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Two acting students on stage holding each other wearing costumes designed by Costume and Performance Design students

Acting

All the world's a stage, according to Shakespeare, and we're all actors. This course shows you what it takes to turn natural talent into a career – and make dreams of performing on stage or film a reality.

Course Information

Our BA (Hons) Acting course will appeal to you if you're passionate about pursuing a performance career. You’ll have plenty of professional and technical support and we encourage you to experiment and work collaboratively with other students on your own projects.

Our teaching staff are exceptional. We've recently been awarded gold by the TEF (teaching excellence frame work) which assesses the quality of teaching.

Our staff are inspiring teachers, researchers, industry practitioners and technicians who are all here to support you with your studies and help you to achieve outstanding outcomes.

Our recent graduates have appeared in BBC dramas, the West End, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You’ll learn the voice, movement and singing skills you need as a creative artist. You’ll try your hand at everything from classical acting to contemporary performance, on stage and on film. Show business is notoriously demanding. We’ll give you practical insights, and help you build your motivation and self-discipline. Even the strong academic element is approached through practice in order to underline the vocational nature of this course.

Your skills will be in demand even while you’re here. Our BA (Hons) Film Production, BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design and BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance constantly draw on our actors. You’ll work with these and students from other courses to create professional film and theatre productions in various locations, including our own studio theatre and other public venues. Your professional networking for industry begins right here, and our production process is what sets our students apart and gives them an edge.

Level 4 (first year)

Level 4 introduces you to the tools and techniques that will help you create performances for realistic drama on stage and screen.

The work is Stanislavski-based, and you’ll be introduced to the core intellectual, imaginative and physical skills that you will need to learn and develop. Your first year provides a foundation, allowing you to develop a methodological approach to psychophysical acting.

The course provides both practical, studio-based, seminar and lecture-based learning. Throughout your first year you will also attend movement, voice and singing classes. These are highly practical classes that aim to provide you with the specific skills and experiences that will further support your work.

Level 5 (second year)

At Level 5, you’ll further develop your acting and investigative skills in relation to the world of the play, and explore the demands of different kinds of dramatic structures and styles of performance.

You’ll learn to see the audience as an integral factor in the creative process and continue to develop a personal methodological approach to acting through units such as Shakespeare, Actor Creator and Applied Theatre.

Practical work takes the form of taught sessions and workshops, leading to performances which will be viewed by an internal audience.

At the end of Level 5, you’ll have developed acting, physical and vocal skills to a higher level; alongside extended skills in investigative techniques and textual analysis skills.

Level 6 (third year)

Level 6 encourages you to extend your exploration of the acting process by providing you with a range of creative challenges.

You’ll create professional-quality theatre productions both on and off-site in collaboration with other AUB courses. You’ll also have the opportunity to create your own practical projects.

A key focus of your third year is to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage your future career. In preparation for professional life, this year will include seminars on the business aspects of being an actor such as CVs, photos, auditions, Spotlight and Equity ensuring you're industry ready by the time you graduate.

All students are registered for the award of BA (Hons); however, exit awards are available if you leave the course early, having successfully completed one or two levels. If you successfully complete a level of the course, you will automatically be entitled to progress to the next level.

For the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the first year of your course.

For the award of a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 240 credits of which a minimum of 120 must be at Level 5. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the second year of your course.

For the award of a BA (Hons) you must have achieved a minimum of 360 credits of which a minimum of 240 must be at Level 5 or above, of which a minimum of 120 credits must be at Level 6. This qualification will be awarded upon successful completion of your course.

A BA without Honours may be awarded if you have achieved 300 credits, at least 180 of which are at Level 5 or above, and at least 60 of which are at Level 6.

Our talented teaching staff work nationally and internationally as actors, directors, stage managers, and technicians. You can find out more about the Acting department by exploring their profiles.

Katherine Piercey

Katharine Piercey

Katharine trained as an Actor Musician at Rose Bruford College and has an MA with Distinction in Devised Performance from the University...

Kenneth Robertson

MA (Performance). Cert. Ed. Art and Drama. Ken has worked as an actor with The Young Vic, The Royal Shakespeare Company...

Dr Petronilla Whitfield

Associate Professor Petronilla trained as an actress at Arts Educational Schools. She has an MA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central...

David O'shea

David’s areas of specialism include: The Stanislavsky System, Method Acting, Shakespeare, Acting for Camera and Acting through Song...

Craig Norman

Craig has worked as an actor, playwright and director. He trained at the University Of Glamorgan/Welsh College of Music and Drama...

Dr Rebecca Savory Fuller

Becca is a performer-deviser with over ten years’ professional experience, specialising in site-based, interactive and immersive theatre...

AUB Course team fallback

Megan Purdie

Megan trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the Guildford School of Acting. She teaches on the Acting 1&2...

John Camble

John trained at the New College of Speech and Drama and has worked extensively in Stage and Production Management for over 30 years...

Jhoskins2

Jonny Hoskins

Jonny studied Drama at Manchester University and trained with Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He has over 20 years experience as an actor...

Watch our videos

Watch the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Acting, Katharine Piercey, sharing her insight into what makes a great actor and preview some of our students' work.

How to apply

Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.

When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66. All of our courses take place on one site, so we don't have a campus code. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more on entry requirements in our apply section.

When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.

If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.

Portfolio Requirements

Due to Covid-19 and the need for social distance, we will not be able to offer on campus interviews to applicants this cycle. For courses that require a portfolio review or an audition, the Admissions team will be in touch with you and request a digital portfolio or audition.

We will hold Offer Holder days in Spring and invite applicants to visit the campus and meet the course team, or if you are unable to visit us you will be able to attend a virtual Offer Holder Day.

Fees and Funding

The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.

You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.

AUB Productions

Students from across BA (Hons) Acting, BA (Hons) Costume, BA (Hons) Performance Design and Film Costume, BA (Hons) Make-Up for Media and Performance and BA (Hons) Creative Writing degrees collaborate on each production. This provides students with a key insight into the industry and for developing skills in working as actors, designers and makers which make up theatre.

The actors also take on other roles within this process, such as Stage Management, Assistant Director and Publicity Officer. Costume and Performance Design students take on roles including set and costume design and making – constructing props, costumes and millinery. Those from Make-up for Media and Performance provide prosthetics, hair and make-up.

Studios and Resources

Our BA (Hons) Acting students benefit from five specialist workspaces on campus. You’ll have access to acting, movement, music/voice and sound recording studios. We also have a fully-equipped black box theatre and a rehearsal and performance space in central Bournemouth. You’ll have access to acting, movement, music/voice and sound recording studios.

Student performing in AUB Black Box style theatre

Black Box Theatre

Our versatile ‘Black Box’ style theatre is a space for performers and set designer to test their mettle for real

Lighthouse Theatre

Lighthouse

Home of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Lighthouse is centre of excellence for live performance

Teaching and Learning

Within this area of performance experiential learning is a key principle of study and your work throughout the course reflects the collaborative nature of acting.

Throughout the degree you will experience both tutor-led learning, including the participation of professional practitioners, and self-directed methods of learning (through independent learning, negotiated practice and research work). In this way you will be able to develop an increasing independence and a positive attitude towards life-long learning.

The course objectives are met by deploying a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including rehearsal, performance, ensemble working, workshops, lectures, seminars, group critiques and tutorials. In consultation with the Course Leader, staff are responsible for co-ordinating individual units of study, and for selecting appropriate methods of delivery according to subject matter and student experience.

The methods employed induct you to the disciplines required of a creative practitioner and promote the development of transferable skills.

Ensemble working reflects the importance of team work in the discipline of acting and there are many opportunities to work in teams to learn the value of peer co-operation.

The integration of theory and practice is promoted and reinforced through a team teaching approach. Lectures, seminars and tutorials may be delivered by team members, as appropriate, in the creative learning environment.

The study time allocated to each unit in the course incorporates a balance of formal teaching, tutorial support and independent learning. The course is structured progressively to provide increased opportunities for independent learning as you reach the later stages of the course.

The progressive promotion of independent learning reflects your anticipated maturity as a student and allows you to direct your learning towards individual goals. The teaching in Level 4 is directed at providing you with the knowledge, concepts and skills to take increasing responsibility for the management of your own learning as you move on to Levels 5 and 6.

Contact hours include all scheduled teaching sessions, but also supervised time in the workshop or studio. In line with national guidance, we include in our calculation of contact hours all the time which is scheduled in the studio for independent study which is also supported by staff (either academic staff, or technicians).

The information provided below gives the proportion of your study time which constitutes contact hours. Where there are optional routes through the course, we have used the figures for the most popular option.

Year 1 (% time) Year 2 (% time) Year 3 (% time)

75

75

77

Assessment and Feedback

Each unit is assessed separately, and the assessment forms part of the unit. Assessment both provides a measure of your achievement, and also gives you regular feedback on how your learning is developing.

For every unit of your course, we will inform you of what you're expected to learn; what you have to submit; how your work will be assessed; and the deadline for presenting your work for assessment. This is made available through Unit Information, which is on your course blog.

You will receive a final mark for each unit in the form of a percentage, which will be recorded on your formal record of achievement (transcript). Each component of assessment is graded using a notched marking scale, whereby only certain marks are used within each grade. The only marks available within any ten-point band are *2, *5 and *8 (e.g. 62, 65, 68). These marks correspond to a low, mid, and high level of achievement within each grade band.

The University has agreed that, during 2019/20, it will run a pilot project. This will mean that on some courses, one unit at Level 4 will be assessed on a Pass / Fail basis only, with written feedback but no numerical grade. If your course has been selected for the pilot, your Course Leader will tell you this, and the details will be clearly expressed on the Unit Information Sheet.

All learning outcomes must be passed to successfully complete the unit.

On successful completion of your Honours degree course, you will be awarded a degree classification based on your unit marks. The final classification is determined using all unit marks at Levels 5 and 6 using two different algorithms, which are detailed in the HE Student Regulations. If the two algorithms produce different results, you will be awarded the higher class of degree.

If you have joined Level 6 through either the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route or having completed a Foundation Degree (FdA), the final classification is determined using only your unit marks at Level 6.

For further information on assessment, progression, awards and classifications, please visit viewpoint.aub.ac.uk.

What our Graduates Are Doing

Graduates have gone on to work in feature and independent films, television, regional theatre, touring theatre and the West End, voice-overs and teaching.

Here are some examples of roles that our graduates are working in:

  • Principal actor in EastEnders
  • Principal actor in West End production of Spring Awakening
  • Principal actors in BBC3’s Witless and Overshadowed
  • The Lion King, West End
  • Blue Stockings, Shakespeare’s Globe
  • The Commitments, UK No. 1 tour
  • BBC’s Strike, Luther, Casualty, Holby City, Doctors and Crimewatch
  • ITV’s Cilla and The Sound of Music Live
  • Netflix series Black Mirror and the upcoming series The Looming Tower
  • E4’s Misfits
  • Lead role in independent feature films the Rise of the Krays and Fall of the Krays — Graduate company Unpolished Theatre’s Flesh & Bone won a Scotman’s Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival 2017
  • Roles at the Royal Court Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Southwark Playhouse, Royal Exchange Manchester, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible and Liverpool Playhouse.
  • International, national and regional tours with theatre companies, including White Horse Theatre, Solomon Theatre and Chapterhouse Theatre Company— Post graduate study at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama; East 15; LAMDA and The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

Our graduates have gone on to work in feature and independent films, appeared in BBC dramas and on London’s National Theatre tours. You can read more about what some of our graduates are up to below – click on the alumni to find out more.

Kevin Leslie

Whilst at AUB, I made very good connections on the BA (Hons) Film Production course...

Actor playing Ben Mitchell Eastenders

Harry Reid

We caught up with Harry about his experience of studying acting at AUB...

Headshot of Dominique Planter

Dominique Planter

A lot of people wanted to go to RADA or one of the other big schools, but I wanted to go somewhere that would see students as individuals...

  • Outstanding Performance in an Affiliate Theatre, Oliver award 2019
  • Nomination for 2019 Alfred Fagon Award which recognises Black British playwrights from the Caribbean
  • Best Emerging Actor, International Achievement Recognition Awards 2018
  • Best Actor, 2018 Westfield International Film Festival, US
  • Adopt a Playwright Award, Off Westend, 2018.

Trips and Visits

As part of your course you may also get the opportunity to take part in course trips.

Previous trips have included:

  • The Globe Theatre, London

*These trips are optional and some may incur additional costs

Due to the current travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines, it is unlikely that any trips will be planned in the first half of the new academic year. We will follow Government advice as soon as it is available for the remainder of the year.

Acting news

See more of our student work

This course shows you what it takes to turn natural talent into a career – and make dreams of performing on stage or film a reality.