MA in Contemporary Popular Theatres

Liverpool Hope University

Program Description

MA in Contemporary Popular Theatres

Liverpool Hope University

MA in Contemporary Popular Theatres

This degree is not available to international students. For more information about International students studying at Liverpool Hope, visit

A unique opportunity for in-depth, research-led study of the work, contexts and consequences of contemporary British and Irish popular playwrights.

You will be participating in the UK’s only postgraduate course in the field of contemporary popular theatre. If you have an interest in the plays of established writers such as John Godber, Willy Russell or Jim Cartwright or the emerging work of Richard Bean, Amanda Whittington or Roy Williams then this course will provide a suitably rigorous academic framework for further study.

The programme builds on established undergraduate provision in Popular and Mainstream Theatre at Liverpool Hope University and staff research expertise. You will follow a rigorous, balanced programme of study providing opportunities for academic and practical analysis of the field of contemporary popular theatre. The programme is based at the Creative  Campus near Liverpool city centre and will make effective use of the proximity of the Everyman Archive and the Royal Court popular theatre season. The Artistic Director of the Hull Truck Theatre, John Godber, is currently Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at the university and has strong links with the university; Godber’s SOLD (2007) played a sell-out run on campus as part of the Cornerstone Festival.

The programme's explicit focus on text and building-based performance creates a useful counter-discourse to the usual academic emphasis on avant garde work at this level of study.

Study Details/Module Information

You will study four modules. In the first year you will begin with Contemporary Contexts which will examine some of the cultural and performance theory pertaining to contemporary domestic popular theatre and how this is distinct from historicized and international models. This academic work will be balanced by the Special Topic module which will provide an opportunity for practical analysis of an under-represented aspect of popular theatre discourse. The first year will also see the allocation of supervisors and the start of research work for the dissertation. In the second year the Regionalism module will address the discourse of the local and perceived tensions with metropolitan centres. The second year will also see the completion of the dissertation.

Research Environment

All lecturers on the programme are published authorities in their fields and bring an in-depth knowledge to bear on postgraduate teaching. Popular theatres is an emerging research field at the University and there are already several PhD students working on various aspects of popular performance in the department. A feature of the programme will be the use of the 'Moodle' Virtual Learning Environment which will facilitate communication and the dissemination of specialist research materials.

Career Opportunities

Effective engagement with the dissertation and associated research methodologies may be of particular use to students considering further postgraduate work in the area.

Producing theatres may consider this course a useful preparation for dramaturgical work within the profession.

Key information

  • Award: MA in Contemporary Popular Theatres
  • Mode of study: Part-time (full-time provision under review)
  • Duration: 24-30 months (part-time)
  • Study pattern: September entry.  Evening study
  • Entry criteria: Normally an Honours degrees in theathre studies or a related are of the humanities (usually 2:1, although 2:2 will be considered if there is clear evidence of engagement with popular theatre study or practice).
  • Deanery: Arts & Humanities
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2016
24 - 30 months
Part time
4,800 GBP
Start date Aug. 2016
United Kingdom Liverpool, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 24 - 30 months
Price 4,800 GBP
Home Fee; International Fee: GBP 5,900