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Two acting students on stage in costume in the middle of a performance, holding each other. A small group of other performers appear in the background.

BA (Hons) 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.

Acting 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 recent graduates have appeared in feature films, BBC dramas, the West End, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You’ll learn the acting, 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.

We'll give you the practical insights, and help you build your motivation and self-discipline to support your in the notoriously demanding acting industry. 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, BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance and BA (Hons) Performance Design and Film Costume course constantly draw on our actors.

You’ll work with students from other courses to create film and theatre productions to a professional level, and 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.

Course duration

3-years (full-time)

UCAS course code


UCAS institution code


Level 4 (first year)

First year introduces you to the tools and techniques that will help you to 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'll 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'll 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. 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)

In second year, 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 your second year, you’ll have developed acting, physical and vocal skills to a higher level, alongside extended skills in investigative techniques and textual analysis.

Level 6 (third year)

Your third year 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 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.

Course team

Katharine Piercey Course Leader and Senior Lecturer


Dr Petronilla Whitfield Associate Professor in Voice and Acting 

PhD, MA, PGCE, Drama Dip, SFHEA

Lucyna Rossa Lecturer in Acting and Movement


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Watch our videos

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

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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.

Audition requirements

We’re looking for gifted people who have some experience of acting, who can articulate their views and their passion for Acting.

Top tips on how to prepare for your audition:

Acting requires openness - it’s this honesty and the ability to push past any self-censoring that makes a truly great performance. The most compelling actors have an ability to inspire and draw an audience into their world – an active imagination, creativity, curiosity and a willingness to learn about their character's world are all key ingredients, and skills we nurture throughout the course.

Katharine Piercey, Course Leader

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.

A performer stands with a serious expression on the left-hand side with a group of other performers reaching towards him.

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


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)




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.

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

A man wearing a blue shirt, black braces and a green tie stands holding flowers between two people.

Meet our graduating Class of 2023

2023 Acting graduates

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

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.