Key Information


1 year

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

What are the opportunities and challenges of making theatre in the C21st? How can an academic appreciation of drama assist in the creation of theatre? What skills can the theatre scholar bring to the industry?

The MA Theatre programme aims to provide perspective on contemporary performance, with a focus upon dramaturgy and the importance of bringing together critical-thinking and creative practice. This approach aims to enhance career prospects by preparing students for a variety of roles. Whether your interests lie in playwriting, making theatre for young audiences, theatre research, or theatre reviewing, the programme offers the opportunity to explore a range of approaches to engaging with the theatre arts. The programme is part of the School of Creative Arts, which is itself housed in the Lincoln Arts Centre, a dynamic creative hub for artists and theatre-makers, in the heart of the city.

Optionality is a key feature of the programme within the structure of the MA, as students can choose a bespoke pathway through the programme with optional modules in Semester B and Semester C. Within the modules themselves, students can engage with a particular mode of assessment that is most suited to their interests and planning for their future career.

Why Choose Lincoln

A focus upon dramaturgy, critical thinking, and creative practice

Designed to prepare students for a variety of roles and career options

Explore a range of approaches to engaging with the theatre arts

Take bespoke pathways through the programme with optional modules

A student sat working

How You Study

MA Theatre is taught across the academic year through lectures, seminars, group workshops, and blended-learning strategies. It uses facilities including the performance studios of Lincoln Arts Centre, the University's online learning platform Blackboard, and the latest digital technologies, allowing the School to engage diverse learners through a variety of means.

Between scheduled sessions, students are expected to engage in self-directed study, supported by academic staff. This includes reading and responding to allocated and autonomously researched journal articles, book chapters, and relevant journalism, as well as watching video content and engaging with other materials, often suggested or made accessible through each module's online learning site. Students can also undertake regular formative assignments that are not assessed as part of their final grade, but are designed to have significant benefits to their learning.

Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the individual modules and the stage of study. Postgraduate-level study also involves a significant proportion of independent study exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour spent in class, students are expected to spend at least four to five hours in independent study.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Dramaturgy in Practice 2024-25DRA9030MLevel 72024-25Why are critical skills important within contemporary theatre-making contexts? In what ways might those skills feed into theatre-making processes? How might we market ourselves as critical theatre-makers to attract the interest of arts-based educational institutes, organisations and industries? And how might we contribute meaningfully to the work of such bodies? This module provides opportunities to apply critical practice to creative processes in mutually beneficial ways.CorePerspectives on Performance 2024-25DRA9031MLevel 72024-25What features characterise contemporary theatre and performance practices? What factors have shaped their development in comparative national and international contexts? How have theatre and performance responded to contemporary society? What are the key issues facing arts practitioners and institutions today? And which theoretical frameworks might help us to understand the contemporary landscapes of theatre and performance? This module examines these questions by offering a range of perspectives on performance from experts within and beyond the University of Lincoln.CoreResearch Methods 2024-25DRA9034MLevel 72024-25How can we deepen our approaches to research? How might deep and specific approaches to research enrich the critical and creative work that we produce? What are the distinctions and overlaps between various research methodologies and the different final projects that they are capable of producing? This module provides opportunities to see research practices anew: as creative and intellectual stimuli, and as integral to the production of original work.CoreWriting about Theatre 2024-25DRA9035MLevel 72024-25What do different professional, cultural and theoretical contexts lend to our understanding of theatre? How might we analyse a piece of theatre deeply and communicate that deep knowledge in a range of ways? How might we write about theatre with clarity and precision for different readers? This module examines and puts into practice a range of professional modes of writing about theatre: as scholars, as critics and as theatre-makers.CoreWriting for Theatre 2024-25DRA9036MLevel 72024-25How do we write for theatre? How do we perform writing and how does our writing perform? How does what we write reflect who we are and the world in which we live? How might we give voice to the unspoken and speak truth to power? How might we find the words that events make us speak? How might words paint a thousand pictures? Taking questions such as these, students have the chance to write a new piece of theatre and reflect on that process with a view to becoming a critical theatre-maker.CoreCollaborative Project 2024-25DRA9029MLevel 72024-25OptionalCreative Project 2024-25DRA9046Level 72024-25OptionalMaking Theatre for Young Audiences 2024-25DRA9043MLevel 72024-25Making Theatre for Young Audiences challenges students to discover and develop –through studio-based, collaborative making –the fundamental methodologies of their own unique artistic practices, leading to a full-length performance at a professional venue.Making Theatre for Young Audiences aims to help students answer the following questions of their practice: • How can we explore and extend the boundaries of contemporary TYA performance making? • What are the significant conceptual and methodological questions that arise through making? • What does it mean to collaborate? What are the ethics and aesthetics of the ensemble? • How can practical methodologies be developed through studio practice to deliver a venue-based performance for young audiences?OptionalPractice as Research Project 2024-25DRA9032MLevel 72024-25This module gives students the opportunity to pursue a self-initiated Practice as Research project, based on an area of their choice, resulting in a piece of practical work and a critical reflection. Working under the supervision of a member of staff, each student undertakes a project which may be informed by their experience on the course. Their Practice as Research Project should demonstrate a deep understanding of the issues central to their chosen subject.OptionalResearch Project 2024-25DRA9033MLevel 72024-25This module gives students the opportunity to pursue a research project, based on an area of their choice, resulting in a conventional dissertation taking the form of an extended piece of academic writing. Working under the supervision of a member of staff, each student undertakes a project which may be informed by their experience on the course. Their Research Project should demonstrate a deep understanding of the issues central to their chosen subject.Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

Modules draw upon an innovative range of assessment methods, including written essay, critical portfolio, script writing exercises, digital blog, funding form, prospective journal article, project pitch, panel discussion, individual and group presentation, and/or focused practical workshop or performance. Student progress is subject to continuous assessments on all modules in the programme in addition to final as-sessed outputs.

Assessment focuses on the demonstration of practical and theoretical engagement with research; articulation and demonstration of knowledge regarding a wide range of theatre performance; critical enquiry and analysis; and contextualising students' own work and the work of others within the field of historical or contemporary performance practice and scholarship.

Students on the MA Theatre play an active role in choosing the focus and, in some cases, even the modes of their assessments in consultation with relevant module tutors and in ways that align with their individual career goals.

Lincoln Arts Centre

MA Theatre benefits from the School’s association with the Lincoln Arts Centre, and the School is housed in the centre's building on campus. Lincoln Arts Centre is a public arts centre which attracts both professional companies and promotes the in-house work of the students and staff within the School community. Students on the MA Theatre course can enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the seasonal programme of the Lincoln Arts Centre.

Lincoln Arts Centre
Students performing at an LPAC event


  • MA Theatre students can enjoy the opportunity to become a part of the vibrant academic and creative community in the School. The programme makes full use of the expertise of staff across the Lincoln School of Creative Arts, which embodies in-depth knowledge of contemporary theatre-making in areas such as Dramaturgy, Contemporary British Playwriting, Theatre and Adaptation, Gothic Theatre, and Performance and New Media.

  • Students can enjoy translating their learning into real-world practice through modules such as Dramaturgy in Practice, in which each student undertakes a placement opportunity to support the delivery of a professional performance. This experience can allow students to develop valuable skills and experience in project planning, and industry networking.

  • We enjoy inviting our MA Theatre graduates back to Lincoln to share their post-graduation experiences and our students have the opportunity to benefit from the advice and mentoring of former graduates, now working in the industry.

  • Students are invited to attend both professional and peer networking events such as the Lincoln School of Creative Arts Industry Speaker Series, Tower Talks: a College-wide series of social events held to share the exciting work of our postgraduate students across our Schools.

  • All students have the opportunity to join The Lincoln Company, the LSCA’s company of emerging performance makers, and LAC company in residence. Students on the programme are also invited to participate in the School’s annual LAUNCH FEST, showcasing their performance work and participating in workshops and events as part of the Playwriting Intensive programme. Last year’s Playwrighting Intensive programme welcomed professional playwrights Carmen Nasr (Dubailand), Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), April de Angelis (Hush) and Anders Lustgarten (A Day at the Racists) for a series of talks, workshops and a showcase of new scripted performance from Lincoln’s newest writers.

  • The programme culminates in a final semester in which students can build upon their learning to enjoy the initiative of working upon an independent research or practice-as-research project. Supported by a supervisory team, this is an exciting opportunity for students to design and deliver an enterprise, led by their individual interests in the field of Drama, Theatre and Performance, that can provide a seminal link between study and their post-graduation career.

MA Theatre offered me the opportunity to write a play and take it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where my work was viewed critically on a national scale. It is by far the proudest achievement of my life and something that never would have been possible without the MA course.


The core work-based learning module, Dramaturgy in Practice, offers a choice of three placement pathways ( industry, pedagogy, or online) giving students the opportunity to engage with artistic works in progress through placements in the industry regionally; with drama lecturers on practical undergraduate modules; or through digital collaborations. A list of possible placement hosts will be provided, but students are welcome to source their own. It will be up to students to liaise with their host, negotiate how they will work with them, and cover additional travel costs incurred.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
A student listening in a seminar


Applicants may be asked to attend an interview in person, via telephone, or online. Written evidence may be required in the form of a recent 500 word sample of critical or creative writing. It is expected that prospective candidates will have researched the course and be prepared to speak about it. Please contact the Programme Leader for further information: Dr Kelly Jones (

Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

Second class honours degree or above or equivalent professional experience. Professional experience in the industry might include five years as a theatre-maker playwright or working in the theatre industry.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications:

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page:

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

Theatre graduates from this programme have gone on to work in the theatre industry in areas such as writing, devising, performing, dramaturgy, and otherwise making theatre. Graduates have formed theatre companies and worked with arts venues, either in administration, marketing, or backstage. Some have gone on to postgraduate research to become lecturers in further and higher education.

At the start of the programme, each student will be allocated a personal tutor who will be an academic member of staff within the School. Your personal tutor will provide a consistent point of contact throughout your time on the course and will meet with you at various points throughout the year to discuss your academic progress and to support you as you plan your postgraduate and career pathways.

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact the Programme Leader.

Dr Kelly Jones

Dr Kelly Jones is a Senior Lecturer in the School and teaches across both the Drama and Musical Theatre programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her research specialism is Gothic Drama both in theatre history and on the contemporary stage. She has published widely in this area and is currently writing a monograph, Staging the Ghost Story, to be published with Palgrave in 2025.

Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.