MA Drama

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 MA Drama is designed to consider the contemporary practices of drama, theatre-making and performance in a variety of different contexts. 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.

MA Drama offers you the benefit of working with other creative and like-minded individuals on core elements in the field of drama. Module content is broad and flexible, which enables you to take full advantage of the spectrum of staff expertise within the faculty. Though the emphasis is on theatre, there will also be opportunities to work through other media for those students with appropriate experience and aspirations. 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.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
Part-time 2 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
Part-time 2 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

The course 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.

You will study the following modules:

  • Reflective Practice 1: Theatre and Performance Practices (40 credits)
  • Reflective Practice 2: Themes, Contexts and Applications (40 credits)
  • Professional Practices in Drama (20 credits)
  • One of:
    • Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
    • Research and Practice in the Creative Industries
    • Research Methods: Research Paradigms  (20 credits)
  • Major Production Project, or Dissertation, or Learning Through Employment Research Project (60 credits)

Further Information on Modules

'Reflective Practice 1: Theatre & Performance Practices' 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' 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' 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.
Each student also does one of the three cross faculty modules (or ‘common modules’): Research Methods; or Research and Practice in the Creative Industries; or Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship. These is a one-term seminar-based modules taken by all students doing taught MA courses in the faculty. So here you might be in a class with students studying MAs in Music Production, Song-writing, Animation, Graphic Design, Art Practice, Fashion and Film Production. We would give you more information about each before you need to make a choice, but broadly speaking:

  • ‘Research Methods’ 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 & Practice in the Creative Industries’ considers issues of practice as research, reflective practice, creativity, and production processes.
  • ‘Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship’ 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.

Then, finally, you do the “Major Production Project in Drama”, or the “Dissertation”. 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. There is also the option of completing these 60 credits with the “Learning Through Employment” module, detailed below.

Module content is broad and flexible, which enables you to take full advantage of the spectrum of staff expertise in the Faculty. There is an opportunity to study related modules from other postgraduate awards.


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.

Learning Through Employment

Learning Through Employment is a University of South Wales framework that offers students who are already in employment the opportunity to gain credits towards a postgraduate qualification.

The programme is structured so that the majority of learning takes place through active and reflective engagement with your work activities, underpinned by the appropriate academic knowledge and skills.

All postgraduate courses in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries offer students the opportunity to undertake a 60 credit Learning Through Employment Research Project as an alternative to a traditional final dissertation, major project or production.

The focus of the project is an individual, organisational problem solving, knowledge-based approach. As such, it has been is designed for practising professionals to provide them with the tools to succeed in the workplace.

This truly flexible approach means that projects can be based on an agreed area of work, benefitting students and employers, and because the majority of the project is carried out in the workplace, it can potentially be undertaken anywhere in the world.



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 new arts 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.


Admission to this programme is by application, interview 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.

English requirements

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 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International:  £13400 

  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

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.

Apply directly to the University if you are applying for a part-time, professional or postgraduate course, an Erasmus/Exchange programme, the Legal Practice (part-time) course, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution.    

Apply now 

Admissions statement 

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.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.