BA (HONS) Acting

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

The BA (Hons) Acting programme that we offer is distinctive and unique. 

Students are:

based in a working theatre environment

able to attain a degree level qualification in just two years

equipped with highly practical, industry-relevant skills training

taught by tutors with extensive, current industry experience

given the opportunity to work with external directors from renowned companies for second year production modules

The schedule for this programme is intense. It is expected that students will be in the building from 9.30am until 5.30pm Monday to Friday and will participate in a series of productions and an industry showcase, as part of the programme, as well as complete a range of practical and written assessments. We also offer regular, ‘Courtyard Collectives,” open to students and the public, for students to informally try out and showcase their performance skills. 

As a small, intimate training school we feel especially able to support and encourage the specific needs and talents of each prospective actor. Full support is given for both the academic and practical parts of the programme. Our aim is to equip you with a repertoire of skills needed to succeed in the performing arts industry and to also to support your personal development.

The Programme

The programme has three basic strands: Acting, Movement and Voice, which inevitably overlap in practice and directly influence the work in all areas of the delivered curriculum. Alongside the assessed modules of the degree programme we also include a range of non-assessed modules that are specifically designed to enhance your performance-related skills and employability. These are reviewed annually to keep them current with industry requirements.

Year One is concentrated on the knowledge, understanding and skills that are the foundations of acting and the development of the reflective practitioner.

Term 1 - Level 4

TH451 Movement 

TH452 Voice

TH453 Acting 1 - Introduction to Acting

Term 2 - Level 4 

TH454 Classical Theatre

TH455 Acting 2 - The Actor’s Journey 

Term 3 - Level 5

TH551 Rehearsal Process

TH552 Acting 3- Development of Character

 (Letters and numbers refer to the Codes for assessed modules that are part of the validated degree programme)

In addition to the above assessed modules, the CTTC first year programme includes non-assessed modules in: Period Dance, Ballet, Physical Training, Singing Improvisation, Theatre history and Stage combat. These modules have no formal practical or written assessments and are specifically designed to enhance industry- relevant skills and employability. Full participation in these modules is expected as part of your enrolment on the programme, and they offer very useful skills that can be used as performers.

Year Two investigates specialist areas of the theatre and focuses on how professional skills and practices may be utilised in the performance industry as well as possible career paths. Personal marketable skills and intellectual skills will extend the range of the performer.

There is an increasing emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of the individual creative artist working within an ensemble and professional environment.

This is achieved not only by being based in a professional theatre, with various experience opportunities, but also by having professional external directors, many with their own theatre companies or working in renowned national theatres, to direct the production modules. These directors are invited and may vary from year to year.

Term 1 - Level 5

TH553 - Devising

TH554 - Early 20th Century Drama

Term 2 - Level 6

TH651 - Acting for Recorded Media

TH652 - Production 1

Term 3 - Level 6

TH653 - Production 2

TH654 - Production 3

(Letters and numbers refer to the Codes for assessed modules that are part of the validated degree programme)

In addition to the above assessed modules, the CTTC second year programme includes non-assessed modules in: Period Dance, Physical Training, Movement, Voice, Singing, Stage combat (BADC certificate), Improvisation, Professional Practice and an Industry Showcase. These modules have no formal practical or written assessments and are specifically designed to enhance industry-relevant skills and employability. Full participation in these modules is expected as part of your enrolment on the programme, and they offer very useful skills that can be used as performers.

Training in sight-reading, accents and dialects is also incorporated into various modules of the programme. There are also occasional additional specialist workshops, guest speakers and sessions on academic practice and writing.

Curriculum Structure

The curriculum is based on a series of core, assessed modules, each of which delivers a discreet aspect of the actor’s development as well as non-assessed modules designed to further enhance performance skills. The programme presents a logically developed series of challenges to the individual student that reinforces the sense of journey and development of the actor - a gradual growing mastery of skills and critical awareness.

Modules are monitored and evaluated annually both internally and together with our University partner to ensure that they are current and meet the demands of the ever-changing industry and to enhance professional competence and exceptional actor skills. At the heart of this programme is the exploration and expansion of the individual and the development of the highly skilled professional. 

This degree programme not only trains the actor to the high standards required by industry professionals but it also recognises that intellectual and critical appraisal skills are part of that development. The opportunity to train in a working theatre with a range of industry and academic professionals is what distinguishes this programme from those offered by other institutions that either maintain an emphasis on primarily academic seams of Theatre Studies or Performing Arts or only on performance skills.

Students are guided to understand how all the assessed modules within the degree structure, as well as the non-assessed modules and other activities, are integrated in order to equip the individual student with all the skills required to meet the needs of the performing industry. Module Leaders and all teaching staff work together to ensure that students understand how the modules interlink. CTTC Tutors sometimes share classes in order to highlight this inter-connectivity.

Academic Levels                                                                                                                      

 The degree programme is based on three developing academic levels that are traditionally taken over three years and known as Level 4 (Year 1), Level 5 (Year 2) and Level 6 (Year 3). The intensive CTTC programme enables completion of all modules over a period of just two years with the first year comprising of four Level 4 modules and two Level 5 modules and the second year comprising of two Level 5 modules and four Level 6 modules. 

For Levels 4 & 5 the work concentrates on the acquisition of core skills and these are then developed in terms of the process from rehearsal to performance. At Level 6 all aspects of training 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 assessed 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

TH454 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 assessed modules at Level 5 contain a practical and a written assignment.

Year One:

TH551 Rehearsal Process – 30 credits

TH552 Acting 3 – 30 credits
Year Two:

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 is an important part of the creative and analytical process during the performance modules; it is intended to explore the development of character, show social and historical research that has been undertaken, demonstrate significant analytical reflection on the student’s personal journey through the production and present the development of a professional working experience.

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) apart from the Production 2 and 3 modules which are 100% Practical.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Including Assessments, Feedback, Appeals, Non-assessed Modules, Complaints, Student Representation, Buddies, Induction Week and Privacy: 

A) Continuous assessment 

The programme incorporates continuous assessment with practical or written assessments, or both, being required at the end of each module.

B) Performance 

A formal line of assessment considers 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 can look at a specific aspect of the acting curriculum, such as movement exercise warm-up routines, etc., and focuses on the mastery of a specific skill. 

D) Student- led presentations 

Each student undertakes short individual, or small group, presentations to the rest of the company at various point during the course of their study. This is intended to develop personal and communications skills and the ability to summarise and present information such as outcomes of research/investigation or self-assessment of Reflective Journals. 

E) Written assignments 

These are part of all the assessed modules and take the form of an essay, research portfolio or a Reflective Journal. These are intended to develop and demonstrate written, critical appraisal and reflective skills that distinguish between (i) expert technical detail (ii) popular review and (iii) personal evaluation, for which the writer takes complete responsibility. 

F) Practical assignments

These include taking part in scenes and recorded media, such as voice-overs, and in the second year include taking part in productions in front of public audiences. 

G) Self-assessment 

Self-assessment is used to promote the student’s capabilities for both subjective and objective observation as well as the ability to self-appraise, reflect, analyse and identify areas for development.

H) Peer assessment 

Peer assessment is used to develop the capability to objectively assess the work of others and provide appropriate, constructive feedback as well as to relate this assessment to an evaluation of one’s own work.

I) Personal Development Plans (PDPs) and Personal Academic Tutorials (PATs)

All students complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at the start of each academic year. This is used to highlight strengths and identify personal targets and any individual support needs. Each student also has a one-to-one Personal Academic Tutorial (PAT) with their allocated Personal Academic Tutor (usually the Director of Studies or Assistant Director of Studies) annually during the first term of each academic year.

J) Feedback Policy - Formative And Summative

The teaching team are committed to providing continuous feedback to students over the course of the programme in order to aid their reflection and development. Feedback is both formative (given informally during classes) and summative (given as written feedback for all practical and written assignments).

Feedback covers aspects such as: achievement at a technical level; development of skills and mastery; interactive skills; sustained investment; effective uptake on a given idea.

At the end of each assessed module students are given the opportunity to receive short, personal feedback from the tutor or director concerned and to discuss their own self-appraisal. Non-assessed modules incorporate tutor feedback, often in the form of group feedback, as well as peer feedback, as appropriate.

This high level of personal feedback is designed to support students’ confidence and to highlight strengths and achievements as well as indicate areas for improvement.  

K) Academic Misconduct Process

The Bucks University’s Academic Misconduct process is applied for any student alleged to have plagiarised, colluded with another student, or failed to comply with the University’s academic regulations when completing assessments. See the University’s Academic Conduct Policy for full details of this process. This policy is also available on University Website, the CTTC intranet and in the Student Comms Room.

The Academic Misconduct process, operated jointly by CTTC and the University, is used to determine whether academic misconduct has occurred and, if so, the appropriate penalty is applied.

During Induction week, and in Academic Writing sessions, you will be given guidance on referencing and plagiarism and the academic conduct that you are required to follow. Further advice can also be obtained from tutors. Should any allegation of academic misconduct occur you will be informed in writing and given details of the next stages of the process.

Programme Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge and Understanding

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

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

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.

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:

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.

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.

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:

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

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

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.

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:

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

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.

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.

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.

Full details of the programme can be found in the Programme Specification and Programme Handbook. These documents are all also available on the University Website, the CTTC intranet and in the Student Comms Room. 

L. Appeals.

For full details of procedures for any academic appeals please see the Bucks University Academic Appeals document. This document is also available on the University Website, the CTTC intranet and in the Student Comms Room.  

M. Non-assessed Modules

The non-assessed modules that aim to enhance performance skills, such as period dance, ballet, singing, etc, do not have any formal written or practical assessments. However they do incorporate tutor feedback and sometimes also self-appraisal or peer feedback. The Combat module also provides the opportunity to obtain a qualification with the British Academy of Dramatic Combat (BADC).  Full participation in these modules is expected as part of your enrolment on the programme, and they offer very useful skills that can be used as performers.

N. Complaints

CTTC aims to support all students throughout their study and to provide them with a positive experience of their programme. In the event of any complaint the first stage is to complete an Informal Complaint Form (Available in the Welcome Pack, on the CTTC intranet and in the Student Comms Room). This is then submitted to the Director of Studies, considered by relevant members of the CTTC team, such as the Principal or Quality Manager, and responded to within a specific time frame.

A record is kept of all informal complaints and these are also informed to relevant staff at Bucks University (the Partnership Tutor and the Student resolution Officer).

If for any reason a student is not happy with the resolution of the informal complaint then a formal complaint process can be initiated. For full details of the formal complaints procedure please see the Bucks University Student Complaints Procedure policy document. This document is also available on the University Website, the CTTC intranet and in the Student Comms Room.  

O. Student Representation

Each year group (named according to your year of entry i.e. Court 28” commenced  in 2016,  “Court 29” commenced in 2017 and Court 30 commence in September 2018) elects two student representatives (SRs) also known as “Company Managers” (CMs). First years elect their first representatives at the end of Induction Week and then termly while second year representatives are elected at the start of the second year hold their term of office for the whole year.

The SRs/CMs receive training from both Bucks University Student Union reps and from the CTTC Quality Manager. They run the termly Student Staff Committee meetings and also attend Academic Quality Committee meetings (full Terms of Reference for these Committees can be found here). They play an important role in facilitating communication between students and staff, ,and in operational matters in relation to the running of the programme and the theatre, and also take part in annual reviews by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

P. Buddies

During Induction Week you will be allocated a “Buddy” from the student group in the year above. Their role is to help orientate you and answer any informal queries you may have about the course.

Q. Induction Week

CTTC offer a full week of induction including: introductions to staff, tutors, University Representatives, Student Union representatives and each other; information on the programme, policies and procedures; University registration; group activities; a local tour, devising exercises and a brief end of week performance. Full details are sent to you with your Welcome Pack.

R. Privacy

At CTTC, we are committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of visitors to our website, our students and staff. We store data securely and act in compliance with the latest Data Protection legislation. We do not sell or exchange any email lists or personal details with any other companies and businesses for marketing purposes.

Full details of what personal, or sensitive, information we collect, how we use it, how we keep it secure and the limited conditions under which we may disclose it to others are contained in our Privacy Policy. This policy is also available the CTTC intranet and in the Student Comms Room.  

We look forward to receiving your application and to welcoming successful applicants to CTTC in September 2018!

For any course queries please contact our administrator on: 0207 739 6868 or email admin@the courtyard.org.uk

Page last updated and signed off 14 May 2018.

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