Undergraduate application information

Applying to East 15

Applying for an undergraduate course

Within this section of our website you will find key information and guidance about how to apply to East 15 Acting School.

It is incredibly important that you read this information carefully before submitting an application to us, so please take some time to familiarise yourself with this key information and, should you have any questions, please email e15adms@essex.ac.uk


How to apply

Applicants must hold academic qualifications equivalent to the entry requirements for any chosen course/s or provide evidence of suitability for study.

The following courses are now closed for 2019 entry. Applications for 2020 entry will open in October.

BA Acting
BA Acting (International)
BA Acting & Community Theatre
BA Acting & Contemporary Theatre
BA Acting & Stage Combat
BA Physical Theatre
BA World Performance
Cert HE in Theatre Arts

We are still accepting applications for: 

BA Creative Producing (Theatre and Short Film)
BA Stage & Production Management

Applicants for BA Creative Producing and BA Stage & Production Management should choose Option 4 in the Audition section of the application form and include in their Personal Statement why they wish to study the course you are applying for. It is free to apply for these courses.

If you are currently not in UCAS, you can still apply and should miss out Step 2 of the process below. On the application form please enter "Direct" in the UCAS number box.

Follow the steps below to apply.

Step 1

Step 2 

  • Complete a UCAS application. You only need to enter your first choice of course as you will get the chance to add more course choices at the next stage. To complete your UCAS application you will need the following information:

Institution Name: Essex
Institution Code: E70
Campus Code: L for Loughton; S for Southend

Cert HE Theatre Arts Campus Code: L or S  UCAS Code: W410

BA Acting Campus Code: L  UCAS Code: W411

BA Acting (International) Campus Code: L  UCAS Code: W83A

BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre Campus Code: L  UCAS Code: W441

BA Stage and Production Management Campus Code: L  UCAS Code: DKAS

BA Acting and Community Theatre Campus Code: S  UCAS Code W496

BA Acting and Stage Combat Campus Code: S  UCAS Code W412

BA Physical Theatre Campus Code: S  UCAS Code: W494

BA Creative Producing (Theatre and Short Film) Campus Code: S  UCAS Code: W900

BA World Performance Campus Code: S  UCAS Code: W495

Step 3

  • Complete our Direct Application Form. You can apply for up to 3 courses on this form.
    Please note that it is important that you complete the application form in full as it this, and not your UCAS form, that will be considered along with your audition or interview.

Step 4

  • Pay the audition fee. This applies to all applicants attending a UK audition and overseas applicants submitting online auditions except those applying exclusively for BA Stage and Production Management and/or BA Creative Producing (Theatre and Short Film). Applicants attending an overseas audition do not need to pay the audition fee. Please note that this fee is non-refundable. See terms and conditions

Preparing for auditions

The only undergraduate courses that do not require an audition are BA Stage & Production Management and BA Creative Producing (Theatre and Short Film). Applicants to all other courses are expected to audition in person or, for applicants who are resident overseas and cannot attend one of our international auditions, submit online materials

Auditions days and interviews generally take place at the campus where your first choice course is based and run from December through to May. The audition day starts with a general address to all applicants after which you will be allocated to a group and directed to a room for your first audition piece. You will then be asked to perform your audition speeches in front of your group and at least one East 15 tutor. Some students may be re-called after lunch for a further audition or workshop if the tutors require more information in order to make their decision.

During your audition, you may receive direction and suggestions on your performance so you should listen closely to what you are being asked to do.  Please note that, through our suggestions, we are offering feedback on the work that we have seen.  We do not give feedback after the event, but if you listen attentively you will gain insight and feedback during the sessions.

Our audition process is very thorough, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your full potential. The audition lasts from four to six hours and includes opportunities to ask questions and engage with staff and current students

Audition Speeches

Candidates for all acting courses (this does not apply to BA Stage & Production Management or BA Creative Producing) must prepare two contrasting speeches from the following (1 speech from each category):

  • a Shakespearean or Jacobean play, lasting no more than one and a half minutes
  • a contemporary (post 1970) play lasting no more than two minutes

For some of our courses, we also have additional audition/interview requirements and you should make sure that you have checked the requirements for all your course choices.

Before selecting your pieces for audition, read the whole play and be ready to talk about the characters and the action.  You may be asked to improvise or translate the classical text into modern language.  We may ask you to approach the play in a variety of new ways. Do not select roles too old for you. Nor should you do any piece which requires an accomplished accent unlike your own.

BA Acting
BA Acting (International)
BA Acting and Community Theatre
Certificate of Higher Education in Theatre Arts

Please prepare a third speech from a published play, lasting no more than two minutes, that contrasts well with the contemporary (post 1970) speech. Applicants may also be asked to take part in a group activity.

BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre

Please prepare a third piece, lasting no more than two minutes, that is preferably something you have created (be it a piece of writing, music or visual art). If you require any AV equipment or props for your piece you must bring these with you and be able to set it up and dismantle them quickly. Applicants may also be asked to take part in a group activity.

BA Acting and Stage Combat

You may be invited to take part in a physical session, during which we will be able to better assess your physical aptitude as performer.  Please ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear.

BA Physical Theatre

Please prepare a third piece of self-devised physical theatre, that you feel demonstrates your skills in this area, lasting no more than two minutes. If you require any audio equipment or props for your piece you must bring these with you and be able to set it up and dismantle them quickly. Applicants may also take part in a group physical activity.

BA World Performance

You may be asked to participate in a group activity and discussion group at audition.

BA Stage and Production Management

You will be asked to attend an interview, where we will discuss your interests in the theatre, relevant experience and reasons for applying. You should bring with you (where possible) a portfolio of your work, demonstrating any previous experience in Technical Theatre. You must be successful at interview for your application to be progressed.

Students who are interested in BA Stage and Production Management and would like to find out more information before applying should email e15adms@essex.ac.uk for further information.

BA Creative Producing (Theatre and Short Film)

You will be invited to attend an interview where we will ask about your interests in the Creative Industries, relevant experience and reasons for applying. You must be successful at interview to gain entry onto the course.


Online Auditions

If you live outside the UK, and cannot attend a UK or overseas audition, you may submit an online audition via YouTube, Vimeo or an alternative digital platform.

Please note that all applicants will need to submit a direct application form on which they can request their choice of audition country from the available list or add in their link for an online audition. Applicants submitting an online audition will also need to pay the £55 audition fee.

All online audition materials must be performed in English and include the following:

  • One speech from a Shakespearean or Jacobean play lasting not more than one and a half minutes
  • One speech from a contemporary (post 1970) play lasting no more than two minutes
  • The applicant looking directly at the camera and, without notes or a script, talking about themselves, their family, their school, their life and why they want to enter theatre, film, TV or radio.
  • If applicable for the courses you are applying for, a further speech as per the instructions above. 

We recommend that you upload the video material referred to above to either YouTube, Vimeo or file sharing sites such as Dropbox. You will need to provide the web address (URL) for this material within the online application form so should have this ready before submitting the form.

Overseas auditions

We also audition and interview internationally in around 10 countries each year, find out the dates, venues and availability of our auditions page

Information for applicants requiring a Tier 4 Visa

Overseas applicants from outside the EEA are likely to require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK. If you think this applies to you, and you are offered a place following audition or interview, you may be required to provide the following documentation:

  • a copy of your passport
  • transcripts of your highest level of qualification showing the grades achieved
  • proof that you have undertaken an English language test (for example, IELTS with a score of 6.0 overall and a 5.5 minimum in each component) if English is not your first language
  • a reference recommending you for the course (this is normally completed through UCAS)

Further information about the documents you will need to provide will be sent to you by the Admissions Office at the University of Essex as part of your formal offer. These documents are not required as part of your application and audition.

The application and admissions process

All applicants are required to attend an audition or interview. However, if you are based outside the UK please note that we offer overseas auditions in around 10 countries each year or will accept online audition materials. We strongly recommend that you read the information provided above about how to prepare for your audition.

Applicants may only apply and audition once in each academic year.

Audition or interview date 

Following submission of your direct application to East 15 you will be contacted by our Admissions Team to advise you of your audition or interview date (alternatively, if you are an overseas applicant, and have submitted audition materials electronically, we will acknowledge receipt of these). We run a number of audition days throughout the year and recommend strongly that you read audition guidance and the Terms and Conditions for Audition (.pdf).

Once you have received your audition/interview date, all further correspondence from the school will be via email. Please ensure that you check your inbox regularly (we also recommend that you check junk/spam folders just in case your email provider filters our emails).


You won’t receive any feedback on the day of your audition/interview, however, you should expect to hear from us via email within two weeks. The outcome of your audition/interview will initially be communicated as one of the four outcomes below:


Outcome Meaning
Provisional Offer This means that, provided the application is authorised by the University of Essex (no information is missing, incomplete etc.), the forthcoming offer will be for one of the applicant’s chosen courses or a programme that our Heads of Course feel is a more appropriate option
Official Conditional Offer All of our offers are conditional upon the payment of a refundable (subject to terms and conditions) £300 course deposit and return of a signed Admissions Agreement by 6th June 2019 for early applicants or within 2 weeks of the official offer being made if this is later.
Wait List This means that applicant will be held on our Wait List in case a place becomes available on an appropriate course. There is no guarantee of an offer. Applicants to undergraduate programmes will see a ‘rejection’ on UCAS – notwithstanding this, East 15 will hold them on the Wait List and bring the applicant back through UCAS if a place becomes available.
Unsuccessful  This means that the applicant has not been successful at audition and we are not able to offer a place on any of our courses at East 15

Receiving an offer 

If you receive a Provisional Offer you should respond to it within two weeks, indicating whether or not you are interested in the course that is recommended.

Your Official Conditional Offer will arrive soon afterwards (this may take up to a fortnight). The offer, which will arrive via email, includes the conditions of our offer and important response deadline information. You will also receive correspondence from the University of Essex Undergraduate Admissions Team either confirming your offer and the conditions and instructions on what you need to do next or requesting further information. It is important that you respond to any requests within the timeframe given as our offer may be withdrawn if we do not hear from you.

Please note, successful applicants must submit a response to the University (accepting or declining the offer). You must also return our Admissions Agreement (link contained within your offer letter) and a refundable £300 course deposit (refunds subject to Terms and Conditions for Course Deposit (.pdf) by the stipulated deadline to secure your place.