Postgraduate MA

Screen Acting

School of Arts and Media

Attendance

Full-time

Course

One year

Next enrolment

September 2020

Introduction

In a nutshell

This programme is designed for actors who want to refine and advance their skills in the area of performance before the camera. You will develop your screen acting technique across a range of styles, including film, television and digital platforms.

You will learn how to be a professional and accomplished performer in studio and on location, as well as learning about voicing animation and computer video games. In addition, you will have opportunity to interact with motion-capture technology and computer-generated imagery to create exciting cutting-edge screen performances.

Uniquely, this programme offers you the opportunity to acquire the technical production skills needed to create a high-quality self-tape, short digital film and acting showreel. This will give you the ability to create your own showcase of your acting talents on digital media.

Located in our purpose-built Arts facility, New Adelphi, this programme gives you access to professional standard TV studios and equipment. It provides numerous opportunities to network with industry professionals in seminars, masterclasses, tuition and industry-aligned projects, as well as providing a graduating showcase, where agents and casting directors will be invited to watch your performances.

There will be plentiful opportunities to get involved with industry projects and apply for work experience within the media industry.

You will:
  • Be taught by successful, working actors
  • Learn production skills that will aid you as a performer
  • Perform in a final showcase to potentially secure an agent
International

students accepted

Course details

All about the course

MA Screen Acting offers you the opportunity to gain advanced media performance skills alongside training in camera, lighting, editing and sound recording.

Throughout the course you will:

  • Work both collaboratively and individually to enhance your screen performance skills in studio, location and voice acting
  • Study media production skills to a professional standard
  • Engage with media theory and research to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the fields of media and performance.
Trimester one

Performing for the Camera

On this module, you will explore the principles and techniques of acting for the screen, including studio recording, location filming, multi and single camera work. There will be practical taught sessions every week, moving from studio 3-camera set-ups through to single-camera location shoots. You will:

  • have the opportunity to work with professional actors as tutors to learn the skills of screen performance in studio and on location
  • watch and analyse professional screen performances as well as critically discussing the playback of your own in-class performances.
  • explore and address the challenges inherent in the various forms of screen performance.

Production Skills for Media Performance

On this module, you will be introduced to the fundamental skills of videography from self-tape to location video drama shooting for screen performers. You will have weekly practical sessions, learning how to use cameras and lighting to enhance your performance and how to edit this into professional quality digital content. You will learn how to:

  • film and use lighting and sound recording equipment for both dramatic scenes and self-tape auditions
  • edit and refine your filmed work to present in a professional and polished state.
Trimester two

Media and Performance: Art and Industry

This module asks you to examine screen practitioners and practices, historically and across cultures. It also looks at the industry as it currently works and the place of the actor within this. There will be weekly lectures and seminars, where you will study and critically discuss screen work and performances as well as learning about the wider film and television industry and the skills needed to be a successful actor within it. 

-You will critically analyse film genres, styles and approaches, and screenings and seminar discussions will lead you to research your own choice of screen genre/approaches. Talks and masterclasses by industry professionals will aid your development as aspiring professionals.

Digital Collaboration Project

This module introduces working with chroma key or green screen, animated characters/non-present performers and Automated Dialogue Replacement for screen. Later in the module, you will work in small teams, rehearsing and filming a series of short films based on improvisation, self-penned and commissioned scripts. You will:

  • gain skills in voice acting and character creation for screen work such as animation and computer video games
  • have the opportunity to learn about motion capture and how screen performers utilise this in an industry setting
  • work collaboratively to fulfil an industry brief or create your own piece of screen work from an original script.
Trimester three

Final Research Project

In this final module, the culmination of the programme, you will rehearse, record and edit a high quality showreel or short video drama. This practical work will be supported by a critical evaluation reflecting on the skills, knowledge and understanding developed through the course and how it was applied in a practical fashion in this project.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

70%

Practical projects

30%

Written assignments

ASSESSMENT

Assessment methods are largely practical and include a range of coursework assessments, such as performances, reflective essays, portfolios, media projects and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

TEACHING

You are taught through a combination of masterclasses, seminars and practical sessions. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in classes. In addition, there are scheduled office hours where you can meet with your personal tutor.

You will use industry-standard studios and software and have access to filming equipment and screen and voice acting studios throughout your degree.

School of Arts and Media

The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students.

Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.

Facilities

You will study in our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of creativity on campus. This means You will have access to broadcast standard TV acting and presenting studios (including green-screen), a radio drama studio, postproduction video and audio facilities, state of the art location cameras (including 4K) and excellent live performance spaces including purpose-built flexible theatres.

Teacher Profile

Malcolm Raeburn, Senior Lecturer in Media Performance

A professional actor since 1973, Malcolm Raeburn has combined television and radio work with an academic career for over twenty years.

As a screen acting tutor at Salford he has worked with a number of successful graduates, including Warren Brown, comedian Jason Manford, Jim Sturgess, Portuguese screen star Diana Marques Guerra and Emmerdale star Emma Atkins.

His numerous screen credits include major roles in The Forsyte Saga, Accused, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, Prime Suspect, Brideshead Revisited, Shameless, Casualty, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, EastEnders and many more.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Graduates will be able to work in a range of environments from the cultural sector to television, film, online content creation and production houses.

Though you are likely to pursue a career as a screen performer after graduating, the technical production skills you learn on the MA will equip you to work in production behind the scenes or indeed to create your own original film/digital content.

Potential employers include those in the media such as television and film production companies but also businesses, charities and educational providers. Skills employed in the making of screen performance and digital screen production, such as independent and collaborative problem solving, gathering and synthesis of ideas and themes, understanding and integration of the needs of a range of stakeholders, can be used to address many areas of creative practice.

Graduates will also be equipped through the programme to pursue careers as individual, self-employed practitioners working across forms and disciplines.

A taste of what you could become

An actor

A producer

A content producer

And more...

Career Links

The programme has links with a number of organisations, including HOME, the Lowry Arts Centre and Television Workshop Salford, as well as numerous industry opportunities that arise throughout the year.

Requirements

What you need to know

We are looking for committed and passionate actors, who want to develop their screen acting skills to a professional standard and explore new methods of characterisation through physical and vocal experimentation.

You will have an understanding of the media world as it relates to performance and a desire to broaden this understanding through study, research and practical industry engagement.

Acting experience is necessary, whether in the professional field or through study. This should be combined with a desire to learn more about recorded production technology and to create your own digital media content.

INTERVIEW AND AUDITION

Suitably qualified candidates will be invited to an interview, before a decision is made about their application. When you attend for interview you must bring with you a 300-500 word piece of critical writing on an area of media or performance that interests you.

You will also be asked to prepare a 3 to 4-minute audition monologue. This should be taken from a published script and should fit your casting in the area of screen performance, taking into consideration playing age.

Your writing should aim to convey which particular area of screen acting/media is of interest to you and that you wish to develop through postgraduate study. Your audition allows you to demonstrate your ability to apply characterisation and naturalistic acting methods in performance.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

Standard entry requirements

A good honours degree (2.1 or above), with experience in acting and performing.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £7,920per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £14,670per year
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

For more information go to International Scholarships

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2020

September 2021