Theatre Studies MLitt (and degree combinations)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • School: Humanities
  • Study Mode: Full Time
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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.

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 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.

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.

We offer a regular postgraduate forum, visiting speakers and an annual postgraduate conference. Students benefit from a range of Generic Skills classes throughout the year.

Who should study this course?

If you are interested in the theatre, and want to expand your knowledge through research and practical, vocationally orientated experience, then this course should appeal to you. We offer workshops with professionals working in the theatre and the possibility of placements with Dundee Rep Theatre.

Whatever your career aspirations, the course is geared towards employability, seeking to enhance skills and refine knowledge that will greatly aid you in the pursuit of your chosen career. 

We offer a Theatre Studies Masters tailored to your needs, and like no other offered in the UK.

Language Learning

If you need to acquire or improve your foreign language skills to enhance your postgraduate studies, (e.g. to read texts in a native language), you can enrol on a Languages for All course free of charge.

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.

Related Courses

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.

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, plus optional modules from a list such as the one below, plus the dissertation or project (for the award of MLitt).

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

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.