Qualification: MFA
Course Length: 36 Months Part-time
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MFA Theatre (part-time online learning)

Programme overview

Ideal for those in full-time employment, our online Theatre MFA from the Guildford School of Acting (GSA) provides a gateway to an exciting future without the need for regular attendance on campus.

You’ll have unlimited access to our virtual learning environment where you’ll be supported by highly experienced and passionate tutors.

Furthering your skills, our course will take you deeper into the fascinating history of theatre from both a practical and critical perspective.

What you will study

Our Theatre (Distance Learning) MFA 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.

You’ll actively engage with fundamental principles and explore the rich heritage of theatre from a critical, historical and theoretical perspective. You’ll gain an understanding of theatrical practices and develop your ability to evaluate significant artistic, historical, social and political developments in theatre.

Our broad range of modules incorporates topics such as:

  • The Greeks
  • Shakespeare
  • Naturalism and the Actor
  • Modern Theatre
  • Global Theatres
  • 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.

You will also study pedagogies that will introduce you to key principles, skills and techniques required to facilitate training for performance in a range of settings across diverse communities, and develop your knowledge of areas of theatre, performance and relevant teaching practices.

GSA MFA Theatre

Related Courses:

MA Theatre

MA Acting

MFA Acting

MFA Movement Direction

MA Movement Direction

MA Theatre Online Learning

MA Musical Theatre

MFA Musical Theatre

MA Stage and Production Management

Programme structure

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

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 or 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:

GSA delivers its provision across three teaching blocks, within the University of Surrey’s existing semester structure.

Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday - Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).


Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.


We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.

GSA offers careers advice throughout your study course. We host an industry showcase, and GSA fully supports students with their first steps into the profession.

We strive to ensure that our graduates develop the skills to help them enter the profession industry-ready; as shown in our latest graduate showcase. This was created during the Covid-19 lockdown to help serve our students during this period and is easily accessible for the industry to view.

2023 entry requirements


Students must hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (minimum 2.2 or equivalent), as well as significant engagement with drama, theatre and performance. Alternatively, entrants may have 5 years of relevant professional experience in the industry. Offers are made subject to a successful audition and interview.

For more audition information please visit AUDITIONS & INTERVIEWS

In exceptional cases, where ability and experience clearly show that an applicant is able to complete the course, other qualification profiles may be accepted. Variations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0 in each element

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

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.

Find out all about fees and funding here.

Visit our Scholarships and Bursaries page for more details.

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey, you may be eligible for a ten percent discount on our taught Master's programme fees.


We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.