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 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.
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
Covering historical and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, on this degree you'll investigate indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural contexts. The MA in World Theatres is one of the few freestanding taught Masters programmes in world theatres and performance in the UK and globally.
The programme aims to train graduates for professional employment in a range of positions in theatre, in government settings, in the culture sector and in HE internationally that require solid intellectual preparation and knowledge of the field. Practitioners who come on the programme can use knowledge acquired to extend the articulation of their career.
This one-year full‐time or two-year part-time programme of study aims to cover the historical contexts and philosophical bases of theatre and performance practices from different parts of the world, some of which are rarely introduced in UK HE. It will thus involve the student in a study of indigenous and contemporary performance and theatre traditions from a variety of cultural, national and international contexts. From this vantage context, students will be able to compare and contrast such work critically, within and beyond a European perspective, and in turn use this perspective to consider contemporary theatre in multicultural Britain.
The main aims of the programme are:
All students on the programme will undertake four taught modules and a research project. The programme may be taken full-time or part-time for the duration of one year or two years, respectively. For full-time students, the programme runs over three terms, of which Term One is devoted to two modules and students will also be required to undertake training for research and academic writing in preparation for the Research Project. Term Two comprises two modules and the Research Project, while Term Three is devoted entirely to the Research Project.
Part‐time students have two terms in their first year of study and three terms in their second year.
Term 1 (Autumn) - World Theatre: Contexts and Practices + Contemporary African Theatre and Research Project (training for research and academic writing)
Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: From Bharata to Brecht and Eastern European Theatres and Research Project
Term 3 (Summer) - Research Project
Term 1 (Autumn) ‐ World Theatre: Contexts and Practices or/and Contemporary African Theatre
Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: from Bharata to Brecht and/or Eastern European Theatres
Term 1 (Autumn) - World Theatres: Contexts and Practices and/or Contemporary African Theatre (depending on how many were taken in Year One) and the Research Project
Term 2 (Spring) - Asian Theatre: From Bharata to Brecht and/or Eastern European Theatres (depending on how many were taken in Year One) and the Research Project
Term 3 (Summer) - Research Project
Teaching is via lectures, seminars, workshops and practice sessions with our resident teaching team alongside guest lecturers and theatre companies. A mixed mode of assessments are used which can either be in the form of a written assignment or PaR submission.
The department is home to the African Theatre Association (AfTA) and its bi-annual journal, African Performance Review. The Department of Theatre and Performance has close links with two research centres: The Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing and The Centre for the Body, that each generate learning opportunities via programmes of talks, conferences and workshops. The Department runs regular extramural activities, including hosting international practitioners in the Performance Research Forum (Dis-Play) series. The department’s special relationship with the Goldsmiths Confucius Institute and its association to the Beijing Dance Academy, also contributes to the global performance practice opportunities offered. Together, these organisations provide a unique research and professional resource for students on Theatre and Performance programmes.
Expertise is provided by the Department's resident staff, most of who are not only dedicated and experienced teachers, but are also distinguished practitioners and researchers in their own right, working in national and international contexts. The Department also draws on a large pool of visiting practitioners and academics to provide a breadth of expertise and contact with current practice.
The broad range of interests combined in this programme will prepare you for a diverse range of employment and/or a portfolio of careers in theatre and performance as well as the arts industry as a whole in different socio-cultural environments:
In addition, you can use this programme as a springboard for further study, either vocational or intellectual (including entry into MPhil/PhD programmes).
In short, the multiple skills – intellectual, critical and creative – developed by this programme will provide you with the flexibility of thought and approach necessary for creative insertion into the global job market.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
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/
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.
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.