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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

About the course

Designed primarily for students with previous experience and/or training, the MA Acting - Contemporary masters programme at Central is a creatively, physically and intellectually demanding, advanced level, conservatoire acting programme specialising in Contemporary plays.

Perform in two fully-realised public productions and an industry showcase
Hone the individual technical craft of the actor, and release your collaborative and imaginative creativity within a small ensemble company (typically 14-16 students)
Take part in practical group classes in acting, movement and voice, undertaking separate stage combat training
Follow the basic structure of ‘intensives’ and ‘studios’ with classes examining particular theatrical forms combined with physical and vocal training, and individual research.

The Contemporary course addresses the actor’s relationship with the writer, from Early Modern times to the present day through the exploration of:

> Shakespeare and his legacy

> Chekhov, Stanislavski and the birth of naturalism

> the actor and 20th century playwriting

> new writing and the development of new work.

The course combines teaching in practical voice, movement and acting techniques with an exploration of some of the key playwrights who have helped forge the canon of Western theatre, from the Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists to Chekhov, and from Beckett to Kane and beyond.

Uniquely it explores the relationship between the two artists at the core of much Western theatre: the actor and the writer. Plays are frequently developed in collaboration between actors and writers, sometimes directly and sometimes mediated by a director. You are encouraged to explore your role as a creative artist in relation to writers and the written word, as well as exploring your role as a theatre maker.

Throughout the course, you will have the chance to work with, and alongside, writers on plays in development, both the next generation of playwrights on the MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media course, and established playwrights with a track record of produced plays.


Assessment is through a mixture of practical assessments, including clown improvisations, scene studies and public production work. To complete the MA Acting, you will also submit a Sustained Independent Project, which may include elements of solo performance and critical writing.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 23,984per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

  • Campus address

    Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, Embassy Theatre, Eton Avenue, Camden, NW3 3HY, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    8th out of 102 3

  • Entry standards

    / Max 196
    137 72%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    76 76%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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