University of Manchester: Applied Theatre

InstitutionUniversity of Manchester
Department School of Arts, Languages and Cultures View department profile
Telephone 0161 275 3559
Study type Research


This pioneering doctoral programme is specifically designed for people working in applied theatre who want to undertake advanced research which builds on their professional knowledge and practice. The structure of the programme is devised to enable you to develop your career whilst simultaneously undertaking a research project that leads to a doctoral qualification.

The PhD Applied Theatre is one of a suite of professional practice-focused Doctorates overseen by the University's Institute of Cultural Practices that aim to engage experienced professionals in advanced research. It aims to engage experienced professionals in advanced research, and reflects the need for structured forms of professional development and reflective practice across the arts sector. The programme takes explicit account of the professional practice-base of the student, integrating this as a central knowledge base for the research project, and supporting the development of dynamic knowledge outcomes that can have an impact across academic and non-academic contexts.

The programme supports the development of reflective practice that can respond to and influence the complex unpredictable and shifting social and cultural contexts within which theatre practitioners operate. The programme introduces students to a range of dynamic and challenging concepts and methods with which to reflect critically and constructively on their professional practice.


The structure of the programme is designed to support people who are embarking on advanced research and who are combining doctoral study with a career. Students join together in a learning environment to investigate the principles of reflective practice and practice-based research, and to engage in research methods training and group learning about relevant areas of social and cultural theory. This pedagogical approach enables students' professional context to become their primary research resource. Students 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 three-day-long meetings per year.

**Special Features**

This pioneering programme in applied theatre 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. Applied theatre is an umbrella term referring inclusively to any form of theatre practice seeking to engage of intervene in social, educational and/or community context. Researchers in Manchester founded the TiPP Centre (theatre in Prisons and Probation) in the 1990s, and key research initiatives since include 'In Place' (an international arts project engaging with artists working in war zones), Performance, Learning and Heritage (exploring theatre in museums and heritage sites) and Poor Theatres (researching and documenting theatre and economic justice initiatives).

Research and teaching in applied theatre is supported by rich resources within the University, in the collections of the University of Manchester Library with its unique Special Collections housed in the refurbished Deansgate building, as well as other distinguished Manchester archives.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

University of Manchester
The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

University of ManchesterThe Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) is a University of Manchester research institute. HCRI conducts rigorous research on the impact and outcomes of contemporary and historical crises, and provides postgraduate training for undergraduates and professionals interested in the humanitarian sector.

As a leading global centre for the study of humanitarianism, conflict responses, global health, international disaster management and peacebuilding, we offer an unrivalled learning environment for students interested in pursuing careers in humanitarian aid or research.

By bringing together medicine and humanities, our programmes offer an inclusive approach to humanitarian ...

View Profile

Not what you are looking for?

Browse other courses in Performing arts or Theatre studies, or search our comprehensive database of postgrad programs.

Scholarship Opportunity with

Are you a PG student at this University or have you applied to study a postgraduate program at a university in Europe? Tell us your plans and qualify for a £500.00 PGS Scholarship.

Click here

Register with

  • Exclusive bursaries
  • Open day alerts
  • Latest PG news
Register Now!