Postgraduate Course

MA Acting

MA Acting


The details
October 2023
1 year
East15 (Loughton) Campus

East 15 Acting School’s MA Acting is a challenging course that encourages the development of a personal methodology based upon East 15’s unique practices.

On one level, it is a thoroughly practical, highly intensive, vocational course. On another level, it is a thought-provoking, life-changing reflection on the function and art of the actor – exploring techniques from some of Europe’s most influential practitioners as well as innovative professional practice from the UK and internationally.

MA Acting is a specialist course of one academic year with additional work on marketing students to the industry with a showcase. You will need discipline and motivation to work at an advanced level. Beyond these, the requirements are abundant energy, insatiable curiosity and a robust sense of humour.

Some students may already possess a university degree (not necessarily in a related discipline) whilst others will have established themselves in other career paths and now seek to change the direction of their lives towards that of a professional actor.

This course also attracts professional actors who feel the need to reflect on their practice, extend their range and skills, refresh their creativity, increase their professional contacts and gain academic recognition.

This course is taught at our picturesque Loughton Campus.

View more Masters courses from East 15 Acting School, including Theatre Directing.

Why we're great.
  • Industry-ready intensive actor training by leading practitioners.
  • Industry showcase.
  • A focus on Stanislavski and Laban techniques.

Our expert staff

Our training is by professionals and for professionals, allowing our graduates to work successfully across the globe.

Our international, outstanding teaching faculty is made up of professionals from all areas of live and recorded performance.

Learn more about our staff here.

Specialist facilities

Our Loughton Campus is perfectly located, providing access to both the rich, cultural diversity of London and an attractive and peaceful setting in which to study.

We are just a five-minute walk from London Underground station, Debden, where you can travel in only thirty minutes to Central London, West End theatres and mainline train stations including the Eurostar.

We have three sites at our Loughton Campus – Hatfields, Roding House and Unit Four. Hatfields is a beautiful Georgian dower house, set in five acres of lawns with orchards, flowerbeds and a small lake, providing an idyllic atmosphere for study, relaxation and performance.

Just a short walk from Hatfields is Roding House, a £1.3 million facility containing 10 rehearsal rooms, a green room/café, a sound recording studio and a video editing suite, and our costume department.

Next to Roding House, Unit Four is a £1.5 million facility which is home to the Stage & Production Management department. The Unit contains a large workshop, paint shop, prop shop, prop storage facilities and teaching spaces.

Our on-site Corbett Theatre is named in honour of Harry H Corbett, a key member of Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop and early benefactor of East 15. It is used extensively for student productions and is a practical training hub for our BA Stage and Production Management students.

The building is a medieval tithe barn that was dismantled and transported to Hatfields in the 1960s. These unusual origins create a unique performance space with a special atmosphere. Renovated to include full technical facilities, tiered seating for 130 people and fitted dressing rooms, the theatre provides an excellent resource for public productions, while the adjacent Bar and Café provides a social meeting point for students and staff.

Your future

On completion of the MA Acting program, you are qualified as an actor and recognised as a graduate of East 15 training. You are equipped to pursue acting careers in theatre, film, TV and radio. You also have an understanding of how to create your own work, including how to form companies and gain funding, as well as a variety of methodologies for developing your own artistic practice.

You are encouraged to remain in touch with the school, to watch the development of succeeding students and to benefit from informal support and mentoring as you continue in your career.

“When I was auditioning at drama schools East 15 seemed to offer the most personal actor training, where they focus on you as an individual rather than trying to make you fit some mould. I can happily say the course has fully lived up to this, and I know that when I leave here I will be an actor who is not only ready to enter the industry, but be a part of shaping it too.”

Jennie Rawling, MA Acting

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Our applicants need to undertake a successful audition or video audition, plus have a first degree with an overall 2.2, or equivalent or suitable life and/or professional expertise.

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.


Course structure

We offer dynamic and unique courses for actors, directors 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.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.


Term 1

Your first term, focuses on:

  • Classes in movement, voice and singing, as well as contextual studies
  • Development of an artistic practice from an exploration of personal self, to that of the body in time and space and from there to the creation of character and the realisation of text
  • Acting classes that promote the development of intuitive, creative responses which are then framed by the introduction of techniques to build character and play actions
You will also apply technical voice and movement work to the context of an acting exercise through showings of short naturalistic scenes as well as receive an introduction to actor-centric research.
Term 2

In the second term, skills classes continue. You will also:

  • Work on an intensive Shakespeare module which develops and strengthens the integration of technical skills with acting technique
  • Experience East 15’s renowned and distinctive ‘Living History’ project - a long-form, non-performative improvisation in which the actor can, through rigorous research and a residential period away from the campus environment, experience and identify with the practical and visceral realities, as well as the psychological and emotional attributes, of the character
  • Devise an ensemble performance based on your intellectual, emotional and sensory experience and understand and realise what it is to make theatre and the realities of the industry by taking on stage management and production roles for this project
  • Begin to focus on acting for recorded media

Towards the end of term two you will begin to research and develop your MA project.

Term 3

The first part of Term 3 focuses on recorded media. You will:

  • Further develop your skills in acting for recorded media, resulting in material for your professional showreel
  • Learn performance skills for radio and microphone technique

You will also focus on the ‘MA Project’, which consists of working in small groups on self-generated productions, where you are given independence and autonomy as company members.

The second half of term 3 sees a full production of an ensemble devised text-based play.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee


Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £800. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.

International fee


Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £800. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.

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 an East 15 application form, along with two confidential references and a copy of your audition payment receipt so that we can schedule your audition.

Please check the East 15 website 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. You can also submit an audition via YouTube or Vimeo if you cannot attend an audition in person.

For full details, please see the East 15 website.

Hatfields, 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

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3


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 University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

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