Undergraduate Course

BA Acting

BA Acting

Overview

The details
Acting
W411
October 2019
Full-time
3 years
East15 (Loughton) Campus

BA Acting provides a thorough and complete preparation for the professional actor. We transform and enhance the individual talents of our students by developing the imagination, voice and body, so that you graduate ready for professional life on the stage, screen and all areas of performance.

From the start of your course you are introduced to the basic methods and theories of acting, particularly the work of Konstantin Stanislavsky and Rudolf Laban, working in small groups with our professionally experienced staff.

This step-by-step process continues throughout your course as you expand your range and versatility, and culminates in the final professional preparation year, when you work with visiting directors to perform fully mounted productions to public audiences and industry.

Why we're great.
  • Focus on Stanislavsky and Laban techniques in addition to acting for screen.
  • West End industry showcase.
  • Intensive skill training by leading UK and international faculty.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Your future

Our graduates appear regularly in stage, film, TV and radio productions throughout the world, and are known and cast for their boldness, versatility and professional commitment as actors.

“Everyone here has something positive to offer and East 15 allows everyone, no matter who they are, to express themselves and contribute to their art. Throughout my time on the BA Acting course, I was pushed far beyond my comfort zones and asked to explore areas of myself I hadn’t been conscious of.”

Daniel Ezra, BA Acting (2013)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Successful audition, plus
A-levels: CDD, or the equivalent in UCAS tariff points, to include 2 full A Levels

BTEC Extended Diploma: MMP (in relevant subject)

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

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English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Structure

Example structure

We offer dynamic and unique course for actors, directors, technical theatre specialists and students of theatre practice. Training at East 15 draws upon 50 years of tradition combined with a keen sense of the world of stage and screen today.

Our carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore and develop your specialist training.

Introduction to Acting Theory, Methods and Practice, and Development From Self to Character

This compulsory first year acting module provides an initial training in acting theory, method and practice based on the uniqueness of the individual and the ability to change, adapt, extend, perceive, accept and reject. Students move through self-study to look outside themselves, approaching firstly improvised situations and then scripted text in imaginative and collaborative ways. By the end of the course you will know how to start work on a play and will have begun collaborative text work. You are able to begin to create a character from a text and to start the process of creating the world of the play.

View Introduction to Acting Theory, Methods and Practice, and Development From Self to Character on our Module Directory

Verbatim Theatre and Contemporary Scene Study

For this compulsory first year acting module students work in small groups to study scenes from a contemporary play, learning how to divide a scene into units of action, how to discover objectives for a character and use the text to discover information – about the play, its themes and characters. You workshop scenes in your groups, practising your learning from the early part of the course. By the end of this block of work you will be able to find a character’s through line and recreate work achieved during the rehearsal process.

View Verbatim Theatre and Contemporary Scene Study on our Module Directory

Actor and Text

This compulsory first year acting module provides opportunities for students to apply the introductory learning of Introduction to Acting Theory, Method and Practice to more demanding textual and acting challenges. You continue to advance your actor training through a focussed approach to the theatre of a particular period. Work on this course will be informed by your learning on Contextual Studies. The work of this module progresses into second year when it informs and supports the acting/voice project in Acting Techniques and Styles.

View Actor and Text on our Module Directory

Improvised Living History

This compulsory first year acting module provides you with opportunities to play out the life of a character under simulated rather than ‘staged’ conditions in order to understand more fully the true meaning of the character’s experience and emotional depths.

View Improvised Living History on our Module Directory

Voice I

This compulsory full year module is one of the programme’s four skills modules. The work begins in Term One with an introduction to the anatomy of voice production. You will begin the work of acquiring good vocal habits through the use of basic vocal exercises. Techniques for direct communication with voice will be introduced. In Term Two you will develop the structures used by voice. You will work on improving articulation and explore accents and the voices of others. The work of the final term is on the vocal demands of acting, on developing clarity and power. By the end of the module you will have the ability to assess critically your own vocal capabilities and will have in place vocal exercises and a regime for future use.

View Voice I on our Module Directory

Movement I

This compulsory full year module is one of the programme’s four skills modules. The work begins in Term One with an introduction to basic anatomy. You begin the work of developing suppleness and stamina. Techniques for the release of emotion in movement will be introduced. In Term Two you develop balance, co-ordinations and rhythm, linking movement and dance with acting. You learn a range of styles and carriage. The work of the final term covers preparation for physical demands and the extension of physical and dance vocabulary.

View Movement I on our Module Directory

Music and Singing I

This compulsory full year module is one of the programme’s four skills modules.

View Music and Singing I on our Module Directory

Contextual Studies I

This compulsory full year module is one of the programme’s four skills modules.

View Contextual Studies I on our Module Directory

Extension of Acting Methodology

This second year module takes place in Term Two. You extend the work in previous modules to develop your performance technique and heighten awareness of the importance of relationships between characters. Texts chosen for this module will be based on the repertoire of Classic Naturalism and will include the work of Chekhov, Gorky, Gogal and other great dramatic studies of human behaviour such as Ibsen or Strindberg. An important theme of the module is the conflict of old ideologies with the emerging new world. In this module you deepen your absorption in the world of the character, examining the minutiae of human behaviour, which leads towards specificity and transformation. Working on longer scenes or full length plays you will experience the importance of charting the ‘through line of action’ for your characters, and on communicating increasingly complex emotional life through integration of technique. You begin to demonstrate development of subtlety in your character creation through working on naturalistic texts, in which so much of a play’s content is unspoken or left unsaid. Relationships are explored in detail to further develop your insight and analytical skills, and to enlarge the possibilities on which you can draw, outside your own experience. Technical terminology is introduced, as is the beginning of awareness of communication with an audience.

View Extension of Acting Methodology on our Module Directory

Acting Techniques and Styles

In this compulsory module you gain experience of a range of acting techniques and styles through a number of structured projects spread over three terms. Typically you work on each project in intensive rehearsal periods of 4-5 weeks culminating in a practical project or performance. You are given opportunities to experience the demands of working in close proximity to the audience as well as to understand the differences in technical scale required to fill a larger space. Emphasis is placed on establishing a firm base for the ‘company’ or ensemble over the course of the year. You are encouraged to contribute to the work of the ensemble beyond the limits of your own performance. You gain an understanding of the different roles and responsibilities involved in creating performance. Acting for camera is introduced in term one and this work will continue through terms two and three, and developed further in year three.

View Acting Techniques and Styles on our Module Directory

Shakespeare and Elizabethan Verse Drama

The work of this module in term three tests the progress of students’ acting methodology, technique and ability to the full. Exploration is undertaken on the breadth and variety of writing during this expansive period in history, to appreciate why Shakespeare towers over his contemporaries. Working on a full play, students will experience the demands of speaking verse and prose with equal ease, dexterity and clarity. You will be encouraged to make strong character decisions and integrate technical skills fully into the life of a character. Practical project work will enable you to gain an understanding of the requirements of a technical team in preparation for the professional training of the final year. In this module you will be encouraged to sustain in a consistent way elements explored in previous modules, as well as integrating the technical aspects required by these physically and vocally demanding texts. You will be asked to show courage in taking risks within your character creation, and marry bold strokes with intricate detail. You will work to demonstrate well developed and truthfully expressed relationships, connecting in an organic way the emotional inner life of a character, with the external communication of that life to an audience. You will be expected to be in charge of your creative choices bringing ideas of your own to the director of the project, and to contribute fully to the company as a whole. You will gain a deeper understanding of verse, phrasing, colour and the breathing demands of extended thoughts and ideas within a complex structure, and learn to incorporate the heightened language into your personal thought process.

View Shakespeare and Elizabethan Verse Drama on our Module Directory

Voice II

In this module you will develop and apply the rigorous foundation work of first year and apply it to the more demanding dramatic texts being worked on in the second year Acting course. You will connect movement, voice and acting. You will begin exploring accents and dialects in more detail with a view to both acquiring accents and developing the skills and tools with which to work on accents throughout your career as an actor. You will begin to examine the vocal demands of different performance spaces, including outdoor performances, and develop your ability to give life to complex texts. The vocal demands of a range of performance styles, for example, Commedia dell’Arte, will be explored and students will be given opportunities to apply their vocal techniques to devised and text work of increasing complexity. The course is designed to prepare students for independence, to ensure that they enter their third year with voices of professional standard and the vocal training necessary to maintain them.

View Voice II on our Module Directory

Movement II

The module consists of two units: Movement and Dance. The second year of Movement training is about deepening movement vocabulary and physical potential. You will learn to expand your range of physical choices in a variety of theatrical styles. Psycho-physical movement training becomes more specific and precise and this work continues alongside spontaneous body exploration. Alignment work is re-emphasised and applied to both acting challenges and movement improvisations. The movement unit of this module is intended to develop appropriate levels of physical, emotional and imaginative agility and stamina in students. It is designed to encourage students to develop good movement practices, empowering them to look after their bodies and to sustain body alignment. By the end of the module students will have developed a working technique for physical characterisation. The Dance unit is an investigation into dance historically and socially. You will look at the physical relationship between the economic and sociological climate of the day and its effects on dance style with the objective of integrating the investigation into an actor’s process. Your practical work will be supported by written documentation evidencing research into the place of dance in the relevant historical period.

View Movement II on our Module Directory

Music and Singing II

Students will expand their ability to interact musically and dramatically in small ensemble pieces usually sourced from musicals and popular styles. In the second term you will progress to the interpretation of more complex and demanding material and performance situations, including public performance and in the third term you will work on expanding your singing range and vocal agility. By the end of the module you will have a substantial knowledge of vocal technique and will have acquired an automatically present technique both to support the singing and safeguard the voice. You will have at your disposal a repertoire of songs of different tempi and styles that fall within your acting and singing range in preparation for your work in final year. Students are encouraged to continue to develop personal warm-up exercise routines.

View Music and Singing II on our Module Directory

Contextual Studies II

This module aims to encourage students to develop the ability to present, discuss and defend ideas in seminar and written contexts, consider how theatres reflect their own era, and gain an understanding of the relevance of commedia and other theatres to contemporary practice.

View Contextual Studies II on our Module Directory

Production - Text and Technique

The work of this compulsory module is to integrate students’ skills and techniques learned in first and second year into the first production that they will perform in their final professional preparation year. The choice of plays will normally be guided by what is deemed suitable for the specific needs of the year cohort as a whole, thus helping to develop areas of work and professional growth which need to be addressed and consolidated specifically within the company of actors. The plays will be chosen from established quality texts, including Shakespeare, that are story and character-driven in a touring production for schools and colleges. Plays are directed by visiting directors thus providing you with opportunities to experience contrasting production methods and new stimuli from outside professionals.

View Production - Text and Technique on our Module Directory

Notions of Realism

During this module you perform plays from a range of 20th century works to extend your performance repertoire and use of dialect. Plays are directed by visiting directors thus providing you with opportunities to experience contrasting production methods and new stimuli from outside professionals. The work of the module encourages you to adapt to production procedures beyond your experiences at East 15 Acting School.

View Notions of Realism on our Module Directory

Screen and Radio

In Term One, you extend Year Two screen work on acting for the screen and will have experience of audition, casting and interview situations for TV, film and commercials. You will experience the pressures of creating a role for TV and film by performing in a Show-reel and experiencing a ‘shoot’ under conditions similar to those of the industry. By the end of the unit you will have an understanding of the basic problems of listening and reacting, hitting the mark, eye lines and continuity. In addition, you will understand the need to apply “units and objectives” to screen acting and the perception of the actor’s persona on camera. At the end of this unit a professionally produced show-reel will be uploaded to spotlight. In Term Two, you will produce your own show reel and undertake full responsibility for pre and post production work including: script selection and dramaturgy, location finding, filming, camera operation, sound recording, editing and uploading the finished work to Spotlight. To put into practice the widest possible range of students’ learning in the realisation of projects. You extend your Year Two work on acting for radio and on microphone in order to fully understand techniques required for the profession. You develop acting and vocal skills in radio performance, with specific reference to radio drama.

View Screen and Radio on our Module Directory

Final Productions

The final term culminates in productions that are designed to identify, extend and consolidate your strengths as a professional actor. Plays are chosen to show students’ abilities to best advantage and to provide opportunities for full-scale ensemble work in public performance. The variety of selected plays extends your acquired knowledge and familiarises you with further aspects of drama and of playing to a varied public. Final productions may be chosen as a result of student feedback or at the suggestion of directors and will take into account the male/female profile of the ensemble. Productions include all the final year students in an ensemble work often including music and dance to enable talented students to show their versatility. Final productions are given a run of shows normally in the Corbett Theatre or Tristan Bates Theatre, London.

View Final Productions on our Module Directory

Voice, Movement, Music and Singing

By the final year of the course you are considered to be a performer and an actor. The work of skills classes in Terms One and Two of the final year in this compulsory module focuses on your professional development. Classes involve the preparation of your shows, audition pieces, preparation for the final Showcase performance and weekly classes to deal with any on-going problems and issues arising. You continue to develop and practice warm-ups and preparation for rehearsal and performance. The final year work allows you to establish patterns and pathways for creative well-being to follow throughout your working life.

View Voice, Movement, Music and Singing on our Module Directory

Contextual Studies III

The module concentrates on contemporary theatre. You are encouraged to reflect on your course experiences and training and to prepare yourself for further professional and cultural challenges after graduation. You use the research and writing skills you have learned in years one and two to consider new ideas in greater depth and to develop the ability to express arguments through a process supported by relevant research and source materials. This process culminates in the third term when you present your Personal Development Journal. You are encouraged to widen your reading to research and discuss new ideas. You are guided towards theatre issues and practices in which you have a personal interest and encouraged to pursue them in depth. The module explores contemporary theatre theories and practices as well as post-modern performance and performance art. You use research to develop your understanding of contemporary theatre and are given opportunities to present your ideas in a coherent manner, using documentary evidence to support your views and standard academic conventions of presentation, for example referencing, quotations and bibliography.

View Contextual Studies III on our Module Directory

Professional Preparation and Audition Technique

This compulsory module provides you with the necessary skills and preparation to launch your professional career. You receive specific training in audition and interview technique, in marketing skills such as web design, CVs and letters of introduction and legal and financial issues affecting professional actors. Opportunities are provided for workshops, meetings and lectures by and with industry professionals such as agents and casting directors, as well as with working actors and directors. Throughout the module you are given practical assignments on which you receive feedback from guest lecturers and industry professionals.

View Professional Preparation and Audition Technique on our Module Directory

Teaching

Year 1

Your first year focuses on introductory acting, voice, articulation, singing and movement. You explore your own individual creativity and responsiveness to other actors. During your first year you will:

  • Develop skills in observation and self-assessment
  • Create individual character studies
  • Learn to re-create through reflection, research and improvisation
  • Understand how to act and react to emotional upheaval through a wide variety of texts

Your first year culminates in a unique Living History Project, in which you research, identify with and experience the lives of others through different periods of conflict.

Year 2

Your second year focuses on a variety of texts and acting styles while continuing to develop character. We put emphasis on integrating vocal, movement and singing skills into a role and the opportunity to build your own characters independently is combined with honing these technical skills. During your second year you will:

  • Adapt to the demands of different projects and directors
  • Take responsibility for your own creative work
  • Experience a range of challenging roles, from nineteenth-century naturalism to the textual and psychological complexity of Shakespeare, as well as Brechtian cabaret and Commedia dell’Arte
  • Develop your skills for television, film and radio acting
Final year

Your third year focuses on understanding the demands of professional performance industries before you graduate. You deliver a wide variety of plays to extend your performance repertoire as well as work with experienced industry professionals in recorded media. Productions enable you to develop advanced acting skills as well as to understand the research demands and commitment required for different roles, and place a strong emphasis on actor contribution within the ensemble.

In addition, specialised professional develop workshops help you understand the administrative aspects of your future profession, including:

  • Audition technique
  • CV and letter writing
  • Tax and self-employment
  • Marketing and promoting yourself as an actor

You also undertake a showcase performance in a major West End theatre in London before an invited audience of influential agents, casting directors, film, TV and theatre directors.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250

Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £650 per academic year. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.

International fee

£15,750

Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £650 per academic year. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

You also need to complete and send us a completed East 15 application form, including a copy of your audition payment receipt so that we can arrange your audition.

For full details, please see the East 15 website.


Apply now

Auditioning

Applicants to this course will need to book an audition. If you apply to us through UCAS we will send you information on how to do this. Alternatively, you can apply to East 15 directly. If you’re resident in the UK you’ll visit our campus to take part in the audition, where you’ll meet some of our staff and sample our teaching. You’ll need to prepare three pieces of around two minutes each; one classic, one contemporary (post-1950), and one that contrasts well with the contemporary speech. You may also be asked to take part in a group workshop.

Our staff travel the world auditioning applicants so if you’re not resident in the UK, it’s likely that we’ll be in a location near you at some point. This will be a one-to-one audition. If you still can’t make a physical audition, we are sometimes able to accept video auditions.

Offers for these courses will only be made after a successful audition.

For full details, please see the East 15 website.

Loughton Campus

Visit Loughton Campus

You’ll be in intensive training at one of the most prestigious and internationally respected conservatoires in the country gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in the performing arts. But fear not! It’s not all work and no play at East 15 Acting School in Loughton.

Open Days

We don’t currently offer Open Days for this course but if you would like more information, then please email us at east15@essex.ac.uk.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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