Start Date: 12 September 2022
End Date: 30 July 2023
Duration: PGDip: 30 weeks. MA: 40 weeks
Hours Per Week: 30
Audition Fee: £10.00 first round - non-refundable, payable on application / £35.00 recall - non-refundable, payable on invitation to recall
Course Fee: PG Diploma: £12,000. MA: £14,000
Certificate of Study: PGDip/MA
*All course fees are subject to increases in line with government guidelines.
If you are an international student, please contact the office on email@example.com before applying for updates on visa requirements.
Our 1 Year PGDip/MA in Professional Acting started as a Diploma course back in 1966 as a radical, new and vocational approach to drama training. The training is vocational and practical, is full-time and runs over 30-40 weeks
During the course we aim to take students through the three stages of learning:
1. Awareness: of yourself and the needs of the profession.
2. Skills: learning techniques which are relevant to you and for your career.
3. Application: using this awareness and these skills in performance and employment.
You can attend an Open Day to find out more about this course and what training at DSL is really like.
DSL’s PGDIP/MA Professional Acting is an intensive and comprehensive preparation for entry into the 21st century performance industries. Working in small groups (12-14 students), the course is delivered through entirely practical, vocational classes, workshops and rehearsals which lead to focused performance projects which immerse you in the methods and approaches of UK/European performance practice as they apply and intersect with the contemporary theatre landscape. Expressive and technical skills are developed for work across video and audio media throughout the course, alongside developing your own core vocal and physical practice. You are encouraged and enabled to explore and acquire agency over your own working process and expressive potential, rather than espousing a single methodology or an artificial normative or ideal voice and body, and can expect to evolve an adaptable, broad ranging and immediately employable skillset for the profession.
The course embeds a high level of professional interface from day 1; you will be taught by visiting professionals who are active in their own right in today’s industry, you can expect routine sessions focused on developing your understanding of the business/ employment contexts, organisations and structures that an actor needs to navigate and your final showcase and graduation theatre productions will be to an audience including invited industry gatekeepers (agents/casting directors).
The course requires you to work professionally from day 1, and you will be expected to commit substantial time, energy and attention to your learning and training. Session attendance of 90% and participation are non negotiable, learning within this course cannot be caught up, and the fundamentally collaborative nature of performance means absence impacts on the learning of others. Absences may compromise your progression and completion of the course. Scheduled contact time is typically 30 hours per week, and you should anticipate independent study hours beyond this to include line learning, personal research and reflection, preparation and personal practice
The PGdip/MA is validated and awarded by the University of West London which prides itself as the Career University. Drama Studio London is also accredited by the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT), a governing body which accredits excellent professional training in the leading drama schools. It is an integral member of the Federation of Drama Schools (FDS), an organisation dedicated to good practice in conservatoire training.
Our full-time courses are vocational and practical and upon graduating you will receive a recognised diploma in Professional Acting. We will guide you through Spotlight and Equity membership and provide an industry career launch to present you to professional agents and casting directors.
Who is it the course for?
Typically prospective students should have achieved an UG degree, which can be in any subject, as a standard entry requirement. A high level of fluency in spoken and written English is required, and standard equivalences apply across qualifications in this area.
However, the selection process is intended to accommodate and adjudicate candidates who may have skills and experience drawn from employment or workplace experience, and whose language skills may have developed from residency in the UK.
The primary elements of the selection process aresupplied audition material, practical in person audition recall (or live online for non UK candidates) and interview, accompanied by a written statement outlining the candidates appraisal of their suitability for, interest in and objectives in training with DSL on this course.
The process is intended to establish aptitude against the following criteria:
Demonstrable capacity, understanding and creative imagination as an actor, evidenced through adjudication of audition process.
Demonstrable interest in and experience of performance which can have been acquired professionally or via youth/amateur/student theatre
Substantial capacity to operate as an independent, self motivated and organised learner, which can be evidenced via previous undergraduate study or via employment in other sectors
Commitment to train as a professional with rigour, focus and discipline, and a commitment to take personal and collaborative responsibility for learning according to the course requirements
Substantial fluency and confidence with spoken and written English.
Be over the age of 20. We also welcome more mature students.
We teach in groups of approximately 12-14 to ensure a balance of group and individual work. Classes are interactive and practical. These are vocational, not academic courses. We believe in classical training with a modern focus. We do not dictate a single methodology but offer several and encourage each student to find their own process.
You can expect to perform in two to four productions each term. As the courses progress the productions become longer with an increase in production values. During the course, you will perform in a variety of European and American dramatic styles. In the graduation projects, you will perform in full-length plays with technical support. All of our directors are working professionals offering an invaluable gateway into the profession.
The course begins with Scene Studies from modern plays before moving onto longer in-house productions including Naturalism, Comedy of Manners, Pantomime and Shakespeare before the final full-scale graduation projects. Other styles of production may include Cabaret, Musical Theatre, Ensemble and Devised Work.
Heads of Department along with outgoing and incoming directors meet after every project to review every student's development. Casting for the upcoming projects are decided, based upon needs and development. Our strong tutorial system supports this process, providing both educational support and pastoral care to each student.
Film & TV
Core acting classes for screen and TV stretch throughout the year. You will learn the fundamental skills of screen acting including continuity and hitting marks, the different ways in which films and TV are shot and work with current directors on screen acting in scenes from different genres. You will receive training in self-taping and in the final term you will film scenes with professional directors and film crew. You can see work from previous years students here.
Audio takes place across the three terms. The aim is to provide the students with the widest possible experience of audio technique, with work on the various approaches to recording radio drama; audiobooks; animation; commercial voice overs; poems and documentaries; and to equip them with the practical knowledge and ability to exploit this growing area of employment in their future careers. Traditionally in their final term each student records two contrasting monologues to demonstrate their vocal versatility and microphone technique. You can listen to previous sound clips here.
Preparing for Work
Working professionals regularly visit the DSL to share their knowledge and to answer your questions. More industry-oriented classes are added as the year goes on. You will look at auditioning skills, letter writing, CVs and photographs. These continual Professional Preparation sessions will introduce you to agents, casting directors, TV directors, professional employers and others.
Festivals & Competitions
DSL students are eligible to represent Drama Studio London in the BBC Carleton Hobbs Radio Competition, Spotlight Showcase and Royal Shakespeare Company Workshops. Find Out More
The Graduation Season
Presentation to the profession traditionally begins with a graduates' showcase in a Central London venue. The course culminates in a number of Industry Launch projects designed to present you to agents, casting directors and other industry professionals. Find Out More
Drama Studio London has a high graduate employment rate. The nature of our courses means that our graduates are versatile and able to perform on stage and screen alike. Many of our graduates have gone on to have steady careers right across the industry from stage and screen to writing and directing. Of our 2020 graduating classes 64% are signed with an agent, less than 6 months after graduating..