An interdisciplinary taught programme that combines performance practice with imaginative and rigorous critical engagement.
This innovative postgraduate programme combines cutting edge contemporary performance practice with rigorous thinking. Students explore examples of contemporary performance in an atmosphere of rigorous and imaginative academic inquiry. Students also make their own performances in response to research questions that emerge from their artistic and scholarly work.
In addition to the core modules, students engage with the professional landscape through seminars with visiting practitioners and through placements; and may opt to study playwriting and dramaturgy with a professional dramaturge.
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About this course
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The design of the course incorporates knowledge and understanding of the subject with subject-specific, intellectual, practical and transferable skills. The course structure is designed to equip students with an integrated, interdisciplinary perspective on the nature and scope of contemporary performance practice within the creative industries and the skills necessary to put that perspective into practice.
With this in mind, the course is designed to provide students with appropriate progression in terms of depth of study and to offer them an equitable range and balance of core and option courses in each semester of their degree.
Full-time: three semesters (one calendar year in total).
This will normally be timetabled as one contact day per week full-time (normally Wednesdays), with an expectation that students will work individually and in collaboration in the preparation of work on the campus or other suitable venues and locations.
- September 2019
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Applicants must normally have gained a second class honours degree or better, and provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent).
In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, and a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route.
For more information, contact the Course Director.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Teaching and learning assessment
Learning and Teaching Methodsinclude lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, work-based learning and independent study.
Assessment Methodsinclude essays, presentations, performances, assessed workshops, practical presentations, and viva voces.
Students may often negotiate the title and form of the assessment.
Exemptions and transferability
Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that
(a) they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level.
(b) no exemption shall be permitted from the Independent Project
Careers & opportunities
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Creative, technical and administrative roles within the creative industries
Community-based education and/or creative work
Teaching at FE
Further academic or practical study
The course equips students with transferable skills for those who prefer to pursue a career in industry or commerce.
Work placement / study abroad
The module DRA705 includes both an exploration of the professional landscape, and a placement with a professional arts organisation.
The placement is negotiable in length but must include an element of consultancy: i.e., the student must have a specific set of responsibilities and a task to be completed. This might include surveys of audience base; development of marketing or social media presence; identification of funding sources; management of a time-limited project, or other.
The student will negotiate the placement with the module coordinator and the management of the arts organisation.
Teaching staff are all internationally recognized for their research and scholarship, and have all published widely with monographs, edited collections, and articles in journals. Staff have held a number of awards for research, teaching, and artistic work, including funding from the Arts Council, the AHRC, the British Academy, and others. Full details of staff research are available at the following pages:
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
Applications to full-time and part-time postgraduate courses are made through the University's online application system.
You will be asked to provide personal details and information on your education and qualifications, employment, funding, referees and personal statement.
- September 2019
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
- £14,060.00 Scholarships available
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Students may apply for university prizes such as, for example:
BPW NI Travelling Scholarship
Greer Garson Award for Theatre
Greer Garson Award for Film
John RE Scott Postgraduate Student of the Year Award
McCrea Literary Award
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Course Director: Dr Lisa Fitzpatrick
International Admissions Office
For more information visit
The MA programme Ulster has been an extremely challenging and enriching experience. As a dance practitioner and choreographer, the programme design enables me to delve deep into my creative process to explore new avenues in contemporary practice, and through the support of the experienced academic staff it has also supported me to gain new skills and confidence as an academic researcher. (Eileen McClory)