In this course “learning through doing” underlies the way we teach. Also, the work you undertake will normally reflect the collaborative nature of Acting.
Workshops develop vocal and communication skills, and include exercises in improvisation, relaxation and confidence-building, as well as tuition in particular performance techniques for stage and screen, direction and production roles [for example, sound design] as well as Health and Safety procedures and practices.
Staff and student-led rehearsals are used to develop work for presentations and public performances, and for exploring a text in more detail for presentation to others in a class. The nature of the performances and presentations will vary according to your level of study and the learning outcomes of the module, but are designed to develop you to the point where you are capable of independently staging and performing in complex, full-length theatre production and major film projects by the end of your studies.
In addition to workshop and performances you will also have lectures which cover both areas of theatre and film acting history, key theories and practitioners, set texts and films and provide historical context, and are also used to introduce and explain technical disciplines of staging practical work. Within lectures a range of strategies or technologies may be used: for example, screenings of extracts from plays and films, audio-visual material from primary or secondary sources.
You also have the opportunity to explore these topics further through a variety of different seminars which are either led by tutors or students. You are encouraged to engage in group and individual learning across both practical and academic work
Your teaching is enhanced by a range of group theatre visits, which take part throughout the year enabling you to understand more about live performance. You also have the opportunity to undertake a placement module where you can work either in a production or outreach role at one of the two professional theatres in Stoke-on-Trent, or in an educational environment [for example, at a specialist performing arts college].
You will be assessed on your understanding, development and expression of production and performance [live and recorded] skills at all Levels under a variety of performance conditions. This assessment will take into account both your development and contribution during the module as well as the achievement of the final presentation or production. Assessment of your practical work is supported by written assessment – eg. essays, learning portfolios, seminar folders - which encourages you to reflect both on your learning experience and to make the connections between theory and practice.
In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).
Our Student Enabling Centre supports students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
The Acting teaching staff regards feedback as a key aspect of your learning. The team operates within a framework which comprises four elements:
- The opportunity to receive verbal feedback from tutors during continual assessment and after assessed performances [live and recorded] and presentations.
- The opportunity to receive verbal feedback from tutors when work is collected.
- Provision of commentary comprising [a] annotated engagement with the student’s text; and/or [b] written summary of overall strengths and weaknesses.
- The return of marked written work and feedback to students within a maximum of 20 working days of submission.