MA Acting - Drama Centre London

Application for 2017/18 entry will open in January 2017.  Please check back when online applications will open for new applicants.  We look forward to receiving your application.

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 subject to revalidation in 2016/17. Whilst the focus of the course remains the same, some of the detailed content may be subject to change.

This course is part of the: Drama & Performance Programme

Scholarships, Awards and Funding available:

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International
Jane Rapley Scholarships

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Meet Course Leader Paul Goodwin and students

MA Acting collaborative live project 2012.

5 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.


Course Leader

Paul Goodwin

Course Location

King's Cross, London

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year
Home/EU Fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £15,810, 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.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £20,220, plus residential fee: £2,200.

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.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateMonday 5 September - Enrolment will take place Friday 2 September 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 5 September - Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesTuesday 3 January – Thursday 24 March 2017
Summer Term DatesSummer Term 1: Tuesday 18 April – Friday 21 April 2017 at Drama Centre London, Monday 24 April – Friday 16 June 2017 (8 weeks) at Vakhtangov Institute, Moscow | Summer Term 2: Monday 3 July – Friday 8 September 2017 at Drama Centre London
Application Route

Direct application

Content and structure

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.

MA Acting 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 sub-text, 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.


MA Acting is structured in 2 units over 45 weeks:

  • Unit 1 (weeks 1-15) "Skills and techniques of Acting"
  • Unit 2 (weeks 16-45) "The practice of Acting".
  • 8 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:

  • 3 hours Voice
  • 3 hours Movement
  • 1.5 hours Ballet
  • 1.5 hours Speech
  • 1.5 hours Period Dance
  • 3 hours Neutral Mask
  • 7 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.


Course Leader:Paul Goodwin

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


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.

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit the Student Jobs And Careers section.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements

MA Acting entry requirements are: an Honours degree in acting, drama, directing, theatre studies, dance, or a relevant art and design discipline; a level 3 Diploma from a recognised professional drama or dance school (e.g. a member of Drama UK or The Council for Dance Education and Training); an Honours degree in a discipline other than those listed above plus demonstrable performance-related experience, either professionally or within an amateur or student context; or at least three years' appropriate professional experience as a performer.

English language requirement

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you send us an English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately.

The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the Language Centre.
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the External English Tests page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

How to apply

You can apply for 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 following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two, one of which should be an academic or professional reference). 

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the personal statement we require for the selection process.

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).

Start your application now

Applications can be submitted throughout the academic year.

Deferred entry:

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t 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. 

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

Once we have received your application, you'll be sent an audition pack including instructions on how to book and pay for your 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.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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