Our Teaching Culture

Central aims to train and educate its students to high levels of ability, through specialist courses that prepare them to shape the theatre and performance of tomorrow.

Teaching Culture at Central: Amanda Brennan leads an MA Acting for Screen class

Catherine McNamaraAn introduction to the Teaching Culture at Central from Dr Catherine McNamara, Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience:

"Placing students at the centre of its work, Central develops practitioners and researchers who shape the future of theatre and performance across the UK and beyond. We identify, inspire and equip cultural leaders to develop the future of our theatre industries. By creating new challenges in our training environments, and establishing ourselves as world-leading centre for performance teaching and research excellence, we aspire to foster a climate of creativity, artistry and innovation.

We have recognised expertise in the areas of drama education and pedagogy; acting and actor-training; technical theatre and technical production management, applied and social theatre; directing, directors, stage management, scenography and design; voice; movement; drama therapy; and cultural histories of performance.

There are approximately 70 members of permanent academic staff at Central who lead and work on the thirty BA and MA/MFA courses and our Research Degrees programme. To see examples of recent achievements, look at our Innovative Pedagogy page which describes the recognition we receive for our work and the ways we seek to share or work with a wide audience. In addition to the permanent staff, we also employ a great number of industry professionals who teach at Central and draw on their current innovative practice as they do so.

Close relationship with creative industries

Crucially, much of our teaching operates at the intersection with industry and is realised with partners from a range of sectors, including theatres, local authorities, NGOs, charities, educational institutions, cultural festivals, and the museum sector. These partners are based in the UK and in many other countries around the world. To see examples of some of our Teaching Excellence see our Excellence and Innovation in Teaching page.

Research and Knowledge-exchange in teaching

The convergence of teaching and research as interrelated activities within a single eco-system of specialist knowledge production, exchange, innovation and impact, is a feature of the culture at Central. Some thirty members of teaching staff are research active and there is an MPhil/PhD community numbering almost thirty. Research and teaching inform and enhance each other at Central.

REF2014 recognised 39% of our research as 4* and 31% at 3*, highlighting the strengths of a culture that operates at the interface of the university and conservatoire sectors. To find out more about what we’re doing, who we’re working with and how our research makes a difference, look on our research projects page.

In addition, the International Network for Voice and the International Community for Movement are hubs for the ongoing professional updating of movement and voice teachers, directors and other movement and/ or voice practitioners working in theatre, actor training and allied fields.

Our Learning, Teaching and Student Experience plan, together with the Research plan, forms Central’s 2016-2021 Academic Strategy. This gives an idea of what we’re hoping to do and how we plan to go about it."

There are approximately 70 members of permanent academic staff at Central who lead and work on the thirty BA and MA/MFA courses; developing practitioners and researchers who shape the future of theatre and performance across the UK and beyond