Why study at GSA
Guildford School of Acting is one of the UK’s leading accredited drama schools, providing dedicated conservatoire training within a purpose-built environment on the University of Surrey campus.
We are ranked 3rd in the UK for dance, drama and cinematics in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024, and 5th in the UK for drama and dance in the Guardian University Guide 2024. We were shortlisted for University of the Year in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
As a performer you will be passionate about musical theatre, creative and able to form a deep connection with storytelling, the characters you play and your audience.
Our MA in Musical Theatre builds on our longstanding international reputation in musical theatre. Across the year you will work on acting, singing, dance and all aspects of performance, enabling you to enhance your skills and launch your career with confidence.
Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is one of the UK’s leading accredited drama schools, providing dedicated conservatoire training in a purpose-built environment.
Successful entry onto GSA’s Musical Theatre MA means you’ll be part of a carefully selected and committed ensemble of performers-in-training, equipped with the self-discipline and motivation to master new skills and refine existing capabilities.
What you will study
This intensive MA in Musical Theatre is designed to equip participants in the ‘triple-threat’ musical theatre disciplines of acting, singing and dancing.
We place a strong emphasis on working on your practical skills (taught within technical group and one-to-one classes) together with a dedicated focus on your professional development. We provide you with opportunities to combine these skills into musical theatre rehearsal projects and public performances.
In addition, you'll attend seminars in contextual and theoretical studies, alongside masterclasses led by industry professionals in audition technique and widening your repertoire.
The skills you will learn in technical classes are integrated through project work, which includes: rehearsal projects of classic and contemporary musicals, a public production led by a production team of theatre professionals, a presentation of your work to a panel of industry professionals and an industry showcase which introduces you to agents, casting directors and industry creatives.
Graduates from the MA Musical Theatre course are working all over the world in musical theatre and in a range of TV, film and media work.
Please be aware: the course content and modules listed for this course are subject to change for the 2024/25 academic year, whilst we undertake a curriculum design review. Please contact the programme leader if you have any queries about the course.
I really loved the fact that no matter what your skill level was, the instructors tried to find the best ways to teach us all individually. We were not being mass produced to look, sound, and move the same, each of our unique traits were used to enhance our performance aesthetic
Asya Toney, MFA Musical Theatre Graduate
- To deepen experiential knowledge, ability and critical understanding of the integrated practice of musical theatre
- To develop a comprehensive theoretical and experiential understanding of the techniques and methodologies inherent in the practice of musical theatre
- To enable an advanced knowledge of context, style, genre and idiom in the practice of musical theatre
- To provide an ensemble training context for the development of professional skills based on practical and theoretical understanding and reflective practice
- To enable the student to demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical knowledge of how to research and create independent practice
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
- An advanced understanding of the physical and vocal techniques required to maintain an expressive body and the optimum functionality of the voice
- A critical understanding of key theoretical and methodological developments in the practice of musical theatre
- A sophisticated understanding of the application of techniques to differing theatrical forms, styles, genres and historical contexts
- A comprehensive understanding of current industry practice
- Recognise, interpret and contextualise approaches to genre, idiom, style and historical context
- Recognise and respond appropriately to the demands of different musical theatre styles
- Ability to evaluate, critique and develop methodologies of practice
- Critically analyse and reflect on their own and others’ practice
Professional practical skills
- Identify and develop a personally effective and methodological approach to rehearsal
- Select and apply vocal and physical techniques appropriate to different genres, styles and periods of musical theatre
- Demonstrate creative, original and imaginative work in performance
- Contribute effective and appropriate advanced practices and concepts to an ensemble process
- Demonstrate evidence of extensive practical research and effective preparation for entry into the current performance industry
- Be disciplined and consistent in a professional context
- Conduct themselves constructively, positively and sensitively towards others
- Able to both lead and collaborate as part of a team, on practical and research projects
- Communicate effectively and at an advanced level in both verbal and written form.
- Seek out, critique and employ information appropriately
- Recognise and develop commercial and artistic career opportunities.
Our graduates have an unrivalled employment record in West End shows, national tours, television, radio and film. Our very distinguished alumni include performers such as:
- Brenda Blethyn OBE
- Bill Nighy
- Ella Balinska
- Owen Teale
- Celia Imrie
- Jonjo O’Neill
- Alexandra Mardell
- Kobna Holdbrook-Smith MBE
- Danielle Fiamanya
- Tam Mutu
- Caroline Sheen
- Rob Kazinsky
- Jade Anouka
- Chris Geere
- Emma Barton
- Justin Fletcher MBE
- T'Nia Miller
- Stephen Carlile
- Maiya Quansah-Breed
- Grace Mouat
- Bronagh Waugh
Our alumni have also secured employment in numerous regional theatres, opera and ballet companies, arts venues, scenic construction and prop-making companies, corporate events and lighting, sound and video hire companies, as well as attaining management and creative production roles for major venues and production companies including the Really Useful Group, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, the National Theatre, the BBC, the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, ATG Theatres and PRG Dubai. Other career paths have included teaching and outreach work.
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.
Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
GSA International Auditions in Philadelphia, USA
We are excited to announce we will be holding in-person auditions this year in Philadelphia. This will be open to all GSA applicants. If you are applying for BA Acting or BA Musical Theatre and would like to audition in Philadelphia, you must have completed the first round video audition stage, and to have been invited to a recall audition.
The auditions will take place on 22 January 2024 in Philadelphia. Venue TBC
In order to be invited to this audition, we must receive your application no later than Friday 5 January 2024. For BA Musical Theatre and BA Acting applications, we must receive your UCAS application by Friday 3 November 2023. The deadline to submit first-round videos will be Friday 1 December 2023.
Please note: the above only applies to applicants interested in auditioning in Philadelphia, USA.