• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length4 years full time
  • UCAS codeW420

MA Directing

MA Directing is a four year integrated Masters course which equips you with the artistic and technical skills suitable for work or for further training in theatre, film, television and radio. Working closely with BA Acting, the course gives you a deep understanding of the acting process and a common language with performers.

This course is part of the Drama & Performance Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • You will benefit from conservatoire training in directing informed, primarily by Drama Centre’s distinctive approach to the Stanislavsky system, but including other influential methodologies
  • You will engage in a range of collaborations with acting, writing and design students across the Drama and Performance Programme
  • You will work both collaboratively and independently. Working alongside actors as part of an ensemble you will learn the importance of your creative contribution to the collective endeavour
  • MA Directing is taught and mentored by highly experienced tutors who have strong and active links to the professions enabling you to benefit from their expertise and provide you with high quality professional placements during your studies
  • An impressive number of graduates are working in the theatre and film industries, both in Britain and internationally. 

Course detail

All applicants considered for September 2017 entry will be applying for the newly revalidated version of the course.  Further detailed information will be published as it becomes available however the focus of the course remains the same.

Highly vocational and intensive, MA Directing at Drama Centre London prepares you for direct entry to the directing profession while laying the foundations for a successful career in directing across different media.

Distinctive features of this Integrated Masters course include:

  • Intensive career focus as a professional director
  • Close links with the acting course at the Drama Centre London and collaboration with student designers, filmmakers and others from within Central Saint Martins and the University of the Arts London
  • Strong contacts with the profession, including regular visits by distinguished practitioners either as lecturers, visiting professors or directors
  • Extensive placements with theatre, film and television companies
  • A methodological approach based on the work and achievements of leading artists and teachers from 20th century European and other international traditions
  • A balanced approach to repertoire, covering the classics and contemporary theatre and with a strong emphasis on the screen
  • Options for specialising in directing for either theatre or the recorded media based on a common foundation in acting
  • An option to graduate with a BA Honours degree after three years.

MA Directing runs for 144 weeks full time over four years, and is divided into four Levels, (or Stages) each lasting 36 weeks (30 weeks of study and 6 of production/performance in the first three years). The whole course is credit-rated at 480 credits, with 120 credits at each Level (Stage).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for an Integrated Masters are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2), Level 6 (Stage 3) and Level 7 (Stage 4).

There is a progression point at the end of each Level and in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally be passed.

The awards of Cert HE following successful completion of Year 1 and DipHE at Year 2 are normally offered if a student is unable to continue on the course. Students will be able to exit with an award of BA (Honours) following successful completion of Year 3 if unable to continue on the course. However, it is expected that students will continue through to the final Masters award.

To gain a BA (Honours) the student must successfully complete 360 credits, including 60 Level 6 credits and 60 Level 7 credits. The final award is comprised of the weighted marks from Level 6 and Level 7 credits achieved during the third year of the course.

To gain an MA the student must successfully complete an additional 120 credits. The final award is comprised of marks from Level 7 units only, weighted according to their credits.

Course outline

The course is structured as an organic process of development over four years. Each stage of the course is an essential part of this process and is a necessary preparation for each subsequent stage. All elements are therefore compulsory.

You will be required to study the core disciplines of acting, directing and rehearsal techniques to develop your own approach to directing. Many of the activities in these disciplines are concerned with ‘finding your voice as a director’. In practical exercises, in theoretical seminars, in workshops and rehearsals, you are engaged in a constant dialogue between your personal view of the creative process and inherited tradition. At first, the weight of tradition may seem burdensome - you will gradually learn to appreciate its lessons whilst striving to maintain your originality against its backdrop. 

It will be helpful to think of the Course as having a spiral structure. At the start of Stage One you begin to work through a series of relatively straightforward exercises and tasks. As the Course progresses you will find yourself regularly revisiting and returning to these; but each time you return you will be encouraged to reach progressively deeper levels of the work, which will challenge you more and more and make still greater demands on you. In this way your learning experience within the Course accumulates, gradually and steadily. You will also become increasingly able to critically and creatively reflect upon what you are doing and why you are doing it. This will enable you to analyse your work and what you are learning in more depth, so that you can confront and challenge it.

Programme specification: MA Directing (PDF 120kb)

Facilities

  • Costume

    Find out more about our costume studio and costume resource space.

  • Digital Media

    Find out about our digital media facility at King's Cross

  • Post-production

    Find out more about our post-production workshop

Staff

Course Leader: Anthony Clark
Associate Lecturer, Radio Directing:David Angus
Associate Lecturer, Acting and Directing: Aoife Smythe
Associate Lecturer, Text and Voice: Alex Bingley
Associate Lecturer, Acting and Directing for Camera: Bill Britten
Associate Lecturer, Contextual Studies: Nigel Gearing
Associate Lecturer, Acting/Year Tutor: Oleg Mirochnikov
Associate Lecturer, Movement: Liana Nyquist
Associate Lecturer, Character Analysis: Tim Robins
Associate Lecturer, Film Production: Virginia Roncoroni
Associate Lecturer, Film Direction and Production: Michael Bray
Associate Lecturer, Ballet: Glen Snowden
Associate Lecturer, Visual Awareness: Dylan Stone
Associate Lecturer, Acting and Directing: Annie Tyson
Associate Lecturer, Sound Creation: John White
Associate Lecturer, Voice: Emma Woodvine
  
Visiting Professional: Piers Haggard 
Visiting Professional: Philip Hedley 
Visiting Professional: Tim Klotz
Visiting Professional: Julie Lambden
Visiting Professional: Adrian Noble
Visiting Professional: Ben Ormerod
Visiting Professional: David Parfitt 
Visiting Professional: Sue Parrish 
Visiting Professional: Aoife Smyth 
Visiting Professional: Barbara Stone 
Visiting Professional: Agnes Treplin 
Visiting Professional: Matthew Warchus

 

How to apply

When to apply

The deadline for all applications (Home, EU and International) is the 15 January 2018.

Please note that not all courses are able to consider late applications. Applicants may only change their course choice within 14 days of submitting an application. Any changes made to your application after 15 January 2018 will result in the application being marked as late.

Applying and how your application is considered

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your online application form. Central Saint Martins (CSM) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W420
  • There is no 'campus code' for CSM.
  • This course does not accept Year 2 and 3 Entry.

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal.  Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Your application including your personal statement and reference will be assessed and then if you are successful you will be invited to an interview.  Interviews usually take place between February and March.

Stage 1 (Interview)

The interview lasts approximately 20 minutes and will include aspects of a specific play.  You should bring with you to interview a copy of your CV.

If you are successful you will be invited to the Recall stage.  Do note the recall will take place on a different day.

Stage 2 (Recall)

If you are recalled, you will be given a short scene from a second play as a directing exercise. After a short period of private preparation, you will work for 15 minutes with two acting students, who will be familiar with the scene. The panel will observe you while you direct the students. They will not expect a finished piece of theatre.

This will be followed by a further interview, including what you hope to achieve by undertaking this course of study, and a detailed discussion on a piece of theatre and a film you have seen in the last month.

In assessing your suitability for MA Directing, the admissions panels will give equal weight to your interview and your directing workshop taking into account the following criteria:

  • Imagination – visual sense; sensuous engagement with the material; analytical ability.
  • Story telling – visual means; textual stresses; placement ('blocking'); build-up and resolution of tension.
  • Spirit of enquiry – intellectual alertness; knowledge and experience of theatre/film; awareness of the demands of the professional.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through UCAS track and the UAL Applicant Portal. 

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry. 

When to apply

The UCAS deadline for all Undergraduate applications for both Home/EU and International is the 15 January 2018.

Please note that not all courses are able to consider late applications. Applicants may only change their course choice within 14 days of submitting an application. Any changes made to your application after 15 January 2018 will result in the application being marked as late.

Please note that some courses will continue accepting late applications after the above deadline, subject to spaces available on the course. We recommend you apply by the end of March at the very latest to avoid disappointment.

Applying and how your application is considered

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at CSM:

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your online application form. Central Saint Martins (CSM) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W420
  • There is no 'campus code' for CSM.
  • This course does not accept Year 2 and 3 Entry.

 

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Immigration History Check (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check.

Please note: If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

What happens next

Your application including your personal statement and reference will be assessed and then if you are successful you will be invited to an interview.  If you are based overseas we can conduct the first interview via skype.  Interviews usually take place between February and March.

Stage 1 (Interview)

The interview lasts approximately 20 minutes and will include aspects of a specific play.  You should bring with you to interview a copy of your CV.

If you are successful you will be invited to the Recall stage.  Do note the recall will take place on a different day.

Stage 2 (Recall)

If you are recalled, you will be given a short scene from a second play as a directing exercise. After a short period of private preparation, you will work for 15 minutes with two acting students, who will be familiar with the scene. The panel will observe you while you direct the students. They will not expect a finished piece of theatre. 

This will be followed by a further interview, including what you hope to achieve by undertaking this course of study, and a detailed discussion on a piece of theatre and a film you have seen in the last month.

In assessing your suitability for MA Directing, the admissions panels will give equal weight to your interview and your directing workshop taking into account the following criteria:

  • Imagination – visual sense; sensuous engagement with the material; analytical ability.
  • Story telling – visual means; textual stresses; placement ('blocking'); build-up and resolution of tension.
  • Spirit of enquiry – intellectual alertness; knowledge and experience of theatre/film; awareness of the demands of the professional.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through UCAS track and the UAL Applicant Portal.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

Study Abroad applicants

International undergraduate students may apply to join a BA course for a period of up to three terms as a study abroad student.

Please visit the UAL Study Abroad for details of how to apply to one of our courses or contact the UAL Study Abroad Team central offices for more information:

T: +44 (0)20 7514 2249
E: studyabroad@arts.ac.uk
W: UAL Study Abroad

Entry requirements

Entry to MA Directing is highly competitive. Selection to the course is determined by the quality of the application: this is indicated primarily in the quality of your interview and practical work.

Minimum entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved, or be expected to achieve, the course entry requirements details below: 

  • A Foundation Diploma in Performance (level 3 or 4)
  • A pass in 1 GCE A Level
  • 3 Passes at GCSE (grade C or above)

OR

  • Passes in 2 GCE A Levels
  • 3 Passes at GCSE (grade C or above)

OR

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma pass achieved at 28 points or above 
  • An equivalent high school qualification from an EU or non-EU institution

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is:

IELTS 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four skills (in one single paper).

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. 

What we look for

The course is open equally to recent school leavers (who may have spent a year or more working, preferably in a theatre/media context) and to mature entrants with life and work experience, preferably in a performance-related context. The course welcomes applications from mature candidates as well as those from ethnic and social groups currently under-represented in Higher Education in general and the directing profession in particular.

We are looking for potential student directors who are committed, imaginative, curious and resilient, with respect for actors and a passion for directing, and a serious approach to the art of directing in the classical tradition and for the screen. We are looking for people who are not afraid to take creative risks, who respond to stimuli and who are excited by the idea of being in an ensemble, working generously and openly with others.

Selection criteria

In assessing your suitability for MA Directing the admissions panels will give equal weight to your interview and your directing workshop taking into account the following criteria:

  • Expressivity and the ability to communicate articulately
  • Creative engagement with actors and the group;
  • Ability to understand and analyse dramatic texts;
  • Imagination –visual sense; sensuous engagement with the material;
  • Story telling – understanding of narrative devises, character, visual means of expression, textual stresses, build up and resolution of tension;
  • Spirit of enquiry – artistic and cultural curiosity and engagement; knowledge of the world of theatre and screen;
  • Balance between emotional and intellectual engagement;
  • Knowledge of theatre and/or screen;
  • Knowledge and experience of the demands and realities of the profession.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250 (2018/19). TBC

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

MA Directing focuses on directing for both the theatre and recorded media (film, television and radio). It provides an in-depth study of the art of the actor so that future directors will have an organic understanding of the acting process and a common language with performers. Initially the directing course is integrated with MA Acting at Drama Centre London, but subsequently students focus more specifically on subjects related to directing.

MA Directing offers you developing opportunities to work with actors:

  • in the first place, by acting alongside them and observing actors at work
  • at more advanced stages, through undertaking increasingly complex assistant director functions
  • finally, by directing fellow students in a number of projects.

You'll also have the opportunity to collaborate with designers, musical directors and choreographers, fight directors, editors and sound engineers. In the latter stages of the course you have two opportunities for placements with a variety of theatre and television companies in London and beyond, during which you may observe not only artistic work, but also aspects of technical production, management, publicity, marketing and outreach.

In recent years placement opportunities (on BA Directing) were offered, amongst others, by:

  • The Maly Theatre, St. Petersburg
  • Jim Neason at the Irondale Theatre Company, New York
  • Colin Chambers and the Royal Shakespeare Company on Tynan
  • Declan Donnellan at the Royal National Theatre, the RSC and for Cheek by Jowl
  • Peter Gill on The Voysey Inheritance at the Royal National Theatre
  • Joanna Hogg on the film Unrelated in Italy
  • Miklos Jancso on the film Dear Julia in Hungary
  • Nancy Meckler and Polly Teale at Shared Experience
  • Theatre Royal, Stratford East
  • Di Trevis at Watford Theatre and for Quantum Theatre Company in Pittsburgh
  • Betty TV
  • Arcola Theatre, London
  • Soho Theatre
  • The Orange Tree Theatre
  • Finborough Theatre
  • Ivo Van Hove
  • Katie Mitchell

Future careers

MA Directing aims to deepen your awareness of the profession in all its aspects, including the risks and uncertainties associated with the directing life. In addition to your education and training as an director, we offer education and training for life and work through our personal and professional development programmes.

Many ex-students of Drama Centre London have become successful actors and directors, or have become professionally involved in the wider creative worlds of theatre and the recorded media.

Graduates of the Directing Course at Drama Centre London include artistic Directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatres of Greece, Iran, Israel and Portugal, as well as distinguished freelance directors in theatre, film and television. More recently, graduates of the BA Directing course went on to work for leading companies soon after graduation, including:

  • The Arcola Theatre, London and the Trafalgar Studios (West End)
  • The National Theatre Studio
  • The Burgtheater, Vienna
  • Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company
  • The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company