Performance for Stage & Screen*

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Our Performance course is designed for the performer of the future with a focus on screen performance, physical performance, presenting and skills which will enable you to share your work on social media, festivals and non-theatre based live venues.

Based at our Rochester campus, you’ll benefit from our close ties with the nearby Maidstone TV Studios, giving you the opportunity to establish unique creative partnerships with other UCA students, working alongside those studying TV Production, Computer Animation Arts, Computer Games Design and Design for Theatre, Film & Performance.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Rochester

UCAS code:


UCAS institution code:


UCAS campus code:


Course overview:

You’ll study a wide range of acting/performance, dance/movement and singing/vocal techniques, and discover how to get your work seen both in and out of the theatre. As well as allowing you to develop practical performance experience in the rehearsal room, TV studio and on location, the course also teaches you valuable business acumen, including marketing and managing artists and event management. You’ll also have a multitude of exciting opportunities throughout the year to perform publicly and screen your work.

*Please note: This course is subject to validation and has been previously titled BA (Hons) Performance.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Performance Skills 1

    Movement, voice and singing studies are taught alongside performance skills for stage and screen as well as approaches to text, acting and recording performance. Together, these areas will introduce you to a basic set of skills, providing a robust foundation for the course and underpinning a life-long process of learning for the professional performer. You will also learn to use cameras, upload your work and create vlogs (like YouTube bloggers).

  • Screen Performance

    This unit maps the development of TV acting - you will learn narrative structure and storytelling for the screen and visit Maidstone TV Studios. The assessment is creating a TV drama project in groups.

  • Approaches to Performance

    A range of practitioners are studied, particularly their approach to character. The unit includes physical approaches to performance as well as naturalistic approaches. The assessment is a performance for stage & screen and an interview to camera on your knowledge of the practitioners studied.

  • Cracking Shakespeare

    This unit examines Shakespeare on TV and contemporary Shakespeare adaptations. Your essay will be on topics such as ‘colourblind’ and ‘gender neutral’ casting. The style of “Game of Thrones” and “Sherlock” (filmic TV) in relation to Shakespeare will be studied (e.g. Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III in “The Hollow Crown”) and students will create a live and recorded version of a Shakespeare play with contemporary relevance.

  • Devising & Physical Theatre

    This is a physical theatre unit drawing on techniques used by Frantic Assembly and DV8 Physical Theatre. This is a live theatre unit but you will be challenged to use unconventional spaces to perform your work.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Performance Skills 2

    This unit develops movement and voice skills; writing for television; stage combat; voice over techniques; self-tapes (on line auditions) and presenting skills. You will be assessed on your presentation skills to camera and on your creative writing. Developing further the practical approach to performance skills introduced in year one, you will advance your creative and technical skills and focus on remote as well as live performer/ audience relationships.

  • American Classics

    This unit explores the cannon of American theatre as well as TV ‘box set’ series such as “Breaking Bad” and “Orange is the New Black”. The development of characters over the seasons or the play are investigated and assessment based on sustaining character is performed. The essay gives you an opportunity to study your favourite American playwright or series writer/director and study recent adaptations of “Fences” (film) and “Angels in America” (live performance).

  • Dramas & Soaps

    This unit brings the focus back to the UK with British social realism films (Andrea Arnie, Ken Loach) and ‘soap’ dramas being interrogated. The assessment is an essay on the social message/education of soaps/TV dramas and students perform in a screen drama and a verbatim theatre piece.

  • Comedy & Improvisation

    This unit teaches the skills for improvisation. You choose whether to perform an improvised piece or a comedy piece (including stand-up comedy). You research and prepare a presentation about the forerunners of contemporary improvisation.

  • Making it "reel"

    This unit challenges the students to perform in a festival environment around the campus. It is linked to the Devising & Physical Theatre Unit as well as the Improvisation & Comedy Unit just completed. It is a collaboration with Design for Film & Theatre students so will have a strong visual element. The unit encourages you to use streaming and social media to advertise and share your work.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Dissertation

    You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument. This is a great unit to take if you would like to continue your research and studies further at the end of the course.

  • Or Practice as Research

    This is a dissertation with a practical focus. You negotiate your research on a subject which is likely to be related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your chosen areas of practice and create a performance for camera or in a live setting. This is contextualised by an essay which explains the aims of your work and evaluates your performance.

  • Professional Development

    This unit focuses on the business of performing and acting. You will be given practical approaches to help you make your way in the arts and entertainment industry. The assessment is finding work opportunities as well as your creation of a website to promote your career.

  • Performance & Collaboration

    For this unit, you must submit a portfolio of performances and collaborations that you instigate outside of the taught units. These might be collaborations with TV Production students, Animation students, Game students or pieces that you make yourself. The unit culminates in an end of course show in collaboration with Design for Theatre, Film & Performance students.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

Taught by lecturers with professional acting or directing experience, you’ll quickly learn what it takes to be an industry professional. Our degree course is designed by professionals to train contemporary actors, and our valuable industry links include:

  • Maidstone TV Studios
  • British Actors’ Equity
  • West End venues for showcase presentations.
  • Professional actors
  • Theatre & film directors.

The nature of this course is to provide a wide range of performance-related skills that give you the opportunity to pursue a career either in front of or behind the camera, including:

  • Screen or playwriting
  • Forming a company to create and stage your own work
  • Commercials (film or audio)
  • Director
  • Voicing computer games and animations
  • Creating original material for Image Capture projects
  • Community projects such as theatre in schools
  • Producer
  • Teaching, running workshops, rehearsed readings and workshop productions of new plays.

Your training on this course will prepare you for a wide range of postgraduate courses. We will help you find the correct course for you and support you in your application should further study be for you.

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

You will be invited to attend an Applicant Day and an audition. The audition will comprise two activities: 1 - a group workshop: this will include improvisation games and imagination exercises incorporating voice and movement, allowing you to demonstrate your collaborative working skills. 2 - an individual audition piece (for a maximum of two minutes); either: a short piece of contemporary text (perhaps written by the student) , a movement piece, a musical composition of your own played or sung (not karaoke).

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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