MA Theatre




Why GSA?

GSA is one of the UK’s leading drama schools.  This two year online learning programme provides the opportunity to gain an academic qualification from a leading drama school within a top ten university from the convenience of your own home. GSA has enjoyed nearly twenty years of distance learning provision to a global community of students.

Programme overview

This programme is designed specifically for people who are engaged in full time employment or other commitments that mean they cannot attend in person. As such, there are no specific times at which you will be required to attend or be online. We understand that each student will need to pursue the learning journey around their own weekly timetable of commitments. We do hold optional seminar weekends once a semester, but these are optional and all materials are posted on the online learning environment for all to access, as many cannot attend.

Throughout the programme, students will encounter theories of acting and styles of theatrical performance alongside key theories of performance, theatrical reception and critique. The influence of historical, political, social and ethical developments in past traditions of theatre upon contemporary theatrical practices will be examined through the study of a broad range of influential texts and their contexts. Students will develop their ability to retrieve and process information and to communicate clearly in writing. They will evaluate the work of others with critical objectivity. They will be supported to apply high levels of personal discipline and time-management, analysing own working practices for self-development, understanding the need to take initiative and work independently to further own learning.

The independent research project will certainly allow students to utilise their existing expertise and develop this area of interest further under guidance from an assigned tutor.

Programme details

Programme leader

Mrs Anna McNamara

Find out more

General enquiries

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries


Programme facts

Type of programme


Programme length

Part-time: 24 months

Start date

Sep 2018

This year's Seminars:

Seminar weekend 1:

6th and 7th October 10am-5pm

TDLM008 The Greeks (AMc)

TDLM009 Theories of Performance (DT)

Surrey/GSA induction (AMc)

Library induction, research methods and academic writing skills (Library/DT)


Seminar weekend 2:

16th and 17th February 2019 10am-5pm

TDLM005 Naturalism and the Actor (AMc)

TDLM007 Shakespeare in Performance (DT)


Students must hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (minimum 2.2 or equivalent), as well as previous engagement with drama, theatre and performance. Offers are made subject to a successful application.   

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Fees and funding

Study mode Part-time
Start date Sep 2018
UK/EU fees £9,900 (total for 2 years)
Overseas fees £19,900

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018/2019 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study. 

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates 

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees.

Learn more


Distance Learning students benefit from the following:

- Access to a campus card which offers physical access to the University of Surrey Library, Archives and associated resources.

- Access to GSA studios and faciliites.

- SCONUL access enabling borrower's rights at Partner University libraries (UK wide)


Programme structure

This programme is studied part-time over two academic years by online and distance learning. It consists of eight taught modules and an Independent Research Project.

As part of the programme you will be invited to attend an optional seminar at the start of each semester. Attendance may be in person or online. (Online access is available beyond the actual seminar date)

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Theories of Performance 

Shakespeare in Performance

Naturalism and the Actor

Musical Theatre

The Greeks

Political Theatre 

Global Perspectives

Contemporary Theatre Making

Independent Research Project


How to apply