Entry requirements

Either a minimum second-class honours degree from a UK university (or a directly comparable qualification from a non-UK university), together with some significant experience of professional or professional-level theatre; or an undergraduate- or postgraduate-level diploma from a recognised UK drama school (or a directly comparable qualification from a non-UK drama school), together with some significant experience of professional or professional-level theatre (normally 3 years); or extensive professional experience. Considerable importance will be attached to your ability to demonstrate commitment to professional theatre directing. If you are considered to be initially qualified, you will then be interviewed.

Months of entry


Course content

This Master's degree offers a professionally recognised training for theatre directors. It is the result of a unique collaboration between Birkbeck and the National Council for Drama Training, Arts Council England, Equity and the Theatrical Management Association. The programme has been planned in close co-operation with a wide range of distinguished theatre practitioners.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • The programme is practice-centred and predominantly practice-based.
  • Direct input of professional theatre practitioners: Mike Leigh, Vicki Mortimer, Simon Stephens and Sam West have been recent contributors.
  • Includes a 6-month secondment with a theatre company, providing the opportunity to direct and work with professional actors.
  • Extended mentoring relationships between students and professional directors.
  • An opportunity for the student to establish a relationship with a professional drama school offering a course or courses accredited by NCDT.
  • Regular observation of the course by a highly experienced group of professional directors under the umbrella of NCDT.
  • Participation in the teaching of the course by a substantial number of experienced theatre practitioners.

Information for international students

The requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.5, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests and at least 7.0 in writing.

Fees and funding

UK students
Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
International students
Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.

Students on the MFA Theatre Directing can apply for a number of bursaries towards fees awarded on the basis of financial need. It is not possible to apply for these bursaries in advance of being offered a place on the MFA Theatre Directing; successful applicants will be given further details once admitted to the programme.

The School of Arts also offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.

Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44(0) 20 3907 0700
+ 44 (0)20 7631 6072