Europe's Leading Performing Arts Education

MA Acting

The Masters Acting Programme is designed for ambitious and creative actors who want to further develop their skills through intensive practical masters level study. The MA will support actors in developing their repertoire and refining their signature style as a performer. 

The MA Acting is practice and performance based with substantial opportunity for the individual student to tailor the programme to their own needs and aspirations. 

Programme Aims
The programme aims to develop individuals who, on completion of the programme, will be able to demonstrate, at Master’s level, the ability to:

  • Demonstrate a clear and informed understanding of acting, performance and theatre practice

  • Work effectively and professionally with theatre makers and performers

  • Collaborate creatively with colleagues to create new theatre work that responds appropriately to differing needs, cultures, stimuli and contexts

  • Deploy a refined and critically informed methodology for the analysis of acting, theatre and performance

  • Exhibit a defined ‘personal’ style of acting and performance making

Unique Features of the Programme
The IAB is the only truly international institution of performing arts in Europe. It fosters an international approach to, and understanding of, theatre and performance. The IAB MA Acting programme has a number of distinguishing features, including:

  • The intensely practical performance driven nature of the programme

  • Opportunities to experiment with and create theatre and performance work

  • Relationships with the IAB partner MA in Dance and MA in Musical Theatre

  • A unique focus on the development of the informed and empowered actor

  • Its student centred, individual research approach to teaching and learning

Teaching and Learning Strategies
The MA Acting programme is committed to a student centred approach with a strong emphasis on learning through doing. The majority of a student’s time will be spent in practical workshop and laboratory sessions, exploring the principles and practices of performance and contemporary theatre practice. Students will participate in a substantial number of performance projects in a variety of settings and contexts. The programme will include specific and focused lecture programmes exploring the history, theory and context of global theatre. This will run parallel to a comprehensive programme of lectures and workshops in creative theatre producing.


The MA Acting consists of seven modules and is made up of 90 ECTS units (180 UK credits). The programme starts in September each year.

This module provides the student with a rounded actor training, primarily exploring the practices of Stanislavski – The work is intensive (with multiple sessions each week) and challenging. The work in this module will provide developmental support for both those with prior training in the method and for those from other backgrounds. The module is exclusively practical and performance driven. (10 ECTS Units)

The mastery of the voice and a clear understanding of the expressive and creative potential of movement are central to the acting process. This module, through multiple weekly sessions, explores voice and speech for the actor (both from a technical and a creative perspective) and movement techniques. Creative movement technique is explored using a multidisciplinary perspective. Thematically this module works in parallel to Acting techniques. (10 ECTS Units)

This module provides the student with the opportunity to engage in the exploration of narrative devices / conventions of realist theatre from both a practical and theoretical perspective. Within this module students will create two pieces of public performance, one of which will be a piece of student-devised / adapted micro-theatre, staged in a non-traditional performance venue. (10 ECTS Units)

This module explores alternative approaches to theatre making. The first part of the module will require the student to engage with, and develop performances using a range of non-mainstream theatre practices (the exact practices explored will be determined by the interest of the group) The second part of the module will involve students in exploring and performing plays written in heightened and/or poetic texts. (10 ECTS Units)

This module provides the student with a clear and practical understanding of theatre producing in a variety of contexts. Creative Theatre Producing is not explored as an abstract concept but as a set of real-world practical skills that will enable the student to realise his/her creative and artistic vision. (10 ECTS Units)

This module provides the student with the ability to contextualise and evaluate their own work and the work of others. Through this module students will critically engage with a range of theoretical and conceptual approaches relevant to contemporary performance practice. The module is also designed to support the student in the development of Master level research and writing skills. (10 ECTS Units)

The Final project is the culmination of the programme. The project allows each student to undertake a substantial and sustained body of practical, creative performance work with capitalizes on their experience, learning and aspirations and intentions as an artist.

Each student has the opportunity to negotiate their own plan and strategy for their studies. The Final project is shared between all MA students at the IAB and it is hoped that the project will see collaboration across the MA community.

It is anticipated that the Final Project on the MA Acting will result in the collaborative production of at least production either student developed or an existing production. (30 ECTS Units)

Who is this Programme For?

The MA in Acting Programme is designed for mature and adventurous individuals who wish to develop or enhance their career as an actor. The MA Acting programme is designed for those with prior experience of theatre. The experience may come from undergraduate studies in the performing arts, professional theatre experience, or from long term and sustained amateur theatre experience.

Depending on choices made through the programme students may go on to careers across a broad spectrum of theatre and arts practice:

  • Actor (in diverse theatre forms)

  • Theatre Maker / Producer (in traditional and more unusual contexts)

  • Theatre facilitator (working with others in the creation of new work)

  • Educator / Community work (using theatre as an educational or community tool)

  • PhD Study

Applicants are normally required to have achieved a University degree in an area related to the performing arts. Those who hold unrelated degrees are also encouraged to apply if they can demonstrate substantial levels of performing arts experience as a theatre maker or performer. Applicants without degrees may apply if they are able to demonstrate that they have substantial and directly relevant professional or professional-level work experience (normally three years minimum).

MA Class 2018/2019 Productions

 MA rehearsed reading of Ophelia in the Dogs Day - the first MA Acting performance for Class of 2018/19. October 5th 2018.

MA rehearsed reading of Ophelia in the Dogs Day - the first MA Acting performance for Class of 2018/19. October 5th 2018.

Tuition Fees for course starting in September 2018

How To Apply

Applying for the MA programme is simple. It is important for the Institute to get to know the applicant for its MA programmes very well. The application process is straight-forward:

Step 1:
Application Form and Fee

In the first instance, applicants are asked to fill in the MA application form and attach a personal statement detailing their creative aspirations and reasons for wishing to join the MA programme. You can download the MA application form here:

A €50 audition fee must be paid along with your application form. You can pay for it here:

Important Information
Non-EU/EEA Students Visa Requirement
If you are not a resident of the EU or EEA, you will need to apply for a Spanish student visa. It is your responsibility to apply for this visa and it is very important that you start your visa application process early as it can take a long time. Consult the nearest Spanish embassy or consulate for more information.

English Language Requirement
All programmes at the IAB are taught and assessed in English. You will need to achieve the following IELTS scores:

IAB Foundation and Professional Certificates: IELTS 5.5
BA and MA Degrees: IELTS 6.5

Students applying from countries where English is the main language do not need IELTS qualifications.


Step 2:

On receipt of the application form and the application fee, we will contact each applicant and they will be invited to meet the MA team at our campus to discuss their application and explore in more detail their learning and career aspirations.

If you are unable to attend in person, we can arrange for a video interview. Please let us know if this is the case.

If you have any questions regarding this programme, please contact



Age Requirement
Applications and auditions are open to anyone who will be at least 21 years old by the 31st of December of the year of enrolment in our programmes. Applications from mature students are most welcome.  



Entry Requirement
A good first degree in a performing arts related subject or, a full time three year professional training in the subject of the programme being applied for.
A successful audition and one to one interview. 
Applicants are required to submit recorded audition footage. Interviews will be conducted by Skype or an equivalent platform.