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Why Choose This Course
Our BA (Hons) Applied and Contemporary Theatre course is designed to train highly skilled theatre makers of the future, who aspire to influence social change. This programme is the first choice for those wishing to be thoroughly equipped with the knowledge and skill base to create theatre that can rapidly respond to, learn from and challenge contemporary issues.
Fully embedded within the GSA Conservatoire, the vocational modules help to deepen and develop your knowledge of applied theatre and cover all relevant aspects from multiple angles; creative, technical, teaching, entrepreneurial, professional development, work placement, whilst providing you with core skills training in the performing disciplines.
Society needs practitioners with a broad and dynamic skill set; problem-solvers who see challenges as opportunities. This course develops, enables and trains the next generation of performance artists and creative entrepreneurs. You will explore devised and collaborative approaches to researching, creating, producing and performing contemporary performance practices, in addition to traditional historical scripted forms.
What you will study
On our BA (Hons) Applied and Contemporary Theatre course you will be taught by industry-leading professionals, and will join a vibrant community of talented performers, performance makers, creative practitioners, stage managers and technicians.
The course examines the ever-evolving nature of contemporary practice in pursuit of developing and training the next generation of theatre makers, creative entrepreneurs and cultural leaders. Case studies, performances, theatre creation and placements include, but are not limited to: theatre for social change, site-specific performance, community theatre, theatre in education, education and outreach programmes, health and wellbeing organisations, disability arts, as well as a collaborative large-scale ensemble performance in a traditional theatre setting.
This work extends to an exciting range of UK and international settings, including a placement module in Year 2, as well as a further optional Professional Training year, between the second and final year of study.
This module aims to develop the skill base of the creative practitioner in acting, singing, dance, music, movement and voice. Across Level 4 students will study practical skills in studio based group classes.
Students will encounter and explore the application and integration of core technical skills. This module begins a process of the individual questionning how they relate to the world around them whilst introducing the core acting fundamentals that underpin the programme.
Students will engage with the rudiments of music, voice and singing and undertake dance and movement training designed to develop the experiential, expressive and analytical skills of the creative individual. Students will be guided to utlise a journal to document and reflect upon their learning journey.
The Actor and the Ensemble enables students to explore different methods of telling stories and is the start of study of ensemble practice on the programme.
In the first teaching block you will be working as an ensemble exploring storytelling and encountering approaches to devising work, as well as encountering text and choral work through use of Ancient Greek text.
In the second teaching block students consider how the actor accesses the dynamic possibilities of a physical and analytical approach to text encouraging the student to explore the performance opportunities presented in Shakespeare’s work.
The third teaching block looks in depth at collaborative devised practice through the lens of site specific practice, increasing students’ abilities as reflective practitioners. Work is shared with peers as work in progress in a safe practical performance setting.
This module will engage students in the study of the history, impact and ethos of theatre by focusing on key ideas and approaches that have formed its development. Topics to be studied include, but are not limited to theatre history, theories of performance and exploration of the political, social and ethical response, role, responsibility and impact of theatre in relation to societies.
This module builds from the programme’s Level 5 modules and is designed to allow students to advance the development of skills and knowledge in a practical professional context, enabling students to learn and discover with autonomy.
Students will engage with a placement either within or beyond the school, this decision to be at their preference. Their placement will enable them to progress their understanding of professional creative contexts. Students will be supported to critically reflect upon their experiences and link these to the work undertaken on the programme through Levels 4 and 5.
This module builds upon the work undertaken at Level 4 and further develops the skill base of the creative practitioner in acting, singing, dance, music, movement and voice, in relation to both self and others.
Across Level 5 students will study practical skills in studio based group classes and undertake extensive observations of teaching and rehearsal practice within GSA. Students will encounter, explore and research the application and integration of core technical skills through the lens of the facilitator.
This module continues a process of the individual understanding how they relate to the world and those around them through the facilitation of the core acting fundamentals that underpin the programme. Students will engage with both the practice and facilitation of music, voice and singing and undertake dance and movement training designed to support the creative processes that sustain rehearsals and performances. Students will be guided to utlise a journal to document and reflect upon their learning journey.
The Ensemble and the Audience offers the student opportunity to integrate principles and skills encountered from across the programme. Building on the work of The Actor and the Ensemble at Level 4, the student will deepen their relationship to collaboration, artistic autonomy and self-made work by exploring techniques of and taking stimulus from theatre for young audiences in Teaching Block 1 and theatre as change making in Teaching Block 2 to create ensemble based, self-generated work.
Work is developed via critical reflection of existing practitioners and companies, examining practice through the lens of both creator and audience. The work in progress is shared with peers in a safe and enabling practical performance setting.
Students may wish to engage with the work by taking on a professional creative role required in the facilitation of the collaborative project.
This module enables students to consider the key roles, processes, principles, skills and techniques required to facilitate creative project management, in a variety of contexts. These may include, but are not limited to schools, small scale theatre, site specific theatre, fringe theatre, community groups, professional training, education outreach activities and online learning, across diverse communities.
Through guided and independent case studies, students will explore the component collaborative processes required of the creative projects and begin to understand and critically evaluate their own entrepreneurial skills, processes and aspirations in relation to case study practitioners and companies.
This module aims to maintain the skill base of the creative practitioner in acting, singing, dance, music, movement and voice. Across Level 6 students will utlise the contact time of this module to support and further develop their practical skills in studio based group classes as best supports their personal development as a creative practitioner according to the student’s individual skill set and projected career aspirations. This module also provides space and support for any technical requirements that arise out of their fully realised performance projects. Students will be guided to utlise a journal to document and reflect upon their learning journey.
This module enables students to work collaboratively on the research, rehearsal and making of theatre for performance to specific audiences, integrating principles and skills from across the programme.
Students engage with three fully realised performance projects, one per Teaching Block, continuing to interrogate the landscape of collaboration, artistic autonomy and self-made work for a specific audience.
In Teaching Block 1 students work collaboratively to create Theatre for Young Audiences and/or Theatre in Education. Rehearsals will be supported at GSA, with performances toured to schools and youth groups as appropriate. Students will undertake creative roles within the process to fully support the project to performance. The project will be supported by mentors from within the GSA faculty.
In Teaching Block 2 students continue to develop the collaborative, technical and professional skills required to support a project to performance through a site specific Theatre in Society project. Rehearsals will be supported at GSA, with performances toured to community groups as appropriate. Students will undertake creative roles within the process to fully support the project to performance. The project will be supported by mentors from within the GSA faculty.
In Teaching Block 3 students will work on a large scale production culminating in a public production at a performance space at GSA. This project will be directed by a professional creative.
Students will engage with reflective analysis of their personal professional development and undertake critical reflection of steps taken so far. Students will identify detail potential further personal professional development opportunities and methods. The module engages students with a range of areas relating to industry practices, protocols and resources in pursuit of developing the necessary skills to undertake and sustain a career within the creative industries.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
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.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
2021 entry requirements
|BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma||MMM|
|European Baccalaureate||68 per cent|
|International Baccalaureate||30 overall|
|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 about the International Foundation Year.
GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or international equivalent)
Entry is also subject to successful audition. Candidates who can demonstrate exceptional talent, and can satisfy the panel of their ability to complete the programme may also be considered.
A non-refundable audition fee will be charged.
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.
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.
Our graduates have an unrivalled employment record in West End shows, national tours, television, radio and film. Our very distinguished alumni include performers such as:
- Brenda Blethyn OBE
- Bill Nighy
- Ella Balinska
- Owen Teale
- Celia Imrie
- Jonjo O’Neill
- Alexandra Mardell
- Kobna Holdbrook-Smith MBE
- Danielle Fiamanya
- Tam Mutu
- Caroline Sheen
- Rob Kazinsky
- Jade Anouka
- Chris Geere
- Emma Barton
- Justin Fletcher MBE
- T'Nia Miller
- Stephen Carlile
- Maiya Quansah-Breed
- Grace Mouat
- Bronagh Waugh
Our alumni have also secured employment in numerous regional theatres, opera and ballet companies, arts venues, scenic construction and prop-making companies, corporate events and lighting, sound and video hire companies, as well as attaining management and creative production roles for major venues and production companies including the Really Useful Group, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, the National Theatre, the BBC, the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, ATG Theatres and PRG Dubai. Other career paths have included teaching and outreach work.