Taught course


Birkbeck, University of London · English, Theatre and Creative Writing

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above, and/or relevant practical experience in the creative industries.

All suitable applicants will be interviewed either personally or by telephone.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry


Course content

MA Dramaturgy is a highly unique degree delivered by one of the most impactful and innovative departments in the UK. This course offers you a comprehensive exploration of the theory and practice of dramaturgy. Taught by world-leading academic researchers, artists and industry professionals, you will explore diverse aspects of dramaturgy through a combination of:
  • academic study
  • dramaturgical practice
  • writing for and about theatre and performance
  • theatre composition
  • performance-making.

You will work practically with a host of leading artists, who share their diverse approaches to creating and dramaturging performance, from collaborative theatre-making and live art to queer performance and ecological theatre. You will engage in scholarly examination of practices, histories and theories regarding the research and development of drama, theatre and performance works inside and outside the rehearsal room. Further enhancing your practice-based and scholarly skills and knowledge, you will produce a dramaturgical exhibition for a production, originate a playwriting project, and engage in an industry-led examination of audience development, arts education and producing.

This MA Dramaturgy is unique in approaching dramaturgy from multiple standpoints: practical, theoretical and institutional. It is offered in association with guest artists, recently including Zoe Svendsen, Tim Crouch, Karen Christopher, Sarah Sigal, Dickie Beau and Lou Cope. Another exciting feature of this course is the opportunity to present practice-based dissertation projects in Camden People's Theatre as part of a graduation festival. This MA Dramaturgy is supported by the creative and critical interests of Birkbeck staff and the expertise of associate artists that include Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre Fellows.

This course will prepare you to enter the world of creative industries with specialist theoretical and practical knowledge, and an informed overview of the creative process and its components. Throughout your degree, you will develop research skills, enriched by the Graduate Research in Theatre (GRiT) seminar series. MA Dramaturgy’s well-balanced academic and industry focus also offers you access to invaluable resources, including professional development workshops and career opportunities.

If you love to make, facilitate, think and write about theatre, but do not wish to be in the spotlight as a performer yourself, MA Dramaturgy is ideal.

Careers and employability

This MA Dramaturgy combines the practical and academic exploration of the promising field of dramaturgy to equip our students with a wide range of highly employable skills, ideal for working in or undertaking further academic study. Graduates can also find ongoing support via the Birkbeck Theatre Alumni network, which is dedicated to creating networking opportunities for graduates of Birkbeck’s theatre programmes and celebrating their achievements.

Our graduates can be found pursuing a broad range of career paths, including in:

  • literary departments
  • dramaturging and producing
  • theatre and performance practice
  • academia and education
  • opera and dance
  • playwriting
  • stage combat and fight choreography
  • arts administration and outreach.

Some of our recent graduates include:

  • Olga Macrinici (writer, director, academic)
  • Emily Brown (theatre-maker)
  • Artemis Grympla (dramaturg, director, actor)
  • Matthew Jameson (director, theatre-maker, theatre management)
  • Sarah Knop (theatre-maker, teacher, choreographer)
  • Stephen Ryan (BASSC-certified stage combat teacher, writer, researcher)
  • Manyang Hu (theatre-maker, theatre administrator)
  • Nicky Napier (dramaturg, producer)
  • Clement Lee (dramaturg, teacher)
  • Erica Nicole Rothman (dramaturg, literary adviser).

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700