MA Making New Theatre
About this course
For dramatic practitioners to develop their innovative ideas, projects and craft, making themselves employable and generating their own marketable theatre and to be awarded a recognised Master of Arts qualification
- Join a passionate community of scholar artists
- Participate in an annual ‘Liverpool Independent Drama Festival’
- Benefit from a highly flexible, student-centred curriculum and delivery structure, with an emphasis on learning through creative play and experiment
- Take advantage of opportunities to include current work-based activity or undertake a placement
- Enjoy access to a wide network of local, regional, national and international partners
- Taught within Liverpool Screen School
- WATCH: Dr Andrew Sherlock talks briefly about the new programme and what you can expect from the MA
Building on your dramatic interests and experience, the MA in Making New Theatre will develop your mastery of writing, devising, making and developing new work for theatre.
The course has been designed for a range of theatre practitioner/scholars. You could be an actor, writer, director, MD, choreographer, designer (costume, lighting, sound & set) producer, marketeer, manager or offer your own drama related specialism. You may have a degree in Theatre, Performance, Drama or a related subject, you may have an unrelated degree but have some experience in drama, or you may have worked professionally and are looking to validate academically your previous experience.
"I would love to apply for it for this new course. I’ve been doing various jobs but artistically I feel ready to get back into the game and fire on all cylinders. This is the kind of opportunity I have been looking for to develop my skills and get on in the theatre."
Andy Roberts, Drama 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.
If you have ambitions to be a leading light in the theatre and performing arts sector, this course is an ideal way to advance your ambitions.
We designed this course for experienced and early career practitioners; whether you’re an actor, writer, director, choreographer, designer (costume, lighting, sound and set) or a producer, marketer, manager or offer your own drama related specialism.
The programme leader will also consider applicants from a wide spectrum of educational achievements. You may have a degree in Theatre, Performance, Drama or a related subject, you may have an unrelated degree but have some experience in drama, or you may have worked professionally and are looking to validate academically your previous experience.
The student experience
Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.
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Discover the building blocks of your programme
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.
Responding to the Cultural Climate 1 (20 credits)
This module acts as an introduction to the understanding and analysis of theatre sectors
Responding to the Cultural Climate 2 (30 credits)
Studying on this module will enable you to understand how to create new theatre for a specific theatre audience
Cultural Cabaret (20 credits)
Participants on this module will be researching and developing key practitioners, dramatic works and theories that inform your work
Crafting Passion (30 Credits)
During this module you will research and develop your own specialist area of new theatre theory and practice
Research Methodology and Proposal (20 credits)
This specialist module will help you acquire research methods to test your creative practice
Dissertation and Project (60 credits)
During the dissertation, you will create in practice and critically evaluate in writing your final major project, a substantial amount of which can be weighted to either the practical or written thesis
The driving force of the work is an exploration of the creative processes for making new theatre. Reflecting on these practices and both your personal and collective decision making is key to discovering a depth of embedded learning. We champion new dramatic work and embrace new ways of working. Underpinned by a sound, critical and scholarly theoretical framework and cultivated together with the craft of practice, your assessments will demonstrate effective strategies for new theatre.
During your studies you will learn to apply knowledge and understanding, developing work with originality and creativity at its heart. You will also work creatively, collaboratively and collectively with theatre makers who will bring an eclectic range of experiences, interests and styles. Both together and independently you will explore current industry practice and critical thinking. You will passionately want to develop your career, to offer fresh thinking and making-skills to dramatic culture.
An insight into teaching on your course
Following a full-time, highly intensive induction week, the delivery of the programme is designed to give opportunities for those with other personal or professional commitments to structure full-time study in terms of their own time management.
Full group attendance is required for only one whole day a week (at present Fridays 9.30am – 6pm) in Semesters One and Two, although most students find it advantageous to allow two days per week (Thursday and/or Saturday added to the Friday classes) in which to be regularly on-site for tutorials or small group working.
When project work kicks in, however, students may well find it advantageous to be on site much more frequently for group rehearsal purposes. However, with good planning and available transport, students are able to undertake this course without moving to Liverpool.
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.
The most common piece of assessment will be the practical presentation or performance allowing you to develop advanced techniques for sharing creative new work and ideas with audiences. There will be a variety of assessments spread across modules, including in-class presentations, written assignments, critical reflections and portfolios.
Find out about the teaching team
Dr Andrew Sherlock
Dr Andrew Sherlock
Dr Andrew Sherlock is a multi-award winning professional dramatist and has published internationally as a performer, director, writer, songwriter, composer and producer in theatre, television, film, radio and new media. He has been the director, producer and lead creator of four professional theatre and production companies. He was awarded a PhD in published practice by LJMU for five of his original plays with contextualised thesis exploring Liverpool’s popular, politicised theatre.
Professional theatre passion and industry knowledge, together with a wealth of course design and delivery, teaching experience and research practice is embedded in this programme to share with all.
What you can expect from your School
The School is based in the Redmonds Building, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter. Redmonds is shared by two Schools within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies – Liverpool Screen School and the School of Law - and Liverpool Business School, making for a rich blend of student learning experiences. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, social spaces, and a café. It is only a short walk from 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 degree in a Drama, Theatre, Creative or Performing Arts related subject
- A minimum of three years professional training or significant theatre or drama experience with demonstrative creative potential and critical thinking assessed through interview/audition and written submission.
You will be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge to embark on and complete the programme and will provide evidence of your learning capability, study opportunity and commitment in the interview process.
Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
View country specific entry requirements
Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.
All applicants will be called for interview in person or, where not possible online via Zoom/Teams.
You must also prepare one of the following to evidence your specific experience and/or craft in new theatre performance, creation or pedagogy (NB this can be drawn from significant elements/projects from your training e.g. university productions, from work undertaken after your training or from your professional experience).
- For performers - an audition of two contrasting monologues (at least one of which must be original)
- For directors, MDs, designers and choreographers - recorded evidence of your work (preferably on USB stick or your own tablet/laptop) where possible, along with any further documentary evidence of your experience, including a list of productions and/or programmes, designs, etc
- For writers – an example of an original play script or a collection of shorter works of at least studio length (40-60 mins) demonstrating your drama writing ability
- For others, such as, producers, administrators, managers, marketing/publicity specialists or educators, any suitable documentary or recorded evidence of at least two projects undertaken.
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.
In addition, all candidates should bring along a theatre CV outlining their relevant theatre experience and/or other performance experience in any capacity or role. Any other supporting material is also welcome.
In the interview, we will ask you to articulate not only your background and interest in making new theatre but also the reasons why you wish to undertake this course and what you hope to get out of it. You will also be expected to demonstrate your ability to articulate ideas and critique of theatre at a level appropriate to Masters study. Where possible, this assessment will take the form of a group seminar discussion. The interview will be held with at least two members of staff, normally the Programme Leader and one of the delivery team.
In the event of any query regarding preparation, please do not hesitate to contact the Programme Leader A.Sherlock@ljmu.ac.uk for further clarification.
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.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.