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Postgraduate

MA Puppetry

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours

College
Wimbledon College of Arts
Start date
September 2023
Course length
15 months (full time)

MA Puppetry at Wimbledon College of Arts explores and develops the art forms needed for the creation of puppetry.

Subject to validation

This course is undergoing validation. This is the process by which we ensure the course provides a high-quality academic experience. During validation there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

Course overview

Working with other students you will design, devise, create and interrogate puppetry. Through research and experimental projects, you will build upon and push current practices. 

As an applicant to this course, it is expected that you will have: 

  • a good understanding of the complexities of puppetry as a practice 
  • an awareness of the global reach of this performance tradition  
  • knowledge of both live and recorded uses of puppetry within the entertainment industry. 

MA Puppetry sits within a wider portfolio of making and designing courses. Aligned with Wimbledon's expansion into screen, visual effects (VFX) and other augmented reality design, this MA course supports any applied or interdisciplinary applications for the art of puppetry. It also engages with some established traditions of this genre of performance-making.   

At Wimbledon, engaging with vocational expertise is central to the development of techniques. You will learn key skills to create work to industry standard. 

By the end of the course, you will have developed a professional portfolio. This will communicate your capabilities. It will show flexible and proactive approaches to employment that the field requires. It will also aid progression into further artistic research. 

Mode of Study 

MA Puppetry is offered in full-time mode and runs for 45 weeks over 15 months, with a break over the summer. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study. 

Course units

Unit 1 - Methods

This unit will place the art of puppetry in a global context. It will highlight key case studies and practitioners of this trans-national art form.

It will focus on the roles that are central to crafting puppet performance. You will develop an understanding of the areas within the profession including:

  • dramaturgy - script writing, movement and direction 
  • creative technical practice - designing and fabricating
  • the relationship between storytelling and visuals.

The unit will conclude with a group project. You will put together a performance festival inspired by a chosen case study.

Unit 2 - Practice

This unit introduces traditional approaches to techniques and materials. You will learn how to fabricate, develop and realise an object for performance that involves a human figure. This, in turn, will allow you to animate the puppets you create.

Workshops and taught sessions will help you develop your puppetry skills. You will consider context and scale in relation to performances and their environments.

Parallel to the practical element, you will study script design and analysis. This is to build on the understanding of dramaturgy and visual storytelling. The unit will also introduce design techniques for communication.

Unit 3 - Collaboration

You will devise and develop a collaborative live brief. This may involve other postgraduate level disciplines or industry connections.

The outcome will be a researched puppet-based proposal, prototype or provotype. It will show the potential for further development or outcomes in the field of puppetry.

Unit 4 - Realisation

In the final unit you will work on a personal project. You will further develop your professional interests and skills and build a professional portfolio of work.

Your creative research will challenge and interrogate existing practices to a professional level. It will reflect on the future of puppetry and look to new forms of making, devising and artistic vision.

Note: 120 Credits must be passed before the final unit is undertaken.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Individual academic tutorial advice and support and study plan
  • Subject specific seminars and critiques, artist and practitioner talks
  • Group discussions, critiques and seminars
  • Practical workshops
  • Technical project development
  • Practitioners’ mentoring and feedback

Staff

Esther Armstrong - Programme Director for Performance Design and Technologies

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are: 

  • BA (Hons) degree in either art and design or performance disciplines, including social and other sciences or engineering 
  • Alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration 
  • Personal statement 
  • Portfolio of work 

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work and personal statement. 

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning 

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: 

  • Related academic or work experience 
  • The quality of the personal statement 
  • A strong academic or other professional reference 
  • A combination of these factors 

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case. 

English language requirements 

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following: 

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our English language requirements

Selection criteria

Applicants will normally demonstrate the following: 

  • A commitment and motivation for studying puppetry 
  • An understanding of contemporary performance, theatre and production and its context 
  • Evidence of a visual interest in puppetry though design practice or performance or other, directly related activities 
  • Be able to articulate through writing and if appropriate, illustrate a potential, considered, puppetry project idea that is feasible and achievable 
  • An ability to work imaginatively and creatively with 2D and 3D visual media, materials and processes, movement and performance 
  • A desire to learn and an ability to investigate ideas critically and independently 
  • Evidence of critical awareness and self-direction, openness and the ability to learn 
  • Potential for creative problem solving appropriate to puppetry 

Apply now

Apply

Home students should apply by direct application.

Apply

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans.
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing a range of visual work which demonstrates experimentation and idea generation.
  • Design development showing how problems are solved.
  • An interest in collaboration and making performances.
  • Awareness of character and narrative in the context of a dramatic situation.
  • Any previous experience of puppetry work.
  • Images from sketchbooks and notebooks.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

We would like you to identify one project from your portfolio which challenged you and your understanding of puppetry. Explain how this experience has inspired you to apply to MA Puppetry at Wimbledon College of Arts.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, you will be invited to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. We will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

Apply

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course.
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans.
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing a range of visual work which demonstrates experimentation and idea generation.
  • Design development showing how problems are solved.
  • An interest in collaboration and making performances.
  • Awareness of character and narrative in the context of a dramatic situation.
  • Any previous experience of puppetry work.
  • Images from sketchbooks and notebooks.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

We would like you to identify one project from your portfolio which challenged you and your understanding of puppetry. Explain how this experience has inspired you to apply to MA Puppetry at Wimbledon College of Arts.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the interview stage. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes. For support with your interview, visit our Interview tips page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English if necessary) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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