MA Theatre and Performance Studies


Join staff and students from around the world in the School of English. The variety of fresh perspectives you’ll find here will make your masters a unique experience.

MA Theatre and Performance Studies

World-class teaching and facilities

This MA programme is designed to help you enhance and consolidate your skills as a scholar-practitioner of performance. The MA in Theatre and Performance Studies combines intensive studio-based research with rigorous academic study, and across the programme as a whole emphasises current practice; it is thus well suited to professional practitioners, graduates, teachers and all who wish to advance their creative abilities.

The MA is taught primarily in the School’s fully equipped Theatre Workshop and diverse studio spaces, and in the University’s publically licensed Drama Studio. We also have excellent facilities for sound recording and sound and film editing.

Your future

This MA can help develop the range of transferable skills at your disposal, giving you a wide variety of career options. Some of our modules have been designed specifically to provide opportunities for reflecting on the role of English in the public sphere and to enable you to develop different kinds of skills and experience. These can be especially valuable for those considering a career in English outside academia.

Fast facts

Title: MA Theatre and Performance Studies

Award: Master of Arts

Duration: Full-time - 1 year, Part-time - 2 years

Entry: Minimum 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent. Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

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Meet Ingrid, a student on the MA Theatre and Performance Studies

Student profile

Ingrid is studying for an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies, and her dissertation focuses on theatre, comedy and feminism.

Read Ingrid's profile


This is a 180 credit MA programme (four taught modules plus the dissertation). 

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Full-time structure

A full-time student will follow the model of study below:

Semester one
Two core modules.

Semester two
Two core modules and write a dissertation over the summer.

Part-time structure

A part-time student will follow the model of study below:

Year one
One core module in each semester

Year two
One core module in each semester and write a dissertation over the summer.


You will study four core modules (worth 30 credits each), as well as completing a supervised dissertation (60 credits).

Semester 1:

Text, Politics and Performance (30 credits)

Theatre Practice 1: Practical Research Projects (30 credits)

Semester 2:

Issues in Contemporary Performance (30 credits)

Theatre Practice 2:Independent Practice (30 credits)

Dissertation of 15,000 words or 9,000 plus integrated practice component (60 credits)

Course content: Course content refers to academic year 2017/18. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Our campus and how we use it: We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.


Entry requirements

Students wishing to take this programme will normally have a good first degree (2:1 or above, or the equivalent) in theatre, or a related discipline (e.g. history, philosophy, modern languages), as well as some direct experience of theatre practice. Find out more about EU and international student entry requirements.

English language requirements:

If you are an international student, you need to provide proof of English Language proficiency with an overall IELTS score of 7.0 and a minimum of 6.0 in all other components. Further information can be found here.

English language support

The English Language Teaching Centre offers additional English language support for students whose first language is not English. Find out about the services on offer.

Disability support

We welcome applications from disabled students and students with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. Information for disabled applicants.

Fees and funding:

Find information on fees and the sources of funding that can help you pay for your postgraduate studies.

Faculty of Arts & Humanities scholarships.

How to apply:

Apply online

Applying to start in over 12 months time?

Please feel free to submit your application via our online system, however please note that we will not be able to process your application for this course until 12 months before your proposed start date.

Visit us:

If you’re considering a postgraduate programme at Sheffield, you are very welcome to visit us. You can attend an open day or a visit afternoon, which will include a tour of the University campus and the department, or contact the School of English directly ( to arrange a personal visit to meet with the director of your chosen programme.

More information and booking.

Further information:

If you have questions about the academic content of this course please contact Dr Carmen Levick.

If you need further information about studying at Sheffield, visit AskUS to browse our frequently asked questions or to ask a question.

For any other queries please contact Jane Lowe, or email, T: +44 (0)114 222 2900


Core Teaching Staff:

Staff profiles

Dr Frances Babbage (contemporary performance, applied theatre, adaptation)
Dr Carmen Levick (physical theatre, performance and revolution, Shakespeare in performance, Shakespeare on film)
Dr Bill McDonnell (political theatre, applied theatre, theatre historiography)
Professor Steve Nicholson (theatre and censorship, contemporary British political theatre, new drama, directing)
Dr Rachel Zerihan (experimental theatre practice, contemporary performance, live art)
Honorary Professor Terry O’Connor (contemporary theatre, performance practice)