Explore the application of theatre practice as an interventionist tool, and discover how to use theatre to effect social change.
This course allows you to investigate current issues, debates and theories around applied theatre in the diverse contexts of education, health and mental health, community work, and the criminal justice system.
You’ll gain a critical understanding of issues relating to applied theatre, such as ethics, boundaries, and evaluation, alongside structures of good practice. You’ll also develop your own creative practice, honing your facilitation skills with expert guidance from established practitioners.
Throughout, you’ll have opportunities to apply your learning through workshops and practice-led research. You can also deliver a project in collaboration with an external partner, allowing you to focus on a particular issue such as intergenerational arts or asylum seeker integration.
Leeds has a thriving cultural scene, and we have partnerships with many organisations that are engaged in applied theatre practice including Leeds Playhouse, Red Ladder Theatre Company, and theatre in education company Blah Blah Blah. We also work closely with local institutions like schools, hospitals, and Leeds City Council, as well as a range of third sector organisations.
Our School is based in stage@leeds, a purpose-built landmark building that sits at the heart of campus. As our student, you’ll have access to its two professional standard, publicly licensed theatres: the main space seats 180 and is equipped with the latest technologies, and the theatre studio provides a technically advanced performance research facility.
stage@leeds hosts a range of work by students and visiting theatre companies all year round. Within the building you’ll also find rehearsal rooms, two black-box studios, costume construction and wardrobe stores, a design studio, a scenic workshop, computer aided design facilities and video-editing and sound recording
Our greatest resource is our links with the local community. Partnership working is fundamental to applied theatre, and the unique requests and needs of our community partners inspire and shape our work with them.
Leeds University Library is one of the UK’s major academic research libraries, and has extensive holdings to support your studies including Special Collections offering a huge range of rare books, manuscripts and art. You’ll have access to materials relating to Leeds Playhouse, Phoenix Dance Theatre, and more.
Many of the Library’s materials are available online, allowing you to access them from a distance. You’ll also have access to study services like one-to-one support and skills development workshops, which will help you to get the most out of your time with us.
You’ll study compulsory modules designed to give you a solid base of theoretical knowledge and high level research skills.
You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules, giving you the ability to tailor your studies to suit your interests and career ambitions.
Depending on your optional module choices, you’ll also have the chance to apply your learning in context by constructing your own project in collaboration. Outcomes could be creative workshops, toolkits of best practice, or performance processes with participants. This can be with an organisation engaged in applied theatre, or in a setting where applied theatre is practiced.
As you progress through your studies, you’ll apply what you’ve learned in an independent research project on a topic of your choice. This can be a written dissertation or a piece of practice-led research with a written commentary.
If you choose to study part time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Critical Concepts in Applied Theatre and Intervention
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
Engaging the Modern City: The Civic Researcher
Performance and Collaborative Enterprise
Audience Engagement and Impact
Cultural Participation and Participatory Cultures
Arts and Activism
Popular Performance: from music hall to variety television
Cultural Policy and the Politics of Culture
The Costumed Body: Performance, Performativity and Politics
Learning and teaching
On this course you'll benefit from a variety of teching methods, including practical workshops, group learning, lectures, seminars, tutorials and fieldwork. You'll also undertake significant independent study, which will help you to develop your research skills and build up what you learn in the taught components.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
You’ll be assessed using a range of methods including practical assessments, written work, presentations and reflective logs. This diversity allows you to begin to integrate theory and practice, develop a range of skills and become a reflective practitioner.
A bachelor undergraduate degree with a 2:1 (hons) or higher. You may have a first degree in theatre and performance, media, education, social work, sociology, liberal arts or languages. Applicants would benefit from an existing interest in, or experience of, socially engaged pedagogies or arts, in community or educational contexts. Applicants must demonstrate understanding of the course by responding to the five questions in the personal statement section of their online application. Applicants without a degree may also be considered, if they can demonstrate significant relevant industry experience.
Our admissions team are experienced in considering a wide range of international qualifications. If you wish to discuss whether your qualifications will meet the necessary entry criteria, contact the School’s admissions team.
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
For 2020/21 academic year courses the link visible above will take you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
For courses starting from September 2021, applications will open on October 1st 2020 and you will be able to access the application system from that date.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Documents and information you'll need
A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts, or partial transcripts if you're still studying (please submit an official English translation if necessary)
Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language
A personal statement in response to the questions asked in the supporting statement section of the application form
A full up-to-date CV.
We usually invite candidates for interview whenever possible – if you’re an international student, this can be done by phone.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Visit our Brexit page for the latest information on the effect of the UK's exit from the EU on current students and applicants to the University.
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
Applied theatre is a wide field that is constantly developing in response to social and economic changes, and there is a growing jobs market in learning and participation in cultural organisations worldwide for freelance practitioners and for full time employees.
This course will equip you with a range of skills within the area of applied theatre. You’ll have an understanding of applied theatre and its use as an intervention as well as advanced skills in communication, collaboration, presentation, analysis and research.
You’ll be able to set up, lead and facilitate workshops as an applied theatre practitioner with diverse groups of people in a variety of health, social and community contexts.
You may decide to apply your learning in the context of arts administration or arts policy work. You may wish to further your understanding by undertaking specialist professional training in areas like the arts therapies. Graduates from this degree would be well suited to teaching, or to pursue research interests at PhD level.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.