You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.
We want to secure the most talented, qualified and appropriate students for this course. There will be a maximum of 10 places on the course each year, and competition is expected to be considerable.
During the admission process we are concerned above all to assess your potential both to cope with the considerable demands of the course and to achieve the necessarily high standard required on completion. It is also equally important that we assess the suitability of the course for each candidate's wants and needs, since the philosophy and content of the course may not be appropriate for every aspiring director.
The admission process is therefore designed to allow us to be satisfied that candidates:
- Have the necessary abilities to undertake and cope with the demands of this course.
- Show evidence of the skills and understanding needed for a course at this level of expectation and rigour.
- Demonstrate the personal qualities and commitment essential for the completion of this course.
If you decide to apply for the course you should note that in addition to completing the online application, you must answer some specific questions designed to supply additional information about your experience of, and commitment to, theatre, as well as about your aspirations. Your responses are significant and will be taken into account in assessing your suitability for the course.
You must also supply details of 2 referees, whom the College will contact. At least 1 of these referees must be able to supply information about your experience of professional or professional-level theatre.
Candidates from overseas must attend the selection process in person. If your first language is not English, you should note that certified evidence of your proficiency in spoken and written English is required prior to admission to the course. The minimum level of proficiency required to undertake this course is 7.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Please note that the admission of successful candidates whose first language is not English will be made conditional on their achievement of certified attainment of this IELTS level or its equivalent.
After the consideration of all written applications, those applicants who are considered to be suitably qualified will be invited to participate as candidates in the course's selection process. During this process, each candidate's potential to become a professional director will be scrutinised and assessed. Details of the selection process will be supplied to candidates in due course.
Notes on making an application
You should supply us with the following 3 items, which can be pasted into the supporting statement section of the application form, or uploaded as separate documents once you have submitted the application form. Please keep a copy of all 3 parts of your application for future reference.
- A completed copy of the online application. Your CV will supplement the brief summary details you give in the Professional Experience section. At least 1 of your referees must be able to supply information about your experience of professional or professional-level theatre and give an informed view of your professional or professional-level theatre experience in general, which may or may not include directing. The Selection Panels are aware that some appropriate candidates may have quite minor (if any) experience of directing, but the course does not prescribe a minimum level of directing experience before admission. The status or job title of this referee is less important than her/his ability to describe and testify to your professional or professional-level experience of theatre. Please supply telephone numbers for both your referees.
- A copy of your up-to-date CV, which should include details of your professional or professional-level experience of theatre (not just of theatre directing) and, in addition, should include details of any theatre directing experience you have had, whether at professional level or not.
- A supporting statement, consisting of some reasonably short written answers (each of 500 words or less) to the questions below. Your responses to these questions are significant and will be taken into account by selection panels in assessing your potential suitability for the course.
The supporting statement
Please note that each question should be answered in not more than 500 words, although your answers can be shorter if you wish. Contrary to the statement on the application form, you are not expected to confine your supporting statement to 1 sheet.
- What do you believe to be the role of the theatre director in relation to actors and other creative collaborators?
- Describe how you might approach directing a particular play or theatre piece (of your choice).
- What kind of theatre or theatre company do you want to direct and why, and what kind of work would you programme and why? (Please note: you can name and/or describe the work as you wish.)
It is very important to remember that there are no correct answers to these questions. They are designed to allow you to reveal, as frankly as possible, your present views of theatre and what your potential or possible work as a director might be. We will expect our applicants to reveal a wide range of experience, opinions, interests and ambitions. Please feel free to be candid; we are interested in reading your honest opinions.
Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.