Qualification: MA
Course Length: Part-time 24 Months
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MA Theatre (online learning)


GSA is one of the UK’s leading drama schools.  This, part-time, 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.

Uncover more about who you are – discover who you could become.

Ideal for those in full-time employment, our MA Theatre course from the Guildford School of Acting (GSA) provides a gateway to an exciting future without the need for regular attendance on campus. Our course allows you to study at your own pace through online learning, so you can pursue your passion for theatre and develop industry connections around your existing commitments. GSA is accredited by the Federation of Drama Schools (FDS). You’ll have unlimited access to our virtual learning environment and will be supported by industry-leading professionals and passionate academics. 

Programme overview

Explore the fascinating and rich heritage of theatre from a critical and theoretical perspective. You’ll gain an understanding of theatrical practices and develop your ability to evaluate significant historical, political, social and ethical developments in theatre. Our exciting range of modules incorporates topics such as the Greeks, Shakespeare, Naturalism and the Actor, Modern Theatre, Global Theatres, and Music and Dance in Theatre; in addition, you will explore the Background to Theatre through history, philosophy, psychology, politics and cultural theory. You will have the opportunity to enhance your professional development and you’ll complete an independent research project that will allow you to specialise in an area of particular interest to you.

Read Theatre and Performing Arts student and graduate profiles HERE

Completing my master’s degree at GSA has been a great personal and academic journey for me. To have the flexibility of the distance learning course meant that I was able to continue to grow and progress myself whilst maintaining my personal responsibilities. This course really does offer a full spectrum of modules, resulting in a wide knowledge base

Hannah Calvert-Reeve, MA Theatre Graduate 2020

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)

There’s no need to buy any textbooks for the course – all your reading materials are provided through our online library.


Example modules for 2021

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.

Year 1 (distance-learning)

Module title Status Semester
THE GREEKS Compulsory 1
SHAKESPEARE Compulsory 2

Year 2 (distance-learning)

Module title Status Semester
GLOBAL THEATRES Compulsory Year-long

Seminar dates TBC

Disclaimer: Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Entry requirements


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. 


IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element

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.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.




UK    £5,300

Overseas    £10,700

These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2021-22 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.

If you are on a two-year full-time Euromasters or MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme, the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.

View a complete listing of all ongoing 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 facilities.
  • SCONUL access enabling borrower's rights at Partner University libraries (UK wide)