Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates
Either a second-class honours degree (2:2) or above 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 three 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.
Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.
Months of entry
You will spend time at a leading drama school, learning how actors are trained for today’s theatre. Intensive units with expert professionals, including members of the RSC’s voice and movement departments, and noted practitioners such as Mike Leigh, Mike Alfreds, Vicki Mortimer, Natalie Abrahami and Lyndsey Turner, will concentrate on the director’s relationship with the designer and the writer, and offer a practical understanding of how theatre companies and pieces of work are funded and managed.
You will then further develop your skills as a director through secondment to a theatre company where you will have the opportunity to assist on at least three full productions; collaborators include the Royal Exchange Manchester, Birmingham Rep, HOME Manchester, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Theatre by the Lake Keswick, the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, HighTide and the Unicorn.Highlights
- The programme includes a nine-month secondment with a theatre company, providing the opportunity to direct and work with professional actors; a three-month secondment to a leading drama school; extended mentoring relationships between students and professional directors; and regular observation of the course by a highly experienced group of professional directors.
- Our Centre for Contemporary Theatre runs a postgraduate reading group and offers opportunities to show work in progress as part of the School of Arts summer festival Arts Week.
- The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.
- In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
Information for international students
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Qualification, course duration and attendance options
- full time24 months
- Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
Course contact details
- Student Advice Service
- +44 (0)20 3907 0700