Postgraduate Courses

  • Julia Jack

    Actor

    Hello folks,

    I'm seriously considering doing a Postgrad in Acting at a Drama School as I feel this can only enhance my career prospects. I've looked at what is available and would interested in hearing from people who have already completed one to hear about their experiences.

    Cheers

    Julia.x

    • 17th Apr 2009
    • 3243
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  • Feargus Woods Dunlop

    Actor

    I personally haven't completed one, but have worked with people who have and heard nothing but excellent things about Bristol Old Vic's course in particular.

    • 11th Mar 2009
    • 1
  • Simon Burbage

    Actor

    I did East 15's MA in TV, Film and Radio last year. The trainnig was invaluable and i'd recommend it, although the course leader has since moved to Rada so it might have changed. Definitely worth a look though.

    Good luck

    • 11th Mar 2009
    • 2
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I did the PG Musical Theatre course at Mountview. I absolutely loved it, the training was fabulous and I made some great contacts. One of our issues though was that it was much harder for the school to get agents and casting directors along to our final showcase. I guess this is because there are so many drama schools, so many courses etc. The 3-year course got an infinitely better turn out. I think this is a big consideration because at the end of the day, you want to be working and starting off with a good agent, having had good exposure wherever possible is really important in order to achieve this.

    Good luck!

    Lindsay

    • 11th Mar 2009
    • 3
  • Hugh Osborne

    Actor

    Hi

    I did the BOVTS one-year postgraduate course. Would recommend it; nonetheless, if I had my time again I would have opted for the two-year course.

    Happy to answer specific questions via PM.

    Wherever you go, though, make sure the course is NCDT-accredited.

    Best wishes,

    Hx

    • 11th Mar 2009
    • 4
  • Julia Jack

    Actor

    Thanks for your comments guys..xx

    • 12th Mar 2009
    • 5
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I would have to say I disagree with the fact that 'on paper' doesn't matter in this profession. Having trained at a good drama school (and I mean one of the few NCDT schools) opens so many doors. It gives you a stamp of approval that, right or wrong, means that potential employers take you more seriously. Of course it's what you do at the audition that counts but there are far more people in this industry than there are jobs so you need to do everything in your power to make sure you actually get through the door in the first place. Nothing is guaranteed but it is my opinion that having trained at a reputable school and being represented by a solid agent is worth its weight in gold.

    • 12th Mar 2009
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Just following on from the discussion there, I totally agree that an NCDT stamp on your CV is pretty much essential (sadly in some cases!) I did a non-ncdt accredited 3 year drama degree, and despite working for the past 3 years (doing pretty well) I find that I constantly have to explain why im not 'properly' trained at auditions (for theatre however its not such an issue for film)

    Im now applying for a one year NCDT accredited postgrad so that I can move on in my career and the question of training can cease to be an issue!

    • 26th Mar 2009
    • 7
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    I see where you are coming from, Stephanie. The sad truth is that it is basically a Catch - 22. I have had long conversations with experienced casting directors (mainly for screen) who have agreed that they couldn't actually care less where an actor has trained as long as they can do the job in hand. But what causes them to call you in for an interview/screen test, anyway? The quality of your CV, of course, and one of the first things that tends to make them (or perhaps their secretaries) dismiss it is what is deemed to be 'insufficient training'. So, you're damned if you do...

    Having an accredited qualification is no golden road to regular, paying work either in the current oversubscribed climate - unless you go to RADA, LAMDA or the Bristol Old Vic, it doesn't seem to make much difference to your career prospects. BUT you will at least never be accused of failing to train 'properly', if you do an NCDT course.

    • 26th Mar 2009
    • 8
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Regarding Luke's comment, a lot of the actors from CDS schools listed did not actually train on a NCDT course. There are actors listed as having trained at RADA on a PG Acting, which we know does not exist and the foundation course is non accredited. The same goes for CSSD, there are too many MA/PG courses there to list but believe that a lot of actors listed that have graduated from such a course and I can assure you that none are NCDT accredited.

    • 14th Apr 2009
    • 9
  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    I'm interested in MA courses- and always wondered why they weren't accredited?

    I assume those on the one year MA courses already have professional experience and a BA (usually in drama) so don't necessarily need to do the full three years- it seems a sensible solution for someone like me who doesn't want to spend another 3 years in training.

    It's disappointing that people are claiming to go to RADA on a course that doesn't exist- surely that can be checked out?

    • 15th Apr 2009
    • 10
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    there is an NCDT accredited MA courses, but there are only 3! At ArtsEd London, Mountview and East 15. There is an MA in Musical theatre at the GSA also. check out www.ncdt.co.uk/index.php?area=training&pagegroup=courses to see availiable NCDT courses.

    Julia x

    • 15th Apr 2009
    • 11
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    A course is accredited, rather than a school, because the individual course elements have been checked out by professionals within the industry to ensure that they are providing the right information, knowledge and/or standards of skills training to be of value to the industry. The idea is that if a student has completed one of these courses, they should be armed with the skills necessary to be of interest. Any school can apply to have a course accredited - it usually has to have been running for at least 3 years before it can be. Then it comes under severe scrutiny before being given the NCDT accreditation.

    And if you check the website out, you'll find a list of accredited courses:

    www.ncdt.co.uk/index.php?area=training&pagegroup=courses

    Competition for places on these accredited courses is very fierce, and most of them have quite a lengthy audition process to ensure that the most talented students get the places. But that doesn't mean they're going to turn out to be fantastic actors - just that they've been given the opportunity to learn what it is to be an actor.

    • 15th Apr 2009
    • 12
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    The actual question was, of those people who have done a postgrad did they find it helpful, not the merits of NCDT courses etc.

    • 16th Apr 2009
    • 13
  • Katharine Kavanagh

    Actor

    julia - yes, immensely. For the cynical business reasons as stated above (that it has become easier to get 'seen' for work, even though I also had professional experience prior to training), but ALSO, because the things I learnt, are - of course - possible to learn through experience, however, I think it would have taken me many years of graft to gain the knowledge of my self, my skills/weaknesses, and how best to progress further as an actor, that I got from 1 years intensive acredited training.

    (the course was a graduate diploma - academically not the same level as an MA, but acreditted to the level an NCDT 3 year course, just crammed into a year)

    xx

    • 16th Apr 2009
    • 14
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I confess I am seriously thinkign about the MA courses on offer from NCDT courses, not a lot to choose from lol!

    • 17th Apr 2009
    • 15
  • Amy Domenica

    Actor

    I am glad this post is here I am having the same issues.

    What you look like on paper is unfortunately is exactly what it is all about!

    I have trained at an uncredited school. I am considering an MA not just for what it looks like on paper but because I feel after my degree I now have the tools to take the craft further.

    I didn't realise that there were only three accredited MA courses in acting though... thats interesting.

    I am still undecided whether or not to do one.I am very confused I'll admit...After all it is a lot money to be in the same race at the end of it that I am in now only possibly a little prettier on paper...

    • 17th Apr 2009
    • 16
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    I know people who ahve done the Mountview course and it seems to have been very very good. Mountview people are such a pleasure to work with and they instill a proper professionalism in them in a great way. Most Mountview people I have worked with are serious about the work, look after themselves in a show and dont behave in ways that jeopordises the production. I would say the same for bristol Old Vic... they will both be a good qualification.... the only question will be if you can afford them!!!!

    If you want as well, check out Arts Ed... they are fast becoming one of the best and I know that agents rave about Mountview- especially the MT course!!!!

    I say- if you can afford it- why not????

    • 17th Apr 2009
    • 17
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Sorry, I meant agents rave about ARTS ED.

    • 17th Apr 2009
    • 18
  • Hugh Osborne

    Actor

    Well, as I posted before, I did the one-year course at BOVTS, NOT an MA - a Dip.H.Ed, I think - but these academic names are a)unimportant and b) misleading: if you are going to commit time and money to further training, then you may as well look for the NCDT accreditation, purely because it's the nearest thing the industry has to a vocational qualification.

    Two wholly pragmatic observations, neither of which has anything to do with anyone's ability as an actor:

    i) at my drama school showcase there were somewhere in the region of 350 industry figures in attendance, many of whom were and are quite influential, and who were responsible for several flying starts;

    ii) of the 30 or so students who were in my graduating year, some have NEVER worked, some have barely worked, and some have packed in this acting lark altogether (on my course alone, there were seven of us who graduated: only three of us are still in the industry); there are plenty more who are currently 'giving it one more year'. And those of us who are left are jogging along uncertainly with nice hefty periods of unemployment between jobs.

    I suppose my point is that while there are undoubted huge practical advantages to training at an NCDT-accredited blah blah blah (and a cynic would suggest that what one is effectively paying for is access to a very impressive industry address book), nonetheless it is absolutely NO guarantee of success.

    (Having said THAT, I still think it's better to train, but then I would say that, wouldn't I?)

    Hugh x

    • 17th Apr 2009
    • 19