You will need to have, or be expecting, a good honours degree, usually in an arts subject. In exceptional circumstances, appropriate career experience - for example in theatre - may be considered as an alternative qualification. The course should appeal equally to candidates with an academic knowledge of drama, who wish to increase their practical and creative awareness, and to candidates already involved in their own practice who wish to explore it through academic study. Students must be prepared to engage in practical theatre-making, as well as class discussions.
Months of entry
This highly distinctive MA course, run as a partnership between Birkbeck and RADA, brings together cutting-edge practice and scholarship in theatre and performance. Join us and you will work with both Birkbeck's experts in theatre and performance studies and RADA's faculty and visiting theatre practitioners to experience both making and studying theatre. This course does not offer actor training, but will deepen your critical and practical understanding of theatre and performance practices in context and leads to a prestigious postgraduate qualification from the University of London.
What our students say
'Since finishing the MA course, I have worked on projects as a writer, director, and teacher - this is largely thanks to the way this course nurtures you as both artist and academic and helps you develop a diverse skill set.'
'Perhaps the best 2 years of my life.'
'The MA course allowed me to change my career path and gave me the skills and confidence to launch myself into an arts career.'
'The course helped to refine my approach as a theatre practitioner, while widening my scope for theatrical discourse and inspiration to create work. It encourages the intertwining of the creative and the academic, resulting in thought provoking and unique theatre. Most importantly, the course taught me to risk, to dare to create something new, to have an opinion and express it through my art.'
'Mature students can give at least as much and get as much out of this course as young people and taking the risk to do it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.'
Information for international students
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.
Fees and funding
The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.
The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.
Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.
Qualification and course duration
Further details of qualification
Two evenings and afternoons a week part-time; October-April in Year 1; October-July in Year 2. Three evenings and afternoons a week full-time; October-October. Independent rehearsal and group work and theatre visits will be required.
Course contact details
- Student Advice Service
- +44(0) 20 3907 0700