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Creative Arts & Design×

University of Surrey, Full Time MA Degrees in Creative Arts & Design

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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
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 five specialist pathways, including actor training, choreography and movement direction, directing, musical theatre creation, and practices of voice and singing, 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.

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.
-Facilitating Creativity
-Interdisciplinary Pedagogies
-Dramaturgy
-The Performing Body
-Body
-Research Methods for Practice
-Integrated Practice
-Specialist Techniques
-Personal Profile Development
-Technology
-Advanced Creative Practice

Pathways

Actor Training pathway
The specialist modules for this pathway are designed to produce a versatile and effective actor trainer with the strategies and skills required to enhance and facilitate an actor’s progress. Students will examine and contextualise a number of acting methodologies to develop their own comprehensive approach to professional practice.

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.

Practices of Voice and Singing pathway
This pathway brings together study and practice in both singing and voice, in order to create a new paradigm for teaching and coaching in these fields, enabling students to expand, develop and reflect on their coaching styles.

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: Actor Training; Directing; Movement Direction and Choreography; Musical Theatre Creation; Practices of Voice and Singing
-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

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:
-Understand critical, contextual, conceptual and ethical dimensions of creative practices, leadership and facilitation in theatre and performance practices
-Articulate the practitioner’s relationship with key creative and production colleagues, performers, industry professionals and audiences
-Comprehend the implications and potential for theatre and wider performing arts practices presented by key developments in creative processes, training and producing regimes, and contexts for preparation and production
-Demonstrate an awareness of recent developments and specific techniques in the relevant specialist pathway
-Generate ideas, concepts, proposals, processes, solutions and/or perspectives independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity
-Employ both convergent and divergent thinking in processes of observation, investigation, speculative enquiry, conceptualisation, facilitation and/or making
-Critically evaluate one’s knowledge and understanding of relevant performance/pedagogic practice
-Interact effectively with others through collaboration, collective endeavour and negotiation
-Demonstrate leadership skills, providing clarity and direction for others
-Demonstrate competence with specialist creative/facilitative theatre and performing arts practices (specific to the pathway followed)

Knowledge and understanding
-Understand critical, contextual, conceptual and ethical dimensions of creative practices, leadership and facilitation in theatre and performance practices
-Articulate the practitioner’s relationship with key creative and production colleagues, performers, industry professionals and audiences
-Comprehend the implications and potential for theatre and wider performing arts practices presented by key developments in creative processes, training and producing regimes, and contexts for preparation and production
-Demonstrate an awareness of recent developments and specific techniques in the relevant specialist pathway
Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Generate ideas, concepts, proposals, processes, solutions and/or perspectives independently and/or collaboratively in response to set briefs and/or as self-initiated activity
-Employ both convergent and divergent thinking in processes of observation, investigation, speculative enquiry, conceptualisation, facilitation and/or making
-Critically evaluate one’s knowledge and understanding of relevant performance/pedagogic practice
-Manage and make appropriate use of the interaction between context, brief, planning, process, outcome and critical reflection.
-Analyse information and experiences, formulate independent judgments, and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation
-Source and research relevant material, assimilating and articulating relevant findings
-Formulate reasoned responses to the critical judgments of others
-Identify personal strengths and needs, and reflect on personal development, adapting plans accordingly

Professional practical skills
-Select, evaluate, adapt and make appropriate use of techniques, materials, processes and partnerships
-Develop ideas through to outcomes
-Demonstrate skills in communication, expression and facilitation
-Utilise appropriate discipline-specific languages to investigate, analyse, articulate and apply ideas and information
-Demonstrate competence with specialist creative/facilitative theatre and performing arts practices (specific to the pathway followed)
-Present ideas and work to co-creators, performers, audiences and other stakeholders, as appropriate, in a range of situations
-Seek and respond to the views of others in the development or enhancement of their work
-Work in combination with others in relevant performing arts settings, demonstrating skills in teamwork, negotiation, organization, and decision-making

Key / transferable skills
-Interact effectively with others through collaboration, collective endeavor and negotiation
-Demonstrate leadership skills, providing clarity and direction for others
-Work effectively as part of a team and in pursuit of shared goals
-Study independently, set goals, manage own workloads and meet deadlines
-Anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity
-Source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate, manipulate and manage information from a variety of sources
-Select and employ communication and information technologies
-Demonstrate resourcefulness and entrepreneurship

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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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
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. 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.
-Research and Rehearsal
-Dance Techniques
-Singing and Audition Technique
-Voice and Acting
-Professional Development
-Physical Performance
-Vocal Performance
-Public Performance Project
-Advanced Practice

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.

Read less
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. Read more
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. 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.
-Industry Practice 1
-The Integrated Body 1
-Acting
-Contextual Practice 1
-Industry Practice 2
-The Integrated Body 2
-Contextual Practice 2
-Public Production
-Advanced Practice

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.

TESTIMONIALS

"I am really pleased that I came to GSA as it has given me the ideal grounding to work across the industry with not only a high level of quality to my work but also a distinguished level of professionalism that never goes unnoticed. I put these things down to the excellent training that I received at GSA." - Marina Waters, MA Acting 2010-2011

"The MA Acting course has been an intensely rigorous journey which has endlessly flexed my creative muscles, heightened my self-awareness and deepened my understanding of what it means to nurture an individual's body, spirit and mind through an ensemble, while remaining true to one's self." - Rebecca Yeo, MA Acting 2011-2012

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Our programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and/or poetry, while deepening your critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production. Read more
Our programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and/or poetry, while deepening your critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production.

Teaching is research-led, so you benefit from the individual expertise and passion of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published authors and academics, including our Poet in Residence and Distinguished Writer in Residence.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

The MA Creative Writing programme will hone your research and writing skills to produce critically informed prose or poetry, and creative criticism. We will help you to locate your work in its literary and cultural context, and you will have the chance to reflect on your creative process and the finished work.

You will have access to a yearly calendar of events hosted at the University created to broaden your thinking, and develop your writing skills such as the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and the Surrey Poetry Festival.

The MA in Creative Writing provides a strong foundation to embark upon a career in writing, communications, publishing, marketing, advertising, journalism or teaching, or to undertake a PhD.

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 extended portfolio.

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
-Research and Writing Skills I
-Research and Writing Skills II
-Literary Scholarship and Creativity I
-Literary Scholarship and Creativity II
-Creative Writing Workshop I
-Creative Writing Workshop II
-Extended Portfolio
-Open Essay I
-Open Essay II
-Special Author I
-Special Author II
-Open Creative Piece I
-Open Creative Piece II
-Beat Writing
-Realism and Its Critics
-Found Materials: Poetry and Practice
-Advanced Studies in 19th Century Literature
-Advanced Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature
-Literature and Science
-Issues in Literary Translation
-Identity: Communication in Practice
-Organisations and Written Communications
-Children’s Literature
-Screenwriting

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The MA Programme in Creative Writing will prepare graduates to undertake a PhD programme in the relevant field.

It will also provide students with the transferable skills of creative writing, critical thinking, textual analysis and communication that are attractive to a wide range of employers, from the cultural industries to marketing and advertising to tourism and leisure to the civil service and public/private partnerships.

It is designed to build confidence and technical ability in a variety of modes of imaginative writing, and to provide students with a clear-eyed grounding in contemporary and historical contexts of text production and circulation, including practical advice on the workings of the publishing industry.

Devoted to assisting students to understand and meet the challenges of producing high quality creative writing in poetry and prose, the programme also provides advanced understanding of the contexts, theoretical paradigms, methodologies and modes of interpretation that are vital in a full understanding of literary production.

The main aims are to:
-Produce work that reflects a high level of technical ability and engages productively with its historical, cultural and literary contexts
-Acquire sound knowledge of the major principles of literary criticism
-Reflect on their own practice as literary critics and how this can help to improve their own creative practice

As a Master’s level programme, it also aims to instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research.

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
-Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the main principles and challenges of creative writing
-Relate developments in the field of literary studies to the social, political and historical contexts of their own creative work
-Distinguish different approaches to literary studies and reflect upon these in their own
-Develop a critical engagement with various theoretical approaches and methods
-Recognize the critical language required in advanced literary studies
-Identify and explain relevant techniques and strategies for producing high quality creative writing

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Able to critically appraise scholarly and creative writing
-Able to strategically develop research skills for retrieving information crucial for understanding the context of textual production
-Able to conduct conceptual and advanced research related to specific creative projects
-Able to formulate and address research questions relating to creative and research projects

Professional practical skills
-Able to produce high-quality creative work in and analysis of a variety of literary genres
-Able to verbally present abstract ideas and concepts in a clear and appropriate fashion
-Able to confidently deal with reading complex texts
-Able to acquire a sound knowledge of the key debates in literary studies
-Able to acquire review/evaluation skills for textual analyses at M-level
-Able to combine an understanding of text and context within and between periods

Key / transferable skills
-Display competence in a range of skills at postgraduate level, including creative writing, advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments, presentation, the conducting of independent research, and the efficient processing of complex ideas and arguments
-Collaborate by working in small groups to exchange ideas and engage in debates
-Develop knowledge in a specialized subject, area or period and command of terminology
-Organize, research and deliver a sustained piece of work to a high standard
-Create and carry out a research project of significant complexity
-Reflect upon the knowledge gained and incorporate this into independent learning strategies
-Manage learning self-critically
-Exercise initiative and personal responsibility

ACADEMICS AND EVENTS

As a student on this Masters, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published academics and authors.

You will have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing.

Writers to have recently visited the University of Surrey include:

Novelists
-Iain Sinclair
-Monica Ali
-Jaspreet Singh
-Nikita Lalwani

Poets
-J.H. Prynne
-Robert Fitterman
-Allen Fisher
-Gilbert Adair

Critics
-Rod Mengham
-Bernard O’Donoghue
-Barbara Hardy

Each year’s cultural activities begin with the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.

The annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and Surrey Poetry Festival – both affiliated with the Creative Writing programmes at the University of Surrey – aim to engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and involve readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and more.

This graduate program is delivered by the University's Creative Writing team, all of whom are published authors and poets:
-Dr Paul Vlitos, Lecturer in Creative Writing
-Dr Holly Luhning, Lecturer in Creative Writing
-Dr Stephen Mooney, Lecturer in Creative Writing and former Poet in Residence
-Dr Angela Szczepaniak, Lecturer in Creative Writing

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

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