MA Screen: Acting - Drama Centre London

Applications for January 2017 entry are now closed. 

For further information about applying, please contact

MA Screen Acting course specializes in giving the actor a rigorous and intense conservatoire training focused on delivering performance for the screen. Whether on film or television or other recorded media such radio. The student will be involved in many filmed projects including a final short film professionally produced as well as professionally shot show reel material. The course also gives the student a full programme of professional preparation with current industry professionals, including casting directors, agents, producers.

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.

A student's perspective.

 Person holding a clapper board, MA Screen: Acting, CSM, 2012.

Reasons to Apply

  • This course has produced many successful alumni including a Welsh Bafta winner and a number of feature film leads.
  • This course is unique, a film course in a drama school with visceral pathways, whilst remaining actor-oriented in the conservatoire tradition.
  • You’ll engage with industry professionals. Our Visiting Professor is Stephen Frears, the internationally acclaimed screen director, and Visiting practitioners have included the experienced screen directors Moira Armstrong and Richard Standeven, the producers Bernard Krichefski, Tony Dennis, David Collier and Greg Boardman, cinematographers Paul Bond and Zillah Bowes, Anne Henderson, Casting Director of the National Theatre of Scotland, screenwriters John Wilsher and Danny Stack and many others.
  • With good time-management, a number of students also carry out extra-curricular activities. Current student Mirin Barr won Best Actress at the Campus Moviefest Awards for her part in 'One Beautiful Day', directed by fellow student Rudina Hatipi. One Beautiful Day has also been selected for the Campus Movie Fest Wildcard Challenge. 
  • You’ll collaborate closely with MA Screen: Directing, Writing students on numerous camera based projects throughout the course. Other recent collaborations include working with London College of Fashion, Wimbledon and Trinity Laban.


Course Leader

Michael Bray

Course Location

King's Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course LengthFull Time: 15 months (60 weeks; 30 hours per week minimum)
Home/EU Fee

Tuition fees for course that starts in January 2016: £9,270 per annum.

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

£1,000 per annum 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. 

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 course that starts in January 2016: £12,365 per annum.

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

£1000 per annum discount for 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.

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 DateTuesday 3 January
Autumn Term DatesCourse starts in January 2017
Spring Term DatesTERM ONE: Tuesday 3 January – Thursday 13 April 2017 (No teaching Good Friday 14/04/17)
Summer Term DatesTERM TWO: Tuesday 2 May – Saturday 2 Sept 2017
Term DatesTERM THREE: Monday 18 September – Saturday 9 December 2017 | TERM FOUR: Tuesday 2 January 2018 – Saturday 14 April 2018 (No teaching Good Friday 30/03/18 or Easter Monday 02/04/2018)
Application Route

Direct application

Content and Structure

MA Screen: Acting prepares you for work in film and television and related fields by bringing together the key artistic knowledge and skills that are needed to give a truthful and exciting performance on screen.  MA Screen: Acting is delivered in close collaboration with MA Screen: Directing, Writing.

At the heart of the postgraduate course is the growth of individual creativity, achieved through constant opportunities for working on camera-based projects with colleagues from other pathways. Course components include acting skills and practice, the creation and production of  filmed dramas (shot  in the studio and on location), and in-depth preparation for the profession (including interview and audition techniques).

Distinctive features of MA Screen: Acting are:

  • An intense conservatoire training for the screen
  • A performance-led approach to recorded drama
  • A company operating model
  • The acquisition of a deep understanding of the processes leading to the creation and communication of recorded drama
  • A professional learning model that prepares you for direct entry into the world of work
  • A focus on creative solutions to the technical aspects of production
  • A mentoring scheme connecting students with experienced professionals
  • Concentration on professional preparation with leading industry professionals. 

About this course

MA Screen: Acting lasts 60 weeks over 15 months and is structured as units - class-based to begin with, but becoming increasingly project-geared over time. This postgraduate course is intensive. You'll be expected to commit 30 hours per week to classes, rehearsals and shoots, and to your own independent preparation and learning.

Students who come to MA Screen: Acting expect vocational training plus a high level of autonomous learning. The practical elements of the course contribute to the intensity of the experience and sharpen your professional ability to deliver on time, on budget and at an appropriate level.

MA Screen: Acting breaks away from  the traditional stage-focused  training by providing a specific programme directly relevant to  film and television. Delivered in close working partnership with MA Screen: Directing, Writing it features an extended programme of acting skills, two film projects which are professionaly produced and shot on location and in CSM’s film Studio and then edited and screened.  You will also be part of  radio drama project, a nine week devised project, similar to way Mike Liegh works, where you will create a character and then be placed into interesting and dramatic scenarios that will then be filmed. As well as  an extended programme of professional preparation.

The MA course culminates with professionally shot showreel material, directed by a working professional director, which is then screened alongside your other filmed projects to an invited industry audience that includes agents and casting directors.


Assessment is practical, based on performance and class work. There is no formal written examination, though you will be expected to carry out and present extensive research, as well as deliver practice-informed reflective journal summaries.


Course Leader:Michael Bray

Key Associate Lecturer, Director on Devising project, Scene study and Impro: Alan Dunnett

Acting and Directing for Camera Tutor: Bill Britten
Acting Tutor:John Beschizza
Arts & Business and Professional Preparation Advisor: Gary Davy 
Character Analysis Tutor:Tim Robins
Critical Studies Tutor: Pamela Woods
Movement and Movement Psychology Tutor:Lydia Baksh
Speech Tutor:Caryll Ziegler
Visual Awareness Tutor:Dylan Stone
Voice Tutor: Alex Bingley


Our training equips you to work in drama realised on film, television and radio. Some MA Screen: Acting graduates have gone on to work on the stage. An impressive list of performers and a number of world-famous directors have emerged from courses at 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, television director Jan Sargent and BAFTA winner Rungano Nyoni are among our graduates.

To read alumni profiles visit the Drama Centre London alumni section.

Industry links

Industry directly informs our training through lectures from professionals, either as full-time teachers or as visiting lecturers or directors. Towards the end of the MA course, representatives of film production companies, casting directors, producers and agents are invited to attend screenings.. We have An Advisory Board that includes senior representatives of the profession actively assists Drama Centre London which is available to the students for mentoring. Current board members include Declan Donnellan, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Adrian Noble and Max Stafford-Clark.

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 Screen: Acting entry requirements are: Degree or a Level 3 Diploma from a recognised professional drama or dance school (e.g. a member of The Council for Dance Education and Training); an Honours degree in a discipline outside performance plus demonstrable performance-related experience, either professionally or within an amateur or student context; or at least three years' professional experience as performer, director or writer.

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 6.0 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the Language Centre website.

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.

International applicants

UAL has a dedicated team to help prepare you for your studies. For help on visa requirements, housing, tuition fees and language requirements visit the University's international section.

The Language Centre offers international students language training from qualified and experienced teachers. The Pre-sessional Academic English Programme is available to international (non-EU) students. For further information visit the Language Centre website.

We also offer a number of short courses that enable students to improve their portfolios and English skills before applying to their chosen course. For further information visit our Short Course section.

What we look for

We're looking for students ready to take on an extremely demanding profession, who are mature and self-confident, and who are willing to take criticism and turn it to their advantage while preserving a sense of humour. You'll need to be resourceful and committed to following a postgraduate programme of study that's screen-oriented, exploratory and geared to the needs of the profession. We audition all applicants.

MA Screen: Acting is aimed primarily at graduates and mature students who can apply a high degree of independence to their learning. Successful candidates bring to the course an understanding of drama in its various contexts plus an ability to work autonomously for sustained periods with the necessary focus and resilience. As MA Screen: Acting puts a strong emphasis on collaboration within an ensemble, you're expected to show openness, flexibility and generosity in the context of the creative group.

The vocational nature of MA Screen: Acting implies a high degree of proficiency at entry. We do, however, balance this against perceived potential, especially where we identify a clear understanding of the profession and a realistic view of career development and employment prospects.

Selection criteria

Your application, audition and interview will be assessed for:

Essential criteria:

  • High level of intellectual engagement
  • High physical awareness and adaptability
  • High vocal awareness and adaptability
  • Highly developed characterisation
  • High interactive awareness and adaptability
  • Confident and flexible collaboration 

Desirable criteria:

  • Basic experience of screen

Interviews, auditions, application advice

Drama Centre London auditions and interviews all applicants. Once we've received your application form you'll be sent an audition/interview pack and you will be asked to book online and pay a £45 non-refundable audition fee. You must complete the form contained in the pack and return it with the fee of £45. We recommend you choose as early an audition date as possible. From November onwards, updates on the availability of audition dates (between March and November) and application deadlines will be shown on our website.

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course. (Write between 300-500 words)

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • Do you have any relevant experience?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

Admission to MA Screen: Acting is by audition and interview as follows:

Stage I

  • Candidates are required to present two contrasting speeches, each lasting no longer than three minutes. Both speeches should be from screenplays or stage plays written later than 1870
  • One or both speeches may be replaced with duologue scenes from screenplays or from stage plays written later than 1870. In this case you'll need to bring a partner with you to present the scene or scenes with
  • All candidates are interviewed, with particular attention given to the texts chosen, their context and meaning
  • You may also be asked to improvise or do some simple exercises

Stage II

Following the initial audition/interview, we use a recall system, normally on the following Thursday after your initial audition. The second phase of your audition may include:

  • Work under direction on one or both speeches or scenes
  • A screen test
  • A sight reading exercise
  • A short test of the ability to hear and accurately reproduce rhythm, emphasis and tone
  • An assessment of the candidate's ability to work co-operatively through simple improvisations and devising exercises
  • On audition/interview days you'll be looked after by current students who will do their utmost to guide you around Drama Centre London, answer your questions and help you relax so you can give the best account of your potential. Auditions/interviews normally involve at least one member of the profession.

How to Apply

Applications for January 2017 entry are now closed. For further information about applying, please contact

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, at least one 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. 

Please note, the course team will not be able to consider your application until you have submitted the extra required elements. 

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 extra information we require for the selection process: 

Personal statement 

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course. (Write between 300-500 words) 

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • Do you have any relevant experience?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance? 

Start your application now:

Applications can be submitted throughout the academic year. However, places are limited so it is advisable for you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Late applications will be considered by the course team in consultation with the Course Leader.

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.

Please note, the course team will not be able to consider your application until you have submitted the extra required elements.

What happens next? 

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 March and December. 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.

Open days 

View the latest information under news and events on Drama Centre's website. Open days are a great opportunity to meet staff and students and to find courses, teaching and student life. Visit the open day section for dates to book your session. Bookings can only be made online, not by phone or email.

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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