Theatre Studies MA

21st Century Theatre in Britain: New Writing in Context THEATRE4090

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will provide a snapshot of significant 21st century playwriting trends and developments in Britain, studying the work of a range of emerging playwrights, established names that continue to produce innovative theatre, and lesser-known voices. We will examine how new writing across Britain has thematically, formally and methodologically responded to urgent issues in our historical moment.


10x3hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus

Excluded Courses





Group Presentation (20 mins) - 30%

Essay (3500 words) - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to key texts and figures in 21st century playwriting across Britain.

■ Enhance students' understanding of the relationship between contemporary playwriting in Britain and the historical, cultural and artistic context in which the plays studied were written and staged.

■ Provide students with knowledge of key concepts and debates in theatre, cultural and political theory associated with the works studied.

■ Develop students' skills of dramaturgical analysis and engagement with theory.

■ Develop students' critical reflection on the politics of canon formation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Recognise, describe and critique new trends and developments in 21st century playwriting in Britain, with clear awareness of the historical and artistic contexts in which these emerged.

■ Identify, explain and assess current critical theories and debates appropriate to the study of 21st century playwriting in Britain, and to mobilise these theoretical frameworks rigorously in their assessments.

■ Construct detailed dramaturgical analyses of case studies in 21st century playwriting in Britain in oral/written assessments.

■ Present their ideas clearly, coherently and persuasively in oral and written form, following scholarly conventions as appropriate.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.