Acting

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How to Apply

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Immerse yourself in an innovative and stimulating artistic environment. We aim for you not only to seek work, but also to create it.

  • Training is highly practical, intensive and professionally focused.
  • We prepare you for the latest industry demands, both as actor interpreter and creator.
  • Process-driven approach in text-based and devised performance, across live and recorded media.

A Midsummer Night's Dream from BSU - Music & Performing Arts on Vimeo.

Why study Acting?

Acting at Bath Spa University aims to produce physically and vocally versatile, creative and employable artists. Over three years, you’ll work in a variety of genres and repertoires from classical to contemporary. In your final year you’ll become part of OnSet, a professional company, supported by Bath Spa Live, the promotional arm of the University. Working with professional directors, practitioners and industry professionals in both live performance and recorded media, you’ll develop professional working relationships and vital networking skills.

The intense professional focus of the course, means that BA Acting is a highly specialised award for students who want to study acting.

Course structure

This is a challenging course that reflects the considerable stamina and continued application required to become the actor that you want to be. Our excellent teaching and research reputation guarantees rigorous practical training, balanced with research and analytical skills.

Daily technical classes develop your voice, singing, movement and comedy skills to a professional level. In acting classes and performance projects, you’ll explore the key processes and practitioners that inform contemporary approaches to acting. Acting for camera training is practical, skills based and industry aware. Underpinning the practical work is an emphasis on the vital interaction between academic research and acting processes.

Equip yourself to succeed in an increasingly competitive profession. You’ll develop creative and transferable skills to become an independent thinker and motivated artist.

Stage Combat Class

Recorded Media

Recorded Media training on the BA Acting course is practical, skills based and industry aware, and aims to give students experience and knowledge of the contemporary creative and management processes of recorded media production in the UK. You will explore a range of recorded media skills, including: acting, script writing, directing, producing, production management and editing.

Modules

Year 1 introduces you to the foundation skills and building blocks of acting.
Skills classes help you to develop professionally focused vocal, physical and comedic skills. Acting classes explore a range of acting processes, enabling you to approach any role. By studying the form and composition of performance-making you learn how to generate your own material.

Context classes explore theatre history through practice and research, to situate contemporary performers within an ancient tradition.

Year 2 deepens your understanding of acting, directing, and devising processes in theatre and recorded media. Skills classes continue with the same rigor and intensity, with the addition of Stage Combat. Your core Acting module allows you to specialise in the areas of Text, Actor-Creator, Directing and Acting for Camera.

Context classes encourage you to explore contrasting approaches to analytical thinking in order to link your understanding of critical theories to your personal performance practice.

SECOND YEAR ENSEMBLE PROJECT: THE WOLF BALLADS, 2015

Image: Sam Thomas & Nik Aare

Year 3 is your apprentice year. You become a member of OnSet productions, a professional company that produces three seasons of work across a range of live and recorded media. Skills classes prepare you for entry into industry; you’ll develop a professional profile involving audition technique, headshots, CV, online profile and showreel.

Your core module, places you strategically in a series of professionally staged plays, self-generated making projects, film projects (sitcom, Graduate film, Acting for Microphone) and rehearsed play readings.

You can choose between a 5,000 word academic file based on your ‘Making Project’ or a traditional dissertation.

 

Course assessment

You’ll be assessed through performance work, essays, evaluations and presentations. Over the 3 years 80% of assessment is practical and 20% is written.

SECOND YEAR ENSEMBLE PROJECT: THE WOLF BALLADS, 2015

Image: Sam Thomas & Nik Aare

You’ll learn in a wide variety of settings, including regular practical skills and acting classes, seminars, workshops, tutorials, rehearsals, blogs and journals, group discussion, and collaborative learning.

The course is teaching intensive; over 50% of your 1200 hours are spent in class – you’ll have an average of 18 formal contact hours per week. You need to compliment this with equivalent hours of independent study and preparation.

Facilities and resources

  • Commons
  • Fully equipped studios
  • State-of-the art television studios
  • University Theatre
  • Burdall’s Yard
  • Additional rehearsal spaces

Teaching methods

Work placements, industry links and internships

We work with professional practitioners, producers in theatre, film and television, as well as innovative theatre companies and established regional and national theatre venues.

The course has a successful professional partnership with The Theatre Royal Bath. Recent collaborators include: playwright Phillip Ridley; directors Ian Nicholson, Matt Ball and Max Barton; Dan Horrigan of Sky of the Bird; Dr Rebecca Loukes from RedCape; Oliver Jones from Creativity Works and Blind Eye Theatre Company; Toby Peach, Associate Artist - Artistic Director of Birds Anonymous Theatre Company; Pigdog Productions; David Glass; and Ed Viney, who was Creative Associate at the Bush Theatre and Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio.

List of current alumni careers

Graduates have established successful theatre companies with tours and residencies in London, Edinburgh, the South West, as well as international festivals. Others are working in film and television, including Strictly Come Dancing, a Bollywood Movie, C4’s Skins and Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. Employers such as Warner Bros, Euro Disney, The Unicorn Theatre and The Theatre Royal (Bath) have recruited graduates from this course.

Other graduates engage in further study, or work actively in allied performance roles, such as artistic directors, writers, directors, arts officers and teachers.

Competitions/awards

Recent graduate successes include:

2015: Graduate working at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.
2015: Timothy, a Making Project has recently performed in Taiwan.
2015: Four graduates have been touring Italy with Teatrino Theatre Company.
2015: Night Flyer, a Making Project opened at the Tristram Bates Theatre in London.
2015: Graduate touring with Apollo Theatre in Around the Horn in major national venues.
2014: Graduate cast as Malcom in Macbeth for a three month national tour.
2014: Graduate made a pilot for Welsh TV which has since been commissioned.
2014: Two graduates appeared with Lazarus Theatre Company in a double bill of Troilus and Cressida and Coriolanus. Both gained agents after being seen in this show.
2013: Graduate has appeared in the BBC’s Atlantis.
2013: Graduate established a TIE Company.

Application method

We look for artistic and intellectual potential. Are you curious about your subject, hard-working, imaginative and playful? Do you enjoy working with others and are you hungry to learn?

If so, then this is the course for you.

Interview and portfolio guidance 

We invite all eligible candidates to attend an audition.

Auditions begin at 9am and run to around 5pm. There are seven elements to the day:

  • Brief welcome
  • Movement workshop
  • Text workshop
  • Monologue presentations
  • Q&A about the programme
  • Campus tour
  • Interview

Candidates must prepare a contemporary monologue. You’ll receive further information if you are invited to audition.

The audition panel consider the academic reference, academic qualifications and personal statement of each candidate, as well as the work in the sessions. In the interview, the workshops and monologue presentation elements are considered and the panel score each candidate against the following criteria:

  • Responsiveness to ideas and direction;
  • Creativeness of responses;
  • Spontaneity demonstrated in tasks;
  • Proficiency of skills;
  • Depth of comprehension; and
  • Approachability.

Overseas students must present two contrasting monologues on a region 2 format DVD or via the internet in Windows or Quicktime compatible video. The monologues should be performed and recorded for the specific purposes of audition and not be edited work from other videos. The panel will also interview the candidate via phone or Skype.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - A level grades BCC -BCC with Grade B in Drama or Theatre Studies.

  • BTEC- Extended Diploma Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted in a related subject.

  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 27 points with evidence of involvement in drama and performing arts.

Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) with evidence of involvement in drama and performing arts.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Career opportunities

The programme prepares you for a freelance career in theatre, film and television. The University’s excellent teaching and research reputation guarantees rigorous practical training, balanced with research and analytical skills. Professionally experienced staff foster creative approaches to performance and encourage your entrepreneurialism to create work, not just seek it! Many industry links with companies - such as the Theatre Royal Bath and Salisbury Playhouse - embed industry practice in all classes.

 Graduates become:

  • Actor/Devisors
  • Writers
  • Directors
  • Artistic Directors
  • Teachers
  • Workshop Leaders
  • Arts Officers

Since 2010, employers such as Warner Bros, Euro Disney, The Unicorn Theatre and The Theatre Royal (Bath) have recruited graduates from this course. As well as acting and writing, students have also gone into roles such as Theatre Worker,  Drama and Dance Teachers and Hospitality Supervisor.

Recent graduate successes include:

2015: Graduate working at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.

2015: Timothy, a Making Project has recently performed in Taiwan.

2015: Four graduates have been touring Italy with Teatrino Theatre Company.

2015: Night Flyer, a Making Project opened at the Tristram Bates Theatre in London.

2015: Graduate touring with Apollo Theatre in Around the Horn in major national venues.

2014: Graduate cast as Malcom in Macbeth for a three month national tour.

2014: Graduate made a pilot for Welsh TV which has since been commissioned.

2014: Two graduates appeared with Lazarus Theatre Company in a double bill of Troilus and Cressida and Coriolanus. Both gained agents after being seen in this show.

2013:  Graduate has appeared in the BBC’s Atlantis.

2013: Graduate established a TIE Company.

What students say...

Student Experience: Alex Night, graduated 2015 (BA Acting):

"My time on BA Acting at Bath Spa was better than I could have ever thought it would be. When necessary, I was supported and guided through every aspect of the course and University life; was given every opportunity to diversify my skills and hone my craft; all with a focus on employability and creativity in equal measure. The staff, students, setting and community of Bath Spa’s BA Acting course were simply outstanding."

Graduation 2014 at Bath Abbey