MA Directing (2025)

New for 2025!

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MA Directing at Leeds Conservatoire

This degree will give you contemporary, practical training, to become an integral part of the next generation of theatre directors.  

Through skills classes and project-based learning, you will be given the time, resources and rehearsal room access you need to develop your craft. 

Teaching will be delivered by industry practitioners and Masterclass guests, with mentorship and placement opportunities. Each is designed to support you in clearly defining your artistic voice, aligning your passions, skills and ambitions ready for a portfolio career.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 1 Year
  • UCAS Code: W46F
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Validated By: University of Hull*

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Course Overview

Your collaborative curriculum

Collaboration is at the very heart of what we do at Leeds Conservatoire. You’ll share core modules with students from the other Theatre MAs, generating new work in a collaborative environment.  

You’ll work on the conservatoire’s MA Theatre Festival and have access to rehearsal rooms where undergraduate students create their annual Season of Live Performance. Through these projects and creative relationships, you’ll establish performances and a creative network, ready to transfer into your professional life.  

Master your skills 

You’ll develop the skills required to lead a company and creative team, coachactors, shape theatrical performance and ensure aesthetic integrity in the staging of work.  

Working with visiting professional teams in a range of rehearsal settings, you’ll further your theatrical literacy, vocabulary and find your own voice as a director.  

As a graduate, you’ll be able to lead a company of actors and creatives, in realising a singular vision for a theatrical production as a theatre director.  

Performance opportunities

The MA Directing leverages the conservatoire’s strong relationships with regional theatres and companies. Our students have worked with productions at partner venues such as Leeds Playhouse, Slung Low, and Leeds Heritage Theatres. These connections not only ensure program relevance but also broaden your professional network. 

During your placement, you’ll contribute to both external and internal productions. The School of Drama's season of live performances offers extensive access across two actor-musician productions, four plays, and three musicals. 

Your industry

This course offers an immediate introduction to the industry by working with leading professionals, as well as taking advantage of the richly diverse theatrical community on our doorstep. Partnerships include Leeds Playhouse, Red Ladder, Chapel FM, Opera North and Slung Low. 

What you will study*

 

This module is designed to introduce students to the principles and techniques behind successful, collaborative arts practice. The module will develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of collaborative performance settings, expanding their knowledge of how work is made.  

The module emphasises the ability to critically analyse personal and professional experiences, allowing students to engage in deep reflection. Through this module, students develop as reflective practitioners who understand the value of their artistry in a collaborative setting and proactively seek to develop their skills.  

Through this module, students will study the process of successful collaborators, who work across disciplines to make original performance. They will work together in interdisciplinary teams, using their individual experiences and expertise to generate ideas, creative responses to given briefs and present ideas to audience for funding/development support.  

This module aims to develop the core skills each creative within their chosen field of study; theatre direction, composition, book writing, lyric writing, choreography, or other areas of multi-disciplinary theatre-making (puppetry, physical theatre, spoken word etc).  

This module aims to develop the students own individual practice, working with specialists in their fields in mentorship and skills development capacities. Each creative has an area of specialism which they will explore by taking part in classes, placements/shadowing opportunities both within the conservatoire and with our external partners.  

Rather than follow a strict module outline, the content and therefore learning will be bespoke, tailored for each individual creative, relative to the area of their skill needing most focused development.  

This approach allows students to build strong industry relationships throughout the program, gain authentic industry experience and develop specific skills relevant to future employment. The learning and teaching approach is varied and responsive to the opportunities which we can share with our professional partners.  

This module aims to provide students with opportunities to apply their work to a range of professional and/or educational contexts, either within the conservatoire or with external providers.  

Students will be given placements which are working with PG or UG students at Leeds Conservatoire . In addition, placement opportunities will be sought through external providers and contributors Partnership placement opportunity varies annually in response to the students specialism and institutional partnership relationships.  

Students will also be supported and encouraged to develop their own placement opportunities with organisations who closely align with their personal intentions and ambitions for development on the programme and beyond.  

The Major Project aims to give students the opportunity to develop autonomous theatre-making projects based on learning they have undertaken as part of the degree. Here students will be given full creative control for the project and can choose their assessment output based on their proposed activity. Students may work in groups or individually.

Trimester 1:

  • Introduction to Collaborative Practice – assessed by portfolio
  • Skills for the Musical Theatre Creative 1 – assessed by presentation and portfolio

Trimester 2:

  • Skills for the Musical Theatre Creative 2 – assessed by presentation and portfolio
  • Placement 1 – assessed by presentation and written reflection

Trimester 3:

  • Placement 2 assessed by presentation and written reflection
  • Major Project – assessed by practical assessment 50% of the mark: Vive Voce oral assessment 50% of the mark
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Drama Facilities - Playhouse Square, Mabgate and more

Our Performing Arts students benefit from bespoke new facilities in our brand new Playhouse Square building.

Teaching will take place at our St Peters Square, Mabgate and Playhouse Square buildings as well as external teaching spaces where necessary.

We are confirming teaching spaces for 2024/25, but teaching spaces in 2023/24 also included Slung Low Theatre Company in Holbeck, Dance Studio Leeds and Yorkshire Dance.

Take a look at our custom-designed studios with panoramic views over Leeds city centre.

See Performing Arts Facilities

Careers

Students may graduate into traditional positions in the field such as Directors or Artistic Directors.

However, this course is designed to encourage students to make their own work and have the skills to produce it and fund it themselves.

We envisage small theatre companies emerging from these MAs as the courses give the students the skills not only to follow employment opportunities, but to generate work for themselves.


 

Course Tutors

Students will be taught by staff who are specialists within their field and include performers, creatives, entrepreneurs and academics who work professionally in the theatre industry. 


 

Entry requirements, fees & applying

 

Course Type: MA Postgraduate Degree
Duration: 1 year
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September
Validated by: University of Hull

Apply via UCAS Conservatoires

  • UCAS Code: W46F
  • UCAS Institution Code: L31

Apply directly to Leeds Conservatoire

Alternatively you can apply directly to Leeds Conservatoire - applications will open later in 2024, for 2025 entry.

Find out more about the application process.

  • A 2:1 undergraduate qualification. Usually theatre, music or theatre/music related, but qualifications in other fields will also be reviewed and considered. 

OR 

  • Equivalent professional experience may also be accepted and reviewed at application and audition stages (see our APEL process).
  • All suitable applicants are invited for interview and/or audition
  • All students requiring a visa to study in the UK must meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department's English Language requirement of IELTS 6.0 with no sub-test less than 5.5

 

Directing applicants will be asked to present an idea for a production of an established text, work with actors in person to assess their skills in this area and attend an interview.  

The majority of our courses require auditions, interviews and/or portfolios. Audition processes for MA Directing will be communicated later in the year.

You will be able to find out more and read our full guidance once published, on our Postgraduate Auditions page.

Tuition Fees For 2024 Entry (Home/International)

£12,000/£18,600

Tuition fees pay for the cost of teaching, assessment, validation, the facilities, support and administration of your course.

Find out more about Fees & Funding for Postgraduate study. 

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