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Further information on puppetry education and training opportunities in Britain

Undergraduate training – Puppetry specific:
Just one full-time undergraduate course in puppetry, as part of the BA Theatre Practice at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London. The course accepts 4–8 students each year

Other options at undergraduate level:

Set design or scenography
Numerous scenography/set design courses include some elements of puppetry and animation, e.g. Nottingham Trent University, where Sean Myatt, lecturer in set design, is also a puppeteer and includes elements of animation in many student projects: Scottish puppeteer Shona Reppe studied theatre design at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where puppetry is a regular part of the arts curriculum:

Many degree-level theatre courses include puppetry to a greater or lesser extent, e.g. BA European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College; BA Drama or BA Street Arts at Winchester
The BA Theatre with Visual Arts at University of Brighton includes puppetry as a key element of undergraduate study. Recent graduates of this course include Annie Brooks, who has since been a Resident Graduate Artist of the Puppet Centre Trust:

Fine Art and Design
For many puppeteers, a degree in fine art, painting or sculpture, or a degree in illustration or design, has been a starting point. Examples include Chris Pirie of Green Ginger

* Postgraduate training
MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Central School of Speech and Drama is primarily a multi-disciplinary one-year course intended for students with previous experience who wish to develop skills in collaborative and devised theatre-making. At the same time, all students on the course (acting, directing, lighting design etc) are exposed to puppetry as a theatrical language.

Royal Holloway University of London has integrated the practice and study of puppet theatre into many of its post-graduate courses/research programmes:
The Puppetry Working Group is an interdisciplinary group of postgraduate practitioner-researchers based at Royal Holloway:

Nottingham Trent University offers an MA in Puppetry and Digital Animation:

Less puppetry-specific but also to be considered are the MA courses in Scenography that can include some elements of puppetry and animation; e.g: at Central St Martins

The London School of Puppetry (London/Yorkshire) offers a Diploma in Professional Puppetry which can be taken in six blocks of study over two or three years

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CPD short courses and masterclasses are offered by organisations including: the Puppet Centre Trust , the London School of Puppetry, the Little Angel Theatre, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and others.

Some specialist courses in making, digital animation etc. are offered by individual artists who specialise in puppetry, such as John Roberts and by companies which include mask and puppetry as part of a broader interest in visual theatre, such as Horse+Bamboo Theatre  and Forkbeard Fantasy run two six-day residential courses per year , as well as numerous shorter courses: 

For further information on workshops and classes: PuppeteersUK produce a weekly online newsletter for invaluable information on courses, workshops etc.

First Steps
A variety of non-professional or ‘open-to-all’ courses at different levels are offered by numerous companies and organisations, which can provide an introduction to puppetry and animation skills:
The Little Angel Theatre
City Lit 
Norwich Puppet Theatre 
Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre
London School of Puppetry
Horse+Bamboo Theatre

Author’s note: These lists are not definitive or comprehensive and we apologise for not having included many other schools, companies and individuals which/who run workshops and courses in puppetry. Animations would be very happy to receive news of these and to include them in a later edition.  Please send to the Editor,


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