In Year One as well as taking specialised classes in Directing theory and practice you will learn the essential skills of the actor through a series of practical classes in acting, voice, movement, movement psychology and ballet. You are expected to show the same level of engagement and commitment as your acting colleagues.
You will study the work of particular practitioners, as well as plays and performances in their historical and cultural context. You will always be encouraged to assess this work through the prism of your own time.
In Year Two you will examine the role of the director as an author, and concentrate on the structures that sustain storytelling and not narrative performance. You will continue 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. This work will advance your understanding of the director as a collaborative practitioner who must respond to as well as inspire their creative partners. You are introduced to the disciplines of acting and directing for the camera and begin to acquire practical skills in relation to film and television production. You will also undertake your first assistant directorship and professional placement.
In Year Three you develop your interpretative skills and control of your creative resources, through rehearsal exercises, radio drama recordings and film shoots. You will continue to study plays and performance in specific context and to write critically about the work that you are seeing in theatre and film. You will be supported in the writing of an adaptation for the stage of approximately 45 minutes. This process will advance your skills in dramatic writing as well as providing an excellent opportunity to explore questions of structure and form in relation to adaptation for the stage. You will produce and present your own production in the Studio Theatre and Assist on a Graduation Show.
In Year Four you will advance your thinking and practice through a series of complex academic and artistic challenges. You will develop key skills for the producing of your work including training in fundraising and marketing. You will also be mentored in 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. you are prepared for professional life.
MA Directing runs for 144 weeks full time over four years, and is divided into four Levels, (or Stages) each lasting 36 weeks (30 weeks of study and 6 of production/performance in the first three years). The whole course is credit-rated at 480 credits, with 120 credits at each Level (Stage).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for an Integrated Masters are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2), Level 6 (Stage 3) and Level 7 (Stage 4).
There is a progression point at the end of each Level and in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally be passed.
The awards of Cert HE following successful completion of Year 1 and DipHE at Year 2 are normally offered if a student is unable to continue on the course. Students will be able to exit with an award of BA (Honours) following successful completion of Year 3 if unable to continue on the course. However, it is expected that students will continue through to the final Masters award.
To gain a BA (Honours) the student must successfully complete 360 credits, including 60 Level 6 credits and 60 Level 7 credits. The final award is comprised of the weighted marks from Level 6 and Level 7 credits achieved during the third year of the course.
To gain an MA the student must successfully complete an additional 120 credits. The final award is comprised of marks from Level 7 units only, weighted according to their credits.