Musical Theatre Performance students smiling on stage

Develop your performance skills and explore all aspects of theatre production

W43W 
3 years Full Time
Bishop Otter Campus

Top 30

UK University

1. The Guardian University Guide 2022

100%

student satisfaction

2. National Student Survey 2021

5 stars

for teaching quality

3. QS Stars University Rating 2019

Overview

This BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Performance degree includes rigorous practical training in all three key areas of musical theatre, with a heavy focus on performance work. Your final year will be 95% practical work.

You will access full scale production work with professional creative teams, masterclasses with visiting practitioners, and industry focused practical modules including devising skills, ensemble work and a swing project. The course culminates with a graduate showcase performed in London.

You will develop a broad knowledge of musical theatre, its history and how this contributes to contemporary culture. You will gain vocational experience in work-based modules designed to help you to work in a variety of roles.

This degree is an accredited Spotlight UK course, so you will have the opportunity to apply for graduate membership with the largest casting directory in the UK. 

On this course you will:

  • Complete practical training in all three key areas of musical theatre.
  • Work with professional creative teams.
  • Develop your performance skills.
  • Take part in swing projects.
  • Have the opportunity to take part in the graduate showcase in London.
  • Explore musical theatre and its history.
  • Be able to apply for graduate membership with Spotlight UK.

Partnerships

Spotlight logo

Teaching and Assessment

How you will learn

You will be taught by a core team of experienced and highly-qualified tutors alongside a wide-ranging team of acting, dance and vocal coaches drawn from a team of more than 200 specialist staff.

You will take part in skills classes, practical performance training, and seminars and be assessed in separate dance, acting and vocal examinations. You will select a first, second and third study out of the three disciplines of acting, dance and singing,  which each have different weightings on your final grade. The first study is weighted at 50%, the second study is weighted at 30%, and third study is weighted at 20%.

You will be assessed through a range of assignments including essays, portfolios, examinations, performances and practical work, project work, presentations and seminar discussions.

The Course

What you will study

You will study a selection of core and optional modules in each year. Each module is worth a number of credits is delivered differently, depending on its content and focus of study.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Acting, Vocal and Dance Development One

This year-long module with develop your performance and communication skills in the individual musical theatre disciplines of acting, vocal and dance. This module offers a broad range of genres and disciplines including; ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance, one-to-one technical vocal tuition, repertoire classes, vocal ensembles sessions, voice classes, acting technique and studio performances of straight plays. Students will be assessed in all three areas and must select which of the three disciplines will be allocated as their principal, second and third study by the end of semester one: Principal study (50%); Second study (30%); and Third study (20%).

British Musical Theatre

This module introduces you to key skills in examining repertoire. You will explore repertoire from succeeding periods of British Musical Theatre history and examine musical structure with a focus on developments in dance and drama. Awareness of historic performance practice will be emphasized, and connections between music for the stage and film will be explored.

Musical Grammar

This module introduces and familiarises you with a range of aspects of musical structure and its notation.

American Musical Theatre

The module introduces key skills in examining repertoire drawn from succeeding periods of American Musical Theatre history. You will learn to support an examination of musical structure with a parallel focus on developments in dance and drama within the genre.

Acting, Vocal and Dance Development Two

You will understand the importance of communicative performance and of an actively engaging relationship with the viewer will continue to be emphasised in group lessons and in formative performance assessment and a more self-critical approach to standards of presentation will be encouraged in preparing students for the assessment task. Regular practical group lessons and workshops will be supplemented by individual tutorial support and one-to-one teaching sessions. Students will be assessed in all three areas and must select which of the three disciplines will be allocated as their principal, second and third study by the end of semester one: Principal study (50%); Second study (30%); and Third study (20%).

The Musical Theatre Business

You will explore examples of different types of musical theatre performance and the function of a range of professional roles in commercial and publicly funded contexts.

Jazz and the Origins of the Modern Musical

Explore early 20th century examples of musical theatre, with a particular focus on performance style, the role of the pit band/orchestra, use of popular dance forms in supporting the development of narrative, and expressive parallels that exist with mainstream Jazz material.

Contemporary Musical Theatre

This module builds upon the first year modules British and American Musical Theatre by relating an historical overview of the development of the genre to an examination of current trends and practices in musical theatre both here and in the USA.

The Movie Musical

The module will introduce students to key skills in examining repertoire drawn from succeeding periods of movie musical history, supporting an examination of musical structure with a parallel focus on developments in dance and drama within the genre.

Acting, Vocal and Dance Development Three

The importance of communicative performance and of an actively engaging relationship with the viewer will continue to be emphasised in group lessons and in formative performance assessment and a more self-critical approach to standards of presentation will be encouraged in preparing students for the assessment task. Students will be assessed in all three areas and must select which of the three disciplines will be allocated as their principal, second and third study by the end of semester one: Principal study (50%); Second study (30%); and Third study (20%).

Swing Project (Personal Study)

This module will give you an insight to the role of a ‘swing’ within a musical theatre performance context. You will explore performance styles in practical work and be encouraged to approach new and more ambitious material. You will keep a ‘swing bible’ (written log) of all information you need to effectively take part in the performance, in any given role.

Musical Theatre in the Community

You will explore contemporary and recent examples of musical theatre, with a particular focus on transferring that knowledge into a practical community based project, culminating in the students working both on and off campus with children from local schools.

Devising for Musical Theatre

This module will examine some current examples of the genre, mostly in video format, but with the possibility of visits to live performance as appropriate. The relationship between music and drama will be studied and analysed in order to inform your own practical explorations. Tasks in group improvisation will be set throughout the first part of the module.

Devising for Theatre

This module will examine some current examples of the genre, with a focus on how devising processes have been utilised within the field. The historical context of devising will be studied and analysed, in order to inform students’ own practical explorations.

Facilities

Use industry standard spaces and equipment

This programme is taught at our Chichester campus and is located in one of the largest music departments in the UK, with enviable teaching, performance and practice resources.

Other facilities include:

  • On campus and off campus theatre and concert performing spaces, including box office
  • Studio performance space
  • Dedicated dance studios with Harlequin flooring
  • Lighting and sound equipment
  • A suite of 30 practice rooms
  • Dedicated pit band and orchestral rehearsal rooms
  • Dedicated chamber music building
  • High quality kits, amps, PA, mics and other equipment
  • Dedicated acting rehearsal rooms
  • Concert pianos supplied by Steinway & Sons
  • Practice grand pianos supplied by Steinway & Sons

You will also use the 350-seater Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis, and a range of external theatre venues in the UK and overseas.

The Assembly Theatre on our Bognor Regis Campus is a multi-purpose rehearsal and theatre studio space, seating up to 80 people. The Bognor Regis campus is seven miles from the Bishop Otter campus and is connected by frequent buses. Our students therefore have access to both an historic cathedral city and an iconic south-coast seaside resort.

Work Placements

Gain experience in industry

You will have the opportunity to take part in a range of work placements during your degree to gain transferable skills and prepare for your career in musical theatre. 

Final year students have a dedicated agents and industry showcase in an external venue with additional careers workshops and advice from leading industry professionals available to them after graduation.

You can also develop skills in technical theatre and arts management roles in supporting performance projects.

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

Where you could go after your studies

This BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Performance degree will prepare you for your future career. You will have the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills to enhance your CV and your employability.

Many past graduates are now working in some of the principal producing houses.

As performers, alumni have gone into:

  • West End productions
  • Major touring productions throughout Europe
  • Major cruise ships including Disney
  • UK and International small-scale touring theatre
  • ​Film and TV in both the UK and US
  • Edinburgh Festival
  • Cabaret
  • Stage managers, arts managers and producers picking up contracts in the UK and around the world

Further Study

You could choose to continue your studies at postgraduate level.

Study options at the University of Chichester include:

  • MA Music Performance
  • MA Music Teaching
  • 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.

Lucy Counsell

Graduate
"I’ve just graduated from Musical Theatre Performance and I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made auditioning for this course. This course provides a multitude of opportunities that are primarily performance based which is ideal for people seeking performance-related routes. The teachers on this course I found were not only extremely knowledgeable of their chosen subject, but of the industry in its entirety plus they are caring of each individual and certainly gave up huge amounts of their time to help people in whatever way they could. The course leader, Andrew Wright, leads by example. I am most grateful for his guidance because there could have been many times whereby I could have crumbled from the pressure of being in our final year but Andrew often knew how to help us get over these hurdles and give us an indication on how to continue on a path that was in the right direction for us. I could not have completed my time at University in a better light, being on such a close-knit, driven and passionate course made me always aim to be the best version of myself."

Evie Evans-Wright

Graduate
"The practical classes offered to us on the Musical Theatre Performance course taught us to be industry ready, filtering our song repertoire to be ready for any audition situation, teaching us how to behave and dress appropriately in an audition room and understand the industry. The swing project is so much more than just a module, it is a lifelong lesson in our careers, which taught a state of readiness, awareness and preparation which is essential to have as a cast member in a production. Musical Theatre Performance training offers so much more than just training. It offers a family, and teaches students to be honest, kind, humble, supportive and compassionate. The course provides a network of support and advice. The head of the programme dedicates so much time, effort, energy and passion into making the course the best it can possibly be. I cannot recommend this course highly enough!"

Course Costs

Course Fees 2022/23

UK fee
£9,250
International fee
£14,500

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
BBC
BTEC
DDD-DMM
IB
26 points
IELTS
6.0
with no element lower than 5.5.

Auditions

You will need to demonstrate your ability in dance, acting and singing in a performance audition. Applicants with high levels of performance skills may be considered for a lower academic offer.

Interviews and Auditions

Your audition

Auditions and interviews usually run from December until March.

We aim to offer you a genuine dialogue during your application process. This gives you a sense of worth and achievement from the audition process itself; a sense of ownership for you during the process and, ultimately, is an opportunity for us to get a clear understanding of who you are, what you need, and how we can best prepare you for your degree.

We judge you on your skills, your potential, and your personality, not your background.

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

Please prepare:

  • Vocal – two contrasting songs that demonstrate your vocal ability and acting through song, both edited to 1.5/2 minutes.
  • Dance – yourself for a multi-genre dance call involving technical work in the centre and from the corner.
  • Acting – a short monologue that is relevant to the Musical Theatre genre and you as an actor, of roughly 2 minutes in length.

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.

Emma Southworth

Graduate
"During my time at the University of Chichester on the Musical Theatre Performance course, I received some excellent training that has prepared me for a career in the industry. The programme is structured to include a large number of practical sessions and lots of contact time. In our final year, we had mock audition classes across all three disciplines which was the final push in our training to really get us ready for the industry. This meant that our timetables were always so busy, which is exactly what I was looking for when coming to university! The production and performance opportunities are incredible and are so well organised with us students being placed at the front of the experience. The audition processes for these shows are run as close to how a professional audition would, with industry professionals on the panel. This was such a good way to prepare us for the harsh reality that sometimes you aren’t always what the panel are looking for. The thing that I loved most about my three years at the University of Chichester was being in a room with people who shared the same passion that I did. Having teachers and lecturers who drive you and inspire you to keep going, even when you hit a low point, they are always there to pick you up and get you back on track. I do not think I would have been given the same experience anywhere else and cannot thank the course leader, Andrew Wright, and the rest of the department for their commitment to delivering such an amazing programme."

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.

When does this course start?

This course starts in September 2022.

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