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Course content

Why Surrey?

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.

Programme overview

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.

Programme structure

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.

Educational aims of the programme

  • To deepen experiential knowledge and critical understanding of the practice of acting
  • To develop a comprehensive understanding of the techniques and methodologies that constitute a personally evolved rehearsal process
  • To develop an integrated technical approach to the practice of acting in rehearsal and performance
  • To provide an ensemble training context for the development of professional acting skills based on practical and theoretical understanding and reflective 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 experiential and theoretical knowledge of key practical acting methodologies
  • An advanced understanding, which will inform ongoing skill attainment, 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 acting
  • An advanced understanding, which will inform ongoing skill attainment, 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 performance texts
  • Identify and develop an individual methodological approach to rehearsal
  • Select vocal and physical techniques appropriate to voice, person and situation
  • Recognise and respond appropriately to the demands of different performance media
  • Critically analyse and reflect on their own and others’ practice

Professional practical skills

  • Successfully apply integrated vocal and psycho-physical techniques to the practice of acting in differing media
  • Sustain and develop an effective and creative individual rehearsal process
  • Demonstrate creative and imaginative work in performance
  • Contribute effective and appropriate practices and concepts to an ensemble process
  • Demonstrate evidence of 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 lead and collaborate as part of the 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.


Visit the Acting MA page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

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