Qualification: BA (Hons)
Course Length: 3 years
UCAS Code: W312
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Programme overview

Guildford School of Acting is arguably one of the world’s most successful conservatoires for musical theatre training with alumni appearing in the West End, on Broadway and across the world. We provide personalised industry-focused instruction and education, within the discipline of an ensemble, to develop your skills and abilities in preparation for a successful and rewarding career in musical theatre.

Our BA Musical Theatre programme achieved 97% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2020. We have also been ranked 3rd for drama and dance in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020.

What you will study

Our BA Musical Theatre course will develop your professional and collaborative sensibilities through a rigorous programme of training. You’ll gain individual technical, critical and evaluative skills, with practical classes in a range of core disciplines.

On this course, your skills are continually developed through integration exercises, scene work, project rehearsals and productions of classic and contemporary musicals. Classes in dance and singing are highly-prioritised alongside acting classes and projects, which will enable you to become multi-skilled and highly versatile, ensuring your appeal to the industry and a flying start to your career.


GSA is proud to have received such an outstanding Overall Satisfaction in the 2020 NSS for it’s BA Musical Theatre programme. This is testament to the incredible energy and commitment of students and staff to ensure that training is delivered to the very highest standard  

Julian Woolford, Head of Musical Theatre

Graduate Story: Christina Bennington

Programme structure

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.

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

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
Module title Status Semester
ACTING 1 Compulsory Year-long
DANCE 1 Compulsory Year-long
SINGING AND MUSIC 1 Compulsory Year-long

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:

In the recent year the focus was on screen acting and three musicals. recent projects have included:

  • Hello Dolly
  • West Side Story
  • Kiss Me Kate
  • Les Miserables
  • Wicked

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:

  • Sweet Charity
  • Pal Joey
  • State Fair
  • The Secret Garden
Module title Status Semester
ACTING 2 Compulsory Year-long
DANCE 2 Compulsory Year-long
PROFESSIONAL SKILLS Compulsory Year-long
SINGING AND MUSIC 2 Compulsory Year-long

In the third year students take part in three public productions, two in campus theatres and one at the Yvonna Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. Recent public performances have included:

  • Cats
  • Hair
  • The Fix
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It
  • Bullets Over Broadway
  • Guys and Dolls
Module title Status Semester
ADVANCED TECHNIQUES Compulsory Year-long

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.

2023 entry requirements


A-Level CCC
BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma MMM
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 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.

For more audition information please visit AUDITIONS & INTERVIEWS

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.

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.

We currently have alumni appearing in nearly every West End musical including: Olivier Award winning Michael Jibson in Hamilton; Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Ike Turner in Tina; Christina Bennington as Raven in Bat Out of Hell; Steven Carlisle as Scar in The Lion King on Broadway; Jodie Sam Steele and T'Shan Williams in Heathers at the Theatre Royal Haymarket; Alistair So, Cletus Chang and Kamm Kunaree in the King and I. Our very distinguished alumni include performers such as:

  • Michael Ball
  • Tam Mutu
  • Hal Fowler
  • Alex Gaumond
  • Kobna Holdbrook-Smith MBE
  • Tom Chambers
  • Billy Carter
  • Michael Jibson
  • Caroline Sheen
  • Maiya Quansah-Breed
  • Helena Blackman
  • Savannah Stephenson
  • Faye Brookes
  • Ashley Samuels
  • Grace Mouat

West End productions include:

  • Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre
  • Six, Lyric Theatre
  • &Juliet, The Shaftesbury Theatre
  • American in Paris, Dominion Theatre
  • The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre
  • The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales
  • Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre
  • Les Miserables, Queens Theatre
  • Mamma Mia!,Novello Theatre
  • Wicked, Apollo Theatre
  • Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre
  • Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre
  • School of Rock, New London Theatre
  • Motown the Musical, Shaftesbury Theatre
  • The Play That Went Wrong, The Duchess Theatre
  • Annie, Piccadilly Theatre
  • Nativity the Musical, Eventim Apollo
  • Dreamgirls, The Savoy Theatre
  • Evita, Phoenix Theatre
  • Matilda the Musical, Cambridge 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