Postgraduate Course

MA Acting


MA Acting


The details
Acting (International)
October 2020
1 year
East15 (Loughton) Campus

This is a unique professional course that has been designed specifically for overseas students.

MA/MFA Acting (International) offers the full spectrum of acting skills, including voice, movement and singing and approaches to rehearsal and public performances. It draws on existing practice but supplements this work with specific teaching and learning processes especially suitable for overseas students.

The course focuses on advanced practical acting skills and also takes in the study of Shakespeare and other classical traditions. The MA runs for 1 year on a full-time basis and the MFA for 2 years. MA and MFA students take the same modules in their first year. In their second year, MFA students work within a repertory company format to present a range of fully-staged productions in each of the three terms, followed by a written dissertation or practical project.

MA/MFA Acting (International) offers regular classes, during the year, for English first-language and English second-language students. The English first language students (USA, Canada, Australia etc) concentrate on accent/dialect and received pronunciation (RP), while the second-language students focus more on accent, rhythm, stress and diction.

All students participate in public performances during their study. By the end of the course, you will be able to work in accurate English dialect and perform sophisticated texts with confidence.

Why we're great.
  • Performance on the stage of the Globe theatre in London.
  • International cohort of USA and students from across the world.
  • Intensive skill training by leading UK and international faculty.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Your future

You will have a comprehensive, professional training that will enable you to pursue a professional career in theatre and related professions in an increasingly global industry.

“The crosspollination of ideas and cultures brought together in the faculty and students in this course provides a valuable springboard in creating extraordinary theatre.”

Earl Kim, MA/MFA Acting (International)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

This course is not available to UK applicants.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.


Example structure

We offer dynamic and unique course for actors, directors, technical theatre specialists and students of theatre practice. Training at East 15 draws upon 50 years of tradition combined with a keen sense of the world of stage and screen today.

Our carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore and develop your specialist training.


This module focuses on the development of skills and techniques for understanding, speaking and communicating Renaissance text, with an emphasis on the handling of verse, rhythm, inflection and pace.

View Shakespeare on our Module Directory


First term

The first term includes the module Acting Technique based on the Stanislavsky approach, which addresses the key physical and vocal skills for acting, enabling students who are coming from a variety of training traditions to identify and achieve the required level of preparation for the subsequent modules.

It also allows tutors to make a diagnostic assessment of your skills and potential, and identify and implement any additional work in these core areas.

The module on Shakespeare enables you to develop your understanding of the meaning and mechanics of Shakespeare’s text. It introduces you to specific vocal techniques for the performance of Renaissance text and allow you to consider how a range of archaic and contemporary performance settings influence the actor’s and director’s approaches to Shakespeare in performance.

In addition, you study a range of analytical and experimental approaches to script that are useful to the actor and there are opportunities to develop your clarity, accuracy, and expressiveness in speaking Renaissance text. The Shakespeare module normally includes a two-week workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe, where you have an opportunity to perform on the Globe stage.

Second term

The second term includes the Character and Scene Study module which extends the work begun in Acting Technique. It uses a Realist approach to acting as its base, allowing you to pursue longer and more challenging acting explorations. Scene work is undertaken on scripts by, for example, Ibsen, Strindberg, and Realist texts from the last 50 years. The module extends and applies Realist acting techniques, and includes a study of theories and assumptions underlying Realism.

A module on Contemporary UK Texts introduces you to key contemporary texts from the UK theatre, and to scripts from the twentieth-century that continue to have a place in and to influence contemporary UK theatre. It allows you to extend your vocal, physical, and analytical skills in the creation of roles that reflect a current cultural context and offers an opportunity to create and perform a complete role in the context of a fully staged play.

Third term

You work on a written dissertation or a practical project. The year usually culminates in a full length production in a London venue.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee


Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £775. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.

International fee


Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £775. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next


When you apply for one of our postgraduate courses, we will assess you on your experience (both academic and practical) and your potential for success. You will need to undertake an audition that has an element of physical activity as part of your assessment.

You need to complete and send us a completed East 15 application form, two confidential references and a copy of your audition payment receipt so that we can arrange your audition.

Applications for 2019 entry will open at the end of October – please check the East 15 website at that time for further information.


Auditions generally take place at our Loughton Campus between December and June. You’ll need to prepare two pieces of around two minutes each; one Shakespearean or Jacobean, and one contemporary.

If you live outside the UK, we audition internationally in different countries each year, or you may submit an audition via YouTube or Vimeo if you cannot attend an audition.

For full details, please see the East 15 website.

Loughton Campus

Visit Loughton Campus

You’ll be in intensive training at one of the most prestigious and internationally respected conservatoires in the country, gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in the performing arts. But fear not! It’s not all work and no play at East 15 Acting School in Loughton.

Open Days

We don’t currently offer Open Days for this course but if you would like more information, then please email us at


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Related courses