School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Acting

UCAS tariff 104 - 112
UCAS course code W411
Institution code P60
Duration

3 years

(+ optional placement)
Course type

Full-time

Location Plymouth

Train to be a professional actor and set yourself apart by working with experts from the University and Theatre Royal Plymouth, one of the UK’s largest regional theatres. Join a tight-knit community and tread the boards with local, national and international practitioners and renowned theatre companies. Learn by doing and build your acting portfolio, fully supported by a dedicated team of academics. See the impact performance can have on addressing pressing social issues and effecting change.

Acting

Foundation-year courses

Whether you haven't yet submitted your application, you're worried about whether university is for you, or if you don't meet the entry requirements to apply for a three-year degree, a foundation year may be the perfect route to a full degree.
Our foundation year courses are specifically designed to introduce and develop essential skills for success in higher education.
Students rehearsing, theatre, performance, acting, musical.

Careers with this subject

Benefit from a highly vocational and professional-standard training programme, working closely with Theatre Royal creative staff and producers. With dedicated support from our Placements Officer, you can engage with work-based learning opportunities, gain employability advice and receive guidance on your career progression.

Key features

  • Train with expert industry professionals and academic staff.
  • Showcase. Perform in five productions, including a Final Year industry showcase at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • Placements. Access to a wide range of internships and volunteering opportunities with arts organisations across Plymouth and the South West. Recent placements for directors, producers, practitioners and performers have included paid placements with Jermyn Street Theatre (West End), Kneehigh and Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • Facilities. Rehearse and train in world-class and fully accessible award-winning theatre and studio space. Access all areas of theatre with our dedicated Tech team.
  • Your degree will be taught by passionate people with experience from a wide range of academic and industry backgrounds who are driving real change in their fields.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Straight-away you are working with a Theatre Royal director in your first module! Learn foundational acting skills and develop your actor’s toolkit. Apply character building techniques to your first production.

    Core modules

    • Introduction to Acting (ACT4001)

      This module provides an accessible introduction to the process of creating a role and playing a character. Students are asked to select a monologue by a character, from a play, that they can identify with and are given some basic techniques for building the character from their own life experiences and personal traits.

    • Page to Stage 1: The Physical Action (ACT4002)

      In this module students work together, with leadership from staff to read, rehearse, design and present a number of fully realised scenes from plays. Students will experience all aspects of theatre production in a concentrated rehearsal process, with a performance at the end of each process.

    • Page to Stage 2: Discovering the Through-Line (ACT4003)

      Page to Stage 2 builds on the work done in Page to Stage 1, teaching students techniques for building a character to help them to play more challenging roles. Techniques of dramaturgical analysis, ‘scoring’ a role and marking up a text provide the basis for building complex characters, with varied and unusual life experience; where Page to Stage 1 helped students to play characters that were much like themselves Page to Stage 2 challenges students to build characters very different from them. Physical skills, for example ‘animal work’, help students to find a physical language for presenting the dramaturgical information about characters that they have uncovered through text analysis.

    • Self and Character (ACT4004)

      This module is all about preparing actors to work in a profession with certain innate dangers to personal mental and physical health. The process of adopting a character and enacting a role can mean that actors have to negotiate some very personal feelings and experiences. Giving students tools to do this is in a healthy and sustainable way is what this module is all about. This module will include 2, 2 hour talks that introduce our School and programme level employability related opportunities and support, including details of the optional placement year.

    • Production 1 (ACT4005)

      This module develops basic expressive vocal and movement skills necessary for the successful interpretation of dramatic and non-dramatic performative material. Through workshop study, the student will embark on a creative exploration of the physical and mental processes embedded in core traditions of actor training.

    • The Body in Performance (PER4001)

      This module positions all performance practice as the product of its own specific cultural setting. Aiming to resist a Western-centric approach, the module explores performances from different cultures whilst providing a context and awareness of the key issues and debates surrounding intercultural/cross-cultural theory and practice. It problematises the issues of theatre, culture and ideology: the politics and problems of cultural contact and exchange.

  • Year 2

  • Take on new acting challenges; performing for audio, podcast and voice-over. Learn audition techniques and play The House main stage.
    For students entering Level 4 of their programme in academic year 2024/25 optional non-credit rated modules SSC500 and SSC600 will not be available in 25/26 and 26/27 respectively.

    Core modules

    • Production 2 (ACT5001)

      This module complements and builds on the work done in Page to Stage 1 & 2 by teaching students how to play their character alongside other characters, and actors on stage. This module introduces scene performance (and not just monologue) and teaches students methods and approaches to ‘reacting’.

    • Production 3 (ACT5003)

      This module introduces students to the skills techniques and process required to produce a theatrical text for an audience. By offering a contextual and historical grounding of chosen playwrights, students will be introduced to key theories of contemporary theatre making. Through dramaturgical research and intensive practice, students will explore the ideological, cultural and social concerns of contemporary theatre. This study will culminate in the production of a public performance.

    • Performance Practices (PER5002)

      This module encourages students to find their creative voice through the exploration and application of a specific performance practice. Students will develop and practically interrogate the skills and understandings that establish specific forms of contemporary performance practice as both skilled activities and culturally significant artistic statements.

    • Theatre Residency (PER5005)

      This module addresses collaborative and interdisciplinary practice in partnership with a professional visiting theatre company. It is a practical and studio-based module that emphasises the development and presentation of student-led work and collaboration across year groups.

    Optional modules

    • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

      This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

    • Site Specific Performance (PER5003MX)

      Outdoor, off-campus, real-world performance-making informed by research-led seminar-based explorations of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories. This module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world as a site for theatre.

    • Stage 2 Professional Development, Placement Preparation and Identifying Opportunities (SSC500)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search, application, and preparation for the placement, including developing interview techniques and effective application materials (e.g. CVs , portfolios, and cover letters).

    • Play and Games for Performance (PER5008MX)

      This module will introduce students to practical methods for designing games and play structures for participatory performances that invite audiences to become actively involved in the work. In addition to learning new tools for designing and facilitating play, students will be prompted to consider playfulness from a theoretical perspective, recognising the connection between the play of mimesis and theatrical performance.

    • Harm in the 21st Century (CRM5003MX)

      This module explores the global challenges of harmful behaviours and activities in contemporary society by considering specific areas of concern for criminologists. By drawing on real-world examples in everyday life, the module examines how social problems and issues have arisen due to processes of globalisation that have changed the social, political and economic landscape of the 21st century.

    • Crime, Harm and Culture (CRM5009MX)

      The module aims to provide students with a critical appreciation of harm and crime by exploring relevant issues from film, television, music, fiction literature and art. By applying a criminological lens to different forms of popular culture, students will be able to examine a variety of media forms in terms of its content and its contemporary political, social and economic context using different theories and concepts.

    • Gothic Fictions: Villains, Virgins and Vampires (ENG5002MX)

      This module looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels to trace the variety and scope of literary contributions to the Gothic. It begins by discussing the origins of the Gothic novel, then moves to the heyday of the genre in the revolutionary 1790s, on to authors writing in the early and mid-nineteenth century, through to the decadence of the 1890s.

    • ‘Hurt Minds’: Madness and Mental Illness in Literature (ENG5013MX)

      This module considers changing attitudes towards, and a variety of theories of, the mind, examining how different cultures have understood ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ mental states. It will look at how the experience and treatment of mental illness has been represented in fiction. The mind is at its most fascinating when it behaves outside of expected social norms. By considering a variety of literary texts over several centuries, this module explores shifts in the definition, understanding, evaluation, and management of exceptional mental states.

    • Writing Genre Fiction (ENG5017MX)

      This module takes students into in-depth engagement with prose fiction writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

    • Law in Context: Commerce and Intellectual Property (LAW5019MX)

      This module focuses on the work of commercial lawyers in practice in helping businesses to trade. It analyses a range of contractual agreements dealing with the manufacture, sale, supply and distribution of goods, assets and services in general and intellectual property in particular.

    • Politics Beyond Parliaments (PIR5013MX)

      This module analyses the role of civil society and the public sphere in democratic governance and in democratization from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

    • Voter Behaviour and Effective Election Campaigning (PIR5014MX)

      This module undertakes an advanced examination of contemporary trends and developments in theories of electoral behaviour globally; then more specifically the relationship between electoral rules, electoral systems and election outcomes; the evolution of campaign techniques, and the role, mechanics, and accuracy of opinion polls in modern electoral politics. These global understandings are applied directly to the case of British politics.

  • Optional placement year

  • Undertake an optional placement year where you can build a number of key employability skills. Put theory onto practice, get a taste for your chosen career and expand upon your professional network.
    For students entering Level 4 of their programme in academic year 2024/25 optional non-credit rated modules SSC500 and SSC600 will not be available in 25/26 and 26/27 respectively.

    Core modules

    • School of Society and Culture Placement Year (SSC600)

      Students have the opportunity to gain work experience that will set them apart in the job market when they graduate by undertaking an optional flexible placement year. The placement must be a minimum of 24-weeks (which can be split between a maximum of two different placement providers) and up to a maximum of 48-weeks over the course of the academic year. The placement is flexible and can be undertaken virtually, part or full time and either paid or voluntary. This year allows them to apply and hone the knowledge and skills acquired from the previous years of their programme in the real world.

  • Final year

  • Get ready for industry. Learn how to perform for and edit showreels, hone your audition skills, network with professionals and practice the skills you need to get an agent while performing in two show, including an industry showcase at Theatre Royal Plymouth.

    Core modules

    • Production 4 (ACT6001)

      This module will allow students to specialise in a number of expressive vocal and movement techniques necessary for the successful interpretation of a specific theatrical genre/style. The module will also prepare students to develop a number of skills essential to boost their employability.

    • Acting Rediscovered (ACT6003)

      The module fosters deep understanding and practical knowledge of a form/approach to performance training. Through expert-led practice, students will experiment with techniques, strategies and approaches to training that will help them to develop and deepen their understanding of skills germane to a specific style.

    • Production 5 (ACT6004)

      Students will audition for a role in a professional level production directed by an experienced theatre-maker. Students will develop their skills in character development, textual analysis, and identification of key performance making principles, in order to explore the implications of this research through the collaborative production of a public performance. All students must be involved in the process, and all students will perform in the final production.

    • Performance Research (PER6001)

      Students will plan and conduct a research enquiry relevant to the application, practice and study of performance (including acting, dance, theatre, live art, and cross-form practices). Through lectures, workshops and tutorial guidance, students develop appropriate ways of collecting, analysing, documenting and organising material to present and evidence their research process and findings.

    Optional modules

    • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

      Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

    • American Crime Writing (ENG6005MX)

      This module considers the development of twentieth-century American crime fiction from hard-boiled detectives, to myths of the mafia, and postmodern reinventions of the genre. This module will explore the cultural contexts of American crime writing, prevailing conventions of the genre, as well as challenges to those conventions.

    • Features Journalism Workshop (ENG6008MX)

      This module offers students an in-depth experience of professional writing. We will explore technique in features and literary journalism; music reviews, opinion columns and longer immersion features as well as other contemporary works of non-fiction feature writing, both short- and long-form, from sub-genres including profiles and interviews, autobiography and columns, travel writing, and reportage. We will learn to research and produce our own works of professional nonfiction and critically evaluate them.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA (Hons) Acting programme specification_7205

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Personalise your degree

Many of our degrees have a wide range of optional modules that allow you to follow your interests and play to your strengths.
You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:
Acting with Drama

Modules

  • Site Specific Performance (PER5003MX)

    Outdoor, off-campus, real-world performance-making informed by research-led seminar-based explorations of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories. This module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world as a site for theatre.

  • Applied Drama (PER6002MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Acting with Music

Modules

  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

Acting with Computing

Modules

  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

Acting with Musical Theatre

Modules

  • Choreography Repertory (MTH6004MX)

    Students learn, rehearse and perform dance repertory to a high standard. To support students’ ability to execute the choreography effectively a continued engagement with dance technique and its relationship to creative and performance skills is incorporated. Students will gain an understanding of their role as a contributing interpreter of this repertory and how to make this work their own.

  • Dance Technique (DAN5001MX)

    Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop participation and leading skills, as well as learning how to give, receive and use critical feedback.

  • Acting through Song (MTH5001MX)

    Acting through song involves ‘telling the story’ and ‘selling the story’, as well as performance skills in characterisation and specific vocal expertise. Working from a range of scores and lyrics, students experiment with different approach to acting through song in a supportive salon environment, with tutor and peer feedback throughout.

  • Dancing for Camera (DAN5002MX)

    Taught by experienced practitioners, students learn to compose and perform dance for camera and to develop and edit material to produce high quality ‘screendance’. Screendance as a hybrid and interdisciplinary form will enable students to develop new ways to innovate and create choreography in the site-specificity of media space.

  • Applied Dance (DAN6001MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through co-taught seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups, applying community dance practice and performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Acting with Dance

Modules

  • Dance Technique (DAN5001MX)

    Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop participation and leading skills, as well as learning how to give, receive and use critical feedback.

  • Dancing for Camera (DAN5002MX)

    Taught by experienced practitioners, students learn to compose and perform dance for camera and to develop and edit material to produce high quality ‘screendance’. Screendance as a hybrid and interdisciplinary form will enable students to develop new ways to innovate and create choreography in the site-specificity of media space.

  • Applied Dance (DAN6001MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through co-taught seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups, applying community dance practice and performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

Diversity and accessibility are really important to us and so we audition all of our candidates, UK-based and international, in a way that works for you and for free.
All applicants will be asked to submit a video recording of two contrasting monologues. We’re not just looking for talent, we also want to see:
  • a serious, ongoing commitment to an acting career in the professional theatre
  • trainable vocal, physical and imaginative/emotional skills
  • potential that you'll benefit from the study in acting offered at Plymouth
  • an ability to understand, interpret and embody a dramatic text
  • a sense of language and rhythm, and the potential for identification with the thought process of a dramatic text
  • the ability to portray and inhabit an imagined or fictional situation
Further details:
No props or scripts to be used at the audition.
UCAS tariff:
Applicants will typically hold 104 points or above but we encourage all individuals to apply whatever their qualifications. We understand that not every applicant will come from a formal educational setting and we recognise relevant experience and passion and not just grades when we review applications.
International Baccalaureate:
26 points. If overseas and not studying English within IB, must have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all other elements.
As a standard, all applicants are required to interview before an offer is made.
English language requirements:
You will need fluent written and spoken English (equivalent to IELTS level 6.0 with 5.5 in all elements). Given the nature of the course, you’ll be expected to read, perform and engage with complex texts and debates for which fluency in English is essential.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.
BTEC National Diploma modules:
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.
If you're applying through UCAS you'll receive full details, but if you'd like to know more, please contact admissions.
T levels:
Merit in any subject.
For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Businessand more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

Tuition fees for optional placement years

The fee for all undergraduate students completing any part of their placement year in the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,850.
The fee for all undergraduate students completing their whole placement year outside the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,385.
Learn more about placement year tuition fees

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.
To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the .
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
Acting

Insight: Audition and Showreels module

The acting industry is tough. You've got to know how to get into the room, make an impression and leave; and leave in a good way! This module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.
BA Acting

Taught by professionals who produce talented, confident and kind actors at the end of the degree.” 

– Tim Norman, BA (Hons) Acting, now a stage manager 

Tim Norman, BA (Hons) Acting

The House

Take centre stage at The House, our cutting-edge theatre right on campus that allows you to hone your craft in world-class facilities. As a performance venue, The House attracts some of the best national and international theatre companies to the city, providing you with opportunities to build professional networks as you study.  

Steel Wire Tension Grid above the stage at the House
Audio Console
Rehearsal
Rehearsal space with a lighting rig at the House
Performance

Meet our experts

* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.