The collaboration offers students a truly unique learning experience, blending academia and creativity in an exciting new way to foster innovative methods of theatre and learning. 

Stratford Residential2018 Stratford Residential. Photo by Sam Allard © RSC

From productions and use of rehearsal space, to Q&A and practical workshop sessions with professional theatre-makers, our collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) offers students the chance to develop a deeper understanding of an internationally renowned theatre company and take a peek in to the behind the scenes operation.

Examples of the types of learning opportunities that have been made available to our students since the collaboration's launch:

  • Theatre trips to see RSC productions, including bespoke Q&A sessions with members of the cast and company
  • Participation in professional research and development workshops
  • Masterclasses from RSC creative practitioners in subjects such as directing, playwriting, lighting and design
  • Backstage Tours of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
  • Department of English’s annual undergraduate Stratford Residential
  • RSC teaching input on multiple MA programme at the Shakespeare Institute

Programmes of study

The collaboration especially benefits students on the following courses, although many of the workshops and opportunities provided by the RSC are also open to enthusiastic students in other departments:

MA Shakespeare and Creativity
Two of the MA Shakespeare and Creativity core modules, The Shakespeare Ensemble and Shakespeare in Society, feature tuition from the RSC with seminars on new writing, devising and design among other topics. Shakespeare in Society culminates in the production of a piece of civic creativity inspired by Shakespeare. Students taking The Shakespeare Ensemble module devise work specifically for public performance.

MA Shakespeare and Education
Shakespeare and Pedagogy
, a core module on the MA Shakespeare and Education, is jointly taught with the Royal Shakespeare Company Education Department and provides an opportunity to explore the history, philosophy and pedagogy of ‘teaching Shakespeare’.

BA English with Shakespeare
This new programme offers students an exciting core programme in English Literature, while also giving them the opportunity to specialise in the works of Shakespeare in each year of their degree. Students taking this programme have the opportunity to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, and benefit from the expertise of academics at the Shakespeare Institute and our links with the RSC. 

BA English
Traditionally, the second year of the BA English programme includes an optional residential trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, when, in addition to an exciting array of academic workshops at the Shakespeare Institute, students have the opportunity to participate in a programme of creative sessions often led by RSC artists. In previous years, English students have also benefitted from a variety of theatre trips and Q&A sessions with RSC creative practitioners.

BA Drama and Theatre Arts, BA Drama and English
Since the start of the collaboration with the RSC, Drama and Theatre Arts students have benefitted from the partnership in a number of ways, from trips to RSC productions to workshops and masterclasses with RSC creative practitioners. Drama and Theatre Arts students have also contributed to a variety of professional research and development workshops in The Other Place, since it reopened in 2016.

MA Creative Writing, BA English and Creative Writing, BA English and Film
Students in the Department of Film and Creative Writing have had a variety of opportunities to work with RSC practitioners, developing their creative skills through activities such as playwriting and devising workshops.

Other programmes

A variety of tailored learning opportunities have been organised for students across the College of Arts of Law through our collaboration with the RSC, notably for students in the departments of:   Liberal Arts and Sciences, Political  Science and International Studies and English Language and Linguistics.

"Our partnership with the University of Birmingham is a brilliant opportunity for students to get right into the heart of the RSC, using the theatre and its resources as part of their studies."
Erica Whyman, Deputy Artistic Director of the RSC