School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Musical Theatre with Foundation

UCAS tariff 32 - 48
UCAS course code W31A
Institution code P60

4 years

(+ optional placement)
Course type


Location Plymouth

Train to be an accomplished Musical Theatre performer by working with experts from the University and professional Musical Theatre practitioners. Dissect original productions like, NHS The Musical, network with local performers and get on stage at Plymouth Fringe. Learn through hands-on workshops and masterclasses with expert performers. Develop your acting through song in our award-winning theatre, and build your dance technique in our sprung-floor studios.

Musical Theatre with Foundation

Careers with this subject

Benefit from a highly practical and vocational course allowing you to develop real-world skills and expertise in musical theatre performance.
Progressive and socially-engaged, this course will also equip you with the practical, digital and transferable skills needed for tomorrow’s industry.
With dedicated support from our Placements Officer, you will gain advice from professionals, placements, internships and volunteering opportunities.

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.
  • Train with expert industry professionals and academic staff.
  • Showcase. Perform in a range of productions each year, leading to a final year showcase for industry.
  • 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.
  • Placements. Access to our dedicated Placements Officer and a wide range of internships and volunteering opportunities with arts organisations across Plymouth and the South West. 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.
  • 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) Musical Theatre 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) Musical Theatre, or one of the following degree courses:
  • BA (Hons) Acting
  • BA (Hons) Drama
  • BA (Hons) Music

Course details

  • Foundation year

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

    Core modules

    • Introduction to Performance Training (THPF3001)

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

    • Introduction to Individual Performance Project (THPF3002)

      Students will undertake, with supervision, an individual project related to their study of performance and research into the social, cultural, historical and political context of a chosen play text and its original performance. 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 (THPF3003)

      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 (THPF3004)

      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

  • Introduction to the primary elements of musical theatre, with teaching in acting, dance and singing culminating in an end of year showcase performance.

    Core modules

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

      In this module 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.

    • History and Context of Musical Theatre (MTH4001)

      A lecture-seminar based module in which students are introduced to the histories and ideology of musical theatre and begin to situate musical theatre productions in their historical and cultural context. 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.

    • Ensemble Singing Practice (MTH4002)

      This module explores ensemble singing practice through a wide variety of styles, from large scale musical numbers through to small group a cappella arrangements. Skills explored include musicianship, sight-reading, diction and language, vocal technique, vocal health, and part-singing.

    • Technique and Repertory (MTH4003)

      This module will develop students’ dance technique and physical skills through classes in jazz, ballet, contemporary dance and pilates. Students will engage with the aesthetic, technical and stylistic features of a variety of music theatre dance styles through the development of dance routines and combinations.

    • Acting the Song (MTH4005)

      This module gives students the opportunity to engage with the history of musical theatre through performance, engaging with the stylistic developments of the genre through the decades from operetta, Rogers and Hammerstein, the rock musical to Hamilton.

    • Ensemble Singing 1 and Music Theory (MTH4006)

      This module introduces ensemble singing practice exploring unison and part songs in a variety of musical styles. Rudimentary music theory will also be taught which will include understanding notation, musical terms, symbols and signs as well as interpretating the musical score. Other skills explored may include musicianship, sight-reading, diction and language, vocal technique and vocal health

  • Year 2

  • Deepen your training in Musical Theatre – learn advanced acting or dance techniques and synthesise these in production. You also have the option to study acting for radio, for voice-over and computer games, or dramatic writing and audio recording.
    For students entering Level 4 of their programme in academic year 2024/25 optional non-credit rated modules SSC500 and SSC600 will not be available in 25/26 and 26/27 respectively.

    Core modules

    • Showcase 2 (MTH5002)

      This module asks you to further develop your technical dance, singing and acting skills in showcase performance. This module builds on the experience gained from the showcase module in the first year, and asks students to explore more technically challenging material from different genres of musical theatre. This module equips students with greater confidence and autonomy in rehearsal and performance to develop material for employability purposes - this can include showcase scenes as well as showreel-suitable material.

    • Main House Production 2 (MTH5003)

      Main House Production 2 gives students the opportunity to apply all that they have learnt on the programme so far in a staged performance open to the public. Students will acquire new skills and develop resilience from performing in a more complex and demanding piece of theatre.

    • 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.

    • Creative Research Project (MTH5004)

      Students will undertake an individual research project to examine the historic, social, political and artistic context of a Musical Theatre Production. Students will also creatively explore, propose and justify an original concept for a new production of the chosen piece and for a target audience.

    Optional modules

    • 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).

    • Play and Games for Performance (PER5008MX)

      This module will introduce students to practical methods for designing games and play structures for participatory performances that invite audiences to become actively involved in the work. In addition to learning new tools for designing and facilitating play, students will be prompted to consider playfulness from a theoretical perspective, recognising the connection between the play of mimesis and theatrical performance.

    • Harm in the 21st Century (CRM5003MX)

      This module explores the global challenges of harmful behaviours and activities in contemporary society by considering specific areas of concern for criminologists. By drawing on real-world examples in everyday life, the module examines how social problems and issues have arisen due to processes of globalisation that have changed the social, political and economic landscape of the 21st century.

    • Crime, Harm and Culture (CRM5009MX)

      The module aims to provide students with a critical appreciation of harm and crime by exploring relevant issues from film, television, music, fiction literature and art. By applying a criminological lens to different forms of popular culture, students will be able to examine a variety of media forms in terms of its content and its contemporary political, social and economic context using different theories and concepts.

    • Gothic Fictions: Villains, Virgins and Vampires (ENG5002MX)

      This module looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels to trace the variety and scope of literary contributions to the Gothic. It begins by discussing the origins of the Gothic novel, then moves to the heyday of the genre in the revolutionary 1790s, on to authors writing in the early and mid-nineteenth century, through to the decadence of the 1890s.

    • ‘Hurt Minds’: Madness and Mental Illness in Literature (ENG5013MX)

      This module considers changing attitudes towards, and a variety of theories of, the mind, examining how different cultures have understood ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ mental states. It will look at how the experience and treatment of mental illness has been represented in fiction. The mind is at its most fascinating when it behaves outside of expected social norms. By considering a variety of literary texts over several centuries, this module explores shifts in the definition, understanding, evaluation, and management of exceptional mental states.

    • Writing Genre Fiction (ENG5017MX)

      This module takes students into in-depth engagement with prose fiction writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

    • Law in Context: Commerce and Intellectual Property (LAW5019MX)

      This module focuses on the work of commercial lawyers in practice in helping businesses to trade. It analyses a range of contractual agreements dealing with the manufacture, sale, supply and distribution of goods, assets and services in general and intellectual property in particular.

    • Politics Beyond Parliaments (PIR5013MX)

      This module analyses the role of civil society and the public sphere in democratic governance and in democratization from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

    • Voter Behaviour and Effective Election Campaigning (PIR5014MX)

      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.

  • Optional placement year

  • Gain valuable skills and experience by completing an optional placement year.
    For students entering Level 4 of their programme in academic year 2024/25 optional non-credit rated modules SSC500 and SSC600 will not be available in 25/26 and 26/27 respectively.

    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 an optional flexible placement year. The placement must be a minimum of 24-weeks (which can be split between a maximum of two different placement providers) and up to a maximum of 48-weeks over the course of the academic year. The placement is flexible and can be undertaken virtually, part or full time and either paid or voluntary. 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

  • Curate your professional digital profile, meet and network with agents and casting directors and perform in your final end of year showcase.

    Core modules

    • Audition Technique (MTH6001)

      A technical guide to auditioning for musical theatre, with practical classes and real-world simulations supported by an introduction to expectations and practices around casting and professional representation.

    • Showcase 3: Digital Showcase (MTH6002)

      This module is all about getting your work out there and seen by agents, casting directors, producers, and potential employers. This module equips students to produce short-form digital showcase material and introduces and explores the concept of an online, professional ‘digital profile’.

    • Main House Production 3: Final Major Show (MTH6003)

      Main House Production 3 gives students the opportunity to apply all that they have learnt on the programme in a public, full scale musical theatre production, and to acquire new skills and stamina from performing in a complex and demanding full-length piece of theatre.

    • 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.

    Optional modules

    • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003)

      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.

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) Musical Theatre with Foundation programme specification_7232

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.

Personalise your degree

Many of our degrees have a wide range of optional modules that allow you to follow your interests and play to your strengths.
You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:
Musical Theatre with Acting


  • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

    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.

  • Site Specific Performance (PER5003MX)

    Outdoor, off-campus, real-world performance-making informed by research-led seminar-based explorations of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories. This module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world as a site for theatre.

  • 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.

Musical Theatre with Drama


  • Site Specific Performance (PER5003MX)

    Outdoor, off-campus, real-world performance-making informed by research-led seminar-based explorations of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories. This module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world as a site for theatre.

  • 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, using performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Musical Theatre 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.

Musical Theatre with Computing


  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • 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.

Musical Theatre with Dance


  • 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, applying community dance practice and performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

  • 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.

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 a monologue and a song form the musical theatre repertoire.

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
BA 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

Insight: Technique and Repertory

As the first module that Musical Theatre students will work at the start of their first year, we will develop students’ dance technique and physical skills through classes in jazz, ballet, contemporary dance and pilates. This module aims to prepare students for auditions; what it feels like to be in that space, to try and pick up choreography quickly and feel confident so that they perform to the best of their ability. 
Dance trips and performance

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