MFA Professional Acting An intensive forty weeks course.
Six actors in classical costumes dancing with scarves

Full Time Professional Training Courses

MFA Professional Acting

Key Information Apply Now via UCAS Term Dates

Course Overview

This one-year MFA level course (in the UK the terms course and program are used interchangeably) gives up to 14 International postgraduate students from outside the UK the opportunity to study in Bristol on an intensive forty-week conservatoire course.

A summary document with key course information for 2020 entrants can be found on the policies and procedures page. Applications can only be accepted through UCAS Postgraduate and not via any third party.

ⓘ Where Covid-19 control measures impact our ability to deliver this course as described for the 2021-21 academic year, we will update offer holders by email and confirm teaching arrangements at least four weeks before term begins.

ⓘ Applications for September 2021 entry will be accepted via UCAS Postgraduate from 01 October 2020. Please see below for details of the audition process.

An actor performing a monologue in crown and purple cape

There is a strong emphasis on developing the actor’s voice and body and a commitment to building performance through close text work

The MFA in Professional Acting is a rigorous actor training course available to students from outside the UK who are seeking graduate-level study at a world-class school.

While the majority of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School acting courses are reserved for UK residents only, this course offers that same world-class conservatoire training to fourteen students carefully selected from North America and around the world.

The course emphasises the continued development of the actor’s voice, body and creative process, along with a commitment to building performance through a dynamic relationship with text and language. There is a substantial focus on the classical British and European repertoire, with close attention given to a practical exploration of Shakespearean text in performance.

Four actors, one female actor kneeling surrounded by two men and one woman

Industry ready

The course is designed to prepare students for the varied acting demands made within the current performance industry, including those appropriate to the recorded media. In their final term, MFA Acting students undertake a fully-mounted production, supported by professional design, stage management and costume students or practitioners.

About the Structure of the Course

This course’s structure is designed to maximise the training opportunity for MFA students while recognising the unique financial and personal demands incurred while studying abroad. With this in mind, the course is taught through an extremely intensive one year structure, utilising extended term dates, and abbreviated breaks between terms.

Please Note: The MFA Acting International course is fully eligible for US Federal Loan Funding.

Actors on stage fighting Acting


  • ‘The tutors are so passionate and supportive.
    It’s more of a family than a school.’

  • ‘The intensity and quality of the course means that you will get more from a year’s training than you would think possible.’

Headshot of Head of Performance Design
Working relationships made at BOVTS often extend beyond the course, design commission rates are excellent, it’s fantastic to see the graduates embracing successful and rewarding careers as Performance Designers in a professional environment. Angela Davies, Head of Performance Design