facebook BA (Hons) Acting – Bath Spa University

Acting

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Acting
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park and related sites in Bath
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W410 or RTFD
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A level grades CCC with grade C in Drama or Theatre Studies.

View "typical offers" for more information.

BA Acting trains you to become a versatile, creative and employable performer, with skills spanning stage, screen, television and radio.

  • Experience practical Conservatoire-based training in a supportive University setting: the best of both worlds.
  • Work with industry professionals to develop valuable relationships and vital networking skills.
  • Gain the acting and technical skills (voice, singing, movement, comedy) needed to give you the edge in your chosen career.

This highly diverse conservatoire-based course provides you with the key practical and academic skills required to be at the forefront of emerging opportunities in the performing arts industry.

As a student on the BA Acting course, you’ll be part of the prestigious Bath School of Music and Performing Arts - a flourishing creative hub of ideas and collaborative practice. You’ll benefit from innovative collaborations with other courses in the school, including Theatre and Digital Production, Film and Music students.

Our goal is for you to not only seek work, but also to create it. Bath Spa Acting graduates work in acting, performing arts, regional and commercial theatres, television productions and feature films. Others are also running national and international theatre companies, heading up national arts programmes, working as producers and creatives, or have gone on to further, specialised study on one of our postgraduate courses: MA Directing, MA Performing Shakespeare, or MA Theatre for Young Audiences.

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What you'll learn

Overview

This is a challenging Acting degree, taught by experienced and specialised staff, that reflects the considerable stamina and continued application required to become the actor that you want to be. Our excellent teaching reputation combines rigorous practical training with research and analytical skills.

BA Acting provides regular technical classes to develop your voice, singing, movement and comedy skills to a professional level. In classes and performance projects, you’ll explore the key processes and practitioners that inform contemporary approaches to acting.

In your second year, stage combat and on-camera acting and training classes help you develop work that is practical, skills-based and industry-aware. Underpinning this is an emphasis on the vital interaction between academic research and acting processes.

Our Acting course is designed to equip you to succeed in an increasingly competitive profession. You’ll develop creative and transferable skills to become an independent thinker and motivated artist.

Course structure

Year one
The first year introduces you to the key practitioners and processes that underpin actor training, alongside the foundations for understanding the interconnectivity between composition, rehearsal, research and performance.

You’ll develop such skills as script analysis, breaking down a scene, researching the world of the play, interpreting character, exploring subtext, and tools for devised, self-motivated work.

This will be balanced by technical classes, which will introduce you to professional-level movement, and vocal and comedic skills that will enable you to work effectively both as an individual and as part of an ensemble.

Year two
This year advances your knowledge and application of the interpretation, analysis and performance of text, providing you with industry-focused projects in order to extend your understanding and application of performing in, as well as creating drama.

Alongside your regular technical classes, you’ll receive acting for camera training and stage combat classes, designed to enhance your skills base and prepare you for production projects in year three.

Year three
his is your apprentice year, where we’ll encourage you to take your skills into an outward-facing environment.

You’ll become a member of Bath Spa University Productions, a professional company that produces work across a range of live and recorded media. All work during this year is designed to encourage your understanding of professional and industry specific opportunities, enhancing your self-awareness of your own creative strengths, and facilitating your expression of ideas within future professional and/or academic contexts.

The production environment, focused on live and recorded media during this year, will test your ability to work collaboratively by connecting your acting work with design, technical, management, music and other production elements. Within this collaborative environment, you’re expected to meet industry-standard expectations and work within professionally recognised timeframes.

How will I be assessed?

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

In your final year, you’ll also be assessed on either a 5,000 word academic essay based on a practical project of your choosing, or a traditional dissertation.

How will I be taught?

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 hours are spent in class and you’ll have an average of 18 contact hours per week in your first two years, with more independent rehearsals in your graduating year. You need to compliment this with equivalent hours of independent study and preparation.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Introduction to Acting Processes
  • Composition
  • Performance Skills 1
  • Acting Processes
  • Ensemble Practice
  • Performance Skills 2

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Actor Interpreter
  • Actor Creator
  • Performance Skills 3
  • Creating with Shakespeare
  • Performance Skills 4
  • Theatre Directing and the Production Process
  • Acting New Dramaturgies
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Acting Research Project
  • Acting Independent Study
  • Production Project - Acting in a Directed Play
  • Production Project - Making Performance
  • Production Project - Mediated Performance
  • Rehearsed Reading
  • The Professional Actor

Opportunities

Work placements, industry links and internships

We work with practitioners and 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, Max Barton, Kirsty Davies, John Ward, Lazarus Theatre Company, SpecifiQ, 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.

Careers

Recently our graduating students performed in a national tour by Taking Flight Theatre. Three graduates were chosen by the David Glass Ensemble to perform in the internationally acclaimed Bleak House, now preparing for an international tour. Several have established successful theatre companies: Nitty Gritty Theatre, Black Dog Productions and The James Company.

Other graduates are working on BBC’s Poldark, a Warner Bros film, and voicing a major character in an animated film. Students recently performed at Santa Monica College, USA. We have regular workshops with Redcape Theatre and fantastic partnerships with Lazarus Theatre Company, The David Glass Ensemble and Theatre Royal, Bath.

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

Graduate successes

  • Nikki Jackson (2018 graduate) currently performing in Sweeney Todd, Tread the Boards Theatre Company based in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • Nik Aarre (2017 graduate) has appeared in several feature films and a new TV drama, and is now returning to Bath Spa to study for his MA in Directing.
  • Charlotte Gray (2017 graduate) has just returned from working in China with the David Glass Company for six months and Emma Jenkin (2017 graduate) is about to fly out there to replace her.
  • Nim Ventura has been performing in comic TV programmes including Modern Horror Stories for Comedy Central UK, Strictly Red Carpet for BBC 3, and So Beano for Sky Kids.
  • Harriet Louise Wyatt is heading up a whole new arts programme for The Corn Exchange, Newbury, called Ageing Creatively.
  • Dominic Thompson and Jess Melia (2016 graduates) are Artistic Directors of Gritty Theatre Based in The Midlands.
  • Emi Howells (2014 graduate) runs Howell Productions and recently performed in the latest production: Nazanin’s Story at The Houses of Parliament.

“An incredible support network that allows you to succeed but also to learn from your mistakes. It allows you to be the best performer you can possibly be!”

Sian Rayer, BA (Hons) Acting

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Our Oldfield Park Theatre workshops are a new purpose-built facility in central Bath for second and third year Acting students. These facilities include:

  • Four rehearsal studios and Black Box performance space
  • Breakout spaces and quiet study areas
  • Lecture and seminar rooms
  • 25-person IT suite
  • Fully-equipped carpentry workshop and teaching space
  • Fully-equipped costume making workshop
  • Prop making workshop.

You’ll also have access to facilities on our other campuses, including:

  • State-of-the art television studios - Newton Park
  • University Theatre - Newton Park
  • Burdall’s Yard - central Bath
  • Additional teaching spaces at Culverhay.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,300
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

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, this is the course for you.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - grades CCC with grade C in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum score of 26 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.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

We invite all eligible candidates to attend an audition.

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

  • Welcome - Q and A about the programme
  • Movement workshop
  • Text workshop
  • Monologue presentations
  • Tour of Oldfield Park facilities
  • Interview

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

The audition panel members 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 scores each candidate against the following criteria:

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

We do not charge an audition fee.

International students must present two contrasting monologues 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.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Ellie Nixon
Email: e.nixon@bathspa.ac.uk

Image credits: Production images by Nick Spratling. Majority of headshots by M.A.D Photography. Dom Thompson by Sorrel Price Photography.

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk