About this course
Immersive performance is a rich, always evolving, multidimensional world, and it is a world that the staff on MA Immersive Theatre are excited to navigate with and for you.
- Study the history of particular immersive forms and think about their future
- Become a writer in immersive performance, understand how to do scripting and storytelling work in the context of immersive/participatory performance
- Think about how space is used in particular forms of participatory performance, and how do immersive forms make us think differently about space and place
- Develop the connections between participatory performance and democratic citizenship
- The programme enables you to think about therapeutic dimensions and potentialities of particular forms of immersive performance
- Understand which educational platforms can immersive performance nuture
- Think about what immersive performance practices offer retail and marketing sectors, and what can commercial sectors do for immersive practice
- Taught in Liverpool Screen School, which prides itself on excellent programmes within media, journalism, the performing arts and writing
- View a programme presentation on the LJMU On Demand site - search for Immersive Theatre in the postgraduate course section.
On MA Immersive Theatre, you will explore and, if you choose, will be able to make: site-responsive, one-to-one and audio-driven performance; simulation and VR/AR/MR/CR/XR; conceptual art; raves, gig theatre; street, protest and invisible theatre; sensory labyrinth; dance/movement/body-centred performance; other forms of immersive performance not listed here and which might not even be recognised yet. You will be developing your ideas, knowledge and practice in a department that has been making dynamic, adventurous performance for several decades.
"Studying immersive theatre at LJMU opened my eyes to the rich possibilities you get in this fluid world of theatre-making. Working with sensory stimuli and no fourth wall was a dream to me. It was like entering an alternate world of creative opportunity."
Vic Berry, graduate
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students
The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
This degree is aimed at preparing graduates for creative, managerial and technical roles in arts, educational and commercial sectors. Successful and motivated graduates of the programme will also receive opportunities to progress to PhD study.
Modules you will study include:
Immersive and Participatory Storytelling (20 credits)
This module provides an introductory overview of how different strands of immersive performance—including site-responsive, promenade, one-to-one, game-based, audio-driven, task-based, virtual and augmented reality—have evolved thus far. It also considers the ways in which sensory engagement can unlock memory and fuel uniquely personal stories.
Immersive Performance Lab (20 credits)
Complementing the survey of various kinds of immersive/participatory storytelling and of research methodologies, this module provides a flexible space in which the student experiments with technologies or modes they may be less familiar with and/or wish to explore further before they flesh out their own project ideas. The exploratory process is assessed through a fortnightly journal and a summative oral reflection.
Research Methodologies and Proposal (20 credits)
This module examines the critical frameworks used in discourse about immersive performance. Students explore the merits and limitations of different methodologies and are guided through the process of applying these methodologies to develop a project proposal.
Immersive Performance Portfolio (30 credits)
Immersive Performance Portfolio looks at how particular media—including audio recording, video recording, physical installation and social media platforms—have been and might be used in the making and documentation of immersive performance. Each student chooses a social issue/cultural phenomenon on which to focus and responds creatively to this chosen theme.
Collaborative Workshop (30 credits)
This module invites students to work together to create a new piece of participatory performance, informed by examples of collaboration between performers, visual designers, sound artists, writers, creative producers and others in the work of companies such as Shunt, Blast Theory, dreamthinkspeak, Sound&Fury, Colab, ANU, Republic of the Imagination, and Punchdrunk. It provides a space for each student on the course to engage in supporting one another as individual practitioners, helping to develop and produce each other’s projects.
Immersive Performance Project (60 credits)
Fuelled by the theoretical enquiry and practical exploration on the previous modules, this is a summative, practice-as-research space in which you design, produce, document and theoretically frame a piece of immersive performance.
An insight into teaching on your course
Full-time students will have a learning commitment of approximately 35 hours per week including two teaching days based at the Mount Pleasant campus. Part-time students will have a learning commitment of approximately 17.5 hours per week including one teaching day based at the Mount Pleasant campus.
MA Immersive Theatre is taught via: presentations by staff and by guests; creative lab sessions; practice-as-research workshops; roundtable seminars; tutorial surgeries.
In the early, tutor-led phase of the programme, the focus is on building core knowledge. As well as surveying the various ways of telling stories and addressing themes through immersive performance, you work alongside other MA students to get a handle on the research methodologies available for the framing of immersive and participatory modes of performance. You will have the opportunity to use this core knowledge to develop your own project idea. In the middle phase of the course, you will experiment creatively in an area of your choice, having the chance to negotiate assessment modes from a range of options including audio, video and exhibition modes.
This individual exploration is complemented by collaborative, participatory workshops in which you will be able to perform in/co-produce/co-design projects conceived by other students. Focussed entirely on your own performance project, the final phase of the programme allows you to apply ideas and skills encountered in the previous modules to produce and analytically frame an original piece of immersive performance.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.
Assessment on the programme is through, and is designed to enhance each student’s analytical and documentary skills in, written, aural, visual, and workshop modes of presentation. Built into the module structure is the facility for students, as they progress through the programme, to tailor modes of assessment to their individual interests and needs.
Dr James Frieze
Having devised, directed and mentored site-responsive events over two decades, James became interested in the framing of immersive theatre, especially the language and rhetoric used to promote and critique immersive work. He is the editor of Reframing Immersive Theatre: the Politics and Pragmatics of Participatory Performance and author of several essays on immersive performance. His monographs, Theatrical Performance and the Forensic Turn and Naming Theatre, examine theatre’s relationship to cultural notions of truth.
"Working in immersive modes allows students to connect art to life in a personally and socially empowering way"
What you can expect from your School
Liverpool Screen School's Drama department has three dedicated buildings for its wide range of performances, workshops and classes: the Joe H Makin Drama Centre which houses rehearsal rooms, workshops, a 90-seat studio theatre and two smaller, studio performance spaces; the John Foster Drama Studio, a large, newly refurbished, flexible theatre space adjacent to the Modular Building which houses classes/tutorials, the department’s wardrobe, Drama staff offices, postgraduate common room and dedicated study rooms/practical studios. All three are designed to offer space and creative freedom to students studying on one of LJMU's many drama undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The buildings regularly play host to in-house student drama festivals, practical assessments, classes and visiting workshops. Facilities in Liverpool School of Art and Design include specialist VR, AR and MR capture and display technologies and headsets, green screen studios and projection mapping. All the above buildings are conveniently close to LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies, and is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Order your brochure Research
You will need:
A minimum 2:1 honours degree in a performing arts-related subject
A minimum three years professional practice or with demonstrable creative potential and critical thinking assessed through interview/audition and written submission
You will be interviewed for this programme. Please refer to the Application and selection section for further information about the interview and additional information we require you to submit preferably prior to interview.
- RPL is accepted on this programme
- IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
- Pearson PTE Academic 64 (minimum 59 in each component for UKVI purposes)
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.
All applicants will be called for interview in person or, where not possible, via Skype/Zoom. The interview will be held with at least two members of staff, normally the Programme Leader and one of the delivery team.
In the interview, we will ask you to articulate:
your experience in immersive and/or participatory theatre;
the reasons why you wish to undertake this course and what you hope to get out of it.
You should submit, ideally in advance of the interview, materials to support (a) and (b) above. This should include: a short CV outlining relevant experience in the field of immersive/participatory performance, and evidence of practical, performance work done, ideally in the form of recordings shared electronically. You may also be asked to provide a sample of academic writing.
If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact the Programme Leader, Dr. James Frieze [firstname.lastname@example.org].
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.