• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2017
  • Course length1 year

MA Acting - Drama Centre London

MA Acting is an intensive 45 week conservatoire actor training course. Eight weeks of the course are spent studying in Moscow. Skills classes in voice, movement, neutral mask, ballet, period dance, speech and acting underpin a programme embracing the Greeks to contemporary drama, with particular emphasis on Shakespeare and Chekhov.

This course is part of the: Drama & Performance Programme

Great reasons to apply

  • You’ll spend 8 weeks at the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute, known as the Vakhtangov Institute, in Moscow - one of the foremost conservatoire drama schools in Russia
  • You’ll benefit from the Drama Centre's distinctive approach, exploring the Stanislavsky system, German Expressionism and the legacy of Rudolph Laban, and improvisation
  • You’ll engage in active research into the social background of the dramatic text and political awareness will be at the forefront of your work, with emphasis on applying these techniques to the recorded media as well as the stage
  • You’ll participate in physically and emotionally demanding and intensive programme of classes covering voice, movement, ballet, speech, period dance, neutral mask, acting technique and rehearsal
  • An impressive list of famous performers and a number of world-famous directors have emerged from courses at the Drama Centre London including Paul Bettany, Pierce Brosnan, Simon Callow, Colin Firth, Tara Fitzgerald, Anastasia Hille, Geraldine James and many more.

MA Acting collaborative live project

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.

MA Acting is primarily a stage acting course which focuses on the techniques developed to address the demands posed by the great European classics. The course is a rewarding route to the general training of actors, offering a solid grounding in acting technique, rooted in the long-established traditions of England and Russia, which are widely considered to be the foremost exponents of the art of the actor.

Throughout, the postgraduate course emphasises theatrical approaches, in particular those relating to narrative structures, movement expression and the conveyance of complex texts by means of a rich, well-trained voice. Questions of text and subtext are explored in detail.

MA Acting approaches performance in ways specifically addressing the needs of the Jacobean stage: focusing on vocal accuracy with speed, expressivity on a large scale, engagement with the audience. In addition, the postgraduate course encourages you to develop skills required by the realist style: multi-layered characterisation, recognising the subtle rapport between text and subtext, being ‘private in public’.

MA Acting reflects the general ethos of the Drama Centre London. The Centre's distinctive approach includes:

  • The Stanislavsky System
    The most famous and detailed of all acting systems and the point of departure for most subsequent developments. Training at Drama Centre London reflects both the Russian and the American methodologies. The teaching therefore ensures a balance between the requirements of the stage on the one hand and of film and television on the other
  • German Expressionism and the legacy of Rudolph Laban
    The Drama Centre London was created around the work of Dr Yat Malmgren, one of the great solo artists of European modern dance and the creator of the Laban-Malmgren System of Character Analysis. His unique contribution developed the theoretical work on the psychology of movement initiated by Rudolph Laban, the visionary innovator in the field of choreography and movement theory
  • Improvisation
    Following in the footsteps of great originals such as Joan Littlewood and Mike Leigh, Drama Centre London adopts an eclectic approach that fuses the contributions of the modern masters: Vakhtangov, Brecht and Grotowsky, placing at the heart of its work the exploration of character, story and dramatic relationships through improvisation. This approach also involves actors, directors and writers in active research into the social background of the dramatic text and places political awareness at the forefront of their work. Drama Centre London lays great emphasis on applying these techniques to the recorded media (film, radio, television) as much as to the stage.

Course outline

MA Acting is structured in two units over 45 weeks:

  • Unit One (weeks 1-15) "Skills and techniques of acting"
  • Unit Two (weeks 16-45) "The practice of acting"
  • Eight weeks are spent at the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute, known as the Vakhtangov Institute, in Moscow - one of the foremost conservatoire drama schools in Russia.

A typical week for MA Acting students will be:

  • Three hours voice
  • Three hours movement
  • 1.5 hours ballet
  • 1.5 hours speech
  • 1.5 hours period dance
  • Three hours neutral mask
  • Seven hours acting technique
  • 12 hours rehearsal.

This intensive pattern, with skills classes underpinning rehearsals, carries on for all 45 weeks of the postgraduate course. All of the above classes and rehearsals are "taught time". Contact hours on MA Acting are high, with additional time spent preparing either by yourself or with fellow students. It is an intensive postgraduate course, physically and emotionally demanding.

MA Acting Programme Specification 2018/19 (PDF, 59KB)

Facilities

Staff

Course Leader: Georgina Sowerby
Associate Lecturer, Acting and Improvisation, Group Tutor: Oleg Mirochnikov
Associate Lecturer, Acting for Camera: Bill Britten
Associate Lecturer, Acting: Annie Tyson
Associate Lecturer, Acting: John Beschizza
Associate Lecturer, Ballet: Glen Snowden
Associate Lecturer, Character Analysis: Tim Robins
Associate Lecturer, Critical Analysis: Mary Ann Vargas
Associate Lecturer, Movement: Liana Nyquis
Associate Lecturer, Music: John White
Associate Lecturer, Neutral Mask: Shona Morris
Associate Lecturer, Practical Voice: Alex Bingley
Associate Lecturer, Professional Preparation: Anne Henderson
Associate Lecturer, Radio: David Angus
Associate Lecturer, Speech and Dialect: Helen Ashton
Associate Lecturer, Stage Combat: Tim Klotz

How to apply

2018/19 entry

You can apply to this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the Entry Requirements section further down this page to learn about the application process which includes detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.

When to apply

We recommend you apply by the end of May at the very latest to avoid disappointment. Your application will only be considered after you have successfully completed an online application, submitted required documents.

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available. 

Required information for all postgraduate courses

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form: 

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history;

Personal statement

Please write about 300-500 words explaining your reasons for applying to your chosen course (provide details of your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities, what you wish to achieve on the course, and your career aspirations). 

Please note: If you do not complete required information or upload the documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review. 

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

Apply to MA Acting

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

You will be contacted by UAL to book and pay for an audition online. The non-refundable audition fee is £50.00.

Auditions normally take place between January and May. Drama Centre London seeks to audition and interview all applicants. We recommend you choose an early audition date. For more details about our audition procedure visit the auditions and interviews page

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case) and your account on the UAL Applicant Portal. These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Stage 1

You will present two speeches to a panel, normally composed of Drama Centre staff and a professional representative. One speech should be by Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries and the other written later than 1830 onward. You may be asked to explain briefly the context of your material.

You may replace one or both speeches with duologue scenes from the same period(s); in which case you need to bring a partner with whom to present the scene(s). All candidates are interviewed, with particular attention being given to the pieces chosen, their context and meaning. You may also be asked to improvise or attempt simple exercises.

Stage 2

If you're selected after the first stage, the panel will ask you to repeat one or more or your speeches in a workshop that will include the other candidates invited to stage two. The panel are likely to redirect your speech and may ask you to work with a partner, either another candidate or a student already at the school.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Deferred entry

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

2018/19 entry

You can apply to this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the Entry Requirements section further down this page to learn about the application process which includes detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.

When to apply

We recommend you apply by the end of May at the very latest to avoid disappointment. Your application will only be considered after you have successfully completed an online application, submitted required documents.

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

Required information for all postgraduate courses

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history; 

Personal Statement

Please write about 300-500 words explaining your reasons for applying to your chosen course (provide details of your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities, what you wish to achieve on the course, and your career aspirations). 

Please note: If you do not complete required information or upload the documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.  

Apply to MA Acting

Alternatively, international applicants can apply through an overseas representative in your country.

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.

Immigration History Check (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application and audition.

What happens next

You will be contacted by UAL to book and pay for an audition online. The non-refundable audition fee is £50.00.

Auditions normally take place between January and May. Drama Centre London seeks to audition and interview all applicants. We recommend you choose an early audition date. For more details about our audition procedure visit the auditions and interviews page.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case) and your account on the UAL Applicant Portal. These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Stage 1

You will present two speeches to a panel, normally composed of Drama Centre staff and a professional representative. One speech should be by Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries and the other written later than 1830 onward. You may be asked to explain briefly the context of your material.

You may replace one or both speeches with duologue scenes from the same period(s); in which case you need to bring a partner with whom to present the scene(s). All candidates are interviewed, with particular attention being given to the pieces chosen, their context and meaning. You may also be asked to improvise or attempt simple exercises. 

Stage 2

If you're selected after the first stage, the panel will ask you to repeat one or more or your speeches in a workshop that will include the other candidates invited to stage two. The panel are likely to redirect your speech and may ask you to work with a partner, either another candidate or a student already at the school.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Deferred entry

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

Entry requirements

An applicant will be considered for admission who has already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours Degree.

This educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • An Honours Degree or an equivalent academic qualification;
  • A professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours Degree;

Applicants who do not meet the standard course entry requirements may still be considered if the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by:

  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning that, taken together, can be shown to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

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 Academic 7.0 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

Successful candidates for MA Acting will be expected to bring to the course a level of understanding of drama in its various contexts as well as an ability to work autonomously for sustained periods with the appropriate concentration, focus and resilience. As the course places strong emphasis on collaboration and the ability to work within an ensemble, successful candidates would be expected to demonstrate openness, flexibility and generosity within the context of a creative group. The vocational nature of the course implies a certain degree of proficiency at entry.

Selection criteria

Entry to MA Acting 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.

  • We select applicants who demonstrate: 
  • High level of intellectual engagement; 
  • High physical awareness and adaptability; 
  • High vocal awareness and adaptability; 
  • Highly developed characterization; 
  • High interactive awareness and adaptability; 
  • Confidence and flexible collaboration;
  • An interest in theatre.

 

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£16,800 (2018/19) plus residential fee: £2,200. 

£1,000 discount for Home/EU students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. Please note that instalments apply to tuition fees only; the residential fee must be paid in full before enrolment.

ELQ

Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the 'ELQ' fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. If you have a query regarding the ELQ fee, please use our course enquiry form

International fee

£21,840 (2018/19) plus residential fee: £2,200.

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.

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Careers and alumni

An impressive list of famous performers and a number of world-famous directors have emerged from courses at the Drama Centre London.

Alumni include Paul Bettany, Pierce Brosnan, Simon Callow, Frances de la Tour, Paola Dionisotti, Colin Firth, Tara Fitzgerald, Anastasia Hille, Geraldine James, Helen McCrory, Jack Shepherd, John Simm, Colin Tierney, Lambert Wilson, Penelope Wilton and many more.

Adrian Noble (for ten years Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company), film writer and director David Leland, novelist Esther Freud, and television director Jan Sargent are among our graduates.

 

Alumni profiles

  • Mikhail Sen

    Mikhail is currently playing the lead in 'Taj Express' which has a three week run in London at The Peacock Theatre.

  • Adelaide Obeng

    Adelaide is currently filming for Casualty on the BBC

  • Ana Marija Spasojevic

    Ana has done voice over work for Barclays, Credit Suisse and Compass DBS awareness.