2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2023/24

BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Practice

Start date:
Study mode:
Course duration:
3 Year
Mt Pleasant
UCAS code:
Grades/points required:
BCC-BBB (104-120)

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General course enquiries:
0151 231 5090
International course enquiries:

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Why study Musical Theatre Practice at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • Drama at LJMU ranked 17th best in the country in the 2020 Guardian University League Table
  • Opportunities to perform regularly in theatre productions all over Liverpool
  • Stay in touch with our course news and events by following our Instagram account
  • Highly experienced and professionally active staff team
  • Strong links with local organisations including Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, The Unity Theatre, and the Royal Court Theatre as well as connections to musical theatre organisations nationally
  • Friendly and creative atmosphere and an annual performance Festival entirely organised and delivered by students
  • Learning enhancement also through the Production Unit of the Liverpool Screen School (PULSS) and through the Creative Writing society
  • Excellently embedded transferable skills - such as communication, leadership and problem solving

About your course

As a student on the innovative BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Practice at Liverpool John Moores University you will have extensive opportunities to develop your creative and performance skills using our dedicated drama centre and newly refurbished drama studio, and also through our links with leading theatre companies and drama organisations in Liverpool and beyond. You will have opportunities to explore a range of skills and then develop a focus on a personal specialism for your final year of study in preparation for either employment or further study upon graduation. Although this is a new course it is housed in Liverpool Screen School's Drama department and the record of its BA (Hons) Drama provision provided here affirms the values and ethos which underpin this exciting new course.

For millennia, groups of people from all corners of the earth and from all cultures have come together to watch others act out stories. Performing takes us to places through characters so far from ourselves that it helps us learn about what makes us tick.

Above all, the study of all theatre and its practices prepares us to be better citizens. Musical theatre, in particular, has the capacity to transport audiences into imaginary worlds of deep feeling and social significance. The course views the term 'musical theatre' as broadly as possible, and aims to question what we mean by the term, recognising its unique expressive characteristics and potential, just as much as it provides opportunities to develop skills in creating and performing.

This course is based on the idea that, as a community of passionate artists, we are interested in telling stories through musical theatre and are on a journey to find out how we can get better at it.

Moreover we want to not only acknowledge the traditions and discoveries of the past but also seek to make new work that is relevant for our futures.

The course believes that the best practice is also informed by the best thinking and so throughout we integrate aspects of both theory and practice in all aspects of your learning. It also believes that you are the best person to discover how best to learn for yourself and how to apply that in planning for your future, so all our work has one eye on what you might do when you graduate.

From year one, the course marries the study of performance and production fundamentals with an introduction to a range of practical analytical models and ways of thinking about musical theatre. You then study its application in creative practices with some options for individual choices in second year, to a defined specialism (acting/directing/writing/technical/production) allied to personal research and professional preparation in your final year. The course is designed to allow each student to define their own journey through the opportunities afforded and to create their own focus and responsibility for their potential employment.

Throughout and where feasible we seek to work in collaboration with external bodies and artists to provide real world experiences in preparation for work.

There are few better places to study drama and theatre than Liverpool, a city with many theatres and a rich tradition of producing some of the country's best-known playwrights and theatre artists. Presently we use the Royal Court theatre, Unity and Everyman/Playhouse for a range of productions and events during the year, but perhaps more significantly often use other venues and locations for developing and presenting site-specific work. As an example, in 2019 the BA Drama programme developed a large scale 2 hour walking performance through the dunes at Formby for the National Trust. The new BA in Musical Theatre Practice will seek to continue this adventurous tradition.

Many of our BA Drama graduates have gone on to success in the industry in a wide range of roles as well as often forming their own companies and forging distinctive identities. Most recently a graduate company (Ugly Bucket) won three awards at the National Student Drama Festival (2019) and have gone to win wide critical acclaim, now on their third full length show since graduation.

Hear one of our inspiring graduates talking about her experiences studying Drama at LJMU

  • Grace's Story

    Grace's Story

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above 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

Additional costs

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 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 funding pages.


This BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Practice degree equips you with key transferable skills in performance, presentation and interpersonal communication - all of which are highly valued by employers:

  • imagination and creativity
  • communication
  • leading teams, engaging people (those who are less engaged)
  • mapping the employer market
  • adaptability and variability
  • problem-solving
  • adopting/creating a public persona (negotiating ones own nature)
  • confidence
  • collaboration

Naturally, as this is a new programme there is no specific graduate record but what follows is a sample of employment of some of the gradutes from the LJMU Drama department over the years.

Graduate destinations

We are proud of our graduates and the careers they have gone on to forge after leaving LJMU. Below is a list of some of our graduates and their current roles/achievements.

Playwrights and Screen Writers

  • Helen Blakeman: Award winning (BAFTA) freelance playwright and screen writer (BBC)
  • Ella Carmen Greenhill: Freelance playwright and screen writer for TV including Coronation Street and The Dumping ground (ITV and BBC)
  • Collette Kane: Award winning freelance playwright and screen writer (BBC)
  • Joe Ward Munrow: Award winning freelance playwright: winner of 2018 Mercury Weinberger Playwriting Prize
  • Esther Wilson: Award winning freelance playwright and screen / radio writer BBC (BAFTA)
  • Heather Robson: Award winning freelance playwright and screen writer (BBC and Channel 4)
  • Jessica Lea: Screen writer (BBC and Channel 4)

Artistic Directors / Directors / Producers

  • James Blackman-Mackenzie: Chief executive, Eden Court Arts Centre, Inverness
  • Lorne Campbell: Artistic Director, National Theatre of Wales
  • Gordon Miller: Artistic Director, The Unity Theatre, Liverpool
  • Ben Petit-Wade: Artistic Director / Director, Hijinx Theatre Company, Cardiff
  • Elinor Randle: Artistic Director / Director, Tmesis Theatre, Liverpool
  • Michelle Grant: Producer, Everyman and Playhouse
  • Grace Gallagher: Artistic Director, Ugly Bucket Theatre, Liverpool
  • Alex Medlicot: Artistic Director, Liverpool Arts Society, Liverpool
  • Ryan Byrne: Artistic Director, Dead Leicester and MFATS, Liverpool
  • Lauren Dickson: Freelance Director, London
  • Chantelle Walker: Freelance Director, London
  • Jen Heyes: Freelance Director, Liverpool
  • Jack Cooper: Freelance Director, Liverpool
  • James Anders: Freelance Director, Liverpool
  • Chris Tomlinson: Associate Director (YEP) Freelance Director, Liverpool
  • Ellie Hurt: Freelance Director (currently working at National Theatre)
  • Gitika Butoo: Director and Associate Artist, Birmingham Opera Company


Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Level 4

Core modules

Musical Theatre Performance Fundamentals
20 credits

To introduce students to a range of theories and approaches to musical theatre performance, including aspects of sung and spoken voice and movement/dance .

Musical Theatre Production Fundamentals
20 credits

To introduce students to the professional working vocabularies surrounding different aspects of production and technical activities in making performance, and the origins and development of key roles in these areas.

Living Analysis
20 credits

To introduce students to a range of models of analysing theatre musical theatre texts, both as script (libretto, score, etc) and performance; To provide opportunities for students to assess and develop their skill in writing and presenting academic papers/essays. A combination of lectures and practical seminar/workshop which explores modes of theoretical and practical analysis through discussion allied to work on the rehearsal floor.

Acting, Play and the Musical
20 credits

To introduce the principles of play and spontaneity as they relate to the processes of musical theatre performing, and the work of relevant practitioners.

Repertoire and Theory in Practice
20 credits

To introduce students to a range of contemporary and historical theoretical perspectives on musical theatre performance and repertoire

Musical Theatre Project 1 - (Scripted)
20 credits

To provide opportunity for students to consolidate and nurture musical theatre performance and acting skills through research, rehearsal and performance.

Level 5

Core modules

Making Musical Theatre
20 credits

To expand understanding of musical theatre making by introducing students to the background and crafts of the director and other creative personnel. To further develop collaborative working practices in a creative and interpretive context To develop students ability to develop and present creative ideas in oral presentation. The module introduces further creative skills in the making of performance in terms of creative personnel and processes, usually through a series of directed exercises.

Musical Theatre Performance and Practitioners
20 credits

To introduce students to a range of contemporary performance forms and practitioners To expand and enhance the students level of conceptual understanding associated with critical approaches to performance. To develop students' ability to write coherently about contemporary performance with appropriate academic presentation A series of lecture/seminars that examines and deconstructs contemporary examples of practice and offers a range of critical frameworks for analysis.

Musical Theatre Project 2 - (Popular Theatre)
20 credits

To engage students in the techniques and processes associated with presenting work for the stage from in a popular theatre context To offer the opportunity for students to work collaboratively in producing theatrical performance that engages directly with its audience This is a practical, workshop-based module which will be directed by a staff director, musical director and choreographer as appropriate. It will culminate in a presentation of musical theatre material focused upon the direct relationship between performer and audience. Students will receive feedback on their skillsets in both tutorial and rehearsal contexts.

Musical Theatre Ensemble
20 credits

To offer opportunity for students to develop advanced ensemble skills in musical theatre performance, through rehearsing and presenting work that includes complex vocal and movement/dance sequences. To develop theoretical understanding of the place of ensemble/chorus in musical theatre in terms of musico-dramatic function, theatrical convention and working practice. A workshop module where students develop further more specialist skills leading to a sharing of material explored in an appropriate format.

Musical Theatre Project 3 – (Collage)
20 credits

To engage students in the techniques and processes associated with producing a piece of musical theatre that is created from researching and putting together extant, new musical theatre and non-musical theatre texts around a central idea or theme. To offer the opportunity for students to work collaboratively and self-direct in producing musical theatre that aims to be both informative and entertaining To enhance students' capacity for peer and self-evaluation of self-directed work. A project module focusing on specific context and function of performance. Material will be drawn from a range of sources as appropriate.

Musical Theatre Research and Proposal
20 credits

To enhance students ability to deal with advanced concepts, philosophies and critical frameworks appropriate to musical theatre practice research; To equip students with appropriate enhanced skills in use of supporting technologies in designing and proposing a piece of focused academic research. To make students aware of all ethical and academic propriety issues and practices connected to LJMU research. To enable students to develop their independent ideas for a final written dissertation. This module marries conceptual thinking with practical methodologies for research into performance, and though the assessment word count for the summative assessment submission is relatively limited at this level it aims to promote clarity of thought and determine the ability to synthesise both strands of the work into a focused research proposal.

Optional modules

Study Year Abroad - Musical Theatre Practice
120 credits

This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study.

Level 6

Core modules

Advanced Musical Theatre Practice 1
20 credits

To offer students an opportunity to extend independent preparation and practice and develop advanced skills in a selected musical theatre role.

MT Production Company
20 credits

To further develop students understanding of production and company infrastructures and base of operation To develop conceptual and practical considerations of the freelance musical theatre artist To further enhance students' ability to work independently and collectively This module further offers students the opportunity to develop either a festival event pitch or a personal company business plan as a means of enhancing potential future employability. Where appropriate the module will invite alumni who have real world experience of founding and running their own companies, or who have run festivals or similar events, to contribute to delivery.

Musical Theatre Platform Presentation
20 credits

To offer opportunity for students to share their personal interest in a chosen aspect of drama or theatre practice; To develop advanced skills at researching, planning and delivering effective presentations Students may choose to approach any subject related to musical theatre (this to be agreed with the tutor) - and they should aim to engage, inform, entertain and inspire their audience. Length to be agreed with the tutor clarity and concise design and delivery is encouraged, appropriate to the nature of the event.

Musical Theatre Dissertation
20 credits

To enable students to present an extended written analysis of a topic of their choosing The module forms the cumulative element of critical scholarship in the programme. Its 20 credit weighting parallels that of the BA Drama programme and also places it in equal balance with Advanced Musical Theatre Practice 2, reflecting the equal and symbiotic nature of theory and practice of the programme. There is no requirement to link the work of the two modules but students may do so in agreement with tutors if appropriate.

Musical Theatre Portfolio
20 credits

To provide students with a variety of practical and administrative skills associated with a range of Musical Theatre workplaces to enhance and support their career aspirations. To increase students' understanding of a range of musical theatre-related, vocational contexts. To help students enhance their skills in self-presentation and self-reflection in drama-related, vocational contexts The module enables students to develop materials appropriate to self-marketing in relation to future employability, and may draw upon recorded material from previous modules.

Advanced Musical Theatre Practice 2
20 credits

To provide students with the opportunity to make a significant contribution, by means of a specific function, to a creative ensemble in the production of works of theatre To consolidate students' artistic, technical and administrative abilities and skills in the context of a public festival of theatre To facilitate and consolidate students' ability to wok autonomously as theatre practitioners The module is the cumulative point of application of skills and creative practice developed during the course, and provides a public platform for showing work.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

Teaching is delivered via a combination of practical and workshop classes, lectures, seminars, online activities and individual tutorials. Private study and research is an important aspect of degree-level study and so you will be expected to spend about 40% of your time working independently, when preparing an essay or seminar paper.

Work-related Learning

At both Departmental and School level we are often approached by organisations seeking actors or other artists for work.

This work could be paid or on a voluntary basis and could be within or outside the performing arts industries. It provides an invaluable opportunity to practice the skills you have learnt during the course and gain professional experience that will add real value to your CV.

Other work-related learning opportunities could include specialist advice and practical classes in audition and interview technique, or study and research into other areas of work such as teaching, administration and marketing.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

If you decide to join this programme, you will become part of a lively and creative group of individuals who value teamwork and peer support. Your tutors open door policy means you can seek help and guidance at any time and you will also be assigned a personal tutor who will be responsible for your academic progress and deal with any concerns that you might have throughout your time at LJMU.


Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

Practical assessments could be in the form of presentations (performing in or directing a show, for example), painting a set or designing lights or costumes, writing a script, managing a production, or performing a stand-up set. In addition practical oral presentations either individual or group are used. First year assessments place weighting on continuous assessment the learning and development of process over a period of weeks. There are also final year modules where student agree a range of activities as a portfolio of assessment appropriate to the individual specialism.

More traditionally academic assessments of knowledge could be in the form of exams, essays, seminar presentations, class tests, or viva voces.

Constructive feedback is always useful in helping you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work, and this is provided either online, in writing or at a one-to-one meeting with your tutor. We also utilise self and peer assessment to further enhance the quality of our assessment and feedback.


Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

The teaching team are highly experienced and professionally active professional who also develop research in their specialist areas in support of your learning.

Where you will study

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. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, TV studios, radio suites, green screen, editing rooms and news rooms, social spaces, and a cafe. 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 seven days a week.


Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Grades/points required from qualifications: BCC-BBB (104-120)

Qualification requirements

GCSEs and equivalents

Grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics/ Numeracy.

GCSE Equivalences accepted:
• Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
• NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
• Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
• Higher Diploma in Maths/English
• Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
• Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A levels

BCC-BBB Minimum Number of A Levels: 2
Maximum AS UCAS Points: 20


Extended Diploma: DMM

Access awards

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

Pass overall with a minimum of 104 points

International Baccalaureate

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

OCR Cambridge Technical

Extended Diploma: DMM

Irish awards

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications

T levels

Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.

You need to obtain the required UCAS points from a related subject area.

Additional requirements

  • Interview required

    Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an audition and interview

International requirements


    6.0 overall with no component below 5.5, taken within two years of the course start date.


International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.

All applicants should possess the following essential qualities:

  • Evidence of an enthusiastic and sustained interest in Musical Theatre
  • Good performance skills - vocal, physical and intellectual - appropriate to the demands of the working practices on the course
  • Time management, as you will have to work to show deadlines on a regular basis
  • Flexibility: we often rehearse and perform in the evenings and at weekends

These qualities will be assessed through an interview and an audition after having initially been assessed from your UCAS application.

Your initial UCAS application will inform our decision on whether to offer you an interview and audition, but will by no means wholly inform our decision on whether to offer you a place to study Musical Theatre or not.

Therefore, any information that you can give on your UCAS form which allows us to get a sense of how well you manage your time, how engaged you are with external activities and how proactive you have been in seeking out interesting challenges (of all sorts!) and creative engagements would be very useful as they will inform the above-mentioned essential criteria.

Interview and Audition Criteria

Applicants who attend for audition and interview will be assessed on the following criteria:

We'll be looking for this in the Workshop:

Your willingness to enter practical workshop processes and group work: How well you work with other people in a group - are you co-operative and proactive?
Creativity: What imaginative qualities did you bring?

We'll be looking for this in the Individual Interview:

Your critical ability: How well you know your subject area and can offer opinions.

Your academic potential: Do your grades or predictions marry with your performance in articulating your passions and interests at interview?

Your appropriate presence: How well did you present yourself in terms of confidence and engagement with your activities/conversation?

We'll be looking for this in your Audition song(s):

Acting potential - your ability to tell the story of the song and enter into an imaginary world appropriate for the delivery of this programme.

Your ability to engage your audience.

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.