University of Derby Courses

Study at the UK's leading professional producing and learning theatre 

Derby Theatre, owned by the University of Derby, is the first ever Learning Theatre of its kind and is recognised regionally, nationally and internationally as a unique model for real-life learning.

We offer a range of undergraduate and masters courses for anyone interested in a career within the arts and theatre. 

The Learning Theatre provides a unique opportunity for students to learn their craft by working alongside both academics and theatre professionals on real shows and events in the heart of a professional producing theatre.


BA (Hons) Theatre Arts
MA Applied Theatre and Education 
- MA Writing for Performance


Despite Covid-19, we are committed to our ethos of enabling students to work on professional events alongside our staff and creatives. During closure, we've been planning new opportunities and ways of working, as well as ensuring the venue is a safe space to study.

Derby Theatre, Learning Theatre - 1984 Backstage

The Learning Theatre

Derby Theatre provides an extraordinary platform for real life learning to take place, not only through the exciting main stage and Studio programmes, but also through the work that the Theatre does with young people, young people in care, emerging artists and the community. There is no other theatre model like this in the country and we are leading the world in this way of working. 

Develop your skills in acting, writing, devising, directing, design, technical and applied theatre to prepare for your career as a professional theatre artist. 

A Learning Theatre is a place where students, academics and artists are working, creating and learning side by side. All decisions about the development of both the art and the learning opportunities are made together. 

BA (Hons) Theatre Arts

Derby Theatre will be your ‘home’, offering you valuable industry experience and contacts. This course is unique, no other university level course is housed in a professional producing theatre. You will be at the centre of this professional environment, developing skills in acting, devising and directing for your career as a professional theatre artist. You might also want to combine theatre with another subject through our Joint Honours Theatre Programme.

MA Applied Theatre and Education

A new practical MA in Applied Theatre practice which also engages in the rigour of educational learning theory. Based at the Theatre, this programme is very practical and offers students the opportunity to work with the Theatre’s Creative Learning provision.

MA Writing for Performance

This course offers you the opportunity to write for film, television, radio, new media and theatre. 

Students on the degree programmes will:

- Study, work and perform in a nationally renowned producing theatre
- Work alongside theatre professionals on top quality performances
- Take part in workshops with visiting world class artists
- Work with our artistic and technical teams on home-grown Derby Theatre productions
- Participate in study visits e.g The National Theatre
- Produce or perform in student productions on the main stage and in the studio theatre

Recently our students have undertaken workshops and residencies working with companies including Gecko, as well as taking a role alongside our artistic and technical teams on home-grown Derby Theatre productions.

Open Days - Find Out More 

The best way to find out more about studying at the University of Derby is to book onto an Open Day. You can view the amazing facilities at the Theatre, talk to teaching staff and current students, and view accommodation.

Derby Theatre, Learning Theatre - The Pillowman

£5 Tickets for ALL University of Derby Students

Derby Theatre makes inspiring home-grown professional shows and presents the best of touring theatre from around the UK. As a University of Derby student, you’ll can see hundreds of performances at Derby Theatre for just £5. Students just book using their University of Derby email address to qualify. 

Student Productions

2nd Contemporary Theatre students talk about their experiences of working with the professionals on their main stage production of 1984 in May 2019.

After Graduation

Students graduate Derby with the skills and knowledge needed to form their own theatre companies or pursue professional roles both on and off stage. We support them to enter the first stages of a professional theatre career through graduate internships and a comprehensive artist development programme.