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BA (Hons) Acting (Film, TV and Stage) Top-up

  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2024

You can also study this course:

If you’re looking to break into acting, this course is an excellent launch pad. You’ll get to fine-tune and extend your acting skills, working on live briefs, networking with industry creatives and taking part in diverse projects.
Are you wanting to top-up your qualification to a BA Honours degree? If you have completed a foundation-level degree, HND, or equivalent qualifications in a relevant Art and Design subject, you can choose to top-up your studies to gain a full bachelor’s degree.
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Why study this subject?

Through simulating a professional environment and experience, this course allows you as a student to learn the skills that you’ll need in preparation for the rigours of working in the performing arts industry or related field.

You’ll cover a range of key areas on this course, including a catalogue of different acting styles, acting practice, working with others and stage work at professional venues. An area of independent research practice will enable you to develop and employ a range of critical thinking skills based on subject knowledge and garnered through individual research and performance practice.

Student performance

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

The mix of screen and stage work is what makes this course stand out. We will give you hands-on experience with the latest technology allowing you to explore the full range of screen, audio and intermedial possibilities. Our team of experienced academic-practitioners has a wealth of industry and academic experience and will nurture your learning and professional development throughout your time with us. We place performance making at the centre of this course so you'll get a much better understanding of the practices that surround film, stage and television performances.

We seek to bring your work into the wider world and to bring the world into the university. Students perform in external venues during their time at BNU, and have recently worked with a range of theatre companies and practitioners including Paper Birds on devising theatre, Out of Joint on contemporary texts, Mark McGann on acting for camera, and Station House Opera on intermedial theatre.

As well as taking part in guest workshops, you’ll collaborate with students from other courses. You could work on projects with students studying film and TV production, creative advertising, audio and music, and even nursing. We’ll support you to find an approach to acting that’s uniquely yours and alongside this set you up with the real-world skills you need to secure acting work when you graduate.

Find out more about what life in the School of Dance and Performance is like.

What facilities can I use?

You’ll use our drama studios on site, some with moving lights and fully-equipped sound systems and projection. We also have sprung floors and mirrors suitable for movement and physical work. We use the professional venue at Wycombe Town Hall, which is less than two minutes from our campus. You will have access to high quality Sony camera equipment, suitable for film and TV screening, and also to lighting rigs and sound recording facilities. Check out our facilities section for more information.

What will I study?

This programme is designed to develop professional skills and techniques across a range of Acting forms focusing on Film, TV & Stage. We enhance students’ previous acting training by providing a blend of critical analysis of dramatic texts and screenplays, alongside skills acquisition and development and performance, both for stage and screen.

The course aims to encourage critical thinking through a study of playwrights, performance skills and theatre and film practitioners. Tutors are research active and engage in research through practice, which informs all teaching with theoretical content. 

This dynamic top-up degree programme will also give students the opportunity to engage with practitioners in the fields of theatre and film, to stage their own independently produced work and to study an area of interest they wish to research.

You will try out different styles and ideas that suit you and that you can integrate into your own performances. You’ll be able to understand what is required for acting on screen as well as stage, and will become a motivated team player able to think about the world around them. You’ll become a thinking practitioner with a passion for all that acting can be and a wide range of skills to achieve it.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Our team of experienced academics and acting professionals will nurture your learning and professional skills throughout your time with us.

We will work with you to ensure you gain:

  • a good knowledge of different acting styles, ideas and approaches;
  • the skills to perform powerfully on screen and stage;
  • an understanding of how to manage your own artistic company and initiate your own projects;
  • the ability to present your ideas and work well with others.

We're passionate about giving our students as many opportunities as possible so you’ll be able to work on a number of exciting projects. We know the importance of catering for different learning styles and enabling our students to develop a wide range of academic and performance skills. We don't have any written exams and we encourage you to develop your own response to open briefs, giving you independence and creative control over your work.

Throughout the course, an attempt is made to connect practical and critical work, with an understanding of the links between theory and practice evidenced in written work. Teaching methods may vary but will include workshops to develop practical and production skills, lectures, and performances (some of which are formally assessed) where you will perform to an audience or be mediated (i.e. for camera).

Assessment is varied, catering for different learning styles and enabling students to develop a wide range of academic and performance skills. These include solo performance, group performance, group presentation, written project proposal, written reflection on creative work, and essay.

By the time you graduate, you’ll have an entrepreneurial flair and a strong grasp of the world of acting. You’ll be able to position yourself confidently as an inspiring and creative performer that people will want to work with.

students laying on the floor practicing for a performance
A group acting on stage

Placements Plus

BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Useful Documents

BA (Hons) Acting (Film, TV & Stage) Top-up Programme Specification.pdf

What are the course entry requirements?

This programme is offered as a top-up qualification for students who have completed a HND, FdA, or other equivalent qualification in a relevant Arts or Performance subject, and wish to progress further to achieve an Honours degree.

Applicants will need to complete an interview and present a monologue, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice pages.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Strategic Professional Practice - Applied Arts

Strategic Professional Practice Professional Portfolio

Independent Production

Transferable and Employability Skills

Viva and Research Proposal

Acting Practical Dissertation (optional)

Acting Written Dissertation (optional)

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£14,250 per year

Additional course costs and financial support

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

If you have any questions about the fees above, contact our Enquiries team by calling 0330 123 2023 or emailing advice@bnu.ac.uk.

What are my career prospects? 

By the time you leave us, you’ll be in a strong position to go after acting work. You could also take your skills and experience into other areas of the arts and media.

You could work in acting for theatre or films, set up your own performance company, work in education or outreach groups, or across a range of areas in the cultural industries, undertake further professional study or pursue research through a master’s degree.

We will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities such as:

  • Actor/ Actress
  • Playwright
  • Screenwriter
  • Performance Company owner
  • Teacher.

You may also wish to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study our full-time or part-time MA Performance (Live and Digital).

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Course leader

A head shot of a smiling Jeremy Kelly looking face on directly into the camera stood against a grey background
Dr Jeremy Kelly
  • Senior Lecturer
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A head shot of a smiling Catriona Craig wearing a blue top stood facing directly into the camera against a grey wall
Dr Catriona Craig
  • Senior Lecturer
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