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Theatre Studies


The Theatre Studies MLitt is an innovative and engaging postgraduate degree programme that will allow you to study many aspects of the theatre, drawing on the unique relationship between Dundee Rep Theatre and the University of Dundee.

Closing date: For entry Sept 2014, apply before 18th July 2014, if you need a visa to study in the UK

Why study Theatre Studies at Dundee?

Taught in association with the award-winning Dundee Rep Theatre, our highly creative and practically oriented MLitt in Theatre Studies is like no other degree available in Scotland. We have the distinctive facility of a working theatre - Dundee Rep Theatre, with Scotland's only full-time resident company of actors and contemporary dancers - as a collaborator.

Staff in both the School of Humanities and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design are engaged in theatre-based research and teaching, and when combined with the practical expertise and skill based at the Rep this co-operation makes for a highly distinctive programme of study if you are interested in the theatre.

Students on the course therefore have the opportunities to explore the theatre from many different perspectives, including literary history, creative writing with Kirsty Gunn (a critically acclaimed award-winning novelist), performance, directing, and theatre design.

Links with industry professionals

In addition to the close working relationship with the Rep, this course includes workshops and presentations from industry professionals, and the possibility of placements with organisations and companies working in related areas.

The University of Dundee also has strong links with several prestigious playwrights and actors, such as Sir Peter Ustinov, John Byrne, Stephen Fry and Brian Cox (currently Rector of the University), whose generous support has been instrumental in the development of the Theatre Studies programme.

"What makes MLitt Theatre Studies exciting is that it is new, innovative and very much depends on what the students and participants are prepared to bring to it, therefore opening up the subject of theatre in a very organic way. The technical and creative writing aspects allow exploration of a broad spectrum for would-be designers, directors and theatre craftsmen, and give an insight into what is possible - providing a jumping off point for a career in the theatre. Dundee's Theatre Studies MLitt is a wholly unique course which is ever-changing and ever-developing to meet the needs of the individual student - that is the strength and power of the course."
Brian Cox, actor and University Rector

Aims of the Programme

This degree programme is designed to provide you with a practical and theoretical understanding of theatre studies and the way plays are created, developed and produced. You will be encouraged to think critically about the theatre, to engage with the history of dramatic performance, and to appreciate the importance of critical close analysis of the theatre. Throughout the course there will also be opportunities to work alongside theatre professionals, within a vibrant and engaging theatrical context which will enable you to enhance theory with practice.

If you are practically-inclined, you will have the option to develop and present work, either individually or in collaboration, at an end-of-year presentation as part of your core assessment.

Who should study this course?

There are two teaching semesters, from September to December and from January to March. From April onwards, you will write a dissertation or work on a collaborative project.

Postgraduate Culture

The School of Humanities and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design provide a lively postgraduate culture, including regular postgraduate forums, postgraduate websites, visiting speakers and an annual postgraduate conference held in Dundee.


Related Courses

MLitt Comics Studies
MLitt Film Studies
MLitt Writing Practice & Study

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by the English team, based in the School of Humanities, the staff from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and by Dundee Rep Theatre staff and visiting theatre professionals.

The course starts in September each year and lasts for 12 months on a full-time basis or 24 months on a part-time basis.

How you will be taught

This course will be delivered in the form of seminars, workshops, master classes, and practical exercises. Often these will relate to performances that are underway at the Rep, enabling you to understand the whole process, from planning, to marketing, design, rehearsal and performance.

The training focuses on gaining experience in the industry and you will be working on live productions behind the scenes of a working theatre.

What you will study

There are two teaching semesters, from September to December and from January to March.

From April onwards, you will write a dissertation or work on a collaborative project.

You must take the core module below, and two optional modules, plus the dissertation (for the award of MLitt).

Semester 1

Semester 2


In addition to the taught elements of your course and the masterclasses you will be able to undertake workshops on key areas, with input from the Rep, actors and the JOOT Theatre Company. These will cover themes such as:

  • Directing and Producing a Play
  • Marketing and Managing a Theatre
  • The Presence of the Actor
  • The Presence of the Dancer

How you will be assessed

Assessment consists of written coursework/continuous assessment and either a dissertation of approximately 18,000 words, or a collaborative project.

Dissertations are supervised on a one-to-one basis to ensure continuity, and this will provide you with the opportunity to work on an area of your own choosing (subject to approval by the tutor).

All students must attempt the dissertation or a collaborative project. Students whose dissertation or project fails to satisfy the examiners will be awarded the PG Diploma, provided that the taught elements of the course have been successfully completed.


This course offers good employment opportunities for anyone interested in working in the theatre and theatre scholarship and criticism.

Possible careers include: theatre critic, script writer, theatre designer, director, an academic with expertise in Theatre Studies.

Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.

Entry Requirements

Students will normally be expected to have a 2:1 honours degree in English or a related discipline, but applicants with experience equivalent to a degree may be considered.

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 7.0 overall, with no component less than 7.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2014-15 £4,500 £12,500

Sources of Funding

Theatre Studies Scholarships

£1,500 scholarships towards tuition fee for Home/EU students entering the MLitt in Film Studies programme ( £750 if studying part-time)

Information about the School of Humanities scholarships can be found on the School of Humanities scholarships webpage.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

How to Apply

Apply online via UKPASS

You must read the information regarding how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Course Contact

Prof Mark Robson
School of Humanities
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384411 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384411 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 386794 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 386794 (from outside the UK)


Admissions Contact

Postgraduate Admissions
Admissions and Student Recruitment
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384 384 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384 384 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385 500 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385 500 (from outside the UK)