BA (HONS) Acting

The BA (HONS) Acting degree is validated by Buckinghamshire New University. 

The BA (Hons) Acting is distinctive and unique.  It is a highly practical degree, with a intense schedule.  It is expected that students will be in the building from 9.30am until 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

As a small, intimate training school we feel especially able to cope with the specific demands of each prospective actor.

The three basic strands – Acting, Movement and Voice – inevitably overlap in practice and directly influence the work in all areas of the delivered curriculum.

Year One is concentrated with a range of knowledge, understanding and skills on the foundations of acting and the development of the reflective practitioner.

Semester 1 - Level 4

Semester 2 - Level 4

Semester 3 - Level 5

Acting 1 - Introduction to Acting

Acting 2 - The Actor’s Journey

Acting 3- Development of Character

Voice

Classical Theatre

Rehearsal Process

Movement

 

 

Other subjects may include: Period Dance, Ballet, Improvisation, Theatre history, Sight Reading, Accents and Dialects

Year Two investigates specialist areas of the theatre and will relate to possible career paths and how the professional skills and practices may be utilised in the performance industry. Personal marketable skills and intellectual skills will extend the range of the performer. There will be an increasing emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of the individual creative artist within an ensemble and professional environment by being a member of our springboard company – N1 Theatre Company

Semester 1 - Level 5

Semester 2 - Level 6

Semester 3 - Level 6

Early 20th Century Drama

Acting for Recorded Media

Production 2 - N1 Theatre Company

Devising

Production 1

Production 3 - N1 Theatre Company

 

 


Other subjects may include: Dance, Movement, Voice, Stage combat (BADC certificate) Professional Practice and an Industry Showcase

Curriculum Structure

The curriculum is based on a series of core modules, each of which delivers a discreet aspect of the actor’s development and is calculated to present a logically developed series of challenges to the individual student that reinforces the sense of journey and development of the actor - a gradual growing of mastery of skills and critical awareness.

Clearly within each module there is required to be a degree of flexibility to meet the demands of the ever-changing industry and to consider aspects of the work such as general standards of professional competence and what is exceptional to the skill of that actor. To investigate both the individual and the demands of the professional is at the heart of this degree.

It is also essential that it be recognised that this degree is identifying the work of the actor as required by industry professionals and that the intellectual skills are part of that development. This is clearly what distinguishes this programme from other institutions that maintain an emphasis on primarily academic seams of Theatre Studies or Performing Arts.

Students are led to an understanding of how all modules within the degree structure operate with regard to achieving clarity in relation to the needs of the performing industry. Module Leaders and all teaching staff work together to ensure that the message is understand that modules inter-link. Tutors often share classes in order to highlight inter-connectivity.

In Levels 4 & 5 the work will concentrate on the acquisition of skills and then these will be developed in terms of the process from rehearsal to performance. At Level 6 all aspects of training will continue but at a higher level of intensity with the production process being central to the delivery of the curriculum. 

Level 4

All 30 credit Level 4 modules consist of a practical and written assessment; all 15 credit Level 4 modules consist of a practical assessment only.

TH451 Movement – 15 credits

TH452 Voice – 15 credits

TH453 Acting 1 – 30 credits

TH451 Classical Theatre – 30 credits

TH455 Acting 2 – 30 credits

The assessments at Level 4 aim to engage students with the new methods of study they will need to cultivate in order to succeed in the professional performance environment, and to enable members of staff to identify students who may need particular support and then to put in place appropriate measures.

The assessment regime is as follows for 30 credit modules: 80% (practical) and 20% (written).

Level 5

All Modules at Level 5 contain a practical and a written assignment.

TH551 Rehearsal Process – 30 credits

TH552 Acting 3 – 30 credits

TH553 – Devising – 30 credits

TH554 Early 20th Century – 30 credits

The assessment regime is as follows for 30 credit modules: 80% (practical) and 20% (written).

Level 6

Modules in Level 6 are predominantly based on practical assessment to focus on the practical and vocational nature of the training. An accompanying Reflective Journal will become an important part of the analytical process during the performance modules, as it shows the development of character, social and historical research that has been undertaken for the production as well as a significant analytical reflection on the students’ journey through the production and the development and presentation of a professional working model.

TH651 Acting for Recorded Media – 30 credits

TH652 Production 1 – 30 credits

TH653 Production 2 – 30 credits

TH654 Production 3 – 30 credits

The assessment regime is as follows for 30 credit modules: 80% (practical) and 20% (written).

Additional Information on Assessments

A) Continuous assessment 

The tutor can undertake this at any point in the delivery of the module can undertake this. Criteria could be as follows: achievement at a technical level; development of skills and mastery; interactive skills; sustained investment; effective uptake on idea given; this could also include self and peer assessment 

B) Performance 

A formal line of assessment considering the understanding and exploration of characters and the staging of a play or text within performance conditions 

C) Showing/sharing 

This is an informal performance vehicle and could look at a specific aspect of the acting curriculum – movement exercise warm up routine etc., should be assessed in the mastery of a specific skill. 

D) Student led demonstration 

Student organised with a peer and tutor audience- aspects to be considered might be confidence, mastery and initiative and creatively demonstrated in student performance. 

E) Student led seminar 

Each student is required to present to the rest of the company as an aspect of Independent Study based around personal skills. Students must show ability to communicate the research or outcomes of the investigation, which is here, mainly self assessment for Reflective Journals. 

F) Written assignments 

These are associated with all modules, in the style of an essay, research portfolio or a Reflective Journal. There should be personal and individual subjective reflection that distinguishes between (i) expert technical detail; (ii) the popular review; and (iii) the personal evaluation for which the writer takes complete responsibility. 

G) Self-assessment 

It is intended this should promote the student’s development as a participant capable of objective observation and the ability to self appraise, reflect, analyse and formulate explicit criteria appropriate to the assessment of others. 

H) Peer assessment 

A framework is identified wherein the observers can interrogate the work observed in an objective manner. This is an important as it encourages a more detailed response to the demands on self within personal practice. 

I) Personal Academic Tutorials (PATS)

PATS are undertaken at (i) the end of each semester in Level 4 and Level 5 and (ii) at the completion of each production in Level 6. These will be led by the allocated Personal Academic Tutor for each student in Levels 4 & 5 and the Director of each production in Level 6. Self-evaluation notes on the part of the student and production notes for relevant production work will support this work. It will be referenced as a positive aspect of the student’s development and will seek to consider pointers for further growth. These aspects will be noted and talked about at the next meeting.

J) Feedback Policy - Formative And Summative

The programme team is committed to providing feedback to students in order to aid their reflection and progression through the programme. It is good practice to provide students with written feedback in addition to spoken comments and there should be a high level of congruence between the two feedback elements. It is important to remember that there is a balance to be struck between bolstering a student’s confidence and self-esteem and indicating how to improve. 

K) Academic Misconduct Process

The academic misconduct process will be applied if you are alleged to have broken exam regulations, plagiarised or colluded with another student when completing your work. The process will be used to determine whether academic misconduct has occurred and, if so, the appropriate penalty to be applied.

You will be notified by your faculty if an allegation of plagiarism has been made against you, and you will also be given details regarding any further stages of the process. In the meantime, if you are unsure about correct referencing, or need more information regarding academic misconduct please see your personal tutor. 

Programme Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of the programme a graduate will be able to: 

  1. Manage various necessary processes of performance and production and communicate effectively and concisely (in formats, oral/verbal/physical, appropriate to tasks)

  2. Demonstrate a comprehensive subject-specific knowledge in aspects of performance eg. Characterisation, physical theatre and specialised aspects of the performance e.g. ethical and social issues, interpretative issues, repertoire and its demands on the performer and adapting to the demands of the performance space/s.

  3. Show evidence of a comprehensive awareness of a specific area that has been demonstrated through independent enquiry (e.g. historical, education, theories of acting and new writing)

B. Intellectual/Cognitive Skills

On successful completion of the programme a graduate will be able to:

  1. Select and apply appropriate methods of evaluation to engage with theatre practitioners and articulate and debate complex performative issues, demonstrating awareness of ethical and social implications.

  2. Synthesise the skills of the reflective practitioner and identify perception, sensitivity and contextual knowledge when analysing, complex problem solving and evaluating the work of ‘self’ and others within the ensemble.

  3. Engage confidently and flexibly in debate about a range of intellectual, practical and professional issues within the performing arts and media industries within a contemporary context.

C. Practical Skills

On successful completion of the programme a graduate will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a wide variety of creative, physical and aesthetic skills in performance within acting, physical theatre, and related repertoire.

  2. Demonstrate a mature, professional approach, and show application of all skills to complex performance situations skills adapting to the needs of the writer, director, technician/s, actors and audience

  3. Demonstrate confidence, competence and technical skills in the craft of acting, plus a commitment towards the preparation and execution of practical tasks and performances undertaken.

  4. Perform and present professional level creative/technical work adapting to a variety of audience and performance situations.

D. Key/Transferable Skills

On successful completion of the programme a graduate will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical skills relating to the development and understanding of the ‘reflective’ practitioner, resolving complex problems effectively.

  2. Demonstrate the ability to act both autonomously and collectively within a range of professional working environments and show confident and inspiring social and performance skills where necessary.

  3. Demonstrate originality, insight and pro-activity in practical and academic contexts and independence in the execution of advanced and challenging tasks as well as being aware of professional codes of conduct and the ability to operate within them.

  4. Understand the current industry and its future developments likely to impact on the work of the professional practitioner.

The student should expect to become a thinking practitioner, in charge of his/her own career choices, with a broad knowledge of the Performing Arts industries, a range of techniques at your disposal, and the ability to critically assess the implications of your work and others. Ultimately, the programme aims at equipping students for life, with transferable skills, such as problem-solving, the ability to work in groups, under pressure, heightened creativity, self- discipline and patience.