Masters application information

Applying to East 15

Applying for a masters course

Within this section of our website you will find key information and guidance about how to apply to East 15 Acting School.

It is incredibly important that you read this information carefully before submitting an application to us, so please take some time to familiarise yourself with this key information and, should you have any questions, please e-mail:

How to apply 

There is no upper age limit for applicants to any programme, however, applicants will need to hold academic qualifications equivalent to the entry requirements for your chosen course or provide evidence of your suitability for study. To this end we will assess your experience (both academic and practical) and your potential for success. As part of your assessment, you will also need to undertake an audition (with the exception of applicants to MA/MFA Theatre Directing who are required to attend an interview in person or via Skype) that has an element of physical activity.

Follow the steps below to apply for our postgraduate programmes:

Please note that courses are now closed for 2019 entry. We will be accepting applications for 2020 entry from October 2019.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

  • Pay the audition fee. This applies to all applicants attending a UK audition and overseas applicants submitting online auditions EXCEPT those applying exclusively for MA/MFA Theatre Directing. Applicants attending an overseas audition do not need to pay the audition fee. Please note that this fee is non-refundable. See terms and conditions

Preparing for auditions

The only masters courses that do not require audition are MA and MFA Theatre Directing. All applicants to all other courses are expected to audition in person or, for overseas applicants only, submit online materials.

Audition days and interviews take place at our Loughton campus between December and May. The audition day starts with a general address to all applicants after which you will be allocated to a group and directed to a room for your first audition piece. You will then be asked to perform your audition speeches in front of your group and at least one East 15 tutor.

During your audition, you may receive direction and suggestions on your performance so you should listen closely to what you are being asked to do.  Please note that, through our suggestions, we are offering feedback on the work that we have seen.  We do not give feedback after the event, but if you listen attentively you will gain insight and feedback during the sessions.

Our audition process is very thorough, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your full potential. The audition lasts from four to six hours and includes opportunities to ask questions and engage with staff and current students.

Candidates for acting courses must prepare two contrasting speeches from (1 speech from each category):

  • a Shakespearean or Jacobean play, lasting no more than one and a half minutes
  • a contemporary (post 1970) play lasting no more than one and a half minutes

Please ensure that your audition speeches are no longer than one and a half minutes as this enables us to have time to work with you individually on your audition pieces.

Before selecting your pieces for audition, read the whole play and be ready to talk about the characters and the action.  You may be asked to improvise or translate the classical text into modern language.  We may ask you to approach the play in a variety of new ways. Do not select roles too old/young for you. Nor should you do any piece which requires an accomplished accent unlike your own.

MA/MFA Theatre Directing

You are assessed on the basis of your written application, although you may also be called for an interview in person, by telephone or Skype.

Overseas auditions

We also audition and interview internationally in around 10 countries each year, find out the dates, venues and availability of our auditions page.

Online auditions

If you live outside the UK, and cannot attend a UK or overseas audition, you may submit an online audition via YouTube, Vimeo or an alternative digital platform.

Please note that all applicants will need to submit a direct application form on which they can request their choice of audition country from the available list or add in their link for an online audition.

Applicants submitting an online audition will also need to pay the £55 audition fee

All online audition materials must be performed in English and include the following:

  • One speech from a Shakespearean or Jacobean play lasting not more than one and a half minutes
  • One speech from a contemporary (post 1970) play lasting no more than one and a half minutes
  • The applicant looking directly at the camera and, without notes or a script, talking about themselves, their family, their school, their life and why they want to enter theatre, film, TV or radio

We recommend that you upload the video material referred to above to either YouTube, Vimeo or file sharing sites such as Dropbox. You will need to provide the web address (URL) for this material within the online application form so should have this ready before submitting the form.


Information for applicants requiring a Tier 4 Visa

Overseas applicants from outside the European Economic Area are likely to require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK. If you think this applies to you, please note that you may be required to provide the following documentation:

  • A copy of your passport
  • A personal statement which states clearly why you wish to study at East 15 Acting School
  • A reference which is dated, signed and on headed paper (or sent from an academic email account) recommending you for the course
  • Colour copies of your degree transcripts (or your highest level of qualification)
  • Proof that you have undertaken an English language test (for example, IELTS with a score of 6.0 overall and a 5.5 minimum in each component) if English is not your first language

All evidence can generally be submitted as scanned images via email.

You will also be required to pay 33% of your first year tuition fee OR will need to have gained financial support from an authorised sponsor (for example US Federal Loans).

Further information about the documents you will need to provide will be sent to you by the Admissions Office at the University of Essex as part of your formal offer. These documents are not required as part of your application and audition.

The application and admissions process

All applicants are required to attend an audition or interview (unless based overseas, in which please note that we offer overseas auditions in around 10 countries each year or will accept online audition materials). We strongly recommend that you read the information provided on our website about how to prepare for your audition.

Applicants may only apply and audition once in each academic year.

Audition or interview date

Following submission of your application online you will be contacted by East 15 Acting School to advise you of your audition or interview date (alternatively, if you are an overseas applicant, and have submitted audition materials electronically, we will acknowledge receipt of these). We run a number of audition days throughout the year and recommend strongly that you read audition guidance and the Terms and Conditions for Audition (.pdf).

Once you have received your audition/interview date, all further correspondence from the school will be via email. Please ensure that you check your inbox regularly (we also recommend that you check junk/spam folders just in case your email provider filters our emails).


You won’t receive any feedback on the day of your audition/interview, however, you should expect to hear from us via email within two weeks. The outcome of your audition/interview will initially be communicated as one of the four outcomes below:


Outcome  Meaning
 Provisional Offer This means that, provided the application is authorised by the University of Essex (no information is missing, incomplete etc.), the forthcoming offer will be for one of the applicant’s chosen courses or a programme that our Heads of Course feel is a more appropriate option.
 Official Conditional Offer All of our offers are conditional upon the payment of a refundable (subject to terms and conditions) £300 course deposit and return of a signed Admissions Agreement by 6th June 2019 for early applicants or within 2 weeks of the official offer being made if this is later.
 Wait List This means that applicant will be held on our Wait List in case a place becomes available on an appropriate course. There is no guarantee of an offer. 
 Unsuccessful This means that the applicant has not been successful at audition and we are not able to offer a place on any of our courses at East 15


Receiving an offer

If you receive a Provisional Offer you should respond to it within two weeks, indicating whether or not you are interested in the course that is recommended.

Your official Conditional Offer will arrive soon afterwards (this may take up to a fortnight). The offer, which will arrive via email, includes the conditions of our offer and important response deadline information. You will also receive correspondence from the University of Essex Admissions Team either confirming your offer and the conditions and instructions on what you need to do next or requesting further information. It is important that you respond to any requests within the timeframe given as our offer may be withdrawn if we do not hear from you.

Please note, all successful applicants will receive a conditional offer that will include the requirement to pay a refundable £300 course deposit (refunds subject to Terms and Conditions for Course Deposit (.pdf) and return of a signed copy of our Admissions Agreement (link contained within your offer letter) by the deadline stated in your offer letter. All applicants must also submit a formal response to the University (accepting or declining the offer) through their MyEssex student portal (details of how to set this up are included in the offer letter).