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.
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.
Research and Practice in Theatre and Performance - 20 credits
This considers issues of practice as research, reflective practice, creativity, and production processes.
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 the final part of your MA you choose one of the above modules, allowing you to specialise in the area of Drama practice or research that is most important to you. 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.
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.
During your course you will be assessed through a range of methods such practical performance work, written and audio-visual portfolio, workshop facilitation, presentation, and essay.
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.
- Dr Jodie Allinson, drama course leader
- Michael Carklin
- Sean Tuan John
- Dr Márta Minier
- Dr Sarah Crews
- Dr Emily Underwood-Lee
- Matthew Gough
- Steve Fisher
- Dr Thania Acaron
- Dr Jesse Schwenk
- Dr Sera Moore Williams
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
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.
International Entry Requirements:
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.
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9500
Full-time International: £14950
Part-time UK: £1030 per 20 credits
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: £15850
Part-time UK: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24
The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24
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.