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.
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).
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 PerformanceA 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.
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.
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).
Serials & 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.
Improvisation & Comedy
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.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.
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.
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.
OR Combined Disstertation / Critical Reflection
You'll undertake a dissertation, by engaging with research appropriate to you chosen subject area. You'll be expected to reflect on and articulate a clear argument that conforms to academic conventions and demonstrates an understanding of the subject through selected and managed analysis and evaluation. You'll also undertake an individually negotiated project of critical research and reflection that provides a contextual framework for, and analysis of, your own practice and/or visual interests.
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.
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 Theatre Design students.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
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.