MA Theatre and Performance

Become an informed and critically aware practitioner and consumer of the Arts.


Master of Arts, Theatre and Performance Programme Code: ACA00

The Theatre and Performance department offers three Masters programmes:

  • MA by Coursework in the field of Theatre and Performance – this degree requires you to attend classes and enrol in coursework in the first semester and deliver a creative project and researchreport as your final submission

  • MA by Research in the field of Theatre and Performance – this degree is a conventional MA Research degree which requires you to produce a standard research dissertation

  • MA by Research and Creative Project in Theatre and Performance – this degree acknowledges the intersections between creative practice and research, requiring you to explore a research question through some form of creative practice alongside or as part of the research dissertation.

Please be clear about which of these MA programme(s) you are applying for in your supporting documents.

Career Opportunities

  • Choreographer
  • Critics
  • Director
  • Designer
  • Performer
  • Theatre-Maker
  • Writer
  • Production and Arts Manager
  • Teachers/Facilitators/Academics
  • Theorists
  • Writer




The M.A. by Coursework and Research Report offers students the option of combining coursework with independent research. All MA by Coursework students must complete three 7000-level modules and a Research Report. Please note that coursework (all 3 courses combined) constitutes 50 % of the final mark and the Research Report the other 50%.

• DRAA7032A Radical Theatre Research, plus
• DRAA7030A Critical Practice: Revising/Devising
• DRAA7031A Critical Practice: Performance
• DRAA 7003A: Research Report (counts 50% of the degree)

All 4 required MA level courses must be completed within the Department of Theatre and Performance


Students who have sufficient expertise in their proposed field of research may obtain a Master’s degree by independent research under the guidance of an approved supervisor.


This degree is aimed at students who have considerable professional experience and who wish to produce a practical/creative project as a substantial component of their M.A. research. The written, theoretically grounded component of the research shall be weighted 50% of the MA degree, and the creative project will constitute the other 50%.

Entry Requirements

Please be clear about which of these MA programme(s) you are applying for in your supporting documents. In addition to the application documents required by Faculty, the following supporting documents must be provided for consideration in the Masters in the field of Theatre and Performance programmes:

  1. All former academic transcripts of prior degrees
  2. All prior qualification certificates
  3. A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages) detailing all professional experience and including all qualifications and/or training certificates. CV should also detail examples of achievement or recognition in the professional theatre and performance industry and/or formal or informal involvement in academic or research activities (including teaching, conferences and publications). Your CV should also include the names and contact details of two referees.
  4. A recent academic writing sample (for example, an essay or research report) which gives a good reflection of your academic writing capacity equivalent to Honours level and your understanding of academic writing conventions such as providing comprehensive definitions, application of key terminology, case study analysis, in text citation and referencing etc.
  5. A short personal motivation (maximum 1 page) reflecting on why you want to apply for the BA Honours degree at Wits in the Department of Theatre and Performance and how this relates to your personal and career trajectory and history. Give us an idea of how this degree will develop your current artistic or creative practice.

6. An expression of interest (maximum one page). This document is a one-page concept document or extended abstract. It should be written in academic language and should provide a brief overview of what you would like to DISCOVER or INVESTIGATE through the process of your Masters research. It should include your proposed research question (and sub questions), a concise expansion on your research topic and –if you are intending to include a creative project or creative research – an outline of your proposed creative project and how it will help you to answer your research question. This document should include an initial bibliography with at least 5-10 readings you are engaging with currently as you prepare for Masters study.

TIP: This document should focus on answering these questions - What is your research interest and how can you develop a creative research question around it? (remember, a research question is not yes or no and must be clear and focused). How do you envision this research as or with a creative component (if applicable)? How do you imagine the dissertation unfolding in relation to the practice? Is the research more experimental or traditional? Who are some of the key theorists/theoretical positions or readings that you are hoping might inform your study?

7. Any other relevant supporting documents such as a creative writing sample (script), performance or directing showreel, online portfolio or website showcasing your creative practice to date, or anything else which you feel may strengthen your application.

Please note that even if your application is reviewed positively, we may still require an interview to comply with Faculty processes.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.