Foundation Studies in Performance - Drama Centre London

With its focus firmly on practical skills and techniques, Foundation Studies in Performance broadens your horizons and lets you test your aims and aptitudes in a supportive environment. You’ll emerge very well placed to apply for further training in the highly specialised, competitive and demanding performance sector.

Trilokjit Sengupta

Students take part in ballet class, part of the conservatoire based teaching at Drama Centre 

Trilokjit Sengupta

Students perform in their Final Major Showing, a public performance in the Platform Theatre Studio

Shahrbanoo Nezam Mafi

Students film work for their Final Major Project pieces

Performance class.

Students prepate for a movement class at Drama Centre. Key staff teach across the whole school, both on the Foundation course and on BA Acting. 

Welcome from Richard Williams, Course Leader

I know that most people on the Foundation course want to go onto a BA Acting course at a recognised drama school. In fact many people on the course have tried for a BA and been recommended to gain more experience. Therefore our foundation course offers a terrific preparation for BA Acting auditions and courses.

As part of the course you will get one-to-one advice and tuition on audition monologues so you are in the best possible condition both physically and mentally for your next step. And we have a great success rate. Each year about sixty percent of the year group go onto a BA Acting or Directing course at a recognised drama school. 

That's only a part of the course. You'll enjoy studying a broad range of subjects - including Shakespeare, Stanislavski, Text in Action, Acting for Camera, Dance, Movement and Performance Technique - all part of the highly focused Drama Centre conservatoire training. Our students approach their next step with the confidence that only such an intensively concentrated course can offer. I know the course isn't cheap, but that's because we are offering the very best of teaching and tuition with an incredibly intensive 30 hours of teaching weekly. 

Take a moment to read how vitally productive some of the present and past students have found it. Think about Drama Centre London Foundation Course as the place to begin your successful theatrical career.

Richard Williams
Course Leader Foundation in Performance Studies

Comments from this year's students

"The knowledge and experience I have gained from the course is phenomenal. It's an incredible start for anyone considering a career in performance"

"I definitely feel it's great value. It's world class training that has prepared me for a BA course"

"Worth every penny and I feel lucky to have gained a place here at Drama Centre."

"The tutors have taught me to challenge myself."

"The intensity was what I needed, the course was challenging and extremely beneficial."

"The Drama Centre course has allowed me to express myself physically and emotionally in a safe and creative environment. The foundation has given me invaluable tools that will carry me through my career."

"I got to know myself a lot better, physically and mentally in a safe and collaborative environment."


Richard Williams is a theatre and opera director with a long and distinguished career who has won several awards for his directing. He has worked with some of the country's leading performers including Imelda Staunton, Roger Allam, Mark Rylance, Sylvester McCoy and Alison Steadman. Naturally he brings a wealth of experience to the course as well as careful attention to each individual student.

The tutors on the Foundation Course all also teach at BA or MA level and include Oleg Mirochnikov, Liana Nyquist formally assistant to Yat Malgrem, film maker and West End director Harry Burton, and ex RSC actor and director Paul Goodwin.

After the completion of the course the Course Leader invites students to join in one or more summer projects which he is connected to in a professional capacity. So in the past students have appeared alongside professional performers at The Bath International Festival in a cabaret of Brecht/Weill songs, poems and scenes; Buxton Opera Festival in acting roles in a Vivaldi opera; the well-established Old Vic New Voices project; ‘Chalk Legends’ an epic production with The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as part of the Cultural Olympiad and other exciting professional opportunities. 

5 great reasons to apply

  • Foundation Studies in Performance at Drama Centre London has an extremely strong record of students gaining places at recognised drama schools for BA courses. 
  • You'll benefit from excellent studio, practice and teaching rooms in our iconic building, part of the exciting King's Cross development
  • The course offers a real experience of drama school life, with the same teaching staff and facilities as the BA and postgraduate courses at Drama Centre London.
  • You'll experience weekly visits to theatres and other cultural visits as well as close contacts with the profession and professional actors
  • You'll have the opportunity to participate in a professional production - a great start to your career CV!

Facts

Programme Director

Richard Williams

Course Location

King’s Cross

Study LevelFoundation
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year - full time
Home/EU Fee

Tuition fee - £13,290
Registration fee - £174 (2016/17). 
Other (cultural visit fees) - £300

Total: £13,764

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

Tuition fee - £13,290
Registration fee - £174 (2016/17). 
Other (cultural visit fees) - £300 (2016/17). 

Total: £13,764

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateTuesday 29 August 2017
Autumn Term DatesTuesday 29 August 2017 – Friday 3 November 2017 | Holiday: Monday 6 November 2017 – Friday 10 November 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 13 November 2017 – Friday 2 February 2018 | Holiday: Monday 19 December 2017 – Monday 1 January 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 5 February 2018 – Friday 20 April 2018 | Holiday: Monday 12 March 2018 – Friday 23 March 2018
Application Route

Direct application

Content and structure

The Foundation Course at Drama Centre London is aimed at those who wish to improve their acting, directing and other performance skills in order to make informed decisions about their future careers. This course is part of the Access to HE and Progression programme.

Foundation Studies in Performance enables you to experience the rigour and variety available in the field of drama and to test your expectations and aspirations against the realities of vocational training. On completing the foundation course, students will normally expect to go on to study in higher education, mainly at vocational drama schools.

During the foundation course you will enhance your capacity to learn in a disciplined, organised manner and develop skills leading to self-reliant learning. You will also develop your critical awareness of contemporary performance and will learn to express your ideas clearly and articulately.

Foundation Studies in Performance is fully based in the practice of performance, delivered within a leading drama conservatoire, thus benefiting from the high levels of expertise of the professional staff at Drama Centre London.

Foundation Studies in Performance is "diagnostic" in nature: that means that the tutors will seek to help you widen your understanding of the various opportunities for careers in the field of drama. You may already feel that you are determined to pursue a career in acting or directing, for example. In this case, the course will help you to test your commitment and define your expectations. On the other hand, you may feel that, while attracted by the idea of working in drama, you are not yet sure of what the profession has to offer and of how your talent can be developed. If this is the case, then Foundation Studies in Performance will help you explore the opportunities available and enable you to make informed decisions about future studies.

Foundation Studies in Performance is structured in three stages and includes units in:

  • Acting
  • Acting for Camera and Recorded Media
  • Rehearsal and Performance
  • Improvisation
  • Movement
  • Voice
  • Text Interpretation
  • Introduction to the Performing Arts Business
  • Monologue Study
  • Scene Study/Rehearsal Methodology
  • Singing
  • Directing/Writing options
  • Preparation for Auditions

Stage 1

The first, exploratory, stage introduces you to core areas of performance: interaction; physical expression; communication of ideas. You and your colleagues arrive at a shared understanding of the essential nature of performance and its various media, periods and styles. Focused visits to theatre, dance, film and other performance opportunities are followed by group discussions designed to provide a contemporary and historical context. Sustained acting, voice and movement classes begin to develop a sense of 'play', character and circumstance and stage relationships.

Stage 2

The second, pathway, stage invites you to focus on a range of projects, studying the creative, technical and vocational aspects of the different performance media, reflecting your individual interests and potential. Scene and monologue study, recorded media, more advanced movement and voice, contribute to the deepening of the understanding of the art and skills which enable communication between performer and spectator.

Stage 3

The third, confirmatory, stage encourages you to adopt an autonomous, proactive approach to your future development as a performer. You undertake a significant piece of work and assume within it roles that reflect your future aspirations for work and/or further study. You continue to develop and put into practice your own ideas, informed by the experience of the first two stages. Personal, professional and promotion skills are put into practice in order to support your applications to drama schools and elsewhere.

Detailed course information: Foundation Studies in Performance (PDF 229KB)‌

Staff

Course Leader:Richard Williams

Careers

An impressive list of famous performers and a number of world-famous directors have emerged from courses at Drama Centre London.

Alumni include Paul Bettany, Pierce Brosnan, Simon Callow, Frances de la Tour, Paola Dionisotti, Colin Firth, Tara Fitzgerald, Anastasia Hille, Geraldine James, Helen McCrory, Jack Shepherd, John Simm, Colin Tierney, Lambert Wilson, Penelope Wilton and many more. Adrian Noble (for ten years Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company); film writer and director David Leland; novelist Esther Freud and television director Jan Sargent are among our graduates.

Entry requirements

Selection to this course is determined by the quality of your application, meeting the minimum entry qualifications, and satisfying the selection criteria through the quality of an audition.

Drama Centre London recognises that your academic qualifications provide only partial evidence of your capacity to benefit from and ability to succeed on a foundation programme.

Minimum entry requirements

You need to meet minimum entry requirements as indicated below, but please note that such qualifications alone will not be sufficient.

  • Passes in 1 GCE A Levels or a twelve Unit AVCE
  • Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above)

or

  • BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts
  • Passes at GCSE level in 3 other subjects (grade C or above)

This educational level may be demonstrated by possession of equivalent qualifications; e.g. International Baccalauréat or High School Diploma. 

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is: 

IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent.

You must take the IELTS Academic Test for UKVI,  no other test can be accepted.

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements. 

What we look for

We look for applicants who can perform as a member of an ensemble, show a positive attitude to performance and demonstrate commitment.

Selection Criteria

The Audition Panel assesses all applicants' potential with regard to: 

  • Analysis of the character, text and action presented in the audition pieces;
  • Stage presence, use of emotion, intellectual engagement, voice and body;
  • Acting focus, level of intensity and variety of expression;
  • A sense of play and the ability to collaborate on stage;
  • Knowledge and experience of performance;
  • Awareness of personal and career goals.

Apply - UK/EU

When to Apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

We strongly recommend you apply before 30 April 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

Required information

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

You will be emailed a link to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal Statement

Please write about 300-500 words explaining your reasons for applying to your chosen course (provide details of your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities, what you wish to achieve on the course, and your career aspirations).

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

What happens next

We read and consider all application forms.  We aim to audition all qualified applicants who apply by the advisory deadline.  Once we have received your application, you will be sent an audition pack including instructions on how to book and pay for your audition online. The non-refundable audition fee is £50.00.

Auditions normally take place between February and May. We recommend you choose an early audition date. For more details about our audition procedure visit the auditions and interviews page.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Audition and interview advice

When choosing your audition pieces, you are advised to pick pieces which: 

  • Are of your own gender and playing age;
  • Last between 1.5 minute and a maximum of 2.5 minutes;
  • Avoid swearing, unless it’s essential to the context;
  • Demonstrate your current acting ability, rather than showcasing roles you would like to take on.

You should present two contrasting monologues from plays of any period; each one must last no longer than two and a half minutes.

You can replace one or both speeches with duologue scenes from the same period(s), in which case you’ll need to bring a partner with whom to present the scene(s).

The interview panel places a lot of emphasis on the interview in seeking to determine your potential as well as to help clarify your aspirations.

Deferred Entry

We do not accept applications for deferred entry for this course.

Apply - International

When to Apply 

You can apply for this course using our online application form.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

We strongly recommend you apply before 30 April 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

Required information

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Immigration History form (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an Immigration History form.

We will email you an Immigration History form when we receive your application.

You will need to send this back to us, by email, with copies of the following documents: 

  • Your passport photo page 
  • Your current visa (if you have one) and any previous UK study visas
  • Your current English language certificate (if you have this)
  • Your academic qualifications (A2, IB, high school diploma, foundation etc. - if completed. Translated into English)

Please note: If you do not complete and return your Immigration History form we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

What happens next

We read and consider all application forms.  We aim to audition all qualified applicants who apply by the advisory deadline.  Once we have received your application, you will be sent an audition pack including instructions on how to book and pay for your audition online. The non-refundable audition fee is £50.00.

Auditions normally take place between February and May. We recommend you choose an early audition date. International applicants are encouraged to attend an audition and interview but may, alternatively, submit an online film of yourself performing your pieces as an alternative to the Audition Process.  We recommend you submit your online audition as early as possible. For more details about our audition procedure visit the auditions and interviews page.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Audition and interview advice

When choosing your audition pieces, you are advised to pick pieces which: 

  • Are of your own gender and playing age;
  • Last between 1.5 minute and a maximum of 2.5 minutes;
  • Avoid swearing, unless it’s essential to the context;
  • Demonstrate your current acting ability, rather than showcasing roles you would like to take on.

You should present two contrasting monologues from plays of any period; each one must last no longer than two and a half minutes.

You can replace one or both speeches with duologue scenes from the same period(s), in which case you’ll need to bring a partner with whom to present the scene(s).

The interview panel places a lot of emphasis on the interview in seeking to determine your potential as well as to help clarify your aspirations. 

Deferred Entry

We do not accept applications for deferred entry for this course. 

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry