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Performing Arts

UK Quality Assured
Whether you want to develop your career as a professional practitioner or are looking for a new challenge as an independent creative artist, our MA courses in Acting and Theatre Directing will inspire you creatively and intellectually.
School of Arts and Digital Industries
  • deepen your knowledge

    You’ll develop the techniques and knowledge to equip you for professional practice. Thinking critically about performance will deepen your understanding of your craft.

  • learn from Professionals

    You will work with professional practitioners on UEL’s academic team and through master classes delivered by visiting professionals.

  • evening classes

    You can study for our MA degrees even if you’re in full-time employment or looking after a family. Both courses run full time or part time and teaching takes place in the evening to accommodate those with other time commitments.

Why us?

If you want to pursue a professional career as a theatre director or actor fortified by a clear intellectual understanding of your practice, then studying for one our MA degrees could prove a life-changing experience. 

Engaging with critical thinking will help you develop the tools to become a successful artist, so you’ll study a broad range of approaches to performance-making from traditional text-based work to intercultural and digital performance and contemporary devising.

And you will work with staff who are both academics and professional practitioners and take part in master classes delivered by visiting professionals.

As part of your studies, you’ll also have opportunities to showcase your talent and creativity in professional venues while exploring your own research questions.


UEL Campus Stratford

We teach both courses at our superb, new performing arts building in Stratford, which is equipped with industry-standard studios and performance spaces.

You will be joining a diverse group of students in an exciting creative hub. Our east London location will put you in the heart of one of the most exciting and vibrant cultural areas in the country – a magnet for arts organisations and with easy access to London’s world famous theatre scene.

UEL sample


Since the MA I have gone on to develop pieces initially developed within it, direct new writing within London, create new productions with my theatre company and extend my practice into the beginnings of further study. UEL’s MA helped give me the space and support to research and discover more about the work I want to create.

Tom Drayton , MA Theatre Directing
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What we’re researching

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), a six-yearly national review of higher education research, underlined the quality and impact of our work.

An impressive 50 per cent of the research we’re undertaking in the field of Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts was judged to be either ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’.

Our Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD) has become an international centre for research in the performing arts and supports research that is concerned with political, philosophical, cultural, ethical, socially-engaged and community applied issues.

All of our academics are teachers, practitioners and researchers. Dr Sheila Preston, our Head of Performing Arts, co-published with Tim Prentki The Applied Theatre Reader, which is the key text book on undergraduate and postgraduate courses nationally and internationally.

Dr Dominic Hingorani, Course Leader for the MA Acting and Theatre Directing degrees, is also an accomplished writer, director and producer who runs his own theatre company and recently toured the country with a production of his latest play, Guantanamo Boy. He’s also co-artistic director of Brolly Productions - a cross-arts performance company that engages new and diverse audiences.

He has long-standing research interests in theatre for young audiences and British Asian theatre, focusing on issues of marginalisation and exclusion from the narrative of the nation. He’s the author of British Asian Theatre: Dramaturgy, Process and Performance.

Lecturer Jorge Lopes Ramos is joint artistic director of internationally acclaimed Zecora Ura, an independent theatre company based in east London and Rio de Janeiro since 2001.

Jorge creates playful theatrical structures that allow for a participatory, immersive and interactive experience. He focuses his professional practice and research on the unspoken contract between the audience and the actor, which is underpinned by his work on the dramaturgy of participation.

why us