School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Acting with Foundation

UCAS tariff 32 - 48
UCAS course code W412
Institution code P60
Duration 4 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.

Acting with Foundation

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

  • Benefits of a foundation year. If you don’t quite hit the tariff for UCAS points for our 3-year course, our foundation year will provide you with a solid base of skills and experience to progress from. 
  • Integrated part of a performing arts degree at Plymouth. Completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right but will provide access to Year 1 of your degree.
  • Professional drama training. Approved by Equity and Spotlight.
  • 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.
This course is an integrated part of the BA (Hons) Acting degree at the University of Plymouth. Successful completion of your foundation year (Year 0) will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right but provides progression onto Year 1 of BA (Hons) Acting, or one of the following degree courses:

Course details

  • Foundation year

  • Explore a wide range of performance practices which will offer you a solid base for your BA degree in Acting. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive and professional environment, and the confidence to know how to use it.

    Core modules

    • Discovering Your Inner Academic (SSC301)

      In this module, students will learn the core academic and organisational skills required to succeed at university. They will benefit from a range of skill development sessions and subject-specific seminars, allowing them to practice applying the delivered academic skills in the context of their field of study.

    • Individual Project (SSC302)

      Students will undertake, with supervision, an individual project related to their degree programme. Staff will guide students through the process of defining, planning, and setting up their project. As part of the module, students will gain research and time management skills that will support their successful progression through their degree programme.

    • Introduction to Performance Studies (SSC307)

      The module will provide an overview of key historical shifts in theatre, dance and performance practices and will examine the way in which they have influenced contemporary performance making. In this module, students learn written, theoretical, analytical and conceptual skills that will support them in their Performing Arts degree.

    • Introduction to Performance Making (SSC308)

      This module introduces a range of theatre, dance and performance making methods to develop students’ understanding of the relationship between process and performance. Students will be required to research relevant processes and practices through ensemble performance work. Through regular workshops, students will embark on a creative exploration of the physical, vocal and mental processes embedded in actor, dance and drama training.

  • 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

    • 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’.

    • 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 in partnership with a professional visiting theatre company. 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 Professional Development, Placement Preparation and Identifying Opportunities (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).

  • 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

    • 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.

  • 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

    • 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-led 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.

  • 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.

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 with Foundation Programme Specification 7222

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.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

We require an IELTS of 6.0. overall with at least 5.5 in all components (reading, speaking, listening and writing).T levels: Pass in any subject.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 
All applicants will be asked to submit a video recording of two contrasting 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
  • 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
Further details:
No props or scripts to be used at the audition.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
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.

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.

Tuition fees for optional placement years

The fee for all undergraduate students completing any part of their placement year in the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,850.
The fee for all undergraduate students completing their whole placement year outside the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,385.
Learn more about placement year tuition fees

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
Find out how our flexible course structures provide you with an opportunity to personalise your studies, feed your curiosity, and help you achieve your career aspirations.

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 

Tim Norman, BA (Hons) Acting

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.  

Steel Wire Tension Grid above the stage at the House
Audio Console
Rehearsal space with a lighting rig at the House

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