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Acting BA (Hons)

An established, unique and highly practical Actor training programme, delivered by industry professionals in a diverse university setting.

UCLan’s BA (Hons) Acting prepares you for a range of employment and vocational opportunities as a professional actor in Theatre, TV, Film and Radio/Voice Work along with community arts; the entertainment and media industry; and further academic study. This degree covers key areas such as; movement & vocal techniques, rehearsal processes, textual analysis skills, acting for theatre, radio and screen; professional preparation along with contextual knowledge, research skills and creative and devising skills.

The course is highly practical and all of the work students engage in is directed towards performance, the majority of which is presented in the public domain. You will appear in directed, public performances in your second and third year and in Graduate Showcases in Manchester and London. The BA (Hons) Acting has now established itself within the industry as a unique alternative to traditional drama school training. Graduates from this course are eligible for Equity and Spotlight membership.

 

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National Student Survey 2018

Drama at UCLan - ranked 2nd in the North West for Academic Support and 3rd in the North West for teaching on the course.

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The BA (Hons) Acting degree at UCLan is one of the newest acting courses in the UK, with a growing reputation both regionally and nationally as a unique training ground for actors. It's a production-based course that develops the practical skills and knowledge required to work in the field of Acting, Performance and Theatre as well as your creative potential, so that you can maximise your engagement with a huge variety of opportunities.

All Acting students work with teachers who are themselves professional practitioners in a range of disciplines including acting, directing, singing and vocal practice, movement, and TV production. Staff are also engaged in academic research at home and abroad.

To learn more about our School and the range of courses within it, go to our homepage. If you’d like to learn more about the successes and awards experienced by our students, staff and alumni, visit our news page.

Tom Hardman - Alumni

Watch a recent video of Tom Hardman at the Degree Show 2016. Tom, who has already featured in the BBC’s Our Zoo and Doctors, won a DS16 award for his screen acting:

Lancashire Arts Festival 2017 award winner – Lauren Bugg

Lauren’s Acting course led to her winning a Lancashire Arts Festival award for a selection of screen and live performances by Lauren in third year
 

 

The course is 85% practical. All practical elements are contextualised by theatre studies which will provide you with the level of knowledge, analysis and evaluation expected of an honours graduate. You will also have the opportunity to develop the skills and attributes needed in order to devise original creative works in theatre.
 



“Training on the BA (Hons) Acting at UCLan really set me up for life as a professional actor. My training was an incredible experience, I gained valuable knowledge, skills, and professional contacts which helped me start my career."

Mandip Gill (Yasmin in Dr Who, Phoebe McQueen in Hollyoaks, Shazia Amin in Doctors & Padma Kholi in Good Karma Hospital)

 

Dying For It


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UCLan’s actor training was a great experience for me. It gave me the discipline I needed as an actor and helped me improve my technique in so many areas. It was a great university to come to and it was fantastic to be able to stay in the North West once I’d graduated.

Gary Hanks

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  • Practice-based - with the majority of study being in workshops and the majority of assessment
  • occurring through performance or presentations. We emphasise the importance of performance technique within creative study.
  • Vocational - career relevant study with input from the profession into the design content and delivery of the courses, as well as modules that focus specifically on career planning and preparation; live projects occur throughout all courses.
  • Taught by practitioners - all the course tutors are practising performing artists, all with national and in some cases international reputations; in addition to these permanent staff we have a programme of specialist inputs from visiting practitioners and lecturers.
  • Production-based - much of the work students will engage in is directed towards performance, much of it presented in the public domain.
  • Underpinned by research - all staff are active academic researchers and we have built study of research skills and methodologies into all of the undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
  • Modularised - with clear targets, objectives and assessment criteria and supported by regular tutorial and feedback sessions.
  • Underpinned by a student support system - this includes a number of technical and administration staff, student counsellors, careers staff, as well as ITC and library resources, and a broad range of technical and learning resources specific to the performing arts.


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Sarah George

 

The tutors are professional with a refreshing and engaging style of teaching. Clearly, a lot of time is invested into all aspects of the course including the auditions which is evident in how well organised and structured the day is. Five minutes into the workshop I was sold on this being the place I wanted to train.


Sarah George  2013 Graduate - Celine McQueen in Hollyoaks

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Level 1 prepares students in each of the core disciplines that will be followed throughout the programme, movement, voice and contextual studies. You will develop expressive potential and develop the disciplines of an on-going daily practice and at the same time develop the capacity for receiving and offering constructive criticism. Study at this level takes the form of improvisation, play, active analysis and discussion rather than formal direction. You will develop key study skills and the ability to research background material.

At Level 2, you will develop all of these practices. You will work with contemporary texts, study acting for the camera and acting for radio. You will create work using disciplines derived from a number of body-based practices such as Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, Viewpoints, clown, ensemble acting, along with extended voice practice. The year’s work culminates in a public performance.

As you prepare to go into the industry, your final year also includes acting for the camera, and audition technique. You will practice filmed auditions, devise and perform original work, prepare audition pieces, develop your own website and present public performances. All these skills mean that you will be well equipped for a broad range of performing arts associated careers. The year also includes opportunities to take part in Showcases in Manchester and London.


Employability and Industry Links with interactive                                           

The BA (Hons) Acting is a dynamic industry driven course. Throughout your three years you will also have opportunities to take part in extra -curricular activities and projects through interactive, which has been designed to not only encourage students and graduates to be pro-active in creating their own work but also to provide industry experience; extra training opportunities and give support and advice. Through interactive we will urge you to stay in touch with UCLan Acting during your first years in the industry for professional advice/guidance, audition-coaching, use of facilities and collaboration on creative projects.

Most graduates from this course choose a career in acting. The course has an impressive track record and a growing reputation for producing young screen actors, three recent graduates have appeared as regular characters in two of the nation’s leading soap opera’s. On average, fifty percent of graduates find agents immediately after appearing in our showcases and many have gone on to work with some of the UK’s leading company’s including; the Royal Exchange Theatre, The RSC, The National Theatre, Volcano Theatre Company, BBC, ITV and Channel Four. In addition, several graduates have formed Theatre Companies; created their own work and received Arts Council of England funding.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Three years

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:

    W410

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Fees 2019/20

    Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

  • View 2018/19 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma:Merit, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Distinction
Pass Access Course: 106 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no subscore lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent 

We welcome students with qualifications in other subjects, but who have shown a significant commitment to theatre performance. All applicants must attend an audition/ interview.

Personal Statement Advice

It's never too early to start working on your personal statement. We've got some useful hints and tips to help you make a great first impression.

Advice & Guidance

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Course Overview

Year 1

Acting Fundamentals
 

  • Meyerhold’s Theatrical Biomechanics
  • Stanislavski Technique
  • Yoga
  • Clown
  • Voice Production
  • Animal Studies
  • Shakespeare

(Over the 3 years there are 7 compulsory modules in total.)

 

Year 2

The Expressive Actor
 

  • Viewpoints
  • Mask
  • Extended Voice
  • Ensemble Acting
  • Singing
  • Devising

The Contemporary Actor

  • Contemporary Text
  • Radio Acting
  • Screen Acting 1 (Single Camera)

Acting for Theatre 1

  • Production with 4 week full time rehearsal

Year 3

The Professional Actor
 

  • Audition Technique
  • Professional Preparation
  • Screen Acting 2 (Multi-Camera)

The Actor as Creator

  • Devising

Acting for Theatre 2

  • Production with 4 week full time rehearsal

UCLan Open Days

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Performance lies at the heart of the teaching and learning experience. Training techniques include Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, Stanislavsky, Michael Chekhov, Classical Acting and Acting for the Camera. Practical work is contextualised by theatre studies and underpinned by the level of knowledge, analysis and evaluation expected of an honours graduate.

Course delivery is modular, with 7 modules in total. 85% of the programme delivery is practical and based upon workshop sessions. The majority of assessment is practical based and made up from Formative assessment, Summative assessment and Self and peer-assessment. All practical assessment to be accompanied by a supporting document or viva voce. There are no written examinations.


Professional Accreditation

English Regions Skills Review 2015

UCLan has received a special mention in the English Regions Skills Review 2015 for its investigative work in bridging the gap between education and the workplace. According to the Report:

The bond between education and the industry is far stronger in the regions. The links between the industry and colleges and universities are well forged and productive. Both sides are keen to work together . . . The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is investigating a Spark finishing school to concentrate on specific skills gaps identified by this research (and others) around production management (among others).

At the forefront of this is the ‘soap-in-a-week’ collaboration in which ITV Studios and UCLan are partnering up. Cast and crew from Emmerdale and Coronation Street will work with UCLan students from a host of courses to brainstorm ideas, storyline the first episode, script, rehearse, shoot and show it, all in five days. ITV will be there for guidance only and the idea and execution will be done entirely by the students. For further information on this story, to receive a copy of the English Regions Skills Review, or for more details about how UCLan is bridging the gap between education and the creative industries, contact Emma Speed on 01772 895959.


Opportunities

You will be strongly encouraged to stay in touch with staff during your first years in the industry for professional advice/guidance, audition-coaching, use of facilities and collaboration on creative projects. Most graduates from this course choose a career in acting. Recent graduates have gone on to work at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Volcano Theatre Company, West Yorkshire Playhouse, BBC, ITV and Channel Four. However, the course also prepares you for a range of employment and vocational opportunities including professional theatre, TV, film and radio, community arts, the entertainment and media industry. Additionally, you can progress to further academic study.

Our graduates have secured a wide variety of in Theatre TV and film these include:

  • Mandip Gill - Yasmin in Dr. Who Padma Kholi (Regular) Good Karma Hospital (ITV) Casualty (BBC) Pheobe McQueen - Hollyoaks
  • Sam Edwards - Mike Leigh's Peterloo - Mighty Heart Theatre - HOME Manchester
  • Kattreya Scheurer-Smith - Amazon in Wonder Woman Warner Bros
  • Riley Carter - Birdsong Theatre Royal, Kyle (Regular) EastEnders (BBC1)
  • Freddie Bolt - Reece Murgatroyd in Ackley Bridge (Channel 4)
  • Charlotte Reynard - Rebecca Grey (Episode Lead) Doctors (BBC 1)
  • Alyssia Jarvis - Vanquis Ad x 2 (Featured) Party Skills for the End of The World,Manchester International Festival
  • Gary Hanks - Dane Everton - Coronation Street (ITV)
  • Brenton Hamilton - Lamont in Danny and the Human Zoo (BBC Drama) Mr Tumnus The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Birmingham Rep)
  • Luke Halliwell - Ben in Broken Biscuits Gothenburg English Theatre-Andre in Simon -Milkshake (Channel 5) Direct Line Commercial
  • Sarah George - Celine McQueen (Regular) Hollyoaks (Channel 4)
  • Ellis Todd - Happy Valley Series 2, Episode 1 and 4 (BBC 1)
  • Kris W. Laudrum - Disneyland & Butterkist Ad's King Edward in Car Park King Every Egg a Bird Theatre Company
  • Tom Hardman - Archie Our Zoo (BBC 1 Drama)
  • Mike Coombes - Meatballs Cucumber, Banana and Tofu by Russell T Davis (Channel Four)
     

 

Industry Links

All acting students are supported by teachers who are themselves professional practitioners in a range of disciplines and all lecturers have industry experience. The course has links with employers, agents and casting directors in the region.

Arriva North project

Here is the work of UCLan students for David Wilkinson at Arriva North.

Our facilities

The course is delivered in the Media Factory and St.Peter’s Arts Centre. The Media Factory is a multi-million pound, purpose-designed hub for Performing Arts and Media Students. It houses state of the art industry standard facilities including; TV studios; a large fixed exterior street set; digital editing suites; radio studios; motion capture suite; green screen and professionally equipped studio theatre spaces; rehearsal rooms and Mac and PC computer suites. These resources are provided to help students respond to a rapidly changing employment landscape. Students have 24/7 access to the Media Factory and its resources. St. Peter’s Arts Centre is a beautiful converted church at the centre of the campus. It contains a fully equipped performance space and is used by Acting students for teaching and final year productions.


Check out what we've been up to ...

UCLan student makes soap opera history

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) acting student will make UK television soap opera history by being the first ever transgendered actor to play a transgender character in a continuing role.

New ‘street’ created in Preston

A new ‘street’ with a difference has been built in Preston city centre to enhance the creative abilities of University students.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has created an outdoor television set on campus which will allow students to learn more practical media skills in an industry standard environment.

Aimee Leigh

BA (Hons) Acting, 2011

Aimee Leigh studied BA (Hons) Acting and graduated in 2011. After looking at several universities, she decided that the acting course at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) was the one for her and was inspired by the tutors which she encountered.

Since graduating, Aimee has opened her own business and owns the Pauline Quirke Academy in Preston, working with young children and inspiring the next generation.

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Journalism, Media and Performance
Telephone us for further information +44(0)1772 892400
or email us at: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk | Book a visit

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2018 Entry | 2019 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.