MA Musical Theatre Creatives

Accepting applications for September 2024.

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MA Musical Theatre Creatives at Leeds Conservatoire

Our MA Musical Theatre Creatives is an individually-tailored MA for anyone interested in creating new musical theatre and a professional career as a creative in the industries, whether as a composer, writer, choreographer, lyricist or something that has yet to be defined.

This unique course focuses on students' particular needs to develop their skills in their field (composition, dance and dramaturgy etc), whilst simultaneously generating work as a collective with other creatives across the MAs.

Working with leading institutions from across the North and with practitioners that include composers, lyricists, and book-writers (the creative team of a musical), students will leave the course with a portfolio of work to take into the industry, to peers to build a creative team with, and leave with a unique artistic voice to shape the theatre of tomorrow.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 1 Year
  • UCAS Code: W43F
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Validated By: University of Hull*

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Course overview

Mastery of Skill

Musical Theatre Creatives, be they writers, composers or choreographers, will work with experts and professionals focused on the individual student’s area of interest through individual placements and classes tailored to their learning. Whether working with MA composition students, shadowing guest choreographers, or developing work for devising and dramaturgical classes, students will learn by doing rather than through theory, to become a master in their field.

Collaborative Practice and Performance

Collaboration is an integral part of the ethos at Leeds Conservatoire. Musical Theatre Creatives students will share core modules with students from the other Theatre MAs, where they generate new work in a collaborative, student-led environment. This encourages students to work in new and interdisciplinary ways where they can find and hone their individual creative voices as artists and practitioners. Throughout the year there will be several opportunities for these developing works to be performed in a range of contexts and environments.

Access to the Industry

This course offers an immediate introduction to the industry by offering workshops and projects overseen by leading professionals in the field, as well as taking advantage of the richly diverse theatrical community on our doorstep. Companies we work with include Leeds Playhouse, Red Ladder, Opera North and Slung Low. Students will build a portfolio of their own work, with some that will be showcased publicly at the end of the year.

Specialist Facilities

Our campuses include a brand-new building at Playhouse Square, housing state-of-the-art specialist performance facilities. With a panoramic view over the city landscape, this £60m development contains bespoke facilities for our theatre courses, including state-of-the-art dance and drama studio spaces and music ensemble rooms.

Leeds is also rich with creative and artistic spaces which are invaluable in offering training which is embedded in the City. As an artist who is interested in developing new work you may be able use those environments to inspire your work.

What you will study* (See Modules and Specifications)


Students will explore various methods of creative thinking and problem-solving, which will become the initial starting points for later development of new work.

Weekly sessions will focus on case studies of performers, work or artists to critically analyse how research is used in the development of new work and in the telling of personal narratives or stories.

Case studies may include practitioners such as Kate Tempest, Frantic Assembly, Pablo Helguera, Javaad Alipoor, debbie tucker green, Lin-Manuel Miranda or other contemporaries.

This work will be student-led, tailored to the student’s area of interest. Students will interrogate and explore the roles of each individual creative, through collaborative work with the other MAs.

In this module students will explore the history of musical theatre and use examples as the stimulus to create their own work to be performed in class.

Working alongside the Musical Theatre Company and Musical Directors, Musical Theatre Creatives students will take part in acting through song and musical theatre context classes.

In the first, they will expand their knowledge of repertoire and deepen their understanding of the relationship between performer and material through observation and discussion within these classes.

They will then dissect the key components of song (keys, chord progression and structure etc) and lyrics, and study style and genre in relation to their place and time in the musical theatre landscape.

They will use this as a starting point to develop and perform (with the other students) work of their own creation.

Drawing on the wide range of internal courses and practitioners across Leeds Conservatoire, each student will further develop the individual skill within their chosen field of study; composition, book writing, lyric writing and choreography.

For example, composers will join the MA Music students for their ‘Creative Practice in Context’ module, where they explore the process behind composition, choreographers may work with guest choreographers on first/second-year projects, and book writers may join the dramaturgical studies, or work on placements.

The learning within this module will be tailored to the specific needs and aims of each student, developing their skills in this area to a professional level and encourage their own individual artistry to shine through.

Working with the performance students, this module gives the students opportunities in small companies, to develop early performance material as part of a short non-décor festival.

These pieces will be semi-directed/tutor-led but will be developed from stimuli founded within the group. By developing original material (or reproducing existing material) in a collective setting, students will develop the all-important collaboration skills necessary in the creation of new theatre.

Within the sessions, students will then work with their assigned tutor/director in developing new performance material which should be appropriate for small-scale touring.

In developing these particular skills, students will have, upon graduation, material which they could tour or develop further.

The Major Project will be developed over a term and will be a based on the student’s area of interest, culminating in a performance and/or sharing . Major projects can be in collaboration with other MA students from across the Theatre MAs or something entirely individual.

Each student will also choose how they want to present their work for assessment, either as practical performance, theatre-making or written dissertation. Students will also reflect on their work through a spoken viva voce exam and reflective writing.

You will be assessed at the end of each of three trimesters on Applied Musical Theatre Context, Skills for the Musical Creative and Performance Project. These practical assessments will focus on putting into practice the skills received during that trimester. Depending on your chosen specialism, these may invoice composition, writing or choreography.

Finally, you will be assessed on your Major Project, which culminates in a production/s in third term. This assessment will cover the Project's inception, development and performance/s, largely based upon a dissertation you will produce.

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Drama Facilities - Playhouse Square, Mabgate and more

Our Performing Arts students benefit from bespoke new facilities in our brand new Playhouse Square building.

Teaching will take place at our St Peters Square, Mabgate and Playhouse Square buildings as well as external teaching spaces where necessary.

We are confirming teaching spaces for 2024/25, but teaching spaces in 2023/24 also included Slung Low Theatre Company in Holbeck, Dance Studio Leeds and Yorkshire Dance.

Take a look at our custom-designed studios with panoramic views over Leeds city centre.

See Performing Arts Facilities


Graduates of the Musical Theatre Creatives programme may go on to work in fields which may include:

Course Tutors

Students will be taught by staff who are specialists within their field and include performers, creatives, entrepreneurs and academics who work professionally in the theatre industry. All teaching staff must apply for and be granted Recognised Teacher Status by the University of Hull.

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Course Type: MA Postgraduate Degree
Duration: 1 year
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September
Validated by: University of Hull

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

  • UCAS Code: W44F
  • UCAS Institution Code: L31

Apply directly to Leeds Conservatoire

Alternatively you can apply directly to Leeds Conservatoire via our MA Musical Theatre Creatives Direct Application Form.

Find out more about the application process.

  • A good honours degree in any subject, with a 2nd (2:2) classification or equivalent, usually theatre, music or theatre/music-related, but qualifications in other fields will also be reviewed and considered.


  • Equivalent professional experience may also be accepted and reviewed at application and audition stages (see our APEL process).
  • All suitable applicants are invited for interview and/or audition
  • All students requiring a visa to study in the UK must meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department's English Language requirement of IELTS 6.0 with no sub-test less than 5.5

The audition process will be in 2 stages:

  1. Online Portfolio and Personal Statement
  2. Interview and Task (online or in person)

Find out more and read our full guidance on our Postgraduate Auditions page.

Tuition Fees For 2024 Entry (Home/International)


Tuition fees pay for the cost of teaching, assessment, validation, the facilities, support and administration of your course.

Find out more about Fees & Funding for Postgraduate study. 

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