Higher Education

Start Date: Duration: Level: Study mode: Course Location: Course Type:
September 1 year Level 4 Full-Time Bede Campus University Level Qualification Apply

What’s it all about?

This practical course will develop your skills and knowledge for acting, performing and theatre production.

You will be able to develop your skills and knowledge for acting, performing, theatre/event production and theatre in education, for support when pursuing an exciting career in the drama industry. There are lots of opportunities for practical activities and performances.

Whilst this course is defined as musical theatre, it is so much more than that. It is about strengthening your abilities as an actor, singer and dancer. We understand that not everyone is a 'triple threat', and it is not necessarily our intention to make you one.

We believe in strengthening these skills, allowing the performer to increase their confidence and open up their employability options. The industry is asking for versatile performers and we want to prepare our students to answer this call; whether that be through one of the prior-defined roles or something else entirely. You’ll learn to push yourself and find talents in areas you never expected.

This course develops skills and knowledge that are relevant for acting, dancing, musical theatre, theatre/camera/event production, and community projects. Practical experience and performances are core elements of the course. This course is for people who are considering a vocation as a performer/practitioner capable of producing new and exciting work.

Academic Qualifications:
- A BTEC Level 3 qualification
- Other related level 3 qualifications
- An access to Higher Education certificate received from an approved further education institution

Related Work Experience:
Mature learners may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience (paid and/or unpaid) and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector.

All candidates will be interviewed and auditioned before an offer is made.

Accreditation of Prior Learning:
If you have achieved a qualification such as a HNC, or have gained credit at another Higher Education provider, you may be able to enter the course at Level 5 (HND).

Study level Cost Additional fees
19+ please enquire Fees for September - £5999 (please note, fees are subject to change) It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years, but the maximum increases each year will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The following course-related costs are included in the fees: - Annual £10 printing allowance The following course-related costs are not included in the fees: - External visits – London, New York etc - Course kit/uniform – Available to purchase online at Total Sport - Course resources – stationery, files, books Financial support - For more information on Student Finance, please go to our HE Finance page.

Methods used will encourage both independent and collaborative learning through use of practical workshops, interactive lectures, resource-based learning, self-directed study and group work, tutorials, discussion and critiques and rehearsals.

Individual or group projects for each unit will always culminate in public performance.

Students will critically reflect on their own development of skills and performance and that of others, visiting companies and practitioners, attendance of performances and residences will be used to broaden learners’ concepts and practice.

Assessment is on-going. Verbal and written formative feedback are given at regular intervals. Assessment methods differ depending on the unit, however, typical assessment methods used may include:

- Practical demonstrations and presentations
- Portfolios
- Performances and events
- Log books
- Essays
- Evaluations
- Online blogs
- Reports
- Tasks

It is desirable that you have at least a Level 2 qualification in English and Maths (e.g. GCSE grade 4/C or above).

Students are exposed to a broad range of activities and opportunities as part of their academic and vocational curriculum, such as:

- Competitions
- Live briefs
- Commissions
- Community and interdisciplinary community projects
- Visits

These opportunities allow for students to develop confidence, resilience, and independenc.,You will also discover interests and talents to support personal skill development and preparation for next steps to becoming a responsible, respectful and active individual.

Previous and ongoing industry links include:

- The Point Sunderland
- Hylton Castle
- Sunderland BID
- Southpaw Dance Company
- Fertile Ground
- National Theatre
- Theatre Space NE
- Northumbria Police
- The Firestation
- Sunderland Empire

Timetables are normally available at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as friendly as possible. Scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

The purpose of this course is to develop students as professional, self-reflecting individuals able to meet the demands of employers in performing arts and adapt to a constantly changing world. Throughout the programme, your skills will be challenged and furthered through a versatile selection of units that prepare you as a practitioner for the current industry climate.

You will study modules including:

Performing Arts Industry -
This unit develops students’ awareness of key areas of working in performing arts and allows for exploration and research in all matters related to surviving and thriving within the performing arts industry. Employability, self-maintenance, managing finances and the increasing importance of online and offline marketing are all areas that will be covered throughout this unit.

Professional Development -
For employment in the performing arts industry to be successful and sustainable, today’s professional is often versatile and enterprising, maintaining a career portfolio in which they are able to fully utilise their complete range of skills. Knowledge of your professional strengths and identity is the first step towards building a strategy that will inform your route towards professionalism. In this unit, you will explore the many potential avenues of employment that relate to your specialism, remain in line with this challenging industry and continually update skills for employability. You will develop an awareness of how to present yourself to the marketplace and embark on a journey of professional development.

Acting 1 -
There is no one defined process that provides a ready manual to be followed to develop a student’s acting skills. The aim of the unit is to introduce students to accepted principles of acting technique. Students will explore and develop technical and interpretive skills required to perform in a range of performance contexts and provide a foundation for future development. As your understanding of the acting process and yourself develops, you can shape the course to suit your needs.

Acting for Camera -
A significant area of employment for the actor is working on camera in a variety of domains, from film and television to online. Actors need to develop appropriate techniques in order to perform successfully in front of a camera. While the technique of performing to camera may be rooted in realistic techniques for the stage, it poses challenges of its own. This unit will foster technical acumen in meeting the practical and artistic demands of realising performance for the screen. Topics included in this unit are understanding the challenges of working on set, developing suitable acting techniques for camera, rehearsing material and performing in front of a camera.

Movement for Actors -
The aim of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of the importance of developing an expressive body as an essential component of their performance toolkit. Students will acquire foundation skills in suppleness, strength and agility, which will facilitate the development of movement capability and physical presence. Topics included in this unit are identification of strengths and areas for improvement in terms of movement capabilities, exploration of movement methodologies, identifying a programme of exercises to develop somatic skills, and performing movement-based material.

Jazz Dance 1 -
In this unit you will develop technical ability in the studio as a jazz dancer and broaden contextual your knowledge of innovators and creators of jazz styles during the development of the genre. You will learn to combine steps, execute the required vocabulary in set and unset combinations, incorporate and demonstrate musicality and artistry, which will result in the ability to pick up choreographic combinations.

Singing 1 -
This unit is designed to produce independent vocal practitioners who have the knowledge and skills to fulfil their full potential as a singer and the versatility to meet the wide-ranging vocal demands of the musical theatre industry. Students will acquire a detailed physical understanding of the workings of the vocal mechanism and the techniques and awareness required to achieve vocal performances of the highest possible standard. By the end of the unit, students will learn how to produce a more confident and tonally secure sound by developing their musical ear.

Devising Theatre and Performance -
Due to the nature of devising, the most effective way of developing ideas and skills in this area is to fully explore a wide and diverse range of practitioners, productions and companies that have helped to shape this form of theatre. This diversity of study is essential to fully understand the exploratory nature of devising. By the end of this unit, students will have developed a creative toolbox of methods, ideas and techniques that could all be applied to a devised work. They will also have improved their understanding of the contextual development of devising and its importance in today's creative arts industry. Students will also have explored contemporary devising processes, including use of movement, text and ensemble, and developed their appreciation of the entire creative process and how it informs and links to the final product.

You will gain a maximum of 120 credits within your first year of study (equivalent to the HNC).

If you progress onto our second year (HND) you will receive a maximum of 240 credits.

Our HNC Performance (Musical Theatre) course combines creative talent with practical aspects of self-promotion, freelance awareness, and arts management. This mix of disciplines is good preparation for entering the world of performance.

This course could lead to a range of progression opportunities, such as drama, dance, or musical theatre school, the continuation of studies in higher education for a BA Hons Degree, industry related work experience or placements as well as freelance employment.

Some of the most well-known career options available upon completion:
- Dancer
- Actor
- Singer
- Teacher (primary, secondary, further education or Higher Education)
- Community arts worker
- Freelance artist

Typical employers of performing arts graduates includes:
- Local government
- Arts organisations
- Education institutions
- The National Health Service (NHS)
- Leisure companies
- Voluntary organisations

What’s next?

The course itself is structured as a preparation for the industry, with consistent industry links and portfolio building throughout. As a result, at the end of the course you could immediately apply for roles that involve performing, teaching, arts administration or community arts.

If you choose to continue your studies at the end of the course, there is a natural progression to the Higher National Diploma (HND) Performance (Musical Theatre). This would ‘top-up’ your qualification to a diploma. Gaining a HND allows you the option to carry out a third year of study to gain a degree, or step away with a Higher National Diploma qualification and enter the industry.

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