BA (Honours) Directing - Drama Centre London
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- New London revival of ‘Confetti’ by Drama Centre lecturer Nicola Baldwin featuring DCL alumni
King's Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023
|Study Mode||Full Time|
|Course Length||3 years full time|
Tuition fees for 2013/14: £9,000 per year. Please note that fees for the 2nd and any subsequent years is subject to inflationary increase.
Tuition fees for 2013/14: £13,800 per year. Please note that fees fare subject to an inflationary increase.
|Start Date||September 2013|
|Autumn Term Dates||16 September - 7 December 2013. Enrolment will take place on Friday 13 September. First Year students may also be required to attend on Monday 9 December.|
|Spring Term Dates||6 January – Saturday 29 March 2014. First Year students may also required to attend on Monday 31 March.|
|Summer Term Dates||14 April - Saturday 5 July 2014.|
15 January 2013
|Course Code||W420 BA/Direct|
Highly vocational and intensive, BA Directing at Drama Centre London prepares you for direct entry to the directing profession while laying the foundations for a successful career in directing. Distinctive features of the degree course include:
- Intensive career focus as a professional director and a highly regarded mentoring scheme
- Close links with the acting course at the Drama Centre London and collaboration with student designers, filmmakers and others from within Central Saint Martins and the University of the Arts London
- Strong contacts with the profession, including regular visits by distinguished practitioners either as lecturers, visiting professors or directors
- Extensive placements with theatre, film and television companies
- A methodological approach based on the work and achievements of leading artists and teachers from 20th century European and American theatre
- A balanced approach to repertoire, covering the classics and contemporary theatre and with a strong emphasis on the screen
- Options for specialising in directing for either theatre or the recorded media based on a common foundation in acting
BA Directing runs for 108 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels, (or Stages) each lasting 36 weeks (30 weeks of study and 6 of production/performance). The whole course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level (Stage).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).
There is a progression point at the end of each Level and in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally be passed.
If you're unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.
To gain a BA (Honours) the student must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award is comprised of the marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.
BA Directing is structured as an organic process of development over three years (Stages) and comprises: Main Study (Directing Theory and Practice, Acting, Voice, Movement), Contextual Studies (Theatre and Character Analysis, Music), and Personal and Professional Development, including intensive professional preparation.
Course work upholds a methodological approach to acting while developing your ability to work as part of an ensemble.
The methodological approach is derived from the work and achievements of outstanding artists and teachers in the European and American theatre of the twentieth century. These include Konstantin Stanislavsky, Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Bertolt Brecht, Joan Littlewood, Rudolf Laban and Yat Malmgren.
The core technical disciplines (acting, voice, body) require a process of progressive and systematic development over three years. Many of the activities associated with these disciplines, such as regular classes and daily warm-ups, are about 'tuning the instrument'. Imaginative, analytical and critical faculties call for similarly careful and progressive development.
At the heart of BA Directing is performance, a complex process of decision making and problem solving that calls for an interaction between conscious and unconscious activity, intuition and skill. All course teaching and learning activities culminate in rehearsal exercises, or video shoots, which are given before internal or public audiences.
Stage One is entitled 'The Year of Subjectivity'. During this year you'll investigate the self and learn to move from the concrete to the abstract in your work.
Stage Two is entitled 'The Year of Objectivity'. During this year you'll learn to locate your work within a conceptual framework.
Stage Three is entitled 'The Year of Synthesis'. During this year you'll learn to merge learning elements and disciplines into a single organic process.
BA Directing as a whole sets out to help you become an educated and trained director, 'owning' your directing process and ready to enter the profession.
Stage One: The Year of Subjectivity: Abstraction and Investigation
During Stage One you are introduced to the systematic study of the essential skills of the actor through a series of practical classes in acting, voice, movement, movement psychology and ballet. You'll be working alongside acting students for most of these classes and you're expected to show the same level of engagement and commitment. You'll begin practical directing exercises by directing scenes from contemporary, naturalistic and verse plays. You'll also study the historical and cultural context of plays and analyse texts with a view to posing and solving directorial problems. Supporting these studies are classes in theatre analysis, visual awareness and music.
By contributing to our public shows during production weeks you'll gain an organic sense of what making theatre is about, working in a range of roles behind the scenes.
During the year you'll participate in three Rehearsal Exercises. At this early stage the plays will mostly be taken from the realistic repertoire, embracing social realism and the comic. The first Rehearsal Exercise takes the form of a rehearsed reading. In Terms Two and Three the Rehearsal Exercises are staged, with a focus on repeating with precision what you've developed in rehearsal.
Stage Two: The Year of Objectivity: A Conceptual Framework
In Stage Two you'll study essential acting skills in more depth. In addition to studying acting and movement psychology, you'll begin to explore acting and directing for the camera. Gradually, your performance-related classes give way to specific directing work looking at group management, blocking, interpretation and rehearsal methodology. You'll also work on a joint director and designer project, have an industrial placement and work extensively as an Assistant Director. You continue to study plays in their context and may undertake directing roles in student led projects concerned with key moments in theatre history. During this Stage there is increased emphasis on the recorded media and a number of your projects will be shot on video and edited.
Stage Two puts more emphasis on the demands of the classical stage, focusing on the challenges posed by complex texts from the neo-classical repertoire. Your work on movement psychology gives you a more detailed grasp of character typology and the principles of structure and composition in directing. Work on theatre analysis and contextual studies focuses on the artistic repercussions of key social developments.
Stage Three: The Year of Synthesis
In Stage Three you'll develop your interpretive skills and control of your creative resources further, synthesising and refocusing them through Rehearsal Exercises, radio drama recordings and television shoots. The course emphasis shifts from structured classes towards independent work.
You'll experience the role of an Assistant Director through a range of opportunities, independently directing scenes and excerpts for stage, screen and microphone. You'll work extensively on collaborative projects with designers, writers and other members of the artistic team. You'll also undertake an extended professional placement in one or more companies relevant to your aspirations and needs. Finally, you'll direct a one-act stage play, a short television or a radio drama in quasi-professional conditions.
To prepare you for professional life you'll learn about agents, casting directors and the actors' union. Your tutorials will help you meet the demands of job interviews. And you'll be encouraged to develop strategies for managing the periods of unemployment that are part of a professional director's life.
Developing your skills
BA Directing focuses on directing for both the theatre and recorded media (film, television and radio). It provides an in-depth study of the art of the actor so that future directors will have an organic understanding of the acting process and a common language with performers. Initially the directing course is integrated with BA Acting at Drama Centre London, but subsequently students focus more specifically on subjects related to directing.
BA Directing offers you developing opportunities to work with actors:
- in the first place, by acting alongside them and observing actors at work
- at more advanced stages, through undertaking increasingly complex assistant director functions
- finally, by directing fellow students in a number of projects.
These three 'pillars' of the degree course - a 'physical' approach; empathy with actors; analytical skills - are designed to empower you to be a useful director, a conduit for the author's intentions by means of the actor.
You'll also have the opportunity to collaborate with designers, musical directors and choreographers, fight directors, editors and sound engineers. In the latter stages of the degree course you have two opportunities for placements with a variety of theatre and television companies in London and beyond, during which you may observe not only artistic work, but also aspects of technical production, management, publicity, marketing and outreach.
In the last five years placement opportunities were offered, amongst others, by:
- The Maly Theatre, St. Petersburg
- Jim Neason at the Irondale Theatre Company, New York
- Colin Chambers and the Royal Shakespeare Company on Tynan
- Declan Donnellan at the Royal National Theatre, the RSC and for Cheek by Jowl
- Peter Gill on The Voysey Inheritance at the Royal National Theatre
- Joanna Hogg on the film Unrelated in Italy
- Miklos Jancso on the film Dear Julia in Hungary
- Nancy Meckler and Polly Teale at Shared Experience
- Theatre Royal, Stratford East
- Di Trevis at Watford Theatre and for Quantum Theatre Company in Pittsburgh
- Bett TV
- Arcola Theatre, London
- Soho Theatre
BA Directing aims to deepen your awareness of the profession in all its aspects, including the risks and uncertainties associated with the directing life. In addition to your education and training as an director, we offer education and training for life and work through our personal and professional development programmes.
Many ex-students of Drama Centre London have become successful actors and directors, or have become professionally involved in the wider creative worlds of theatre and the recorded media.
Graduates of the Directing Course at Drama Centre London include artistic Directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatres of Greece, Iran, Israel and Portugal, as well as distinguished freelance directors in theatre, film and television. More recently, graduates went on to work for leading companies soon after graduation, including:
- The Arcola Theatre, London and the Trafalgar Studios (West End)
- The National Theatre Studio
- The Burgtheater, Vienna
- Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company
For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers Support page.
This degree course requires an interview
Entry to BA Directing is highly competitive. Selection to the degree course is determined by the quality of the application: this is indicated primarily in the quality of your audition and interview.
- Foundation Diploma in Performance (Level 3 or 4)
- A pass in 1 GCE A level
- Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above)
- Passes in 2 GCE A Levels (80 UCAS tariff points normally including one single award)
- Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above)
This educational level may be demonstrated by possession of equivalent qualifications; e.g. International Baccalaureat or High School Diploma.
Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
English language requirements
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the English Language requirements page.
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.
What we look for
We look for students who are ready to take on an extremely demanding profession, who are mature and self-confident, and who are willing to take criticism and turn it to their advantage while preserving a sense of humour. Above all, we look for people who can express themselves freely and with confidence.
We're looking for potential student directors who are committed, imaginative, curious and resilient, with respect for actors and a passion for directing, and a serious approach to the art of directing in the classical tradition and for the screen. We're looking for people who are not afraid to take creative risks, who respond to stimuli and who are excited by the idea of being in an ensemble, working generously and openly with others.
Student selection criteria
Our BA Directing Interview Panel assesses all candidates with regard to:
- Ability to work as part of a group
- Useful balance between emotional and intellectual engagement
- Spirit of enquiry
- Knowledge of the demands and the realities of the profession
The interview can focus on:
- An examination of the candidate's knowledge of theatre, professional aspirations and understanding of the realities of the profession
- Why the candidate is interested in Drama Centre London and its particular training
- The choice of text/s and understanding of the play/s
Admission to BA Directing is ultimately by interview and workshop. We ask you to study two well-known plays before you attend. You will be advised of the texts as soon as you apply through UCAS.
Interview and directing advice
In the first round interview, which will last 20-30 minutes, we will be discussing your experience and aspirations, why you want to study at Drama Centre London. We will also discuss with you the first classical text we have asked you to study (normally a Shakespeare play). We are interested in how you see the play as dramatic action, i.e. its themes, characters, physical setting, socio-political background and the development of its characters and narrative. If you are recalled to the second round, we will ask you to study a piece of 20th Century realism with a view to discussing similar questions and to rehearse with a group of actors a short scene from this text.
You should arrive in good time for your interview and should be free within about an hour of your allocated time. Refreshments can be found in the canteen or within walking distance at a range of shops, takeaways and cafes.
Home / EU applicants
Apply to BA Directing through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). From the UCAS home page go to 'Apply', where you'll be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.
The University UCAS code is UAL. The University code is U65. The course code is W420 BA/Direct.
The deadline for equal consideration is 15 January 2013.
If you are from outside the European Union: You have two options to apply for undergraduate courses.
- Apply through UCAS. The deadline for equal consideration is 15 January 2013
- Apply directly to Central Saint Martins. Choose this option if you are only applying to undergraduate courses at UAL. Send your application to the International Office, BA Directing, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA.
Visit the undergraduate application page for full details of these options.
For information on applying to Study Abroad please visit the Study Abroad section.
We're here to help
Our website includes all the information you need to successfully apply. However, if you still have unanswered questions about the admissions process, please contact us. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The University has a dedicated team to help prepare you for your studies. For help on visa requirements, housing, tuition fees and language requirements visit the University's International section.
The Language Centre offers international students quality language training from qualified and experienced teachers. The Pre-sessional Academic English Programme is available to all international (non-EU) students who have been offered a place on a full time course at the University of the Arts. For further information visit the Language Centre website.
Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you’re considering applying for deferred entry.
What happens next?
Once UCAS has forwarded your application form to Drama Centre London you'll be sent an interview pack including instructions on how to book and pay for your interview online. The non-refundable interview fee is £45.00. Interviews normally take place between December and June. Drama Centre London seeks to audition and interview all applicants. We recommend you choose an early interview date. For more details about our interview procedure visit the auditions and interviews page.
Please bring a passport size photo of yourself for us to add to your application details and give it to the Interview Panel when you go in for your interview. You can also bring your CV if you wish to add to the data already entered, but you don't have to.
Candidates will be invited to attend a selection process that will consist of:
Stage 1 (Interview)
You begin with a 20-minute interview covering aspects of a specific play.
A recall system is used thereafter.
Please note that the recall stage may take place on a different day. Once you have completed Stage 1, the admissions office will write to you indicating whether you have been recalled or not.
Stage 2 (Recall)
If you're recalled, you'll be given a short scene from a second play as a directing exercise. After a short period of private preparation, you'll work for 15 minutes with two acting students, who'll be familiar with the scene. The panel will observe you while you direct the students. They will not expect a finished piece of theatre. This will be followed by a further interview, including what you hope to achieve by undertaking this course of study, and a detailed discussion on a piece of theatre and a film you’ve seen in the last month.
In assessing your suitability for BA Directing the admissions panels will give equal weight to your interview and your directing workshop taking into account the following criteria:
- Imagination - visual sense; sensuous engagement with the material; analytical ability
- Story telling - visual means; textual stresses; placement ('blocking'); build-up and resolution of tension
- Spirit of enquiry - intellectual alertness; knowledge and experience of theatre/ film; awareness of the demands of the professional
Selection is made by a minimum of two members of staff and offers of places are based on our selection criteria as described. We keep notes about decisions made following the interview process.
Receiving results of your application
- If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS track.
- If you made a direct application, the result will be emailed or sent by post.
You’ll only receive further communication directly from the college if your application has been successful and this will be in the form of a full offer pack.