Why choose this course
Ideal for those in full-time employment, our Theatre MA from the Guildford School of Acting (GSA) provides a gateway to an exciting future without the need for regular attendance on campus.
GSA is accredited by the Federation of Drama Schools (FDS), and you’ll have unlimited access to our virtual learning environment where you’ll be supported by highly experienced and passionate tutors.
Furthering your skills, our course will take you deeper into the fascinating history of theatre from both a practical and critical perspective.
What you will study
Our Theatre MA allows you to study at your own pace through online learning, so you can pursue your passion for theatre and develop industry connections around your existing commitments.
You’ll actively engage with fundamental principles and explore the rich heritage of theatre from a critical, historical and theoretical perspective. You’ll gain an understanding of theatrical practices and develop your ability to evaluate significant artistic, historical, social and political developments in theatre.
Our broad range of modules incorporates topics such as:
- The Background to Theatre
- The Greeks
- Naturalism and the Actor
- Modern Theatre
- Global Theatres
- Music and Dance in Theatre.
You’ll also complete an Independent Research Project that will allow you to specialise in an area of particular interest to you, and you’ll complete a Professional Development Portfolio relevant to your career path.
MA - Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT)
Accredited by the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT)
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.
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.
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.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the University has revised its courses to incorporate the ‘Hybrid Learning Experience’ in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information. The University has changed the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes. Further information on the general principles of hybrid learning can be found at: Hybrid learning experience | University of Surrey.
We have updated key module information regarding the pattern of assessment and overall student workload to inform student module choices. We are currently working on bringing remaining published information up to date to reflect current practice in time for the start of the academic year 2022/23 This means that some information within the programme and module catalogue will be subject to change. Current students are invited to contact their Programme Leader or Academic Hive with any questions relating to the information available.
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:
We conduct introductory seminars at the beginning of each module, with further seminars or individual tutorials agreed between students and staff. All modules provide students with seven hours of contact time during seminars, apart from the Independent Research Project module. This has 14 hours of seminar time (divided into 12 hours of personal or small group tutorials and 2 hours of full-cohort seminars).
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.
Applicants should hold a 2:2 UK honours degree (or a recognised equivalent international qualification) in a Theatre-related subject and have previous engagement with drama, theatre and performance.
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: You should have a score of 6.5 overall including 6.0 in each category.
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.
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 this applies to you, 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, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and 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.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
Start date: October 2022
Distance-learning - 2 years
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2022-23 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on a two-year or three-year part-time structured masters course, the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.
There are optional costs associated with this course.
Students are invited to attend optional seminars that are held on campus and could therefore incur costs to stay and/or travel to Guildford. These seminars are also available virtually.
Students are offered a week’s 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.
*Classes currently suspended due to Covid restrictions.
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 policies and 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 an example of our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: 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 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 more.
Further, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2022/23. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2022/23. Detailed information on all changes is available at our dedicated course changes webpage. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.