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/
This postgraduate course prepares you for work in film and television and related fields by bringing together the key artistic disciplines and skills needed to make high quality filmed drama. You will explore in detail Stanilavisky's unique scene study methodology which lies at the heart of Drama Centre’s conservatoire training. From storyboard to working on the subtext with the actors on set you will be enabled to develop your own distinct artistic voice.
At the heart of MA Screen: Directing is the growth of individual creativity, achieved through constant opportunities for working on camera-based projects with colleagues from other pathways. You will work on two filmed productions, in our film studio and on location. Supported by a professional producer, director of photography and editor. You will take an active part in a Mike Leigh type devising project where you will help shape the story's stimulated by the characters that the actors develop over nine weeks of intense rehearsal. You will understand the rhythm of a working film set and develop the confidence to use your own voice on future projects, confident in the knowledge that you know how to work creatively with actors. You will be given in depth preparation for the profession including interview technics and wide range of lectures from visiting professionals, such as agents, casting directors, working producers and directors.
MA Screen: Directing lasts 45 weeks over 12 months and is structured as units - class-based to begin with, but increasingly project-geared over time. This postgraduate course is intensive. You'll be expected to commit 35 hours per week to classes, rehearsals and shoots, and to your own independent preparation and learning.
Students who come to MA Screen: Directing expect a focused experience with a high level of autonomous learning. The MA course's practical elements contribute to the intensity of the experience, sharpening your professional ability to deliver on time, on budget and at an appropriate level.
MA Screen: Directing has a small intake. It collaborates closely with MA Screen: Acting to give you a broader understanding of the needs of the actor. Because we believe empathy with acting and actors is an integral part of directing, the early part of the MA course in particular engages with the discipline of acting.
Traditionally, screen director training fails to address the challenges of working with performers. Our Directing Pathway confronts that challenge while developing your individual approach and creative voice. The pathway features a programme of acting skills, an extended programme of directing skills, two filmed drama projects, a devised project, and an extended programme of professional preparation.
The MA course culminates in a series of short film projects produced in collaboration with the student actors. Projects are screened for an invited industry audience that includes agents and casting directors
This programme takes a project-led, practice-based approach to studying for an MA in Film Directing (Documentary) which integrates practical film making with analysis of contemporary film practice. Students choose to make a creative documentary or a non -fiction film which defies genre definition and pushes the boundaries of narrative. We develop these through workshops and tutorials. Our students work within an integrated framework that helps them question the form of their films and enables them to find the right language for their storytelling.
The programme encourages ways of working as a film community that foster the important exchange of ideas, with inspiration from international visiting film makers through Scottish Documentary Institute and support from our team of documentary practicioners. All tutors are top professionals currently working within the industry as directors, producers, editors, cinematographers or sound designers. A newly built Avid edit teaching space, and a new screening space helps us encourage a fresh approach to emerging technologies.
Graduate films do well internationally regularly winning BAFTAs, RTS Awards and awards at international festivals. Over the last five years students have received an Oscar nomination for an MA film made here and an Oscar shortlist for a film made by a recent graduate. We work closely with the Scottish Documentary Institute, the University’s internationally-acclaimed research centre in documentary film making.
The aim of the Film Directing programmes at ECA is to:
This programme is project-led and delivered through workshops and regular individual tutorials. It integrates practical studio work with theoretical and written studies from the Screen cultures course (see separate description) which is run independently from the Film Department.
The first semester, Design Studio is organised round a series of micro-films which lead to a growing awareness of film language and enhancement of technical skills to creatively support filmic vision. Cinematography and sound workshops are delivered by visiting lecturers. Directorial voice is built up also through tutorials in which an idea for a graduating film is developed and evolved. Awareness of current international documentary practice is built through regular seminars and screenings, collaborations with Film Festivals such as Take One Action and also supported by Scottish Documentary Institute. This is also to inspire students to push boundaries in their approach to narrative structure and visual language and not to get locked in conventional approaches. We want to encourage bold work that takes risks. At the end of the first semester all students pitch their films using a trailer or short excerpt from their research material. They also develop a treatment with feedback from tutorials.
Semester two is spent preparing and shooting the graduate film and is backed up with edit tutorials as well as project support from weekly meetings with a tutor. Students also receive seminars in production process including contracts.
Semester three is when the film is edited and finished with input from group crits, tutorials. Students also attend or often volunteer with Edinburgh Film Festival and the Edinburgh Pitch in order to observe and engage with key players from the international documentary world through hearing feedback from commissioning editors.
Alongside the ECA learning structure, students also have a pool of potential collaborators from Screen Academy Napier including the possibility of working with cinematographers, editors and producers.
Our students go on to a wide range of roles, including producer, director, writer, production or location manager, researcher, editor, assistant director, cinematographer, or journalist. Graduates have found work directing for the BBC and making work internationally for top broadcasters and film funds. Related fields include advertising, community films, academia or film development agencies.
MA/MFA Film Directing has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry. Screen Academy Scotland is one of only 3 Screen Academies in the UK along with National Film School and London Film School.