• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length3 years
  • UCAS codeW410

BA (Hons) Acting - Drama Centre London

Intensive and vocational, BA Acting prepares you for direct entry to the profession while laying the foundations for a lifelong acting career. The course is inspired by teaching giants such as Stanislavsky, Vakhtangov and Yat Malmgren, and benefits from extensive industry contacts.

This course is subject to revalidation in 2016/17. Whilst the focus of the course remains the same, some of the detailed content may be subject to change.

This course is part of the: Drama & Performance Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • BA (Hons) Acting at Drama Centre London offers a prestigious and highly-regarded conservatoire training for professional theatre and recorded media.  It provides an innovative and methodological approach to developing the actor’s unique talent. A very small cohort ensures maximum individual attention and world-class education and training for life
  • Drama Centre is the only institution in the world that teaches the technique of character analysis, developed by founding teacher Yat Malmgren
  • You'll be guided by a core team of dedicated and highly gifted teachers whose work is adventurous, modern and international. Our actor training is a unique blend of character analysis, contemporary Stanislavsky, and Vakhtangov’s ‘Fantastic Realism’
  • You'll benefit from close links with the MA Directing course at Drama Centre London and collaborations with students from the vibrant artistic culture of Central Saint Martins and the University of the Arts London, including designers, artists, film-makers and writers
  • You’ll benefit from strong contacts with the profession, including regular visits from distinguished practitioners, alumni, visiting professors and freelance directors
  • Our agents showcase opens doors to professional opportunities during the later stages of the course: in recent years students still in training have secured prestigious professional engagements
  • Five minutes’ walk from St Pancras International, we are at the heart of dynamic, multicultural London, the theatre capital of the world.

Course detail

The purpose of the BA Acting Course is to prepare you to compete successfully for work as a professional actor. The course incorporates classes in acting, character analysis, movement, music, singing, voice, speech, play analysis, cultural and contextual studies that situate the actor in a wider context and preparation for the acting profession. The classes are fully integrated, designed to address the individual needs and aspirations of each student.  Assessment is based entirely on performance and class work. Students on this course are entitled to student membership of Equity, applying for full Equity membership on graduation.

Course outline

Stage One (first year)

  • Unit one: Introduction to Study in Higher Education (20)
  • Unit two: Foundation, Exploration and Work on the Self (40)
  • Unit three: Rehearsal Methods for Realism (40)
  • Unit four: Analysis one: Archetypes and Storytelling (20)

Unit 1 encompasses the whole of the first term’s work, with particular emphasis on core concepts taught in the form of seminars and autonomous preparation for the dramatic presentation of research outcomes. In terms two and three, unit one gives way to unit four, which provides students with an opportunity to critically investigate theatrical archetypes and dramatic storytelling from both Western and Eastern perspectives, using the research and presentation methods established in the first term. unit two incorporates a wide range of performance skills required by the contemporary actor and is ongoing throughout the year. Although many of these skills need to be established by regular repetition and staff-led classes, there is also abundant scope for the individual exploration of students’ creative response to their personal history and cultural heritage, through improvisation and student-led exercises. For the first eight weeks of each term, unit three offers a gradual introduction to a specific rehearsal methods, applied to a play drawn from the Realist canon. Towards the end of term, skills classes give way to a full-time focus on these rehearsal exercises, which may include contemporary British plays, American Realism of the 30s and 40s and the ‘classical realism’ of France, Russia and Scandinavia at the turn of the 19th century.

Stage Two (second year)

  • Unit five: Expansion, Consolidation and Work on the Role (40)
  • Unit six: Character Analysis and Composition (20)
  • Unit seven: Rehearsal Methods for the Classical Actor (40)
  • Unit eight: Analysis two: Renaissance, Realism, Internationalism (20)

Stage 2 operates on a similar pattern to Stage 1. Skills classes operate a spiral curriculum, in which expertise in voice, movement and acting is refined and reinforced. The central importance of Character Analysis to BA (Hons) Acting is underlined by its allocation to an independent unit, which leads to the performance of ‘The Six’, i.e. a series of solo scenarios, using each of the character types. Rehearsal exercises during Stage 2 occupy the same position in the structure of the course: they are an opportunity to implement skills practised in Unit 5 in the 10 rehearsal and performance of text. They also introduce students to additional ways of working, both with staff directors and visiting tutors. The key development from Unit 3 to Unit 7 is that students are introduced to the challenge of dealing with heightened texts and non-naturalistic forms of theatre, frequently using complex language and verse. Plays are likely to be selected from the English Renaissance, the Restoration period, European classics or non-naturalistic material from the contemporary era. Unit 8 extends the work of Unit 4 through a critical examination of key themes from a multinational perspective, Renaissance Europe, Realism and the contemporary play.

Stage Three (third year)

  • Unit nine: The Skilful Actor (40)
  • Unit ten: The Professional Actor (80)

The purpose of stage three is to provide opportunities for students to synthesise the skills learned during stages two and three, to apply them to a range of creative projects, including both live theatre performance and recorded media and to prepare to apply their skills and talents in the world of the professional actor. The two units in stage three comprise an integrated package of activities that incorporate meetings with industry professionals and showcasing of work, audition practice, further development of skills that relate directly to public productions, participation in radio and screen acting projects and the opportunities for selected students to participate in industry-related events, such as the Wanamaker Festival, the Carleton Hobbes Awards and the Spotlight prize. Public productions normally take place in the Platform Theatre. Each student will be cast in three plays, either involving the entire year group or a sub-division of the cohort.

Facilities

Staff

Course Leader: David Jackson
Acting for Microphone: David Angus
Analysis: Ben Askew
Text: Alex Bingley
Acting for Camera: Bill Britten
Musical Repertoire: Andrew Davidson
Speech: Jonathan Dawes
Singing: Graham Dufresne
Stage Combat: Tim Klotz
Acting: Oleg Mirochnikov
Movement: Liana Nyquist
Movement: Lydia Baksh
Voice: Janis Price
Character Analysis: Tim Robins
Character Analysis: Lydia Baksh
Character Analysis: Ben Askew
Acting: Aoife Smyth
Ballet: Glen Snowden
Acting: Annie Tyson
Music: John White

Visiting professional: Tony Clark 
Visiting professional: Gary Davy
Visiting professional: Simon Dormandy
Visiting professional: Gabrielle Jourdan
Visiting professional: Sue Lefton
Visiting professional: Mark Ravenhill
Visiting professional: Kath Rogers
Visiting professional: Agnes Treplin
Visiting professional: Di Trevis
Visiting professional: David Tucker
Visiting professional: Richard Williams
Visiting professional: Alan Dunnett
Visiting professional: Chris Ettridge
Visiting professional: Lawrence Evans
Visiting professional: Mark Friend
Visiting professional: Diana Fraser
Visiting professional: Rupert Frazer
Visiting professional: Nikolai Foster
Visiting professional: Jane Gibson
Visiting professional: Piers Haggard
Visiting professional: Rob Hale
Visiting professional: Scott Handy
Visiting professional: Philip Hedley
Visiting professional: Jonathan Humphreys 
Visiting professional: Melanie Jessop

How to apply

When to apply

2018/19 entry
Applications for 2018/19 entry will be from October 2017 to mid January 2018 through UCAS. 

Applying and how your application is considered

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your online application form. Central Saint Martins (CSM) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W410
  • There is no 'campus code' for CSM
  • This course does not accept year two and three Entry.

What happens next

The BA Acting first round audition day has two stages. After stage one we make a selection and notify candidates using a shortlist pinned to the door of the audition room. If your name doesn't appear on this list, it means that, unfortunately, your application won't progress further on this occasion and you'll receive formal notification in due course from UCAS.

Stage one

You will present two speeches to a panel, normally composed of Drama Centre staff and a professional representative. One speech should be by Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries and the other written any time from the late 19th century onwards.  You may be asked to explain briefly the context of your material.  Lists will go up mid-morning and lunchtime.

Stage two

If you're selected after the first stage, the panel will ask you to repeat one or more or your speeches in a workshop that will include the other candidates invited to stage two.  The panel are likely to redirect your speech and may ask you to work with a partner, either another candidate or a student already at the school.  You are not expected to be perfect, but you will be expected to respond openly and bravely to the re-direction exercise. 

There are three possible outcomes at the end of the audition day.  If we feel you have the potential to benefit from DCL training we will contact you soon afterwards to either invite you to attend a full Recall Day or suggest you re-apply for a Foundation or MA course.  (If we recommend another DCL course, the audition will be free.)  If you do not hear directly from us, this means that your application has not been successful and you will be formally notified of the outcome by UCAS.

Recall day

Candidates selected from the first round are invited to spend a whole day at the Drama Centre to take part in core classes, including acting, improvisation, movement, singing and voice. This will give you the chance to meet key members of staff and to experience DCL training in practice. You will need to prepare a song and bring sheet music on the day.  Please make sure your music is taped together so it can stand up on a music stand.  Bear in mind you are not expected to be a great singer (although we don’t mind if you are!)  Staff will be interested in seeing if you can act through your song.  You will perform both your audition speeches again and you should be ready to respond to re-direction if required.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry. 

When to apply

2018/19 entry
Applications for 2018/19 entry will be from October 2017 to mid January 2018. 

Applying and how your application is considered

International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your online application form. Central Saint Martins (CSM) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W410
  • There is no 'campus code' for CSM.
  • This course does not accept Year two and three Entry.

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

The BA Acting first round audition day has two stages. After stage one we make a selection and notify candidates using a shortlist pinned to the door of the audition room. If your name doesn't appear on this list, it means that, unfortunately, your application won't progress further on this occasion and you'll receive formal notification in due course from UCAS.

Stage one

You will present two speeches to a panel, normally composed of Drama Centre staff and a professional representative. One speech should be by Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries and the other written any time from the late 19th century onwards.  You may be asked to explain briefly the context of your material.  Lists will go up mid-morning and lunchtime.

Stage two

If you're selected after the first stage, the panel will ask you to repeat one or more or your speeches in a workshop that will include the other candidates invited to stage two.  The panel are likely to redirect your speech and may ask you to work with a partner, either another candidate or a student already at the school.  You are not expected to be perfect, but you will be expected to respond openly and bravely to the re-direction exercise. 

There are three possible outcomes at the end of the audition day.  If we feel you have the potential to benefit from DCL training we will contact you soon afterwards to either invite you to attend a full Recall Day or suggest you re-apply for a Foundation or MA course.  (If we recommend another DCL course, the audition will be free.)  If you do not hear directly from us, this means that your application has not been successful and you will be formally notified of the outcome by UCAS.

Recall day

Candidates selected from the first round are invited to spend a whole day at the Drama Centre to take part in core classes, including acting, improvisation, movement, singing and voice. This will give you the chance to meet key members of staff and to experience DCL training in practice. You will need to prepare a song and bring sheet music on the day.  Please make sure your music is taped together so it can stand up on a music stand.  Bear in mind you are not expected to be a great singer (although we don’t mind if you are!)  Staff will be interested in seeing if you can act through your song.  You will perform both your audition speeches again and you should be ready to respond to re-direction if required.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through UCAS track.

If you applied through one of our overseas representatives, they will tell you the result of your application.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

Entry requirements

This degree course requires an audition.

Entry to BA Acting is highly competitive. Selection is determined by the quality of the application, indicated primarily in the quality of your audition and interview. See below for the selection criteria and information on how to apply.

Minimum entry requirements

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

  • A Foundation Diploma in Performance (level three or four)
  • A pass in one GCE A Level
  • Passes at GCSE level in three other subjects (grade C or above)

OR

  • Passes in two GCE A Levels
  • Passes at GCSE level in three other subjects (grade C or above)

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

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier four 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 students who are ready to take on an extremely demanding profession, who are mature and self-confident, and who are willing to take criticism and turn it to their advantage while preserving a sense of humour. Above all, we look for people who can express themselves freely and with confidence.

We're looking for potential student actors who are committed, sensitive, imaginative, curious and resilient, with a passion for acting and a serious approach to the art of acting in the classical tradition. We're looking for people who are not afraid to take creative risks, who respond to stimuli and who are excited by the idea of being in an ensemble, working generously and openly with others.

Selection criteria

We select degree applicants according to your potential and current ability to:

  • Stage presence
  • Ability to work as part of a group
  • Ability to respond to direction
  • Useful balance between emotional and intellectual engagement and spirit of enquiry
  • Storytelling
  • Knowledge of the demands and the realities of the profession
  • An examination of your knowledge of theatre, your professional aspirations and your understanding of the realities of the profession
  • Why you're interested in Drama Centre London and its particular approach to training
  • Your choice of text or texts and understanding of the material

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250 (2018/19). 

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

Our BA Acting stage three showcase, presented before an audience of agents, casting directors and potential employers, opens doors to professional opportunities in London and beyond during the later stages of the course.

In recent years, students still on the course have secured prestigious professional engagements, including:

  • ‘The Rotters’ Club’ - BBC1
  • ‘What the Butler Saw’ - Hampstead Theatre and Criterion Theatre (West End)
  • ‘Cymbeline’ - Cheek by Jowl at the Barbican and on a European tour
  • ‘Macbeth’ – Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore’ – West Yorkshire Playhouse
  • ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Marat/Sade’ – Royal Shakespeare Company
  • ‘Black Watch’ - National Theatre of Scotland, Barbican and New York
  • 'The Physicists' - Donmar Warehouse

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 (until recently Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company) and filmmaker David Leland are two of the many directors among our graduates.

BA Acting aims to deepen your awareness of the profession in all its aspects, including the risks and uncertainties associated with the acting life. In addition to your education and training as an actor, we offer education and training for life and work through our personal and professional development programmes.