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Masters Degrees in Theatre Directing

We have 27 Masters Degrees in Theatre Directing

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.

Why study a Masters in Theatre Directing?

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The MA in Theatre Directing run in collaboration with the multi-award winning Orange Tree Theatre is designed to explore the art and techniques of theatre directing within the context of contemporary theatre making. Read more
The MA in Theatre Directing run in collaboration with the multi-award winning Orange Tree Theatre is designed to explore the art and techniques of theatre directing within the context of contemporary theatre making.

The MA in Theatre Directing is predominantly housed at The Orange Tree in Richmond, enabling students to embed their practice in the working life of this award-winning theatre. Modules are taught by both academics and theatre directors with the assistance of professional actors in the practical classes.

The programme is both academic and vocational. It aims to provide an advanced understanding of theatre production processes within a context of both contemporary theatre making and the dramatic tradition. It further aims to develop students’ craft skills and technical abilities in order to prepare them for a career in theatre directing.

The programme is aimed both at graduates who wish to advance their understanding of theatre practice in order to develop their work to a professional standard and at theatre professionals who wish to formalise their experience with a course of study and a qualification.

Why St Mary's?

Directing workshops explore rehearsal techniques, script analysis, performance, design and technical aspects of production. A key module focuses on directing as a career. There is a particular emphasis on the study of the working relationship between the director and the performer.

At the end of the course students present a showcase production at the Orange Tree, or another London fringe theatre. Study is over one year full-time or two years part-time.

Previous graduates have found assistant and associate directing work with all of the major companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Out of Joint and the Royal Court.

The Drama department has three fully equipped studios and a large theatre for rehearsal purposes. Technical and administrative staff support the programme throughout the year and students are provided with a production budget for their end-of-year production.

Course Content

The programme is both academic and vocational. It aims to provide an advanced understanding of theatre production processes within a context of both contemporary theatremaking and the dramatic tradition. It further aims to develop students’ craft skills and technical abilities in order to prepare them for a career in theatre directing.

The programme is aimed, then, at graduates who wish both to advance their understanding of theatre practice and to develop their work to a professional standard. It is further aimed at theatre professionals who wish to formalise their experience with a course of study and a qualification, as well as giving some the possibility of a career change to directing.

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This MA offers a distinctive combination of analytical and practical methods for the creative investigation of plays and performance texts. Read more
This MA offers a distinctive combination of analytical and practical methods for the creative investigation of plays and performance texts. Its historical range is wide and students should be ready to research and trouble-shoot plays from different eras, whether classical Greek and Roman, medieval, early modern or contemporary.

Traditional formats of discussion groups and seminars are coupled with workshops and problem-solving sessions which address all the negotiations involved in transferring words on the page into a fully realised performance. The main emphasis of the MA is on the interpretation of text through the consideration of acting and directing processes, production conditions, historical context, and institutional and cultural politics. The MA incorporates masterclasses by leading theatre professionals which are part of an integrated visitor programme.

The MA in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance is unique in that it is designed to accommodate both students who may wish to pursue further academic study and students who wish to go into the theatre or media industries. We aim to produce graduates with a sophisticated understanding of how plays in performance work, and to develop high-quality researchers and theatre practitioners who understand the practical dynamics of process and production. Applicants may have a range of academic backgrounds and extensive practical experience is not a prerequisite for the course, but students must be willing to enter into the spirit of practical experiment whatever their particular strengths.

Aims

-To promote cutting-edge interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration
-To provide analytical and practical methods for the creative investigation of play and performance texts
-To offer in-depth analysis of the dynamics of the processes of writing, acting and directing
-To provide an understanding of the need to conduct investigation within historical, political, institutional and cultural frames
-To develop high-quality theatre researchers and practitioners

Teaching and assessment

Seminars and workshops
In terms 1 and 2 Directing Early Modern Plays and Case Studies in Writing, Directing and Performance are examined by 2,500 word essays. In Term 1 Writing into Performance is examined by a scriptwriting assignment. In term 2 Directing Modern Plays is examined by a combination of seminar performance and a 3,000 word essay. Storytelling for Theatre, Film and Television is examined by a 3,000 word project in each term. An ambitious programme of masterclasses given by leading practitioners is an important part of the MA.

Screenings
During terms 1 and 2 there will be screenings of relevant film and television material relating to specific performances, plays and productions under discussion.

Dissertation or practical project
In term 3 students prepare for their dissertation or practical project work. Students are assigned dissertation/project supervisors and receive individual supervision through the period of research. Assessment is by 20,000 word dissertation or by a substantial practical project such as a production, performance or piece of creative writing, supported by a 4,000 word essay mapping the project's planning and evolution. All final projects are subject to the approval of the convenors of the MA.

Careers

Because of the innovative emphasis on acquiring a wide range of analytical and practical skills centred around the performance and production of theatre texts, students are highly employable.

An in-depth understanding of narrative structures and their visual, technical, performative and political dimensions is of paramount importance to the entertainment industry and a significant number at the top of these businesses support this programme because it plugs an increasingly serious gap in the skills market. Recent students from the BA and MA Writing and Performance (a forerunner of this MA) have benefited from placements with theatre, film and television companies, and the MA in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance builds on that ethos. Placements have been informally arranged subject to student interest and industry availability from year to year.

Past graduates have gone on to study PhDs and also to conservatoires to continue their practical training. Many are now working as screenwriters, playwrights, actors, directors, designers, producers, technicians, literary managers, dramaturges, and literary agents. A significant number of graduates have set up their own theatre companies. Others work in theatre-in-education initiatives, arts funding organisations, youth theatre, journalism, publishing, and dramatherapy. Past students are also employed by major animation companies, and have gained work as script editors and production assistants.

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This is a four term course (over about 15 months) that runs from Easter to the following July. We take four directing students each year and expect applicants to have significant experience of theatre including directing. Read more
This is a four term course (over about 15 months) that runs from Easter to the following July. We take four directing students each year and expect applicants to have significant experience of theatre including directing. You will have the opportunity to work with students of other disciplines – including actors, designers and technicians – as well as with experienced staff, visiting tutors and theatre professionals.

NB This course is only for candidates possessing a previous degree and substantial previous professional experience.

Please note Applications are a year in advance of the course start date.

Course Outline

Term 1
The first term comprises of a variety of workshops and projects that build skills needed to be an effective, confident and creative drama director. These include:

An overview of the ecology of the theatre industry.
Workshops with professional directors.
Text work.
Involvement in a range of acting techniques (physical theatre, combat, approaching Shakespeare etc).
Lighting/sound and other technical skills.
Design and model making.
Workshops in auditioning.
Observing actors’ classes.
Working with design students on ‘notional projects’.
Observing production weeks on shows in the professional venues we work in.
An introduction to TV directing course.
The term culminates in a presentation of a theoretical production. Each directing student selects a play and prepares for production. You present research and creative ideas, describe the approach that you are taking to the play and show a model box and costume drawings that you have made to a panel of industry professionals. You are then given actors and lead a short rehearsal of a scene from your chosen play.

Terms 2, 3 and 4
Over the following academic year (so from September to July) each directing student has an individually structured timetable allowing you to be involved in a variety of projects and productions. These include:

A text project: Where you work as director with a cast of final year acting students to prepare and present a play to staff and industry professionals (but not the public).

Assistant Directing: You would normally work as an assistant director on two or three theatre school productions, a television project and a radio play. You would be expected to help with research, attend production and design meetings and take some rehearsals under the supervision of the director.

Placements: There may be the opportunity for a placement at a theatre – including Bristol Old Vic Theatre with whom we have a strong working relationship. Recent theatre companies that directors have had placements at include Birmingham Rep, Hull Truck & Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.

Directing A Production: You will direct a play at a local Bristol venue using final year acting students. Recent venues have been the Alma Tavern Theatre and The Brewery Theatre (part of the Tobacco Factory). It will be a play that you select (with guidance given and parameters set by BOVTS).

There are three compulsory components on the MA in Drama Directing Course. These are:

Assistant Director; theatre
Assistant Director; radio/TV
Directing a Production.

PLEASE NOTE THAT APPLICATIONS ARE FOR APRIL 2016 ENTRY AND WILL CLOSE ON 27TH FEBRUARY 2015 AT 4PM.

Offline Applications
Please contact:The Admissions Office, 1-2 Downside Road, Bristol BS8 2XF.

Tel: 0117 973 3535.
Email: .

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This is a unique professional course that has been designed specifically for those who already are or wish to become professional theatre directors. Read more
This is a unique professional course that has been designed specifically for those who already are or wish to become professional theatre directors. MFA Theatre Directing is open to students from around the world. East 15 runs some modules overseas, mostly recently in Moscow, Thailand and Bali, involving specialist practical study in another cultural environment. Teaching is by a wide range of leading experienced directors and professional practitioners from the UK and overseas.

Why we're great

-East 15 is a fully accredited Drama UK school and scores highest in the country for student satisfaction.
-We give our actors and directors the chance to work together on collaborative projects.
-Use state-of-the-art filmmaking and editing resources, and our extensive studio and performance spaces.

Example structure

-Contemporary British Drama (optional)
-Brecht and His Influences (optional)
-The Techniques of Adaptation (optional)
-Collaboration with Designers (optional)
-Attachment (Assistant Director) (optional)
-Directing in Drama Schools/Universities (optional)
-The Artistic Director (optional)
-Independent Directing Project (optional)
-Theatre of the East (Field Study Option) (optional)
-Shakespeare (optional)
-Music Theatre (optional)
-Stanislavskian Acting Methodology (optional)
-Meyerhold & Biomechanics (optional)
-MA Theatre Directing Written Dissertation (optional)
-MA Dissertation By Director's Production Workbook (optional)
-MFA Theatre Directing Written Dissertation (optional)
-MFA Dissertation By Director's Production Workbook (optional)
-MFA Theatre Directing Dissertation By Practical Project (optional)

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This is a unique professional course that has been designed specifically for those who already are or wish to become professional theatre directors. Read more
This is a unique professional course that has been designed specifically for those who already are or wish to become professional theatre directors. MA Theatre Directing is open to students from around the world. East 15 runs some modules overseas, mostly recently in Moscow, Thailand and Bali, involving specialist practical study in another cultural environment. Teaching is by a wide range of leading experienced directors and professional practitioners from the UK and overseas.

Why we're great

-East 15 is a fully accredited Drama UK school and scores highest in the country for student satisfaction.
-We give our actors and directors the chance to work together on collaborative projects.
-Use state-of-the-art filmmaking and editing resources, and our extensive studio and performance spaces.

Example structure

-MA Theatre Directing Written Dissertation (optional)
-MA Dissertation By Director's Production Workbook (optional)
-Contemporary British Drama (optional)
-Brecht and His Influences (optional)
-The Techniques of Adaptation (optional)
-Collaboration with Designers (optional)
-Attachment (Assistant Director) (optional)
-Directing in Drama Schools/Universities (optional)
-The Artistic Director (optional)
-Independent Directing Project (optional)
-Theatre of the East (Field Study Option) (optional)
-Shakespeare (optional)
-Music Theatre (optional)
-Stanislavskian Acting Methodology (optional)
-Meyerhold & Biomechanics (optional)
-MFA Theatre Directing Written Dissertation (optional)
-MFA Dissertation By Director's Production Workbook (optional)
-MFA Theatre Directing Dissertation By Practical Project (optional)

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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. . Read more

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. 

Why study London Theatre?

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. 

Why St Mary's?

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.

Drama St Mary's also offers Master's degrees in Theatre Directing (in collaboration with the Orange Tree Theatre) and Playwriting.

Requirements, fees and funding

Please check our website for more information about entry requirements, tuition fees and student funding.

Career opportunities

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



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The Master in Fine Art Theatre Directing programme is the first entirely practiced-based Masters programme of its kind in Ireland. Read more
The Master in Fine Art Theatre Directing programme is the first entirely practiced-based Masters programme of its kind in Ireland. It was introduced following extensive consultation with the Irish theatre community and is a direct response to the stated needs of the industry and of talented emerging artists. This innovative course is taught in the newly established The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College which is the professional training institution of the School of Drama Film and Music.

Course Details

Full-time and part-time students will take three concurrent modules in the first two terms. The final module (Module 5) will be taught in the third term and subsequent summer months (for full-time students) or in the second year of the course (for part-time students) and will culminate with a professional production staged in one of The Lir's performance studios. Term Three will be supplemented by an ongoing series of master classes from professional directors and theatre makers. Students on the Master in Fine Art Theatre Directing will take three compulsory modules and choose one of two elective modules. Compulsory modules are Contemporary Theatre Practice, Directing Workshop, Theatre Production. Elective modules are Dramaturgy for Theatre Directing and Theatre Skills.

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The MA Theatre Directing programme is a practice-based course for those wishing to become professional theatre directors and equip themselves with the skills needed as a creative producer and independent researcher. Read more
The MA Theatre Directing programme is a practice-based course for those wishing to become professional theatre directors and equip themselves with the skills needed as a creative producer and independent researcher. The programme runs in the evenings to allow access for those with family and work commitments. The programme works with each student to give them a strong practical understanding of a range of directing methodologies and develop their unique directorial voice and vision.

Key Facts:

Professional-level performance facilities
Taught by experienced theatre professionals and academics
Range of professional theatre networks

Why Choose Us?

The MA Theatre Directing programme is taught by academics with professional theatre experience in first-class rehearsal facilities with performances in a professional arts venue. The programme works with each individual director to develop their unique theatrical voice and equips them with the skills, both academic and practical, with which to realise their directorial vision.

Students will study at University Square Stratford (USS), our brand new campus in the heart of Stratford and benefit from facilities including:

State of the art performing arts spaces, with over £750,000 of brand new specialist equipment
3 performance studios, kitted out with advanced lighting rigs and AV equipment
72 person capacity Harvard lecture Theatre with live lecture capture technology
The Weston Learning Centre, a multi media space open 24/7 in term time, where students can study, engage in group work and take advantage of the learning facilities USS has to offer

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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. Read more

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.

COURSE STRUCTURE

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.

MODULES

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.

TEACHING METHODS

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.

ASSESSMENT

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/

OPPORTUNITIES

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/



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This Master's degree offers a professionally recognised training for theatre directors. It is the result of a unique collaboration between Birkbeck and the National Council for Drama Training, Arts Council England, Equity and the Theatrical Management Association. Read more
This Master's degree offers a professionally recognised training for theatre directors. It is the result of a unique collaboration between Birkbeck and the National Council for Drama Training, Arts Council England, Equity and the Theatrical Management Association. The programme has been planned in close co-operation with a wide range of distinguished theatre practitioners.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
The programme is practice-centred and predominantly practice-based.
Direct input of professional theatre practitioners: Mike Leigh, Vicki Mortimer, Simon Stephens and Sam West have been recent contributors.
Includes a 6-month secondment with a theatre company, providing the opportunity to direct and work with professional actors.
Extended mentoring relationships between students and professional directors.
An opportunity for the student to establish a relationship with a professional drama school offering a course or courses accredited by NCDT.
Regular observation of the course by a highly experienced group of professional directors under the umbrella of NCDT.
Participation in the teaching of the course by a substantial number of experienced theatre practitioners.
We have a range of world-class research resources.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.5, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing.

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The MA in Theatre Making at Kent offers an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of practices, traditions and professional contexts of theatre making. Read more
The MA in Theatre Making at Kent offers an opportunity to develop an advanced knowledge of practices, traditions and professional contexts of theatre making. Students have the opportunity to advance their skills in their chosen area of directing, devising, playwriting, dramaturgy, or applied theatre.

This MA is intended for graduates from theatre and performing arts degrees and other subjects as well as emerging theatre artists who want to further pursue their experimentation with a range of advanced theatre-making practices.

During the Autumn Term, you initially work in a varied range of artistic approaches, while also getting an insight into key key critical discourses as well as into practical theatre production concerns. You then work collaboratively as a theatre ensemble during the Spring Term, focusing on your chosen area while realising a range of projects. Throughout the year, the research-led teaching by Kent’s world-leading specialists is complemented by a sustained engagement with professional theatre-makers in workshops and guest sessions. We also work closely with the Canterbury theatres (Marlowe and Gulbenkian), who have mentored and supported many previous graduates to further develop their artistic work.

In this course, you learn how to make and think about theatre in a way that challenges conventional assumptions and boundaries. We also prepare you for the world of work by giving you opportunities to network with professionals and practise how to raise funding and market your portfolio. Over the course of the year, you will be taught by academics who are international experts in their fields.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Modules may include:
DR903 Theatre and Audiences (Term 1)
DR867 Performance Practices (Term 1)
DR832 Ensemble Work (Term 2)
DR899 Professional Study (Term 2)
DR995 (Year long) Dissertation of 12,500 words (Option to choose a practice-as-research route, with a 7,500-word written component)

Teaching and Assessment

Assessment consists of 100% coursework, including essays, performances, funding budgets, reviews, written reflections on own practice, analysis of professional practice, presentations, reports, placements, practice-as-research portfolios.

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The MA in Theatre Directing is a one-year course on which students learn through practice in three main areas. Read more
The MA in Theatre Directing is a one-year course on which students learn through practice in three main areas: working as a director of historical and poetic texts with undergraduate drama students, guided by our professional directors; working with new stage writing as taught by major contemporary playwrights and in collaboration with MA students in scriptwriting; creating a philosophical and critical language to identify the common elements and skills required by the theatrical art, in relation to the genres of painting, literature, architecture and music.

The longest established such MA in the country, it was founded in 1993 in response to the Gulbenkian Report on Director Training of 1989, by Tony Gash, who has taught at RADA as well as UEA. He continues as its director, teaching alongside James Robert Carson, Opera and Theatre Director, Steve Waters and Timberlake Wertenbaker, playwrights, and Mike Bernardin, an experienced actor trainer.

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Why Surrey?. 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

Why Surrey?

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 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.

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.

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.

Pathways

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.

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:
  1. Directing
  2. Movement Direction and Choreography
  3. Musical Theatre Creation
  • 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

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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Admitting one or two students per year, Drama offers individualized instruction and mentoring, leading to a fully-mounted thesis production in the second year of study. Read more
Admitting one or two students per year, Drama offers individualized instruction and mentoring, leading to a fully-mounted thesis production in the second year of study. Directing students have many opportunities to direct plays; projects are assigned in connection with course work in the first year, and a full-length play will be mounted with technical and design support at the end of the first year. In addition to the formal expectations, graduate directing students are usually successful at making contacts in the local networks.

The directing program stresses the acquisition of skills necessary to work in a professional manner in academic and professional theatre situations, and carries a heavy emphasis on theatre practice as the core of its various areas of study. The program stresses the interpretation of text and the process that brings text to production. The directorial process is as much a focus of review and critique as is the final product. Students in the program are expected to be able to deal with theoretical issues of textual and performance criticism, and to develop a skill in written expression commensurate with the expectations of an advanced University degree.

Prospective Students

Drama’s 10 permanent faculty members have a diversity of research interests and practices, maintaining profiles in both the professional and scholarly theatre communities. MFA students can select to study in one of four specializations: Directing, Design/Technical, Theatre Studies and Playwriting. Each program offers a great deal of flexibility, exciting opportunities and contact with faculty members. Drama maintains a full production schedule through the skilled technical and teaching contributions of 5 full-time professional staff. Facilities include 3 theatre spaces, full costume, properties and scene shops and the Integrated Arts Media Lab. All MFA students have office space in the School and access to computer facilities.

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Central has a long-standing and well-recognised place for the dissemination of our actor movement disciplines within the British theatre scene. Read more
[[ABOUT MA Movement: Directing and Teaching ]]
Central has a long-standing and well-recognised place for the dissemination of our actor movement disciplines within the British theatre scene. This pioneering course is the first of its kind in Europe and is aimed at performance and movement practitioners interested in movement teaching and movement directing of the actor.

Students may be actors or dancers who want to diversify their skills and knowledge, people who work with actors (a dance or Movement teacher, or a theatre director with a movement history), or practitioners (from an allied field of sport/holistic practice), who want to enhance their understanding of various practical/theoretical interfaces regarding movement in contemporary performance.

The course offers specialist, vocational teaching in the field of movement for actors, production practice for movement directors and bespoke movement placements at Central and in other professional theatre settings, such as other conservatoires or theatre, opera, or film organisations (both in Britain and internationally).

Students are given the opportunity to develop their own practice as movement specialists according to their interests in this emergent and innovative field, and will undertake potentially ground-breaking research into movement. They will be taught by
tutors who are current professional practitioners in their field of movement pedagogy, movement direction and movement research.

ASSESSMENT

This is through a range of methods, including work on practical projects, written assignments and teaching practice placements. In the last term students work independently to complete their specialist enquiry, arising from work undertaken during the course.

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