Musical Theatre MA - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MA Musical Theatre

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Musical Theatre
PGCert Musical Theatre

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 PRC63005 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 their experience, practical ability, and critical understanding of Musical Theatre.
  • To enable an advanced knowledge of context, style, genre, and the practice of Musical Theatre.
  • To provide an ensemble training context for the development of professional level skills based on a blend of practical, theoretical, and reflective practice.
  • To offer students a range of skills exploration in Musical Theatre that encourage and foster individual resourcefulness and resilience.
  • To enhance and widen the career prospects and employment opportunities for students in Musical Theatre and other related parts of the Creative Industries.
  • To foster a global view of Musical Theatre encouraging a community where students develop an appreciation of a diversity of cultural experience in reference to personal and wider practice in the Creative Industries.
  • To enable students to engage and explore Digital Technologies, engaging with them to enhance understanding, employability, and creativity in Musical Theatre.
  • To foster an understanding of the collective responsibility of Musical Theatre makers and others in the Creative Industries of the importance of sustainability in personal and collective practice.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Demonstrate integrated skills in Acting, Singing and Dance/Movement to a professional standard. KPT PGCert, PGDip Employability, Resourcefulness & Resilience
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary practitioners, theories and practices. KC PGCert, PGDip, MA Global & Cultural Capabilities
Develop knowledge and understanding of a key range of Musical Theatre texts and their influences. KCP PGCert, PGDip, MA Global & Cultural Capabilities
Develop a range of rehearsal and performance techniques and skills in live and recorded formats. KCPT PGCert, PGDip, MA Digital, Employability
Demonstrate skills that analyse, reflect, and evaluate own and other's work. KCP PGCert, PGDip, MA Employability, Resourcefulness & Resilience
Develop performance skills that demonstrate imagination and understating of style and genre. KCT PGCert, PGDip Digital Resourcefulness & Resilience, Employability.
Exhibit a demonstrable awareness of sustainable personal and collective practice in the creative industries. KCPT PGCert, PGDip Sustainability, Employability.
Demonstrate discipline and consistency in a professional context. PT PGCert, PGDip Employability, Resourcefulness & Resilience,.
Develop a professional approach to the choice, preparation, and performance of material. KP PGCert, PGDip, MA Resourcefulness & Resilience, Employability.
Demonstrate effective communication in physical, verbal, or written formats. KT PGCert, PGDip, MA Employability
Exhibit effective collaborative skills within a creative process. KPT PGCert, PGDip, MA Resourcefulness & Resilience, Employability
Demonstrate a continually developing awareness and knowledge of global influence and cultural synergies within the Creative Industries. KCPT PGCert, PGDip, MA Global & Cultural Capabilities
Demonstrate a resilient approach to problem solving with the application of creative thinking and solutions. KPT PGCert, PGDip, MA Global & Cultural Capabilities Sustainability, Employability

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)



Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7


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
Throughout the programme students will be required to engage with digital technologies to develop their digital literacy, to support their learning, and to explore and secure employment opportunities. Students use specialist software to create digital and promotional content, and they will use a range of sharing platforms and social media to share this content with industry professionals and creative peers as appropriate. Students will also use traditional software and other digital technologies to undertake communication, administration, and planning. Engagement with the wider Creative Industries is encouraged digitally through Showcase work and performance work that is generated in digital formats. This enables students to engage with a wider pool of potential employers and creatives. Assessment also utilizes Digital Technologies, enabling students to get feedback on work in digital formats before generating employer facing work.

The focus on employability is embedded in the teaching, learning and assessment activities throughout this programme to nurture career ready graduates that will be sought after by employers in the creative industries. Expert staff with practitioner backgrounds deliver authentic and practical modes of working from the studio, to rehearsal, to public performance mirroring professional practice. Students develop transferable skills including independent and collaborative working, creative, critical and reflective thinking, and problem solving. Students will engage with a range of industry stakeholders who are invited to observe classes and attend performances. GSA has a dedicated Director of Employability. The benefits to students are many, with GSA having a constant and high level engagement with major employers, established and emergent creatives and a focused approach to our employability and creative outreach to those stakeholders.

Global & Cultural Capabilities
Students will develop their global, social, historical, and cultural awareness, share experiences and knowledge from their own backgrounds and cultures, and appreciate, recognise and interpret diverse perspectives. With an open mind and a willingness to engage in discussion, students will develop awareness and appreciate, recognise and interpret diverse perspectives in the characters and communities they will be portraying as actors-in-training. Students will be able to make informed contributions to the current debates in the creative industries.¿ GSA has a dedicated Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity Manager. Students may be signposted to the university's Disability and Neuro-Diversity Service if they have needs or are experiencing barriers to individual learning. GSA is committed to making a range of performances accessible.

Resourcefulness & Resilience
In this programme the learning journey is carefully structured so that performance and rehearsal skills can be learned, developed, and integrated resulting in the student acquiring a broad range of resources which they can continue to use throughout the rest of their training and in future employment settings. The nature of the work means the student will learn to navigate uncertainty, to deal with risks and challenges, and to take on board personal and professional responsibilities. The use of formative and summative feedback will enable the students to build a thorough overview of their individual process and progress. The training features independent and collaborative learning, problem solving, communication, perseverance, stamina, critical thinking, self-management, and an understanding of self-value. Mirroring industry standards students will undertake classes, rehearsals and performance schedules which are in line with expectations for a successful Musical Theatre career.

Throughout the programme, students are encouraged to reflect on the social, cultural, ethical, political, economic, and environmental impact of the work they do as individuals and collectively, and to recognise their shared responsibilities. Students will understand the impact on audiences of the values, perceptions, and actions of their own, of others and of characters they are portraying in rehearsal and performance. Students will be nurtured as future leaders in sustainability thinking and empowered to take informed decisions and responsible actions that promote the wellbeing of present and future generations. GSA has a strong commitment to working from the studio, to rehearsal, to public performance in the most sustainable way possible. Productions aim to utilise best practice in use of materials and optionality is given in how students can access resources, for example printed or digital material. Effort is made to reduce our reliance on group media storage and throughout the course of study practice is continually reviewed, so that on a personal and institutional level sustainability is at the heart of our practice.

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.