Skip to main content

Award
MA Performance (Directing)
School/s
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
One year full-time or two years part-time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent. Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Do you want to be a Theatre Director? This course is for directors of theatre and live performance at all stages of their career.

  • Direct productions at our campus theatres and in Bath’s professional theatres and venues.
  • Get the chance to be an Assistant Director to an experienced Director who is already working in the industry.
  • Practical classes and seminars with industry professionals give you the skills and knowledge to facilitate safe, creative spaces.

MA Performance (Directing) is designed to help you build a portfolio of skills and experience across diverse theatre productions. From how to develop your ideas to full scale shows, and from classical to contemporary theatre, you’ll get a broad and advanced understanding of working in theatre today.

We’ll encourage you to work to professional standards on ambitious projects designed for public audiences. You’ll get the chance to direct your own productions and collaborate with professionals, especially at our student-led festival, SparkFest, which we run in partnership with Bath Festivals, and as part of our in-house company, Bath Spa Productions.

You have the opportunity to spend time as assistant director at one of many venues in Bath. You’ll encounter lots of opportunities to use your skills – for example, you could run a series of workshops for young people, or create your own full-scale production.

You’ll pick up new, transferable skills that you can take into a range of careers, such as how to train people, lead a team, work with professional actors, musicians, designers and technicians, and of course, direct for the theatre.

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll explore approaches to directing through seminars and practical work. Alongside this, you’ll develop an advanced understanding of actor training, so that you can facilitate an actor’s process.

We recognise that each director will be at a different stage in their practice, and as such we’ve designed the course to be flexible enough to support your individual development. Throughout your MA you’ll receive bespoke support and expert guidance to enable you to pursue your own creative journey.

Course structure

Trimester one

The Skills Portfolio and Performance Practices modules run across trimester one and two, and work together to prepare you with an essential ‘directors toolkit’ and a theoretical underpinning to ensure you have the professional skills and knowledge to facilitate a safe and creative space, direct actors and collaborate with other artists.

Weekly seminars bring together historical and current practices of theatre directing and performance, to advance your directing knowledge. Alongside this, your Professional Practices module offers you an opportunity to develop your individual professional practice through small scale productions, research and development projects or work placements.

Trimester two

Your skills training will continue to enhance your work, and you’re encouraged to try out your own ideas, either with your own chosen cast, with a University production, or a professional company. You’ll get to bring your work into SparkFest, the festival we run in collaboration with Bath Festivals.

Additionally, you’ll take a Professional Collaboration module that provides both tools and experience in working with a wide range of artists and developing performances to grow your professional profile.

Trimester three

You can choose to undertake a more traditional written dissertation, a performance based dissertation, or a mixture of the two. You might direct a production, lead workshops, or research areas relating to directing as part of your dissertation.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed by a range of methods, including:

  • Performance portfolios
  • Proposal documents for artistic ideas
  • Research projects
  • Presentations
  • Viva voces
  • Reflective learning and work-based reports or journals
  • Project evaluations.
How will I be taught?

The degree is delivered through a variety of workshops, lectures, seminars, masterclasses, off-site visits, performance and production work, and through the Virtual Learning Environment, Ultra. We invite professional visiting actors and directors to work with you, and have an ever-expanding list of lecturers, specialists, artists and guest scholars.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

Opportunities

Off-site visits

You’ll get the chance to visit theatres and venues, experience performances, and meet the people who create them. Some trips are subsidised, however, you may have to contribute to fund travel, for example.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Throughout your course you will have the opportunity to observe, take part in and assistant direct professional creative projects with the University’s in-house production company, Bath Spa Productions.

This means collaborating with professional theatre directors, choreographers, writers, musicians, theatre companies and venues to develop your understanding of a professional theatre project from planning to production. Alongside this, you will be widening your networks and the skills you’ll need for your future career.

We have several other partner organisations such as Theatre Royal Bath, Bristol Old Vic theatre, Bristol School of Acting who offer opportunities for Assistant Director placements.

Career progression

The course is geared towards giving you the skills you need to develop a freelance career as a Theatre Director.

You’ll also be able to diversify your work by developing skills in other areas, and gaining transferable skills that are designed to equip you to work in a range of areas, such as:

  • Creative producing
  • Dramaturgy / script development
  • Creative learning / teaching
  • Artistic direction / management
  • Fundraising
  • Audience development
  • Marketing

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Based at our Newton Park Campus, you’ll have access to performance studios and spaces such as the University Theatre at Newton Park, and Oldfield Park. We also have links with the Theatre Royal Bath, the Rondo Theatre, The Egg, The Ustinov, and the Tobacco Factory.

Our Oldfield Park Theatre workshops are a purpose-built facility in central Bath. These facilities include:

  • Four rehearsal studios and Black Box performance space
  • Breakout spaces and quiet study areas
  • Lecture and seminar rooms
  • IT suite
  • Fully-equipped carpentry workshop and teaching space
  • Fully-equipped costume making workshop
  • Prop making workshop.

You’ll also have access to facilities on our other campuses, including University Theatre.

Resources
  • Newton Park Library, including a large collection of books, periodicals and CDs with extensive eBook and online journal access.
  • Support for your academic work from the Writing and Learning Centre, including feedback on written drafts and help with academic writing.
  • English Language support from the English Language Unit, which can help you improve your English, reach your potential and boost your confidence.
  • Virtual Learning Environment, which provides online access to learning materials such as lecture slides, assessment information, discussion boards and other resources.
  • The Careers team run networking events and advisory workshops that explore your future options and the essentials of the job application process. They help you get experience by assisting with your search for work placements and paid part-time jobs while you're studying. When you're ready to progress into your chosen career, they can help you secure graduate-level employment, freelance opportunities, and funding for your own business ideas. Career support continues for years after you graduate with the dedicated Grad Support Unit.
  • Free equipment loan service, which provides a huge variety including field recording, film and other audio related equipment. 
  • Access to thousands of business, design and tech courses online via LinkedIn Learning.
  • Access to the full Adobe Creative Suite.

Fees

2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £8,825
UK part time £4,413*
International full time £17,065

Fee notes

*Fee shown is for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for theatre and live performance directors at all stages of their career. You might be a recent graduate of Acting, Theatre, Performance or a related degree, or a more experienced early career director who is keen to progress your skills. MA Directing is for theatre and live performance directors at all stages of their career. You’ll have a desire to work in or be currently working in live performance.

Generally we look for a good honours degree or higher, in an area relating to performance, or equivalent professional experience. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) web page to learn more.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Interview

We invite all eligible candidates to attend an interview in-person or online, plus a practical audition. During this meeting, we’ll ask you about your previous experience around performance projects. We may request you to do a short practical exercise in order for us to observe your practical skills. It’s our chance to get to know you, and for you to get to know us. You’ll receive further information if you’re invited to interview.

When to apply

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

"MA Performance (Directing)" was previously called "MA Directing". It is now one of four MA Performance pathways.

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk