GSA Acting
GSA Musical Theatre
Foundation Courses


The GSA Foundation Courses in Acting and Musical Theatre are the first full-time, one-year foundation courses at an accredited drama school.

They have been specifically designed and crafted to help students develop their skills before auditioning for full-time, three-year degree or diploma courses.

Talented students sometimes don’t get into three-year drama-school courses because they chose the wrong audition pieces, they were nervous and didn’t show their best work, or for any number of other reasons.  In short, it is the craft that is lacking rather than the ability. This course serves to redress this and allow students to do their best work in drama school auditions.

Utilising specialist tutors from both the three-year courses at GSA and also from the industry, the foundation courses have two goals:

  •  To provide you with the necessary tools to prepare for drama school auditions
  • To build core technical skills in all areas of performance

Our tutors guide you through the audition processes at different Drama UK accredited drama schools and will offer you independent advice on finding the right course.

The Acting and Musical Theatre foundation courses are separate pathways, each with a unique identity.  The core of both is building awareness so the actor can begin to listen, play and take risks.  However, each is crafted to reflect the different demands of acting and musical theatre training.


The Acting course makes time for more detailed study of the rudiments of the actor’s craft, including research, making bold choices, and building a character.  These are studied in classes such as Voice, Physical Acting, Contextual Studies and Classic and Contemporary Text.  Actors also take ballet, jazz, group-singing and individual acting tutorials.

Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre has similar modules but makes more time for intensive dance training (corner work, mock dance auditions, jazz, ballet, contemporary).  These dance lessons are streamed and students join classes with the three-year GSA students to ensure every individual is working to the right level.  Musical Theatre students also have singing and song-recording tutorials in order to build a repertoire of new material for auditions and presentation workshops.

All students are offered one-to-one pastoral tutorials to discuss progress and help with applications, personal statements or to get advice on their options after the Foundation Course.

In previous years, the courses have welcomed guest speakers and workshop leaders from many Drama UK schools.  Guests watch and direct audition pieces and discuss the training offered at their particular institution.  This is a unique opportunity to find out about individual schools and make decisions about where to audition.

Both the Acting and Musical Theatre Foundation have limited places to ensure that each student receives purposeful tuition.


Many of our previous Foundation Course graduates go on to professional full-time courses at some of the elite accredited Acting and Musical Theatre schools across the UK and abroad. Recent graduates of the Foundation Courses have gained places at: RADA, LAMDA, Bristol Old Vic, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, GSA, Drama Centre, Scottish Conservatoire, Mountview, Birmingham School of Acting, ALRA, East 15, Arts Educational, Urdang, Laine Theatre Arts, Bird College and many more.


All classes are taught at GSA’s studios on campus at the University of Surrey. Foundation students will have access to the extensive university library which holds many plays, musical scores, CDs and DVDs. This information will be vital when researching new repertoire for auditions.

Foundation students will have the opportunity to perform final performance projects in one of our  state-of-the-art performance spaces.


Accommodation is available while you are studying on the Foundation Courses. This is a short walk from the GSA building, on campus, in halls of residence within the University of Surrey. This provides parents and students with the peace of mind that accommodation is safe and secure. Due to the nature of the course and the contact hours many students use the building until 9.00pm at night, so having accommodation close by provides flexibility during evening rehearsals.


We do not require any further education qualifications and we can accept students aged 17 and over.

Please bear in mind that if you are planning to progress to drama school or university after the Foundation Course you may need to have the necessary qualifications to meet their entry requirements.

Required subjects
GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above (or equivalent)
There are no specific subject requirements.

English language requirements
IELTS minimum overall: 6.5
IELTS minimum by component: 6.0


Offers are made following success at audition and interview. Further information on auditioning/interviews here.

The audition dates for 2016 are:

  • Saturday 20th February
  • Monday 21st March
  • Tuesday 5th April
  • Saturday 16th April
  • Saturday 14th May
  • Saturday 4th June

Students who have completed the application form will be sent a link to book their audition online. Please note there is an audition fee of £35 for both the Acting and the Musical Theatre courses.



Please note that government loans are not available for this course. The Foundation Course takes place over 3 terms and the fees are £3,000 per term.


Foundation Open Days are now confirmed for autumn 2015 and spring 2016 on the dates below:

  • Monday 2nd November
  • Wednesday 13thJanuary
  • Wednesday 2ndMarch
  • Wednesday 16thMarch

The Open Days are free of charge but you need to register via our online store.

Please follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest news and information on GSA Open Days. Alternatively, please contact




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Musical Theatre

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