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BA (Hons) Acting

BA (Hons) Acting is a performance programme taught by leading theatre and performing arts professionals, training you in key acting styles and contexts.

You will produce and perform in shows with established scripts and create original works, while also developing highly relevant professional contacts that set you up for demanding, diverse and flexible careers in the professional theatre and drama industry.

“I increasingly find I am meeting Chichester graduates doing brilliant things – working at festivals, curating events, performing and developing work.” - Mary Osborn, Assistant Artists' Advisor and Programme Coordinator

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Codes:

College C58

UCAS W401

Course Length:

College 3 Years Full Time

Entry requirements 2018

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

A levels (or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC / Cambridge Technical): 104 to 120 UCAS Tariff Points

BTEC / Cambridge Technical: DDM (Performing Arts)

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

Audition: Candidates will be asked to attend an audition day. You will present two prepared speeches, talk with staff about their interests and ideas for making theatre and take part in a devising workshop. You will get the chance to meet current students over lunch.

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Postgraduate Pathways

Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include PGCE and Masters. 

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Where this can take you

Alumni Profile: Daniel Hills and Rachel St Clar

"Throughout our studies we worked closely with our lecturer Pete Phillips to define our performance and establish our company, which was very beneficial. Rachel and I first met at Chichester four years ago, and have been working together ever since. 

While we were at Chichester, we formed Cool Hunting, and have gone on to perform at Glasgow's Buzzcut festival, appear at Camden Town's famed People's Theatre, and have been artists-in-residence at Brighton's Marlborough Theatre."

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Student view

Alice Morris
Theatre student
What separates the Theatre degree at Chichester from other courses is how practical and ‘hands on’ it is. I’m always working on creative projects and developing skills. I’m taught by people who already work in the industry and that helps me think professionally about my work and my future.

Course content

BA (Hons) Acting is a practical performance-based programme, running in parallel to the established and successful BA (Hons) Theatre. 

You will become a member of a shared creative community, where cultural identity, experimentation and research are central to the process of making live and recorded theatre. The programme recognises the importance of craft and technique, but also of critical thinking, in relation to the performer at the heart of the creative process of theatre.

You will work with established text and develop understanding of key acting styles and contexts; you will also work to produce and perform in original work and develop highly relevant professional contacts that set you up for demanding, diverse and flexible careers in the professional theatre. Across all three years, students are engaged in a developed vocational programme, designed to develop significant skills, ideas and experiences relevant to creative performance careers.

At various points in the programme, we provide classes in:

  • Skills: Movement, Dance, Voice, Scene study, Creative Writing, Technical Production and Stage Management, Solo Performance, Classical Theatre
  • Focused Creative Projects:  Narrative, Physical Theatre, Text and Cultural Identity; Clowning, Multi-media, the Body, Community Theatre
  • Production: Four major staff-led performance events (over the last two years);
  • Critical and Cultural Studies: Introduction to Applied Theory, Modernism, Romanticism and Post Modernism
  • Professional Development:  Business Management and Showcasing

At Level Four (first year)

You engage in a rigorous programme of skills and technique, developing a strong sense of your instrument in relation to your own identity; classes in movement, dance and voice are complimented by textual and contextual acting workshops; you start to develop a robust critical understanding of cultural and critical studies that assist you in four main performance projects: narrative, physical and visual theatre, text and cultural identity.

At Level Five (second year)

You continue on a rigorous skills programme, which, in the second year, is focused on two major performance projects – one in each semester.  The first involves writing and developing text for performance; the second involves classical performance for a contemporary audience.  Students can select options in complimentary practices: clowning, script writing, body-based performance, site-based performance and theatre-in-education. Critical and cultural studies continue in romanticism and post-modernism.

At Level Six (final year)

A programme of skills development continues and concludes with processes of documentation and representation, ready for the professional world. You take part in a range of exciting performance events: a solo performance; a small-cast devised play and a major external performance of text. You will engage in a programme of professional development, which runs alongside a structured showcase of your work and allows your final studies to merge into a professional career.

Our facilities

Our facilities content

The Showroom

At the heart of the learning experience of the Theatre department is a fully equipped 212-seat public theatre venue - The Showroom. The department uses the Showroom for student performances, practical workshops and hosting some of the best international touring theatre.

Other facilities include:

  • Studio spaces exclusive to the department
  • Rehearsal Rooms
  • Recording studio
  • Editing facilities
  • Audio/visual equipment
  • In-house lighting and sound technicians to assist student projects

Work placements

Working in professional contexts is a hugely important part of the vocational ethos of the Theatre Department. The Department has excellent links with the professional theatre industry, with students able to work closely with a range of artists, theatre companies, producers and festival programmers. Our students have had opportunities for placements with:

  • The Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Total Theatre Awards, Edinburgh Festival
  • Forest Fringe, Edinburgh
  • The Marlborough, Brighton
  • The Paper Birds Theatre Company, Leeds
  • Arts Admin, London
  • Bootworks Theatre
  • The Basement, Brighton
  • Battersea Arts Centre, London
  • Search Party
  • Brian Lobel
  • A range of schools and outreach environments

“Chichester University Theatre course stands out as one of the most outward looking and industry focused BA courses in the UK. There is a genuine commitment from all the staff to ensure that students are given the best possible skills to forge successful careers in the arts.” - Martha King, Theatre and Dance Officer, ICIA Bath

People you'll meet

During your three years you will work closely with our dedicated staff team. All of our staff work professionally in the theatre industry, as performers, theatre-makers, directors, dramaturgs and researchers. To meet the rest of the team click here.

An interview with Ben Francombe - Head of Department 

What I Teach

As Head of Department, I've taught on almost all our modules over the years, but I am currently teaching Narrative in the first year (a great way to meet all our new students), Performance Skills in the Second Year and, this year, I'm getting the chance to lead on a second semester production 

What I Create (performance, research)

I am currently working with TOTAL THEATRE: a national support network for independent theatre makers on a project to map the different approaches to 'creativity' in the National Curriculum.  I work regularly as a professional dramaturg (an academic and literary advisor), most recently for the theatre collective, 1927 www.19-27.co.uk/

My favourite thing about Chichester

It has to be the amazing range - and originality - of students' work: every year, I see work that blows me away!  Oh, and the wonderful professional artists who come and work with our students every year (that's two things, right?)

Artists and Theatre Companies I recommend: 

A great favourite of mine (and MA graduates of Chichester) are  The Paper Birds:  I particularly enjoyed 'Blind', their recent one-woman show on Beat-Boxing with the amazing Grace Savage. Check out this trailer from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nOSizUkTeI

Have a look at Lone Twin who are a performance duo, who make lovely simple work about travel, places and meeting people: their work can be very interactive and immersive and can crop up in some really strange non-theatre spaces.  There is a really good book about their work edited by David Williams and Carl Lavery called 'Good Luck Everybody', published by the Centre for Performance Research.

And a great solo artist, who is a firm friend of our department is Scottee: his 2013 show 'The Worst of Scottee', which we brought to the ShowRoom, was hugely moving and terribly funny. Have a read of this review in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/feb/05/the-worst-of-scottee-review

Best show I saw last year:

Totally biased, here! It has to be 1927's smash-hit show 'Golem', which I worked on as dramaturg.  It's just finished a West End run and has gone out on tour, so catch it if you can (if it's not sold out!). Here's a little taster - a trailer from the Young Vic run at the beginning of 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQO2eOeCedQ

Indicative modules

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
  • Narrative
  • Voice
  • Physical & Visual Theatre
  • Movement
  • Text & Deconstruction
  • Cultural Identity
  • Theory-lite
  • Modernism
  • Classical Theatre
  • Script writing & Character
  • Production
  • Site-Specific Theatre
  • Clown, Comedy & Mask
  • Children’s & Young People’s Theatre
  • The body and performance
  • Production (text)
  • Production (devised)
  • Solo Performance
  • Personal Study
  • Professional Development

 

Teaching and assessment

There are four different types of module, shaping your experience throughout the three years of the programme. 

  • Skills Development: taught by a range of dedicated specialists in small-classes of about fifteen.  You develop your voice, movement and compositional skills, which help to build up your technical abilities as a performer and maker.
  • Critical and Cultural Studies: taught in lecturers and small seminar groups.  Alongside studies on theatre theory, you will learn about philosophy, sociology, psychology and critical and cultural issues and matters.
  • Projects and Productions: the heart of the programme.  These are specialist performance projects that will inspire and challenge you towards making innovative theatre.  You will be involved in at least twelve examined performances, including three major productions, over the three years.
  • Professional Development and Careers: Taught in a practical way, providing insight of, and preparation for, a career in theatre, arts practice and related fields. 

The programme is demanding in terms of time commitments: for example, in the first year, students can expect to be in six hours a week of taught skills classes, together with at least four hours of rehearsals for third-year directing exercises; six hours a week of project classes, with at least six hours of group rehearsal; two hours of lectures and seminars, with at least six hours of timetabled personal study and preparation: 30 hours in total.

Your work is assessed through a wide range of practical/performance contexts: group and individual performances, directing exercises, presentations and creative installations.  There are no formal exams.  Some classes are assessed through continuous assessment and through written evaluations, with several formal essays that lead to a final-year dissertation. 

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: