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 from January 2020
Applications are still 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Course Content

2020 Term Dates
Spring term 6 January – 3 April 2020
Summer term 6 April – 25 July 2020
Autumn term 7 September – 11 December 2020

Site Requirements and Practice

• Site practicalities

• Production planning

• Licensing

• Design, including space, lighting, sound and visual effects

• Inspirational visits including heritage sites and outdoor


• Practical workshops from the course leader, Mountview staff and visiting practitioners

• A short, London-based collaborative site-specific performance


2020 Term Dates
Spring term 6 January – 3 April 2020
Summer term 6 April – 25 July 2020
Autumn term 7 September – 11 December 2020


• Salons: lectures and open seminars in a Salon model from leading practitioners, focussing on methodologies, practice and innovation

• Shadowing: work-based learning and personal engagement in a case study on practice and method

Directing & Site Residency

• Individual short site-specific projects in which students devise their own project and direct other students

• A residency in the UK or abroad. Students work collaboratively to respond to a site and research, create and realise a site-specific performance

2020 Term Dates
Spring term 6 January – 3 April 2020
Summer term 6 April – 25 July 2020
Autumn term 7 September – 11 December 2020

Site-specific practical dissertation

• Students will research, develop, creatively lead a team and produce a substantive piece of site-specific theatre

• In the stages of developing this work, students will show their ideas at an interim exhibition and receive critical support and feedback

• Students will document the process and deliver supporting written materials towards this practical dissertation


  • Application Fee
  • Free
  • 2019/10 UK/EU Students
  • £10,355
  • 2019/20 International Students
  • £17,165
  • Application Fee
  • Free
  • Additional Costs (e.g. cultural trips)
  • £100
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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, 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.

2020 Prospectus