Contemporary Pantomime Practice

Study options



Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
13 Months
Start date:
26 September 2022

World leading

First course the world focusing on contemporary manifestations of pantomime

Industry recognised

Study a course in association with Wilkes Academy

Experienced teaching

Study with practicing experts and researchers in the field

Study the first ever Masters level qualification that offers research and practical study in Contemporary Pantomime Practice.

Developed in association with Wilkes Academy, and supported by the UK's leading pantomime producers, the emphasis of this MA is strongly vocational, allowing for formal industry ‘training’ and careers networking through placements and work experience.

Through the MA Contemporary Pantomime Practice, you will negotiate hyper-personalised learning routes, to develop your skillset in areas of pantomime practice you want to advance and explore in your practical study and training.

What's more, you will then work with established industry professionals and pantomime experts in workshops and rehearsals to explore these. These may include stock character conventions; audience participation and direct address; slapstick, comic routines and topicality; music, orchestration and sound; movement and choreography; the use of magic, transformation and illusion; scenography and design etc.

You will be taught by professionals with real-world experience in the theatre industry, using the fantastic studio spaces and workshop facilities at our award-winning institution. 

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MA Contemporary Pantomime Practice

Course content

You will begin your study by researching the landscape of current pantomime practice from a variety of different perspectives and contexts: commercial, repertory and community. You will explore the impact of past traditions and lineages, investigate and challenge notions of tradition, study regional, national and international differences in the expression of the form; and critically appraise how the impact of the COVID pandemic, and recent advances in digital technologies, has led to innovation and change. Where appropriate, your work will be further contextualised by developments in associated popular art forms including musical theatre, cabaret, drag, variety and circus.

You will undertake an Industry placement and associated training opportunities with the UK’s leading pantomime producers and engage in current industry debates e.g., impact of Disney, impact of ‘Me Too’, casting, inclusivity, ethics etc.

Working with Be Inspired Staffs, you will learn how to pitch your work and improve your audition, interview and presentation skills, using traditional and digital formats.

In the final module, you will collaborate with others to create and produce your own original pantomime, that responds to, reflects and celebrates contemporary British multicultural society. This will be performed in schools, colleges and other venues and you will be encouraged to tour your work to theatres, arts centres and festivals.

Would you like to know more?

Please contact our Course Leader, Richard Cheshire for more information:

Entry requirements

A 2:1 degree in a relevant subject or equivalent professional industry experience.

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.


Successfully completing an MA of this kind can lead to many different careers within theatre and the creative industries. It provides industry practitioners with opportunities to extend and advance their existing skills and knowledge and can also lead to further academic study.

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

Teaching and assessment


The assessment for the MA is authentic and embraces practical etudes, rehearsals, performance presentations, seminar presentations, oral reflections. There are no formal exams and the format of many of the assignments can be negotiated.

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.


You will receive regular formative feedback during workshops and rehearsals from a variety of staff. Summative feedback after each assignment will be given by your Academic and/or Creative mentor.

Independent learning

Independent learning will include readings, viewings, preparation for rehearsals, workshops, discussions and shoots. You will also independently rehearse, create work, write and explore. You will be given structured self-led independent briefs for the modules.


All of our teaching staff are highly qualified academics, many with practice as research, books and academic journals to their name. The staff also has practitioners of calibre, who are practising actors, directors, film-makers and writers. These will be supported by colleagues from Wilkes Academy, distinguished visiting professional practitioners and experts.


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 the Head of Department of Media, Performance and Communication. Robert also works in professional theatre as a director and writer, and writes on rehearsal studies, directing practice and British pantomime amongst other topics.

Robert's profile

Stephen Griffiths

Course Director

Stephen's teaching centres on broadcast programme histories and media performance, especially acting on television. His research interests include broadcast light entertainment and comedy, television drama, and children's programming.

Stephen's profile

Jo Dawson


I am a Lecturer on both the BA Acting for Stage and Screen course and the MA in Collaborative Theatre Practice, specialising in the backstage, technical and scenographic areas.

Jo'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


For the course starting on 26 September 2022 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MA-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,245 per course £15,000 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

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:
  • Theatre visits
  • Placement expenses
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 26 September 2022 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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