MA Professional Acting

MA Acting, postgraduate acting course, full-time, 15 Month

Course Leader Aly Spiro and Chris Hill
Course Location Wandsworth, London /Wigan, Greater Manchester
Study Level Postgraduate
Study Mode Full Time
Course Length 15 Months
Application £45
Awarding Body St Mary’s University, London
Validated from 2017 to 2022
  Apply Now

The ALRA MA Professional Acting Course (15 months) is a full time actor training programme that has three taught terms followed by two performance terms; including two theatre productions (one in collaboration with a professional Theatre Company), recording a film and showcases in both London and Manchester.

ALRA’s postgraduate courses focus on the skills and techniques needed for professional acting today. The MA Acting programme encourages you to view your performance practice as continual development and to further your particular strengths.

This course includes most aspects of a Drama School BA (Hons) Acting course but is delivered at a fast-tracked pace. Students work individually and as an ensemble with projects in screen acting as well as radio and theatre acting, movement, voice and other vital techniques of the performing arts with opportunities for audition practice to a professional panel.

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  • ALRA North MA

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  • ALRA South MA

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The brevity and intensity of this programme demands a strong professional focus, a good level of stamina and an excellent level of commitment, and whilst we welcome all applicants, typical students are those with some performance experience who perhaps have already had a taste of the acting profession, or those seeking to change career or study at Postgraduate or Masters level.

  • Overview
  • Entry Requirements
  • Fees & Dates
  • Admissions and Assessment

The ALRA MA Professional Acting Course (15 months) is a full-time actor training programme that has three taught terms followed by two performance terms; including one theatre production, recording a film scene and showcases in both London and Manchester.

ALRA’s postgraduate modules focus on the skills and techniques needed for professional acting today. The MA Acting programme encourages you to view your performance practice as continual development and as a means to further your particular strengths.

This acting course includes most aspects of a Drama School BA (Hons) Acting module but is delivered at a fast-tracked pace. Students work individually and as an ensemble with projects in screen acting as well as radio and theatre acting, movement, voice and other vital techniques of the performing arts with opportunities for audition practice to a professional panel.

The brevity and intensity of this programme demands a strong professional focus, a good level of stamina and an excellent level of commitment. Whilst we welcome all applicants, typical students are those with some performance experience who perhaps have already had a taste of the acting profession, or those seeking to change career or study at Postgraduate or Masters level.

This is a highly practical course with a comparatively high amount of contact hours which reflects the demands of the industry students are preparing to enter.

Teaching Patterns and Methods

There are six modules including a public performance module affording students four separate performance opportunities and a self-directed practical research project which culminates in a performance in an area of speciality.

  • The 40 credit modules composed of two that include a mixture of workshops and taught classes of 18 hours a week contact time over 24 weeks and one self led independent project.
  • The 20 credit modules are taught practical classes of between 6 and 8 hours a week contact time over 24 weeks.

Acting

This module is a combination of practical and theoretical classes covering accepted methodologies of (not exclusively) Stanislavski, Hagen and Johnstone in Acting Technique and Scene Study and then applied and furthered in Acting for Camera and Acting for Radio. Students work on a variety of texts from Ancient Greek to Classic Texts.

Scene Study presentations are assessed in studio conditions in front of a peer audience. An Actors Working Notebook from one of the scene studies is assessed. This is supported by a theatre visit each term and relevant workshops with outside practitioners at the end of each term.

Actor Voice

This module is taught by voice specialists, qualified in voice to Masters level. Using accepted methodologies including, although not exclusively, Linklater, Berry and Houseman. The module covers voice production and application to text and is assessed through three vocal presentations to peer audiences over the 24 weeks, and vocal articulacy is assessed through a phonetics test and 2 x 300 word essays. This is supported by a theatre visit each term and relevant workshops with outside practitioners at the end of each term.

Actor Movement

This module is taught by movement specialists qualified in movement to Masters level or equivalent in conservatoire international training programmes. This module ranges from a core understanding of how the body works to application of movement to character through the methodologies of, although not exclusively, Laban, Lecoq and Chekhov. Supported by an intensive experience of stage combat, the module is assessed through one solo movement presentation and one group presentation. A critical and reflective blog is also submitted as a formative assessment.

Entrepreneurship and Acting

This module introduces learners to the various processes of preparing characters based on textual investigation. Learners will also learn how to use research and reflection to enhance their career prospects. Through embedding technology in the assessment submission format, the module will allow learners to use open source technology to prepare for showcasing their skills and explaining their knowledge and understanding of complex acting concepts delivered to a range of audiences. Assessment is through the creation of an actor’s website and the creation of a digital rationale.

Performance

Acting for Camera

Actors work under professional conditions with professional directors who are current in the acting profession. The Film Project is led by a professional film or television director, using a professional director of photography and sound engineer. Students rehearse and record a ten-minute bespoke script over the period of three weeks.

Acting for Stage

Working with a professional director and supported by a stage management team, students prepare and rehearse an extant script which is performed to the public and industry for at least four performances.

Showcase

Working with a professional director or casting director, students select short scenes which are rehearsed over a period of three weeks and performed in a London and Manchester theatre to an audience of industry specialists.

Assessment is through the final performances of the Film Project, Public Production and Showcase.

Personal Research Project 

Students will be asked to create an original 20 - 30 minute live performance for theatre or a recorded piece for film, television or radio which is presented to a peer group or outside audience.

Learners will be required to submit a 4000 word rationale or append a 15 -20 minute video or audio rationale, as part of the PRP submission. The rationale will contextualise their piece of work in relation to a range of practices or practitioners relevant to their performance. They will outline the process they undertook and explain the conceptual aim of their research. 

Students are supported with rehearsal space, studio time and specialist equipment as applicable. Studio technicians offer instruction in the use of equipment and software. For live work, students are allocated a technician 2 days before the performance to aid with technical and dress rehearsals.

At the start of each year there is an intensive induction which introduces the students to teaching methods, research methods, facilities and resources.

Assessment Strategy

Students are assessed through performance and presentations and also through essays or journals, blogs, v-logs and podcasts. It is important to note that ALRA supports students who struggle with academic writing to establish critical and evaluative skills through alternative submission formats.

Assessment is weighted around public performances which is an intense learning experience, allowing the student to apply skills and strategies acquired on the module and indicating suitability to practice as a professional actor.

Formative assessment tasks which happen throughout the module are marked as Pass/Fail only. This is to encourage students to focus on the experiential and experimental nature of the work over the need to achieve impressive marks.

As is usual in theatre training, students are given constant formative feedback in practical classes as well as more formal feedback on their written assignments and practical projects in tutorials.

Selection is made by audition. 
See Audition Guidelines (How to Apply)

It is expected that you will have:

  • an undergraduate degree or equivalent, or considerable work/life experience could be taken into consideration; we would ask you to attend an intensive preliminary course.
  • You must be at least 18 years old at the start of the course, although ALRA welcomes older students, especially those who are thinking about a career change.
  • If English is not your first language you must be fluent in English (You may be asked for proof of this We need a level 6.5 in the IELTS (International English Language Test System).

Course

Campus

Audition Fees

Registration Fees

Course Fees (per term)

MA Professional Acting ALRA North £45 £400 £2,500
MA Professional Acting ALRA South £45 £400 £3,020

Funding Information for the MA Professional Acting and all ALRA courses can be found in Fees & Funding.

Terms Dates

Autumn Term 2017Spring Term 2018Summer Term 2018Autumn Term 2018
From 18th September 8th January 23rd April TBC
To 24th November 23rd March 13th July TBC

Admission follows successful audition and interview. Candidates will be contacted as soon as possible to confirm their places.

For information on our Admissions Policy click here:
Admissions Policy

  • FAQs

  • Next Interview / Audition Dates

  • Audition Guidelines

    Auditions Guidelines

    • Your Audition
    • Audition Format
    • Policies

    Each applicant is asked to select, prepare and perform two audition monologues (each lasting no longer than 2 minutes) from; one from a contemporary and one from a Shakespeare or Jacobean play.

    Please make sure you have read the whole play your monologue comes from and that it works as a stand-alone speech, not requiring input from another character.

    Ensure that you:

    • Prepare & Learn your monologue pieces
    • Choose monologue pieces that match your age
    • Do not use props or costume in your monologues
    • Use only your natural accent in your monologues
    • Avoid directing your monologues at the panel
    • Wear suitable clothing allowing free movement throughout the day
      (which allows tutors to assess posture and movement)

    ALRA is assessing you on the following qualities and abilities:

    • Truth, focus and concentration
    • Ability to take direction
    • Ability to express thought and feeling through text, movement and voice
    • Openness and responsiveness to others imagination and creativity
    • Evidence of stamina and co-ordination

    ALRA will form an opinion on these matters at audition & interview and record the outcomes for scrutiny and feedback.

    ALRA offers various provisions for access to our full-time courses for applicants:

    • Auditions, Interviews & Workshops at ALRA North & South Campus
    • Workshops & Auditions at Private Outreach  Venues
    • Auditions, Interviews & Workshops at Regional UK Venues
    • Preliminary Online Assessments for International Students
    • Auditions, Interviews & Workshops at International Venues
    • Collaborative Partnerships

    ALRA follows the ‘Auditioning and interviewing for Dance & Drama Code of Practice’ as detailed on the CDMT and EFA websites.

    Audition Days (All Acting Courses)

    Selection is made by audition that takes place over one day and tests applicants on performance of text, vocal and physical suitability and individual interview.

    Each applicant is asked to select, prepare and perform two audition monologues (each lasting no longer than 2 minutes) from; one contemporary and one Shakespeare or Jacobean play. This forms Stage 1 of ALRA’s audition process.

    If the applicant is successful in passing Stage 1, they are then asked to participate in a movement and improvisation workshop, undertake a Text and Vocal assessment workshop and will then finally be invited to Interview.

    The audition process is designed to assess which acting course is most suitable for your level of development, offering you feedback at the end of your day and discuss your options, with opportunities to talk to staff and students throughout the audition process.

    Audition Results

    ALRA operates an Equal Opportunities Policy: all candidates will be assessed on their potential to meet the demands of the course and considered entirely on the basis of merit. Those showing the most aptitude at audition will be considered for Dance and Drama Awards.  

    The audition panel for all full-time courses are run by Course Leaders, Lead Tutors and Senior Staff members, final selection is completed by the Principal and Registrar.

    Successful applicants will have demonstrated a significant degree of talent, ability, preparation, aptitude and commitment as well as the ability to make a positive contribution to, and benefit from training with ALRA. 

    Audition results are usually processed and sent out via email as well as available on the Audition Management System within ten working days of the date of audition. ALRA always aspires to inform applicants of the audition result within this timeframe but during busier times results can take longer and we ask for patience and understanding in these circumstances.

    ALRA Auditions

    There is a non-refundable £45 audition fee for all applicants to ALRA's Three Year Acting, Postgraduate Acting, or Foundation Acting courses. Eligible candidates can be assessed for all courses at the same audition. Please indicate which course(s) you wish to be considered for during your application.

    All candidates will be assessed on their potential to meet the demands of the course and considered entirely on the basis of merit. Those showing the most aptitude at audition will be considered for Dance and Drama Awards, taking into account their financial circumstances.

    The audition panel makes the final decision regarding entry to ALRA. We aim to notify you of the outcome of your audition within one week. Successful applicants will have demonstrated a significant degree of talent, ability, preparation, aptitude and commitment as well as the ability to make a positive contribution to, and benefit from, the Acting Course.  ALRA is unable to audition any applicant more than once in any given year.

    ALRA Admissions

    Admissions Policy

    ALRA accepts students, regardless of all other considerations, who demonstrate excellence at audition, a desire to study and show the potential to complete the appropriate course of study at interview. ALRA will form an opinion on these matters at audition & interview and record the outcomes for scrutiny and feedback. The audition policy is supported by the Equal Opportunities Policy and nothing in either policy can be deemed to override the considerations of the other.

    Find out what learning support can you get at ALRA

    Offer Procedure

    Following your audition, you will either receive a firm offer of a place, be placed on a waiting list, or be rejected. Click here to learn more.

    ALRA Audition Appeals Procedure 

    Audition Appeals Procedure

     

    Feedback from Auditionees

    • Thank you for the opportunity, and for providing a thoroughly enjoyable experience... even if I don't get a place I have loved the experience.
      Natasha Davidson
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ALRA's Notable Alumni
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Reasons to study at ALRA
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    ALRA is a leading conservatoire drama school with a reputation for training hard working, fully-rounded professional actors.
  • ALRA’s acting training includes includes specialist instruction in stage, film, TV, audio, comedy, voice and movement and is supported with contextual studies to prepare for work.
  • ALRA is a leading conservatoire drama school with a reputation for training hard working, fully-rounded professional actors.
  • ALRA has built strong relationships within the industry and our showcases and productions are directed and attended by agents, directors, casting directors, writers, producers and our own inspiring Alumni.
  • ALRA’s resident teams are dedicated, talented professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience and a passion for teaching. Our students are supported in all aspects of their studies.
  • ALRA’s reputation of securing opportunities for students grows each year and our Alumni are working in the West End, Regional and Touring Theatre Productions, as well as in Film, TV and Comedy both in the UK and beyond.
  • ALRA recruits a comparatively small number of students each year so that everybody has our full attention and feels part of the school from the moment they arrive.
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Awarding Bodies

St Mary's University |Accredited Arama Course

Institutional Accreditations

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Federation of Drama Schools | ALRA accreditation

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