Movement: Directing and Teaching, MA/MFA

Duration: MA, one year, full-time; two years, part-time. October start. MFA, two years, full time, October start. On site attendance between July and September is not mandatory.

Award: Master of Arts in Movement: Directing and Teaching (180 credits); Master of Fine Arts in Movement: Directing and Teaching (240 credits).

MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

About the course

Central has a long-standing and well recognised reputation for the dissemination of actor movement disciplines within the British theatre scene; these pioneering courses are the first of their kind in Europe.

The MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching programme at Central:

  • Is a specialist, vocational course for performance and movement practitioners
  • Develops your expertise in movement teaching and movement directing of the actor
  • Is taught by current professionals in their field of movement pedagogy, movement direction and movement research

Movement training at Central

Tradition, experience, eclecticism and innovation epitomise Central’s understanding of movement training for the theatre and these unique courses have been created in that spirit. You will belong to the fine history of movement at Central from Litz Pisk to the present.

Who is the course suitable for?

You may be an actor or dancer who wants to diversify your skills and knowledge, you may work with actors (a dance or movement teacher, or a theatre director with a movement history), or be a practitioner from an allied field of sport/holistic practice, wanting to enhance your understanding of practical/theoretical interfaces regarding movement in contemporary performance.

Opportunities on the course

You will be offered specialist, vocational teaching in the field of movement for actors, production practice for movement directors and bespoke movement placements at Central and in other professional theatre settings, such as other conservatoires or theatre, opera, or film organisations (both in Britain and internationally).

You will have the opportunity for the development of your individual movement specialisms and apply them to the work of actors. The courses provide a rich and diverse landscape within which to address movement practices in relation to a wide range of established theatre processes and innovations in the field.

Practical movement teaching and movement directing on selected projects offers you a range of potential applications in the fields of theatre production, puppetry, animation, classical theatre, film acting, and contemporary and devised work. You are given the opportunity to develop your own practice as movement specialists according to your interests in this growing and innovative field, and you will undertake potentially ground-breaking research into movement.

Course Detail

Our approach

You will undergo a formalised and systematic actor movement education that coincides with the emergence of a widespread social interest in all aspects of physicality and the body. There is a firm emphasis on Laban’s movement philosophy and Lecoq’s spatial and physical techniques, but the overall approach is eclectic and celebrates a variety of methods. You may encounter the work of movement practitioners such as Feldenkrais, Roth, Suzuki, Alexander, Pisk, Humphries, Barba and Grotowski. Our teaching methods place equal emphasis on individual and group development, through individual tutorials, group seminars and workshops. Practical sessions are designed to enhance your skills as a movement teacher or movement director.

In the first year, students of the MA and MFA combine for Terms One to Three. MFA students will work independently in a second year of specialist study aimed at widening and deepening practice within a professional context.

You will be expected to undertake one or two attachments that are supported with tutorials throughout the year, as part of an ongoing process of reflection, analysis and growth that will lead to a final dissertation submission.

A MFA top-up year for those with an existing MA in this subject is also available.


For first year students on both the MFA and MA courses, assessment is through a range of methods, including work on practical projects, written assignments and teaching/directing practice placements.

In the last term of the MA, students work independently to complete specialist enquiry, arising from work undertaken during the course. The MFA extends into a second year that involves workplace attachments, mentorship and practice.

Download MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching Programme Specification 2017-2018 (616.74 KB)

Entry Requirements and Admissions

You will normally have a degree or equivalent in a subject that includes an element of movement or dance. Graduates of other disciplines will be considered if they can provide evidence of previous training and experience in movement or dance. If you have a strong movement background and professional experience of working with movement for at least two years, you will be considered for non-standard entry.

An offer will normally only be made after interview.

An MFA top-up year for those with an existing MA in this subject is also available.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

English Language

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to prove their English language proficiency by gaining an overall score of 7.0 in an IELTS test. We do accept equivalent English language qualifications. Applicants are advised to gain this certification as early as possible.


If you are selected for an interview for a place on MA or MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching we will require you to prepare the following:

  • a simple, short movement exercise that you would teach to a trainee actor (no longer than 10 minutes). You will teach this exercise at the interview and discuss your objectives as a teacher. This is our chance to see you in action as a potential movement teacher/director and to identify whether you have potential for analysis and reflection
  • a short example of your own movement work, which should last no longer than 10 minutes and reflect your particular movement style and connection to movement
  • a 1,500 word essay explaining your reasons for applying to the course.

You should bring with you clothes suitable for a movement session, and some written evidence of any academic qualifications.

The interview process will also give you an opportunity to find out more about the course and the School.

International Interviews

Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.

Distance Interviews

Central does allow applicants to undertake a distance interview for this course. If you live abroad and are unable to attend an interview in person you may, at the discretion of the Course Leader be offered the opportunity of a distance interview. If you are selected for interview in this manner you will be contacted (normally by email) in order to arrange a suitable time for an interview. This will be conducted on Skype, telephone or by ‘live’ email exchange and will normally be based upon material you will have been asked to submit in advance. The interview will be conducted by the Admissions Tutor in liaison with a colleague who will have sight of your submitted materials.

For further information see the How to Apply section.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.

What our students said

Diane Alison-Mitchell
Diane Mitchell graduated from the MA Movement: Directing and Teaching course in 2008

Graduated 2008, Movement Director and Choreographer, credits include They Drink It In The Congo directed by Michael Longhurst at the Almeida, Othello, directed by Iqbal Khan, and Julius Caesar, directed by Gregory Doran for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Island at the Young Vic, and the National Theatre film What Is A Movement Director? Diane recently contributed a chapter on movement direction to Shakespeare, Race and Performance: The Diverse Bard (edited by Delia Jarrett-Macauley).

I come from a dance background and was really interested in finding new ways to work with the body and always had a passion for theatre. The course really broadened my knowledge of movement practices, but more importantly helped me to build my own practice, which is crucial for a Movement Director. The course also supports those interested in movement to enquire and explore in a creative environment, with a range of people from a variety of backgrounds. This diversity was a rich part of what the course offers.

Brad Cook
Brad Cook graduated from MA Movement at Central in 2009

Graduated 2009, Movement Director, Coach, Instructor, Actor and Puppeteer.

Cook is a movement coach at the Stratford Festival (CAN) with movement direction credits that include The Breathing Hole, Treasure Island, Breath of Kings: Rebellion and Redemption. Elsewhere: Richard III (Shakespeare BASH’D), Western (Next Stage), The Consul, Susannah (Long Reach Opera), Lord Sword (Inter Arts), The Lark, The Trojan Women (Lost & Found). As a movement instructor, Cook has taught at The Birmingham Conservatory and the Randolph College for Performing Arts. Cook was a puppeteer for Canada’s original production of War Horse (National Theatre) and has created many new works of theatre that have toured across Canada including Maanomaa, My Brother (BBTC), Body 13 (MT Space) and Frankenstein’s Ghosts (Inter Arts).

I came to the movement course at Central as a theatre actor with a strong affinity for movement work. I knew there was a world of experience, knowledge and creativity that I had yet to tap into as an artist, and was eager to explore how various movement practices connect with and enhance the actor’s process. As an international student coming from Canada, I knew that the MA Movement course would not only introduce me to the global history of movement work, but would also serve as a laboratory; a place where I could investigate and discover my individual approach as a movement practitioner, guided by instructors who work professionally in the industry.

Natasha Harrison
Natasha Harrison graduated from the MA Movement at Central in 2016

Graduated 2016, Movement Director, Choreographer and Teacher. Credits Include: Dear Brutus (Southwark Playhouse) Zoetrope (West Yorkshire Playhouse) The Shed Crew (Red Ladder Theatre Company) Twist (Theatre Centre) Les Mamelles de Tirésias / Une Éducation manquée (Royal College of Music) Ode to Leeds (West Yorkshire Playhouse) The Cardinal (Southwark Playhouse).

I really embraced how practical the course was at getting us all on our feet, moving and facilitating sessions as well as how they sat alongside the more theoretical or written based tasks. Because of this, the course not only let me explore my developing approach to creating movement and choreography but also gave me a solid foundation in movement pedagogy and how to theorise and contextualise my new thinking, methods and research. I enjoyed meeting the diverse and supportive teaching practitioners and my like-minded cohort who all had such rich and differing approaches to movement. On the course we had the opportunity to develop our understanding of what the role of the Movement Director is, we explored how to form and maintain working relationships with Directors and embarked on building our own movement direction practice, integrating our own movement heritage with the new methods we were learning.



  • East 15 Acting School
  • Guildford School of Acting
  • Rose Bruford College
  • the animation department at Central Saint Martins
  • Central.


  • Welsh National Opera
  • Young Vic
  • Peut-Être Theatre
  • Chickenshed Theatre
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Trestle Theatre.

Placements abroad

These have included hosts CAP-21 in New York and university settings in Greece and Norway.

Recent Visiting Professionals

  • Imogen Knight (Movement Director and Choreographer)
  • Struan Leslie (Movement Director, previously Head of Movement at the Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • Jane Gibson (Movement Director for film and theatre, previously Head of Movement at the National Theatre)
  • Sue Lefton (Movement Director in theatre, film and opera)
  • Kate Flatt (Choreographer and Movement Director in theatre and opera)
  • Liz Rankin (Movement Director, Shared Experience)
  • authors on movement Mark Evans and Alison Hodge.

Movement teachers have include:

  • Ian Brener (historical dance and period movement)
  • Natasha Fedorova
  • Marie-Gabrielle Rotie
  • Alex Croft
  • Karin Fisher-Potisk
  • Lucy Cullingford.

Staff on the Course

View profiles of the academic staff who teach on these courses. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.

Vanessa Ewan, LCMD, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Movement, Co-Course Leader MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Ayşe Tashkiran, BA, PGCert, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Co-Course Leader MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Debbie Green, MA, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Movement

Current Students

View profiles of our current students for these courses. Click on each student to see their CV.

Recent Graduate Employment

Graduate employment and career pathways include:

Movement Directors

  • The Shed at the National Theatre
  • Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford-upon-Avon and Broadway)
  • Royal Court Theatre
  • Young Vic
  • Welsh National Opera
  • Finnish and Australian Opera Companies.

Movement Teachers, Head of Movement

  • Academy of Live and Recorded Arts
  • East 15 Acting School
  • Middlesex University
  • Rose Bruford College
  • Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Assistant Directors

  • Royal Shakespeare Company

Trainee Director

  • Glasgow Citizens Theatre

Theatre Professors/Practitioners

Japan, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany.

Research Degrees

  • Body and Image.

Workshop Leaders

  • Shamanistic Practices
  • Body-Mind Centering for Choreographers, Movement, Animation and Laban.

Graduates 2017

Graduates 2016

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