Collaborative Theatre Practice

Study options



Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
13 Months
Start date:
23 September 2024

Immerse yourself in industry

Take advantage of our links to industry with mentoring sessions, workshops and masterclasses.

Build your own company

Create a professional theatre company and tour your work to venues of your choice.

Develop existing skills

Build on your current knowledge of performance and traditional and digital promotion.

Let us guide you to authentic and meaningful opportunities for developing your creative collaboration in various theatrical contexts with your postgraduate degree in collaborative theatre practice.

Developed in response to sector needs and aimed at highly motivated graduates, our innovative MA provides the perfect opportunity for you to improve and strengthen your collaborative working within the theatre practice. The course involves the planning, development and creation of your own theatre companies, highlighting the importance of classical and contemporary texts from page to stage.

Our course creates opportunities for students to thrive in theatre practice, ranging from departmental undergraduate projects to engaging and working with creative industry experts on professional work experience in Theatres and Arts Centres in the local and wider communities. The programme will culminate in you forming a unique MA company and presenting your work to a public audience.

Through our course, you will be able to negotiate the production roles and opportunities that you want to explore with a professionally active mentor, playing to strengths and interests you have already acquired in the field through work or study.

Upon successful completion of the MA, you will have the opportunity to apply to the Be Inspired team at Staffs for a year’s free careers mentoring and a grant of up to £3,000 to support your company's work.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MA Collaborative Theatre Practice

Course content

Academic year

Throughout your course, you will be asked searching questions around contemporary theatre making processes and investigate current creative industry debates and concerns, while studying four separate modules:

  • Staging Plays 1: Visualisation

Your first module will introduce you to a variety of creative industry professionals and Departmental staff, who you’ll work with to research past and contemporary collaborative theatre making concepts, ideas, frameworks and methods. You will learn about the roles and responsibilities of the creative team and work with professional directors to visualise your ideas and concepts for both a classical and contemporary play.

  • Staging Plays 2: Realisation

In this module, you will negotiate the role/s they wish to work on for departmental or negotiated community or professional productions. You will also get the opportunity to advance and deepen your skills and knowledges through the application and testing of a variety of collaborative theatre methodologies in practice, critically reflecting upon your creative achievements along the way.

  • Industry Perspectives: Entrepreneurship, Employability, Enterprise

Working with the Be Inspired Team at Staffs University, you will learn about the legal and administrative logistics of forming and running your own theatre company. You will also learn how to promote and market yourself using traditional and contemporary platforms and negotiate and undertake your own industry work experience

  • Creative Company: Innovation and Impact

In this final module, you will be empowered to collaborate with others to create, run and manage your own professional Theatre Company. You will determine an identity and ethos for the company, establish the target audience(s), agree on the theatrical material you wish to generate and arrange the performance venues. You will also be given a budget and opportunity to employ and work with professional actors. Finally, you will critically reflect upon and appraise your work.

MA Collaborative Theatre Practice

MA Collaborative Theatre Practice


Course Leader, Richard Cheshire explains why our new MA Collaborative Theatre Practice was created and the need for practitioners to be multi-skilled.

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Module structure*

  • Staging Plays 1: Visualisation (40 credits)
  • Staging Plays 2: Realisation (40 credits)
  • Industry Perspectives: Entrepreneurship, Employability, Enterprise (40 credits)
  • Creative Company: Innovation and Impact (60 credits)

*May be subject to minor change

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Creative Company: Innovation And Impact 60 credits
Industry Perspectives: Entrepreneurship, Employability, Enterprise 40 credits
Staging Plays 1 - Visualisation 40 credits
Staging Plays 2: Realisation 40 credits

Entry requirements

Honours degree of 2:1 or above, or relevant professional experience, in a related area. Entry to the programme is open to both National and International Drama and Theatre graduates with a proven aptitude and ability in their specialist area i.e., as directors, dramaturgs, scenographers, technicians and/or stage and production managers cut or to actors and directors who wish to broaden their knowledge and experience.

It may also be of interest to actors who want to extend their knowledge, understanding and experience of collaborative theatre making processes for text-based theatre.

We welcome and encourage applications from students from a wide variety of culturally diverse backgrounds. These include working theatre professionals, teachers, performers and other creative industry practitioners who are interested in upskilling and advancing their personal and professional development. 

All prospective students will be interviewed.

If you have any questions or would like further information about this course, please contact Richard Cheshire (MA Course Leader) at

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.


After completing the Collaborative Theatre Practice MA, you’ll be equipped with transferable skills attractive to employers. These can be adapted to a range of professions including many embraced by the Creative Industries: 

  • Theatre and Performance 
  • Directing 
  • Teaching 
  • Applied Theatre and Community theatre practitioners
  • Theatre Marketing, Management and Administration 
  • Academia 
  • Journalism 
  • Events Management and presentation. 
  • Leadership and Managerial roles.

Eager for more knowledge? Upon completion, you will be ideally placed for further academic study at PhD level. 

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Teaching and assessment


On this course, you will learn via a combination of masterclasses, workshops, rehearsals, seminars, production meetings and tutorials. Independent study and research also constitute an important part of your learning. You will be given reading assignments on a regular basis. Tutors will provide supporting materials and formative and summative assessments to help you. Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are.  

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


We know that it is important for you to be able to evaluate your progress. Your personal mentor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do.We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.


Students will be working with staff who have strong connections with/or work within the creative industries. It is intended that the teaching and mentoring of the programme should be complimented by visiting recognised industry practitioners and experts working at the forefront of the profession.

Richard Cheshire

Senior Lecturer

I am an experienced University lecturer in Drama and a practicing freelance professional theatre director, with a strong interest in Shakespeare, contemporary manifestations of Pantomime, Musical and Popular Theatre.

Richard's profile

Dr Robert Marsden

Head Of Department- Media And Perf

Dr Robert Marsden is Head of Department for Media, Performance and Communication and a professional theatre director. He has also published on directing, pantomime and rehearsal studies and teaches across drama, film and English/Creative Writing.

Robert's profile

Eleanor Slade


I am a performance designer, lecturer in scenography, and a doctoral researcher. My main areas of interest are the social aspects of scenography, and scenographic / design-based strategies in collaborative theatre & performance making.

Eleanor's profile

Dr Rebecca Woodford-Smith

Associate Professsor

I’m an educator and theatre practitioner with a research background and an HE teaching portfolio. I have extensive experience and expertise as a performance-maker, focusing on interdisciplinary collaboration, physical theatre, and somatic practices.

Rebecca's profile


For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MA-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,900 per course £16,750 per course

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

Cost of the main materials for the staging of course related productions. All major productions have a fixed budget that participating students manage as part of the production development and staging.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.


Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus MA Full-time 23 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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Study options
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