Qualification: BA (Hons)
Course Length: 3 years / 4 years
UCAS Code: W440 / W441

Please note: This programme is not recruiting for the academic year 2019/20

Programme overview

The BA Theatre and Performance programme offers students the best of both worlds: practical theatre making opportunities in a prestigious conservatoire, and academic enquiry provided by leading researchers in the field. Our ambition is not just for students to enter an industry; we want you to change it by questioning received wisdom, making your own work, and developing your own voice as a creative and critical thinker and doer.

The programme is built around three closely-connected areas: theatre making and performing, working behind the scenes in design, management and technical practice, and researching the theories and philosophies that will help you foster your own understanding of what makes theatre and performance important and valuable right now, in the present moment. As you progress through the programme, you’ll get to specialise in areas that appeal to you most by selecting from our suite of optional modules, which include opportunities to study on other programmes including Dance, Film and Creative Writing. This makes our students well-rounded and highly employable, particularly if they take up the opportunity to spend a year in industry, where you won’t just be having the occasional masterclass with leading artists and companies; you will be working with them as a trusted member of their team.

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Programme structure

In the first year, you’ll be introduced to each of the programme’s three key areas. This includes practical skills workshops and performances, working both practically and theoretically with light, sound and stage management, and looking critically at theatre histories.

Expect to engage with ‘cornerstones’ of Western theatre in theory and practice, but read alongside ideas and practices that call these cornerstones into question, traversing revolutions and riots, feminism and black theatre history, and performance in the widest sense as that which has as much to say about politics, ethics, identity and society as it does about theatre industries.

Compulsory modules:

 

Having built up a solid foundation for your studies in Year 1, in Year 2 the onus is much more on you. You’ll have the chance to devise your own practical work in our collaborative theatre making modules, or to create solo performance. You’ll be able to take some of our optional research-led modules – looking at site-specific theatre, for instance, or at theatre design and installation art – and you’ll also develop your critical skills in compulsory modules that will help you to develop persuasive arguments about issues and questions that matter most to you.

 

Module title Status Semester
ACTING: PERFORMING THE SELF Optional 1
CRITICAL THINKING IN PERFORMANCE Compulsory 1
DIGITAL PERFORMANCES Optional 1
INDEPENDENT STUDY SEMESTER 1 Optional 1
THE ART AND PERFORMANCE OF PLACE Optional 1
THEATRE LABORATORY: DEVISING Optional 1
TWENTIETH-CENTURY BRITISH AND AMERICAN DRAMA Optional 1
ARTS ANALYSIS Optional 2
CHOREOGRAPHY IV: SITE-SPECIFIC DANCE Optional 2
CONTEMPORARY STORYTELLING Optional 2
DESIGN DIALOGUES Optional 2
DRAMATURGY: DEVISING FOR DANCE, THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE Optional 2
INDEPENDENT STUDY SEMESTER 2 Optional 2
RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES Compulsory 2
THEATRE LABORATORY: PERFORMANCE
 

In your final year, you have the opportunity to really focus on aspects of the programme that matter most to you. You’ll have the chance to set up your own theatre company that might continue its life once your degree is over, or to burrow into topics that include cutting-edge immersive theatre, or what performance might have to say about some of the present moment’s most important political issues. You’ll also have the chance to look at how you might fund and produce your own work after graduating, or to dig deeper into theatre design, or to complement your studies with a carefully-curated module from outside of the programme.

Module title Status Semester
DISSERTATION Compulsory Year-long
ACTING: ADVANCE PRACTICE Optional 1
COMPANY: FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT Optional 1
FILM AUTHORS Optional 1
GLOBALIZATION AND PERFORMANCE Optional 1
PERFORMANCE AND THE POLITICS OF FEAR Optional 1
PERFORMING AUDIENCES Optional 1
SPECIAL TOPIC Optional 1
VISUAL NARRATIVE COLLABORATIONS Optional 1
COLLABORATIVE CHOREOGRAPHIC PROJECT Optional 2
COMPANY: PRACTICE AND PERFORMANCE Optional 2
CREATIVE WRITING AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Optional 2
DRAMATURGY Optional 2
INTERNATIONAL ARTS PROGRAMMING Optional 2
PRODUCTION: THEORY, DESIGN, PRACTICE Optional 2
THE THEATRE AND THE NOVEL Optional 2
UNDERSTANDING ANIMATION Optional 2


During this optional year, you have the chance to try out a possible career path by working for a company that inspires you most under the mentorship of a workplace supervisor and a tutor from the GSA. We encourage all placement students to come to us with an idea of what they want to do, and where they want to do it, and we’ll then work with you in looking to secure a relevant placement. This might involve running practical theatre workshops, developing your own work, script reading, marketing, education, outreach, audience development, community work, media or arts administration, or just about any area of work of relevance to the degree, provided an appropriate organisation can be found.

In the past, our students have undertaken placements at the National Theatre, Young Vic, Royal Opera House, the Vaults, Theatre Delicatessen, Cardboard Citizens, Fuel, Hull Truck, Pavilion Dance South West, Theatre 503, White Light, Camden People’s Theatre, Norwich Arts Centre, and many others.

Disclaimer: Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

2019 entry requirements

 

A-Level ABB
BTEC DDD
European Baccalaureate 74 per cent
International Baccalaureate 32 overall, including 6, 5, 5 at Higher Level
Scottish Highers Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AABBB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass overall with ABB from the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-Levels
Access to HE Diploma 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year. Find out more about the International Foundation Year.

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or international equivalent)

We don’t hold auditions (and hence do not charge an audition fee), but we do hold interviews. The interview will be included as part of a comprehensive applicant day, where you’ll also have the chance to meet the team, attend a subject talk, and experience a sample seminar and a sample workshop.

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

 

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

 

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it. Find out more about bursaries and scholarships.

 

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

The BA Theatre and Performance programme is intended to diversify career prospects, rather than funnelling you into a specific career path. You will be fully supported by a personal tutor who will monitor progress and offer advice and guidance alongside the university’s dedicated Careers Service. We will help you to identify your own career path and establish a plan that will support your aspirations.

Our Theatre and Performance degree will equip you with skills, knowledge and experience that are valuable for a range of careers in such areas as:

  • Starting your own theatre company
  • Performing as an independent theatre maker or live artist
  • Arts administration and management
  • Stage management
  • Technical theatre practice
  • Education and community arts
  • Events management
  • Cultural policy
  • Media and creative arts

In the past, our students have undertaken work under the banner of their own theatre companies, or have become actors with experience of working at top institutions like the National Theatre. Other students have worked in marketing with some of the UK’s leading cultural organisations including the Barbican and AKA Productions, or have used their degree to widen career prospects further, going into publishing, fundraising, events management, teaching, arts administration, and digital communications. What is important for us is that our students find their own voice, and a forum for expressing their voice that will be challenging and rewarding for them in a context where they will carry most influence, whether that be on a stage, or developing new and exciting ideas and polices elsewhere.