Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Degree level: Postgraduate
UCAS Conservatoires
Awarded by: University of the West of England, Bristol

MA Drama Directing (Taught)

Course options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

TEF Gold

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has opted into the TEF and received a Gold award.

Find out more about the TEF.

The Drama Directing MA has been specially designed to equip students with high-level skills and knowledge to work professionally as a drama director. You will gain experience of production preparation and rehearsal techniques, including dramaturgy and collaborating with designers and other key creatives. The course will build your knowledge, skills and confidence through workshops, classes and projects. You will develop your practice of assistant directing and directing through your own workshop productions of a new script written by one of the School’s MA Drama Writing students. There is a ‘permeable membrane’ between the Theatre School and the industry, so you will have the opportunity to learn from and work with high calibre professional practitioners as part of your training. A key feature of the course is that it integrates with other drama disciplines. As a result, supported by experienced staff you will be working alongside writing, acting, design and technical students. The School follows industry practice within its learning environment. You will be learning the protocols and processes involved in drama production by taking part in realised productions staged in professional theatre venues. You will be taught by School staff and experienced visiting industry professionals. The same approach is taken in the rehearsal room: you will be mentored as an assistant director by a professional director, learning within a structure that reproduces industry practice. You will learn by observation, by doing and from being steeped in the environment. You will develop a sophisticated understanding of the process of acting and of acting methodologies and techniques, enabling you to work confidently and appropriately with actors in different styles and genres and will have experienced the technical demands of mounting a theatre production. You will also have a thorough working knowledge of working with writers, designers, lighting designers, costume makers and stage-managers. You will graduate as a thoughtful, reflective and creative practitioner who is capable of making imaginative leaps and be an excellent collaborator, able to articulate ideas inspirationally and be sensitive to the values and creative contributions of others. Initial shortlisting is based on the information you provide in your application and as part of the selection process, you may also be required to complete a short questionnaire. Shortlisted applicants are invited to Bristol for an interview, normally with two members of the interviewing team. If successful, you may be required to attend a second-round (recall) audition.

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.

Instrument/specialisms

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 Production

Modules

All modules are compulsory. Module number: UAMN8Y-45-M Module name: Scenic Painting Theory and Techniques (45 Credits) Module number: UAMN93-45 Module name: Applied Scenic Art (45 Credits) Module number: UAMN94-45-M Module name: Scenic Art Department Management (45 Credits) Module number: UAMN95-45-M Module name: Industry Engagement/Exhibition (45 Credits) Total 180 credits

Assessment method

There is continuous assessment of your drama directing skills, knowledge and understanding. All modules are assessed by coursework (meaning there are no exams). You will receive extensive feedback – written and oral – from teaching staff and visiting industry professionals. On the first module, The Director’s Toolkit, you will be assessed on two projects. The first is the Collaborative Project completed with an MA Performance Design student, involving a fifteen-minute presentation by you. The second element is a Notional Project: a forty-minute presentation to an industry panel of material in preparation for a theoretical production of a play. On the Assistant Directing module you will be assessed on the execution of the role of an assistant director on a theatre production, film or audio drama. You will also produce a detailed self-reflective journal relating to the production and your role as assistant director. The Directing Theatre module will be assessed from your choice of play through to its performance. Aspects of this will include artistic flair and judgement, use of the space, working with the cast and your leadership and management of the creative process. You will produce a critical reflection of the above. For Preparation for Employment for Directors you will produce a portfolio which will include critical reflection on your production experience as an assistant or lead director, a contacts database from your research into the industry, your own self-promotion material and a personal career plan. You are assessed on a pass or fail basis (meaning that degrees are undifferentiated).


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:
B420
Institution code:
B65
Campus name:
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Campus code:
-

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Applicants would normally be expected to have an honours degree in a related subject area and it is essential that they have proven professional experience in one or more capacities within the entertainment industry. This could be in directing fringe productions, working as a performer or in stage management. Applicants should also have a clear understanding of theatre and individual creative ambitions. If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate English language proficiency through a relevant qualification, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which can also be used to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. For MA Drama Directing, an overall score of 7.0 is normally required, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component of reading, writing, listening and speaking. All applicants will normally be interviewed by two members of staff. Recall interviews will include the Head of Course.


English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate English language proficiency through a relevant qualification, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which can also be used to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. For MA Drama Directing, an overall score of 7.0 is normally required, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component of reading, writing, listening and speaking.


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
Online interviewNo fee charged

Joint principal specialism assessment

LocationOn-time FeeLate Fee
Online interviewNo fee charged

Additional information

Initial shortlisting is based on the information you provide in your application and as part of the selection process, you may also be required to complete a short questionnaire. Shortlisted applicants are invited to Bristol for an interview, normally with two members of the interviewing team. If successful, you may be required to attend a second-round (recall) audition.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £11400 Whole course
Northern Ireland £11400 Whole course
Scotland £11400 Whole course
Wales £11400 Whole course
Channel Islands £11400 Whole course
Republic of Ireland £11400 Whole course
EU £25500 Whole course
International £25500 Whole course

Additional fee information

Increasingly, much of the information and some of the content of the course is available via the School's virtual learning environment and so you will benefit from having access to your own personal computer and the internet to make the most of your course. It is estimated that a suitable personal computer will cost £300.00. (Please check with the Course leader for recommended functionality.) You will need to research the most cost-effective way of accessing the internet. The School has a number of means tested scholarship funds available to assist students with purchases of computer hardware and other essential costs which would otherwise cause financial hardship. Course materials provided but students will have to allow funds to provide their own work clothes and contribute to some costs towards their self-promotion – estimated at £400.00. For Overseas students only: Student Visa if applying from outside the UK £348.00 Immigration Health Surcharge (with discount for Student Visa holders) £470.00.
MA Drama Directing at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School - UCAS