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This exciting interdisciplinary degree programme fuses theatre, film, television and audio media placing the performer at the heart of the creative process. So, if you're a self-motivated and enthusiastic performing arts lover, this course could be the perfect path for you.
During your time on this course you'll develop a broad understanding of the industry and spend time focusing on all aspects of production. As well as this you’ll have the opportunity to write, create and perform group and independent productions.
Being a student at BNU has taught me a variety of key skills that are essential in today's ever-adapting performing arts industry.Ben Coleman
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.
At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union has been ranked in the top three in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2020). We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich your university experience. It’s a big deal!
Why study this subject?
Whether you specialise in Film, TV or Stage, with this degree you'll be able to play a key role in storytelling. Become the protagonist of your career and help create inspiring characters for your audience to fall in love with.
Through this art form you'll be able to create relationships with the audience and it'll be your artistic flare that will entertain, inspire and comfort them.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
On this course you'll learn that there are many ways to be a performer. We'll give you hands-on experience with the latest technology allowing you to explore the full range of screen, audio and inter-media possibilities, whilst having access to industry professionals who'll help you shape your work.
With London’s theatre world only a short train journey away, we're perfectly placed for acting and performing arts opportunities, placements and theatre visits. There’ll be lots of other performance opportunities open to you, during and after you graduate. We frequently draw on our strong industry links, including:
- Swan Theatre, High Wycombe – students from each year perform in this professional theatre every year.
- Courtyard Theatre, London – this leading fringe venue hosts our final year showcases as well as our second-year productions.
- Court Theatre Training Company – this leading drama school is a partner institution of the University, and we share industry practice with them.
- Out of Joint – this leading UK theatre company has hosted workshops and talks with our students, and Catriona Craig, a permanent member of Bucks, also works as Literary Manager for the company.
- Paines Plough – James Grieve, Artistic Director of the company was awarded an honorary MA in 2016 for his work with our students, helping advise lecturers on texts and organising opportunities for our students to interview leading playwright Alistair McDowall.
Students regularly perform beyond their time with the University, with several going on to join the National Youth Theatre.
You’ll also have the chance to collaborate with students from other courses, including Film and TV production, Creative Advertising, Audio and Music, and even Nursing.
We’ll support you to find a performance approach that’s uniquely yours and set you up with the real-world skills you need to secure acting work when you graduate.
What will I study?
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.
During this course you'll study a number of practical modules and learn physical and vocal performance skills. You’ll be taught by a range of professional experts, and once you master the core elements of performing, you’ll begin to look at unusual and experimental approaches to performance.
How will I be taught and assessed?
We're passionate about giving our students as many opportunities as possible so you’ll be able to explore a variety of performance opportunities through BNU and 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.
In the theoretical and practical perspectives modules, you’ll look at the various ways that performance can be conceived and consider its importance in society through conducting research into different areas that interest you.
Throughout this degree you’ll create a series of shows, films, short scenes and devised performances. 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.
You can choose from a number of optional modules giving you the chance to specialise in an area you're particularly drawn to. This could be directing for performance or devising and writing. You’ll also be able to learn how to work with cameras and gain invaluable knowledge of editing and filming.
By the time you graduate, you’ll have an entrepreneurial flair and a strong grasp of the world of performing arts. You’ll be able to position yourself confidently as an inspiring and creative practitioner that people will want to work with.
I’ve had the chance to collaborate with students from a range of different course and the teaching is of a very high standard. I always come away from a lecture learning something new which can help me, everything we do gives me vital experience which I can take forward to my career.Shannon Broadbridge
What facilities can I use?
You’ll use our drama studio on site, with moving lights and fully-equipped sound system and projection. We also use the professional venue at Wycombe Town Hall, which is less than two minutes from our campus.
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: 80 - 104
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
You'll need to complete an interview and/or demonstrate portfolio work, further guidance is given on the interview and portfolio advice section.
If you don't meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or if you don't feel fully prepared for a degree course, you can apply for a four-year programme which includes a Foundation Year - find out more.
Suitable candidates will receive an audition invitation
If you're a suitable candidate, you'll be invited to discuss your 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'll be required to perform one short monologue (either modern or classical) in English lasting between 1.5 - 2.5 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's ready to be performed on the day. The audition is an opportunity to show your skills and development potential in these areas. However, it's 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're 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 along with your electronic portfolio.
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
Introduction to Film Theory
Introduction to Theatre and Performance
Performance on Screen
Intermediality and Performance
Year 2 Modules
Recorded Voice Skills
Devising and Writing (optional)
Directing for Performance (optional)
Film & Theatre Production
Physical Theatre Skills
Practice with Research
Theoretical and Practical Perspectives
Year 3 Modules
Strategic Professional Practice - Professional Portfolio
Performing Arts Practical Dissertation (optional)
Performing Arts Written Dissertation (optional)
Strategic Professional Practice - Applied Arts
Transferable and Employability Skills
Viva and Research Proposal
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?
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.
When you finish this course you’ll have become a thinking practitioner in the performing arts. You’ll also have developed the necessary skills and experience for a successful career across the arts and media sectors. Our graduates enjoy careers in performance and have taken further training to set up their own theatre companies.
Our BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Film TV and Stage) course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:
- Drama Therapist
You may also wish to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study our full-time or part-time MA Performance (Live and Digital).
Previous students have gone on to work with a range of theatre companies including Paper Birds on devising theatre, Out of Joint on contemporary texts, Mark McGann on acting for camera, Station House Opera on intermedial theatre, and Dreamthinkspeak on interactive and site-specific theatre.