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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
This module introduces contexts of theatre and performance practices, as well as key concepts, theories, and methodologies relevant to performance practices and their forms.
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.
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.
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 response
s, 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.
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.
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.
This module aims to develop your ability to apply your skills in areas such as design and technical theatre, project management and audience engagement to a collaborative project. The module takes advantage of existing partnerships both within and beyond the University, while also responding to current practice and opportunities to develop new partnerships, in which you will act as creative ambassadors. You will extend and challenge your understanding of collaboration, working with artists/practitioners to push at the boundaries of conventional theatre practice, and there will be opportunities to work on projects led by other creative disciplines beyond theatre. You will be introduced to a range of approaches that enable effective and ethical collaborations with audiences and will consider ways of engaging with individuals and agencies in order to create projects in a professional context. You will explore your role as collaborator and will develop an insight into the considerations of designing and implementing theatre activities, events and performances in a variety of external contexts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This module enhances your design practice through the exploration of approaches and methods used by key contemporary scenographers. You’ll learn about significant developments in theatre design and explore current trends and technological developments. You’ll further develop your skills and approaches in designing through space, initiating a practical design-led project.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Ryan William Funnell
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.