Postgraduate Course

MFA Acting


MFA Acting


The details
Acting (International)
October 2024
1 year 8 months
East15 (Loughton) Campus

East 15 Acting School's MA/MFA Acting (International) is a full-time, professional and intensive training program designed specifically for international students.

The course emphasises the importance of the integration and mastery of a wide spectrum of core acting skills. This includes; acting classes, Laban, Feldenkrais, Somatic and Grotowski based movement classes, voice production, articulation, RP (Received Pronunciation), context and singing.

The training draws primarily on existing practice, the legacy of Stanislavski, and the unique methodologies and ethos of East 15 itself, which grew out of the techniques, beliefs and practice of one of the UK's most famous and historically influential theatre companies of the 20th Century, Joan Littlewood's ‘Theatre Workshop'.

You will have the experience of working with an international cohort of actors from all parts of the world, with different cultural and historical perspectives, life experiences, and training, which will enlighten, challenge, educate and inform you as an artist and human being. Our teaching incorporates the intensive study of Shakespeare, and a residency and performance at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

We regard every actor as an individual and understand the need for different keys to unlock their capabilities as artists and human beings. We believe in positivity, passion, professionalism, and creating a truly safe space in which you can learn and explore to reach your full potential. You will have the physical and vocal skills and techniques combined with our unique and rigorous approach to all aspects of acting training to build truthful, three-dimensional characters of emotional depth and veracity with sophisticated texts in different genres and styles. This training is a holistic approach to building character and interpreting narrative, ideal for any student whose interest lies in the craftsmanship of acting and performance.

You will become a self-sufficient actor, in charge of your own process, and be able to work confidently with any director, in any genre or discipline of acting.


MA Acting (International) runs for 12 months on a full-time basis and the MFA for 20 months. MA and MFA students are combined for most of the first year.

MA and MFA students take the same modules in their first year. In their second year, MFA students work within a repertory company format to present a range of fully-staged productions in each of the three terms, followed by a written dissertation or practical project.

Both MA and MFA Acting (International) offer regular classes during the year for English first-language and English second-language students. The English first language students (USA, Canada, Australia etc.) concentrate on accent/dialect and received pronunciation (RP), while the second-language students focus more on accent, rhythm, stress and diction.

All students participate in public performances during their study. By the end of the course, you will be able to work in accurate English dialect and perform sophisticated texts with confidence.

This course is taught at our picturesque Loughton Campus.

View more Masters courses from East 15 Acting School, including Theatre Directing.

Why we're great.
  • East 15 is a fully accredited Drama UK school.
  • We give our actors and directors the chance to work together on collaborative projects.
  • Use state-of-the-art filmmaking and editing resources, and our extensive studio and performance spaces.

Our expert staff

Our training is by professionals and for professionals, allowing our graduates to work successfully across the globe.

Our international, outstanding teaching faculty is made up of professionals from all areas of live and recorded performance.

Learn more about our staff here.

Specialist facilities

Our Loughton Campus is perfectly located, providing access to both the rich, cultural diversity of London and an attractive and peaceful setting in which to study.

We are just a five-minute walk from London Underground station, Debden, where you can travel in only thirty minutes to Central London, West End theatres and mainline train stations including the Eurostar.

We have three sites at our Loughton Campus – Hatfields, Roding House and Unit Four. Hatfields is a beautiful Georgian dower house, set in five acres of lawns with orchards, flowerbeds and a small lake, providing an idyllic atmosphere for study, relaxation and performance.

Just a short walk from Hatfields is Roding House, a £1.3 million facility containing 10 rehearsal rooms, a green room/café, a sound recording studio and a video editing suite, and our costume department.

Next to Roding House, Unit Four is a £1.5 million facility which is home to the Stage & Production Management department. The Unit contains a large workshop, paint shop, prop shop, prop storage facilities and teaching spaces.

Our on-site Corbett Theatre is named in honour of Harry H Corbett, a key member of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and early benefactor of East 15. It is used extensively for student productions and is a practical training hub for our BA Stage and Production Management students.

The building is a medieval tithe barn that was dismantled and transported to Hatfields in the 1960s. These unusual origins create a unique performance space with a special atmosphere. Renovated to include full technical facilities, tiered seating for 130 people and fitted dressing rooms, the theatre provides an excellent resource for public productions, while the adjacent Bar and Café provides a social meeting point for students and staff.

Your future

Graduates will have a comprehensive, professional training and a clear, embedded process that will enable them to pursue professional careers in theatre and related professions in an increasingly global industry. Graduates are working and winning awards as actors in the USA, China, Norway, South Korea and many other countries. Many have formed their own very successful theatre companies, including LubDub Theatre in New York, and have written plays performed professionally in London, New York, LA, Oslo and Washington. MFA graduates have also gone on to teaching careers at Universities in North America, South Korea, and many other countries around the world.

“The crosspollination of ideas and cultures brought together in the faculty and students in this course provides a valuable springboard in creating extraordinary theatre.”

Earl Kim, MFA Acting (International)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

This course is not available to UK applicants.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please contact our Graduate Admissions team at to request the entry requirements for this country.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.


Course structure

We offer dynamic and unique courses for actors, directors and students of theatre practice. Training at East 15 draws upon 50 years of tradition combined with a keen sense of the world of stage and screen today.

Our carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore and develop your specialist training.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website and in line with your contract with us. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained


Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.


Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms


Advanced Acting Technique

This MA/MFA Acting (International) module includes study and practical application of at least two major European approaches to actor training, one (e.g. Stanislavsky) focussed on text and the other (e.g. Laban) focussed on movement and body training. Classes include voice (speaking and singing), movement, character work in production, anatomy and physiology for the actor. The work of the module pays specific attention to clarity of diction under performance conditions.

View Advanced Acting Technique on our Module Directory


Character and Scene Work

This MA/MFA Acting (International) module uses a research based Naturalistic approach to acting as its base. In term one, students study a practical Stanislavski based approach to acting and character creation. In term two, building on the work in the first term, student will study a range of texts will includes research into their cultural context, the writer's life and works, themes of the plays and the critical reception of the plays in production.

View Character and Scene Work on our Module Directory



This module focuses on the development of skills and techniques for understanding, speaking and communicating Renaissance text, with an emphasis on the handling of verse, rhythm, inflection and pace.

View Shakespeare on our Module Directory


Contemporary Texts

This MA/MFA Acting (International) module introduces students to the study of, and practical response to, key 20th-century and contemporary texts, including 'classic' texts such as those by Beckett, Pinter, Brecht and Rodrigues, and selected contemporary practitioners from around the world. The development of improvisational and devising skills and techniques as a springboard to create a response to a text, or to further develop ideas and themes into performance, are explored. Study may include vocal work in Received Pronunciation and may include handling of regional speech and dialect as appropriate to specific texts. Study of texts will include research on their cultural context, the writer's life and works, themes of the plays and the critical reception of the plays in production.

View Contemporary Texts on our Module Directory


EA612-7-SU or EA613-7-SU


Theatre Performance 1

This Year Two MFA Acting (International) module gives students the opportunity to work within a repertory company format to present a fully staged play written in or translated into English, using a script from the period 1880 to 1980, with an emphasis on Realist Naturalist texts.

View Theatre Performance 1 on our Module Directory


Theatre Performance 2

This Year Two MFA Acting (International) module gives students the opportunity to work within a repertory company format to present a fully-staged production of a script in English with an emphasis on stylised or non- naturalistic text.

View Theatre Performance 2 on our Module Directory


Theatre Performance 3

This Year Two MFA Acting (International) module gives students the opportunity to work within a repertory company format to present a fully produced play in English, with script from the period 1980 to the present.

View Theatre Performance 3 on our Module Directory


Film, Radio and Voiceover

This MFA second year acting module focuses on acting for camera, radio and voiceover. It also looks at writing and creating show reel and voice reel material designed to enhance the students' employability.

View Film, Radio and Voiceover on our Module Directory


Term 1

In the first term you will focus on acting techniques evolved from the Stanislavski tradition, employing extensive improvisational exercises to explore the core and heart of the approach to acting training at East 15. This enables students from different traditions and approaches to identify and achieve a common language and experience as preparation for the subsequent training. You will also:

  • Develop your understanding of the meaning and mechanics of Shakespeare's text and study a range of analytical and experimental approaches to develop clarity, accuracy, and be able to inhabit the text truthfully
  • Learn specific vocal techniques for the performance of Renaissance text which allows you to consider how a range of archaic and contemporary performance settings influence the actor's and director's approaches to Shakespeare in performance
  • Study a range of analytical and experimental approaches to script that are useful to the actor and there are opportunities to develop your clarity, accuracy, and expressiveness in speaking Renaissance text

The term concludes with a two-week residency at Shakespeare's Globe where you work with the Globe's own directors, text, movement, voice, dance, and stage combat experts and will rehearse and perform one-hour ensemble versions of Shakespeare texts on the Globe stage.

Term 2

With character and scene study, the focus of the second term shifts to a realist approach. Through our intensive, detailed approach to text analysis, research and improvisation, you will expand your ability to bring character and situation to life, and further develop the depth of your process. This module utilises realist scripts from Chekhov and Ibsen to Hansberry and Rattigan.

The second part of the term turns the focus to UK contemporary texts. You will extend your vocal, physical, and analytical skills in the creation of roles that reflect a current cultural context and perform in an ensemble production.

Term 3

In this term, you perform in a full-length play, allowing you to create a complete role in a production which will highlight the graduating MA students. MFA students finish for the term after this performance.

The MA students then work on filmed showreel material for an ‘Online Industry Showcase', followed by writing workshops with a professional playwright, leading to a practical self-devised, live-streamed, solo theatre performance in the Corbett Theatre with accompanying dissertation, or students may choose to write a longer dissertation instead of the practical performance project.

Year 2 (MFA Students only)

This year focuses on working as an acting ensemble with outside professional theatre directors. These are public productions which showcase you to the UK industry.

Term 1

In the first term you will focus on:

  • Writing workshops with a professional playwright, leading to a practical self-devised, live-streamed, solo theatre performance in the Corbett Theatre with accompanying dissertation. Students may also choose to write a longer dissertation, instead of the practical performance project
  • Public productions of shows aimed at younger audiences performed in East 15's Corbett Theatre
Term 2

In second term the ensemble performs in public productions in a London theatre venue.

Classes in film, radio and voiceover teach you the skills required for acting for camera and microphone technique, providing you with content for a professional showreel, website and voice reel.

You also have professional preparation in audition technique and practice, self-taping, self-promotion and branding.

Term 3
In the final term, the ensemble performs in public productions in either East 15's Corbett Theatre or a second Central London theatre venue.

Fees and funding

International fee

£21,700 per year

Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £775. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.

What's next



When you apply for one of our postgraduate courses, we will assess you on your experience (both academic and practical) and your potential for success. You will need to undertake an audition that has an element of physical activity as part of your assessment.

You need to complete and send us an East 15 application form, including a link to your video audition, and pay your audition fee.

Full information on how to apply, what to prepare for your video audition and links to the East 15 application form and audition fee payment are on the East 15 website.


You will need to include a link to your video audition on your application form. The full information on what you need to include in your audition is on the East 15 website.

If you are successful in your video audition, you will be asked to attend a further audition with one of our tutors. Full information on the options available to you and what you need to prepare for your recall audition will be sent to you by email.

Auditions generally take place between November and June and are available online, on campus and at other regional and international events. If you live outside the UK, we audition internationally in different countries each year. For a list of our events, please see the East 15 website. If you are unable to attend one of these in person events, you should submit your application form and video audition following the instruction on how to apply here. If you are recalled, your audition will take place online.

East 15 students acting class

Visit Loughton Campus

You’ll be in intensive training at one of the most prestigious and internationally respected conservatoires in the country, gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in the performing arts. You'll arrive at a campus with state-of-the-art study and performance facilities, nestled in the stunning grounds of a country house. 

But fear not! It’s not all work and no play at East 15 Acting School in Loughton and you're just a short step away from the bright lights and big city of central London.


At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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