Theatre Arts BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Theatre Arts BA Honours

Learn about the course below
Code
W400
Start
October 2018
EU/International induction: September 2018
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Nicola Stammers

BA Theatre Arts develops you as a creative, flexible and critical practitioner, preparing you to pursue a wide range of careers in the theatre and entertainment industries and beyond.

Why study BA Theatre Arts at Middlesex University?

From day one you'll get hands-on experience, making theatre right on the doorstep of London’s vibrant cultural scene. Collaborating with fellow actors, directors, designers and technicians you will work with leading industry practitioners, developing your skills at every step in our buzzing theatre spaces.

By building a programme of study that’s fine-tuned to your interests, you'll develop as a thinking practitioner who can understand and work with theatre from many different angles and leave prepared to take your place at the forefront of the next generation of theatre professionals.

Course highlights

  • Be part of over 70 productions, projects and performances realised to a professional standard
  • Immerse yourself in one of the cultural capitals of the world, with the Roundhouse, Barbican and the National Theatre on your doorstep
  • Gain the skills, experience and personal networks to launch your career in theatre and the creative industries
  • Work with professional companies and practitioners throughout your study
  • Refine your work in our vibrant spaces with the latest technologies, available to book 14 hours a day
  • Explore and experiment in a full range of theatre practices including classical, site-specific, physical theatre and immersive

What will you study on the BA Theatre Arts?

Our programme is distinguished by the exit award options. You can leave with any of the following awards by choosing your specialism in your third year:

  • BA Hons Theatre Arts
  • BA Hons Theatre Arts (Performance)
  • BA Hons Theatre Arts (Theatre Directing)
  • BA Hons Theatre Arts (Design & Technical Theatre)
  • BA Hons Theatre Arts (Solo Performance)

From your first year, you’ll be working as part of a student company to train, explore and make work together, developing your creative and critical skills through workshops, seminars and lectures. During the second term, your company focuses on the realisation of a fully-staged tutor-led performance. Recent course content has included the work of Konstantin Stanislavsky, Sarah Kane, Howard Barker, Debbie Tucker Green, Anton Chekov, Bertolt Brecht, Georg Büchner, Complicite, Kneehigh and Frantic Assembly. You will also work intensively with a visiting professional company on a devised project.

You’ll explore collaborative theatre making to challenge and interrogate established theatrical forms. As part of a new student company you will create your own interpretation of a text informed by a range of international 20th Century practitioners. Recent course content has included Antonin Artaud, Augusto Boal, Samuel Beckett, Athol Fugard, Robert Lepage, Caryl Churchill, Pina Bausch, Jacques Lecoq, Es Devlin, Robert Wilson, Katie Mitchell and Anne Bogart. You will also have the opportunity to choose modules that develop your specific interests in acting/performance, design, technical theatre and directing.

You will pitch and produce an original piece of theatre, experimenting with contemporary forms to explore what theatre is and can be. Recent work has featured interactive and immersive theatre, multi-media projects and site-specific performance. Alongside your optional modules, this module consolidates your skills as an independent learner and theatre-maker, while focusing on your personal development and planning your graduate career pathway. Recent course content focuses on contemporary performance practices and has included Cirque du Soleil, Forced Entertainment, Blast Theory, Punchdrunk, Clean Break, Wooster Group, Marina Abramovic, Bobby Baker, Station House Opera, Eugenio Barba, Shunt, dreamthinkspeak.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • Theatre Arts 1 (90 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to introduce a range of key theatrical and broader artistic movements, skills/principles in performance, design and directing and the interrogation of and engagement with relevant methodology and texts. The module aims to establish processes and skills essential to collaborative theatre practice and knowledge of critical tools for analysing a range of key processes and practices to develop understanding of the relationships between Actor, Director and Audience in the theatre environment, an ability to reflect on practice, learning and personal development and a shared understanding of key concepts, contexts and developments in theatre-making.

    • Introduction to Performance Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce a range of performance, direction and devising skills together with an exploration of ideas surrounding the distinct functions of story and narrative within theatrical performance. It aims to examine a variety of devised performance practices in a series of practical workshops. The module also aims to introduce a critical framework and language for examining and understanding both your own and others devised performance practice. It aims to develop your understanding of the relationship between Actor, Director and Audience and to enhance your ability to reflect on and articulate your practice via a shared understanding of key concepts, contexts and developments in a devised theatre environment.

  • Year 2

    • Theatre Arts 2 (60 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with experience of engaging in collaborative theatre-making, developing and applying the processes encountered in Year 1 with increased emphasis on your autonomy and responsibility for the work created. The module aims to develop your knowledge of key theatrical and broader artistic movements through the examination of significant practitioners, styles and texts. It aims to enhance your skills as researchers, writers, and theatre-makers, and enable you to continue your reflection on your own practice, learning, and personal development.

    • Applied Theatre (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to develop an awareness of the cultural and social intervention of theatre in society and provide you with an understanding of the ethical issues involved in working in community contexts. It aims to develop your ability to create collaborative theatre work with community settings in mind. This module also builds and develops skills in the construction/articulation and application of puppets and examines the uses and impact of puppetry in applied theatre. Your reflective and evaluative skills in considering the ethical implications and impact of such practice will be enhanced.

    • Body, Voice and Direction BVD (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to produce confident, effective actors and directors of text based theatre via practical skills studies in structure, score, tempo, tension, style and play. It aims to engage you in a detailed practical examination of texts, introducing key practical and theoretical performance principles and thereby deepening your understanding of the relationships that exist between Actor, Director, Audience and Text. The module aims to develop a shared practical language of understanding for key performance concepts and principles and to enhance your ability to reflect on your practice, learning and personal development.

    • Design, Application Direction (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to develop your ability to observe, analyse, evaluate and critically assess your own and other's work. It aims to strengthen your ability to confidently generate, develop and communicate ideas and information effectively, and become highly proficient in practically executing these concepts. The module also aims to produce a deeper understanding of the collaborative nature of theatre and enhance your practice as designers, directors and theatre-makers through the interrogation of interpretative strategies employed by key practitioners and consolidate methodologies of individual and group working and provide a platform for the acquisition and analysis of theatre related skills and practices.

    • Screen Drama (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to enable you to acquire a critical understanding of a range of forms and styles of screen drama, critically interrogate a range of different screen practices in relation to audiences and contexts of reception and provide you with experience of working collaboratively on a video drama project developing knowledge of working practices.

    • Solo Performance (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide you with experience of exploring a number of forms of solo performance through workshops, seminars and independent study. You will be introduced to a range of solo performance forms and contexts (autobiographical performance, storytelling, body art) to enable you to develop skills in critical analyses and apply them to the work of a range of practitioners. The practical work of the module will focus on your skills as solo performers, creative writers and researchers. Throughout the module, you will be encouraged to continue the development of your reflection on your own practice, learning, and personal development

  • Year 3

    • Theatre Arts 3 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to allow you to critically interrogate a range of key theatrical and broader artistic movements, allowing you to initiate, realise, and contextualise self-directed collaborative theatre projects. You will evaluate and apply processes of critical enquiry in written and practical projects and your skills as independent researchers, writers, theatre-makers, and critical thinkers will be consolidated. You will reflect critically on your own practice, learning, personal development and potential career pathways.

    • Classical Text in Performance (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to address the specific challenges for performers of texts by Shakespeare, and enhance your skills as researchers, writers, and theatre-makers by equipping you with tools for approaching the realisation of plays in verse and other forms of heightened text. The module also provides you with knowledge of the conventions of Ancient and Early Modern European plays, and the implications of those conventions for 21st Century performance.

    • Contemporary Design Practice (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to extend your skills in contemporary design practice. You will further develop your evaluative, critical and communication skills as well as your knowledge of current design approaches and methodologies. You will also further your understanding of the role of the Scenographer in today's society.

    • Contemporary Directing Practice (30 credits) - Optional

      The module aims to extend and develop your skills in theatre directing, furthering your understanding of contemporary directing styles and approaches. It aims to promote relevant evaluative, critical and analytical tools in relation to directing practices and aesthetics, and to explore methodologies and skills required for collaboration with actors, in contemporary theatre-making.

    • Contemporary Performance Practice (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to extend and develop practical performance skills via an exploration of the creative and expressive possibilities of the actor's voice and body. It aims to further develop knowledge of key performance styles, approaches, methodologies, evaluative and critical skills thereby deepening your understanding of a contemporary physical approach to theatre and performance.

    • Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to allow those with suitable aptitude and experience to undertake a supervised placement in a theatre, theatre-related environment, or an educational establishment. This provides you with professional working experience, in which to refine and diversify skills and working methodologies, and develop attitudes and confidence in your abilities to work, and find work in a professional context. You are encouraged to establish professional links with the industry and enhance onward employability potentials through a deeper practical and theoretical understanding of the chosen main focus area.

    • Practice as Research (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to allow you to propose an inquiry into and/or through a form of practice and the academic and/or professional contexts that inform it. As well as deepening and developing research and practice already encountered through the specialisms of the degree, you can examine areas of personal interest that are not substantially explored on the programme. Supported by a tutor, either as an individual or small group-maximum of three students, you will be encouraged to examine how the creative practice in Theatre Arts articulate and embody your chosen inquiry and situates itself in the wider context of professional arts practice. The module also equips you with the preliminary skills and outlook appropriate to PaR postgraduate study within the performing arts.

    • Practice as Research (60 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to allow you to propose a extensive inquiry into and/or through a form of practice,and the academic and/or professional contexts that inform it. As well as deepening and developing research and practice already encountered through the specialisms of the degree, you can examine areas of personal interest that are not substantially explored on the programme. Supported by a tutor, either as an individual or small group-maximum of three students , you are encouraged to examine how the creative practice in Theatre Arts articulate and embody your chosen inquiry and situates itself in wider context of professional arts practice. You will be expected to engage with current discourse on your field of inquiry through attendance at talks, exhibition, performances, conferences, lectures etc.

    • Stand-Up Comedy (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module allows you to develop a comprehensive conceptual understanding of the comic view, in the particular context of the performance of stand-up comedy. Seminars and workshops create opportunities for you to apply this conceptual understanding in a range of activities including writing critical, analytical and for performance and performance. Throughout the module, you continue the development of your reflection on your own practice, learning, and personal development.

    • Theatre Arts Project (30 credits) - Optional

      The module aims to provide you with the opportunity to propose and undertake a fully realised group collaborative theatre arts project, which must culminate in a public performance. It aims to develop your knowledge of production, fundraising, artistic policies and audiences, encouraging externally-facing work and contact with the public and institutions outside the university. It aims to enable you to advance your own practice, learning and personal development.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BA Theatre Arts support your career?

The creative industries are thriving, worth over £84.1 billion to the UK economy. If you want to act, direct, produce, design or perform, this degree will equip you for a robust career in the theatre. Our graduates are renowned for using their expertise to forge careers across a number of creative industries including media, education, fashion as well as entertainment.

Recent graduates have kick-started their careers at the National Theatre, Royal Court and the BBC, as well as setting up their own companies, teaching, and continuing in post graduate training or studying for MAs and PhDs.

Jospehine Machon
Programme Leader, Associate Professor in Contemporary Performance.

Jospehine is the author of Immersive Theatres: Intimacy and Immediacy in Contemporary Performance (2013), (Syn)aesthetics: Redefining Visceral Performance (2009, 2011), and has published widely on experiential and immersive performance. Josephine's research interests address the audience in immersive theatres and the creative intersections of theory and practice across a broad range of contemporary performance.

  • Joe Sims, BA Drama and Theatre Studies

    Joe Sims

    Theatre Arts BA graduate

    Joe graduated from Middlesex University in 2002. In 2012 he won an Offie (People's favourite male performance) for his role as alleged Texan killer Lee Fenton in As We Forgive Them at the Arcola Theatre in London, and in 2013 he starred alongside David Tennant and Olivia Colman in ITV's critically-acclaimed Broadchurch. Joe has more than 50 radio credits to his name, including a run on the much-loved Radio 4 drama The Archers.

    I chose Middlesex because it came with a formidable reputation. Middlesex was one of the universities where alumni went on and forged themselves successful careers in television and theatre, and that was what inspired me to go really.

    The first year was a bit of everything, giving us a veritable smorgasbord of routes into the theatre and laying solid foundations from which to build our careers upon. As the course progressed it gave us the opportunity to specialise in what we really wanted to pursue. There are people from the course who have had successful careers in lighting design and stage management because we had to do all of those things. It also gives you a heightened respect and appreciation for all factors of the theatre, knowing each of the jobs that as an actor you often just see going on around you.

    Middlesex provided a solid foundation and platform for me to spring from. What Middlesex gives you is the chance to be a better professional and it is far-reaching in terms of your subject knowledge. We learned a lot about the pragmatics of performing.

  • Rachel Wood

    Theatre Arts (Performance) BA graduate

    I've found the variety of subjects studied on this course, ranging from Solo Performance and Shakespeare in Performance, to full scale collaborative productions, very exciting and I've formed strong foundations in a number of areas I had not previously studied.

    If I had to choose a particular piece of work I am especially proud of, it would be my performance in Simon Stephen's production of 'Pornography'. I am particularly proud of Pornography as it was recently taken to the Brighton Fringe Festival, Europe's third biggest Arts Festival, with Thrust Theatre Company, which I am now a part of along with several other Middlesex Theatre students.

  • Ryan William Funnell

    Theatre Arts (Design and Technical Theatre) BA graduate

    The passion for the subject from the tutors was evident the moment I walked into the department. I immediately felt comfortable and confident that this was a supportive and enjoyable place to study, and that to me was really important.

    I really like the way the course is put together, with opportunities to explore all aspects of theatrical production through practical, hands on work. I've been able to try my hand at different elements of production and the facilities to be able to do that at Middlesex are wonderful. The ability to then build a course of study over the three years that is unique to you as an individual is a great opportunity.

  • Zayd Wilson

    Theatre Arts (Theatre Directing) BA graduate

    The course has allowed me to network with people who have studied a wide range of theatrical processes. I have met stage designers, directors, actors, stage managers and sound and lighting technicians. To be successful in this industry you need to know a range of people if you wish to work. The fact that many of the tutors either taught or studied at the major drama schools particularly helps when it comes to facilitating this.

    This year I produced an adaptation of Samuel Beckett's Endgame. It enabled me to take a concept that I had in my head and bring it to life. I directed and performed in this piece so the feel, emotion and the aesthetics reflected particularly upon me. I contributed a great deal to this and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

  • Zoe Sofair

    Theatre Arts (Design and Technical Theatre) BA graduate

    The tutors here have been amazing, they are always willing to help you, one on one, and they are very supportive and keen to really integrate you into the industry. The tutors, many of whom are also currently working in theatre, clearly love what they do, and their own dedication is really great to see.

    The skills I've learned on this course, especially as a stage manager or production manager, are transferable to many other industries, and vital for employment in the theatre industry. I am about to start my first job as a production assistant working on international theatre tours for a very successful theatre production company.

  • Henry Martin

    Theatre Arts (Performance) BA graduate

    This course is extremely vocational, and I have enjoyed the hands on approach to teaching by lecturers who are passionate about their craft. During this last year of study, I have even been involved in taking two of our shows to the Brighton Fringe Festival, as part of the theatre company, Thrust, which I feel could not have happened without the support that the University has provided.

    I would like to go into acting professionally, and Middlesex has given me the knowledge to create my own opportunities. The course is fantastic in equipping us with the tools to form a company and create work of high quality. I have also learnt many new skills that I can take with me into the professional world, such as script writing and solo performance. It is here, also, that I discovered my passion for stage management, which I would not have considered before coming to Middlesex.

Other courses

Music BA Honours

Start: October 2018, EU/International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time, Usually 5 years part-time

Code: W301

Dance Performance BA Honours

Start: October 2018, EU/International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W500

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