On MA Directing, there is a clear progression from embodied skills training, through critical and creative development, to the establishment of professional practice, contacts and expertise. There is also a strong focus on producing skills. These include fundraising, marketing and project management. This will help establish the entrepreneurial practice vital to a successful career in a competitive, professional environment.
In order to develop your own approach to directing, you will study the core disciplines of acting, directing and rehearsal techniques. Many of the activities in these disciplines are concerned with finding your voice as a director. Through practical exercises, theoretical seminars, workshops and rehearsals, you will engage in a dialogue between your own personal view of the creative process and inherited tradition.
Unit 1: Introduction to Study in Higher Education
Unit 2: Introduction to Acting Methods
Unit 3: Introduction to Directing Methods and Context
Unit 4: Further Directing Methods
During Stage 1 you will investigate the self and learn to move from the concrete to the abstract in your work. You will be introduced to the systematic study of the essential skills of the actor. This will occur through a series of practical classes in acting, voice and movement. You will be immersed in the same work as acting colleagues. You will train as an actor alongside them and are expected to show the same level of engagement and commitment.
In this stage, you will begin practical directing exercises. You will direct scenes from contemporary, naturalistic plays with a focus on clear, dramatic storytelling. You will also begin a study of plays in their historical and cultural context. You will analyse texts with a view to posing and solving directorial problems. You will also begin a process of writing critically about theatre film and television.
Unit 5: Directing and Acting Methods in Practice
Unit 6: Theatre and Thought
Unit 7: Perspectives on Acting and Directing
Unit 8: Development of Professional Practice
During Stage 2, you will continue to participate in practical classes in acting and movement psychology. You will begin to explore the relationships and collaborations directors have with other artists such as designers, and composers. You will collaborate with students from BA Performance: Design and Practice, as well as other directing students. This work will advance your understanding of the director as a collaborative practitioner. You will also be introduced to the disciplines of acting and directing for the camera. You will begin to acquire practical skills in relation to film and television production. This will include working as a crew member for projects directed by students on Stages 3 and 4.
Unit 9: The Director in Practice
Unit 10: The Director in Context
Unit 11: The Director in Production
During Stage 3 you are prepared for professional life. You will now work independently of both your acting peers and, often, your directing colleagues. You will be supported in the writing of an adaptation for the stage of approximately 45 minutes. You will undertake an assistant director role on a production. You will also direct and edit a short radio drama in studio conditions. At the end of Stage 3 you will direct a studio theatre production with BA Acting students.
You will be given tutored experience that enables you to understand the requirements of the professional market. A range of producers, directors, artistic directors, agents, casting directors and other industry professionals will deliver seminars to widen and develop your knowledge of professional life.
Unit 12: Director as Practitioner
In the final stage of the course, you will advance your thinking and practice through a series of complex challenges. You will develop key skills for producing your work, including training in fundraising and marketing. You will also be introduced to the practice of directing within educational contexts – a key source of employment for early career directors. You will begin the complex journey of taking the skills you have learned and experimenting with their application to refine your own voice as a director.
Mode of study
MA Directing is offered in full-time mode which runs for 132 weeks over four academic years.
Credit and award requirements
The course is credit-rated at 480 credits, with 120 credits at each stage (level).
On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the stages for an Integrated Masters are: Stage 1 (Level 4), Stage 2 (Level 5), Stage 3 (Levels 6 and 7), and Stage 4 (Level 7). In order to progress, all units in the preceding level must normally have been passed. The classification of the award is derived from the mark for Stage 4 only.
If you are unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Stage 1 (or 120 credits), a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of Stage 2 (or 240 credits), or a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons) following the successful completion of Stage 3 (or 360 credits. Note 60 of these credits are at Level 7).