MA Site-Specific Theatre Practice

Validated by University of East Anglia

MA Site-Specific Theatre Practice
Validated by University of East Anglia

One year (full-time) Entry January

Applications for entry January 2022 now open.

Mountview’s MA in Site-Specific Theatre Practice is provided in partnership with Shoreditch Town Hall. The first course of its kind in the UK, the MA is created and led by Geraldine Pilgrim, a leading practitioner in the creation of site-specific theatre and installations.

The course is for students interested in highly specialised training across all elements of site-specific practice.

There are a maximum of seven students per cohort.

Site-specific theatre is a fast-growing art form that has captured the imagination of theatre and fine art practitioners throughout the UK and internationally.  True site-specific theatre engages with a chosen site’s history, atmosphere and architecture to underpin devised or text-based narratives. Site-specific theatre is an art form in its own right, allowing a space to inform the final performance and acknowledging that the performance can only happen in the specific site.

The course is aimed at practitioners with an art or drama background wanting to diversify their artistic skills in the area of site-specific practice. Applications are welcomed from those with experience in the fine art, theatre or related industries as well as those currently studying at BA level.

What sets this course apart is that students will undertake a UK or overseas based residency to create a site-specific work.

Learning will cover practical skills and creative realisation as well as theoretical and methodological investigation.

Strong emphasis is placed on learning through practice. There is continuous assessment across all modules. Assessment is based on coursework covering the skills elements of the course and marking of practical work.

Teaching will take place both at Mountview’s Peckham site and at Shoreditch Town Hall, an independent arts centre experienced in presenting site-specific theatre. Mountview’s collaboration with Shoreditch Town Hall will root students in a professional space enabling practical experimentation with the site-specific form and connection to established artists.

Geraldine Pilgrim, Artistic Director of Geraldine Pilgrim Performance Company, has been making site-specific performances and installations for over twenty years in sites including empty office blocks, schools, hotels, swimming pools, factories, hospitals, castles, stately homes and public parks. Her links with site-specific companies, practitioners, theatre companies and live artists ensure that students will have access to a rich network of contacts as well as fine-tuned expertise.

Work created by previous MA Site-Specific Theatre Practice graduates as part of the course includes AP, “Who Knew The Old Man Had So Much Blood In Him?”, Inu and Copernican Dream / we are not alone.

Watch Handbag at Home, a celebratory online participatory performance presented by Geraldine Pilgrim Performance Company and Mountview London.

Production photography by Lyodd Winters and Katherine Leedale.

Course Practitioners

Geraldine Pilgrim
Head of Site-Specific Theatre
James Pidgeon
Director and Chief Executive of Shoreditch Town Hall Monthly Seminars
Didi Hopkins
Masterclass Guest Artist
Tim Spooner
Masterclass Guest Artist
Gary Stevens
Masterclass Guest Artist
Tassos Stevens
Masterclass Guest Artist
Melanie Thompson
Masterclass Guest Artist
Athina Vahla
Masterclass Guest Artist
Connor Bowmott
Production Seminar Guest Lecturer
Simon Byford
Production Seminar Guest Lecturer
Adam Finlay
Production Seminar Guest Lecturer
Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson
Production Seminar Guest Lecturer
Josephine Burton, Salon Guest Artist
Josephine Burton
Salon Guest Artist

Felix Cross, Salon Guest Artist
Felix Cross
Salon Guest Artist
Professor Marc Rees
Salon Guest Artist

Mike Pearson, Salon Guest Artist
Mike Pearson
Salon Guest Artist
Simon Vincenzi
Salon Guest Artist
Mole Wetherell
Salon Guest Artist

Course Content

2021 Term Dates 
Spring term 5 January – 2 April 2021
Summer term
 20 April – 9 July 2021
Autumn term 7 September – 26 November 2021
Writing up period (MA only) 1 November – 26 November 2021

Site Requirements and Practice

  • Site practicalities
  • Production planning
  • Licensing
  • Design, including space, lighting, sound & visual effects
  • Inspirational visits including heritage sites & outdoor


  • Practical workshops from the course leader, Mountview staff & visiting practitioners
  • A short, London-based collaborative site-specific performance

2020/21 TERM DATES 
To be announced


  • Seminars, lectures & salons with leading practitioners, focusing on methodologies, practice & innovation
  • Shadowing: work-based learning & personal engagement with artists & companies

Directing & Site Residency

  • Individual short self-devised site-specific project directing other students
  • A UK or overseas residency working collaboratively to create & realise a site-specific performance

2020/21 TERM DATES 
To be announced

Site-specific practical dissertation

  • Research, development & production of a substantive piece of site-specific theatre
  • Presentation of an interim exhibition with critical support and feedback
  • Production of written materials towards the practical dissertation


  • Application Fee
  • Free
  • 2020/21 UK/EU Students Course Fee
  • £10,560
  • 2020/21 International Students Course Fee
  • £17,510
  • Additional Costs (e.g. cultural trips)
  • £120
Apply Now

Fees are subject to annual review. One term’s notice will be given of any increases.

Mountview works with all students to discuss funding options.

Funding and Scholarships

Geraldine Pilgrim is the reason site-specific work is known and loved in the UK – whenever you see a site-specific piece, or ‘immersive theatre’, you’re seeing the influence of her groundbreaking work.

Poppy Keeling, Producer – Wise Children

Entry requirements

Admission onto the course is by interview. Applicants must be aged 21 years or over at the start of the course. Students who do not hold an undergraduate degree will need to undertake an access assignment to establish suitability for undertaking the MA.

If an applicant’s first language is not English, and they have not been taught in English or studied to A Level standard in the UK, they will need to demonstrate an acceptable minimum level of competence through the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Band 6.5).

Mountview welcomes applications from people with disabilities and is keen to support all applicants to achieve their best. If applicants have any special requirements or access needs, these should be discussed with the course leader/administrator.

Mountview is committed to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities for students in which individuals are selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. No applicant will receive less or more favourable treatment on grounds of sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnic origin, disability, religion and marital/parental status or any comparable grounds.

Interview information

Candidates are invited to Shoreditch Town Hall for an interview with the Head of Programme at which they discuss their previous experience, interests and influences. Interviewees should bring a portfolio of previous work and/or ideas and inspirations. There is no application fee.

Find out more about Mountview’s auditions and interviews.

2021 Prospectus