The MA in Musical Theatre reflects the varied nature of working in musical theatre and aims to provide you with the advanced skills needed to work in a diverse industry. Working closely with industry specialists, the course will provide you with the opportunity to focus on professional practice, whilst enabling you to learn how to promote both yourself (as practitioner, performer or academic) and the work you create. More importantly, the MA in Musical Theatre will create an environment where you will be able to work collaboratively, and participate in a residency at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton. You will also foster flexible skills which can be applied to a wide range of career opportunities in the musical theatre industry and beyond, including; teamwork skills, problem solving, self-promotion, working to deadlines and critical thinking.
You will experience awide variety of learning activities in Musical Theatre to ensure your professional development as an emerging practitioner in your chosen specialist areas. Contact hours are tailored to both full-time and part time delivery; part time delivery allows you to study alongside full-time employment.
Teaching and learning will normally take place in a variety of continually evolving contexts, including an appropriate balance of the following kinds of activity:
a) Workshops, rehearsals, productions, practical classes, laboratory or studio-based practice, screenings, lectures, discussions (both online and in class), seminars, and tutorials. You will be encouraged to apply your knowledge and understanding of critical theory to case studies within regional, national and international contexts;
b) Group and individual learning;
c) Residency in Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton with a view to creating an annual festival of musical theatre (especial relevance in enhancing your employability and ability to be enterprising)
d) There will be the opportunity to participate in and contribute to Musical Theatre West Midlands Writers’ Hub, regular monthly composer/writer hubs to showcase new writing.
Each semester students are invited to attend optional musical theatre productions in the local area and nationally. We suggest budgeting £100 for these trips if you wish to participate.
Most years, students take an optional international field trip to a major city of musical theatre production. Future visits may include New York, Washington D.C or Bochum, Germany. We suggest budgeting around £1000 for the trip if you wish to participate.
We continue to develop state of the art facilities which will greatly enhance your learning experience. Our state-of-the-art performing arts and learning centre; the Performance Hub, opened in 2011 and is the home for all of our performance courses. The Performance Hub features five performance studios with high-end audio-visual equipment and semi-sprung floors that are ideal for rehearsals and small performances. Our 108 seat Black Box Theatre is one of the most technically advanced small theatres in the country and is ideal for a range of performing arts activities. There are also several music rehearsal rooms, two Mac labs running Pro Tools, Logic and Sibelius software, and two fully equipped recording studios. Additionally, the university is proud to be an All Steinway School and home to 17 Steinway pianos, five of which are in rehearsal studio spaces.
We are a thriving department of research-active academics in musical theatre, and teaching is research-led. Course staff include Dr. Sarah Whitfield, Dr. James Lovelock and Dr. Sarah Browne. Research specialisms include: gender and racial politics in musical theatre of the 1960s, the film musical and the female spectator, subsidised revivals of the American canon, queer theory, reception theory, contemporary musicals and masculinity, the British musical. We have presented our research nationally and internationally at leading conferences in the field, and our recent research outputs include:
Whitfield, S. (ed.) (forthcoming 2019) Re-framing the Musical: Race, Culture and Identity. Palgrave Macmillan/Macmillan Education.
Lovelock, J.M. (forthcoming 2018) 'Wishing for the normal': Creating queer-normative spaces in the 21st century musical. In: Re-framing the Musical: Race, Culture and Identity (ed. Sarah Whitfield), Palgrave Macmillan.
Whitfield, S. (2018) Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Miserables. Routledge.
Whitfield, S. (2016) “‘Next You’re Franklin Shepard Inc.?’: Composing the Broadway Musical, a Study of Kurt Weill’s Working Practices.” Studies in Musical Theatre, 10(2), pp. 163–76. doi:10.1386/smt.10.2.163_1
Browne, S. (2017) The Last Five Years: Medium, Mode and the Male Gaze in Rodosthenous, G. (ed). Twenty First Century Musicals: From Stage to Screen. Routledge
Browne, S. (2015) 'Everybody's Free to Fail: subsidised British revivals of the American canon', In: Gordon R; Jubin O (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the British Musical. Oxford University Press.
Lovelock, J.M. (2014) ‘Using the Klein sexual orientation grid in sociological studies’, Journal of Bisexuality, 14(3-4), pp. 457–467. doi: 10.1080/15299716.2014.946197.
Upon completion of the course you may consider a number of potential employment routes, depending on the path chosen. These may include, but are not limited to, for example; writer/composer/choreographer or musical director, teacher or workshop facilitator, marketing administrator, or work in production and promotion. Alternatively, you may also consider further study at doctorate level.
What skills will you gain?
Graduates of the MA in Musical Theatre will exhibit:
a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of musical theatre practice.
a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship.
originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in musical theatre.
conceptual understanding that enables the student:
to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in musical theatre.
to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
These modules are correct at the time of publication. Modules may change over time due to validation and continuous monitoring policies. Applicants will be notified in writing of any significant changes to their chosen course(s).
Critical Contexts of Musical Theatre
Marketing and the Musical Theatre Industry
Musical Theatre Production (Advanced)
The Creative Product
You will need a good degree (2.1 or above) in Musical Theatre or a related subject e.g. Drama, Performance, Dance, Music, Theatre Studies. Applicants with a 2.2 degree may also be considered following a successful portfolio submission and interview.
Applicants from overseas should also have a good standard of written and spoken English (normally IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)
All students will be interviewed to assess their suitability and preparedness for the course. Candidates will be considered with a significant a significant track record of professional experience in a relevant field, but without a BA (Hons) degree. To do this, non-standard applicants in this category will be interviewed, and may be asked to produce a piece of written work as a means of assessing their suitability.
These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2019/20. Fees are for the academic year only, any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.
Postgraduate Loans: Are available for taught and research Masters courses for students resident in England. For more information on eligibility and how to apply online visit: www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan
Professional and Career Development Loan: The University is a Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL) registered Learning Provider, registration number . A PCDL is a commercial bank loan that you can use to help pay for work-related learning. For further information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit the GOV.UK website or contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.
Charitable Funding: You might also want to explore the possibility of funding from charitable trusts; please see the following websites www.acf.org.uk, www.dsc.org.uk/fundingwebsites or www.family-action.org.uk. Most charities and trust funds offer limited bursaries targeted to specific groups of students so you will need to research whether any of them are relevant to your situation.