MA Drama and Theatre Education
“Our course reflects current developments in education and a broad range of theatre and drama work. There is a balance between the study and practice of drama as an academic and practical subject in schools and colleges and the use of drama for a wide range of personal and community purposes."
Professor Joe Winston
We welcome drama educators in schools, colleges and in community and educational theatre settings. The expertise of the course tutors and their links with theatre and education companies enable students to observe and engage in practical projects.
Course aims and benefits
The MA in Drama and Theatre Education is designed to help both full-time and part-time students develop their practical skills and theoretical knowledge as drama educators in schools and colleges and in community and educational theatre settings. The course is designed to meet the needs of both UK and international students. The course is taught by Professor Joe Winston, an internationally renowned expert in drama and theatre education. The course reflects current developments in education and a broad range of theatre and drama work. There is a balance between the study and practice of drama as an academic and practical subject in schools and colleges and the use of drama for a wide range of personal and community purposes. The course of study provides a planned and structured programme, which is sufficiently flexible to respond to the needs of students from a wide range of pedagogic and cultural contexts.
You will study four modules (30 CATS each) intended to develop your subject knowledge, pedagogical skills and understanding of drama’s cultural importance as well as its educational significance. One of these is a core module, while the other three are optional. Many drama and theatre education students choose to take all the specialist modules. However, MA students may take one option from other degrees within the Centre for Education Studies if desired. The final element of your study will be a dissertation (60 CATS) with integrated research methods learning. This will be your individual research project, and you will receive one-to-one support from your academic supervisor.
Drama and Creative Learning
This module explores the role that drama and theatre has as a means of encouraging creative learning in a range of educational contexts. We will examine styles of teaching and learning and the ways we can encourage young people to work collaboratively and creatively to produce in-depth knowledge about a range of subjects. We consider the creative potential of a range of drama-based pedagogies that aim to foster curiosity, empathy and criticality.
You are encouraged to complete your Master’s with three modules from within the drama and theatre field.
Drama and Theatre in Theory and Practice
This introductory module focuses on drama and theatre as means of artistic communication. How does drama/theatre communicate its meanings? How do we read a wide range of performance genres? What are the alternative historical and avant-garde connections between communicating in theatre and in drama education? The module explores, through study and practice, the use of signs and symbols in theatre and drama and semiotic and anthropological approaches to drama as a cultural system. The module also provides a knowledge base of periods, styles and genres for teachers who do not have an undergraduate degree in Drama or Theatre, or who wish to update their knowledge of theatre histories and codes. For the more experienced there is the chance to extend this knowledge base into the new areas of understanding informed by post-structuralist and critical theory perspectives. The module introduces sociological theories of artistic and social performance as a basis for suggesting that drama in schools should offer a complimentary mix of the oral/communal aesthetic tradition and the private/literary. The module, therefore, offers opportunities for considering participatory process drama, devised forms of theatre and text in performance.
The Role of Story in Drama and Theatre Education
This practical module explores the relationship between storytelling and theatre. It examines traditional tales from a range of cultures as sources for drama and the complex critical lenses through which we can analyse and respond to their meanings. These theoretical perspectives are interwoven with specific approaches to incorporating storytelling with drama as an integrated performing art. Students are then asked to work in groups and devise a performance from a traditional tale for an audience of an age range of their choice.
Drama and Literacy
This module is designed to reflect the significant pedagogic relationship between drama education and approaches to the teaching of literacy. This relationship is internationally acknowledged in curricula which recognize the contribution of drama to the teaching of speaking and listening, reading and writing and also to additional language learning. It thus proves to be a useful course in understanding pedagogic approaches in language acquisition for both first and second language learners.
Alternatively you can choose options from our other specialist areas, such as childhood studies, foreign language teaching pedagogy, leading educational change, or teaching learning, and assessment.
Course delivery and learning styles
All of the modules provide a balance between practical experience of a wide range of drama and theatre practices and a planned reading programme. The weekly sessions are built around practical workshops led by the programme tutors, invited guests, and students themselves. These workshop opportunities are designed to give students a hands-on experience of drama as well as methods and ideas for using drama and theatre in their own workplace. The course is taught mainly in afternoon sessions of three hours in length.
All students are encouraged to develop a career plan based on successful completion of the course. Students on the MA Drama and Theatre Education can expect to develop sufficient skills and theoretical understanding to gain successful employment as drama specialists in schools, theatre education workers, advisers and lecturers in drama, education officers or community drama workers. Recent graduates from the MA have gained posts in drama and theatre education, become HE lecturers, gone on to train as teachers, or used the programme as a stepping stone to further study or promotion in their current workplace. A number of students have progressed onto doctoral study here at Warwick, sometimes with scholarships. Many students have also had work successfully published.
- 1 year full time
- Normally 2-5 years part-time
- 1 core module
- 3 optional modules (1 from drama and 1 from a wider range)
- 4 assignments of 5000 words each
- Dissertation of 20,000 words
- At least 2nd class honours degree or equivalent
- Normally 2 references
- Degree transcripts
- English language test certificates (if appropriate)