Theatre Practices MLitt

Prestigious Scottish Funding Council Awards are available to high calibre applicants for this programme. The SFC has selected this programme in recognition of the high demand for students with these qualifications. The awards cover all tuition costs; for further information, please see: funded places.

This Masters programme engages with a range of theatre and performance practices, explored in a critically informed context. The programme encompasses practices such as contemporary devising and production dramaturgy, writing for performance, site-specific and locational performance and autobiographical performance. You will be encouraged to develop a reflective, rigorous and critically informed approach to theatre practice, with the intention of enriching and enhancing your creative work and furthering your career as a theatre/performance practitioner. You will be taught by leading academics as well as external professional practitioners.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • The programme is delivered in collaboration with The Arches: a world-leading performing arts venue in Glasgow.
  • A significant part of the programme is delivered by professional practitioners, ensuring the programme content is relevant and up to date with the latest trends in theatre.
  • Our facilities include a studio theatre and large flexible-seat theatre seating over 200 spectators.
  • The city of Glasgow provides an unbeatable location for the programme. Glasgow is home to a huge variety of theatres that produce and show a range from the experimental and risky, to the traditional and repertory, from canonical and new writing, to devised and physical performance. World-leading venues include The Arches, the Citizens’ Theatre, Tramway and the Glue Factory.
  • Glasgow is the base for a number of nationally significant theatre organisations, including the National Theatre of Scotland, the Playwrights’ Studio Scotland, Ankur Arts, Vanishing Point and Theatre Cryptic.

Programme structure

The programme is designed to give you a practical and critical engagement with many forms of theatre and performance practice.

You will take core courses and create a portfolio of optional courses according to your personal interests and perceived needs. You can also select some courses from across the College of Arts, enabling an interdisciplinary approach.

The programme concludes with an independent research project. This provides you with a degree of flexibility in relation to the focus of your advanced study. It permits further applied practice or the opportunity to undertake an in-depth written study on an area of your choice.

Courses include

  • Research methods
  • Contemporary devising practices
  • Independent practice
  • Debating dramaturgy
  • Work placement
  • Independent research project.

Core and optional courses

The programme is comprised of a number of core courses, with different credit weightings, plus core accredited blocks of extended critical practice and one optional course or work placement.

Core courses

Research Methods

The course is an exploration of key research methodologies relevant to the critical and practical study of performance, leading to the development of a real (or imagined) research project. Research Methods provides an introduction to a range of research methodologies, including: oral history, practice as research, using archives, visual cultures and the laboratory as a place of experiment. The course is designed to help you select individual study options as well as gain experience in a range of key research methodologies.

Contemporary Devising Practices

The course comprises an exploration, through theory and practical experimentation, of a range of contemporary devising practices in Western theatre and performance.

Debating Dramaturgy 2

The course is a critical and, where appropriate, practical exploration of dramaturgy and dramaturgical practices in the modern and contemporary period.  The course focuses on production (rather than literary) dramaturgy and considers the influence of modernism and postmodernism on dramaturgy and dramaturgical practices. In addition, you will undertake applied and practical work with professional dramaturges, exploring their own professional dramaturgical practices.

Critical practice (core)

Independent Practice

This course comprises an exploration of an agreed topic or research question through performance practice. You can choose to undertake either a Professional Practice route, which comprises only practical work, or a Research Route, which includes an element of written critical reflection on the practice. The Independent Practice course is intended to encourage critically-informed practice and reflection on practice in the context of contemporary theatre and performance. It is also intended as preparation for the Independent Research Project.

Independent Research Project 

The Independent Research Project offers you a range of opportunities to explore something of interest to you, applying an appropriate practice-based methodology. It is envisaged that your Independent Research Project is likely to evolve from your Independent Practice. For instance, you might develop an experimental performance, with appropriate documentation, or you might devise a series of workshop performances with an accompanying piece of contextual and critical writing.

Optional course or work placement

You may choose to take an optional course, selected from a list of choices which may include:

  • Autobiography and Performance
  • Exhibiting Cultures
  • Space, Place and Landscape
  • Festivals
  • Beckett in Performance

Or any approved optional course from across the College of Arts.

Or you may choose to undertake a work placement:

Work placement

A placement/internship with a professional theatre, performance or arts organisation in Glasgow, Scotland or the UK, negotiated with the course tutor. The placement offers the opportunity for you to gain experience of the professional workplace and theatre/arts sector, and to reflect critically on that experience.


During the programme you will undertake a range of assessment methods including practical presentations/performances, written critical reflections, essays, oral presentations, workshop demonstrations, and an independent research project.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods are determined by the different needs of the courses and include seminars, one-to-one tutorials, placements, workshops and work-in-progress showings. They are delivered by staff in Theatre Studies, alongside professional practitioners. Other occasional workshops, seminars and events are organised throughout the year by both staff and students.  Students also have the opportunity to audit other courses, as appropriate. Students are encouraged to create opportunities for informal peer support outside teaching hours.

Guest speakers and events

Practitioners, Processes, Professions

Robert Sturm 2Theatre Studies runs a strand of workshops/seminars under the title ‘Practitioners, Processes, Professions’. We regularly invite practitioners to discuss their work with students and staff, and often to accompany these discussions with a 3-hour workshop for interested students.

In recent years, visiting practitioners have included:

  • Euan Downey, Polish Laboratory Theatre
  • Nic Green, performance artist/director
  • Guillermo Gómez-Peña, international performance artist
  • Ben Harrison, Grid Iron theatre company
  • Adrian Howells, performance artist
  • Stewart Laing, international director and artistic director Untitled Productions
  • Kira O'Reilly, UK-based artist
  • Tian Qinxin, theatre director, National Theatre of China
  • Anthony Schrag, performance artist
  • Reckless Sleepers, performance company
  • Robert Sturm, Artistic Director of Tanz Theater Pina Bausch Wuppertal

Theatre Studies Research Seminars

Garden of AdrianThe Theatre Studies Research seminars are held three to four times during term-time, and host papers from visiting speakers and distinguished scholars, as well as profiling on-going research by staff from within the Subject group. The seminar series provides a forum within which postgraduate students and staff can meet to discuss and debate current research in the fields of drama, theatre and performance studies. Each session offers an interdisciplinary context for discussion.


In previous years guest speakers at the Theatre Studies Research Seminar series have included:

  • Lucy Weir, History of Art, University of Glasgow: In Vogue: The Evolution of 20th Century Contemporary Dance: a lecture/demonstration with Ruth Mills
  • Professor John Hall, University College Falmouth: Practising and essaying near the sign of Performance Writing
  • David Grant, Queen’s University, Belfast: ‘Living in the Moment’: time, space, the arts and dementia
  • Robert Sturm, Artistic Director of Tanztheater Pina Bausch Wuppertal: The Work of Pina Bausch
  • Dr Anna Birch, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RCS): Repetition and performativity: multi layered fresco as living monument
  • Professor Elinor Fuchs, Yale School of Drama: Postdramatic theatre and its discontents: the future of a theory
  • Dr. David Williams, Royal Holloway, University of London: Lone Twin Theatre’s Catastrophe Trilogy

Staff team

The programme is team-taught by University staff and external specialists:

‌‌The core members of the teaching team are:

Students in Performance StudioOther internal Theatre Studies staff members include:

External Specialists, Collaborations and Placements:

In addition to the staff members above, students benefit from masterclasses and workshops with external specialists such as Graham Eatough (theatre director and former Artistic Director of Suspect Culture), Adrian Howells (performance artist) and Pamela McQueen (dramaturg). As part of the MLitt Theatre Practices programme you will also have the opportunity to do a placement with one of the local or national theatre companies and arts organisations which we have links with. Previous students on the programme have, for example, undertaken placements at:  The Arches, the CCA, The Citizens’ Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland, Òran Mór, Playwrights’ Studio Scotland, The Traverse, and The Tron Theatre.

Resources and facilities

Our facilities include a studio theatre and a large flexible-stage theatre seating over 200 spectators, alongside a 140 seat cinema.

James Arnott Theatre

Theatre view picThe Theatre, named in memory of the founding Head of Drama, has a capacity of 182 in studio-theatre format. It has a large wire-mesh 'trampoline' lighting grid installed, the only example of its kind in Scotland and one of only three in the UK. Lighting and sound are fully computerised.

Performance Studio

Perf Studio largeThis space is equipped with lighting and sound facilities and may be used as a rehearsal room or where practical work such as video production, theatre direction, playwriting, design or stage management can take place.

Andrew Stewart Cinema

Cinema view from backThe Cinema is used for lectures and screenings. The following media can be projected:

  • 35mm film
  • 16mm film
  • Blu-ray
  • DVD
  • VHS
  • Mini DV
  • Computer data

Video Editing‌

Edit suite studentsWe have 2 non-linear digital video edit suites installed in the building in recognition of the fact that TFTS have been developing a need for high-quality, digital editing facilities to be accessible on-demand by students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, working on Video Production Projects or on Multimedia Production and moving-image digitisation assignments of various kinds.

Both suites are of a similar specification:

  • 27" iMac
  • 3TB external HDD
  • Super drive
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Adobe Creative Cloud suite (Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, etc)
  • Wireless keyboard and mouse

One suite also has a VHS deck for capturing from that format.


Resources Room

Resource Room computer workstationsThe Resources Room (RR) is an indispensable part of our teaching, learning and research environment. It provides a suitable environment, encouraging student users to take  increased responsibility for their own learning while supporting them in the development of approaches to independent study and the acquisition of  'transferable' skills. It also provides a flexible infrastructure within which methods of teaching and assessment related to information technology can be introduced.

The RR consists of 19 fully networked PCs, 12 TV/VHS workstations with DVD and digital satellite viewing also available, and an extensive, fully computerised video library (VHS/DVD) of over 6000 items including feature films, television programmes, cinema shorts, recorded theatrical performances, extracts and documentaries relating to a wide range of cinema, broadcasting and theatre activity.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2016

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject unless otherwise specified.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.5
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 22 with Speaking no less than 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 176
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 64; minimum 62 in writing
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17


Home and EU
Full time fee£6950
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£15250

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

This programme is ideal for practitioners who want to develop their practice; graduates who are planning a career in theatre making; and those who want to look more in depth into aspects of theatre practice they have enjoyed and benefitted from through undergraduate studies. The programme also provides an excellent foundation for PhD studies and an academic career.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Please note: applications for SFC funded places are open for entry in September 2016.

Apply now