School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Acting with Foundation

You want to become a professional actor, yet you wonder if you’re the type of person who should go to university. Perhaps you don’t have 32-48 UCAS points or other qualifications. Our 4-year BA programme, a Conservatoire in the Academy may be perfect for you. In your first year you'll explore a wide range of performance practices providing a solid base for your degree in Acting. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive professional environment, and the confidence to know how to use it.

Through collaborative provision with Theatre Royal Plymouth and its practitioners in the South West, we offer the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice plus unrivalled access to professional opportunities. Upon successful completion of your first year, you’ll join the rest of the undergraduate BA (Hons) Acting community for 3 lively years of discipline-specific study and inter-disciplinary enquiry that gives you the chance to find a career in today’s industry.

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Join Plymouth Conservatoire

This programme is delivered through Plymouth Conservatoire - a unique partnership 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

£500 Performing Arts Foundation Bursary

We in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts like to reward those applicants who show a significant commitment to studying with us.

Therefore all applicants holding a valid offer for the BA (Hons) Acting with Foundation will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 which will be automatically deducted from their tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2019.

Progression routes

From this course, you can progress onto:

Apply through Clearing for September 2019

Clearing is the last opportunity to achieve a place this September.

If you are yet to apply to the University of Plymouth you can pre-register for Clearing to receive priority treatment on results day.

Apply through Clearing

Key features

  • This course is an integrated part of a performing arts degree at the University of Plymouth.
  • The foundation year is an integral part of the extended degree. Completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification its own right but will provide access to Year 1 of your degree.

Course details

  • Year 0 (Foundation year)
  • In your first year you’ll explore a wide range of performance practices which will offer you a solid base for your BA degree in Dance. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive and professional environment, and the confidence to know how to use it.

    Core modules
    • PLYCO001 Introduction to the Study of Performance

      In this module, students learn both written, theoretical and conceptual skills that will support them in a BA Performing Arts degree. 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.

    • PLYCO002 Introduction to Performance Training

      This year-long module, foster the development of vocal and movement skills and techniques necessary for the successful creation of contemporary performance. Through regular workshop study, students will embark on a creative exploration of the physical and mental processes embedded in core traditions of actor, dance and drama training.

    • PLYCO003 Introduction to Performance Making Processes 1

      This module will introduce a range of theatre devising, dance making and performance making methods to develop students' understanding about the relationship between process and performance. Students will be required to research relevant processes and practices of theatre and dance through ensemble and small group performance work.

    • PLYCO004 Introduction to Performance Making Processes 2

      This modules will continue the study of a range of theatre devising, dance making and performance making methods aiming to further the students' understanding about the relationship between process and performance. Students will explore and research in more depth relevant processes and practices of theatre and dance through ensemble and small group performance work.

    • PLYCO005 Introduction to Performance Analysis

      In this module, students learn the art of theatre and dance analysis and enhance their writing skills. Students are required to attend professional productions and will apply their analytical skills to write critical analyses of these productions. This module allows the students to strengthen their skills as a writer and grow their understanding of performance production through the audience's eye.

  • Year 1
  • In your second 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
    • ACT400 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.

    • ACT404 Introduction to Acting

    • ACT405 Training for Actors 1: Voice and Body

      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.

    • ACT410 Page to Stage 1: The Physical Action

      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.

    • ACT411 Page to Stage 2: Discovering the Through-line

      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.

    • PLYCO423 20th Century Performance Practices

      This module comprises both a lecture and a workshop series that surveys the key elements of dance, theatre and performance, including the terminology and discourses that help to develop a critically engaged practice. It includes an introduction to contemporary and historical theories and debates, while offering students an introduction to appropriate modes of study, research, devising and workshop skills.

  • Year 2
  • In your third 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

    • 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.

  • Year 4
  • 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

    • ACT603 Training for Actors 4

    • 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.

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).

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU To be confirmed £9,250
International To be confirmed £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.

Additional costs

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

£500 Humanities Foundation Bursary

We in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts like to reward those applicants who show a significant commitment to studying with us.

Therefore all applicants holding a valid offer for the BA (Hons) Acting with Foundation will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 which will be automatically deducted from their tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2019.

How to apply

If you are interested in this course, then please contact Dr John Matthews, Programme Lead for BA (Hons) Acting: john.matthews@plymouth.ac.uk

Welcome to Plymouth Conservatoire

Experts from the University of Plymouth and Theatre Royal Plymouth work together to give you training and professional experience that will set you apart in today’s arts and creative industries.

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

Watch our film about Plymouth Conservatoire.

Welcome to 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

Any questions?

Please contact Dr John Matthews, Programme Lead for BA (Hons) Acting : john.matthews@plymouth.ac.uk

BA (Hons) Acting staff