Applied Theatre With Young People, PG Certificate


One year, part-time, September start. Directing Text pathway: National Theatre scheme.


Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Theatre with Young People (60 M Level credits)

About the course

Central offers a PG Certificate in Applied Theatre with Young People (PGATYP) in Directing Text in association with the National Theatre, as part of their Connections Scheme. You apply initially through the scheme at The National Theatre.

  • Combines the National Theatre Youth Connections Scheme with academic study
  • Integrates theory and practical work in directing with young people
  • Applied theatre at Central is highly regarded internationally as a world leader with the largest number of specialist teaching staff in the field

The PGATYP is designed to provide a qualification based on work undertaken in partnership with the National Theatre in directing theatre and drama with young people (young people are usually interpreted as up to the age of 25 years). The course offers direct entry to Central’s MA Applied Theatre on successful completion of the PGATYP.

National Theatre Connections Scheme

The Connections Scheme is one of the world’s largest celebrations of Youth Theatre. Produced by the National Theatre Learning Department, Connections was established in the mid-1990s as a response to a demand for new plays by highly respected contemporary writers for young people to perform.

In each cycle of Connections, the National Theatre commissions a number of new plays. Playwrights previously featured in the project include Dario Fo, Jackie Kay, Judy Upton, Andy Hamilton, Sarah Daniels, Sharman Macdonald, Bryony Lavery, Ali Clark and Mark Ravenhill. Hundreds of youth theatre and school groups from around the UK, Ireland and, increasingly, abroad apply to take part. Those selected (currently around 200) are asked to choose one text from the portfolio of plays that the National Theatre has provided.

Productions that result from the first phase of the Connections programme transfer to other venues, appearing within a series of regional festivals across the country. Some 12 productions nationally are presented in a final festival of work on the stages of the National Theatre.

As part of the Connections programme, as directors of young people, you will select a new play and produce it with a youth company. You may also transfer it to another venue. This work is likely to be challenging and creative and it calls for artistic and strategic decisions geared to the selection of a particular piece for a specific context. You will make choices about rehearsal techniques and staging possibilities, and will oversee the pragmatics of production, continually interacting with the members of the company to ensure that they are developing both as young artists and as responsible members of a project for a public performance.

Together with an accompanying portfolio, this forms the content of the larger of two units in the PG Certificate. For the second unit of the PGATYP, you join Central’s MA Applied Theatre students for ‘Critical Contexts’, a theoretical unit engaging you with contemporary issues in applied theatre discourses.

Visit the National Theatre Connections pages to find out more about the programme.

Download PG Cert Applied Theatre Programme Specification 2019-2020.pdf (942.09 KB)


Applications for this course will open in July 2020 for those who have been accepted as National Theatre Connections Directors in the 2021 cycle.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Staff on the Course

View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.

Dr Selina Busby, BA, PGCE, MA, PhD

Principal Lecturer, Course Leader MA Applied Theatre, Course Leader PG Cert Applied Theatre with Young People.

Notable Graduates

Notable graduates of this course include:

Gemma Woffinden (2009) Youth Theatre Director at West Yorkshire Playhouse

Sylvan Baker  - Associate Director People’s Palace

Emma Dennis-Edwards  - Actress Clean Traverse Theatre Company / 59e59 Theatre New York

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