skip to main content

Central Saint Martins

an image

MA Screen: Directing

College
CSM
Start date
January 2020
Course length
One year full-time (45 weeks)

A Drama Centre course at Central Saint Martins, MA Screen: Directing trains you to inspire creative performance from actors on screen.

Working closely with MA Screen: Acting, this course gives you the intellectual and artistic tools to tell story through narrative drama. It is part of the Performance programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Collaboration – You will work closely with MA Screen: Acting students on camera-based projects throughout the course. Other recent collaborations include work with London College of Fashion, Trinity Laban and Wimbledon College of Art.
  • Visiting practitioners – These have included television directors Moira Armstrong and Richard Standeven; producers Greg Boardman, David Collier and Bernard Krichefski; cinematographers Paul Bond and Zillah Bowes; and screenwriters Danny Stack and John Wilsher.
  • From the reimagined to the original – Your work will include film and television scripts reworked for MA Screen: Acting students as well as original scripts, written in collaboration with MA Dramatic Writing students. Here, you will be encouraged to deal with current social and political themes.
  • Drama Centre – MA Screen: Directing originates from the unique approach and techniques developed by Drama Centre.

Scholarships, awards and funding available

Jane Rapley Scholarships

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

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.

UAL International Postgraduate £25,000 plus International Student House (ISH) Scholarships

Drama Centre London

Find out more

A student's perspective
An example of student work

Facilities

Mannequins on display inside the costume store at Central Saint Martins

Costume

Find out more about the costume facilities at Archway.

A soundproof room filled with audio devices

Post-production

Find out more about our post-production workshop.

A room with people working at computers

Digital media

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

Course overview

MA Screen: Directing provides training for directors interested in character-led storytelling. The course will prepare you for work in film, television and related fields by bringing together the key skills required to produce high-quality, filmed drama. The course focuses on the importance of genre, casting and narrative. From storyboard to subtext, you will develop your own distinct artistic voice. 

As part of the Performance programme at Central Saint Martins, MA Screen: Directing offers the opportunity to collaborate with other courses and is delivered in close collaboration with MA Screen: Acting. On the course, you will develop an understanding of the director’s role as an accurate interpreter of scripts and how to tell stories through actors. Working with MA Screen: Acting, the course provides insight into acting methodologies and processes. This is designed to give you the necessary vocabulary and abilities to thrive in the industry.  

Alongside the technical demands of film-making, you will experience the acting process from both sides of the camera. With this training, you will develop the ability to understand and resolve acting problems. Integrating individual and group work, MA Screen: Directing promotes collaborative, joined-up thinking in the creative process of screen-based fiction. Teaching also encompasses a solid foundation in the skills needed to develop screenplays and work with screenwriters. 

The course maintains a balance between classes and projects, steadily increasing the level of independent learning. You will work on camera-related and screenwriting techniques, and study editing, text interpretation, sound creation and visual awareness. 

Course units

On MA Screen: Directing, you will begin with classes before moving onto projects. Throughout, you will be expected to work independently with self-directed research. You will work extensively with students on MA Screen: Acting, analysing acting skills and techniques including voice and movement.  

On the course, you will work in the Stanislavskian tradition, although there are additional approaches. During your studies, you will be asked to draw on your own memories and observations. At the end of each element of the course, you will be required to write a reflective journal summary. This is a key example of the practice-driven nature of MA Screen: Directing. All aspects of the curriculum are intended to trigger a liberal sense of enquiry which promotes personal development as well your professional directing skills. 

For your professional preparation, there is a range of sessions with industry professionals to advise you in transitioning from the College into work. 

Unit 1: Acting and Directing Techniques 

This unit will allow you to develop your contextual, critical and research skills. You will be expected to work independently, and also with your peers in guided seminars and group discussions. 

Unit 2: The Skills of Film and Audio Production  

In Unit 2, you will work on acting, as well as directing and writing. The emphasis on the camera rather than a live audience will become increasingly apparent. You will collaborate with students on MA Screen: Acting and teaching will focus on the dynamics of working in a creative team.  

Unit 3: The Art of Film 

Unit 3 is project-based and will give you an opportunity to work with scripted material. You will produce short films based on sourced written material. You will direct the films, which will be workshopped with and acted by MA Screen: Acting students. As part of this unit, you will also be expected to study arts and business.   

Mode of study 

MA Screen: Directing is offered in full-time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 12 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.

Credit and award requirements 

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits. 

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree). 

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only. 

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Classes, workshops, discussions and critiques 
  • Individual and group tutorials, assignment guidance and assessment arrangements 
  • Induction, exploration of course handbook and expectations 
  • Personal reflection and the development of a reflective journal 
  • Unit brief 
  • Lectures, viewings and seminars 
  • Coverage of key terms of critical language for film and critical theory 
  • Improvisation classes 
  • Camera-related acting skills workshops 
  • Movement and voice classes 

Assessment methods

  • Assessment of classroom, studio and location work 
  • Reflective journal including support materials 
  • Collaborative creation of short films 
  • Delivery of edited scenes 
  • Lead and technically direct a full ADR session 
  • Development of an original screenplay 
  • Finished film 

Staff

Course Leader: Michael Bray
Writing Tutor:
Keith Temple  
Arts & Business and Professional Preparation Advisor: Gary Davy

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree in acting, drama, directing, theatre studies, dance or a relevant art and design discipline
  • Or a Level 3 Diploma from a recognised professional drama or dance school
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Entry to this course will also be determined by audition.

English language requirements

IELTS level 7.0 or above, with at least 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

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.

What we are looking for

MA Screen: Directing 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: Directing puts a strong emphasis on collaboration within an ensemble, you’re expected to show openness, flexibility and generosity in the context of a creative group.

The vocational nature of MA Screen: Directing 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.

Making your application

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. 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.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information 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

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

  • Details of your particular subject interests
  • Relevant experience or abilities
  • What you wish to achieve on the course
  • Your career aspirations.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of September to avoid disappointment.   We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

There are two ways international students can apply:

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. 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.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information 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

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

  • Details of your particular subject interests
  • Relevant experience or abilities
  • What you wish to achieve on the course
  • Your career aspirations.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of September to avoid disappointment.   We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents or book an audition, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for anyimportant updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to book an audition.  Please note, auditions commence at the end of April 2019.

Auditions / Interview

You will be invited to book and pay for an audition/interview through the UAL Portal.  The cost is £50.00 and is non-refundable.

You can audition / interview either in person or by skype.

MA Screen: Directing has two stages.  Not all applicants are invited to Stage 2, recall. Recall can only be undertaken in person at the Central Saint Martins Kings Cross site.

Stage 1

You are interviewed and will discuss aspects of a film and its screenplay for which you have been asked to prepare.  The interview focuses on your understanding and knowledge of the profession.  You also look at either Rashomon(1950, directed by Akira Kurosawa) or The Servant(1963, directed by Joseph Losey) – you choose which.

If you are successful you will be invited to a recall.

Stage 2 – Recall

If you are recalled the process includes:

·         Preparation of a scene from ‘In Bruges’ (2008, directed by Martin McDonagh):

·         Work with two acting students and presentation of the prepared scene.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

To be confirmed (for guidance, tuition fees for the course that started in January 2019 were £16,800). Please note that these prices are subject to change.

£1,000 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.

International fee

To be confirmed (for guidance, tuition fees for the course that started in January 2019 were £21,840). Please note that these prices are subject to change.

£1,000 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.

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 and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Our training equips you to work in drama realised on film, television and radio. Some MA Screen: Directing, Writing 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 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, television director Jan Sargent and BAFTA winners Rungano Nyoni are among our graduates.

View college guides

Contact

Address

Follow us