Qualification: BA (Hons)
Course Length: 3 years
UCAS Code: AD29

Programme overview

On our Actor Musician programme, the focus is on developing your versatility to work professionally as an actor musician in a wider range of theatrical contexts.

Over the course of your studies you will explore and develop broad and specialised performance skills in acting, singing, musicianship and dance, alongside important critical and evaluative skills.

As a result you will become a highly disciplined, individual and versatile performer who has both artistic integrity and the ability to work in collaboration with others.

You will also benefit from GSA’s widely respected international reputation for training musical theatre practitioners as you build your performing career. Our BA Actor Musician Course received 91% overall satisfaction in the recent National Student Survey 2018.

The academic year is divided into three teaching blocks, within the University of Surrey’s existing semester structure. The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All modules are either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits

Programme structure


The first year of study explores the core techniques that you will need as an actor in a range of theatrical settings, from plays to musicals.

Module title Status Semester
THE ACTOR & MUSIC Compulsory Year-long
THE ACTOR & THE BODY Compulsory Year-long
THE ACTOR & THE TEXT Compulsory Year-long
THE ACTOR & THE VOICE Compulsory Year-long

In vocal studies you will benefit from the high level of teaching for which GSA is internationally renowned. You will study small-group singing, where you will work on technique and the understanding of your voice, as well as ensemble singing, which brings together the group to develop skill and technique.

Alongside this, voice is taught, allowing the spoken voice to become free and responsive across a range of texts.

Context runs throughout the first year and here you will look at a range of different historical and academic approaches to theatre, embedding the skills that you will need in the third year as part of your research project.

Musicianship is a unique module to the Actor Musician course, in which you will work with musical directors and music lecturers to embed the skills of working and playing as an ensemble, arrangement and also specific study of your specialist area (for example woodwind, keyboard, brass, and so on).

Across the first year there are points given for extended tutorials for one-to-one teaching (generally six per semester) on your singing voice and your main instrument.


The second year of study carries on developing and widening core technique skills in vocal studies and musicianship, again with an emphasis on you working together, playing together and singing together as an ensemble to develop the skills and professional qualities needed to work as an actor musician.

Context carries on throughout the second year, with repertoire introduced to extend your range of vocal songs and instrumental pieces to play.

Acting becomes a workshop series of rehearsals, where in the first semester you will look at three or four different texts (one by Shakespeare), where the skills of the actor musician are integrated into the work and a piece of theatre begins to take shape that utilises the skills of the ensemble.

In the second semester music theatre becomes the focus of the workshop again with texts studied with the intention of creating a vehicle for an ensemble of actor musicians.

Module title Status Semester
ACTING & REHEARSAL Compulsory Year-long
DANCE & MOVEMENT Compulsory Year-long
THE ACTOR & MUSIC 2 Compulsory Year-long
VOICE & SINGING Compulsory Year-long



The third year of study is mainly about performance. Three performance projects will run to a public audience; the first a dramatic text, the second a piece of musical theatre and the third a piece of theatre created and devised by the cohort as their own work.

Throughout the year you will maintain skills with classes delivered by music lecturers, tutorials and dance workshops and the year culminates with a showcase at a West End venue.

You will also develop a research project, reflecting on and analysing the role of the actor musician and looking over your training as you enter the industry.

Module title Status Semester
ADVANCE TECHNIQUE Compulsory Year-long
RESEARCH PROJECT Compulsory Year-long


Throughout the programme the emphasis is on your development as a performer and as an actor. The ethos of the course is to create an ensemble that is capable of taking any piece and working together to find new ways of exploring, interpreting and performing a piece of theatre.

Your skills when you leave the course will enable you to work as both an actor and an actor musician across a range of texts and performance contexts.

Disclaimer: Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

2020 entry requirements


A-Level CCC
European Baccalaureate 68 per cent
International Baccalaureate 30 overall
Scottish Highers BBBCC
Welsh Baccalaureate CC
Access to HE Diploma 21 at Distinction plus 3 at Merit plus 21 at Pass

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year. Find out more here

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or international equivalent)

The course does not require a specific grade standard. However, your playing and sight-reading ability should be of a high level and your understanding of harmony and music should be advanced – roughly equivalent to Grade 8 ABRSM and Grade 5 Theory.

Offers are made in terms of grades and a successful audition (which will include acting, movement and singing/instrument workshops).

Applicants who can demonstrate exceptional talent, and can satisfy the panel of their ability to successfully complete the programme, may also be considered. The course does not require a specific grade standard on an instrument. However, your playing and sight-reading ability should be of a high level and your understanding of harmony and music should be advanced.

A non-refundable audition fee is usually charged. Further information can be found on the Application and Audition page.

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.


View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.


We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it. Find out more about bursaries and scholarships.


Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.