Taught course

Writing For Performance

University of Derby · College of Arts, Humanities and Education

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Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject.

After you have submitted an application we will ask you to provide is with a digital portfolio and written statement describing your practice and ambitions.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

This course is designed for students who wish to prepare for a sustainable professional career in writing for live and recorded performance.

Practice, skill building and student centered learning are at the heart of the programme.

Taking the premise of David Edgar that performance writing is both an art and a craft; the programme will support students to find their own style and voice, while learning the professional techniques and essential craft skills to express these.

This is solidly underpinned with the theoretical study of the contemporary and historical canon.

Combining both taught and individual research elements, the course allows you to explore and develop your personal interests and subjects, whilst offering a firm structure from which to experiment with dramatic form.

The programme has a strong emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice, and following a first semester of intensives and lecturer input, a flexible mode of study will develop to enable you to pursue your own learning experience. This may include, depending on your own interests, traditional forms of theatre and influences and contemporary trends in staging and research, (verbatim, site specific, multi-media, community), approaches to writing for film, television and radio, the finding of a unique ‘voice’ for these and building connections with audiences. The course will develop high levels of research skills and offer frequent opportunities for script development, collaboration and staging.

Throughout the programme, the emphasis is on student-centred learning as well as tutor input, so that all students will become independent learners and practitioners. This is a specialist course aimed at producing writers for performance, both live and recorded, and some unique teaching and learning features are:

  • Studio based practice in a creative, workshop atmosphere.
  • ‘Writer’s retreats’ intensive (block) study weeks.
  • Full utilisation of excellent facilities including Derby Theatre, fostering creative practice, teaching and learning with a range of peers and professionals.
  • Within the Learning Theatre, space to work and learn from visiting professionals and to stage work and receive feedback.
  • Class based lecture modules that will provide a framework for study supported by recommended reading and viewing.
  • A studio environment or ‘writers space’ that facilitates and encourages rigorous creative enquiry.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

+44 (0)1332 590 500