Acting and Theatre Arts (Top-up)

Study options


BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time, top-up
1 Year
Start date:
23 September 2024

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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

Our Acting and Theatre Arts Top Up course explores a range of subjects, including writing, scenography, and theatre making at our state-of-the-art technical facilities.

The Acting and Theatre Arts (Top Up) course enables applicants who have completed an HND/FdA in a relevant Acting/Drama discipline to progress onto the final year of the BA qualification.

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

  • 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.

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.

Level 6 module choices need to be negotiated with the Course Leaders dependent on prior experience and course content.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
There are no compulsory modules for this year.
Show 18 optional modules

Entry requirements

Completion of a relevant HND or FdA in an Acting/Drama discipline.

Note: Dependent on Units taken on HND/FdA students may be required to take additional modules from Level 5 in order to acquire necessary knowledge/skills to undertake requirements of L6 BA study.

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.


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 such as reading, note-taking and presentation skills
  • written English, including punctuation and grammatical accuracy
  • academic writing and how to reference
  • research skills
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills
  • time management

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion 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.

Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements. 


Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, laboratory or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of laboratories and performance and studio spaces.


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.

Richard Cheshire

Senior Lecturer

I am an experienced University lecturer in Drama and a practicing freelance professional theatre director, with a strong interest in Shakespeare, contemporary manifestations of Pantomime, Musical and Popular Theatre.

Richard's profile


For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons)-Full-time, top-up
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £16,750 per year of study

UK 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.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

Cost of the main materials for the staging of course related productions. All major productions have a fixed budget that participating students manage as part of the production development and staging.

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by reading our additional funding web pages, or visiting

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

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.

Amit Shah



Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus BA (Hons) Full-time, top-up 23 September 2024 Apply now

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.

Have you considered?

Acting for Stage and Screen BA (Hons)

Study options
in the UK for Quality Education

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