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If you’re looking to break into acting, this degree 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.
Unlike many acting degrees that focus primarily on the theatre, this course covers on-screen acting, too. With a lot of acting work coming from on-screen avenues, we’ll get you ready to capitalise on film, TV and online opportunities as well.
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
Why study this subject?
In this course you will learn that there are many acting styles. You’ll have a broad understanding of approaches to acting from the last 100 years, and 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.
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.
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?
Through practical workshops, and looking at the relevant literature, we’ll take you through different acting styles and techniques, including method acting, physical theatre, post-dramatic styles, comedy, and more abstract approaches.
Each year includes skills, production and theory modules, enabling you to gain knowledge and confidence with the practical and theoretical elements that underpin acting. And in your final year, you’ll manage your own significant screen or stage-based production, from conception to venue booking, marketing and performance.
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).
In your third year, you’ll set up your own theatre company and devise a production that you'll manage from conception through to venue booking, marketing and performance.
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. Through Artists’ Manifestos students will be asked to outline their creative ideas in a theorised way, demonstrating their grasp of the interface between theory and practice.
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.
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.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112
A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required and a typical offer also requires GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Every application is considered on an individual basis.
Applicants will need to complete an interview and/or demonstrate portfolio work, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice pages.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.
Suitable candidates will receive an audition invitation
All suitable candidates will be invited to discuss their work during an audition and interview that will last approximately 15 minutes. The interviewing tutor will be looking for:
- the ability to articulate your views on your own work
- a commitment and enthusiasm for the subject
- the potential for sustained professional development
- the ability to form and present opinions on other performing art work, either as a performer or audience member.
Your audition piece
At interview, you will be required to perform one short monologue (either modern or classical) in English lasting between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. You should prepare your piece from a published play of your choice. The chosen piece needs to be prepared in advance of the audition so it is ready to be performed on the day. The audition is an opportunity to show your skills and development potential in these areas. However it is more important that you display the correct attitude, rather than aptitude. All candidates will also need to display their motivation, enthusiasm and work ethic.
What you must bring with you
For the audition please ensure that you are wearing appropriate clothes and footwear. Formal attire is not required.
Information for overseas students
Please note, if you're overseas and are unable to attend an interview/audition should submit a YouTube/Vimeo link in place of attending in person. The chosen piece needs to be prepared in advance, recorded and sent over to us electronically at least one week before your interview slot.
Your audition piece can be emailed to email@example.com. A telephone or Skype interview will be conducted during your allocated slot. Please ensure that you email the contact details that will be used to carry out your interview to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
This module map provides a list 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
Introduction to Devised Production
Introduction to Scripted Production
Actor Training and Theory
Performer Training and Theory
Approaches to Acting and Screen
Approaches to Acting and Performance
Year 2 Modules
Recorded Voice Skills
Physical Theatre Skills
Film & Theatre Production
Practice With Research
Theoretical and Practical Perspectives
Devising and Writing (optional)
Acting and Text (optional)
Year 3 Modules
Strategic Professional Practice - Applied Arts
Strategic Professional Practice - Professional Portfolio
Transferable and Employability Skills
Viva & Research Proposal
Acting Practical Dissertation (optional)
Acting Written Dissertation (optional)
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
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
- Performance Company owner
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.