Theatre Studies MA

Theatre Studies student

This degree programme examines the theatrical event and theatre culture from critical, historical and practical perspectives.

We have close connections with the theatre industry, giving you opportunities to work with practitioners of national and international standing.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Theatre Studies MA (Hons): W440 4 year degree

What our students say

Theatre Studies student


“I was understandably anxious about university, having moved half way across the world from South Africa and not having any experience of university life. From the staff, to the subject matter we cover in the course, I absolutely fell in love with Theatre Studies. I am now two years into my course and looking forward to taking it into honours. I would highly recommend the course to anyone who has a love for theatre (there’s something for everyone). I have learned so much in the last two years as a Theatre joint honours student and have met such wonderful like-minded people on my course. I tend to find university academic life quite isolating but the Theatre Studies staff make the Theatre Studies building feel like home. You get the genuine feeling that the staff are rooting for you. I have no regrets and look forward to next year and graduating with my degree.”


“Studying Theatre at the University of Glasgow means studying in an environment where I can be both creative and critical. I can express my concerns and be myself in an environment that is overtly academic and yet feels like home. With the staff always ready to guide you and the curriculum powerful enough to intrigue you and challenge you, it is definitely the best choice I made.”


“If I was asked by any student considering whether or not to study Theatre at the University of Glasgow, without a doubt I would tell them to do it. The past four years have been priceless to me. I have benefitted immensely from a wide variety of classes, some theory-based and others practice-based. The teaching staff care greatly about the well-being and development of the students, going above and beyond to make sure that resources are available to us and that we get all of the support we require. The department ensures that there are plenty of opportunities to meet and be taught by artists currently working in the industry which I have found to be immeasurably valuable. I will always be thankful that I chose Glasgow.”

Programme structure

Year 1

You will focus on two subject areas:

  • Reading the stage – an introduction to different critical frames of performance theory and analysis.
  • Theatre and society – the historical and contemporary role of theatre in society, giving you an understanding of some social, political and economic issues affecting theatre practice in a range of historical and geographical contexts.

Year 2

You will focus on two subject areas:

  • Classical to modern – a historical and critical survey of the dominant forms of theatre practice in Europe before 1900.
  • Modernism to postdramatic – an introduction to European and American practitioners whose radical approaches to acting, directing, scenography and dramaturgy have redefined our understanding of the theatrical event.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2 : see Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will take a course in performance theory and analysis.

Optional courses include applied theatre, directing, writing for performance, advanced practice and work placement, as well as courses on documentary theatre, space and place, Renaissance theatre, performing memory, Victorian and Edwardian theatre, Samuel Beckett, queer performance, activist theatre, exhibiting cultures, and German theatre, among others.

In year 4 you will also have the option to apply for a work placement.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Special Glasgow feature

Your studies will be based in a refurbished building that includes a flexible-stage theatre, performance studios, editing suites and a cinema. 

Our international links

A number of opportunities exist for you to spend one of your undergraduate years, or part of a year, studying abroad. Our students have chosen to study at a range of universities in North America, Australia and Europe. We have particularly close connections with the University of New South Wales in Sydney; Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; the University of California; and Berlin’s Free University. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2021

Applicants to subject-combinations with Psychology must meet the Psychology degree programme entry requirements.

Summary of entry requirements for Theatre Studies

SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6)

  • AAAAA Higher or AAAA Higher + B Advanced Higher (BBBB S5 minimum for consideration)
  • Additional requirements: Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)

  • Additional requirements: Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • AAB – BBB
  • Additional requirements: one A-level Humanities subject.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 36 (6,6,5 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL English and HL Humanities subject.

2021 Admissions Policy and further information about entry requirements

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

English language requirements

Important information for entry in Autumn 2020 and January 2021

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

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years 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 School of Modern Languages and Cultures 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 External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.

Career prospects

Our graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers, many of which are closely connected to professional theatre-making, arts production and management. Recent graduates have, for instance, become successful theatre directors, casting agents, arts managers and administrators, stand-up comedians and playwrights. Others take career paths in, for example, teaching or community arts.

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

MA (Hons)

Theatre Studies: W440 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Archaeology: VW44 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Classics: WQ48 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Comparative Literature: QWF4 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Computing Science: GW44 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Digital Media & Information Studies: GW5K (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Economics: LW14 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/English Language & Linguistics: WQ4J (4 years)
Theatre Studies/English Literature: WQ4H (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Film & Television Studies: WW46 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/French: RW14 (5 years)
Theatre Studies/Geography: LW74 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/German: R2W4 (5 years)
Theatre Studies/Greek: Q7W4 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/History: VW14 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/History of Art: VWH4 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Italian: R3W4 (5 years)
Theatre Studies/Mathematics: GW14 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Music: WW34 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Philosophy: VW54 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Politics: LW24 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Portuguese: R647 (5 years)
Theatre Studies/Psychology: CW84 (4 years)
Apply via UCAS
Applicants must meet the Psychology requirements
Theatre Studies/Scottish History: VWF4 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Scottish Literature: QW24 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Social & Public Policy: LW44 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Sociology: LW34 (4 years)
Theatre Studies/Spanish: RW4K (5 years)
Theatre Studies/Theology & Religious Studies: VW64 (4 years)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.


The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for the first year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to new applicants to the University. Current students who have previously been in receipt of the award may reapply, however, preference will be given to applicants entering their first year of study.

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

Undergraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow awards c.50 undergraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is typically £1,500 p.a. for each year of the degree programme, subject to satisfactory progress. Talent Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University's Colleges.

Dental School students are eligible for a Talent Scholarship in their first year of study only. They are eligible for the NHS Dental Student Support Grant in the following years.

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2021/22. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

We are also offering eight scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £2,500 stipend towards study costs, per year of study.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply


Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students to Arts, Engineering, Law, Nursing, Science, and Social Sciences can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS. Applications to Dentistry, Education, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine must be made through UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

How to apply for Advanced Entry

Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.

Apply via UCAS


Students satisfied

Discover Uni, January 2020
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World top 100: QS World University Rankings [Performing Arts]

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UK top 10: Guardian University Guide [Drama & dance]

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2nd in UK: Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide [Drama, Dance & Cinematics]

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1st in UK: Complete University Guide [Drama, Dance & Cinematics]