Why choose this course
As a musical theatre performer, you must be passionate and creative, and able to form a deep connection with your story, character and audience.
Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is one of the most highly regarded musical theatre schools in the world, and our two-year MFA in Musical Theatre will provide you with the very best conservatoire training in a top UK university environment.
Building on our international reputation in musical theatre, this is the only two-year postgraduate programme in Europe and is unique in the way it combines training to enhance your skills with professional opportunities and chances to launch your career.
What you will study
On our Musical Theatre MFA, you’ll gain a broad range of musical theatre knowledge and skills while performing in a variety of outstanding productions.
Supported by first-class teaching, your learning will involve a working knowledge of historical, critical and theoretical content, and the creation of performances that will be presented to agents and professionals for maximum industry exposure.
A high percentage of GSA alumni appear in the cast lists of West End shows and national tours. Last year, more than 95 per cent of GSA graduates gained professional representation or professional contracts within the first year of graduating.
Please be aware: the course content and modules listed for this course are subject to change for the 2023/24 academic year, whilst we undertake a curriculum design review. Please contact the programme leader if you have any queries about the course.
Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT)
Accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET).
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.
GSA offers careers advice throughout your study course. We host an industry showcase, and GSA fully supports students with their first steps into the profession.
We strive to ensure that our graduates develop the skills to help them enter the profession industry-ready.
Academic year structure
The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) delivers its provision across three teaching blocks, within the University of Surrey’s existing semester structure.
This MFA Musical Theatre course comprises of four 15-credit modules and two 30-credit modules within the first year. In the second year, the course comprises of three 15-credit modules, one 30-credit module and one 45-credit module.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday – Friday). Additionally, public production modules may require evening and weekend attendance depending on the production schedules. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.
Applicants who can demonstrate exceptional talent, and can satisfy the panel of their ability to successfully complete the course, may also be considered.
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Offers are made following successful audition and interview.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.
Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any queries.
Start date: October 2023
Full-time - 2 years
- To be confirmed
- To be confirmed
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
- If you are on a two-year full-time MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
There are associated costs with this programme:
- General/programme additional costs: £50 score hire deposit for library
- Commuting (local travel expenses): £175 - Travel to and from London for professional jury and potential audition experience sessions
- Production expenses: £175 - £350 - Portfolio photographs
- Safety equipment and/or uniform: £180 - Uniform including specialist footwear and boneprop
- UK-based activity: £100 approx. - Theatre trips/masterclasses - students should aim to see some live theatre and will have the opportunity to attend optional masterclasses
- Books/ stationery/ admin: £60
- Students will undertake a work placement on a professional pantomime production; either as a performer or observer. This may incur some additional travel and accommodation costs, which will vary depending on location.
Grand total: £740 - £915.
Students may wish to apply for Spotlight (including graduates casting list) and Equity membership - £380 approximately. During the course of their programme, they may also wish to join the GSA Students' Union Society - £5 per annum.
Students are offered a weeks training in Stage Combat leading to Actors Combat Theatrical Training (ACTT) Standard Level Exam. Opportunities for advanced training may also be available to students. These are extra-curricular courses so additional charges apply.
All students at GSA are encouraged to attend productions of their fellow students’ work to enrich their learning experience and give opportunities for critical analysis. These are public events for which students will be charged a reduced ticket price of £5. Some productions will be free to attend. Within the course of an academic year a student might expect to attend around 25 productions.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, Regulations and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing but changes (for example, to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.