Theatre for Social, Political and Environmental Change


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Full time 1 year, Part time 2 years


Why Lancaster?

  • Enrol on a truly unique programme of study that puts environmental and political challenges at the heart of performance practice
  • Learn how to inspire social and political change through a variety of theatrical forms, from applied and community theatre to professional performance practice
  • Participate in workshops with professional theatre makers at the forefront of their fields
  • Develop a theoretical and philosophical understanding of how performance influences society and politics
  • Gain the professional insight needed to make a difference in roles within the arts, education, charities, businesses, and government

How can actors, directors, applied theatre facilitators and playwrights inspire real change in a developing world? What role do theatre and performance play in the face of climate change, global conflict, economic crisis and other social issues? This degree will help you to develop creative performance practices that challenge, inspire and disrupt the social status quo.

Theatre that shapes the future

This unique course will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to have a genuine impact on the world around you. You’ll further your practical skills through workshops with visiting professionals and community organisations.

Throughout the programme, we’ll examine how professional theatre makers, applied theatre facilitators, and performance activists have responded to global challenges such as environmental degradation, migration, homelessness, sustainable development, and political engagement.

A flexible approach

We have developed this course of study to empower you with the capacity to make theatre more politically and socially effective. We aim to equip you with the tools to develop bold and original approaches to socially and politically engaged performance. You’ll choose from optional modules that include collaboration with community groups, or development of specific skill sets like performance, playwriting or arts management. You will be able to take optional modules from other related subject disciplines at Lancaster University. The flexibility of this degree makes it suitable to combine with employment, although this will depend on which modules you choose.


By the time you finish this degree you will have developed the skills and knowledge needed to provoke effective and long-lasting change through creative performance practice.

Graduates of this degree are able to further their careers in:

  • Professional theatre
  • Applied theatre
  • Community development
  • Education
  • Charities and NGOs
  • Activism and political campaigning

Students who complete this degree are well placed to continue their studies at PhD level, where their specialist interests can be pursued through original independent practice and research.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 (UK Hons) degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline

We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

Additional Requirements

As part of your application you also need to;

  • Take part in an interview

The interview may take place online.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum score of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.



Fees and funding

Location Full Time (per year) Part Time (per year)
Home £11,500 £5,750
International £23,875 £11,935

General fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.