Masters degrees in Theatre Directing equip postgraduates with the skills to manage a team of performers and direct staged theatre productions.
Taught MA and MFA courses are typical for the field. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as Performances Studies or Drama.
The purpose of these degrees in to train you in understanding theatre production processes within a context of both contemporary theatre making and the dramatic tradition through history. You will develop your personal artistic techniques as a director, evaluating written literature and analysing various performance types to find your own vision.
Through consideration of directing methodologies, you will explore techniques in adaptation and collaboration, working with designers, performers and choreographers to develop a holistic directing style.
Through applied practise, you will develop your craft skills and technical abilities, advancing your knowledge in the operations and logistics of theatre performance, whether for the stage or different public spaces.
As a professional director, you may work collaboratively with a specific theatre company, dance company or artists’ guild. Your expertise would also make you suitable for stage management, or curating live arts or museum exhibitions.
This postgraduate directing course is for directors of theatre and live performance. You will be given the opportunity to direct productions in our theatres on campus and in Bath, whilst also working with a range of the MA and BA Acting and Drama students.
Our MA Directing programme helps you build a portfolio of performance experiences as part of Bath Spa University’s diverse theatre productions. From developing small companies, to managing large scale productions, and from classical to contemporary theatre, you’ll get a broad and advanced understanding of working in theatre today.
You’ll explore approaches to directing both through seminars and practical work. Alongside this you’ll develop an advanced understanding of actor training.
We’ll be dedicated to your individual development. You’ll receive support through tutorials and will embark on your own production work.
In the first trimester, the production module will support you as both director and actor as you work on selected speeches and scenes while also collaborating on larger productions. Weekly research seminars bring together history and current practice of directing along with advancing research skills needed for directors.
In the second trimester, the second production modules gives you the opportunity to create original work, working either with your own chosen cast, or with a university, or professional production. Additionally, you’ll take a Professional Collaboration module that provides both tools and experience to work with a wide range of artists.
In the third trimester, you can choose to undertake a more traditional written dissertation, a performance based dissertation or a mixture of the two. You might direct a production, lead workshops, or research into areas relating to directing as part of your dissertation. You can choose to work on your dissertation on-campus or by distance learning. You’ll benefit from one-to-one tutorials which can take place in person or online.
The degree is delivered through a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, master classes, off-site visits, performance and production work, and through the Virtual Learning Environment, Minerva. We get professional actors and directors in to work with you; we have ever-expanding list of lecturers, specialists, artists and guest scholars.
Assessments could include performances, essays, literature reviews, written documentation of work, presentations, portfolios, leading workshops, written evaluations, rehearsal and practice blogs, written dissertations, practical dissertation projects, and critical play reviews.
For more information on teaching and assessment methods, please go to: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-directing/
We currently give all students the opportunity to take part in a two week residency at Shakespeare's Globe. You’ll benefit from intensive, full-time training, leading to a production on the Globe’s stage.
You’ll have the opportunity to see a lot of theatre, as well as visit museums and theatres. Previous destinations have included Bath, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon and London. Other field trips may give you the chance to work with professional theatre groups and actors; we’ve previously rented studios in London for this purpose.
For more information on opportunities, please go to the course webpage: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-directing/
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.