MA Acting – Drama Centre London

University of the Arts London

Program Description

MA Acting – Drama Centre London

University of the Arts London

MA Acting is an intensive 45 week conservatoire Actor training course. Eight weeks of the course are spent studying in Moscow. Skills classes in Voice, Movement, Neutral Mask, Ballet, Period Dance, Speech and Acting underpin a programme embracing the Greeks to Contemporary drama, with particular emphasis on Shakespeare and Chekhov.

Content and Structure

MA Acting is primarily a stage acting course which focuses on the techniques developed to address the demands posed by the great European classics.

MA Acting is a rewarding route to the general training of actors, offering a solid grounding in acting technique, rooted in the long-established traditions of England and Russia, which are widely considered to be the foremost exponents of the art of the actor.

Throughout, the postgraduate course emphasises theatrical approaches, in particular those relating to narrative structures, movement expression and the conveyance of complex texts by means of a rich, well-trained voice. Questions of text and subtext are explored in detail.

MA Acting approaches performance in ways specifically addressing the needs of the Jacobean stage: focusing on vocal accuracy with speed, expressivity on a large scale, engagement with the audience. In addition, the postgraduate course encourages you to develop skills required by the realist style: multi-layered characterisation, recognising the subtle rapport between text and sub-text, being ‘private in public’.

MA Acting reflects the general ethos of the Drama Centre London. The Centre’s distinctive approach includes:

<strong>The Stanislavsky System</strong> The most famous and detailed of all acting systems and the point of departure for most subsequent developments. Training at Drama Centre London reflects both the Russian and the American methodologies. The teaching therefore ensures a balance between the requirements of the stage on the one hand and of film and television on the other. <strong>German Expressionism and the legacy of Rudolph Laban</strong> The Drama Centre London was created around the work of Dr Yat Malmgren, one of the great solo artists of European modern dance and the creator of the Laban-Malmgren System of Character Analysis. His unique contribution developed the theoretical work on the psychology of movement initiated by Rudolph Laban, the visionary innovator in the field of choreography and movement theory. <strong>Improvisation</strong> Following in the footsteps of great originals such as Joan Littlewood and Mike Leigh, Drama Centre London adopts an eclectic approach that fuses the contributions of the modern masters: Vakhtangov, Brecht and Grotowsky, placing at the heart of its work the exploration of character, story and dramatic relationships through improvisation. This approach also involves actors, directors and writers in active research into the social background of the dramatic text and places political awareness at the forefront of their work. Drama Centre London lays great emphasis on applying these techniques to the recorded media (film, radio, television) as much as to the stage.


MA Acting is structured in 2 units over 45 weeks:

  • Unit 1 (weeks 1-15) "Skills and techniques of Acting"
  • Unit 2 (weeks 16-45) "The practice of Acting".
  • 8 weeks are spent at the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute, known as the Vakhtangov Institute, in Moscow - one of the foremost conservatoire Drama schools in Russia.

A typical week for MA Acting students will be:

  • 3 hours Voice
  • 3 hours Movement
  • 1.5 hours Ballet
  • 1.5 hours Speech
  • 1.5 hours Period Dance
  • 3 hours Neutral Mask
  • 7 hours Acting Technique
  • 12 hours Rehearsal.

This intensive pattern, with skills classes underpinning rehearsals, carries on for all 45 weeks of the postgraduate course. All of the above classes and rehearsals are "taught time". Contact hours on MA Acting are high, with additional time spent preparing either by yourself or with fellow students. It is an intensive postgraduate course, physically and emotionally demanding.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


An impressive list of famous performers and a number of world-famous directors have emerged from courses at the Drama Centre London.

Alumni include Paul Bettany, Pierce Brosnan, Simon Callow, Frances de la Tour, Paola Dionisotti, Colin Firth, Tara Fitzgerald, Anastasia Hille, Geraldine James, Helen McCrory, Jack Shepherd, John Simm, Colin Tierney, Lambert Wilson, Penelope Wilton and many more.

Adrian Noble (for ten years Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company), film writer and director David Leland, novelist Esther Freud, and television director Jan Sargent are among our graduates.

Cost & Fees

Home/EU Fee

Tuition fees for 2015/16: £14,900, plus residential fee: £2,450.

£1,000 discount for Home/EU students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. Please note that instalments apply to tuition fees only; the residential fee must be paid in full before enrolment.

International Fee

Tuition fees for 2015/16: £18,000, plus residential fee: £2,450.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. Please note that instalments apply to tuition fees only; the residential fee must be paid in full before enrolment.

Entry Requirements

Minimum entry requirements

MA Acting entry requirements are: an Honours degree in acting, drama, directing, theatre studies, dance, or a relevant art and design discipline; a level 3 Diploma from a recognised professional drama or dance school (e.g. a member of Drama UK or The Council for Dance Education and Training); an Honours degree in a discipline other than those listed above plus demonstrable performance-related experience, either professionally or within an amateur or student context; or at least three years' appropriate professional experience as a performer.

English language requirement

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you send us an English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the Language Centre.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the External English Tests page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.


Course Location

King's Cross, London.


Central Saint Martins

Last updated March 3, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
1 year
Full time
19,440 GBP
Start date Sept. 2016
United Kingdom London, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 19,440 GBP
International Fee: £19,440 (plus residential fee: £2,100); Home/EU Fee: £15,350 (plus residential fee: £2,100)