Theatre & Performative Practice

Course Outline
The MA in Theatre & Performative Practices is designed to produce flexible, empowered theatre artists who want to rock the boat with innovative, cutting edge work. It provides a challenging and supported space for recent graduates and professional practitioners who know performance can be world-changing as it can be entertaining. Students will learn to follow their instincts and explore their unique creativity, within a rigorous critical context and research environment.

With a focus on experimentation, collaboration and composition, this MA offers a unique opportunity for students to develop their own voice in a dynamic, practice and research-based, interdisciplinary learning environment. It is launching at a key time in the history of theatre and performance practice Ireland and world-wide, with the Me Too movement, Waking the Feminists, and ongoing discussion and controversy regarding the culture and nature of performance, film and theatre work.

Students will engage in study trips abroad and workshops with pioneering theatre and performance practitioners, including American dance duo Junk Ensemble and the inaugural UCC Cork Opera House Theatre Artist in Residence (to be appointed in June 2018). The MA includes a one week intensive with The Llanarth Group, directed by world-leading scholar and director Philip Zarrilli and award-winning dramaturge, playwright and Arts & Disability activist Kaite O'Reilly.

This MA makes space for performance as an essential tool for social and political change. Graduates will emerge ready to invigorate the cultural life of Ireland, Europe and beyond.

To mark the launch of the new MA in theatre and performative practice, the college of arts, celtic studies and social sciences are offering a masters excellence scholarship to one applicant to this programme.

Course Practicalities
The MA in Theatre & Performative Practices is taught through a lively combination of studio-based training, critical seminars, internships, workshops with visiting theatre artists, critics and theorists, as well as engagement with the department's research and practice seminar - Perforum, and through a plural and multi-level engagement with festivals, events, installations and performances throughout the year. Bring your leotard and your Lyotard, and a bottle of water.

Why Choose This Course

The MA in Theatre & Performative Practices at UCC offers students a unique opportunity to develop their individual and collaborative creative and critical theatre practices, through and in combination with a lively programme of internships and residencies.

Additional Questions (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these supplementary questions are available to view here:

Entry requirements


Applications will be considered from graduates of Theatre, Drama and / or theatre-related disciplines. Applicants will normally have an honours primary degree (2H2 or above), and should be able to demonstrate an established commitment to theatre and / or performative practices. Applicants with significant professional-level drama and theatre experience will also be considered. Completion of the Higher Diploma in Theatre & Performative Practices (2H2 or above), also qualifies students to apply. Applicants will be asked to attend a workshop and/or interview with staff from Drama and Theatre Studies. Screen arrangements may be made in the case of applications from international students.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Assessment Info


Students on the MA in Theatre & Performative Practices are assessed through a combination of continual assessment of contribution and achievement in process as well as final performance, through critical reflections on process / performance, as well as critical writing about theory, history and context of theatre and performative practices. Their choice of final project dictates how they will be assessed, and are weighted variously between creative practice and critical writing.

Subjects taught

All students take 35 Core credits, 10 Elective credits, and a Final Project of 45 credits.

PART 1 (45 credits)

Core Modules (35 credits) These core credits form the central shared programme of critically rigorous and creatively adventurous theatre and performative practice:

DR6001 Collaborative Theatre & Performative Practices (15 Credits Semester 1): This module focuses specifically on collaboration as a founding practice of contemporary theatre and the processes of performativity. The module includes a major internship with theatre or performance company.

DR6002 Composition Theatre & Performative Practices (15 credits Semester 2): This module focuses specifically on composition as a founding process of making work within contemporary theatre and performative practices. The module includes working with a major company or artists on a performance or spectacle event.

DR6003 The Business of Theatre & Performative Events (5 credits Semester 1) Students are introduced to the business of show business, by exploring the professional elements within the working life of a theatre artist/producer/administrator.

Electives (10 credits) Semesters 1 & 2 (Not all modules will be available every year). To include:

Drama & Theatre Studies Modules:
DR6024 Directed Study in Theatre and Performance (5 credits)
DR6025 Special Studies in Applied Theatre (10 credits)
DR6026 Advanced Theatre Practice (10 credits)
DR6027 Playwrights & Writing in Contemporary Theatre (10 credits)

Modules from other Departments in CACSSS:
DH6004 Conceptual Introduction to Digital Arts & Humanities (5 credits)
FX6004 Film, Feminism and Psychoanalysis (10 credits)
HA6006 Theory for Art History (10 credits)
HA6007 Modern Art and Modernity (10 credits)
HA6009 Contemporary Art (10 credits)
MU6035 The Body in Creative Arts Practice (10 credits)
MU6037 Music and Cinema (10 credits)
MU6031 Sound Studies and Musicology (5 credits)
MU6034 Multidisciplinary Debates in Musicology and Ethnomusicology (5 credits)
MU6036 Music and Popular Culture (10 credits)
MU6038 Noise (5 credits)
MU6041 Agora (5 credits)
SS6021 Principles and Practice of Community Arts (10 credits)
SS6029 Development Education and Community Arts (5 credits)
SS6024 Arts and Social Action (5 credits)
WS6002 Feminist Theory (10 credits)

Part II (45 credits) Final Project Module 45 credits Semester 3

Students choose one of the following options:

DR6004 Practice Research Project 1: Theatre & Performative Production

DR6005 Practice Research Project 2: Theatre & Performative Process

DR6006 Research Dissertation in Theatre & Performative Practices

Additional Teaching Mode Information
The part-time option can be taken over two years with course work completed in Year 1 (45 Credits) and thesis completed in Year 2 (45 Credits)


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.


1 year full-time; 2 years part-time;

The part-time option will be taught during evening hours over 2 year.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 9 September 2019

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information

What can I do after I graduate with an MA in Theatre & Performative Practices?
After you graduate you will be qualified and work-ready for multiple aspects of the creative industries, both those specifically related to theatre and performance, as well as broader aspects of cultural production, administration and the creative industries. This MA trains students in skills of making and producing theatre and performative events, in lively collaboration and always in context. These are skills which are critically and dynamically transferable to the professional worlds of theatre, dance and cultural industries.

Occupations associated with the MA in Theatre & Performative Practices
Our previous students work in multiple aspects of contemporary theatre, dance and the cultural industries. These include Creative Cultural Producers (Theatre Production, Dance Production, Festival Production), Arts Managers, Arts Administrators, Theatre Directors, Choreographers, Performers, Playwrights, Writers for TV & Film, Community Artists working in Theatre, Dance and Visual Art as well as related industries of Journalism, Library Management, Teaching and Academia.

What are our graduates doing?
Sefanie Preissner is a screenwriter, playwright and actor. Her six-part comedy-drama series, Can't Cope/Won't Cope (RTE, Northern Ireland Screen, Deadpan Pictures) was broadcast in 2016: "A series so well written it was hard to watch" Irish Times Oct 17, 2016. Stefanie graduated with a BA in Drama & Theatre Studies & Spanish in 2008.
Julie Kelleher is Artistic Director of the Everyman Theatre in Cork. One of the youngest venue producers in the country, she has been responsible for dynamically raising the profile of the Everyman. Julie was among the first cohort of students to study Drama & Theatre Studies at UCC, graduating with a BA in 2004, and an MA in 2007.

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    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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