Guildhall School of Music and Drama Ma Training Actors

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama Ma Training Actors

Guildhall School of Music and Drama Ma Training Actors

MA in Training Actors (Voice) or (Movement)

Introduction to the programme

  • 2 years, full-time
  • 7 applicants / 4 places* (two Voice, two Movement)

*approximate figures taken from 2014/15

Useful links

This two-year full-time programme is aimed at graduates who are committed to training actors and exploring and exploring the art of acting.

The course is led by specialist leading practitioners in association with professional theatre companies and leading drama schools. Students specialise in either Voice or Movement throughout the course and follow an integrated programme with emphasis on their chosen discipline.

The programme content draws on a long tradition of actor-training in the UK and abroad. The programme maintains a very small cohort of students (a maximum of four: two for Voice and two for Movement) in order that each student is able to develop their knowledge and skills under close guidance. Students enjoy close links with the BA and MA Acting programme and with the professional theatre.

At the core of the programme is intensive observation of actors in training, supported by seminars and tutorials. In addition, students undertake a practice-based research project and participate in a placement in a major theatre company, drama school or other appropriate organisation.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants normally hold a Diploma or Degree from either a recognised UK drama school or from an overseas conservatoire of equal standing, together with relevant experience. Applications are also encouraged from candidates with commensurate qualifications and experience. Candidates who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate a high level of fluency. Candidates who do not have recent academic experience are also required to provide evidence of their ability to complete a Master’s programme successfully.

Year 1

Total credit value: 120

From September to July students study full-time across three 12-week terms.

The core of the programme is based on the observation of classes in Voice and Speech or in Movement on the three-year BA and MA Acting Programmes, underpinned with seminars, lectures, practical classes, reflective practice and private study. In Term 1 students concentrate on developing their knowledge, skills and understanding. In Term 2, they begin to focus on the acquisition of teaching skills. These skills are further developed and tested in Term 3, when they run a series of workshops for trained actors, culminating in a practical teaching exercise.

Other modules are designed to develop further knowledge, understanding and communicative skills in the subject areas including anatomy and physiology of voice and movement, voice or movement analysis and play study.

Year 2

Total credit value: 120

From September to July students study full-time across three 12-week terms.

Students observe rehearsals and performances of projects and productions on the BA and MA Acting programmes. They focus on observing correctional work and developing skills in diagnosis and assessment, as well as negotiating the appropriate role for the voice or movement coach in relation to the director and the acting company. At the discretion of the directors concerned, they undertake supervised teaching, coaching, leading warm-ups etc. These skills are further developed in Term 2 and 3, culminating in a practical teaching/coaching exercise arising out of a specific rehearsal project or production. Students also continue to observe classes in Voice and Speech or in Movement on the Acting Programmes.

Students are encouraged to take other opportunities to develop their work as voice or movement coach. They also work on a Practice-based Research Project in the form of a dissertation or presentation. The programme culminates in a Professional Placement usually in Term 3, where students are attached to a professional theatre company, drama school, or other appropriate organisation, monitoring classes and rehearsals, leading warm-ups, coaching actors, as required. Recent placements have included work at the Royal Opera House with Wayne McGregor, Mercury Theatre Colchester, Watford Palace Theatre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival Theatre Canada, Shakespeare’s Globe, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse, Opera North, the Almeida Theatre, the Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance and the Southwark Playhouse.


The Programme Leader is Eliot Shrimpton (Head of Academic Studies: Drama).

Other tutors include: Wendy Allnutt (Head of Movement) and Danny McGrath, Patsy Rodenburg and and Annemette Verspeak, together with other members of the Drama Department and visiting tutors.

Applying for the programme

Information about applying online and the deadline for applications can be found in the How to Apply section.

Preliminary selection is on the basis of qualifications and experience; final selection is by interview/workshop.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from this programme have gone on to work in major British and international drama schools including RADA, LAMDA, the Drama Centre, the National Theatre School of Canada, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia College Chicago, and ALRA; as well as in leading theatre companies throughout the world including Cheek by Jowl, Stratford Shakespeare Festival Theatre, the RSC and the Young Vic.


The date of the interview/workshop for entry in 2017 will be announced here shortly.

Further enquiries to: