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Why GSA?

Guildford School of Acting is arguably the world’s most successful centre for musical theatre training. Our philosophy is based on your growth as an individual and your development as an artist within a highly disciplined ensemble, who can compete and succeed in all aspects of musical theatre performance.

Programme overview

Our Musical Theatre programme will develop your professional and collaborative sensibilities through a rigorous process of training. You will learn a clear set of individual technical, critical and evaluative skills, with practical classes in the core disciplines of dance, singing and acting.

Your skills are continually developed through integration exercises, scene work and rehearsal projects and productions of classic and contemporary musicals. Classes in dance, singing and acting enable our performers to become multi-skilled and highly versatile to meet the demands of the contemporary Musical Theatre industry.

Programme structure

Year 1


Technical skills training in the first year includes classes in singing, acting, mime/physical theatre and voice. Dance techniques include ballet, jazz and tap.

All students undertake a week-long intensive course in stage combat certified by APC (formerly BADC).

Rehearsal Projects:

The Rehearsal Projects enable you to work effectively with the processes and ideas of Stanislavski across the three musical theatre disciplines of singing, dancing and acting.

First-year rehearsal projects include:

  • Storytelling: creative workshops designed to investigate and develop the performer’s most fundamental talent – the ability to tell a story effectively, truthfully and skilfully
  • Naturalism (in the musical): investigate the fundamental integration of the key musical theatre skills of acting, singing and dancing. There is a particular focus on acting technique in this first rehearsal project
  • Ensemble (acting/performance): explore the dynamics and workings of the ensemble. It considers the role of the individual within an ensemble, as well as the complex relationship between the ensemble/chorus, the protagonist and the audience

Compulsory modules:

Year 2


In the second year, time spent in rehearsal projects is significantly increased, whilst at the same time the individual skills training and academic training continue.

The main addition to the course is a weekly session that investigates relevant industry skills and enables individual preparation for the professional audition process.

Rehearsal Projects:

The classical text-based project is usually Shakespeare or the 'book musical'. Recent 'book musical' rehearsal projects have explored:

  • West Side Story (Laurents, Bernstein, Sondheim)
  • Oklahoma! (Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein ll)
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Saul Chaplin)
  • Assassins (Sondheim)
  • Spelling Bee
  • Next to Normal
  • Carousel (Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II)
  • Street Scene (Kurt Weill and Langston Hughes)
  • Grand Hotel (Robert Wright and George Forrest)

The final project in the second year is a formal rehearsal for the first public performance of a musical. Recent works in the first public performance include:

  • Guys and Dolls (Loesser)
  • Godspell (Schwartz, Tebelak)
  • Pippin
  • The Boyfriend

Compulsory modules:

Year 3


In the third year a significant amount of time will be taken up with rehearsals for public performance. Recent public performances have included:

  • Legally Blonde
  • Grease
  • Rent
  • Songs for a New World
  • Footloose

Compulsory modules:

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.

2018 entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

A-Level AAB
BTEC DDD
European Baccalaureate 75 per cent
International Baccalaureate 34 overall including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level
Scottish Highers Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass overall with AAB from the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-Levels
Access to HE Diploma 45 Level 3 credits overall including 39 at Distinction and 6 at Merit

Other international qualifications

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

Required subjects

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

Selection process

Offers are made in terms of grades and a successful audition and interview. Candidates who can demonstrate exceptional talent, and can satisfy the panel of their ability to successfully complete the programme, may also be considered.

A non-­refundable audition fee is usually charged.

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

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.

Course options

Qualification BA (Hons)
Course Length 3 years
Professional Training
UCAS Code W312

Tuition fees

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.


Bursaries and scholarships

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

International students

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.


How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

Graduate prospects

Our graduates have an unrivalled employment record in West End shows and national tours. Our very distinguished alumni include performers such as:

  • Michael Ball
  • Tam Mutu
  • Hal Fowler
  • Alex Gaumond
  • Tom Chambers
  • Billy Carter
  • Michael Jibson
  • Caroline Sheen
  • Helena Blackman
  • Savannah Stephenson
  • Faye Brookes

West End productions

  • Les Misérables, Queen’s Theatre
  • Here Lies Love, National Theatre
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Savoy
  • Scottsboro Boys, Garrick Theatre
  • Urinetown, Apollo Theatre
  • Evita, The Dominion
  • The Light Princess, The National
  • Spamalot, Playhouse Theatre
  • From Here to Eternity, Shaftesbury Avenue
  • Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales
  • Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre
  • The Commitments, Palace Theatre
  • Dirty Dancing, Piccadilly Theatre
  • Mamma Mia!, Novello Theatre
  • Matilda the Musical, Cambridge Theatre
  • Once, Phoenix Theatre
  • Stephen Ward, Aldwych Theatre
  • I Can’t Sing, London Palladium
  • Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre

UK tours and regional theatres

  • Shrek
  • Legally Blonde
  • Happy Days the Musical
  • Dreamboats and Petticoats
  • The Buddy Holly Story
  • West Side Story
  • Avenue Q
  • Cats
  • 9 to 5
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • The Lion King
  • Oliver!
  • Betty Blue Eyes
  • Evita

Other recent West End productions

  • Top Hat
  • Ghost
  • Hairspray
  • Shrek
  • Merrily We Roll Along
  • Color Purple
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Kiss Me Kate