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MA Acting

Course Description

This Guildford School of Acting (GSA) programme places a very strong emphasis on practical actor training, delivered via a series of project workshops and rehearsals supported by extensive classes in relevant technical skills. GSA is part of the University of Surrey.


The MA Acting is specifically designed for those who already have an undergraduate degree or have worked professionally in the performance industry for a minimum of five years. We are looking for individuals who seek a career in the performing arts and who have the focus and dedication to enable swift progression in both the acquisition of new skills and the development of existing capabilities.

Previous students have included graduates in law, business, drama and engineering, as well as professional dancers, cabaret performers and models.

Programme overview

You will need to be able to expand your horizons through challenging your own limitations physically, emotionally and intellectually; to seek out the questions and pursue the answers that will further enhance your practical artistic development. You will need to be intelligent and expressive, inquisitive and courageous, in order to contribute to the furtherance of the theatrical enterprise with skill, commitment and focus.

By examining the processes of acting within a carefully selected and committed ensemble, we are able to offer a creative and stimulating learning environment in which you will be prepared for a successful career in the performing arts industry. Cohorts are kept small in order to ensure the maximum amount of personal attention and contact necessary for your development.

Programme Aims

- Ensure that you are adept in analytical, vocal and physical techniques that will help you present convincing characters and interpret complex text
- Develop your experience of a variety of performance media
- Impart skills and techniques that will improve your chances of professional employment

Throughout the programme you will be progressively introduced to the industry structures and business processes that will be necessary to you as independent practitioners. You are also encouraged to further research and reflect on your professional development plan in order to maximize the opportunity presented by the final showcase performance.


The course delivers intensive training in acting, physical and vocal techniques. These techniques are explored through class work and rehearsal projects that will include examples of both contemporary and classical texts. Stanislavski-based scene study techniques and Lecoq-based physical theatre workshops combine with classes in Shakespeare’s verse and text, voice, movement and dance and professional preparation seminars. There are also classes in camera and radio technique and related contextual studies, together with one-to-one tutorials and group and individual feedback sessions that ensure a rigorous critical awareness of process and progress.

Towards the end of the course the technique classes reduce in order to focus on full-time rehearsals for a professionally staged production at a public venue together with a further contemporary project in either recorded media or live performance.

Finally, you will be occupied in writing your critical evaluation and producing your professional development plan before returning in September to perform a professional showcase of scenes that will be presented to casting directors and agents in Guildford and at a West End theatre. The course aims to develop highly creative, versatile and resilient actors who can confidently approach a wide variety of texts, genres and performance media and who are able to both reflect upon and critically evaluate their own practice.


Accredited by Drama UK - https://www.dramauk.co.uk/


Our Admissions Policy (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/policies/postgraduate-admissions-policy) provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/applicants

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

(Student Profile)

Marina Waters

"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."

(Student Profile)

Rebecca Yeo

"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."


TECHNE (AHRC) Studentships - No. of awards TBC

As a member of the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Surrey students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships (stipend and fee waiver). TECHNE is a consortium of seven universities in London and the South East offering a rich and diverse training programme for doctoral students with a focus on interdisciplinarity and developing career potential both in and beyond higher education. Studentships are awarded by TECHNE to the best students put forward by its member universities. The TECHNE training programme is enhanced by input and placement opportunities provided by TECHNE’s 13 partner organisations (including the Barbican, Natural History Museum, Museum of London, BFI and Science Museum) in the cultural sector. Please visit TECHNE to find out more about the aims and opportunities of TECHNE.TECHNE – the Consortium is named in reference to the Greek term for craft – will create a new model for collaborative research skills training for PGR students across seven higher education institutions (Royal Holloway, Brighton University, Kingston University, Roehampton University, Royal College of Art, University of Surrey, University of the Arts London). TECHNE’s vision is to produce scholars who are highly motivated and prepared for academic, public or professional life. Students will benefit from a diversity of training opportunities and be able to draw on supervisory expertise from across the Consortium.It is not possible to apply directly to TECHNE for a studentship; applications for students wishing to be based at Surrey must be made via the University of Surrey. Your TECHNE application will therefore go through a two-stage process, being considered firstly by either the School of Arts or the School of English and Languages, to go forward to TECHNE and, if successful, secondly by a panel of subject specialists from TECHNE members.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Fee and Maintenance


Open to Home and EU candidates; please see guidance on residency requirements outlined in the RCUK’s Conditions of Research Council Training Grants
Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.
More Information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/ahrc/index.htm

Further Information



Faculty Studentship Competition - No. of awards TBC

Faculty Studentships are available in the following areasSchool of Arts:Cultural Production, Creative Practices, Dance, Digital Arts, Film, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music, Performance, Sound Recording, Theatre.School of English and Languages:English Literature, Creative Writing, Translation Studies, Modern Languages, Theoretic Linguistics (Morphology) and Applied Linguistics (Intercultural Communication).School of Social Sciences:Criminology and Criminal Justice; Developments in Methodology; Identities, Diversities, and the Life Course; Media, Culture and Communication; Science, Environment and Technologies; European politics; International politics; Social politics and methodology

Value of Scholarship(s)



Under the FASS Studentship Scheme Home / EU and International Students are eligible to apply for 2016 entry. Successful International students will be awarded a fees at the Home / EU Rate and a stipend. Please note that full international fees are not covered: candidates should ensure that they are in a position to cover the outstanding costs.Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful.

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.More information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/faculty/index.htm

Further Information



Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Bachelors degree (minimum 2.1 or equivalent) in a relevant field, as well as previous engagement with drama, theatre and performance. Offers are made in terms of grades and a successful audition and interview.Applicants who can demonstrate exceptional talent, and can satisfy the panel of their ability to successfully complete the course, may also be considered.Further information can be found on the GSA website - View Website

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