Masters in Fine Art (MFA)

Course Length

60 weeks / 24 months

Course Fee

2024 Entry:

£13,500 per year (UK)

£16,500 per year (International)

Course Overview

The Drama Studio London MFA in Professional Acting is a unique, industry-led actor training programme that is practical, in-depth and industry focused. 

Students perform in a full-scale production and an industry facing showcase to agents, casting directors and other industry work-givers and also have an opportunity to take up international placements with leading arts organisations.

Course Structure

Year 1 Year 2
Term 1 Process and Methodologies (20 credits)

•Professional Practice (40 credits)


•Independent Production (40 credits)


•Professional Performance (40 credits)

Technical Practice (20 credits)
Term 2 Process into Performance (20 credits)
Applied Technical Practice (20 credits)
Term 3 Text, Technique and Style (40 credits)

Skills training includes:

  • Voice
  • Movement
  • Screen Acting
  • Audio Work
  • Character Study
  • Stagecraft
  • Approach to Text

Our MFA students bring a diverse and inspiring wealth of lived experience from their previous training and practice which they build on through their training. They graduate with the confidence in a foundation of core skills to draw from in any professional setting.

International Residencies

The course includes two optional international residencies, giving students the opportunity to further enhance skills and industry contacts.

Year 1 will include a one-week, intensive training workshop with a European partner organisation.

Year 2 will include a second substantial international training residency at a leading performing arts conservatory. (Previous partners have been in the USA and Europe.)

Both these residencies will extend your understanding of specialist areas and explore creative possibilities across cultural landscapes.

Please note that the travel and accommodation for these residencies will be covered at your own expense. We will give you an estimation of the costs as soon as possible at the start of the course but please make sure you budget for this.

Alternative study within the UK can be provided subject to criteria being met.


MFA students also perform a live showcase to an industry audience of agents, casting directors and other key industry work-givers alongside the BA Hons and MFA cohorts. The serves as an invaluable introduction to the professional while enabling you to network with peers.

Students can apply for Spotlight and Equity membership and will leave the 2 Year MFA with professionally shot material to contribute towards your personal showreel.

In addition, MA graduates produce a collaboratively realised production with peers. This offers you an additional approach into evolving your professional career.

Associations and Validation

This course is validated and awarded by the University of West London which prides itself as the Career University. Drama Studio London is also accredited by the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT), a governing body which accredits excellent professional training in the leading drama schools. It is an integral member of the Federation of Drama Schools (FDS), an organisation dedicated to good practice in conservatoire training.

Key information

Start Date: 30th September 2024 End Date: 25th July 2026
Hours Per Week: 30 Daily schedule: 9.45 am – 5.15 pm from Monday to Friday. Not including class preparation or warm up
This programme is only available as full-time across two years.  


Entry requirements
This is two year programme. There is no direct entry to year two of the MFA. Entrance to the second year is dependent on completion of the first year and the awarding of appropriate credits.

Standard Entry Non Standard Entry (no first degree, BUT professional/equivalent experience). Please see further details below
Those holding a 2.2 in a level 6 degree or above – does not need to be in a related subject Professional experience of performing on stage or screen OR have had a career in professional production
No upper age limit but applicants should be over 21 Can demonstrate a proven track record in a related performance area such as. Corporate training scenarios, Coaching and Medical role-play or facilitation of educational workshops




Have taken professional performance workshops and classes to a high standard over a long period of time

It is essential for all MFA students to hold a valid passport prior to enrolling in order to participate in integrated residencies in Europe and USA.

All students from a non-English speaking majority country will be required to provide a valid SELT (Secure English Language Test) at level CEFR (Common European Framework) B2 or above or at IELTS level 6.5 or above.


At Drama Studio London we value diversity. We welcome applications from all people who meet the relevant entrance requirements regardless of their gender, age, race, marital status, language, cultural, social or religious background, physical or sensory difficulty, neuro-diversity, sexual orientation or HIV status. Our staff will always challenge prejudice and ensure equality of opportunity for every applicant and every student individually.

Non-Standard Entry details

If you would like your professional experience to be considered as an equivalent to the BA degree requirement we will ask you to do the following:

Within the DSL application form:

  • outline how your previous experience has informed your understanding of performance and/or training.
  • consider the skills and knowledge that your experience has given you e.g. how you manage your time/activity, studying/learning independently, problem solving, working with others, adapting to varied professional environments, communication, personal development, any in depth knowledge of a specialist field which has enabled you to create workshops, sustain a role through a professional process. (please note these are suggestions not a prescribed list of criteria you must include)
  • consider what you are hoping to achieve from undertaking this training course.

In line with ALL APPLICANTS for this course, if successful, you will be asked to:

  • outline an area of practice research you would be interested to explore for interview – please do use this to detail creative projects you may have been involved with – even if not directly performance related.
  • if your application is successful the specific brief for this part of the application will be sent to you.

We will also ask you to nominate a referee. This should be someone senior you have worked with in a professional/employment/training capacity e.g. a professional director/artistic director, a training course leader, an employer etc.

They are not required to endorse your talent as an actor, as the audition is the primary process for considering that. We may ask them to provide a concise written reference in respect of the following criteria:

  • the nature of their professional experience with you, and the duration.
  • your capacity to personally learn, adapt/respond and develop through a practical process.
  • your capacity to operate with professional rigour, commitment and discipline
  • your capacity for independent activity, problem solving, self-reliance and personal management.
  • your capacity for collaboration and communication.
  • your attention to detail in your work with them.
  • your capacity to respond to new ideas and approaches creatively.

If your application is successful you will be asked to provide this reference in advance of the audition process. You are only required to provide one reference. You are welcome to supply one additional reference in support of your application if it covers a different set of skills.

An additional specialist from outside the core staff of DSL will be appointed to oversee these criteria and assess objectively if the candidate has demonstrated enough knowledge, experience and ability to be able to study and complete the MFA successfully.

UK students International students
£13,500 per year £16,500 per year


These fees relate to sterling transactions only. For non-sterling payments please add the equivalent of £20GBP to cover bank charges and administration costs.

Fee note: You should expect to budget in the region of £2000 to cover travel, accommodation for the international residencies. Exact costs are confirmed on an annual basis.

The costs of most texts and sheet music are included in the fees. Please see the DSL EQUIPMENT LIST 2024 for information about other compulsory purchases such as character shoes and headshots. These additional fees will not exceed approximately £500. You will be sent a reading list before the start of the course.

All course fees are subject to adjustment in line with government guidelines.


All full-time international students will be required to pay a deposit or an up-front payment of their tuition fees (dependent upon their country of origin) to secure their place on the course and be issued a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS). The amount of the deposit/payment will be detailed in the offer letter.

£2000 of this payment is a non-refundable deposit.

The deposit is refundable only in the following circumstances:

if the University does not issue a CAS; or

Where a student is issued with a visa refusal by the UKVI unless the refusal by UKVI is for reasons of fraud or misrepresentation.

Where the deposit and up-front payment is refunded to the student, DSL will retain £1000 as an administration fee.

Where a student is unable to apply for a visa or decides not to study in the year of application for any reason, DSL will return the up-front payment minus the £2000 deposit. DSL will retain the deposit which the student may use to re-apply within two years.

Where a student commences their course of study but decides to withdraw, DSL will retain a £2000 deposit.



Admission to Drama Studio London is via audition, following receipt of an application via UCAS and our direct application form.

We look for talent, passion, a maturity of attitude, a certain level of technical ability and a flexible approach.

There are two rounds:

Round 1 is a digital audition and we ask that you send some recorded material
Round 2 is in person and consists of workshops, monologue work and an interview

Read the full guide to our audition process here, including advice on preparation and how to send self-tapes.

We do not charge for auditions as part of our ongoing policy of breaking down barriers to conservatoire training by widening participation for all.

Please be advised your recall audition can only be rearranged once unless exceptional circumstances apply.

If exceptional circumstances do not apply, you will still be eligible for recall entry in the following academic year.

Independent Production interview

Within the MFA you will be expected to undertake a substantial research practice project, in collaboration with others. This is termed the Independent Production. As part of the selection process for this course, subject to a successful first round audition, you will be invited to a further interview. This is to explore your potential and experience of practice research. If you are invited to interview you will be sent a briefing document outlining what you will need to prepare.

If you are under 60 and normally live in England, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £11,222 towards the cost of your course and living expenses. For more information go to our Funding page