The MA Acting is an intensive one-year, advanced level conservatoire acting course. In keeping with Central’s tradition of innovation in actor training, it offers two specialist strands taught over an extended 42 weeks, with up to 35 hours per week of classes, rehearsals, seminars and tutorials. Successful applicants will be offered a place on one of the two strands.
The Classical strand follows the development of the theatrical art from its earliest ritual roots to the birth of naturalism:
> Greek Tragedy, Chorus and the Neutral Mask
> Clowning and Commedia dell’arte
> Shakespeare and the English Renaissance
> Stanislavski, the Method and ‘Realist’ Theatre.
The Classical strand draws on the hugely influential theories and techniques of the great French acting teacher Michel Saint-Denis, training the expressive body, voice and imagination. Working with some of the greatest dramatic texts ever written, students are asked to consider what they mean now, and how their 21st century reinterpretation and re-imagining still holds a ‘mirror up to nature’. Students are encouraged to understand the demands of both art and craft, as participants in, and practitioners of, the western theatrical tradition, through a course structure that examines, in chronological order, four key periods of innovation and transition.
All staff are well connected to industry. In the past few years, students have participated in a research symposium and worked on the stage
of Shakespeare’s Globe, performed at the Brighton Festival, made a film with Sir Donald Sinden at the Garrick Club, taken part in workshops with Hannah Miller (Head of Casting, Royal Shakespeare Company) and attended public lectures by Judi Dench, Vanessa
Redgrave, Michael Boyd and Declan Donnellan. Students from Canada and the USA have participated in the Conference of Drama Schools
Showcase in New York and LA, and all students participate in Central’s MA Acting showcase.
Through a combination of practical and written assessments, including a Sustained Independent Project and research presentation.
This Guildford School of Acting (GSA) programme emphasises practical actor training, delivered via a series of project workshops and rehearsals supported by extensive classes in relevant technical skills.
GSA is one of the UK’s leading accredited drama schools, providing dedicated conservatoire training within a purpose built environment on the University of Surrey campus.
The MA Acting programme is specifically designed for those seeking a career in the performing arts, and who already have an undergraduate degree or have a minimum of five years’ professional experience.
This intensive programme offers practical training which focusses on the acquisition of technical skills in acting, voice and movement.
These support a range of rehearsal projects, screen acting projects and public performances. Students also take professional development workshops and classes in audition technique.
Cohorts are kept small to ensure that students receive the maximum amount of personal attention and contact.
Performance opportunities include a devised project, a final public production led by a production team of industry professionals, and a West End Showcase.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a compulsory Advanced Practice module.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
This postgraduate directing course is for directors of theatre and live performance. You will be given the opportunity to direct productions in our theatres on campus and in Bath, whilst also working with a range of the MA and BA Acting and Drama students.
Our MA Directing programme helps you build a portfolio of performance experiences as part of Bath Spa University’s diverse theatre productions. From developing small companies, to managing large scale productions, and from classical to contemporary theatre, you’ll get a broad and advanced understanding of working in theatre today.
You’ll explore approaches to directing both through seminars and practical work. Alongside this you’ll develop an advanced understanding of actor training.
We’ll be dedicated to your individual development. You’ll receive support through tutorials and will embark on your own production work.
In the first trimester, the production module will support you as both director and actor as you work on selected speeches and scenes while also collaborating on larger productions. Weekly research seminars bring together history and current practice of directing along with advancing research skills needed for directors.
In the second trimester, the second production modules gives you the opportunity to create original work, working either with your own chosen cast, or with a university, or professional production. Additionally, you’ll take a Professional Collaboration module that provides both tools and experience to work with a wide range of artists.
In the third trimester, you can choose to undertake a more traditional written dissertation, a performance based dissertation or a mixture of the two. You might direct a production, lead workshops, or research into areas relating to directing as part of your dissertation. You can choose to work on your dissertation on-campus or by distance learning. You’ll benefit from one-to-one tutorials which can take place in person or online.
The degree is delivered through a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, master classes, off-site visits, performance and production work, and through the Virtual Learning Environment, Minerva. We get professional actors and directors in to work with you; we have ever-expanding list of lecturers, specialists, artists and guest scholars.
Assessments could include performances, essays, literature reviews, written documentation of work, presentations, portfolios, leading workshops, written evaluations, rehearsal and practice blogs, written dissertations, practical dissertation projects, and critical play reviews.
For more information on teaching and assessment methods, please go to: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-directing/
We currently give all students the opportunity to take part in a two week residency at Shakespeare's Globe. You’ll benefit from intensive, full-time training, leading to a production on the Globe’s stage.
You’ll have the opportunity to see a lot of theatre, as well as visit museums and theatres. Previous destinations have included Bath, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon and London. Other field trips may give you the chance to work with professional theatre groups and actors; we’ve previously rented studios in London for this purpose.
For more information on opportunities, please go to the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-directing/