Acting MA - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MA Acting

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Acting
PGCert Acting

Professional recognition

Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT)
Accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET).

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PRC63003 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Dance, Drama and Performance

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Guildford School of Acting

Programme Leader


Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To enable students to develop an advanced knowledge of context, style and genre in the practice of acting
  • To provide an ensemble training for the development of performance, communication and team skills relevant to the acting profession
  • To inspire students to produce original creative work as actors to an advanced level
  • To challenge students to build a coherent personal approach to the techniques of acting a character in rehearsal and performance
  • To enable students to engage with digital technologies to enhance their skills, knowledge and employability
  • To encourage resourcefulness, resilience and sustainable practice in students

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Demonstrate advanced acting skills to a professional standard in both live and recorded formats KPT PGDip, MA Employability, Digital
Show an advanced understanding of performance context, style and genre KC PGDip, MA Global & Cultural, Sustainability
Display excellent collaborative skills, discipline and consistency in practice, meeting professional standards PT PGCert, PGDip, MA Employability, Resourcefulness & Resilience, Sustainability
Show sustained personal and collective engagement, exhibiting commitment to acquiring skills, continuous learning, and building a professional network to enhance future employability in the acting industry KCPT PGDip, MA Employability, Resourcefulness & Resilience, Sustainability
Analyze, reflect upon and evaluate your work and the work of others, demonstrating a high level of critical thinking and self-assessment skills CT PGCert, PGDip, MA Resourcefulness & Resilience
Effectively communicate ideas and concepts through physical verbal, digital and written formats KCPT PGCert, PGDip, MA Employability, Digital, Sustainability
Apply creative thinking to problem-solving, demonstrating a resilient approach KPT MA Resourcefulness & Resilience, Sustainability
Demonstrate a continually developing awareness and knowledge of global influence and cultural synergies within the Creative Industries. KCPT PGCert, PGDip, MA Global & Cultural
Exhibit a demonstrable awareness of sustainable personal and collective practice in the creative industries. KCPT PGCert, PGDip, MA Sustainability
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary practitioners, theories and practices. KC PGCert, PGDip, MA Global & Cultural, Sustainability

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits and are either semester based or year-long. GSA delivers its provision across three teaching blocks, within the University of Surrey’s existing semester structure.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Digital Capabilities
Students engage with digital technologies to develop their technical literacy and support their learning. Specialist software is used to create promotional content, and students will use a range of media platforms to share this content with industry professionals and peers as appropriate. Students also use non-specialist software for communication, administration and planning. Showcase work is generated in digital formats to facilitate student engagement with potential employers and creatives, and assessments make use of digital technologies for feedback.

Employability is baked into the teaching, learning and assessment on all modules to help foster a professional attitude in students. Staff, including visiting tutors, draw upon their professional experience in the creative industries to deliver vocationally-oriented curriculum materials. Students develop transferable skills in team collaboration, creative thinking and problem solving. Industry stakeholders are invited to attend performances and deliver workshops and masterclasses, and the programme leader works closely with GSA¿s Head of Employability to foster and maintain a high level of engagement with current industry practice as well as with potential employers.

Global and Cultural Capabilities
MA Acting students are drawn from a broad base of applicants including international students, thus there is a wide and varying range of experience and knowledge contributing to the culture of the programme in each year. The curriculum encourages students to enhance their cultural awareness through its focus on style and genre. Students with additional learning needs are signposted to the university¿s support services, and GSA has a dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager.

Resourcefulness and Resilience
The need for students to manage uncertainty, risks and challenges and deal with the responsibilities of working as part of a team is built into the programme¿s educational aims and learning outcomes. Students work towards achieving professional standards in rehearsal and performance contexts, in line with expectations for a successful career as an actor. Formative and summative feedback is geared towards students¿ progress towards these standards as they develop a coherent personal approach to their work.

Students are invited to reflect on the impact of their work in social, economic and environmental terms, and to consider how they may take responsibility for achieving professional standards that promote wellbeing. GSA is committed to sustainable practices in its output, including productions that optimize resources, and students are taught how to create work that is sustainable in all senses of the word.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.