MA Collaborative Theatre



Course QualificationMA Collaborative Theatre
Course DurationOne Year (Full Time) or Two Years (Part-time)
Course LeaderAlexandra Spencer-Jones
Course DeliveryFull-time or Part-time 
Course LocationThe Monkey House, London
Training ProviderFourth Monkey Actor Training Company
Degree Awarding InstitutionFalmouth University (Subject to Validation*)

About the Course

The MA Collaborative Theatre degree provides a unique opportunity to explore and develop the skills relevant to professional contemporary collaborative theatre practice, delivered in association with internationally-renowned partners and practitioners. This course aims to create and launch industry-ready, fledging theatre companies and interdisciplinary collaborators who are knowledgeable, trailblazing and entrepreneurial with the capacity to initiate, create, produce and business manage groundbreaking new works from conception to delivery with sustainability and robustness.

Built through the lens of some of the world’s most experienced and renowned collaborative theatre makers and companies with a wealth of international professional experience at their disposal, the training programme is designed to create theatre makers who challenge, interrogate and drive innovation within the world of contemporary theatre collaboration and production.

Delivery is offered as a flexible learning framework with numerous optional modules and blended delivery to allow MA Collaborative Theatre students to accommodate their family or professional responsibilities around their training within the specified timetable. The training programme is designed to be accessible and affordable and as such, compares favourably to other London-based drama school MA programmes, whilst still offering a professional programme of study that is true to Fourth Monkey’s unique actor training pedagogy.

The power of the ensemble group dynamic and ‘play’ in our training is key in helping to shape professionally trained actors and theatre makers who strive to deliver bold collaborative work, using the unique Fourth Monkey thematic module structure of ACT, MAKE, MOVE, COLLABORATE.

Students training on Fourth Monkey’s MA Collaborative Theatre programme work alongside established industry partners and professionals throughout the core modules of their training, whilst creating and producing original work under their guidance and mentorship. Practical training and professional practice alongside extensive seminars and project-based learning relating to; production, project management and funding, expand and enrich the student experience and knowledge. These are fundamental to the holistic approach on the training programme.

The design of the MA Collaborative Theatre, a mix of compulsory and optional modules alongside some blended delivery empowers individual students to take ownership of their training and in part, design a personalised training journey borne of their own areas of interest and developmental needs. Consequently still retaining the core collaborative framework of structured modules of assessment focused on creating a generous, ensemble theatre-making environment.

Commencing with an exploration of collaborative theatre practice through applied learning the programme then navigates the student through the nuances of research and development, project creation, funding, outreach and engagement, leading to the formation of theatre companies for the final collaborative project as the culmination of the degree.

Ongoing, individual developmental support from the Training Team is also core to the Fourth Monkey philosophy, whilst classes focus on specific skills and techniques, whilst holistically developing students as artists through self-reflection, research-led projects, plus personal and professional development. Students are expected to work with increasing brevity, resilience and independence as they progress throughout the programme and to approach the final study block of project creation as professionals in waiting, behaving accordingly with both practitioners and their peers.

Under the mentorship of a selection of internationally renowned theatre makers and collaborators, the training programme’s final project will see students provided with creative support and guidance as well as preparation for a career in contemporary theatre making and performance.

Core Modules
ActTechnique Classes (from Uta Hagen to Meisner)
Theory & Practice
Creative Process & Realisation
MakeInter-Disciplinary Collaboration
Theatre Making
The Functioning Company – from Pitch to Tour
Devised Ensemble Project
Production Scenography
Funding & Marketing
MoveFrom Grotowski to Complicite
Exploration of Ensemble Practice
Collaborative Theatre Practice
CollaborateCreative Collaboration
Research & Development  
Theatre Company Foundation
Final Performance Project

Focusing on the students’ professional journey and the establishment of sustainable careers, there is a strong emphasis on the students’ future career within the training, the objective being to form lasting collaborations, the establishment of thriving, supported and robust theatre companies and empowering sustainable careers as theatre makers and practitioners within the arts. The programme is designed to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary artistic and business skills to thrive professionally in contemporary theatre after graduation.

Part-time Study Option

The Fourth Monkey MA Collaborative Theatre also has the option to be taken part-time over two years. This approach, affording those with additional commitments and responsibilities the opportunity to pursue their desire to change career or enhance their previous training ensuring that training and lifestyle commitments can be managed and balanced practically and straightforwardly.

The Fourth Monkey part-time MA Collaborative Theatre has been designed to accommodate people with varying personal or professional commitments. The qualification and core taught modules remain the same as the full-time offer, however they are delivered over a longer period, ensuring that our ongoing commitment to making training accessible to all and to removing barriers to professional actor training and theatre making is honoured in the programme design.


The MA Collaborative Theatre rigorously explores collaborative process toward performance with shared internal showings of work towards the end of each study block to give students an opportunity to share and celebrate each others’ work both in assessed and non-assessed projects such as performances, presentations, research portfolios, funding applications and personal journal.

In line with the delivery of all Fourth Monkey training programmes, students’ assessments will for the most part be practical. At the end of each study block, core department staff and practitioners will typically offer ongoing personal developmental feedback to help inform students’ self-guided learning. Students receive personal formative feedback regularly and are summarily assessed throughout the course during all studios practices, presentations, rehearsals or performances. Summative assessment marks are also given typically based on a students demonstration, embodiment and understanding of the necessary skills related to the learning outcomes.

Students are also required at all times to maintain high levels of professional conduct regarding attendance, promptness and preparation which is expected and compulsory.

Our training is informed by industry research, development and relevance. Structures, modules and assessments can periodically change as part of the training curriculum enhancement and review. Up to date module and assessment information is made available to all students upon completion of enrolment with both Fourth Monkey and Falmouth University, the Accrediting Partner for the course.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should ideally hold a good honours degree graded 2:2 or above in a relevant academic discipline. However, applications from candidates with relevant experience will also be considered on an individual basis.

Offers to join the MA Collaborative Theatre programme are only made to those who have submitted a completed application form and successfully auditioned with Fourth Monkey. All Information about Fourth Monkey Application, Audition & Offer process and requirements can be found on our Auditions Page.

Additionally, to accept any offer made by Fourth Monkey, you must register and satisfactorily meet the entry requirements adhering to the Admissions Policy ahead of enrolment with our Accrediting Partner, Falmouth University.

Course Accreditation

Fourth Monkey’s MA Collaborative Theatre degree is awarded by one of the UK’s leading specialist universities for the creative industries, Falmouth University.

Falmouth University is ranked Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework, where teaching, retention and graduate outcomes are consistently outstanding and are of the highest quality found in the UK.

* Please note, that this training programme is subject to formal validation from our degree-awarding partner Falmouth University. During this period, training programme structure and/or content may vary. Any changes to specific programme and training information will be updated accordingly when any such amendments are applied.

Fees & Funding
Audition FeeFree
Year 1 Tuition Fee£11,100
Two Year Part-time Tuition Fee£5,500 pa
Additional CostsFourth Monkey Uniform £60+
KneePads £5+
Padlock (Coded) £5+
Stage Combat Gloves £10+
Headshots £150+
Spotlight £100+ *optional but professionally advised

Students on the MA Collaborative Theatre Course at Fourth Monkey, accredited by Falmouth University are entitled to apply for a government loan to cover the cost of their course. For more information on the type of student funding available, please visit the website.

As an alternative, students are able to make an application for the Future Finance Student Loan to cover tuition fees and/or living costs. There are also a wide variety of alternative funding avenues open to students. Information on these and the Future Finance Student Loan are available on our Funding page.

Our Alumni

The MA Collaborative Theatre programme’s particular focus is on giving students the tools to create innovative and groundbreaking professional work, with our training always being focused towards giving students the skills to forge sustainable careers in the arts and to create original work alongside the traditional routes. Upon graduation, students and their respective fledgling company are facilitated with the necessary skills to devise and manage collaborative projects from conception to delivery.

The communication, interpersonal and presentation skills that are embedded within this accelerated degree transfer extremely effectively to other environments with graduates also securing work in coaching, teaching and training in all areas; from storytelling, facilitating youth theatre or teaching business executives presentation and corporate training roles. Training-specific specialisms such as directors, movement directors or specialist artists as well as puppetry, theatrical clown or corporeal mime are also regular features in onward career paths.

Upon graduation from this programme, there are also opportunities to gain a bursary for the winner of Fourth Monkey’s Experimental Fringe Project, professional paid employment with the Fourth Monkey Ensemble professional touring company, plus continued professional development through enhanced access to Fourth Monkey’s Evolve programme.

Training Environment

Theatre and acting is a collaborative art form and we place great emphasis on the individual’s responsibility to the group and the group’s responsibility to the individual. This creates an ensemble atmosphere of mutual respect where creativity can flourish.  

Our training ethos is to foster a nurturing environment that creates challenges and opportunities for all our students to have their voice heard and is celebrated. Every student has the opportunity to excel as they are encouraged to be bold and play!

The power of the ensemble group dynamic and ‘play’ in our training is key in helping to shape professionally trained actors and theatre makers fully equipped to thrive in an ever-changing and competitive industry who strive to deliver bold, collaborative work.

Every day, training in the Monkey House has something different to offer and a new challenge for students to face. Core training will be delivered through; practitioner led studio work, collaborative research-led projects, masterclasses, seminars, rehearsals, performances, showcases, films,  feedback tutorials and self-guided learning. Alongside the core training, there are numerous enhancement opportunities which serve to physically and mentally prepare all of our students for the term and tasks ahead, encourage our multi-disciplinary ethos, widen students’ perspective and enhance their engagement with the profession.

The core of Fourth Monkey’s training is delivered entirely at the Monkey House, our home and training base, in Islington, North London. You can explore the Monkey House and it’s range of training spaces with our virtual 360 tour of the building.

Fourth Monkey is very much a family, comprising our collaborative community of our core senior teaching staff, talented freelance practitioners and of course our students. Our core teaching team work alongside some of the UK’s finest practitioners and theatre-makers with our actors-in-training, sharing their passion, enthusiasm, plus specialist knowledge and experience to create a unique, dynamic working environment where individual expression is valued and nurtured and every voice is heard.

To find out more information on our Training Staff, plus our core office team, click the button below.

We have created a variety of training programmes to give you all the tools you will need as an actor and theatre maker working in the contemporary industry. Explore all our training programmes and decide which will be the right fit for you, via the link below.


The ensemble dynamic created at Fourth Monkey is amazing.Working in an intensive working environment with like-minded, driven actors like myself, and superb practitioners has been a hugely beneficial experience.

Liam Stewart-George, Fourth Monkey Alumnus

I have had some truly fantastic experiences, from intense rep seasons to profound training periods; this fresh and imaginative approach to making your way in the industry has really pushed the boundaries for everyone involved.

Grant Russell, Fourth Monkey Alumnus



It’s been training as it should be.



Rose (Emily) Thornton, Fourth Monkey Alumnus

How to Apply

Fourth Monkey auditions are designed to reflect our training and company ethos, celebrating the individual whilst fostering a sense of collaborative growth and development. We aim to create a relaxed and informal environment so everyone can show their true potential.

Information about Fourth Monkey Application, Audition & Offer process and requirements can be found on our Auditions Page. MA Collaborative Theatre applicants are also required to provide a short presentation or portfolio piece (no longer than 3 minutes) that showcases what drives them creatively as a theatre maker. To apply to audition for a place at Fourth Monkey, simply follow the step by step process below for your opportunity to train with Fourth Monkey:

We look forward to welcoming you to an audition with Fourth Monkey in the near future.

If you would like to experience the Fourth Monkey style of training first-hand, we offer free Taster Workshops on a monthly basis to work out whether we are the right drama school for you.


Led by Artistic Director Steven Green, the workshops are a fun and physical introduction to the Fourth Monkey ethos and training and you can meet and alumni and practitioners and ask any questions that you may have.