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Acting

Subject to validation.

If you wish to study this course full-time you must apply through UCAS. UCAS Code: BA45. Institution code Y70.

Click here to view York College’s agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and an explanation on how fee income will be used to support students.

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Check out this recent article in the York Press all about our ALRA endorsed Acting BA.

Who is this course aimed at?

The BA Acting for Stage and Screen is a drama school informed training suitable for students who are determined to become professional actors working in today’s theatre and screen industries. Students of all ages and backgrounds are welcome and we actively seek to promote diversity. The course is created with and endorsed by ALRA and is therefore aimed at students who are dedicated to developing the skills to equip them for a career as a professional actor.

Course details

The BA Acting for Stage and Screen is an intensive training created and run in close partnership with ALRA. Students will take classes in screen acting throughout the two years alongside specialist classes in a wide range of improvisation, rehearsal and performance skills, voice, movement, professional development and creating their own work. Students will have regular contact with visiting industry professionals and ALRA staff alongside the in-house tutors. Students will take part in work placement blocks within the industry and will appear in several public performances. The course is accelerated over two years in order to provide maximum value for money and an early entry point into the profession.

Entry Requirements

18 Years old at the start of the course, but older students are very welcome.

32 UCAS tariff points.

Applicants will be invited for auditions and an interview. Each applicant is asked to prepare 3 monologues – 2 x contemporary and a classical monologue. Applicants will also take part in a movement workshop.

Course Information

Students will focus on techniques for stage and screen acting right from the start of their studies.

A range of approaches to the acting process will be explored practically underpinned by Stanislavskian naturalism and extending beyond into more diverse practitioner influences such as Hagen, Meisner, Chekhov, Johnstone, Lecoq and Laban. Through improvisation, rehearsal, text analysis, contemporary and classical performance alongside specialist skills in voice, movement, physical theatre and workshops including dramatic combat students will learn to integrate theory and practice to forge their own unique acting tool kits. Students will take part in a range of public performances in theatre, studio and screen settings. Professional development will take place throughout the course including audition preparation, self-tape, industry panels and workshops, work placements and a final industry showcase. Students will, as part of the ALRA endorsed network, have access to the highest standards of professional actor training, underpinned by the most current research and methodologies.

Course Length

2 years full time

Dates and Times

Course begins September 2021 until July 2023.

Course Modules

The modules that students will study are:

Level 4

Fundamental Acting Technique

Fundamental Voice Technique
Fundamental Movement Technique

Fundamental Professional Development

Performance 1

Performance 2

Level 5

Developing Acting Technique

Developing Voice Technique
Developing Movement Technique

Developing Professional Development

Performance 3

Performance 4

Level 6

Advanced Acting Technique

Advanced Professional Development

Industry Facing Performance

Recorded Performance

Live Theatre Performance

Creating My Own Work

For a full list of the University Centre’s regulations and policies please click here.

Teaching Method(s)

The BA Acting for Stage and Screen is a highly practical course which is taught through rehearsal, workshops, seminars, tutorials, work experience placements and masterclasses. Critical thinking work is presented using a range of approaches including blogs, vlogs, digital portfolios etc. It is reflective and research based and designed to support your practical training. Students have 26 hours of contact time per week. Classes will be approximately 10-14 students and learning will take place in rehearsal studios, theatre spaces, film and media suites and on work placements. Independent learning is expected outside of contact hours and will include learning lines, text analysis work, character and contextual research, professional development activities and reflective practice.

Assessments

Students are assessed through grading of final performances (both live and recorded), and through critical reflective work in a variety of forms.

Course Fees

The course fees are £8660 per year.

Students can apply to Student Finance England for a loan to cover these costs. There are also a range of funding opportunities available nationally to drama students depending on their circumstances.

Additional costs

There may be travel costs related to work placements. A reading list will be supplied which students may wish to purchase key items from Students must come to classes in practical movement clothing (details to be supplied on successful application). There may be occasional additional costs in order for students to experience bespoke industry workshops / masterclasses and travel to access valuable opportunities.

Reasons to choose this course

ALRA are one of only 20 accredited Drama Schools in the UK and bring with them a national and international reputation for excellence in Higher Education drama training. Their graduates include Miranda Hart, Denise Gough, Jimmy Akingbola and Sarah Parish (whilst former acting students at York College include Taj Atwal, Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings, Carla Woodcock and Mhairi Calvey). Our close link with such a well-respected Drama School offers our students an invaluable training experience and sets us apart from other similar courses. Our students will also potentially have the opportunity to progress onto a Masters Degree in Professional Acting at ALRA after completing the two years at York College.

The fact that our students receive training not just for stage performance but also for screen acting, right from the start of their studies, drawing on ALRA’s international reputation in this area is a clear advantage for our students. The vast majority of income for contemporary actors is earned in the screen industry and our students will be prepared for this on their entry into the profession.

The two year accelerated degree is a model which also sets us apart and makes us more attractive to students who are conscious of escalating costs of HE and are keen to move into the professional workplace at the earliest opportunity.  Compared with comparable 3 year degree courses our students will save several thousand pounds on both fees and living costs incurred in a third year.

We also have key industry partnerships with Screen Yorkshire and York Theatre Royal which allow our students wide ranging access to industry professionals in the TV, Film and Theatre Industries through workshops, masterclasses, placements and networking opportunities.

Facilities

Dedicated rehearsal space including filming facilities

Performance spaces

Seminar and tutorial rooms

Skills you will develop

Students will develop skills in acting technique, improvisation, devising, vocal performance, movement, physical theatre, characterisation, text analysis, rehearsal technique, screen acting, audio performance, dramatic combat, creating your own work, classical performance, audition technique, self-taping and professional preparation. Academic skills will include, research skills, reflective practice, critical and creative thinking, interpersonal skills, team working and analytical response skills.

Course progression

Students will be considered for the MA Professional Acting Degree at ALRA. This is a 15 month full-time course where students can build even further on the skills developed here by participating in a theatre production, recording a film and performing in showcases and panels in both London and Manchester.

Career progression

The course aims to prepare students for careers as actors working in the theatre and stage industries. Modules in audition preparation, professional practice, self-taping and creating showreels and audioreels will all assist students to make their initial steps into the professional industry. Students are actively encouraged to make industry links whilst on the course. Industry links will be made throughout the course through work placements, guest lecturers and industry led workshops, participation in an industry panel, a final industry showcase, the final Live Theatre performance and the production of professional showreels.

Lecturer profiles

Programme Leader and Acting Lecturer: James Harvey

James has been a Performing Arts teacher for the past 11 years. He trained as an actor at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) before going on to work variously as an actor, singer, director, and producer. After completing a Masters Degree in Writing and Performance at the University of York he has worked as a playwright and librettist. He maintains industry involvement through his writing and is currently developing a musical with West End collaborators.

Voice Lecturer: Yvonne Morley

Yvonne has expertise in vocal health and hygiene, vocal power and projection, physical ease, breath support, resonance, tone, accents and dialects and vocal characterisation. She trained at The Webber Douglass Academy of Dramatic Art and The Central School of Speech and Drama and is the former Head of Voice at the London Academy of Dramatic Art.

Current Industrial experience as an Associate of the Royal National Theatre, RSC and The Globe Theatre Voice Departments. Recent theatre production work for York Theatre Royal, Young Vic, Royal Court, Southwark Playhouse and Royal National Theatre (including One Man, Two Guvnors and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime West End Transfers). Yvonne has also worked in film, television and recorded media for BBC, Channel 4 and Independent Production companies.

Movement Lecturer: Gemma O’Connor

Gemma has expertise in Physical Theatre, Contact Improvisation, Pilates, Yoga, Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Character, Commercial, with particular interest in the work of Graham and Cunningham.

Gemma trained at Dance City in Newcastle, where she worked with companies such as Ballet Lorent and Siobhan Davies. Gemma teaches on the Dance, Acting and Musical Theatre courses at York College specialising in Contemporary, Physical Theatre and Jazz. She achieved her IDTA teaching certificate and continues to perform as a member of the Terpsichoring dance company.

Module Tutor for Screen Acting: Kate Chappell

Expertise in Screen Acting, Voice, Movement with particular interest in the approaches of Laban, Chekhov, Stanislavski and Alfreds.

Current industrial experience as a professional Actress and founder of Salt Box Theatre.

Visiting Lecturer: Kieran Sheehan

Kieran is Vice Principal (Curriculum) at ALRA with responsibility for overseeing the academic vision, training and partnership development. He is currently undertaking a professional doctorate exploring arts based educational research and reflective practice and regularly works as a consultant for other arts organisations. Kieran is also a movement director. Recent productions and publications include: Lancastrians, directed by Liz Stevenson (National Tour, ACE: 2019), Mina, directed by Nataly Lebouleux (national Tour, ACE: 2019), presenter, Teaching and Learning Conference (Advance HE: 2019).

Lecturers

James Harvey, MA, BA (Hons), PGCE

James has been a Performing Arts teacher for the past 11 years. He trained as an actor at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) before going on to work variously as an actor, singer, director, and producer. After completing a Masters Degree in Writing and Performance at the University of York he has worked as a playwright and librettist. He maintains industry involvement through his writing and is currently developing a musical with West End collaborators.

Kieran Sheehan 

Kieran is Vice Principal (Curriculum) at ALRA with responsibility for overseeing the academic vision, training and partnership development. He is currently undertaking a professional doctorate exploring arts based educational research and reflective practice and regularly works as a consultant for other arts organisations. Kieran is also a movement director. Recent productions and publications include: Lancastrians, directed by Liz Stevenson (National Tour, ACE: 2019), Mina, directed by Nataly Lebouleux (national Tour, ACE: 2019), presenter, Teaching and Learning Conference (Advance HE: 2019). 

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