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Duration: 27 months (part-time)|Creative Campus|Start month: January 2018 only
International students can apply
Entry Requirements
Teaching & Research


This is a unique opportunity for in-depth, research-led study of the work, contexts and consequences of contemporary British and Irish popular playwrights. You will be participating in the UK’s only postgraduate course in the field of contemporary popular theatre. If you have an interest in the plays of established writers such as John Godber, Willy Russell or Jim Cartwright or the more recent work of Richard Bean, Amanda Whittington or Roy Williams then this course will provide a suitably rigorous academic framework for further study.

The course builds on established undergraduate provision in Popular Theatre at Liverpool Hope University and staff research expertise. You will follow a rigorous, balanced programme of study providing opportunities for academic and practical analysis of the field of contemporary popular theatre.

Your study will be based at the Creative Campus near Liverpool city centre and will make effective use of the proximity of the Everyman Archive and the Royal Court popular theatre season. The Artistic Director of the Hull Truck Theatre, John Godber, is currently Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at the university and has strong links with the university; Godber’s SOLD (2007) played a sell-out run on campus as part of the Cornerstone Festival.

There is an explicit focus on text and building-based performance creates a useful counter-discourse to the usual academic emphasis on avant garde work at this level of study.

Curriculum Overview

You will study four modules. In the first year you will begin with Contemporary Contexts which will examine some of the cultural and performance theory pertaining to contemporary domestic popular theatre and how this is distinct from historicized and international models.

This academic work will be balanced by the Special Topic module which will provide an opportunity for practical analysis of an under-represented aspect of popular theatre discourse.

The first year will also see the allocation of supervisors and the start of research work for the dissertation. In the second year the Regionalism module will address the discourse of the local and perceived tensions with metropolitan centres. The second year will also see the completion of the dissertation.

Entry Requirements

Normally a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in theatre studies or a related area of the humanities.


Applications from students who do not hold a 1st or 2:1 Honours Degree (or equivalent) may be asked to demonstrate potential to achieve a Masters award via a sample of academic writing and interview before an offer is made.

International Entry Requirements

For students whose first language is not English there is a language requirement of IELTS 6.5 overall (reading 6, writing 6), TOEFL ibt 87, or other equivalent recognised English language qualification.

For additional information about country specific entry requirements visit the your country pages

Teaching and Research

All lecturers on the course are published authorities in their fields and bring an in-depth knowledge to bear on postgraduate teaching.

Popular theatres is an emerging research field at the University and there are already several PhD students working on various aspects of popular performance in the department.

A feature of the course will be the use of the 'Moodle' Virtual Learning Environment which will facilitate communication and the dissemination of specialist research materials.


Tuitition fees for Home/EU students for 2018/19 are:



We offer a number of scholarships and loans to help fund your postgraduate studies. Visit our scholarships pages for more details.



If you are an international student, visit our international scholarships pages.


Effective engagement with the dissertation and associated research methodologies may be of particular use to students considering further postgraduate work in the area.

Producing theatres may consider this course a useful preparation for dramaturgical work within the profession.