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Code
W401
Start
October 2023
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Stefanie Sachsenmaier

Theatre is the beating heart of the UK’s thriving creative industries. Internationally renowned for nurturing some of the world’s best talent both onstage and behind the scenes. Our campus is located only 20 minutes from London’s most prestigious theatres, you’ll benefit from exploring London’s theatre industry, from the world-famous West End to its unrivalled fringe scene. You will gain many opportunities to follow your passion, whatever your interest.

This innovative degree will allow you to gain the skills you need to build a portfolio career in the arts. Our practical Theatre courses are designed in collaboration with industry to put you centre stage. We offer outstanding hands-on training in acting and performance, design and technical theatre, directing and producing for theatre. You will have the flexibility and creative freedom to test your creative powers in our theatre spaces on campus as well as partnering with venues and companies across and beyond London.

Depending on your passion, you can graduate with one of the following pathways:

· BA Theatre (Acting)

· BA Theatre (Design)

· BA Theatre (Directing)

Follow in the footsteps of a long list of decorated graduates including: Alan Carr: Comedian, broadcaster and writer, Tangled Feet: Ensemble theatre company featured on BCC, ITC and The Guardian, Munotida Chinyanga: Director and Sonic Artist, Zakk Hein: Video designer, Associate at Luke Halls Studio, and many more.

Learn more about the course and last year’s graduates on our Creative Graduates 2022 exhibition site.

Why study Theatre with us?

Wondering whether to choose a university course or a drama school? This course offers the best of both worlds by combining highly practical teaching and a wide range of performance opportunities with the chance to closely examine why and how theatre is made, giving you the freedom to pursue your interests and discover what makes you unique as a performer and practitioner.

Course highlights

  • Theatre Arts MDX presents… Join our student theatre companies and take part in a large-scale production project at the end of every year, leading to a third-year festival of original student work at a major London venue.
  • Gain experience of the industry through a placement at one of our many partner venues and companies, including the National Theatre, Royal Opera House and Jackson’s Lane, or lead on your own professional projects.
  • Work closely with visiting companies such as Gecko and People Show, as well as our faculty of industry practitioners, all of whom are expert professionals in their fields – spanning acting, design, technical theatre, directing, performance art, comedy, writing and more.
    Get hands-on in our cutting-edge theatres, workshops and VR spaces, and have your work seen at partner venues across and beyond London, including Camden People’s Theatre, Artsdepot, OPEN Ealing, Downstairs at the King’s Head, Teatro di Roma (Rome) and many more.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on BA Theatre?

You’ll get hands-on training from our experienced staff and visiting professionals in acting, movement and voice, set, lighting, costume, sound and digital design, as well as directing, writing and even stand-up comedy and performance art!

You can choose to focus on one specialism or try lots of different things. You’ll learn all the production skills you need to make your work a reality, as well as creative skills like textual analysis and devising. You will learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively as a professional creative, and you will gain a thorough understanding of the industry and the employability skills you need to find work and affect real change in society through your artistic practice.

What skills will you gain?

This is a practical degree, so everything you learn you will be able to put into practice in our theatre spaces and at external partner venues, with a large-scale production every year and many more practical projects. You’ll learn all the performance, design, technical and dramaturgical skills you need to stage your work, and how to collaborate and communicate with others to bring all your different skills and interests together. You’ll also learn how to reflect on and contextualise your practice through presentations, portfolios and written tasks.

Later on, in your course, you will gain exposure to the industry through placements, external projects and seminars, and learn how to negotiate a career in the fast-changing creative industries.

Modules

  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Making Theatre (30 credits)

      The module aims to establish key processes and practices essential to collaborative theatre-making and to develop an understanding of the relationships between Actor, Director, Designer, and Audience in a theatre setting through the delivery of practical and/or virtual workshops and skills training.

      You will gain a shared understanding of key concepts, contexts, and developments in theatre making, and you will develop your ability to reflect on your practice, learning, and personal development.

    • Perspectives on Theatre (30 credits)

      This module introduces contexts of theatre and performance practices, as well as key concepts, theories, and methodologies relevant to performance practices and their forms.

      • You will develop critical skills through engaging with relevant theoretical frameworks and testing these in relation to first-hand experiences of performance practices.
      • You will engage with models of contextualisation and analysis of theatre and performance practices in audio, visual, and written forms.
      • You will be instructed in the basic skills required for critical discussion and essay writing, with an understanding of how to employ methods of research.

      The module aims to foster flexibility and independence by offering pathways for blended learning, which make use of online learning resources, remote interaction, and visits to current live events.

      Pathways of self-directed learning are structured in response to the ideas, practices, and methods of analysis introduced and negotiated in response to each student’s individual interests and needs.

    • Introduction to Design and Production (30 credits)

      The module aims to introduce you to key practices that are important to contemporary theatre design.

      It will develop your evaluative, critical, and communication skills; introduce contemporary design approaches, methodologies, and applications; and develop a sensibility to the role of the Scenographer.

      You will be introduced to interpretive strategies and will create practice-based projects throughout the module to explore your approach to creating design-led work from a variety of sources.

      Further, the module aims to improve how you describe, discuss and write about theatre design and production.

      This module is further supported through a series of skills classes running through the year.

    • Introduction to Acting and Performance (30 credits)

      The module aims to establish key processes and practices essential for the actor/performer and for the preparation and performance of play texts and devised theatre.

      You will develop contemporary interpretations of extracts from playtext(s) and create originally devised performance responses, applying practical and analytical skills in a sustained process of inquiry and development, rehearsal, and realisation in a collaborative and disciplined manner.

      Further, the module aims to improve how you describe and discuss acting and performing, and the ideas and background of text-based and devised theatre. You will also develop your ability to improve through consideration of and reflection on your practice, learning, and personal development.

      This module is further supported through a series of skills classes running through the year.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Theatre Industry: Applied Practice (30 credits)

      This module aims to enhance your critical consideration of the social, political and ethical implications of engaging with an audience through your practice.

      You will develop employability and workshop-leading skills and enhance your awareness of possibilities in the industry for engagement and impact.

      The module encourages your ethical consideration of who theatre is for, why, and how this can impact the work from initial concept through to its practical realisation with an audience; challenging and deepening your thinking around the cultural and social intervention of theatre in society, and the relationship between audience/ performer.

      You will gain experience in engaging in theatre practices designed for a community or real-world setting and enhance your reflective and evaluative skills on the impact of such practices.

      You will develop your understanding of the current funding climate within the industry and recognise opportunities for placing and developing work within that context.

    • Performance Project (30 credits)

      The module aims to develop your skills as a performer and theatre-maker, allowing you to apply the discipline-based skills encountered in other modules in a collaborative performance project.

      You will collaborate with students on the BA Theatre Design and Production programme to conceive and realise a collaborative project, working on a shared brief and taking responsibility for performance/physical (and digital, as appropriate/practical) aspects; as well as contributing to the overall thematic and contextual aims and organisational aspects of the project.

      You will build on processes and practices encountered in year 1 with increased emphasis on your individual and group responsibility for and autonomy over the work created, allowing you to initiate, realise and contextualise a variety of studio-based and/or digital theatre-based projects.

      Through this, you will also reflect on your practice, learning, and personal development. You will also develop your research and writing skills by producing a 2,500-word essay that contextualises an area of interest, practice, or specialism, which can create a foundation for your practical exploration.

  • Year 2 - Optional

    • Creative Collaborations (30 credits)

      TBC

    • The Actor and Director (30 credits)

      The module aims to extend key principles that were introduced in THE1001 by focusing on the relationship between actor, director, and play text.

      You will develop skills in text analysis, speaking text, and staging/performance through a project-based approach. Further, you will engage with a range of acting and performing systems, including training of voice and body.

      In this module, you will investigate more closely the respective roles of the actor and the director working in rehearsal with a play text and engage in close analysis of action.

      You will also develop your ability to reflect on your practice, learning, and personal development.

    • The Scenographer (30 credits)

      This module aims to enhance your practice as a scenographer and theatre-maker through the interrogation of approaches and examination of interpretative strategies employed by key practitioners.

      You will take account of significant developments in contemporary theatre design, relating to innovation in the field, alerting you to relevant trends and movements in current scenographic practice.

      This module also aims to develop your ability to observe, analyse, evaluate and critically assess your own and others' work from an informed perspective and consolidate methodologies of individual and group practices and approaches.

      Finally, it aims to strengthen your ability to generate, develop and communicate ideas, concepts, and information effectively; and become proficient in executing these concepts.

    • The Writing and Dramaturg (30 credits)

      This module aims to develop your critical understanding and application of a range of techniques for dramatic writing and dramaturgical intervention.

      It aims to enhance your comprehension of dramaturgical strategies employed in the creation and composition of theatre and to develop your ability to analyse the underlying structural strategies underpinning theatre texts and performance work.

      It aims to develop your critical awareness through the analysis of theatre texts and performance work, thereby enhancing your ability to make informed decisions about the work you are generating.

      The practical exploration of elements of dramatic structure aims to equip you with the tools to develop your own writing/ dramaturgical interventions for/ in performance.

      You will conceive of and develop a written project throughout the module, with the aim of developing your understanding and grasp of the dramatic form as a tool to communicate your ideas.

    • The Solo Performer (30 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with the experience of exploring a number of forms of solo performance through workshops, seminars, and independent study.

      You are introduced to a range of solo performance forms and contexts (e.g. autobiographical performance, performance art, storytelling, body art) to enable you to develop skills in critical analyses through a cultural contextual lens and your work will be enhanced by an exploration of key practitioners and practices.

  • Year 3 - Compulsory

    • Theatre Industry: Placement and Portfolio (30 credits)

      This module aims to prepare you for a career in the creative industries by providing opportunities to engage in a range of externally-facing projects, placements, and/or critical investigations into professional practice.

      It aims to develop your knowledge of professional skills and theories around areas such as producing, fundraising, artistic policies, and audience development as well as refining and diversifying methodologies, attitudes, and competencies for seeking and undertaking work in a professional context(s) that you identify in agreement with your supervisor.

      You will be encouraged to establish professional links and enhance onward employability potential through a practice-led understanding of your chosen professional context(s) and contextualise your own creative practice/identity within a wider industry context.

    • Theatre Festival (30 credits)

      The module aims to consolidate and further your knowledge and skills as performance makers and critical thinkers, enabling you to embed reflection and critical inquiry within your own practice, personal development, and view of future career pathways.

      All students in our programmes (BA Theatre Performance and Production, BA Theatre Design and Production, BA Theatre Directing and Production) will create a collaboratively conceived performance project, which will be presented as part of a Theatre Festival.

      In these productions, you will synthesise and apply professional production processes and skills developed throughout the programme. Emphasis will be placed on autonomous decision-making and the originality of the work created.

      As a cohort you will produce the Theatre Festival as an outward-facing public showcase, encouraging you to consider your work within professional contexts, e.g. studio-based and/or digital practices.

      You will also undertake a group interview in which you apply critical interrogation of identified theatrical principles, practices, movements, or theories relevant to your performance project.

      Alternatively, you can opt to pursue your research into collaborative performance practices through a dedicated dissertation pathway that is supported by individual supervision.

  • Year 3 - Optional

    • Design: Scenography and Technology (30 credits)

      TBC

    • Directing: Practices and Philosophies (30 credits)

      This module aims to extend and develop your skills in theatre directing by widening your critical and contextual knowledge of contemporary directing practices and applying this to practical work and reflections on that work.

      You will initiate a series of directing projects enabling you to take a nuanced approach to developing and analysing your professional identity as a director of the theatre and/or live performance, and you will consider where this practice intersects with other skills and disciplines you have engaged with on your programme.

    • Performance: Body and Training (30 credits)

      The module aims to extend your abilities in making ‘physical theatre’. You will engage with a variety of training systems, create material and improvise scores, leading to a final performance of original work. You will also encounter training regimes that focus on physical skills and mind/body connections.

      Through practice-led sessions that investigate the concepts and methodologies of ‘physical theatres’, you will re-examine the work and position of the actor/performer in relation to the current and historical practice of the 20th and 21st-century performance-making and training ensembles.

      Further, you will consolidate, question, and extend your knowledge of a range of significant theatre practitioners and practices.

    • Theatre Laboratory (30 credits)

      This module aims to allow you to identify a specific site of exploration and experimentation and to engage in a practice-led Research and Development project relevant to the chosen area.

      As well as refining knowledge and praxis already encountered on the degree, you are encouraged to examine areas of particular interest or specialism that you have not yet substantially explored during your programme and/or develop individual or small group project work with your own professional practice and/or onward study in mind, with the support of a staff supervisor.

      The module incentivises risk and experimentation, encouraging you to consider the practical research process as an end in itself without the pressure of working towards a finished outcome and to critique and reflect on your own and others’ working processes.

      The module also equips you with preliminary skills relevant to Practice as a Research study at the postgraduate level.

    • Solo: Stand-up Comedy / Performance Art (30 credits)

      This module aims to extend your individual performance practices in one of two pathways: stand-up comedy or performance art.

      After electing your pathway, you will develop practical skills and contextual knowledge in one of these forms, applying appropriate performance theory and/or performance philosophy.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  4. Interviews
  1. UK
  2. EU fees
  3. EU / International
  4. Additional costs

How can the BA Theatre support your career?

You can expect to progress to a career in areas such as performance and performance-making, directing, dramaturgy, producing and arts management, scenography-related careers in set, lighting, sound, costume and video design, art direction, technical and production management; as well as careers in arts administration, teaching and non-theatre-based careers within film, media, events, fashion and other creative industries.

A large number of graduates go on to form their own companies, collectives and arts organisations, while many also opt to continue study at postgraduate level, including at drama schools and conservatoires.

You’ll have lifelong access to MDXworks, the university’s careers service, and employability and career development are embedded at every stage of your programme, including the two Theatre Industry modules.

Industry reports describe Theatre as an excellent subject area for academic study, with highly transferrable professional skills such as collaboration, communication and problem-solving. Creative careers are some of the most future-proof in the economy, and they account for 2.3 million jobs in the UK. (Source: Creative Industries Council)

  • Joe Sims, BA Drama and Theatre Studies

    Joe Sims

    Theatre 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 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 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 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 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 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.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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