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Acting and Theatre Arts

BA (Hons)

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Take advantage of our academic's professional business links

Industry-standard facilities

Including our Performance Centre, with 4 studios for performances

Final year study unique to you

Tailor your course to complement your interests and strengths

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
3 Years
Start date:
16 September 2019
21 September 2020
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Our Acting and Theatre Arts degree explores a range of subjects, including writing, scenography, and theatre making at our state-of-the-art technical facilities.

Our popular Acting and Theatre Arts degree blends traditional academic study with practical drama-school training.

Acting, plays, directing, contemporary drama, practitioners, playwrights and applied theatre are central to this course.

Key features

  • 100% Overall Student Satisfaction (2016 National Student Survey)
  • Our lecturers have worked at the BBC, ITV, National Theatre, Royal Exchange (Manchester)
  • Strong working links with local theatres (Lime Pictures, New Vic, Regent Theatre)
  • Regular guest lecturers from the theatre industry.
  • Industry-standard technical facilities for productions.
  • Theatre visits to London, Stratford-upon-Avon and New York.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Acting and Theatre Arts

Course content

Throughout your time with us, you’ll learn through a mixture of practical workshops and studio-based theory. Assessment is through presentations, productions, coursework or take-away papers – there are no formal exams.

In Year 1 you’ll build a firm knowledge of the theatre industry and discover the fundamental principles of Acting. We’ll also introduce you to directing and designing for the stage, creative approaches to film and theatre making as well as writing for stage and screen.

You’ll develop these skills further in your second year, where you’ll be acting in and designing full length contemporary plays. The theory and practice of performing Greek, Restoration or Renaissance dramas will also be explored.

Your final year will be unique to you. With no core modules in Year 3, you’ll be able to structure your learning to suit your own strengths and interests. This may include performing in productions, directing, creating a short film, or getting some valuable industry experience on a placement.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.  The full-time course has one start point in September.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Standard route

Year 1 compulsory modules
Acting One 30 credits
Acting Two 30 credits
Movers And Shakers 30 credits
The Actor As Collaborator 30 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Applied Theatre Practice 30 credits
Explorations In Rehearsal 30 credits
Heightened Text 30 credits
Play Production: Acting 30 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
There are no compulsory modules for this year.
Show 16 optional modules



This degree will prepare you for a variety of professions connected to the practice and teaching of performing arts. Many of our graduates work as actors, stage managers, lighting designers, directors, technicians, youth theatre leaders and teachers. Others have continued their education at postgraduate level.

Teaching and assessment


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

Theatre visits

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.

Learning support

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).

Additional support

Our AccessAbility Services support 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.


You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Robert Marsden
Robert MarsdenCo-Course Leader

Robert balances his work at Staffordshire University with that of being a freelance theatre director. His expertise is in the theory and practice of directing and acting, musical theatre and pantomime.   


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Paul Christie
Paul ChristieCo-Course Leader

Paul trained on the BA Acting Degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before going on to work extensively as a professional actor for ten years performing across theatre, television and radio. He then trained as a theatre director at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before going on to work as a freelance director and lecturer.

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Derrick Cameron
Derrick CameronSenior Lecturer

Derrick studied Drama at Liverpool Polytechnic (BA) and University of Essex (MA). Before taking up teaching full time. He's been a playwright, script reader, postgraduate researcher, and part-time drama lecturer.

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Richard Cheshire
Richard CheshireLecturer in Acting and Theatre Arts

Richard was Curriculum Leader for Drama, Performance and Scenography and Director of Learning and Teaching at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at Aberystwyth University. Away from lecturing, Richard also works as a freelance theatre director.

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For the course starting on 16 September 2019 the tuition fees are:

Study option
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£12,500 per year of study

For the course starting on 21 September 2020 the tuition fees are:

Study option
UK / EU / Channel Islands
To be confirmed

UK, EU and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

Our students

Amit Shah

Graduate, Amit Shah has enjoyed a meteoric rise into performing arts which has seen him star in television, film and on stage. His recent TV roles include Stag (BBC2) and Crashing (Channel 4). Amit also starred in the 2014 film The Hundred Foot Journey with Dame Helen Mirren.


Stoke-on-Trent campus
BA (Hons)
16 September 2019
Stoke-on-Trent campus
BA (Hons)
21 September 2020

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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17/09/2019 07:15:53 / Acting and Theatre Arts / Full-time / 24.0 / 36.0 / SSTK-09639 / Direct link