Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Degree level: Postgraduate
UCAS Conservatoires

MA Directing Classical and Contemporary Text (Taught)

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Course summary

MA Directing Classical and Contemporary Text is a vocational postgraduate programme of study for emerging artists. The programme aims to enable directors to acquire practical skills, knowledge and understanding in relation to contemporary/new writing and classical text. There are two Classical and Contemporary Text pathways: acting or directing, with all students working together as an ensemble. There will be numerous opportunities to learn and experiment, in projects, rehearsals and performances; creative collaboration lies at the heart of all the work. As part of your studies, you will complete a one-month residency at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, developing your knowledge and skills in classical text in this unique, iconic environment. You will spend time working on both classical and contemporary texts. These plays are performed to a public and professional audience. Through this programme you will benefit from professional connections allowing you to develop invaluable industry contacts. When you graduate, you will have gained practical, high-level experience of working in the profession, as well as all-important contacts and the skills to underpin your future career. The programme also encourages you to generate your own performance ideas, so that you are able to emerge into the professional world with a greater sense of yourself as a creative, self-reliant artist.

Course details

Principal study options

During the application and audition process, you must select which instrument(s) you wish to specialise in for the duration of your course. On this course, you can choose from the following options:

Single specialism

Only one instrument is studied. It may be possible to study a further instrument formatively, but this will not contribute towards the qualification.


For all courses, you must select at least one specialism from the 'primary' list. For those studying primary/secondary pathways, two instruments may be selected – one from the 'primary' list and one from the 'secondary' list. Joint pathway students may select any two instruments from either list.

Primary instrument/specialism

  • Drama Performance


Term one The programme begins with classes focusing on the methodologies of voice, movement, acting and directing. If you’re a director, you will work alongside the actors, participating in these practical classes. This will coincide with a project designed to empower you to take stock of yourself as an artist. Following on from this, you will learn learn about the processes of ensemble creation, as well as learning how to get the most out of working collaboratively. Term one will culminate with an in-depth exploration of approaches to realism in performance. Term two You will begin this term with an intensive month at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, working with the Globe Education faculty. This month culminates with a performance of scenes from a Shakespeare play on the Globe stage. Additionally, the directing students will have the opportunity to present scenes to an invited audience. On returning to Glasgow, you will embark on fully-realised Renaissance theatre productions. You will explore the rehearsal process within the structure of a professional production. These are led by experienced directors, with the directing students working as assistant directors. Term three This term is devoted to exploring contemporary text, new writing development and original work. This will include mock auditions and a variety of discussions and masterclasses with key professional practitioners who will share their experiences. You will have the opportunity to complete your own practice-led research performance project and may seek out and undertaken a professional placement if you so choose. Term four In the final term, contemporary plays that were chosen earlier in the year will go into rehearsal under the leadership of the directing students. They will receive public performances at RCS, to which the industry is invited. Time is set aside for you to attend productions and other events at the Edinburgh International Festival. While preparation for entering the profession will have been ongoing throughout your studies, extra time and attention will be devoted to engagement with the profession as you conclude your studies.

How to apply

*If you are an international applicant, or you are applying for a postgraduate course, or are choosing certain assessment locations, the 'on time' deadline may be later in the year - please contact the conservatoire directly.

Application codes

Course code:
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Main Site
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

Currently around 20% of our students come from outside the UK. Between them, they represent over 60 different nationalities and add a rich diversity to the Conservatoire.

Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to hold an appropriate undergraduate degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme.

Additional entry requirements


Please refer to our Guide for Applicants for what to prepare for audition -

Assessment locations

In the event of a successful assessment, applicants may be invited for a further interview prior to being made an offer.

Remote assessment recordings may be accepted in the event that you cannot attend an assessment in person.

Single specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
City of London£55£55

Joint principal specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
RCSNot available at this location
City of LondonNot available at this location
OnlineNot available at this location

Additional information

For more information on what to prepare for audition, please see our website -

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £14316* Year 1
Republic of Ireland £14316* Year 1
England £14316* Year 1
Scotland £14316* Year 1
Wales £14316* Year 1
Northern Ireland £14316* Year 1
EU £22476* Year 1
International £22476* Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Additional fee information

For more information on fees and funding, please see our website -

Sponsorship information

The Royal Conservatoire is able to offer a number of entrance scholarships which are awarded as part of the audition/selection process on the basis of merit and financial need. Please see our website for more information -

MA Directing Classical and Contemporary Text at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - UCAS