Why choose this course

Ideal for those in full-time employment, our online Theatre MFA from the Guildford School of Acting (GSA) provides a gateway to an exciting future without the need for regular attendance on campus.

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.

Five reasons to study at Guildford School of Acting

What you will study

Our Theatre (Distance Learning) MFA 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 Greeks
  • Shakespeare
  • Naturalism and the Actor
  • Modern Theatre
  • Global Theatres
  • Music and Dance in Theatre.

In addition, you will explore the background to theatre through history, philosophy, psychology, politics and cultural theory.

You will have the opportunity to enhance your professional development and you’ll complete an independent research project that will allow you to specialise in an area of particular interest to you.

You will also study pedagogies that will introduce you to key principles, skills and techniques required to facilitate training for performance in a range of settings across diverse communities, and develop your knowledge of either areas of theatre, dance or performance or the pedagogies of acting, voice and movement for professional performance or teaching.

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; as shown in our latest graduate showcase. This was created during the Covid-19 lockdown to help serve our students during this period and is easily accessible for the industry to view.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.

The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) delivers its provision across three teaching blocks, within the University of Surrey’s existing semester structure. 

Modules

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:

    Please note: this course is subject to validation, therefore no modules have been confirmed at this moment in time. These modules will appear once the course has been validated.

    Timetable

    Course 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). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).

    Contact hours

    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.

    Entry requirements

    A minimum of 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.

    Applicants who already hold an MA in a related subject may be considered for entry to the third (final) year of the programme through the recognition of prior learning process.

    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 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.

    Selection process

    Decisions are made on the basis of the application form and supporting materials.

    Credit transfer

    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 (admissions@surrey.ac.uk) with any queries.

    Fees

    Start date: September 2023

    Part-time - 3 years

    UK
    To be confirmed
    Overseas
    To be confirmed

    Please note:

    • 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.

    View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught courses.

    Admission information

    Our postgraduate admissions policy* provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

    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.

    Disclaimer

    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.

    Subject to validation

    This programme is subject to approval. This means that it has received initial agreement from the University and is currently undergoing a detailed final approval exercise, through the University’s quality assurance processes. These processes are a requirement for all Higher Education Institutions within the UK, to ensure that programmes are of the highest standard. Occasionally there may be instances where the University may delay or not approve the introduction of the programme.

    Contact details

    University of Surrey Admissions

    Contact Admissions Team

    Address

    University of Surrey
    Guildford
    Surrey GU2 7XH