School of Society and Culture

BA (Hons) Acting

UCAS tariff 104 - 112
UCAS course code W411
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Train to be a professional actor and set yourself apart by working with experts from the University and Theatre Royal Plymouth, one of the UK’s largest regional theatres. Become part of a tight-knit community and tread the boards with local, national and international actors and renowned theatre companies. Learn by doing and build your acting portfolio, fully supported by a dedicated team of academics. See the impact performance can have on addressing pressing social issues and effecting change.


Foundation-year courses

Whether you haven't yet submitted your application, you're worried about whether university is for you, or if you don't meet the entry requirements to apply for a three-year degree, a foundation year may be the perfect route to a full degree.

Our foundation year courses are specifically designed to introduce and develop essential skills for success in higher education.

<p>Students rehearsing, theatre, performance, acting, musical.</p>
Careers with this subject

Benefit from a highly vocational and professional-standard training programme, working closely with Theatre Royal creative staff and producers. 

With dedicated support from our Placements Officer, you will gain advice and guidance on getting an agent and accessing castings.

Key features

  • Train with Theatre Royal Plymouth professionals.
  • Showcase. Perform in five productions, including a Final Year industry showcase at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • Placements. Access to our dedicated Placements Officer and Theatre Royal Plymouth's professionals, placements, internships and volunteering opportunities. 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.
  • Facilities. Rehearse and train in world-class and fully accessible award-winning theatre and studio space. Access all areas of theatre with our dedicated Tech team.
  • Your degree will be taught by passionate people with experience from a wide range of academic and industry backgrounds who are driving real change in their fields. 

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Straight-away you are working with a Theatre Royal director in your first module! Learn foundational acting skills and work closely with Head of Voice and Head of Movement to develop your actor’s toolkit.

    Core modules

    • Introduction to Acting (ACT4001)

      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.

    • Page to Stage 1: The Physical Action (ACT4002)

      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.

    • Page to Stage 2: Discovering the Through-Line (ACT4003)

      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.

    • Self and Character (ACT4004)

      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 in a healthy and sustainable way is what this module is all about. This module will include 2, 2 hour talks that introduce our School and programme level employability related opportunities and support, including details of the optional placement year.

    • Production 1 (ACT4005)

      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.

    • The Body in Performance (PER4001)

      This module positions all performance practice as the product of its own specific cultural setting. Aiming to resist a Western-centric approach, the module explores performances from different cultures whilst providing a context and awareness of the key issues and debates surrounding intercultural/cross-cultural theory and practice. It problematises the issues of theatre, culture and ideology: the politics and problems of cultural contact and exchange.

  • Year 2

  • Take on new acting challenges; performing for audio, podcast and voice-over and learn audition techniques and play the House main stage in two productions.

    Core modules

    • Production 2 (ACT5001)

      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.

    • Production 3 (ACT5003)

      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.

    • Performance Practices (PER5002)

      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.

    • Theatre Residency (PER5005)

      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.

    • Stage 2 Placement Year Preparation (SSC500)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search, application, and preparation for the placement, including developing interview techniques and effective application materials (e.g. CVs , portfolios, and cover letters).

  • Optional placement year

  • Undertake an optional placement year where you can build a number of key employability skills. Put theory onto practice, get a taste for your chosen career and expand upon your professional network.

    Core modules

    • School of Society and Culture Placement Year (SSC600)

      Students have the opportunity to gain work experience that will set them apart in the job market when they graduate by undertaking a 48-week optional placement year. This year allows them to apply and hone the knowledge and skills acquired from the previous years of their programme in the real world.

  • Final year

  • Get ready for industry. Learn how to perform for and edit showreels, hone your audition skills, network with professionals and practice the skills you need to get an agent while performing in two show, including an industry showcase at Theatre Royal Plymouth.

    Core modules

    • Production 4 (ACT6001)

      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.

    • Acting Rediscovered (ACT6003)

      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.

    • Production 5 (ACT6004)

      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.

    • Performance Research (PER6001)

      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.

    Optional modules

    • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

      Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

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 Acting Programme SpecificationSep22 7205

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.
Personalise your degree
All our degrees have a wide range of optional modules and there is even the opportunity to study modules from any of the School of Society and Culture 's subject areas.
You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:
Acting with Anthropology


  • Brave New Worlds: Ethnography of/on Online and Digital Worlds (ANT6007MX)

    This module teaches students how to use ethnographic methods to make sense of the internet, which we now increasingly inhabit. Students learn how to navigate and analyse platforms such as Facebook or TikTok. They study how these technologies transform our relationships, identities, and ideas of truth. The module also examines the socio-cultural and ethical aspects of digital worlds (e.g. Second life).

Acting with Art History


  • Questions in Contemporary Art (ARH6002MX)

    The module introduces and examines selected questions raised in the last three decades in contemporary art. Case studies drawn from art history, critical and cultural theory, and where appropriate related disciplines, will be examined.

Acting with Creative Writing


  • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003MX)

    In this module we will examine a range of contemporary short story writing and relevant theory as a way for students to learn how to compose their own short fiction. Class time will be divided between discussion of short fiction and theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student work. The workshops will be substantially informed by staff research practice.

Acting with Drama


  • Applied Drama (PER6002MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Acting with English


  • Literatures of The Atlantic World: Race, Resistance, and Revolution (ENG6004MX)

    This module explores a diverse range of writing and cultural formations in Atlantic contexts. Adopting critical paradigms of the Atlantic World, the module investigates literary and cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. It explores questions of identity formation, resistance, national memory, and knowledge hierarchies by examining different literary forms and cultural productions, ranging from the colonial period, through nineteenth-century abolitionist texts, to contemporary fiction and memoir. In addition to introducing texts from various locations and time periods, the module will also engage with theoretical perspectives concerning race, memory and nationhood, as well as recent critical work centred on decoloniality in relation to literary studies.

Acting with Music


  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

Acting with History


  • Piracy and Privateering, c.1560-1816 (HIS6002MX)

    This module explores piracy and privateering activity in the seas around the British Isles and further afield from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the second Barbary War in 1816. This course focuses on the social history of piracy and privateering, the organisation of pirate society, and the economic impact of piracy and privateering.

  • America, the United Nations and International Relations 1945 to the present (HIS6006MX)

    This module provides a detailed examination of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Nations in the management of international relations from 1945 to the present.

Acting with Computing


  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

Acting with Criminology


  • Green Criminology (CRM6010MX)

    This module will address theoretical perspectives, methodological issues, and empirical research related to the field of green criminology, including applied concerns, such as policy and social/political praxis, through a range of concepts, topics, and themes that are central to green criminology.

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

Acting with International Relations


  • Global Environmental Politics (PIR6007MX)

    This module examines the problem of environmental degradation and its implications for our global political economy. It discusses the major debates in political thought around the primary causes of environmental degradation. The module outlines the major attempts to build international regimes for global environmental governance, and the difficulties and obstacles that such attempts have encountered. A range of ideas, critiques, policy proposals, innovations in governance, and templates for political activism within the environmental movement are critically evaluated.

Acting with Politics


  • Voter Behaviour and Effective Election Campaigning (PIR6008MX)

    This module undertakes an advanced examination of contemporary trends and developments in theories of electoral behaviour globally; then more specifically the relationship between electoral rules, electoral systems and election outcomes; the evolution of campaign techniques, and the role, mechanics, and accuracy of opinion polls in modern electoral politics. These global understandings are applied directly to the case of British politics.

Acting with Sociology


  • Health, Medical Power and Social Justice (SOC6004MX)

    This module considers a range of issues concerning health, illness and medical power in contemporary society. The module seeks to develop an understanding of the impact of ‘medicalisation’ on everyday life, as well as the importance of social divisions, such as age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status. There will be a focus on a range of sociological perspectives on health with an opportunity to focus upon areas of particular interest.

Acting with Law


  • Environmental Law (LAW6011MX)

    The module provides an examination of key themes in environmental law, with a focus on the generation, application and enforcement of this law within a critical and applied context.

  • Public and International Law (LAW6012MX)

    A module that focuses on the primary legal principles of the public international legal order, before supporting the development of in-depth understanding of a chosen international legal area of a contemporary nature.

Acting with Policing and Security Management


  • Forensic Criminology: Social Investigations (CRM5006MX)

    This module focuses on how social science can contribute to criminal investigations. This involvesforensically investigating the backgrounds and experiences of individuals involved in criminal or deviantbehaviour. The sociology of the police who are tasked to conduct investigations is also analysed. Students will be encouraged to apply criminological techniques and theory to scenario-based examples which will focus on victims, offenders and the police, and their positions in society.

  • Security and Policing Today: Debates and Issues (CRM5008MX)

    This module provides students with a contemporary overview of debates and issues in policing and security environments that inform practice and development in the field. The module examines how modern policing and security function, the impact of professionalization on all aspects of policing tasks and the tensions and benefits attained from multi-agency working. The module considers policing legitimacy, the ethics of crime control and associated engagement with the diversity of contemporary society, competing community interests and professional practice.

  • Security Management (CRM6011MX)

    This module provides students with a critical insight into the professional domain of security management. It provides an overview of the theories, policies, procedures and practices that underpin the work of the security manager, and focuses upon a career-relevant knowledge and understanding of this significant area of expertise.

Acting with Musical Theatre


  • Choreography Repertory (MTH6004MX)

    Students learn, rehearse and perform dance repertory to a high standard. To support students’ ability to execute the choreography effectively a continued engagement with dance technique and its relationship to creative and performance skills is incorporated. Students will gain an understanding of their role as a contributing interpreter of this repertory and how to make this work their own.

  • Applied Dance (DAN6001MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through co-taught seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, applying community dance practice and performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Acting with Dance


  • Dance Technique (DAN5001MX)

    Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop participation and leading skills, as well as learning how to give, receive and use critical feedback.

  • Dancing for Camera (DAN5002MX)

    Taught by experienced practitioners, students learn to compose and perform dance for camera and to develop and edit material to produce high quality ‘screendance’. Screendance as a hybrid and interdisciplinary form will enable students to develop new ways to innovate and create choreography in the site-specificity of media space.

  • Applied Dance (DAN6001MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through co-taught seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups and interests, applying community dance practice and performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

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.

T levels:
Merit in any subject.

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 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) £770 £770
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. More information about fees and funding.

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

BA Acting

Taught by professionals who produce talented, confident and kind actors at the end of the degree.” 

– Tim Norman, BA (Hons) Acting, now a stage manager 

<p>Tim Norman, BA (Hons) Acting<br></p>

The House

Take centre stage at The House, our cutting-edge theatre right on campus that allows you to hone your craft in world-class facilities. As a performance venue, The House attracts some of the best national and international theatre companies to the city, providing you with opportunities to build professional networks as you study.   

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<p>Audio Console</p>
<p>Rehearsal space</p>

Meet our experts

* 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.