Key facts

MA Performing Shakespeare
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Full-time (one year); Part-time (two years).

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent. Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

A practical and contextual course for aspiring performers, directors and teachers.*

  • Unique flexible delivery – study full-time, part-time or by distance learning.
  • Taught by highly regarded specialists.
  • Excellent industry links.

* Please note that this course will not be running in September 2017.  The next expected start date is September 2018.  If you are interested, please contact admissions@bathspa.ac.uk


If you’re interested in the performance of Shakespeare and want to study original and contemporary professional practices, then this MA is for you. You’ll take part in actor training and research seminars, leading to presentations and performances using our indoor and outdoor theatres on campus and in Bath city centre.

You’ll develop production and networking skills, building a theatre company and a professional profile. We’ll give you opportunities to take your work to external venues as part of your studies. With opportunities to work with BA Acting and Drama students, you’ll get experience as an actor who can lead workshops and a researcher who can work in productions.

What you'll learn


We place emphasis on practice-based work. You’ll take part in workshops on voice, text, movement and directing in our state-of-the-art studios.

In addition, you’ll explore current research methods at Masters level and examine Shakespeare’s theatre through theoretical, historical, and cultural contexts.

Course structure

Trimester 1
From the start of the course you’ll be immersed in a practical training, leading to performances of monologues, duologues, and scenes. You’ll also get a grounding in current research methods, completing practical or scholarly research. This leads to a presentation and an essay.

Trimester 2
We’ll give you the opportunity to train at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. You’ll develop your training into a professional portfolio. Alongside this you’ll develop a theatre company with fellow students for public performances.

Trimester 3
You can choose to undertake a more traditional written dissertation, a performance based dissertation or a mixture of the two. Previous students have undertaken productions, workshops, and research into stage and screen productions as part of their dissertation.

You can choose to work on your dissertation on-campus or by distance learning. You’ll benefit from one-to-one tutorials which can take place in person or online.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments could include performances, essays, literature reviews, written documentation of work, presentations, portfolios, leading workshops, written evaluations, reviews, rehearsal and practice blogs, written dissertations, practical dissertation projects, and critical play reviews.

How will I be taught?

The degree is delivered through a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, master classes, off-site visits, performance and production work, and through the Virtual Learning Environment, Minerva. We get professional actors and directors in to work with you; we have ever-expanding list of lecturers, specialists, artists and guest scholars.

The Master’s is taught in the evenings in three hour workshops. If you’re looking for a more flexible learning option, we also offer part-time and distance learning modes.


Field trips

You’ll have the opportunity to see a lot of theatre, as well as visit museums and theatres. Previous destinations have included Bath, Bristol, Stratford upon Avon and London. Other field trips may give you the chance to work with professional theatre groups and actors; we’ve previously rented studios in London for this purpose.

Some trips are subsidised, however, you may have to contribute to fund travel and tickets.

Intensive training at The Globe

We currently give all students the opportunity to take place in a two week residency at Shakespeare's Globe. You’ll benefit from intensive, full-time training, leading to a production on the Globe’s stage.

Distance learning

If you’re unable to come to us, we offer a distance learning route. We’ll support you with tutorials and our Virtual Learning Environment, Minerva. You’ll also have access to our library’s vast range of online databases and materials.

You’ll share your performances with us by video, and we’ll encourage you to visit us on campus. We’ll also give you advice and support, helping you to find resources to support your training in your local area


Our graduates have become:

  • Producers
  • Actors
  • Teachers
  • PhD students

Other students have set up their own theatre companies.

Combat certification

You’ll have the opportunity to gain an accreditation in combat. We provide the training but you’ll have to pay a small fee to gain this certification.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You’ll have access to performance studios and spaces such as the University Theatre at Newton Park, Burdall’s Yard in central Bath, and Corsham Court. We also have links with the Theatre Royal Bath, the Rondo Theatre, The Egg, The Ustinov, the Tobacco Factory, Circomedia, The Scoop @More London, and the Salisbury Playhouse, which you may take advantage of as a Performing Shakespeare student.

As a student you'll also be able to take advantage of our:


UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £7,400
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

UK and EU students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £3,700
Year 2 Published Jan 2019

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £14,400
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals with a flair for performance and a clear passion for Shakespeare’s work. Training is hands-on, so you’ll need energy, drive and the motivation to transform your ideas into productions.

You’ll need a good first degree (2:1 or above) in an area relating to performance. We also accept individuals with relevant professional experience.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: r.apfelbaum@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk