it allows students to consider ways to actively contribute to a world in which power and resources for change leadership are more equitably shared.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA Applied Theatre programme specification 7543

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A relevant degree with honours or an equivalent professional qualification. Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
Please view the country specific pages for further information regarding the equivalency of your degree. International applicants will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability, for example by achieving an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent, see our English language requirements
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 
Scholarships are available for postgraduate taught programmes. Tell me more about scholarships and bursaries. 

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,500 £10,000
International £16,500 £17,600
Part time (Home) £530 £560
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance. 
Disability Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page). 
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeksof us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. 
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

The House

The University of Plymouth committed £7 million to building The House, a purpose built theatre on campus.
A state-of-the art building, built to the very highest technical and sustainable specification, this award winning facility is a fully-accessible building with a 200-seater auditorium, a studio theatre and rehearsal spaces.
The House


International applicants

Postgraduate scholarships for international students
We offer several scholarships for international students wishing to study on this programme, including the International Academic Excellence Scholarship worth 50% off your tuition fees and the Postgraduate Taught International Student Scholarship worth £2000 off tuition fees. 
Study with us
At the University of Plymouth, we have a thriving international community made up of 2,000 students from over 100 different countries.
International students at a welecome event at the University of Plymouth