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Masters Degrees (Musical Theatre)

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The MA in Musical Theatre at LJMU has been designed for actors, directors, choreographers, MDs, composers, lyricists, librettist and teachers, to develop mastery of personal craft, by exploring creativity and advancing scholarship in musical theatre. Read more
The MA in Musical Theatre at LJMU has been designed for actors, directors, choreographers, MDs, composers, lyricists, librettist and teachers, to develop mastery of personal craft, by exploring creativity and advancing scholarship in musical theatre.

•​Join a passionate community of musical theatre scholars and artists
•Participate in an annual festival of performance and scholarship titled “Adventures In Musical Theatre”
•Benefit from a highly flexible, student-centred curriculum and delivery structure, with an emphasis on learning through creative risk and play
•Take advantage of opportunities to include current work-based activity or undertake a placement
•A wide network of local, regional, national and international partners

This MA is an ‘adventure in musical theatre’, which will enhance the mastery of theatrical craft by helping you to define a personal methodology, style and approach to the relevant disciplines of Musical Theatre.

​You will have the confidence to apply knowledge and understanding with originality and creativity for the re-interpretation of received assumptions regarding dominant traditions and practices of Musical Theatre performance. You will also gain the confidence to work creatively, collaboratively and collectively with musical theatre makers who possess varying levels of experience and styles. This degree ultimately aims to develop students into adaptive and flexible musical theatre professionals.

​In order to develop your own creative practice as a Musical Theatre artist, you will learn how to effectively and appropriately employ a range of research methodologies and critical perspectives, including the ability to interrogate, evaluate and explore Musical Theatre ‘texts’ and processes. For students who wish to develop an entrepreneurial approach and set up their own theatre company, this MA will enable you to explore performance and event creation utilising organisational and managerial skills and industry knowledge.

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Why Surrey?. Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is arguably the foremost musical theatre school in the world and our new two-year MFA programme in Musical Theatre provides students the very best conservatoire-style training within a top UK university environment. Read more

Why Surrey?

Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is arguably the foremost musical theatre school in the world and our new two-year MFA programme in Musical Theatre provides students the very best conservatoire-style training within a top UK university environment.

Building on the international reputation of our BA and MA Musical Theatre programmes this terminal degree in performance is unique in the market and the perfect platform for those looking to launch their professional career.

Programme overview

Offering world-class teaching and impressive industry links from one of the UK’s leading conservatoires MFA students will learn to employ a broad range of musical theatre knowledge and skills whilst delivering outstanding performances in a range of productions.

The programme also provides a working knowledge of historical, critical and theoretical content and the creation of a performance that will be presented to agents and professionals for maximum industry exposure.

As a student on the MFA programme you will also have the opportunity to participate in a professional placement production, giving you invaluable experience of the UK Musical Theatre industry.

An impressively high percentage of GSA alumni appear in the cast lists of West End shows and National tours and last year, over 95 per cent of GSA graduates gained professional representation or professional contracts within the first year of graduation.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over four consecutive semesters and two academic years.

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.

Educational aims of the programme

Our MFA in Musical Theatre will provide graduates with:

  • The ability to employ a broad range of Musical Theatre knowledge and skills in the creation and presentation of roles
  • The ability to perform in plays of various types and from various periods
  • The acquisition of advanced understanding and capabilities in singing, dance, acting and play analysis
  • A working knowledge of historical, critical, and theoretical content and the ways they inform musical theatre writing, the creation of roles, and other aspects of production

Programme learning outcomes

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

  • An advanced understanding of the physical and vocal techniques required to maintain an expressive body and the optimum functionality of the voice
  • A critical understanding of key theoretical and methodological developments in the practice of musical theatre
  • A sophisticated understanding of the application of technique to differing theatrical forms, styles, genres and historical contexts
  • A comprehensive understanding of current industry practice

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Recognise, interpret and contextualise approaches to genre, idiom, style and historical context
  • Recognise and respond appropriately to the demands of different musical theatre styles
  • Ability to evaluate, critique and develop methodologies of practice
  • Critically analyse and reflect on their own and others’ practice

Professional practical skills

  • Identify and develop a personally effective and methodological approach to rehearsal
  • Select and apply vocal and physical techniques appropriate to different genres, styles and periods of musical theatre
  • Demonstrate creative, original and imaginative work in performance
  • Contribute effective and appropriate advanced practices and concepts to an ensemble process
  • Demonstrate evidence of extensive practical research and effective preparation for entry into the current performance industry

Key / transferable skills

  • Be disciplined and consistent in a professional context
  • Conduct themselves constructively, positively and sensitively towards others
  • Able to both lead and collaborate as part of a team, on practical and research projects
  • Communicate effectively and at an advanced level in both verbal and written form.
  • Seek out, critique and employ information appropriately
  • Recognise and develop commercial and artistic career opportunities.

Global opportunities

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.



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This unique MA will enhance your critical understanding of the musical theatre as a popular entertainment genre- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-musical-theatre/. Read more
This unique MA will enhance your critical understanding of the musical theatre as a popular entertainment genre- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-musical-theatre/

It will help you to sharpen your practical skills as a creative artist. On a practical level, it will assist you in working as a freelance writer, composer or producer of musical theatre.

The MA focuses on the dramaturgy of the musical as a key factor in the future development of the genre.

Expert professionals are regularly employed as visiting tutors, to maintain direct links with the industry.

You follow one of the two pathways as either:

-producer
-writer or composer

You undertake an analytic case study of a musical or production, a placement project and dissertation (producers), and a creative project involving either book and lyrics or music for a short original musical (writers and composers). Producers share some classes with students on the MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Theatre and Performance Secretary.

Modules & Structure

You undertake an analytic case study of a musical or production, a placement project and dissertation (producers), and a creative project involving either book and lyrics or music for a short original musical (writers and composers). Producers share some classes with the MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy.

You elect to follow one of two pathways on the programme – Producers, or Writers and Composers. In each case, the programme involves five separate modules:

1. Genre study – autumn and spring terms, both pathways.
This module runs for 20 weeks. It begins in autumn with an historical survey of the development of the American musical, from ‘Showboat’ (1927) to ‘Sweeney Todd’ (1979). It continues in the spring term with a look at new forms of musical theatre that have resulted from the fragmentation of the classic tradition of ‘book’ musicals, with the innovation of the ‘concept’ musical, the impact of rock musicals, the ‘invasion’ of Broadway by the British ‘megamusical’ and the subsequent globalisation of the market by Cameron Macintosh and Disney.

2. Case study – autumn and spring terms, both pathways.
This module involves a 15-week introduction to the different structural components (book, music, lyrics, choreography, scenography) and industrial factors (producers, marketing, technology, conomics)
determining the production of musicals today. The module is taught by a range of professional and academic experts with a variety of different perspectives on the subject.

3. Shared complementary/contextual module 1 – autumn term.

Students choose one of these modules:

4. Shared complementary/contextual module 2, - ‘Musical Theatre and Society’
5. Creative project/dissertation – spring and summer terms, both pathways.

Assessment

Genre study is assessed by two 3,000-word essays; the case study is assessed by means of a 4,000-word essay. The nature and form of creative projects, dissertations and research/placement projects are agreed with the Module Convenor during the programme.

Skills

You will develop a critical understanding of the collaborative processes involved in the creation of musical theatre in the UK and USA.

Composers and librettists/lyricists will achieve an enhanced ability to engage with the integration of dramaturgical and musical components of musical theatre writing, and a comprehension of the various factors involved in working within the industry.

Producers will acquire an overall perspective on the industrial and organisational factors involved in musical theatre production, including methods of theatre marketing, systems of arts funding and policy, and a working knowledge of the strategies involved in producing a small-scale musical.

Producers will also develop skills of leadership and teamwork and the ability to develop and critique their own approaches to working in musical theatre production.

Careers

Typical careers for graduates of this MA include:

musical theatre composer
librettist
lyricis
tproduce
marketing manager
production assistant

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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Why Surrey?. Successful entry on to this Guildford School of Acting (GSA) programme means you will be part of a carefully selected and committed ensemble of performers-in-training, equipped with the necessary self-discipline and motivation to master new skills and refine existing capabilities. Read more

Why Surrey?

Successful entry on to this Guildford School of Acting (GSA) programme means you will be part of a carefully selected and committed ensemble of performers-in-training, equipped with the necessary self-discipline and motivation to master new skills and refine existing capabilities.

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.

Programme overview

We place a very strong emphasis on the practical acquisition of technical skills together with a dedicated focus on professional development, and provide opportunities to combine these skills into musical theatre rehearsal projects and public performances.

The programme is intensive and specifically designed to equip participants in the ‘triple-threat’ disciplines of acting, singing, dancing.

Seminars in contextual and theoretical studies are taken together with masterclasses led by industry professionals in audition technique and repertoire.

These skills are integrated through project work which includes a devised project, a final public production led by a production team of industry professionals, and a West End Showcase.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year.

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.

Educational aims of the programme

  • To deepen experiential knowledge, ability and critical understanding of the integrated practice of musical theatre
  • To develop a comprehensive theoretical and experiential understanding of the techniques and methodologies inherent in the practice of musical theatre
  • To enable an advanced knowledge of context, style, genre and idiom in the practice of musical theatre
  • To provide an ensemble training context for the development of professional skills based on practical and theoretical understanding and reflective practice
  • To enable the student to demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical knowledge of how to research and create independent practice

Programme learning outcomes

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

  • An advanced understanding of the physical and vocal techniques required to maintain an expressive body and the optimum functionality of the voice
  • A critical understanding of key theoretical and methodological developments in the practice of musical theatre
  • A sophisticated understanding of the application of technique to differing theatrical forms, styles, genres and historical contexts
  • A comprehensive understanding of current industry practice

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Recognise, interpret and contextualise approaches to genre, idiom, style and historical context
  • Recognise and respond appropriately to the demands of different musical theatre styles
  • Ability to evaluate, critique and develop methodologies of practice
  • Critically analyse and reflect on their own and others’ practice

Professional practical skills

  • Identify and develop a personally effective and methodological approach to rehearsal
  • Select and apply vocal and physical techniques appropriate to different genres, styles and periods of musical theatre
  • Demonstrate creative, original and imaginative work in performance
  • Contribute effective and appropriate advanced practices and concepts to an ensemble process
  • Demonstrate evidence of extensive practical research and effective preparation for entry into the current performance industry

Key / transferable skills

  • Be disciplined and consistent in a professional context
  • Conduct themselves constructively, positively and sensitively towards others
  • Able to both lead and collaborate as part of a team, on practical and research projects
  • Communicate effectively and at an advanced level in both verbal and written form.
  • Seek out, critique and employ information appropriately
  • Recognise and develop commercial and artistic career opportunities.

Global opportunities

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.



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The one-year, full time, MA Musical Theatre programme has quickly become one of the College's flagship courses, attracting attention and support from some of the biggest names in the industry. Read more
The one-year, full time, MA Musical Theatre programme has quickly become one of the College's flagship courses, attracting attention and support from some of the biggest names in the industry.

Building on the success of the College's well established acting and vocal programmes, the course also benefits from close collaborations with the music, production and design departments, placing it at the very centre of the College's creatively diverse community.

The emphasis is on building links within the musical theatre profession world and preparing students to be work-ready by the time they graduate. Throughout the course, students have opportunities to meet and work closely with professional directors, musical directors and choreographers as well as visiting artists and other key figures from within the industry.

Annual Showcase performances take place in Cardiff and at London giving students the opportunity to perform in front of a specially invited audience of agents, casting directors and other potential employers. There are further opportunities for public performance in a fully staged end-of-year production and a mid-year cabaret.

Students are immersed in an intensive schedule throughout the year including one-to-one singing lessons and repertoire coaching, acting, dance and vocal skills classes, workshops and rehearsals.

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Why Surrey?. Our unique Creative Practices and Direction programme will develop your creative-practice and leadership skills through engagement with practice-oriented theory and new collaborations. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our unique Creative Practices and Direction programme will develop your creative-practice and leadership skills through engagement with practice-oriented theory and new collaborations.

As a student of this programme, you will develop strong relationships with active professionals in your discipline and learn within a leading theatrical conservatoire that benefits from the intellectual stimulus of a major research-led university.

Programme overview

This unique programme is aimed at creative producers and directors and those who train and work with actors and performers to develop and direct their skills.

The programme offers three specialist pathways, including choreography and movement direction, directing, musical theatre creation, and you will also have the opportunity to develop a specialist practice within your chosen pathway.

The programme is primarily designed for graduates in drama, theatre and dance from universities and conservatoires, but will also appeal to those who have established themselves professionally and wish to refresh their skills and perspectives and take on leadership, coaching, creative or directing roles.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and an Advanced Creative Practice module.

Students enter the MA Creative Practices and Direction to a specified pathway, personally supervised by their pathway leader, an expert in the subject area.

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.

Pathways

Movement Direction and Choreography pathway

Students on this pathway follow and practically investigate a number of techniques and ideas dealing with onstage physicality.

The focus is also on the development of movement language, through the investigation of the ideas and practices of seminal dance-based ideas (Laban, Bausch, Cunningham, Fosse, Graham, Horton, etc.) and methods for working with music and sound.

Directing pathway

This programme is a practice-led pathway incorporating methodologies and techniques that focus on approaches to theatre directing, dramaturgy, collaboration with other practitioners.

Musical Theatre Creation pathway

This pathway is designed for those who wish to study writing, and creative roles specifically in Musical Theatre. These might be as a director, choreographer, composer, librettist, musical director or creative producer.

Educational aims of the programme

  • Provide advanced study and practice in creative leadership and direction in theatre-making and/or the training of theatre artists, specific to the pathway chosen
  • Equip students for employment in the theatre industry and/or related performing arts industries as specialist practitioners in one of the following areas:
  1. Directing
  2. Movement Direction and Choreography
  3. Musical Theatre Creation
  • Provide students with integrated practical and theoretical knowledge of specialist creative and/or pedagogic practices relevant to their chosen pathway; contemporary technical and scholarly contexts; and industry-specific contexts
  • Enable students to develop intellectual and practical skills to inform and articulate self-reflection and critical awareness, through specialist study and practice, and work with other students in cognate fields
  • Develop critical and independent practitioners imbued with a sense of learning as a lifetime pursuit via a commitment to professional and personal development

Facilities, equipment and academic support

The School of Arts facilities include the 200-seat theatre in the Ivy Arts Centre, dark and light studios, digital creation stations and editing facilities, scenic, props and costume workshops, and interconnected sound recording and music facilities.

Teaching and workshop activity takes place largely in GSA’s dedicated rehearsal rooms, performance studios and design workshops. Lectures, presentations and seminars will occur in rooms across campus.

The University Library contains the majority of set texts, key journals, scripts, play texts and video materials necessary for the programme. Students have access to extensive facilities through the virtual learning environment, SurreyLearn, and IT Services.

Additional support is available in the Learning Resource Centre in the University Library.

Equipment is provided on a project-by-project basis according to the nature of the work in hand and the parameters of the project, which are negotiated with the tutor.

Facilities and equipment for production work will be booked by students according to specific project briefings and advertised resource parameters.

Academic support is provided by way of ongoing contact with the programme director and module leaders, group briefings and feedback, individual tutorials, and mentoring.

The programme makes use of a peer feedback system designed to provide a useful and supportive account of areas of strength and effectiveness, along with areas for improvement.

You are encouraged to identify personal learning and creative objectives that can be pursued in alignment with group project work.

Research

The School of Arts includes study in dance, digital arts, film, music, sound and theatre, with research activity in all areas, often with significant interdisciplinary connections.

With an integrated approach that comprises documentation, analysis and performance, Surrey’s agenda for research aims to engage critically with the past and present, while rigorously articulating new frameworks for understanding and practising the arts and culture in the twenty-first century.

Research infrastructure includes the Digital World Research Centre and the Laban Archive in the National Resource Centre for Dance (NRCD).

The School of Arts hosts and supports established research centres, research groupings and networks as well as individual research projects. Our research extends to partnerships with the artistic community, for instance, in support of public debates or in the dissemination of documentation for arts practice through the digital and print media.

Global opportunities

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.



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This postgraduate year of study offers you a focus on developing your practical skills in a specialist area of instrumental or vocal solo performance, orchestral performance or musical theatre. Read more
This postgraduate year of study offers you a focus on developing your practical skills in a specialist area of instrumental or vocal solo performance, orchestral performance or musical theatre.

For more information please contact Ben Hall ()


Course content
As a vocational training in instrumental or vocal performance skills, in orchestral performance skills, or in skills relevant to a development of musical theatre performance, the Advanced Performance programme is intended as a preparation for employment or further advanced training at postgraduate level.

This one year programme can be taken as either a non credit bearing Advanced Performance Course, or as a Postgraduate Certificate in Performance. All students focus their study on a specialist area of instrumental, vocal, orchestral, or musical theatre work. In particular the programme offers orchestral players an opportunity to engage in a course of study offering significant levels of orchestral rehearsal and performance experience.

Students following the Postgraduate Certificate in Performance will additionally take modules in Performance Portfolio and Lecture Recital.

The cost of the course for 2017 is £3100.00

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The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a portfolio of taught postgraduate Drama options based on the School's five specialist research groups. Read more
The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a portfolio of taught postgraduate Drama options based on the School's five specialist research groups. Students can choose from five pathways:


MA Drama (Contemporary British Theatre)

Contemporary Playwriting
Contemporary Theatre Companies
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Contemporary Performance Practice)

Performance Lab
Located Practices
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Playwriting)

Writing for Performance
Script Development
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Popular Performance)

Popular Performance
Making the Modern Musical
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Theatre and Consciousness)

Theatre and Consciousness
Indian Theatre
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

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This MA addresses the historical, political, theoretical and ethical issues of applied theatre and develops your ability to contextualise, critique and create- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-applied-theatre/. Read more
This MA addresses the historical, political, theoretical and ethical issues of applied theatre and develops your ability to contextualise, critique and create- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-applied-theatre/

Our aim is to prepare students to be collaborative, responsive, imaginative, politically engaged and culturally aware artist practitioners. The course is aimed at newly-emerging practitioners with a background in theatre, education, activism or social change, as well as at more established practitioners who want to reflect, refresh and develop their skills. We actively encourage the sharing of skills and expertise among our multi-national group of students. We prioritise applicants with some experience in the arts, education, activism or social care, and it is rare that we take applicants directly from their first degree.

Together we explore the ways in which theatre and performance is created by diverse groups of people in a variety of community, social and educational settings: in schools or on the streets, in children’s homes and elderly care, in conflict zones, conferences, crèches and youth clubs, pupil referral units and prisons, women’s refuges and refugee centres, hospitals and hostels – anywhere groups of people meet and interact.

What is applied theatre?

Applied theatre is an umbrella term for a range of exciting worldwide performance forms concerned with personal and social change.

The term embraces: theatre of the oppressed, community theatre, theatre-in-education, drama in education, theatre for development, prison theatre, intercultural arts, intergenerational arts, theatre in museums, archives and heritage sites, story-telling, reminiscence theatre, conflict resolution. The work often moves across art forms. This is not a definitive list, as it is a field that is dynamic and changing.

The MA considers case studies from the UK and from across the globe. Central to this investigation are: questions of identity; representation; discrimination; health; equality; human rights; opportunity; access; social inclusion/exclusion; participation; ethics; evaluation and documentation; aesthetics and the role of the artist.

Placement and partnerships

The course is structured so that practice and theory constantly respond to one another, through practical classes and seminars. All students undertake a placement in a recognised host organisation where you'll work with experienced practitioners, and learn from the inside how participatory arts organisations function.

We have active partnerships with many companies, and the majority of the tutors, including the convenor, are active artists, with a variety of arts practices in performance, community and social settings.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Sue Mayo

Structure

Full time students are in Goldsmiths Monday to Wednesday in terms 1 & 2.

Part time students are in Goldsmiths Tuesday and Wednesday in terms 1 & 2 of year 1, and Mondays only in year 2.

In the summer term, for both years, there are 5 days of teaching in April and May, dates to be confirmed.

Assessment

The MA Applied Theatre has five points of assessment:

a 6,000-word essay based on material covered in Term 1
a 6,000-word reflective portfolio on the placement
a 12,000-word research project/dissertation
These assessments count towards 80% of the final mark.

The remaining 20% is derived from assessment of the two shared complementary/contextual modules, which include Disability Theatre, Performance Praxis, African Theatre, Musical Theatre and Cultural Theory.

Skills
The MA aims to equip you with the appropriate background knowledge and understanding to work creatively and critically within the broad remit of applied theatre. Recent research identified three core skills for participatory artists working in socially engaged theatre practice. These are:

critical thinking (the ability to contextualise and interrogate practice in the light of current thinking and practice)
creativity (the ability to take creative risks based on a strong skill base)
responsiveness (the ability to reflect and adapt)
The course works with these core skills threaded through its methodology, while also offering opportunities to look at the hard skills of planning, documenting and evaluating work.

Careers

Our students go on to work in a range of roles including setting up and running community/participatory theatre companies, as freelance drama workshop facilitators, lecturers, heads of education or participation producers within established theatre companies.

Previous students have gone on to carry out:

work with people with learning disabilities
theatre work with early years
creative work in pupil referral units
cross-arts projects in a range of educational, community and social contexts
theatre education and outreach
community theatre
museum education and theatre in prisons
Previous graduates from the programme have also continued with research study towards the MPhil or PhD qualification.

We have graduates working at the Southbank Centre, the Royal National Theatre, The Young Vic, Brighton Dome, Pan Arts, Rewrite, Ovalhouse, Battersea Arts Centre, the Albany and Talawa Theatre; with MIND, Tender, Magic Me, and Headway.

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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- Performance (Set & Costume Design). - Set Design. - Costume Design. - Costume Construction. - Puppetry. - Lighting Design. - Sound Design. Read more

Specialist Pathways

- Performance (Set & Costume Design)
- Set Design
- Costume Design
- Costume Construction
- Puppetry
- Lighting Design
- Sound Design
- Scenic Art and Construction for Stage and Screen

Key Features

- Taught element starting in September and running for one year, full time
- Alternative flexible pathway for students already in relevant employment
- Specialist tuition from established team of professional theatre design practitioners
- Input from visiting professionals from around the world
- Design positions in College productions ranging from drama to musical theatre and opera
- Professional work placement opportunities
- Exhibition of your work in Cardiff and London for an invited audience of potential employers
- Final component involving the completion of a reflective journal based on your professional engagement, with support and mentoring from College tutors

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Why Surrey?. Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements.

You will benefit from the diversity of our research strengths, numerous ensemble performance opportunities and expertise in a range of musical fields, including contemporary music for the concert hall, popular music, film music, opera, acoustic, electronic and computer-generated music.

The Composition pathway of the MMus Music programme is designed to develop your individual compositional style and technique through tutorial guidance and opportunities for performances, workshops and recordings.

Various stylistic and generic strands can be pursued individually or in combination, including jazz, music for screen and multimedia, contemporary music for the concert hall and computer sound design.

You will take two compulsory research training modules followed by a combination of composition-related options. Having completed the Postgraduate Diploma stage of the programme, you will progress to Masters stage and submit a composition folio.

The programme provides ideal preparation for future research work at PhD level.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year.

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.

Short-course opportunities

The School welcomes applications from students who wish to undertake one module of study from the Masters programme.

Selection process

Potential applicants may make an appointment for an informal interview with the Programme Director if practicable. All applicants will be asked either to submit a sample of written work, a DVD of their performance, or samples of their compositional work, or to sit an audition depending on their chosen specialism.

Research

Our work achieves wide international circulation, both through established scholarly channels and, distinctively, through broadcast media (such as BBC TV, Channel 4, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and National Public Radio in the USA).

School staff are much in demand for pre-concert talks at venues such as London’s South Bank and Barbican centres. The research environment at Surrey is sustained by open discussion and debate, and through the regular airing of work-in-progress.

Our work is strengthened by the ready input of our peers and research students at various stages allowing collective engagement to foster innovation.

Educational aims of the programme

The MMus (Composition) programme aims to provide students with a high quality education in the creative, re-creative, technical, critical, vocational and academic areas of the subject. It aims to provide students with the necessary skills, techniques and methodologies to work at an advanced level with a critical awareness of the discipline.

The programme aims to reflect current developments within the theory and practice of music composition and, in so doing, to educate students so that they may work confidently and constructively within the musical culture of the present.

The programme aims to offer the necessary preparation for students wishing to undertake doctoral level study in practice-based areas.

Programme learning outcomes

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

  • Research methods and resources and how these may be used to interpret knowledge
  • Interdisciplinarity within music and arts research
  • The broad range of approaches to the present day theory and practice of music to the level necessary for their original application

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Frame research questions
  • Critically assess, respond to and operate in current areas of musical research and practice
  • Reflect critically on and contextualise personal practice

Professional practical skills

  • Produce stylistically original and technically professional compositions

Key / transferable skills

  • Communicate subject knowledge clearly
  • Self-direction and autonomy
  • Originality in problem solving
  • Work in and manage groups
  • Efficient time management

Global opportunities

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.



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Central graduates have become successful producers, among them Sir Cameron Mackintosh, a name synonymous with Britain’s global pre-eminence in musical theatre, and David Jubb, whose pioneering work at Battersea Arts Centre characterises the vibrancy and originality of London’s contemporary Fringe, or ‘off West End’ scene. Read more

ABOUT MA/MFA CREATIVE PRODUCING

Central graduates have become successful producers, among them Sir Cameron Mackintosh, a name synonymous with Britain’s global pre-eminence in musical theatre, and David Jubb, whose pioneering work at Battersea Arts Centre characterises the vibrancy and originality of London’s contemporary Fringe, or ‘off West End’ scene. The entrepreneurially skilled and culturally literate producer works in dialogue with artists to create performances and festivals, run venues and companies, manage projects, raise funds and investment and negotiate commissions. These skills are in ever increasing demand in a competitive production environment.

Students will undertake masterclasses in producing with key industry leaders and innovators and take an active role in the organisation of real world events, productions and projects, underpinned by a solid critical understanding of the cultural industries and creative producing, relevant theory and current research in the performance field. While learning, students will also gain a career head start by building a vital network of industry and peer contacts.

PROJECTS

Students on the MA and the MFA engage with the same core subject matter. In the first year of the MFA, students will join MA colleagues for most of the year, undertaking professional creative producing projects in areas such as:

> festival curation and organisation
> publicity, fundraising and the use of social media
> conference and celebratory event management
> theatre production and tour management
> producing community performance
> audience development.

ASSESSMENT

This is through formats used in the relevant industries and in academia, e.g. individual and group pitches to industry panels, business plans, online presentations, conference presentations, productions, case studies, reflective essays, reports,
reviews and written submissions, and a personal portfolio or dissertation.

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The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows you to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. Read more

The flexible modular structure of our taught MA programme allows you to focus on a chosen area of specialism but simultaneously facilitates exploration of a wide range of research areas relating to music. It will provide an excellent foundation for undertaking postgraduate research at doctoral level, but will also benefit the professional development of musicians intending to pursue careers in teaching, arts administration, broadcasting, and other domains.

Students on the taught MA programme join a vibrant international postgraduate community and study with scholars, composers, and performers who have achieved international recognition in their fields. The Music Department was ranked #1 in The Sunday Times University League Table 2016, and was in the top three music departments in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the Complete University Guide 2017.

The MA Music programme supports study of the following areas of specialism:

  • Musicology
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Composition (acoustic and electronic)
  • Performance

In addition, other options typically available have included:

  • British Music
  • Indian Music
  • Music, Mind, and Culture
  • World Music Analysis
  • Audiovisual Documentation and Analysis

Course structure

You will choose modules from sections A, B, C, and D below:

A. Major project, weighted at 60 credits (a dissertation, a public recital, or a portfolio of compositions/orchestrations and arrangements – depending on your chosen area of specialism)

B. A 30-credit module linked to your chosen area of specialism

C. Two compulsory core 30-credit modules embedding research training and engaging with major intellectual issues attendant on all subject areas

D. An additional 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B, subject to approval of the Board of Studies in Music.

Example: MA with specialism in Musicology

A. A 12,000-word dissertation on a musicological topic weighted at 60 credits

B. 30-credit module ‘Contemporary Musicology’

C. Compulsory core 30-credit modules, ‘Core Research Seminars’ and ‘Research Methods and Resources’

D. 30 credits of Music undergraduate modules/selected undergraduate OR postgraduate modules offered by another department OR another related specialism-specific module from list B

Core Modules

  • Research Methods and Resources
  • Core Research Seminars

And

the following specialism-specific modules will be offered every year: 

  • Contemporary Musicology
  • Ethnomusicology in Practice and Theory
  • Compositional Techniques
  • Music Performance 

Optional Modules

Optional modules in previous years have included:

  • British Music
  • Music Analysis
  • Practice and Theory of Choral Conducting
  • Electronic Music
  • Orchestration and Arranging
  • Indian Music
  • World Music Analysis
  • Music, Mind, and Culture
  • Audiovisual Documentation and Analysis. 

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is delivered through a mixture of seminars, practical sessions and one-to-one supervision. Seminars provide opportunities for you to discuss and debate particular issues, and to present your own original work, informed by the knowledge that you have gained through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practical sessions in areas such as studio or field recording techniques help to prepare you for your own independent work. All students must undertake an independent project (dissertation, composition portfolio, or performance), which is developed with the help of one-to-one expert supervision. Finally, optional modules can be drawn from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of Music or of other departments –these free-choice modules may involve other forms of staff-student contact, depending on the subject area. The Department actively promotes interdisciplinary approaches to the study of music and you are encouraged to engage with other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.

The contact hours experienced by each individual student will vary considerably, given a high degree of flexibility in the programme. You will typically attend between 2 and 4 hours of seminars per week in term time, as well as additional practical sessions as appropriate. Individual supervision of dissertations, performance projects and composition portfolios amounts to an average of 6 hours spread over the second and third terms.

Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to attend research seminars, both student-led and those involving staff or guest academic speakers (typically 1-2 hrs each week). You must also undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and assessments, to broaden your subject knowledge and to prepare your dissertations or portfolios. You are encouraged, as an integral part of your studies, to take advantage of other opportunities including participating in performance opportunities (including staff-led ensembles) and attending research and composition seminars, some of which are organised in conjunction with University research institutes.

There is a busy programme of musical performance, both within and outside the Music department, which complements your academic programme by providing opportunities both to listen to and to perform a wide variety of music. The many musical ensembles to which you can contribute includes both independent societies (including orchestras, choirs, opera and musical theatre as well as a Javanese gamelan) and department-run ensembles such as the New Music Ensemble and Korean percussion group.



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Why Surrey?. Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements.

You will benefit from the diversity of our research strengths, numerous ensemble performance opportunities and expertise in a range of musical fields, including contemporary music for the concert hall, popular music, film music, opera, acoustic, electronic and computer-generated music.

The Conducting pathway is only available part-time. It is designed to develop conducting techniques to a professional level, and to enhance the understanding of relevant theoretical principles.

You will attend conducting classes (including score analysis and preparation, rehearsal techniques, gestural techniques, critical analysis of recordings) and contribute to rehearsals with the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, ensembles and Chamber Choir.

Two compulsory research training modules are followed by a combination of specialism-related modules and optional modules.

Having completed the Postgraduate Diploma stage of the programme, you will progress to Masters stage and complete your final portfolio of work.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year.

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.

Educational aims of the programme

The MMus (Conducting) programme aims to provide students with a high quality education in the creative, re-creative, technical, critical, vocational and academic areas of the subject. It aims to provide students with the necessary skills, techniques and methodologies to work at an advanced level with a critical awareness of the discipline.

The programme aims to reflect current developments within the theory and practice of music composition and, in so doing, to educate students so that they may work confidently and constructively within the musical culture of the present.

The programme aims to offer the necessary preparation for students wishing to undertake doctoral level study in practice-based areas.

Programme learning outcomes

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

  • Research methods and resources and how these may be used to interpret knowledge
  • Interdisciplinarity within music and arts research
  • The broad range of approaches to the present day theory and practice of music to the level necessary for their original application

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Frame research questions
  • Critically assess, respond to and operate in current areas of musical research and practice
  • Reflect critically on and contextualise personal practice

Professional practical skills

  • Rehearse and conduct a range of ensembles to the standard required of public performance
  • Score reading skills
  • Historical research skills - sources, editions, performance practices, etc

Key / transferable skills

  • Communicate subject knowledge clearly
  • Self-direction and autonomy
  • Originality in problem solving
  • Work in and manage groups
  • Efficient time management

Global opportunities

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.



Read less
Why Surrey?. Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our MMus programme is distinctive in its range of musicological, compositional and performance-based elements.

You will benefit from the diversity of our research strengths, numerous ensemble performance opportunities and expertise in a range of musical fields, including contemporary music for the concert hall, popular music, film music, opera, acoustic, electronic and computer-generated music.

Programme overview

The Creative Practice pathway of the MMus Music programme is designed for creative musicians who cannot easily separate performance and composition in their work, for example, musicians working in improvised music, singer-songwriters or those interested in live electronics.

You will take two compulsory research training modules, after which teaching and study progress from closely taught modules designed to secure and extend your technique to more autonomous, project-based learning opportunities.

Having completed the Postgraduate Diploma stage you will progress to Masters stage and submit a final portfolio of work. This portfolio will likely feature a combination of live performance and composition.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year.

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.

Short-course opportunities

The School welcomes applications from students who wish to undertake one module of study from the Masters programme.

Selection process

Potential applicants may make an appointment for an informal interview with the Programme Director if practicable. All applicants will be asked either to submit a sample of written work, a DVD of their performance, or samples of their compositional work, or to sit an audition depending on their chosen specialism.

Research

Our work achieves wide international circulation, both through established scholarly channels and, distinctively, through broadcast media (such as BBC TV, Channel 4, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and National Public Radio in the USA). School staff are much in demand for pre-concert talks at venues such as London’s South Bank and Barbican centres.

The research environment at Surrey is sustained by open discussion and debate, and through the regular airing of work-in- progress. Our work is strengthened by the ready input of our peers and research students at various stages allowing collective engagement to foster innovation.

Educational aims of the programme

The MMus (Creative Practice) programme aims to provide students with a high quality education in the creative, re-creative, technical, critical, vocational and academic areas of the subject. It aims to provide students with the necessary skills, techniques and methodologies to work at an advanced level with a critical awareness of the discipline.

The programme aims to reflect current developments within the theory and practice of music creation that combines performance and composition elements and, in so doing, to educate students so that they may work confidently and constructively within the musical culture of the present.

The programme aims to offer the necessary preparation for students wishing to undertake doctoral level study in practice-based areas.

Programme learning outcomes

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

  • Research methods and resources and how these may be used to interpret knowledge
  • Interdisciplinarity within music and arts research
  • The broad range of approaches to the present day theory and practice of music to the level necessary for their original application

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Frame research questions
  • Critically assess, respond to and operate in current areas of musical research and practice
  • Reflect critically on and contextualise personal practice

Professional practical skills

  • Produce original, conceptually rich and explorative creative practice which will likely include (improvised) performance alongside composed material

Key / transferable skills

  • Communicate subject knowledge clearly
  • Self-direction and autonomy
  • Originality in problem solving
  • Work in and manage groups
  • Efficient time management

Global opportunities

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.



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