Awarded by De Montfort University, our two year degree provides intensive conservatoire-style training with a bias towards actors wishing to develop their entrepreneurial skills as a theatre maker, dramaturgical, and production expertise.
The innovative studies and skills-based modules are appropriate for applicants looking to maintain an interest in performance but want to explore a wider creative practice than purely acting.
The programme consists of 16 modules focusing on character, rehearsal, body and voice, making work and skills. Individuals engage with a broad range of concepts, principles, practitioners, techniques and technologies. Classes include film, TV and stage acting styles and Voice and Movement as the core aspect of the training. The imaginative acting work centres on the student’s connection to their psycho-physical and psycho-vocal experience. Dance is explored technically and expressively alongside enrichment skills in stage combat.
The course design and delivery represents rich collaborative practice between a conservatoire: The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, who endorse the programme, its awarding University and Leicester College who are recognised for excellence in the delivery of undergraduate programmes. The course is delivered by Leicester College at both the Sue Townsend Theatre and our city centre studio within the City Skills Centre.
What You'll Learn
The course offers you an introduction to the basic skills of acting, developing into a more sophisticated and joined up approach to your creative practice. You will experience the development of physical, vocal and imaginative skill sets in relation to theatrical theories that will contribute to your understanding of ideas at the forefront of the profession.
Level 4 modules:
In this module will expect you to embody a basic vocal technique that connects to their imagination and impulse. Key areas of the modules work will focus on freeing tension, releasing the jaw, improving articulation, resonance, connection to breath, the relationship between sound and movement.
This module aims to equip you to understand the process of engaging in rehearsal. You will understand what it is to work with text from the very early stages of a rehearsal process and take this through into performance.
This module aims to give you a toolkit of different approaches to acting and development of character that draw on a range of basic acting concepts, allowing you to respond to differing directorial approaches and to apply personal techniques to solve particular acting problems encountered during the rehearsal process. Classes will be led in two strands: improvisation and acting traditions. Camera technique will be introduced in this module.
Dance for the Actor
Dancing frees the actor, both mentally and physically and develops a strong, flexible, tension-free body whilst increasing fitness levels. Within this module, you will engage in technical classes in ballet, jazz and contemporary dance.
Creative Practice 1
The module aims to increase your awareness of the contributing artistic and stage management expertise that support the craft of acting. Module content essentially develops the student’s understanding of the skills required to develop as an artist, establishing the framework to take on projects and lead them autonomously.
Physicality in Theatre 1
This module aims to give you an experience of a range of actor movement styles that allow them to release physical tension, recognise habit and develop their skills in constructing and performing in physically driven material.
Body and Voice
The aim of this module is to explore the connection of vocal and physical technique in line with the principles explored at level 4. You will engage with practical exercises that move from individual to ensemble developing techniques for expression.
For this module you will engage in one classical scene project and one new writing devised scene project using appropriate rehearsal methodologies.
Building on the level 4 Acting module, you will engage with more complex approaches to scene work and improvisation. The overall aim of the module is to develop complex characters that you are able to sustain within both live and recorded settings.
Creative Practice 2
You will engage with the professional practice of the actor considering the stakeholders in an actor’s career. As a group you will host a fundraising event for a local charity using knowledge from level 4 to engage a local community.
Year two offers you the opportunity to synchronise ideas at the forefront of acting and creative performance practice through a range of performance settings. You will work with your cohort in directed and devising pieces using your creative performance practice in industry environments.
Professional practice will be a core focus of year two, with modules centred around audition and rehearsal skills. You will also work independently to develop your own practical portfolio which will include a performance and reflective work centred on your aspirations upon graduation.
Level 6 modules include:
Dance for the Actor 2
This module will focus on the skills developed through partnered dances and ensemble set studies whilst continuing to free and strengthen the body.
Production 1 – Directed Performance
You will take part in a filmed production experiencing all aspects of crewing as part of this near industry module. The rehearsal and filming process will be guided by a professional director over a four week period.
Production 2 – Devised Performance
At level 6, you will engage in a five week devising process establishing a cross-artform performance that is director led. This will culminate in a performance in the theatre space with invited industry guests.
Creative Practice 3
Through tutorials you will engage in a sustained and deep engagement with a personal research project exploring a performance specialism of their choice to create a solo or ensemble presentation for assessment at the end of the module. You will be encouraged to use the literacies established in the program content to immerse themselves in the potentiality of their creative artistic process.
You will explore the process of auditioning for various industry settings including song, dance, voice over, physical theatre and self-tape. The module will include visiting lecturers, casting directors, agents and guest directors allowing the learner to establish industry ready skills.
Selection is made by audition. Audition days will be held at the Sue Townsend Theatre in Leicester. The details and requirements of the audition process will be made available to applicants.
Additionally, you must have:
1) 112 UCAS tariff points. (NB – exceptional ability and/or considerable life/work experience could be taken into consideration. We positively welcome older students.)
2) GCSE English at Grade C/4
If English is not your first language you must be able to prove a certain level of English proficiency. We need a level B2 in the CEFR system (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages); a level 7.5 in the TEEP system (Test of English for Educational Purposes); or a level 6.0 in the IELTS (International English Language Test System).
For your audition, we need you to prepare a short devised piece of work of your own making (with a maximum length of five minutes). The piece may contain elements of the spoken word, physical theatre, dance, voice etc. and should demonstrate your creative courage, ability and understanding of the nature of performance.
We do not wish to prescribe any particular content but advise that in order to show the full range of your creativity you carefully consider the material you perform.
We are looking for these qualities:
3) Evidence of thought, feeling and emotional freedom
4) Ability to communicate thought, feelings and ideas
5) Self-confidence, focus and concentration
During your interview, you will be asked to evaluate your devised piece.
How you will be assessed
The programme teaching and learning strategies aim to:
1) deliver a curriculum that reflects the skills, knowledge and understanding of modern theatre-making practices
2) guide students through a student-centred approach
3) respond to the changing theatre and performance industry and developments in theories and practices for stage, screen, body and voice.
The course will be taught through a combination of rehearsals, experiential workshop and lectures/seminars. Technique and skills based learning will be achieved through intensive studio based activity with opportunities to engage in practical research, discussion and debate and reflection on creative and critical practice. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with personal tutors to support your learning, discuss progress and reflect on developing independent projects. Attendance and engagement with live theatre performance, installation, master classes, screenings and local exhibitions are an essential part of the learning experience and will inform the development of your on-going professional practice.
You will experience work in and around practical and performance related contexts (both recorded and live) undertaking roles for performance, stage production and camera including research, rehearsal, production and performance. Progressing through the levels of the programme you will engage with tutor/director led learning moving towards increased autonomy in developing creative and critical self-directed projects at level 6.
At all levels there will be around 32 contact hours per week, typically consisting of two hours of lectures/seminar, 9.5 hours of rehearsal, 20 hours of experiential workshop and 30 minutes of tutorial
When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be learning lines, researching character or reflecting on the different modules learning content through blogging or vlogging.
Overall Workload (as an indication)
Levels 4 and 5:
1) most of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
2) Teaching, learning and assessment
3) Independent learning
1) Half of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
2) Teaching, learning and assessment
3) Independent learning
4) You are assessed through performance in groups or alone, portfolios, viva voce, blogs, vlogs and podcasts. There is no requirement for essay or journal based assessment.
A diverse range of assessment methods are used to recognise the wide spectrum of learning and abilities of students.
Assessment is weighted around performances and/or portfolios which is an intense learning experience, allowing you to apply skills and strategies acquired on the module and indicating suitability to practice as an acting and creative performance practitioner.
Formative assessment tasks which happen throughout the module are not marked. This will encourage you to focus on the experiential and experimental nature of the work over the need to achieve impressive marks. This may take the form of presentations, observed rehearsal, peer marking or discussion.
As is usual in theatre training, you are given constant formative feedback in practical classes as well as more formal feedback on your written assignments and practical projects in tutorials.
All public performances and studio performances are recorded.
All summative assessment work is second marked (sometimes through sampling).
Total Fees: £9250.00
You will be required to pay for materials to support your learning. Approximate additional costs will include:
Practical kit: £50
Key Texts: £50
Trips / Performances: £125
If the course is longer than one year the total fees are for the first year only and further fees may apply in future years. All fees are based on a ‘home’ learner status. Please contact us for information on overseas fees.
For more information, please see our course fee disclaimers page.
Course and Career progression
What Happens Next
Applications can be made via UCAS code W413, institution code D26. Due to the nature of this programme, you will also be invited to attend an audition.
Where necessary, other means of interview/audition (i.e. telephone, web-based, CD/DVD) can be arranged.