PhD Applied Theatre Professional Doctorate

  • On Campus
  • Not specified
  • GBP2026 per Year (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • English ( Take IELTS test or Find a course )
| Manchester, England, United Kingdom
The Professional Doctorate in Applied Theatre is offered as one of a suite of Professional Doctorates overseen by the University's Institute of Cultural Practices. It is envisaged that this programme will be most appealing as part-time study. However, a full-time option is included as there may be applicants with special circumstances that would make full-time study a viable option.



The Professional Doctorate in Applied Theatre is offered as one of a suite of Professional Doctorates overseen by the University's Institute of Cultural Practices. It draws on the supervisory expertise of Manchester's Drama staff, who have long been at the forefront of research in applied theatre and performance, both nationally and internationally.

Professional doctorates take explicit account of the professional practice-base of the candidate and integrate this as a central knowledge base for an advanced research project. Professional doctorates reflect the need for structured forms of professional development and reflective practice across the arts sector.

The programme aims to develop dynamic and interactive knowledge practices and outcomes that will have an impact across academic and non-academic contexts. It will support the development of reflective practice that can respond to and influence the complex, unpredictable and shifting social and cultural contexts within which practitioners operate.

The programme introduces practitioners to a range of dynamic and challenging concepts and methods with which to reflect critically and constructively on their professional practice. The programme will be taught within a learning environment and methodology informed by the principles of reflective practice, action or practice-based research and enquiry based learning.

This pedagogical approach enables students' professional context to become a primary research resource.`Applied theatre' is taken as an umbrella term referring inclusively to any form of theatre/performance practice seeking to engage or intervene in social and/or political contexts such as schools, communities, prisons, refugee groups, healthcare contexts, etc. Researchers in Manchester founded the TiPP Centre (Theatre in Prisons and Probation) in the 1990s, and `In Place of War' in the 2000s (an international network of artists working in war zones).

Detailed Course Facts

Start dates and application deadlines

Started in

  • There is no deadline for this start date.

Dates reflect the university's timezone.

Tuition fee
  • GBP2026 per year ( EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • PhD (part-time): UK/EU students (per annum): £2,026
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 72 months
Project Type Open

Course Content


Students will receive individual supervision from an academic supervisor with a specialism related to their field of research as well as opportunities to develop reflective enquiry into practice via group-based learning exercises with other practitioners at two long residential weekends per year. All teaching and supervision will be led by applied theatre staff. This approach to teaching and learning supports interdisciplinary research and high levels of engagement and interaction between academic knowledge, policy imperatives and practical applications.

Teaching and learning

Students will receive six individual supervisions a year. Taught units will be facilitated via two long residential weekends annually (Thursday 9am - Sunday midday, to take place each September and April). Each residential will be planned and delivered by at least two applied theatre staff, with invited guest input when and where appropriate.

After completion of the first 12 months of study each student will be assigned a `professional mentor'. The professional mentor will be a reputable, competent and experienced professional in a field related to the candidate's practice-based research. The professional mentor will be selected by programme staff in liaison with the student.

Coursework and assessment

Progress will be monitored primarily via individual supervisions. The key milestones are represented by the assessment for each stage of the process. These are:

  • Year 1: literature review and research essay (12,000 words in total)
  • Year 2: conference paper and publishable article (6-8000 words)
  • Year 3: research proposal and portfolio of reflective practice (12,000 words in total)
  • Year 4-6: individual targets appropriate to the completion of the thesis research
  • Year 6: thesis of 40-45,000 words or practical outcome accompanied by 20-45,000 word dissertation.

The programme is structured on the basis that the most suitable pathway is the part-time route. However, there is a negotiable full-time route in special cases (which may be more desirable, for example, for students who have accessed funding to support an extended break from the profession, or for retired professionals). Full-time students will have 12 individual supervisions per year, twice-yearly `research panels¿ and access to additional support at residential long weekends to ensure that they can meet key milestones.

English Language Requirements

TOEFL paper-based test score (read more)
TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more


Academic entry qualification overview

Successful completion of a Masters course with an overall classification of Merit or higher, or its overseas equivalent, with an element of research training, is a prerequisite for entry to a PhD. A research proposal must be included with the formal application materials.

English language

Students whose first language is not English require:

an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with 7.0 in the writing component


a TOEFL score of 600 paper-based test, 250 computer-based test, or 100 internet-based test


a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 70 overall with 70 in the writing component

English language test validity

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Professional entry qualification

Evidence of a competent level of professional expertise in one or more contexts relevant to applied theatre (arts, education, criminal justice, health, museums and heritage sites, children/youth/community work, international development). Professional experience must be equivalent to at least 36 months continuous employment. Candidates without a Masters degree must demonstrate evidence of a competent level of professional experience equivalent to at least 48 months continuous employment.

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