Theatre & Performative Practices

University College Cork

Theatre & Performative Practices

Course Outline
Our MA in Theatre & Performative Practices at University College Cork 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. If you choose this MA programme you will learn to follow your instincts and explore your unique creativity, within a rigorous critical context and research environment.

With a focus on experimentation, collaboration, and composition, we offer you a unique opportunity to develop your own voice in a dynamic, practice and research-based, interdisciplinary learning environment. We exist at a crucial juncture in the history of theatre and performance practice in Ireland and worldwide, with the #BlackLivesMatter / #MeToo movements, the Climate Emergency, Cost of Living Crisis and War in Ukraine all contributing to ongoing discussion and controversy regarding the culture and nature of performance, film, and theatre.

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

Course Practicalities
Our MA is taught through a lively combination of studio-based training, critical seminars, workshops with visiting theatre artists, critics and theorists, as well as engagement with the department's research and practice seminar - Perforum. This plural and multi-level engagement with festivals, events, installations and performances throughout the year supports a distinctively embodied and intellectually rigorous Masters programme.

Why Choose This Course
Our 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 professional engagement. internships and residencies. See our Department of Theatre page for more information.

Subjects taught

All students take modules worth 35 core credits, 10 elective credits, and a final project worth 45 credits. The core modules form the central shared programme of critically rigorous and creatively adventurous theatre and performative practice.

Part I - Semesters 1 & 2 (45 credits total)

Core Modules (35 credits)

DR6001 Advancing Theatre & Performative Practices (Semester 1) (15 Credits): This module focuses on how we draw from exciting alternative practices and outsider knowledge to change and transform the future of performance. Students engage with how sophisticated concepts and newly-explored practices inform their ability to imagine and theoretically situate innovative work.
DR6002 Composition Theatre & Performative Practices (Semester 2) (15 Credits): This module focuses specifically on composition as a founding process of making work within contemporary theatre and performative practices. Students will work together to develop sophisticated devised work in specialist contexts, expanding the horizons of how they make, perform and theorise new performances, enhancing their collaborative skills in the process.

DR6003 The Business of Theatre & Performative Events (Semester 1) (5 Credits): Students are introduced to how to engage with the wider world of performance, and how to situate emerging practices within a professional context.
Elective Modules (10 credits)

Department of Theatre module:

DR6026 Advanced Theatre Practice (10 credits)
Modules from other departments in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences (CACSSS)

(It is highly recommended that students select a module in the autumn semester for workload balance reasons. Final timetabling may preclude participation in conflicting modules.)

DH6033 Conceptual Introduction to Digital Arts & Humanities (5 credits)
HA6024 Global Contemporary Art (10 credits)
MU6031 Sound Studies and Musicology (5 credits)
MU6034 Multidisciplinary Debates in Musicology & Ethnomusicology (5 credits)
MU6036 Music and Popular Culture (10 credits)
MU6037 Music and Cinema (10 credits)
WS6002 Feminist Theory (10 credits)
Part II - Semester 3 (45 credits)

DR6004 Practice Research Project 1: Theatre & Performative Production (45 credits) or
DR6005 Practice Research Project 2: Theatre & Performative Process (45 credits) or
DR6006 Research Dissertation in Theatre & Performative Practices (45 credits)
Please note that not all modules will be available every year.

Part-time option

The part-time option can be taken over two years with coursework completed in Year 1 (45 Credits) and a thesis completed in Year 2 (45 Credits).

See the University Calendar (MA Theatre & Performative Practices) for more information.


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.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

Applications will be considered from graduates of Theatre, Drama and/or theatre-related disciplines. Applicants will normally have a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) 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 (Second Class Honours Grade II or above), also qualifies students to apply. Applicants will be asked to attend a workshop and/or interview with staff from the Department of Theatre. 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. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.

Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.

Application dates

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023

How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Questions (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following:

You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

Please detail your computing/technical/IT skills.

Please upload your portfolio of relevant work or achievements.

Please upload your CV.

After the online application is submitted, applicants will be required to add the name and email address of 2 referees and send reference requests via the Application Portal.

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.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

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 that 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.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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