How to Apply
We are now accepting applications for 2021 entry. APPLY NOW
Applications for the MFA are made directly using our application form. If you encounter any problems with your application online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is two year programme. There is no direct entry to year two of the MFA. Entrance to the second year is dependent on completion of the first year and the awarding of appropriate credits.
An offer of a place on the course is dependent on two criteria - The first paper (application) based and the second by audition and interview.
Auditions will be offered to all applicants holding a 2.2 in a level 6 degree or above (this does not need to be in an arts subject). In exceptional cases, where ability and experience clearly show that an applicant is able to complete the course, other qualification profiles may be accepted. If you do not meet this academic criteria and wish to apply on the basis of experience please see additional non-standard entry information below.
Applicants over 21 with professional performance experience or considerable performing experience, which may include fringe/profit share productions, corporate role play and community projects for instance, plus evidence of specialist actor training will be considered for audition. Variations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Places are dependent on a successful audition and interview. We look for talent, passion, a maturity of attitude, a certain level of technical ability, a flexible approach and the potential for coping with the demands of intense training and future employment as an actor. Our values are Respect, Endeavour and Enthusiasm and we are looking for evidence of these even at audition.
No upper age limit but applicants should be over 21.
It is essential for all MFA students to hold a valid passport prior to enrolling in order to participate in integrated residencies in Europe and USA.
At least one month before the start of rehearsals on the community projects in Term 4 Year 2, students will have DAB checks via the Government website. Anyone failing the check will not be cast in one of the productions visiting local schools.
Non Standard Entry
(i.e. no first degree, BUT professional/equivalent experience)
If you do not hold a Bachelors Degree, there may be grounds for considering an application if you:
- have professional experience of performing on stage or screen OR
- have had a career in professional production
- can demonstrate a proven track record in a related performance area viz. Corporate training scenarios, Coaching and Medical role-play or facilitation of educational workshops
- have taken professional performance workshops and classes to a high standard over a long period of time
In all these cases, a written REFERENCE will be required from an institution or professional who oversaw the work or training. (please see below)
If you would like your professional experience to be considered as an equivalent to the BA degree requirement we will ask you to do the following:
Within the DSL application form:
- outline how your previous experience has informed your understanding of performance and/or training.
- consider the skills and knowledge that your experience has given you e.g. how you manage your time/activity, studying/learning independently, problem solving, working with others, adapting to varied professional environments, communication, personal development, any in depth knowledge of a specialist field which has enabled you to create workshops, sustain a role through a professional process. (please note these are suggestions not a prescribed list of criteria you must include)
- consider what you are hoping to achieve from undertaking this training course.
In line with ALL APPLICANTS for this course, if successful, you will be asked to:
- outline an area of practice research you would be interested to explore for interview – please do use this to detail creative projects you may have been involved with – even if not directly performance related.
- if your application is successful the specific brief for this part of the application will be sent to you.
We will also ask you to nominate a referee. This should be someone senior you have worked with in a professional/employment/training capacity e.g. a professional director/artistic director, a training course leader, an employer etc.
They are not required to endorse your talent as an actor, as the audition is the primary process for considering that. We will ask them to provide a concise written reference in respect of the following criteria:
- the nature of their professional experience with you, and the duration.
- your capacity to personally learn, adapt/respond and develop through a practical process.
- your capacity to operate with professional rigour, commitment and discipline
- your capacity for independent activity, problem solving, self-reliance and personal management.
- your capacity for collaboration and communication.
- your attention to detail in your work with them.
- your capacity to respond to new ideas and approaches creatively.
If your application is successful you will be asked to provide this reference in advance of the audition process. You are only required to provide one reference. You are welcome to supply one additional reference in support of your application if it covers a different set of skills.
An additional specialist from outside the core staff of DSL will be appointed to oversee these criteria and assess objectively if the candidate has demonstrated enough knowledge, experience and ability to be able to study and complete the MFA successfully.
Please click here for details on applying from outside the UK.
English language IELTS 6.5/CEFR B2 or above. Your English must be strong enough for you to speak, read, write, listen and comprehend without holding up your training.
Auditions will be offered to all applicants holding a 2.2 in a level 6 degree or above.
DIGITAL AUDITIONS: ROUND ONE
Please prepare the following:
- 3 minutes talking to the camera. Just be yourself and make sure the shot is of head and shoulders. Talk about yourself, your motivations, your likes and your acting experience etc.
- 2 minutes some full body video shots with movement (dance or physical theatre). Upon application you will be sent 3 pictures and 3 pieces of music to choose from. You should use one of these six as inspiration for your movement piece. We are looking for some variation and some connection with a story or an emotion but it need not be a 'dance' unless you are comfortable with that.
- 2 minutes acting a modern speech post 1956.
- 2 minutes acting a classical speech pre 1710.
You can upload your audition clips to Vimeo, YouTube, DropBox, WeTransfer or similar and share with email@example.com
Once your application is received and approved, you will receive an email with a deadline for reply. Please make sure that your clips are sent on time. Digital auditions are processed as soon as they are received and we aim to get back to you within a week.
Please feel free to advise us of any difficulties or disabilities which may affect your performance at audition, we will be happy to make any reasonable adjustments that ensure you are given a fair opportunity to demonstrate your skills.
Within the MFA you will be expected to undertake a substantial research practice project, in collaboration with others. This is termed the Independent Production. As part of the selection process for this course, subject to a successful first round audition, you will be invited to a further interview. This is to explore your potential and experience of practice research. If you are invited to interview you will be sent a briefing document outlining what you will need to prepare.
You should also be prepared to take part in a recall audition. Usually, the two people you meet at recall will not have met you in the first round. A brief warm-up will lead to performing your two speeches to the group, after which you may be asked to re-work your speech. You will then read through and work on a scene of the director's choice, possibly taking part in further acting/improvisation exercises.
After your recall interview and audition, you will receive the result within 48 hours (2 working days). You will either be offered a place, rejected, or placed on our waiting list*.
If successful, you will be sent a contract and other documents relating to the offer stating a deadline date for response. If offered a place, you’ll be given a deadline within which to accept or decline the offer. After this deadline, your place will be offered to someone else. This offer deadline will be printed on your offer letter. Please note that your offer is not secured until you return the signed contract and pay your deposit.
*Notes on the Waiting List
We aim to achieve the right balance on our student intake, taking diversity into account is important to us, to the profession and for our students themselves. This diversity is not just about visible difference, but also about invisible difference; idiosyncrasies of talents and needs. Whilst we are trying to get this balance we put some excellent students onto our waiting list. This is not because we think they are not as good as others or that we have doubts about them achieving professional standards, it is merely a holding position whilst we try to fit all the pieces together in the best possible way. We will notify you if a place becomes available or if all places are filled. You may be on the waiting list for a long time as people can withdraw from the course very close to the start date. If you wish to be withdrawn from our waiting list please let us know.