This is a unique opportunity to work intensively with Katie Mitchell OBE, one of the most acclaimed, important and innovative directors in Europe. You will combine your professional training with academic research providing you with complementary creative and intellectual skills.
This course is a rigorous, intensive, demanding training in theatre directing where you will work with professional actors to develop your directing skills. You will have the chance to direct in our new purpose-build performance space, the Caryl Churchill Theatre, a 150-seat flexible theatre on three levels, designed by award-winning theatre architects Foster-Wilson.
Royal Holloway's Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance is internationally recognised for the quality of its creative arts programmes. The Department has produced several theatre companies with a growing international reputation, including Ad Infinitum, Forest Fringe, non zero one and Analogue.
Teaching and learning are primarily by means of intensive summer workshops, including eight hours of collaborative workshop and up to three hours of supervised rehearsal time a day for three weeks. These typically combine periods of seminar discussion with practical exploration and workshops. Where possible, these are student-led, with participants being encouraged to devise exercises engaging with the relevant issues and to direct their fellow-students.
Opportunities to visit theatrical performances and rehearsal rooms are also an important part of the programme, and you will be encouraged to use these as a basis for discussion and to deconstruct the performances they have seen from a variety of critical positions.
Assessment is by a variety of means including essays (both theoretical and critical) and etudes (practical directing exercises), practical projects as well as a final dissertation of 10-14,000 words. Practical projects are sometimes carried out in a group and may include an element of assessment for an individual’s contribution to group working and direction.
By the end of this course, you will have an enhanced understanding of the tasks and responsibilities of a director, and developed your abilily to work with actors and space. You will also have gained experience in working through the research and preparation necessary to direct a piece of theatre, and have the ability to research and articulate an extended analytic discussion of theatre directing.
Our graduates have started careers in professional theatre, film and television as well as training and education. If you come to the end of the course and find yourself curious about an area of study – or want to take your dissertation topic further – the MA is a perfect grounding for a PhD, which may be fully written or include a practice-based component.
The department gives you access to other creative areas of study like dance, media and art. Part of our reputation as a creative campus comes from this cross-pollination of studies and disciplines, so you'll have a good chance to push into those fields and gain knowledge of theatres and the performance scene in London and beyond. You'll leave the MA able to navigate an intense and growing field with credibility and creativity.
If you want to pursue a professional career as a theatre director, underpinned by a clear intellectual understanding of your practice, then our exceptional and practical MA course is ideally suited to you.
It provides an opportunity to develop your directing practice through an active engagement with critical thinking so that you will have the tools to become an independent creative artist in the industry.
The diversity of our student intake is our course’s strength. It’s open to those with professional as well as academic experience.
As well as taking part in master classes by visiting professional artists, you will learn from and work with staff who are both academics and professional practitioners with industry knowledge.
You will study a broad range of approaches to performance-making from traditional text-based work to intercultural and digital performance and contemporary devising.
We teach you at our brand new performing arts building in Stratford with its industry-standard studios and theatre production spaces. Beyond the university, you will also have the opportunity to show your work in professional venues.
This Master's degree in London Theatre explores London; the world’s stage. Learn from a range of relevant industry professionals and dedicated research-active academics.
The London Theatre postgraduate programme is designed for students who have a thirst to understand the unique contribution that London theatre makes to the development of theatre practices in the UK and why London is recognised as an international centre for theatre development.
This degree gives you opportunities to explore the diverse and ever-changing nature of the theatre scene and critically comment on it through academic study and professional theatre criticism.
Drama St Mary’s is a thriving unit of undergraduate and postgraduate Drama training. Our courses aim to offer the very best academic and practical training within a supportive, university environment. Our programmes are delivered by a strong core team of academics and a wide range of professional visiting practitioners.
Studying in London means that you can take full advantage of the staggering array of diverse theatre and art available in the theatre capital of the world. This postgraduate programme expands on established links with London theatre venues and organisations to give you the most relevant and up to date training.
Please check our website for more information about entry requirements, tuition fees and student funding.
Drama St Mary’s graduates have gone on to work in a range of related arts industries. Our courses prepare students to find consistent, professional work in their chosen field.
The module London Fringe introduces you to the area of London theatre where you are most likely to find work in your initial career as a theatre writer, critic or researcher
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.