Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA*

  • Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA*
    Rose Bruford College MA Ensemble Theatre with Bral School of Acting
  • Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA*
  • Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA*
    Rose Bruford College MA Ensemble Theatre with Bral School of Acting
  • Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA*
    Rose Bruford College MA Ensemble Theatre with Bral School of Acting
  • Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA*
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About this course


1 year

Term Start

Start Date: October 2017

Entry Requirements

  • Entry requirements: This Programme is for graduates or those with relevant professional experience.

Over the thirteen-month period you and your fellow peers will work as an ensemble; expanding your practical and theoretical skills not only as a group, but also as an individual and as a performer. The ensemble has the opportunity to devise and perform at both venues in the College and in London or abroad.

Devised work forms the foundation of the course which focuses on story telling through performance, visual image, physical theatre, writing, sound and music and the collaboration between forms as well as between individuals. There is a professional placement on the programme in UK or abroad and also there is funding for European placements for those who are interested. The ensemble have worked with wide range of practitioners and companies such as Teatr Piesn Kozla, Punchdrunk, Nothern Stage, The Bush Theatre, the Royal Exchange, Theatre Complicite, RSC, The Wrestling School, Gabriel Gawin, Niamh Dowling, Irina Brown, Bea Pemberton, Jane Bertish, Barbara Houseman, Struan Leslie, Helen Chadwick, Pip Nash, Gerrard McArthur, Kate Sagovsky and Ben Joiner amongst others. Placements have included: Ad Finitium, Dymitri Krymov Lab in Moscow, The Globe, Spkrbox Festival in Oslo, Hackney Studios, Northern Stage, Gardzienice.

Performers, designers, musicians, writers and directors who join the program gain a deeper understanding of each other and of the creative practices and methodologies they are developing and producing through inter disciplinary theatre work, participating in both single and inter disciplinary project workshops, developing their own specialist areas of interest, undertaking supervisor supported in-depth and wide ranging research into their chosen field of interest.

Why choose this course?

MA/MFA* Ensemble Theatre is aimed at those who want to participate in the reinvention of form explored through the development of the ensemble and making of theatre that is innovative, imaginative and dynamic. It is for those who want to make and perform theatre as performers, writers, directors and devisers.

*MFA subject to validation

Employability & Industry

Graduates have gone into Performing, Producing, Forming Companies, Directing, Arts administration, teaching or continue to further study at Masters or PhD level, including the College’s own Research Degree programmes.

Fee and Application Information



  • *MFA subject to validation
  • Taught
  • Validated by The University of Manchester
  • Mode of Study: 13 Months Full Time
  • Location: London venue

2017/2018 Fees

UK/EU Students

Year 1 (MA)

Year 2 (MFA*):  

*MFA subject to validation

You may be able to get a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to help with course fees and living costs. Details can be found via www.gov.uk  and The Student Room.

International Students

Year 1 (MA)

Year 2 (MFA*):  

*MFA subject to validation

How to Apply

You can apply for this course until it starts in October 2017. Please click here to register your interest in applying.

International Interviews and Auditions
Throughout the year, we will be holding interviews and auditions in London and abroad. Please click here for our 2017 schedule and to register.


Course content

There are five modules to the programme.

Module 1: Ensemble Theatre Practice

This practical module will focus on two or three of the models of ensemble and through a series of practical workshops, laboratory-based activities, lectures and seminars explore modern and postmodern theory and theatre practice within the developing ensemble.

The module will:

give students an in-depth practical insight into selected major ensemble theatre practices through the study of key practitioners and theorists and how this relates to their personal practice and discipline;
enable students to develop a critical vocabulary and a range of practical strategies for understanding the theatre making process and performance;
offer the opportunity to test theories of ensemble in relation to theatre practice.
provide further sources for research and reflection as a basis for critical


Theories of contemporary practice will be understood through the student’s practical personal discipline. The practical work will result in the presentation of a laboratory/studio presentation allowing students to demonstrate their understanding of the creative process and the development of their practice supported by the submission of a critical research informed reflection contextualising that development.


Module 2: Context and Models of Ensemble Theatre

This module runs alongside the other modules and includes the space for discussions, theatre visitts, festival vsiits, talks, contexts. The module provides a theoretical and contextual underpinning to research in practice. Through a series of practical workshops, lectures and seminars students will explore ensemble theatre making as a collaborative and creative practice, acquire the necessary research skills for developing a shared vocabulary of theatre making and methodologies for reflecting on professional practice.

This module will:

provide a context within which postgraduate students from a variety of cultures and educational and professional backgrounds develop a shared theatrical vocabulary;
introduce students to research methodology and modes of reflective practice;
explore critically historical and contemporary notions of ensemble theatre

Contextual and theoretical studies will place this exploration of ensemble theatre in historical, national and international contexts. The module will culminate in a seminar presentation allowing students to demonstrate their developing practice in this context and the submission of a critical essay analysing the field of study


Module  3: Specialist Practice 1

This module will focus on the students’ specialist disciplines as performer, writer, director, producer. It could be that everyone covers everything to begin with and then specializes. Or everyone covers everything all the time collaborating in the process.

Common learning outcomes will allow the students to develop both their individual specialist disciplines and their ability to exercise them in an ensemble context

This module will:

offer the opportunity for students to develop an area in their professional discipline as an ensemble practitioner
 enable students to undertake extended engagement with practice at the forefront of their professional discipline
further develop critical and analytical reflection upon practice

The module will be realised through a series of workshops followed by a project (e.g. performance, installation, exhibition, design, production or another suitable form), in which they can demonstrate and critically reflect on their professional and academic development.


Module 4: Professional Placement

Module 4 will continue to focus on the development of the student’s specialist discipline and will represent a further development of that body of work. Subject to negotiation, study is based around a focussed placement or internship. This could be in the UK or where practical, be work-based study abroad – widening the international dimension of the student experience – or could be an internal project appropriate to the student’s discipline.

In preparation for the placement, students will explore the broader context of the creative and cultural industries in which ensemble theatre takes place, the role of cultural entrepreneurship and the business models common to the arts organisation.

Indicative key areas for study: Context

  • The creative and cultural industries
  • The cultural entrepreneur
  • Common business models within the arts
  • Work-based learning
  • Practice
  • Internship/work-based learning

This module will:

  • Allow students to develop an area in their professional practice within the context of a professional company;
  • Evaluate business models for work within the creative and cultural industries;
  • Further develop critical and analytical reflection upon practice.

Students will focus on a particular area of interest within the broad scope of ensemble theatre and are expected to integrate personal research alongside the internship/placement. The module is based around self-motivtaed interest and  study, research into the industry and work- based learning with tutor led context lectures at the beginning of the module. Students are supported in seeking appropriate work-based learning opportunities either with the College’s creative partners or other appropriate ensemble companies working or exploiting an appropriate internal placement opportunities. Placements can be in UK or abroad.

Module 5: Independent research project

For this final project students will focus on their chosen discipline within the context of the company or ensemble working towards an appropriate piece of theatre for presentation within the College and/or on tour to other venues. This module will provide a substantial laboratory period for research, experimentation and development, directly leading to the final project. This research will inform the final reflection on the students practice within the ensemble.

There are two parts for completion of this Independent Research Project module.


Part A
You will propose a practical research project related to your particular field of performance interest. The focus of this research project may be culturally specific practices, the development of new modes of training and exposition of practice in specific environments, new constellations and languages of training or performance creation, the manifestation of developing or innovative practices in relation to original or existing material and contexts etc. The project will take the form of either a practical- or performance-based event.

Part B
The written paper will articulate and discuss important elements, processes and discoveries relating to the realisation of the project. It should analyse the particular subject you have chosen to focus on and seek to contextualize, evaluate, articulate key elements of the research and process and offer a detailed account of the ways in which your own practice has developed as a result of the practical investigation and research. The aim is to create a piece of writing that reflects new knowledge and insight generated by the research project.

Please click here to download a pdf of the Module specifications.
Please click here to download a pdf of the programme specification.


“Something inexplicable happened the day I attended a workshop and was auditioned in the States. I knew that I had found my home!

When I arrived in London the entire Rose Bruford College faculty was amazing, they made sure the international students were comfortable and adjusting well (especially since this was my first time moving away from my parents).

I loved our ensemble group right from the start. We leaned on each other so much, it felt like a huge piece of the group was missing when one of us was out or doing some kind of work. I've seen a change in me not only as a performer but as a more confident person, and I have Rose Bruford College to thank for that”.

Benjamin Bean
MA Ensemble Theatre Graduate 2016
United States of America

2017 London Auditions
Book now to attend our 2017 London auditions on:
Saturday 11 March
Saturday 22 April

International Interviews and Auditions
Throughout the year, we will be holding interviews and auditions abroad, including New York and Chicago Auditions at the URTA's. 
Please click here for our schedule and to register.

2016/2017 Fees
Please click here for fee details. From academic year 2016/17, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills will for the first time, provide a loan for UK/EU students of up to £10,000 per student for postgraduate Masters study. Please click here for more information.


Teaching staff over the past two years have included;

Gabriel Gawin
(Programme Director/ Song of the Goat)

Niamh Dowling
(Head of School of Performance/Movement)

Vanio Papadelli
(Movement/research methodologies)

Irina Brown

Bea Pemberton
( Complicite devising/ director )  ‎

Barbara Housman
(Voice RSC)  Punchdrunk, The Bush Theatre,

Struan Leslie

Pip Nash

Jeremy Harrison
(Musicality) Royal Exchange Theatre,

Colin Ellwood

Kate Sagovsky

Jane Bertesh
(Wrestling School)