MA in Drama Directing

Applications open on 1st October 2017 and will close at 4pm on Thursday 28th February 2018 for April 2019 entry

This is a four term course (over about 15 months) that runs from Easter to the following July. We take four directing students each year and expect applicants to have significant experience of theatre including directing. You will have the opportunity to work with students of other disciplines – including actors, designers and technicians – as well as with experienced staff, visiting tutors and theatre professionals.

NB This course is for candidates possessing a previous degree and experience of directing and theatre making. We would expect candidates to have a range of experiences that go beyond student centred productions (for instance, small scale touring, fringe theatre or working as an assistant within a producing house).

Please note Applications are a year in advance of the course start date.

“All applications are made direct to the Theatre School NOT THROUGH UCAS.”

Applications Closed Course Fees Term Dates Policies & Procedures

Course Outline

Term 1

The first term comprises of a variety of workshops and projects that build skills needed to be an effective, confident and creative drama director. These include:

  • An overview of the ecology of the theatre industry.
  • Workshops with professional directors.
  • Text work.
  • Involvement in a range of acting techniques (physical theatre, combat, approaching Shakespeare etc).
  • Lighting/sound and other technical skills.
  • Design and model making.
  • Workshops in auditioning.
  • Observing actors’ classes.
  • Working with design students on ‘notional projects’.
  • Observing production weeks on shows in the professional venues we work in.
  • An introduction to TV directing course.

The term culminates in a presentation of a theoretical production. Each directing student selects a play and prepares for production. You present research and creative ideas, describe the approach that you are taking to the play and show a model box and costume drawings that you have made to a panel of industry professionals. You are then given actors and lead a short rehearsal of a scene from your chosen play.

Terms 2, 3 and 4

Over the following academic year (so from September to July) each directing student has an individually structured timetable allowing you to be involved in a variety of projects and productions. These include:

A text project: Where you work as director with a cast of final year acting students to prepare and present a play to staff and industry professionals (but not the public).

Assistant Directing: You would normally work as an assistant director on two or three theatre school productions, a television project and a radio play. You would be expected to help with research, attend production and design meetings and take some rehearsals under the supervision of the director.

Placements: There may be the opportunity for a placement at a theatre – including Bristol Old Vic Theatre with whom we have a strong working relationship. Recent theatre companies that directors have had placements at include Birmingham Rep, Hull Truck & Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.

Directing A Production: You will direct a play at a local Bristol venue using final year acting students. Recent venues have been the Alma Tavern Theatre and The Brewery Theatre (part of the Tobacco Factory). It will be a play that you select (with guidance given and parameters set by BOVTS).

There are three compulsory components on the MA in Drama Directing Course. These are:

  • Assistant Director; theatre
  • Assistant Director; radio/TV
  • Directing a Production.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications open on 1st October 2016 for April 2018 entry.

Offline Applications

Please contact:The Admissions Office, 1-2 Downside Road, Bristol BS8 2XF.

Tel: 0117 973 3535.


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Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Ltd, 1-2 Downside Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XF
Admin: 0117 973 3535 | Box Office: 0117 973 3955 |

Photos: Craig Fuller, Farrows Creative, Graham Burke, Stewart McPherson.

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Conservatoire for Dance and drama University of the West of England