MA in Shakespeare and Education (on campus or by distance learning)

General

Program Description

The Shakespeare Institute's MA in Shakespeare and Education is a unique, modular programme that is particularly appropriate for practising teachers, offering the opportunity to enhance expertise in different aspects of Shakespeare’s work.

Throughout the programme, you will be incorporating the study of Shakespeare's plays in performance and adaptation. You can study this programme on-site at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon or by distance learning.

This programme offers you the opportunity to enhance your expertise in different aspects of Shakespeare's work while maintaining a pedagogical focus.

Course content

You will study three core modules:

  • Shakespeare and Pedagogy
  • Shakespeare’s Theatre
  • Research Skills

You will also choose three optional modules from a range available at the Institute.

The flexible structure of this course allows study in a wide variety of ways, on a full- or part-time basis. Modules are available to study through a variety of routes that may include:

  • Three long weekends at the Shakespeare Institute at approximately monthly intervals
  • One day a week throughout a semester at the Shakespeare Institute (ten days)
  • Distance-learning option via online study
  • One intensive week for the Shakespeare and Pedagogy module, delivered before the Easter holidays.

Full-time study is on site in Stratford-upon-Avon and part-time students can choose to study the whole programme either on-site, primarily by online distance learning or a combination of the two. The schedule of delivery allows access to all modules through a range of modes over any three-year period, although some are not available to study via distance learning. The compulsory Pedagogy module, which is co-taught with the Royal Shakespeare Company, must be studied on-site due to its interactive nature.

Assessment

Each module is assessed by written assignment with the exception of the optional module in Shakespeare and Theatre Practice, which is assessed by either two performance assignments and a 2,000-word research paper, or by one 4,000-word research paper. You will complete the programme with a 15,000-word pedagogical dissertation.

Why study this course

  • Location – studying at the Shakespeare Institute in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon offers you an academic experience unequalled by any other university. You will study within walking distance of Shakespeare's birthplace, school and grave, and the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  • Shakespeare Institute and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) collaboration – you will benefit from our exciting five-year collaboration with the RSC at The Other Place which has seen the reinstatement of the iconic studio theatre. You will be able to access creative and teaching spaces at The Other Place, as well as the expertise of RSC artists and practitioners.
  • Access to fantastic resources – you will be surrounded by a number of resources. The Shakespeare Institute’s own library is a renowned collection of international importance and you will also have access to the outstanding picture collections, records and library holdings of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Learning and teaching

The programme allows access to the unique Shakespearian resources of the Shakespeare Institute Library, the Library of the Shakespeare Centre that curates the archives of the RSC, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Study materials for this programme are enhanced by the close ties that the Shakespeare Institute has with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the archives associated with both of these institutions.

Studying by distance learning

Many of the programme’s modules are also available via distance learning, meaning that you can study online from anywhere in the world. Distance learning modules will combine print, audio, and video teaching methods in order to give students a varied and enriching educational experience.

This means that you can study for a Masters degree (MA) almost entirely by distance learning. However, you will need to come to Stratford-upon-Avon for a one-week residential school in the spring in order to complete your core module on Shakespeare and Education, which is scheduled to coincide with the Easter holidays.

Although self-study is central to doing a programme by distance learning, support is always available.

You will have a personal tutor and dissertation supervisor to guide you and answer any questions, and you have access to a wide range of online resources too. You also have the opportunity to meet other students and academic staff through online chats and discussion forums and at the Easter residential.

Entry requirements

This programme offers a unique approach to the study of Shakespeare’s life and work, fusing traditional scholarly approaches with the thrill of being involved in new creative work. It is delivered by and taught at The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon.

It makes the most of the unrivalled resources of Shakespeare’s Stratford and involves expert tuition from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Library of Birmingham. The programme is particularly enhanced by the Institute's collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), offering unique and extensive opportunities to work on its premises with RSC artists.

This programme will attract aspiring academics, actors, writers, directors, arts administrators, as well as anyone with a lively interest in Shakespeare.

This programme brings together academic, theatrical and civic interests in Shakespeare and creativity, generating a comprehensive and forward-looking conversation about what Shakespeare is and can be in today's world.

You will produce traditional academic essays as well as creative work, all of which will explore Shakespeare’s potential in the modern world. You will make new creative work with and at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and benefit from unique and exciting access to the RSC's studio theatre, The Other Place.

You will study four core modules:

  • Shakespearience
  • Shakespeare and Theatre Practice
  • The Shakespeare Ensemble
  • Shakespeare and Society

You will choose two optional modules from a range of Shakespeare Institute modules.

You will also attend weekly Thursday Seminars at the Shakespeare Institute (term-time only), which feature papers presented by a range of established visiting scholars as well as Institute and University of Birmingham staff.

Assessment

Shakespearience and optional modules are each assessed by written assignment; Shakespeare and Theatre Practice is assessed by either two performance assignments and a 2,000-word research paper, or a 4,000-word research paper; Shakespeare Ensemble and Shakespeare and Society both combine shorter written assignments with creative work.

You will complete the MA with a 15,000-word dissertation.

Why study this course

  • Location – studying at the Shakespeare Institute in the heart of Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon offers you an academic experience unequalled by any other university. You will study within walking distance of Shakespeare's birthplace, school and grave, and the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  • Shakespeare Institute and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) collaboration – you will benefit from our exciting five-year collaboration with the RSC at The Other Place which has seen the reinstatement of the iconic studio theatre. You will be able to access creative and teaching spaces at The Other Place, as well as the expertise of RSC artists and practitioners.
  • Access to fantastic resources – you will be surrounded by a number of resources. The Shakespeare Institute’s own library is a renowned collection of international importance and you will also have access to the outstanding picture collections, records and library holdings of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

The postgraduate experience

The Shakespeare Institute is a postgraduate-only department, offering dedicated support and resources to its students. The Institute is home to teaching space, study space and a dedicated Shakespeare library, plus a range of events and activities including Thursday seminars, the annual Britgrad conference and performances from the Shakespeare Institute players.

Learning and teaching

This programme will make use of the unrivalled resources of Shakespeare’s Stratford, involving expert sessions from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Library of Birmingham.

It also particularly benefits from the Institute's collaboration with the RSC, offering unique and extensive opportunities to work with the Company and at The Other Place. Students will also have access to the Shakespeare Institute Library, the Library of the Shakespeare Centre that curates the archives of the RSC, and the Shakespeare Collection held at the Library of Birmingham.

Entry requirements

Our usual entry requirement for this programme is a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in English or a related subject.

However, if you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we would still encourage you to apply and we will consider you for our Affiliate entry route. This enables you to register for the programme’s core modules initially, and upon successful completion you are able to register for the full programme.

Please note that all applications are treated on their merits, and we will review your references, personal statement and past experience alongside your qualifications when considering your application.

All prospective students must also submit a sample of written work as part of the online application process. You can do this before you submit your form, or return to the application to upload your sample at a later date; however, we will need to see an example of your work before an offer is made. The writing sample should focus on Shakespeare and be around 2,000 words in length. If you do not have an existing piece of writing to submit, please take a short passage of up to 60 lines from any Shakespeare play and write an essay of around 2,000 words which discusses the performance possibilities of this extract and how it contributes to the play as a whole.

PGCE Accredited Prior Learning: Unfortunately, we are unable to accept PGCE credits towards the MA, as the only module against which this is appropriate, Shakespeare & Pedagogy, is a core module and cannot be waived.

International/EU students

Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band.. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component
Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

Our College of Arts and Law Graduate School is a vibrant international community of over 1500 postgraduate students. We benefit from excellent research resources and a supportive environment that allo ... Read More

Our College of Arts and Law Graduate School is a vibrant international community of over 1500 postgraduate students. We benefit from excellent research resources and a supportive environment that allows your research to flourish. Located in the Arts building at the main Edgbaston campus, our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice whenever you need it. Read less