Theatre students

Study the craft of acting

W401
3 years Full Time
Bishop Otter Campus

Overview

Perfect your performance skills alongside theoretical learning

Our practical and performance-based BA (Hons) Acting course helps turn natural talent into a career and make dreams of performing on stage or screen a reality.

Explore a range of key performance topics, including:

  • Stage acting
  • Screen acting
  • Scene study
  • Vocal skills and singing
  • Movement and physicality
  • Stage combat
  • Creative writing
  • Technical production and stage management
  • Solo performance
  • Classical theatre

Go beyond acting training

You will train to be a versatile, proactive, and flexible performer, as well as study a range of theoretical and critical topics around key acting styles, contexts, and cultures throughout history.

Academically, you will discover critical and cultural studies and investigate topics including modernism, romanticism, and post-modernism.

Produce your own work

You will work to produce and perform in original work and develop high-quality professional contacts that prepare you for a demanding, diverse, and flexible career in the professional theatre industry.

Demonstrate your talents to agents and casting directors

Our annual Acting Showcase events allow our final year students to display their abilities to industry professionals and help them find agents.

Previous cohorts have been highly successful in finding representation, many of which found theirs through participation in the end of year showcase.

Creative and collaborative community

You will become a member of a shared creative community where cultural identity, experimentation and research are central to making live and recorded theatre. You will be able to take part in casting opportunities, auditions, and talks with industry professionals.

This course runs in parallel to BA (Hons) Acting for Contemporary Theatre, so you will work with and perform with other students throughout your degree.

Past students have worked with:

  • Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  • The Marlborough, Brighton

… and many more.

On this course you will:

  • Develop your acting skills and academic understanding of theatre cultures and contexts.
  • Perform and produce original work throughout your studies.
  • Access placement opportunities including roles at The Chichester Festival Theatre, Forest Fringe, Edinburgh Festival and more.
  • Have the opportunity to study motion capture, voice work, and showcasing.
  • Learn from and network with industry professionals.

Theo

Acting student
"What I love about the acting course at Chichester are the opportunities to not only massively develop your acting skills from some amazing professional teachers, but also to create and devise work that is personal to you. Being surrounded by so many hard working and committed teachers and students enables to feel confident about entering the professional acting world."

The Course

Study modern acting techniques and critical approaches to theatre

Develop your performance skills

Our BA (Hons) Acting degree is a practical and performance-based course that develops the skills for professionally directed productions. You will focus on traditional skills used within Stanislavski’s system of acting, as well as incorporating methods and techniques from contemporary theatre.

You will also have opportunities to broaden your acting horizons through the study of motion capture, voice work and showcasing.

Expand your critical knowledge of theatre

Alongside your performance skills you will develop ability to critically understand theatre spaces, productions, texts, and cultures, as well as explore the concepts of modernism, romanticism, and post-modernism within theatrical contexts.

You will explore the concepts of narrative, physical theatre, verbatim theatre and cultural identity, clowning, Shakespeare, and children’s theatre.

Work with industry professionals

In your third year, you will have the chance to work with a professional playwright, director, and production team to perform a major part in a play. It will not only give you the chance to display your talents, but also act as a vital networking opportunity to help your future career within the industry.

Cycle week

Cycle weeks give you the opportunity to explore different areas of theatre performance throughout your degree. Three times a year every year, you will have the option to choose one of four areas to participate in alongside students from other courses within the Theatre Department:

  • Solos
  • Directing
  • Workshops
  • Productions

 

These projects allow you to showcase your talents and ideas in a supportive and collaborative environment, as well as gain experience in a variety of roles in putting on a production.

This list is indicative and subject to future change.

Select a year

Acting Skills 1: Foundations

This module develops your the intellectual, physical and emotional foundations for an effective actor’s process. With weekly classes in key areas of skill development for the actor, you will concentrate on the voice, the body and approaches to acting that will provide the basis for the continued development of your craft.

Acting Skills 2: Voice, Text and Body

This module deepens your engagement with movement and voice as part of the actor’s craft. With weekly classes in key areas of skill development for the actor, you will also engage with more specific skill sets including approaches to text and acting for camera.

Critical and Cultural Theory 1: Theory-Lite

The aim of this module is to introduce students to a variety of theoretical, cultural and critical ideas used in the practice and evaluation of the arts. It aims to explore ways of describing, analysing and interpreting theoretical concepts that are vital to an understanding of the arts. Vocabularies and models such as intersectionality that describe the cultures in which the arts are seen and made are drawn upon and developed in order to explore the methods by which meanings are created and understood in the arts.

Critical and Cultural Theory 2: Modernism

This module interrogates the changing theoretical models and perspectives of the period that is often categorised as ‘Modernist’. You will explore, examine and debate the historical, social, cultural and theoretical influence of Modernism(s) challenge to traditional structures, forms and styles and investigate the impact this has upon contemporary arts practice.

Physical Theatre

Beginning with Stanislavski’s later research into the craft of the actor, and continued and developed in the research of Meyerhold, Grotowski, and others, this module serves as an introduction to Physical Theatre (devising) practices. It builds on skills learned elsewhere in the programme and offers compositional, intellectual, and methodological skills and techniques for you to use to create new theatre work.

Text and Performance

This module introduces you to practices and methodologies for making text-based devised theatre. It is especially directed towards theories and practices of ‘adaptation’ and reworking’ and designed to encourage you to find new ways to stage and adapt dramatic texts. the module starts with a series of lectures on the adaptation theory, before moving onto adaptations of Shakespeare and the restoration stage, onto theories of contemporary stage adaptation with a particular emphasis on texts, and finally playwrights from the late 20th and 21st century.

Theatre Project: Narrative

This module explores a variety of stimuli for performance-based devised theatre products, with a particular emphasis on narrative. It aims to investigate different approaches to devised story-telling theatre and identify specific crafting devices and methodologies to develop work.

Theatre Project: Site Specific

This module encourages you to consider the possible relationships of performance to everyday experience, society and political/historical contexts. Through the analysis of a range of site-specific practices, you will explore geographic, architectural and philosophical approaches to the creation of site-specific theatre. You will question the various definitions of “Site-Specific” practice, developing your critical awareness and understanding of how performance interrogates ideas of place and space.

Acting Skills 3: Devised Text and Character

This module develops your devising, screen acting and singing skills as you produce a staged performance scene, a self-tape and a song performance. the module aims to establish an advanced vocabulary in the articulation of acting approaches and understanding of the intellectual and creative processes involved in acting in different mediums.

Acting Skills 4 (Classical Theatre)

The module offers you an introduction to Classical Theatre (Renaissance Drama) in performance. It further develops your vocal and physical ability, together with writing and dramaturgical study. You develop understanding of the impact of performance in relation to both historical and contemporary contexts and implications of classical performance.

Children and Young People’s Theatre

This module introduces you to a number of examples of innovative contemporary theatre work for children and young audiences in the UK. You will produce your own short (20-30 min) work for children ensuring that a dialogic relationship with students inform their research agendas and devising methodologies. Your compositions and professional work are analysed and evaluated with specific reference to appropriate devising methodologies and theatrical concerns.

Clown, Comedy and Mask

In this module, you will explore specialist field of physical theatre and performance. You will examine its historical roots in Commedia dell’Arte, through into a study of the contemporary practice and art of the theatre clown. You will consider the historical function and influence of the clown and its place in contemporary theatre through practice and self-evaluation. Using neutral mask and the transformative qualities of the red nose mask, the module explores physically led approaches to improvisation, character and comic performance, alongside a critical, creative and cultural questioning of the functions and constructions of collectively devised comedy.

Critical and Cultural Theory 3: Romanticism

This module explores the importance of revolution, the sublime, the gothic, landscape, and imagination as motive forces in the making of art and culture. By examining the notion that Classicism and Romanticism are opposites, as the reaction of many 19th century artists to 18th century Enlightenment would appear to demonstrate, the module aims to investigate notions such as wilderness, fantasy, heroism and nationalism and to initiate a discourse between the art of the present day and that of 19th century romanticism.

Critical and Cultural Theory 4: Postmodernism

This module relates theories of postmodernism to contemporary arts practice. It begins by considering postmodernism’s relationships to both romanticism and modernism, exploring ‘definitions’ of postmodernism and illustrating postmodern features in a range of arts practices. A selection of postmodern term and practices such as Pastiche, Hyperreality, Event, a crisis in subjectivity, Intertextuality, the merging of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, Deconstruction and recognition of the ‘Other’ are explored in more detail in relation to specific arts practices and texts. the module also allows you to debate the cultural, social and philosophical implications and validity of postmodernism for arts practice today.

Drama in Education

This module examines the role of drama in educational contexts and applies devised theatre concepts, facilitation skills and pedagogical considerations in the design and development of educational theatre: workshops and performance.

Gender, Sexuality and Theatre

This module will develop your critical understanding and creative engagement with how notions of gender and sexuality inform approaches to the creation and analysis of theatre and performance. It aims to examine a variety of artistic approaches to the politicisation of gender and sexuality in contemporary performance. Rooted in a critical understanding of feminist discourse and gender studies, the module introduces you to the work of key artists and performance theorists, providing appropriate case-studies to frame the creation of the student’s own performance work.

Production 1: Ensemble Practices

This module provides you with extensive performance and production experience, as you explore the devising process rooted in character narrative, specifically in relation to dance theatre. You will be given insight into the way that characters can define (and hinder) a clear making process and, in the process, will consider structural processes, such as narrative as a key determinate to the progression of the piece.

Production 2 (Classical Theatre)

The module offers you an opportunity to build on your skills and knowledge of Classical Theatre by participating in a major community performance of a Shakespeare (or contemporary) play in a contemporary educational context.

Theatre, Politics and Activism

This module aims to explore the relationships between theatre and politics, alongside the idea of theatre as politics post-Brecht. You will be introduced to a number of artists and theorists exploring political ways of thinking about theatre and political approaches to theatrical engagement.

Visual and Technical Arts

This module aims to introduce and develop key skills and practices in Visual and Technical Arts in/for (devised) theatre and performance. This module caters to a visual and technical arts-related practice and is underpinned -practical and theoretically -accordingly. This module is for students wishing to develop their knowledge and skills in making work that deals with methods drawn from the Visual Arts and as such encompass a range of possible routes for exploration: Multimedia Performance, Installation Art, Photography and Video, Sound and Sonic Art, Time-Based Art, Live Art and related ‘Fine’ Art practices.

Personal Study

You will have an opportunity to select an area of study of your choice over an extended period, to research and present their findings in written form.

Production 3

The module offers you the opportunity to work in an ensemble, as you develop your creative and performance vocabulary in a major performance of an original theatrical event.

Production 4

The module offers you the opportunity to perform a major part within a modern written play, working in an ensemble, under the direction and supervision of staff or visiting director.

Professional Development

This module provides you with an understanding of the extant professional working protocols and practices of the acting industry. You are mentored by a series of guest lecturers, who offer specialisms across the diverse spectrum of professional practice. the Education and Outreach department at the Chichester Festival Theatre will compliment the delivery of the module, providing bespoke sessions.

Solo Performance

This module develops your devising, expressive and communication skills in solo performance.

Specialist Acting

This modules allows you to practically engage with a specialist acting style and methodology to gain focused skills in a specific acting technique.

Alice

Acting 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."

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of expert and industry-experienced acting tutors

Teaching

In the first year you can expect to attend six hours per week of taught skills classes, at least four hours of rehearsals for third year directing exercises, six hours of project classes, at least six hours of group rehearsal and two hours of lectures and seminars.

You should also expect at least six hours of timetabled personal study and preparation. This amounts to 30 hours per week during term time.

Skills development sessions are taught by a range of dedicated specialists in small classes of about fifteen, whereas some modules are taught in lecturers and small seminar groups.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a range of assignments including practical and performance contexts. These assessments will include group and individual performances, directing exercises, presentations, creative installations, and essays.

During your degree you will be involved in at least twelve examined performances, including three major productions, over the three years. There are no formal exams.

Experience

Discover a collaborative creative community and dedicated performance spaces

The Showroom

The ShowRoom is recognised nationally for presenting some of the most exciting companies touring on the UK circuit, and the programme is shaped to support the learning of students.

We often run workshops and post-show discussion for Theatre students with visiting artists. We believe that one of the best ways to learn about professional theatre is by watching a training with arts industry professionals. This is at the heart of the ShowRoom’s ambition.

The ShowRoom is highly adaptable, with retractable seating, making it an excellent teaching and workshop space in addition to its role as a venue. It is run by our Theatre Manager and Department Technician, who work closely with our students, helping them to realise creative and adventurous ideas in a professional working space.

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

 

Find out more on the ShowRoom website.

Work Placements

Gain vital experience within the theatre industry

Our BA (Hons) Acting course has a strong vocational focus and supports you to find work in professional contexts.

You will benefit from the Theatre Department’s excellent links with the professional theatre industry and have opportunities to work closely with a range of artists, theatre companies, producers, and festival programmers.

Past 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
  • Schools and outreach environments

Martha

Theatre and Dance Officer, ICIA Bath
“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.”

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.

Careers

Pursue a variety of creative performance careers

Our BA (Hons) Acting degree will prepare you for a range of careers after you graduate.

Across all three years of the course, you are engaged in a developed vocational programme designed to cultivate significant skills, ideas, and experiences relevant to creative performance careers.

Further Study

You could choose to continue your studies at postgraduate level.

Study options at the University of Chichester include:

  • MA Theatre
  • PGCE
  • PhD/MPhil

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2023/24

UK fee
£9,250
International fee
£15,240

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical offers (individual offers may vary):

UCAS
104-120
tariff points from A levels or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC/ Cambridge Technical.
A Levels
BBB-BCC
BTEC
DMM
(Performing Arts)
IB
28 points
IELTS
6.0
with no element lower than 5.5.

Auditions

You will need to attend an audition. You will present two prepared speeches, discuss your interests with staff, share ideas for making theatre and take part in a devising workshop. You will have the opportunity to meet current students over lunch.

Interviews and Auditions

The audition process

You will complete all four parts of the audition process, whichever degree you are applying for.

You will meet and work with current students and members of staff and during the audition movement classes, workshops and your speeches.

Movement Class

You will be led by a member of staff through a physical warm up that will prepare you for the day ahead. You will be asked to work physically through the body, touching on ideas of how the body can be used in performance. This section of the workshop will feel like a class.

You should wear clothing appropriate for movement and work to your own limits and the capabilities of your own body.

Interview

For your interview we ask that you research a local OR national OR international cultural event and come prepared to discuss the event you have chosen.

You should be prepared to discuss:

  • Why this event is significant to you
  • Your ideas for directing an imaginary new play based on this event.

Think about where you might perform the play, what it might look like and who the ‘characters’ might be.

This part of the audition will feel like a tutorial. You should approach this task from a perspective that supports your chosen course. For example BA (Hons) Theatre Performance & Production applicants could describe a project from a design perspective, whereas BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre and Directing candidates might offer more dramaturgical insights.

You should choose an event that is important to you and consider discussing the event with a friend in preparation for your interview. Try to imagine a practical project that you would love to do no restrictions, for example what would you do if money was no object? Explore how the event informs the nature of the idea.

Workshop

During the workshop section of the audition you will be given a stimulus and asked to create a short performance in a small group in response. The brief will set up clear parameters, but members of staff will mostly observe the way you work with other applicants to create a new performance. We are looking at how you work with others and how you collaborate in the creation of new performance material.

This section of the audition will feel like a devising workshop. We expect applicants for BA (Hons) Theatre to excel in this section of the workshop.

You should focus on producing something that you enjoy, not choosing something that you think will impress us. You should be prepared to work with others and be challenged by their ideas, but also offer your own ideas.

Speeches

You will be asked to perform two short, contrasting speeches; one contemporary and one classical. You will do a short warm up exercise with a member of staff and then will present the speeches. At least one of the speeches will be performed, whilst the other may be used as part of a rehearsal exercise to see how you work with direction.

This section of the audition is completed in small groups, so you will perform in front of some of the other applicants.

This part of the audition will feel like a rehearsal for a production. We expect applicants for BA (Hons) Acting
to excel in this section of the audition.

You should choose speeches that are appropriate for your casting range and read the the whole play of your chosen piece, not just a section from an audition book. You need to be prepared to work with the speeches and offer positive feedback on other candidates’ work.

Booking Your Audition

If you are invited to audition you will receive an email asking you to book your audition date on ChiView. If you are unsuccessful we will email you to let you know. 

You can usually choose between two or three different days on ChiView at one time. Once these dates are close ChiView will refresh to show new options. If none of the current dates suit you then you should wait until the dates renew and check again. Dates are released two to three weeks in advance.

Once you have booked your audition you will have access to the relevant documents on ChiView. 

Log in to the ChiView portal, click on ‘Events schedule’ and then ‘View details’ to view, download, or print documents telling you how to prepare for your audition and what to expect on the day.

If your situation changes and you can no longer attend your interview date you should cancel your booking in ChiView by visiting your ‘Event Schedule’ and clicking ‘Cancel Attendance’. You also need to inform the admissions team by emailing admissions@chi.ac.uk so we can send you a new audition invitation.

Using ChiView 

Sometimes if you are viewing your ChiView portal on a phone you will not be able to see the page correctly. If this happens you should try again on another device.

You may need to clear your browser history. 

If you are still unable to see the ‘View details’ button, please check that you have successfully booked your audition by clicking ‘respond to interview invitation’.

If all else fails please email admissions@chi.ac.uk with your query and applicant number.

Your Audition Day

You will need to prepare a three minute piece, in any style, but if you’d like to perform something slightly longer or to perform on more than one instrument, or on an instrument and as a singer, just let us know on the day. Composers can opt to bring a recording of some of their work, with a score if there is one, and play this instead if they prefer.

You can park on-site if you buy a pay-and-display ticket but please note that the demand for car park spaces exceeds the spaces available, particularly during term time. For this reason, there are specific parking controls and restrictions to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the University, equity of access and fairness.

There are clearly marked disabled parking bays available at both campuses. 

After Your Audition

After your audition the panel will discuss your application and pass our decision onto the admissions team who will update UCAS.

  • We make bespoke offers: Your offer is specifically for you. If we offer less than your predicted grades, this will reflect the potential and quality of your audition and we’d like to take a bit of pressure off of you heading into your exams.
  • We don’t do unconditional offers: Unless you already have your grades (you are a mature student), we will always insist on certain grade achievements because we want you to succeed in all aspects of your academic life including your A levels, BTEC, etc.
  • If you do not get the grades you wanted: Don’t panic. You received an offer because you were good enough for the department at audition. Ring us on the clearing hotline so we can discuss things with you.
  • We may offer you a different course: We may offer you a place on a course within the department that is different to the one you applied for. If this is the case we will speak to you about this at your audition or shortly afterwards. We will explain our reasoning, which will revolve around placing you on the most appropriate course where we think you will thrive.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

What are UCAS tariff points?

Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.

How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?

Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.

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