What you'll study
Live performance is, at the moment, undergoing a significant change. A great variety of new forms, new technologies, new thinking about drama, theatre and performance, innovative approaches to story-telling (with growing budget limitations) call for a highly trained, versatile and imaginative professional director, able to generate ideas, unlock classical and new pieces of dramatic writing, breathe life into them and discover an urgent, contemporary, vital reason for putting them on in collaboration with writers, designers and actors.
The MA/ MFA Contemporary Directing Practice offers an experiential two-year programme of developing a vocabulary and finding your own voice and vision as a director while acquiring and honing a diverse variety of skills, techniques, tools and devices. The MA Programme is 13 months long, and the graduates qualify in October of Year Two with the presentation of their independent Research Project. MFA students commence their Year Two with a fully resourced production of a One-Act Play, followed by a Professional Placement Module and, notably, Directing for Camera (resulting in the writing and directing of a short film). MFA concludes with the Independent Professional Directing Project to be delivered by October 2024.
Why choose this course?
A playground for personal and professional growth, and experimentation under the mentorship and instruction from established artists; professional encounters, talks and seminars with leading British and international theatre-makers
Unique experiential programme of mastering directing techniques, tools and psycho-physical vocabulary, and developing the director’s individual voice and vision
Resources and facilities
Rose Bruford College provides a unique opportunity of being part of the creative student community, offering access to vast College resources in support of collaborations with students and practitioners from other courses and disciplines both at the School of Performance and the School of Design Management and Technical Arts
Industry contacts and networking
Development of a professional network of creative relationships
MA Course Structure
The MA runs over an extended academic year of 13 months.
It comprises of four taught modules over the course of three consecutive terms, followed by an Independent Research Project that results in a resourced practical project presentation documented in the Director’s Workbook.
Module 1: Embodying the Space
- Part 1: A foundation in wide-ranging mind-body skills and techniques, rooting directors in the language of improvised, devised, collaborative and immersive story-telling.
- Part 2: Creating and directing a Devised Piece and an Adaptation Project.
Module 2: Framing the Space
- This module expands the director’s awareness and language of Visual and Spatial Storytelling, Visual and Musical Composition, and introduces approaches to Director –Designer creative collaboration.
Module 3: The Director's Journey
This is the core module that underpins the programme as a whole.
It is taught in two parts:
- Dialogue with the Playwright – Director Preparation from page to stage
- Director’s Lab – a practical part of the course, comprised of numerous independent scene-study workshops, a practical exploration of Director-Actor interaction, etc.
Module 4: Professional Directing Practice
An inter-programme directing project, drawing on the additional skills of performers, designers and stage technicians both from the School of Performance (European Theatre Arts Programme) and the School of Design Management and Theatre Arts.
Module 5: Independent Research Project
The final module facilitates the creation of an original piece of work; it is a practical articulation of your practice. The module is designed as the culmination of the programme as a whole, with the view to implementing the working methodologies and practices that have been assimilated and acquired.
MFA Course Structure
Directing for Stage and Screen
The MFA Contemporary Directing Practice is a two-year vocational director-training programme for those wanting an advanced practice-based training alongside rigorous academic study at postgraduate level to underpin and develop their work as directors for stage and screen.
Modules in Year One are shared modules with MA Contemporary Directing Practice. There are four taught modules over the course of three consecutive terms as highlighted above in the MA Course Structure section.
It is comprised of three taught modules over the course of two consecutive terms, followed by the Independent Professional Directing Project, resulting in a project presentation between July and September, documented in the Director’s Workbook.
MFA Year 2 - Module 5: Independent Professional Directing Project
- IPDP Part 1: One-Act Play (September – October 2022)
- A fully-realised production of a One-Act Play, chosen by the director
- IPDP Part 2: Final Independent Production (July – September 2023)
Building on IPDP Part 1, the final Independent Professional Directing Project facilitates the creation of an original piece of work. It is a creative articulation of your practice honed over the two years.
MFA Year 2 - Module 6: Professional Placement & Introduction to New Writing
- Professional Placement is an ongoing strand within the module and is undertaken over an extended period of six to eight weeks
- Working on a New Writing Project
MFA Year 2 - Module 7: Directing for Camera
The module offers diverse 10-week film training. It is a combination of introductory lectures, workshops and film directing practice that culminates in students writing, directing, shooting and editing an 8-10 min short film.
We champion diversity because a rich mix of people makes Rose Bruford College a more productive and creative place to study and work; and we champion equality because it is the right thing to do.
Programme Director MA/ MFA Contemporary Directing PracticeRead their full profile
Institution code: Not required for this course.
Course code: Not required for this course.
Applicants for Masters Programmes will be expected to have a good undergraduate degree in a related subject area. The College also encourages applications from those without formal qualifications who may be accepted on the basis of professional experience.
Once you have filled out an expression of interest online, a member of our admissions team will contact you with an invitation to apply.
You will be asked to provide a detailed personal statement expressing why you are interested in studying on the course. Your personal statement should include a summary of your academic, professional and/or life experiences. You should conclude by explaining what your aspirations are once you have completed the programme.
Interview with portfolio
If successful at stage one, you will be invited to an interview, where you will have the opportunity to present your portfolio to the panel.
Portfolio of creative work could include samples of one or all of the following:
- A short recorded extract of work you have directed or choreographed for stage, film or radio, or acted in (it could be a piece you may have directed/ acted in live or on Zoom)
- A sample of your creative writing (a play or a scene from a play, poems, or a short film, a review of a play or film, or anything else)
- A short monologue or poem: the text can be an example of your own work, or can come from any play, era or poet. It should be a piece that you feel reflects your own interests and strengths as a performer/ theatre-maker. It should be no more than two minutes long, performed from memory (in English), and filmed/ recorded with you speaking direct to camera.
If successful at stage two, you will be given a creative task to prepare and present at your third and final interview.Funding and Financial Support
MA 13 months MFA 24 Months
Mode of study
Course Fees (2023 Entry)
MA UK & Republic of Ireland Students
MA International Students
MFA UK & Republic of Ireland Students (240 credits)
MFA International Students (240 credits)