School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Acting

Train to be a professional actor and experience real world work-based learning with Theatre Royal Plymouth and enjoy all the benefits of campus life at University of Plymouth. Our vocational course is approved by Equity and Spotlight entitling graduates to membership of the professional actors union and industry casting platform. Meeting these criteria for professional drama training means that you can be confident in the value of the industry expertise and key skills you’ll acquire.

Plymouth Conservatoire - Esme Appleton in Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Golem. Photograph: Bernhard Mueller.

Join Plymouth Conservatoire

This programme is delivered through Plymouth Conservatoire - a unique collaboration between the University and Theatre Royal Plymouth, providing training and professional experience that will set talented students apart in today’s arts and creative industries.

Plymouth Conservatoire

2020 NSS results for BA (Hons) Acting:

100% overall satisfaction

Key features

  • Approved by Equity and Spotlight. Meets the criteria of professional drama training.
  • Gain professional experience with a course delivered in collaboration with the prestigious Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • Enhance your employability with a vocational course providing professional training standards where you'll learn to make and promote your own performances equipping you for a career in today’s diverse theatre industry.
  • Create your own works and perform in purpose-built and fully accessible theatre and studio spaces.
  • Access industry expertise at Theatre Royal Plymouth, and network with professionals and prospective employers through training and workshops.
  • 154 placements this year for directors, producers, practitioners and performers including with paid placements with Jermyn Street Theatre (West End), Kneehigh and at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • Benefit from highly practical teaching and master acting skills for both stage and recorded media.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll learn the principles of acting and how to put theory into practice. You’ll also experience the process of creating performance, from page to stage.
    Core modules
    • ACT441 Introduction to Acting

      This module provides an accessible introduction to the process of creating a role and playing a character. Students are asked to select a monologue by a character, from a play, that they can identify with and are given some basic techniques for building the character from their own life experiences and personal traits.

    • ACT442 Page to Stage 1

      This module encapsulates the aims of the programme in a condensed and intensive experience of theatre-making: students work together, with leadership from staff to read, rehearse design and present a number of fully realised scenes from plays. Students will experience all aspects of theatre production in a concentrated rehearsal process, with a performance at the end of each process.

    • ACT443 Page to Stage 2

      Page to Stage 2 builds on the work done in Page to Stage 1, teaching students techniques for building a character to help them to play more challenging roles. Techniques of dramaturgical analysis, ‘scoring’ a role and marking up a text provide the basis for building complex characters, with varied and unusual life experience; where Page to Stage 1 helped students to play characters that were much like themselves Page to Stage 2 challenges students to build characters very different from them. Physical skills, for example ‘animal work’, help students to find a physical lexis for presenting the dramaturgical information about characters that they have uncovered through text analysis.

    • ACT444 Self and Character

      This module is all about preparing actors to work in a profession with certain innate dangers to personal mental and physical health. The process of adopting a character, and enacting a role can mean that actors have to negotiate some very personal feelings and experiences, and giving them tools to do this is a health and sustainable way is what this module is all about.

    • ACT445 Training for Actors 1

      This module develops basic expressive vocal and movement skills necessary for the successful interpretation of dramatic and non-dramatic performative material. Through workshop study, the student will embark on a creative exploration of the physical and mental processes embedded in core traditions of actor training.

    • PLYCO400 20th Century Performance Practices

      Taught through a series of weekly workshops, students will acquire a number of basic vocal and movement techniques that will foster the development of key expressive skills. The course will seek to provide students with an introductory knowledge of vocal technique, which will include the study of breathing, projection, resonance, pitch control and posture. Students will develop basic techniques for usages of the voice in performance, in both singing and spoken registers. The module will also introduce students to basic movement techniques seeking to develop an awareness of concentration, observation, relaxation, sensitivity, responsiveness, focus and ‘presence’.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll study the different styles of acting in more depth and develop your own practice by participating in the production of performances with industry experts. You’ll learn to craft and market your own performance work, and develop networks of collaborators for your future profession.
    Core modules
    • ACT501 Making Theatre 1

      This module introduces students to the skills techniques and process required to produce a theatrical text for an audience. By offering a contextual and historical grounding of chosen playwrights, students will be introduced to key theories of contemporary theatre making. Through dramaturgical research and intensive practice, students will explore the ideological, cultural and social concerns of contemporary theatre. This study will culminate in the production of a public performance.

    • ACT505 Training for Actors 2: Embodying Text

      This module furthers the study of expressive vocal and movement skills necessary for the successful interpretation of dramatic and more broadly `performative¿ material. Through workshop study, the student will continue the exploration of the physical and mental processes embedded in core acting training techniques, exercises and traditions.

    • ACT506 Acting for Recorded Media

      This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

    • ACT510 Page to Stage 3: Beyond the System

      This module complements and builds on the work done in Page to Stage 1 & 2 by teaching students how to play their character alongside other characters, and actors on stage. This module introduces scene performance (and not just monologue) and teaches students methods and approaches to `reacting¿. Students will be able to apply the skills and techniques acquired through Page to Stage 1 & 2 in this module, and will learn how to apply these skills when working alongside other actors in the presentation of fully realised scenes and plays.

    • PLYCO522 Theatre Residency

      This module addresses collaborative and interdisciplinary practice. It is a practical and studio-based module that emphasises the development and presentation of student-led work and collaboration across year groups.

    • PLYCO523 Performance Practices

      This module encourages students to find their creative voice through the exploration and application of a specific performance practice. Students will develop and practically interrogate the skills and understandings that establish specific forms of contemporary performance practice as both skilled activities and culturally significant artistic statements.

  • Final Year
  • In your final year, you’ll focus on refining the skills and knowledge of your craft. A strong focus on professional development and employability in the competitive theatre industry will prepare you for a lifelong career.
    Core modules
    • ACT600 Acting Rediscovered

      The module fosters deep understanding and practical knowledge of a form/approach to performance training. Through expert-lead practice, students will experiment with techniques, strategies and approaches to training that will help them to develop and deepen their understanding of skills germane to a specific style.

    • ACT601 Making Theatre 2

      Students will audition for a role in a professional level production directed by an experienced theatre-maker. Students will develop their skills in character development, textual analysis, and identification of key performance making principles, in order to explore the implications of this research through the collaborative production of a public performance. All students must be involved in the process, and all students will perform in the final production.

    • ACT603 Training for Actors 4

      This module will allow students to specialise in a number of expressive vocal and movement techniques necessary for the successful interpretation of a specific theatrical genre/style. The module will also prepare students to develop a number of skills essential to boost their employability.

    • PLYCO610 Performance Research

      Students will plan and conduct a research enquiry relevant to the application, practice and study of performance (including acting, dance, theatre, live art, and cross-form practices). Through lectures, workshops and tutorial guidance, students develop appropriate ways of collecting, analysing, documenting and organising material to present and evidence their research process and findings. Projects can be articulated in one of three ways; lecture demo, practice as research or dissertation.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Acting Programme Specification 5222

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


Diversity and Accessibility are really important to us and so we audition all of our candidates, UK-based and international in a way that works for you and for FREE.

You may choose to come to one of our audition days at our fully accessible studios and theatres or, if you have specific mobility requirements, if the costs of travel are prohibitive for you, if you work full time or if you live abroad, you might like to take part in one of our innovative ‘digital auditions’.

Digital auditions are individual, real-time online auditions in which you will work one-on-one with a member of our teaching staff. This option allows us to reach out to talented applicants who are not in a position to travel.

Whether you come onsite to audition or whether you audition on line you will have the same welcoming and inclusive experience.
All applicants will be asked to perform two, short contrasting theatre monologues.

We’re not just looking for talent, we also want to see:

  • a serious, ongoing commitment to an acting career in the professional theatre
  • trainable vocal, physical and imaginative/emotional skills
  • potential that you'll benefit from the study in acting offered at Plymouth
  • an ability to understand, interpret and embody a dramatic text
  • an ability to participate actively in group or ensemble situations
  • a readiness to take risks in creative work, and an open, receptive and enquiring mind
  • enthusiasm and readiness for hard, rigorous work requiring sustained concentration
  • a sense of language and rhythm, and the potential for identification with the thought process of a dramatic text
  • the ability to portray and inhabit an imagined or fictional situation
  • physical, vocal and imaginative/emotional skills with significant theatrical potential.

Further details:

  • No props or scripts to be used at the audition.

UCAS tariff:
Applicants will typically hold 104 points or above but we encourage all individuals to apply whatever their qualifications. We understand that not every applicant will come from a formal educational setting and we recognise relevant experience and passion and not just grades when we review applications.

International Baccalaureate:
26 points. If overseas and not studying English within IB, must have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all other elements.
As a standard, all applicants are required to interview before an offer is made.

English language requirements:
You will need fluent written and spoken English (equivalent to IELTS level 6.0 with 5.5 in all elements). Given the nature of the course, you’ll be expected to read, perform and engage with complex texts and debates for which fluency in English is essential.

View detailed English language requirements

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

BTEC National Diploma modules:
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

If you're applying through UCAS you'll receive full details, but if you'd like to know more, please contact admissions.
For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Welcome to Plymouth Conservatoire

Get the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice as well as unrivalled access to professional opportunities.

Training: Vocal Techniques

See a typical Vocal Technique class led by our Head of Voice Charlotte Storey.                                                                                     

Get a foot in the door with a Plymouth Conservatoire career placement

BA (Hons) Acting in collaboration with Theatre Royal Plymouth

University of Plymouth and Theatre Royal Plymouth have joined forces to launch Plymouth Conservatoire. 

Here, performing arts students – actors, dancers, and theatre-makers - will have the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice as well as unrivalled access to professional opportunities.

It is the only Conservatoire in the UK where students can benefit from the unique mix of expertise on offer when a theatre and a university combine.

Learn more about Theatre Royal Plymouth

Theatre Royal Plymouth. Credit Christian Sinibaldi

Theatre Royal Plymouth. Credit Christian Sinibaldi

Take a tour of Plymouth Conservatoire

Watch a video tour of the spaces at Plymouth Conservatoire with Josh Slater, Lecturer in Dance, Theatre and Performance. See the spaces where our students learn, perform and experience visiting performance companies. Hear about the equipment available for students to use. See how flexible our purpose-built spaces at Plymouth Conservatoire are.

Your own purpose built theatre:

The House

The University of Plymouth committed £7 million to building The House, a purpose built theatre on campus – and now the teaching home to Plymouth Conservatoire. 

A state-of-the art building, built to the very highest technical and sustainable specification, this award winning facility is a fully-accessible building with a 200-seater auditorium, a studio theatre and rehearsal spaces.

Come in to The House

<p>The House stage</p>
The House stage
<p>The House stage viewed from above</p>
The House stage from above
<p>The House studio</p>
The House studio
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 307</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 307
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 306</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 306
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 308</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 308

Programme Leader, Dr John Matthews:

John’s performance credits include BBC film drama and stage productions across the UK as both an actor and director. A recognised specialist in the subject of training, John is the author of Training for Performance, and Anatomy of Performance Training.

As Research Fellow of the Stanislavski Centre, John taught and presented his research at the country’s leading drama schools and has received an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship for his work in performer training.

"Working collaboratively with our colleagues at Theatre Royal allows us to offer a completely unique, and professional-standard training. The new House theatre is an exceptional resource for students on this programme, because of its capacity, versatility and technical capabilities and also because of its prime location in the centre of the city.”


* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.