University of Birmingham
Shakespeare and Theatre MA
University of Birmingham

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

Do you want to immerse yourself in the works of Shakespeare? Are you interested in understanding how Shakespeare’s plays work in performance?

This innovative Shakespeare Institute programme allows you to study the way in which Shakespeare’s plays have been read, interpreted and performed through history, up to the modern moment.

You will have the opportunity to look at different productions and adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays in their historical, political, and cultural contexts and to think about the performance choices actors and directors make when approaching Shakespeare’s texts. You will also explore how the textual history of Shakespeare’s plays influences performance today.

The flexible programme takes a historical approach to interpretation and styles of presentation and promotes the value of ‘close reading’ as the basis for evaluating the plays on the page, stage, and screen.

Made up of a diverse community of Shakespeare enthusiasts, this programme is well suited to anybody with an interest in the relationship between Shakespeare and the Theatre.

You can study on-site at The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon or by distance learning.

Each module is assessed by one 4,000 word essay with the exception of research skills and creative practice which are assessed by 2–3 shorter assignments. MA students will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Graduate Degrees
    • (no subscore less than 6.0)
    • 6.5
    • Undergraduate Degrees
Do you not fulfill the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements?
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still be able to join Shakespeare and Theatre, MA.

Our usual entry requirement for this programme is a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in English or a related subject. However, if you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we would still encourage you to apply and we will consider you for our Affiliate entry route. This enables you to register for the programme’s core modules initially, and upon successful completion you are able to register for the full programme. Please note that all applications are treated on their merits, and we will review your references, personal statement and past experience alongside your qualifications when considering your application. All prospective students must also submit a sample of written work as part of the online application process. You can do this before you submit your form, or return to the application to upload your sample at a later date; however, we will need to see an example of your work before an offer is made. The writing sample should focus on Shakespeare and be around 2,000 words in length. If you do not have an existing piece of writing to submit, please take a short passage of up to 60 lines from any Shakespeare play and write an essay of around 2,000 words which discusses the performance possibilities of this extract and how it contributes to the play as a whole.

Visa Requirements for International Students

Visa requirement

All international students (including citizens from EU countries) intending to study this or any other academic programme for more than 6 months in the UK require a Student Visa.

International students younger than 18 years require a special Child Student Visa. Exceptions from this general rule may apply to holders of other UK work visas, British National Overseas visa, family member visa and recognised refugees or asylum seekers.

Permission to work while studying

University of Birmingham is listed by the UK government as an institution licensed to sponsor migrant students.

Student visa holders from licensed institutions are entitled to work during their full-time bachelor's, master's or Phd studies for
- 20h/week during the term
- Full-time outside term time (e.g. vacations, work placements, once course ended)

After completion of a bachelor's or master's programme of at least 12 months Student Visa holders of licensed institutions can convert their visa into a Graduate Visa which entitles graduates to work for 2 years in the UK.

Costs

Average student cost of living in UK

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
  
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of University of Birmingham in top UK and global rankings.

See all university rankings of University of Birmingham

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About University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a research university based in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England. The university’s aim is to be at the cutting edge of educational delivery, and to have their curriculum be continually reshaped by new revelations in research. The main campus is situated a reasonable three miles away from Birmingham city centre, which doesn’t take long to get to via bus if the student decides they’d like to spend some of their free time there.

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Where is this programme taught

Shakespeare Institute
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