Theatre Studies MLitt

This Masters programme engages with a wide variety of histories and practices attached to the study of theatre. It is designed to enable you to become proficient in the techniques of historical, sociological and theoretical analysis of the theatrical process, past and present. A key strength of this programme is its flexibility, which enables you to create a portfolio of courses based on your individual needs and interests. You will be taught by leading academics as well as external professional practitioners.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • Our facilities include a studio theatre and large flexible-seat theatre seating over 200 spectators.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Programme structure

The programme is mostly comprised of optional courses, enabling you to create your own Masters programme. It also allows you to work in an interdisciplinary capacity, selecting courses from across the College of Arts, according to personal interests. The programme convenor will work with you to ensure a sensible portfolio of courses is constructed, according to your personal aims and objectives.

Core teaching is delivered in two semesters, followed by an independent desk- or practice-based project. The Independent Research Project provides an opportunity for you to identify an area of interest and to create a research project that allows in-depth critical exploration of this.

Core courses

  • Research methods
  • Independent research project.

Optional courses

You will undertake five optional courses which you will select from a pool of courses. Optional courses are updated each year, but may include:

  • Autobiography and performance
  • Bodies in theatre and performance
  • Contemporary devising practices
  • Debating dramaturgy
  • Directing
  • Elizabethan and Jacobean drama
  • Exhibiting Cultures
  • Issues in Victorian and Edwardian theatre
  • Modern German theatre
  • Performance theory and analysis
  • Playwriting
  • Space, place and performance
  • Work placement.

By the end of this programme you will have developed knowledge of a range of issues pertinent to the study of theatre, including historical, contemporary, theoretical and practical. This programme will allow you to develop a wide range of subject knowledge combined with confidence in utilising different research methodologies.

Core and optional courses


The programme is comprised of a number of courses, with different credit weightings. The programme is mostly comprised of optional courses, allowing you to create your own Masters programme.

Music hall posterCore courses
Research Methods
Research Methods 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, using archives, visual cultures, practice as research, the laboratory as a place of experiment. The course is designed to help students select individual study options as well as gain experience in a range of key research methodologies by making full use of available archival and digital resources.

Independent Research Project
The IRP offers you a range of opportunities to explore something of interest to you, applying an appropriate methodology. For example, you may choose to produce a 15,000 word dissertation, undertaking primary and secondary research in the pursuit of new knowledge that relates to the fields of theatre and drama; or you may choose to undertake a more applied project.

‌Optional courses
You will choose 100 credits’ worth of optional courses from a selection – for example:

•Autobiography and Performance
•Current Issues
•Debating Dramaturgy
•Greek Tragedy
•Issues in Victorian and Edwardian Theatre
•Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama: Staging the Other
•Performing Beckett
•Reading and Interpreting Performance
•Shakespearean Adaptations
•Space, Place and Performance
•Women and Drama in the English Renaissance Period
•Work Placement

You can select courses from across the College of Arts, according to personal interests.
The programme convenor will work with you to ensure a sensible portfolio of courses is constructed, according to your personal aims and objectives.

During the programme you will undertake a range of assessment methods including essays, critical report, literature review, oral presentations, workshop demonstrations, annotated bibliography, 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 and workshops. 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 2

Theatre 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 Adrian

The 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 in Theatre Studies are:

Student productionCollaborations, Placements and Guest practitioners
In addition to the staff members above, students benefit from collaborations with and placements at local and national theatre companies and arts organisations. Previous students 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. Students also benefit from workshops and masterclasses facilitated by professional practitioners – guest workshop facilitators have included Graham Eatough (theatre director and former Artistic Director of Suspect Culture), Adrian Howells (performance artist), and Pamela McQueen (dramaturg).

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 pic

The 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 large

This 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 back

The 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 students

We 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 workstations

The 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 2015

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

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 Language Centre 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 Language Centre 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 examines the nature and function of the theatrical event and theatre culture from a range of critical, historical and practical perspectives. It prepares you for a wide range of careers closely connected to theatre provision and production.

The programme's critical components also provide a good foundation for those wishing to progress to doctoral study.

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.

Apply now