Acting & Performance

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Our degree programme focuses on preparing actors to work and flourish, both on stage and screen. Using the camera as a teaching and learning tool, this course offers a uniquely creative springboard for innovative and confident actors.

You’ll graduate with all the practical, artistic and academic skills needed for a successful career in the competitive world of acting and performance. The course is practically based with a bias towards innovative assessment.

Our Acting & Performance course is ranked in the top 30 of drama and dance courses in the UK, according the The Guardian's 2017 university league table.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Farnham

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Course overview:

With a dual emphasis on recorded and live drama, you’ll be immersed in learning the core skills of voice and movement, along with the latest techniques for camera, microphone and stage. We’ll encourage you to draw on your own personality and background in your explorations and performances too.

With our strong track record for producing BAFTA and Oscar winners from across our media disciplines – and with first-class film and TV studios at our Farnham campus – you’ll be encouraged to work closely with peers on other courses, including Film Production, Animation, Creative Writing and Computer Games Arts. This way you’ll become part of our vibrant and collaborative creative community.

Our partnership with Farnham Maltings – a leading performance venue located in the heart of Farnham – means you’ll also benefit from its network of professional theatre makers and extensive resources, including performance and rehearsal spaces, and a screening room.

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Course content - 2018 entry

In your first year you'll examine the interconnection between stage and screen. The three perspectives and practice units integrate historical and theoretical enquiries by examining early cinema's relationship to theatrical traditions of the time and conversely contemporary theatre that incorporates film and digital techniques.

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

Course modules

  • Acting Skills 1

    The unit comprises of: Movement and Voice studies; Acting Skills for Stage and Screen; Approaches to Text and Acting and Recording. Together these areas will introduce you to a basic set of skills which will provide a robust foundation for the course and underpin a life-long process of learning for the professional actor and performer.

  • Perspectives and Practice 1: Stage Screen Connections

    You'll explore the development of early cinema and its origins in theatre, and examine the effect of early advances in film technology on performance style and practice. In parallel, you will study contemporary theatre-makers who incorporate film and digital techniques into their work.

  • Perspectives and Practice 1: Approaches to Acting

    Introduces you to some of the theoretical and practical approaches to creating a role, looking at the theories of Stanislavski and contrasting them to those of Mamet, this will be accompanied by the practical exploration of scenes from Chekov in rehearsal.

  • Perspectives and Practice 1: Violence and Revenge

    You'll look at the influence of two historical theatrical writers and their relationship to contemporary cinema and performance. You'll be introduced to Jacobean drama and its cinema counterpoint, by using the idea of 'exploding' a classic text and interrogating it through resonances in present day culture and drama.

  • Exploding the Play

    This unit gives you the opportunity to undertake a self-directed piece of work in small groups: Exploding the Play (an intervention into a classic text) and Making Connections (personal research into the use of new technologies in live performance)

Year 2 revolves around the themes of making stories and finding voices. The three perspective and practice units explore these themes across stage and screen.

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

Course modules

  • Acting Skills 2

    This unit covers: Movement and Voice Studies; Improvisation and Creative Writing; Radio Techniques and Sight Reading. Developing further the practical approach to acting and performance skills introduced in year one, you will advance your creative and technical skills and focuses on remote as well as live performer/audience relationships.

  • Perspectives and Practice 2: Social Realism

    You explore different aspects of social realism in film, theatre and television. Through the units you will investigate different approaches to realism through a series of case studies and performance works for stage or screen. This unit also explores the historical development of social realism and its relationship to filmed drama and how as an actor you prepare and work for the screen.

  • Perspectives and Practice 2: American Classics

    This unit expands on the work that you have undertaken in Perspectives and Practice 2: Social Realism. Using examples of scenes from the plays of American writers you will explore the underlying themes, subtexts and metaphors that writers employ to create meaning and depth in their work and how as an actor you interpret and translate these intentions into a performance.

  • Perspectives and Practice 2: Improvisation

    You look at the uses of improvisation in both theatre and film and explore techniques, as an actor, for developing improvised performances.

  • Self-Generated Performance

    Gives you the opportunity to devise and realise both an individual project and a group project.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and to deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, enabling you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.

The final year is about 'making it your business'. Year 3 concentrates on addressing your needs in sustaining your career after graduation.

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.

  • Or Combined Dissertation and Critical Reflection

    Two periods of sustained, individually negotiated research on subjects which are likely to be related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your chosen areas of practice, towards the provision of structured argument.

  • Or Practice as Research

    Two periods of sustained, individually negotiated research on subjects which are likely to be related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your chosen areas of practice, towards the provision of structured argument.

  • Performance

    This unit is the culmination of your studies. Led by professional directors you will work on a Film Performance and a Stage Performance. These productions and films will be shown to an invited audience of industry professionals and will take place in established venues in Farnham and/or London; there will also be public presentations

  • Professional Development

    This unit focuses on the business of acting and how to apply your acting skills to practical approaches to help you make your way in the arts and entertainment industry.

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

Course modules

Course leader

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:

  • Farnham Maltings
  • British Actors’ Equity
  • Drama UK (the body that oversees drama training across the country)
  • West End venues for showcase presentations.

Alongside (or as an alternative to) theatre, TV, radio or film work, a portfolio career for the professional freelance actor may also include:



  • Acting in corporate films, and live role-play in business training
  • Forming a company to create and stage your own work
  • Commercials (film or audio)
  • Voicing computer games and animations
  • Creating original material for Image Capture projects
  • Community projects such as theatre in schools
  • Teaching, running workshops, rehearsed readings and workshop productions of new plays.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

Entry requirements

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
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level.

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.

Your portfolio

For this course, there’s an audition stage to the application process. You'll be invited to attend an audition which comprises 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 (play or screenplay); or a piece of Shakespeare; or an original piece you have written.

More audition advice

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