This drama masters reflects the contemporary professional world which calls for flexible, innovative practitioners who are willing and able to work across the full range of theatre and media. These roles might range from mainstream professional organisations to applied and community contexts.
Whether you are an experienced artist wishing to have the time and space to develop your practice, or starting out in your career as a theatre maker, drama practitioner, story-teller or educator, the MA Drama course will help you fulfil your potential.
The course has a high level of practical exploration, under-pinned by critical reflection, with excellent support and supervision. The over-riding ethos is on reflective practice: making work, writing about it, watching work, and exploring different approaches thoughtfully.
Though the emphasis is on theatre, there are opportunities to work through other media for those students with appropriate experience and aspirations.
The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
Module content is broad and flexible, which enables you to take full advantage of the spectrum of staff expertise within the faculty.
You will study the following:
Reflective Practice 1: Theatre and Performance Practices - 40 credits
This consists of a range of masterclasses related to different aspects of theatre-making and performance, for example, scenography, approaches to directing, acting, physical performance and adaptation. However, each student works towards a piece of assessment that reflects their own interests in terms of what they want to explore and develop.
Reflective Practice 2: Themes, Contexts and Applications - 40 credits
This continues with a series of workshops that have a very broadly applied feel, so this includes drama and theatre in education, performance & human rights, story-telling, site-specific theatre etc. Again, each student can focus their assessed work according to a specific line of enquiry they wish to explore. Students can work individually or collaboratively.
Professional Practices in Drama - 20 credits
This is based on a number of seminars with visiting professionals (theatre-makers, arts organisations). You are also required to visit two organisations or companies of your choice as the basis for an assessed presentation, focusing on their working methods and structures. We guide you in making these choices, and most importantly, help you to think about who it would be useful to meet and develop contacts with.
Major Production Project in Drama / Dissertation - 60 credits
For these modules you are allocated a supervisor who guide you. For either of these modules, the choice of specific focus is up to each individual student, but you are working towards a major piece of work as the culmination of the degree.
Plus one of the following modules:
Research Methods - 20 credits
This focuses on research paradigms and their theoretical underpinnings. It also looks at key conceptual tools drawn from a wide range of subject areas relevant to postgraduate research in the creative industries.
Research and Practice in the Creative Industries - 20 credits
This considers issues of practice as research, reflective practice, creativity, and production processes.
Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship - 20 credits
This aims to develop your knowledge of the methods to identify, develop and manage enterprise and innovation in the creative sector. It will then help you apply this to your own entrepreneurial project.
You will study through practical workshops lectures, seminars and individual supervision by an appointed tutor.
You will undertake a series of visits to companies and professional productions of all kinds in order to extend your critical understanding of a variety of professional contexts.
You will also have the opportunity to contribute to a variety of projects, seminar programmes, public productions, conferences and symposia that are part of the life of ATRiuM. Many of these involve professional organisations and some receive support from partners such as Skillset, BAFTA, professional theatre companies or broadcasters.
You will be assessed through individual assignments, group work and examinations, as well as the completion of a dissertation or major production.
The University has impressive facilities thanks to our £14.7m extension of the ATRiuM building. This building now has a 160-seat auditorium theatre with a sprung stage floor, full lighting rig, two brand-new dance studios and multimedia facilities. There are also four black box studio theatres, and professional film studios with ‘green screen’ and motion capture facilities, among other new facilities.
Studying Drama in Cardiff means you’ll have world-class venues and production companies on your doorstep, including the headquarters of BBC Wales, a major centre for production in the UK (Dr Who, Torchwood), the recently developed Pinewood Studios Wales, National Theatre Wales and the Welsh National Opera amongst others.
Admission to this programme is by application and demonstration of appropriate practical experience. You will normally be expected to hold a good Honours degree (2:1 or above). This degree does not necessarily need to be in a drama-related subject, but all applicants will be expected to have a documented advanced interest in key aspects of the broad field of drama.
Professional practitioners without a degree may be in a position to apply via the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) route. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
USW’s MA Drama course provides an advanced professional development opportunity for those working in or wishing to work in contexts where drama is used. These include individual professional practitioners, teachers and educators, and applied drama specialists in a variety of contexts, as well as those who want to use drama skills in the film and television industries.
Graduates can also progress to a PhD or research degree.