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Study plan - Theatre in Social, Participatory Art, Community and Educational Contexts

Autumn 2024

The programme covers different applications of theatre and drama in the following contexts:

Social & health

• hospitals

• health centres

• refugee centres

• NGOs

• prisons

• churches

• care homes

• working with people with substance abuse

• working with people living with dementia

• working with people living with special needs

• other social and health contexts

Culture & public art

• educational departments of theatres

• Theatre in Education companies

• classroom theatre (“Klassenzimmertheater”)

• street theatre with clear educational / social / community approach

• museums

• libraries

• zoos

• other cultural and public contexts


• communities, villages

• youth clubs

• associations

• theatre of the oppressed

• other community contexts


• early childhood education

• primary schools, high schools

• art schools, cultural schools, learning centres for immigrants

• theatre schools, youth theatres

• other contexts of extracurricular activity and nonformal education (e.g., the Scandinavian practice of people’s high schools, “folkehøgskole”)


1. General measures

1.1.All admission and selection procedures must comply with the Lisbon Recognition Convention, the EHEA European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes, the ESG, the EMJM Grant Agreement and subsidiary documents.

1.2.The partner universities delegate members to the Joint Selection Committee (JSC) as specified in the Joint Partnership Agreement. All decisions regarding the admission and selection are made by this Committee as specified below.

1.3.The JSC shall meet at least once a year for selecting and ranking all applicants. The Partners agree that the meetings of the JSC may be held remotely. The minutes of the JSC are prepared by the chairman of the meeting. They shall be approved via email or in person by all members of the JSC before communicating the selection results to the applicants. 

1.4.The administrative process of admission and selection is coordinated by HVL.

2. Accepted qualifications

2.1.The programme enrols students at Master level who have obtained a first higher education degree or demonstrate a recognised equivalent level of learning according to national legislation and practices.

2.2.As the programme recruits students from all over the world, and a BA course does not exist in this field in all countries, the programme has wider admission requirements.

2.3.Admission criteria follow the concerning Regulations concerning Requirements for Master’s Degrees in Norway:

§ 3. Requirements for a master’s degree with a scope of 120 credits The master’s degree is achieved on the basis of a master’s degree examination with a scope of 120 credits (2 years), including independent work pursuant to section 6. The degree is based on one of the following educational pathways:

• a bachelor’s degree

• a cand.mag. degree (first cycle degree which was awarded until 2005)

• other degree or vocational education with a scope of minimum 3 years’ duration

• an education which has been accredited as the equivalent of the above-mentioned degrees or educational pathways pursuant to section 3-4 of the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges.

One of these educational pathways must include the following:

• specialization in a subject, course or course group with a scope of at least 80 credits or

• integrated vocational education with a scope of at least 120 credits within the subject area of the master’s degree In special cases, the institution may recognize other documented qualifications as completely or partly equivalent to the educational pathways mentioned above.

2.4.The admission criteria are:

a. minimum a bachelor level (or identical) degree as specified in 2.3.,

b. with a scope of at least 180 ECTS or equivalent,

c. with a minimum average grade of C when converted to the Norwegian grading system,

d. from the following fields of education and training according to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-f 2013):

• 01 Education (all areas)

• 02 Arts and Humanities (all areas)

• 0312 Political sciences and civics

• 0313 Psychology

• 0314 Sociology and cultural studies

• 0321 Journalism and reporting

• 0915 Therapy and rehabilitation

• 0921 Care of elderly and of disabled adults

• 0922 Childcare and youth services

• 0923 Social work and counselling

2.5. Since students do not take part in placement (praksis) during the study, a criminal record certificate is not required upon admission.

Learning outcomes


The candidate 

  • has advanced knowledge in applying theatre and drama in transcultural contexts.
  • has advanced knowledge in the major periods, genres and representatives of theatre history, especially applied theatre, and post-dramatic theatre. 
  • has thorough knowledge of the theory, concepts and methods in applied theatre, drama- and theatre education, process drama, Theatre in Education and Performance Arts Oriented Theatre Pedagogy.
  • has thorough knowledge in different methodologies and tools of facilitating drama processes and creating theatre in educational, social, community, health, care and cultural contexts.
  • can analyse ethical aspects and responsibilities of artistic interventions in a community and the role of the facilitator-researcher in the process.  
  • has thorough knowledge of methods of reflective practice and qualitative drama/theatre education research. has advanced knowledge in the theory of drama- and theatre-based participatory artistic research approaches.


The candidate

  • can carry out and apply theatrical practices in different educational, social, community, health, care and cultural contexts to achieve specific aims. 
  • can participate in community artistic processes sensitively, ethically, responsibly, sustainably and creatively.  can critically analyse existing applied theatre practices in relation to their implementation in different social and cultural contexts.
  • can identify practices that can be applied in specific contexts with different logistic realities. 
  • can independently recognise and reflect on their own needs for further developing their artistic, pedagogical, and social competences.
  • can adapt and use their knowledge in multilingual contexts, communicate at a high professional level in their first language and in English. 
  • can conduct interdisciplinary educational or artistic research individually.
  • can carry out and complete independently a wide range of applied theatre tasks in both private and public sector (such as various tasks related to theatre arts, community development, project management, the cultural sphere, media, economy, specialized teacher training, curriculum planning, or various academic fields). 

General competence

The candidate

  • can analyse relevant academic, professional and research ethical problems regarding drama and applied theatre.
  • can apply their knowledge and skills in new educational-, social-, community-, health- and cultural areas in order to carry out advanced processes and projects.
  • communicates independently by mastering the terminology of the academic field.
  • can communicate about practical, artistic, and academic issues of the field, both with other specialists and for the general public.
  • can contribute to new thinking and innovative processes in the field of drama and applied theatre.
  • strives to create communities, enhance cross-cultural dialogue through artistic methods in various contexts, through innovative forms.  
  • supports strengthening of international connections, serves international integration and flow of information, while, at the same time, also preserves their own cultural identity. 


The first and second semester, the summer school and the third semester are realised at different universities. Students can choose where they wish to conduct their research for their MA Dissertation in the fourth, last semester.

The module plans are available in separate annexes:

  • Modules of the 1st and 2nd semester (Norway)
  • Description of the summer school (Ireland)
  • Modules of the 3rd semester (Hungary)
  • Modules of the 4th semester (Ireland)

Module plans are designed in a unified structure, including all aspects that will be needed in all Partner countries for accreditation. There are two responsible teachers indicated for each module, or a deputy responsible is identified. This is to avoid the risking of the entire programme in case a responsible person falls out for any reason.

The joint curriculum has a modular structure and comprises seven mandatory modules in a compulsory linear mobility path spread over four semesters and two years.

The semesters start and end according to the following plan:

  • First semester in Norway starts in September (with some online informative events organized already in mid-August) and ends in December.
  • Second semester in Norway starts early January and ends mid-June. The semester includes a min. 30-hours-long fieldwork at an organization.
  • Summer school offered by Trinity College is in July, between the second and third semesters.
  • Third semester starts in September in Hungary and ends in January.
  • Fourth semester coordinated by Ireland will start in February and end in August. Students decide where they stay.

The indicated time frame of the semesters is more precisely presented in a detailed semester plan the students receive at beginning of each academic year. Usually, 2-3 weeks are left between semesters to allow moving from one city to another.

The entire programme takes 24 months from September to August. Students have a summer break following the summer school and 2-4 weeks breaks during the winter holidays seasons.

The summer school between the 2nd and the 3rd semester is a mandatory learning activity, which is not graded but approved.

Throughout the entire programme, guest lecturers from other countries are invited to hold lectures, workshops, seminars both on campus and online, with the intention of sharing projects and practices from different contexts.

Key regulations of the MA Dissertation:

  • Modules 1-6 are all mandatory prerequisites of the MA Dissertation. The student must acquire a minimum of an E grade in modules 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6; and an approval in module 5.
  • Students will spend the last semester where they do their research. They can stay at any of the Partner universities or stay in a third country.
  • In each edition, Students will be equally distributed among the Partner universities regarding supervision.
  • Supervision can happen either on campus (in case the supervisor and the student are in the same city) or online. Supervision can happen individually or in smaller groups, and also within colloquium groups of students.
  • Credit-wise the MA Dissertation module is registered to Trinity College.
  • Degree-awarding ceremonies are organized at the premises of Western Norway University of Applied Sciences usually in September. With serious justification (e.g., expired Visa, sickness etc.) and the prior written approval of the Programme Coordinator, a student can participate online.


Methods of teaching will be a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars, usually 4 days a week. Teaching demands regular attendance and active participation in classes, contribution to workshops and presentations in seminars. Teaching happens both on campus, outside campus and online. Students are also expected to work independently, in pairs and in groups.

Mandatory assignment types

  • Individual written task: The students will analyse and reflect on a specific task.
  • Written group task: A task more students need to work with together, usually a project plan, an application, a script or something similar.
  • Individual practical work: Individual exploration around a specific topic that results in a performance, a monologue, a research-based theatre piece or something similar.
  • Practical group work: Development, implementation and analysis of a process aimed at a specific target group. The workshop is implemented with either other students or with the target group.
  • Oral presentation: The students will prepare a presentation (a short lecture) in a given topic.


Exam types

  • Individual written home exam: The students have to work individually for usually 5 days and write an academic essay (or another genre specified) on a topic related to the module. Criteria regarding format, structure and content have to be specified by the leader of the module. The teachers are not allowed to supervise the students during the home exam period.
  • Individual oral exam: The student is usually requested to reflect on individual or group practical work and connect it to theory connected to the module. Criteria regarding format, structure and content have to be specified by the leader of the module.
  • Individual practical exam: The exam is usually a performative presentation for/with a specific target group. The exam takes place either on campus or on a social arena (e.g., school, museum, NGO etc.) outside of the university. The leader of the module will specify group distributions and group tasks.
  • Practical group exam: The exam is usually a performative presentation for/with a specific target group. The exam takes place either on campus or on a social arena (e.g., school, museum, NGO etc.) outside of the university. The leader of the module will specify group distributions and group tasks.

Grading system

All courses of the Programme are graded with examination marks and converted to the Theatre SPACEs grading system.

The conversion of the local grading scales for study and test achievements into the Theatre SPACES letter grading system is based on the ECTS grade conversion and is done according to the following table:

Theatre SPACEs Norway Hungary Ireland

Excellent (A) A 5.0 Distinction

Very good (B) B 5 -

Good (C) C 4 Pass

Satisfactory (D) D 3 -

Sufficient (E) E 2 -

Fail (F) F 1 Fail


The entire programme is an international cooperation between partner universities in different countries.