Skip to main content
Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Acting and Performance

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Performer during the Design for dance project. Photography by Wild Fox.
BA (Hons) Acting and Performance Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL
College
Wimbledon College of Arts
UCAS code
W415
Start date
September 2023
Course length
3 years

BA Acting and Performance at Wimbledon College of Arts is for students who are interested in acting as an artistic practice and a key driver of contemporary culture.

Course overview

BA Acting and Performance will enable you to become a creative, confident and articulate performer who can work across a variety of performance forms and contexts. You will develop your physical, vocal and intellectual skills both individually and in an ensemble. The course will also provide you with the opportunity to work with new technologies and innovative performance practices. It will make you ready for industry but also ready to challenge it, placing you at the cutting edge of 21st century developments.

What to expect

  • To develop your creative and critical practice in a performance environment
  • To develop the physical, vocal and intellectual skills required to act or perform in a range of different contexts
  • To gain knowledge and experience of acting processes
  • To act in digital, interactive and immersive performances
  • To take part in collaborative and multi-modal productions, which are integrated into the wider art school context, alongside students from other disciplines
  • To learn about different approaches to creating character, presence and persona
  • To gain an understanding of performance in relation to text, technology, image and action
  • To examine global theatre practices and post-colonial narratives
  • To look at performance in a cultural, political and historical context
  • To have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. View the Wimbledon facilities

Mode of study 

BA Acting and Performance is offered in full-time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage consists of 30 teaching weeks. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study. 

Course units

Year 1

Unit 1 - Introduction to Acting and Performance

This unit is an introduction to your course, the college and the university.

Unit 2 - Acting lab

You will investigate and critique key acting practices and methodologies. It will provide you with a firm grounding in some of the most significant approaches to acting as an artistic practice. It will give you an opportunity to assess their relevance in the contemporary context.

  • It will introduce you to some key theories and practical approaches to contemporary acting and place them in the historical, cultural and artistic context of their development
  • Introduce you to acting as an exploratory process involving working on the self, embodying emotions, interpreting texts, creating images and representing figures
  • Develop your practical experience and critical awareness of acting as a process
  • Enable you to advance and extend your physical, vocal and intellectual skills and creative capacities to encourage

Unit 3 - Theatre in context

The unit will introduce you to some of the key conceptual and practical approaches to studying theatre as a social and aesthetic practice within and across cultural contexts. It will introduce you to a range of inter-cultural, world theatre and global performance practices.

  • Project briefs to focus on conceptual projects tackling questions and challenges around these topics
  • It will introduce you to some of the key critical approaches to understanding theatre and performance as an expanded field of cultural and artistic practice
  • Introduce you to studying theatre in a social and cultural context
  • Examine the politics of performance-making processes and practices
  • Enable you to approach theatre as a socially-engaged practice
  • Investigate acting and performance practices from different cultural contexts and traditions
  • Interrogate the politics of inter-cultural exchange and cross-cultural practice
  • Encourage you to explore and critique inter-cultural approaches to training for performance

Unit 4 - Representing the real

This unit will introduce you to some of the foundational practices and theoretical questions concerning the relationship between reality and representation. It will place them in a historical, cultural and artistic context.

  • It will examine a range of theatre forms and acting conventions enabling you to develop your critical awareness and practical experience of different modes of acting and performance  
  • Situate acting and performance within the context of an event and scenography
  • Improve and grow your acting and performance-making skills, creative capacities and theatre knowledge
  • Encourage you to develop a personal process of practical investigation and reflective critical enquiry

Year 2

Unit 5 - Performance histories

In this unit you will explore different approaches to acting and performance as cultural narration and storytelling practice.

  • Project briefs will enable you to investigate your own stories, histories and cultural identities
  • You will explore the creative potential of acting and performance to tell new stories, to give voice to minority and marginalised experiences and to generate alternative perspectives  

Unit 6 - Collaborative and collective practices

This unit aims to introduce you to different ways in which collaborative working can focus and enhance your own creative strengths. This unit has 3 core purposes: 

  • To engage with fellow students with different practices and interests in a collaborative project
  • To engage with external audiences, participants or institutions to consider new contexts for your work
  • To develop your creative attributes to enable you to take on future challenges in a variety of contexts

Unit 7 - Digital performance lab

This unit investigates the diverse and rapidly developing field of digital performance and its transformative impact on contemporary theatre forms.

  • It will provide you with the opportunity to explore performance making for digital environments and platforms, including acting for screen and interactive media
  • Eperiment with new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality

Unit 8 - Contemporary acting

This unit looks at a range of contemporary acting practices, directors, theorists and practitioners. 

  • Project briefs will enable you to focus on a specific mode or practice and area of enquiry
  • Investigate and experiment with compositional methods and rehearsal strategies
  • You will have the opportunity to work individually, in groups or companies, and to develop new forms and hybrid practices

Year 3

Unit 9 - Performance research

This unit will provide you with a firm grounding in performance research. 

  • You will learn how to frame research questions, conduct a critical literature and practice review, identify appropriate research methods and form a sustained critical and theoretical argument, whether in performance practice or through writing
  • Produce a substantial piece of individual practice-based and/or scholarly enquiry
  • Be able to choose the form your research takes
  • Think about the social, economic and political impacts of your research

Unit 10 - Multi-modal production

This unit will provide you with a firm grounding in the practical production of contemporary performance. 

  • You will perform in a professional-standard public production, using the contemporary acting techniques and digital performance processes you have explored on the course
  • Work with directors, designers, technicians and other performers

Optional Diploma between year 2 and 3

Between year 2 and 3 you can opt to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the UAL Diploma in Creative Computing. Whilst these Diplomas are an optional aspect of the course, they are designed as an integrated and assessed part of your journey through the course. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Collaborative work
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Independent study
  • Introductions and inductions to university, college and course resources
  • Investigative seminars
  • Lectures and visiting speaker talks
  • Performance analysis of live theatre and digital screenings
  • Performance labs
  • Practical performance projects
  • Practical workshops
  • Production projects
  • Project based learning
  • Staff and student led seminars and discussions
  • Studio, external venue and other visits
  • Training for performance sessions
  • Use of resource venues and institutions

Student work

  • Wimbledon-College-of-Arts-BA-Acting-and-Performance-Alicia-Gilmartin-web.jpg
    Alicia Gilmartin
    BA (Hons) Acting and Performance, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL
  • Wimbledon-College-of-Arts-BA-Acting-and-Performance-Lloyd-Tshuketana-web.jpg
    Lloyd Tshuketana
    BA (Hons) Acting and Performance, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL
  • Wimbledon-College-of-Arts-BA-Acting-and-Performance-Toby-Robertshaw-web.jpg
    Toby Robertshaw
    BA (Hons) Acting and Performance, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL

Film

Show 2022: Juraj Benko

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are one or a combination of the following qualifications:

  • 2 A Levels at grade C or above
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Acting, Performance or Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass (MPP) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum
  • And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

Entry to this course will also be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work, personal statement and reference.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English isn't your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

Selection criteria

We look for:

  • Interest in, commitment to and motivation for studying the subject
  • Ability to work imaginatively and creatively individually and in groups
  • Ability to create, develop and respond to new ideas and to work with new creative forms
  • Desire to learn
  • Ability to investigate and develop ideas independently
  • Ability to communicate ideas physically, verbally and in writing
  • Aptitude for creative problem solving
  • Ability to self-direct and critically evaluate work
  • Willingness to think critically about the relationship between performance and public / social life
  • Openness and responsiveness to other’s ideas

Apply now

Apply

You must apply through UCAS, where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W415

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 25 January 2023 at 18:00 (GMT) for equal consideration.

However, this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the workshop/interview stage.

Workshops/interviews are held onsite at Wimbledon College of Arts.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing interest in acting and performance practices.
  • Selected photographs and or written reflections about a role you’ve played or a performance you have been involved in.
  • Critical review(s) of professional performances you have seen and would like to have been in.
  • A short character study for a role of your choice, indicating why you’d like to play the role and how you would approach it.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry).

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information.

Be ready to provide us with:

  • Your current course handbook
  • Year 1 / Year 2 unit transcripts

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

Applying through UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W415

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once a year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 25 January 2023 at 18:00 (GMT) for equal consideration.

However, this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Immigration history check

You will be asked to complete an Immigration History Check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. We will not be able to proceed with your application until you have submitted your completed Immigration History Form.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, a small number of applicants will progress to the workshop/interview stage.

Workshops/interviews are held onsite at Wimbledon College of Arts.

Portfolio advice

  • A maximum of 30 pages showing interest in acting and performance practices.
  • Selected photographs and or written reflections about a role you’ve played or a performance you have been involved in.
  • Critical review(s) of professional performances you have seen and would like to have been in.
  • A short character study for a role of your choice, indicating why you’d like to play the role and how you would approach it.

For more support, please visit our Portfolio advice page and PebblePad advice page.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

If you would like to request feedback please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry).

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information.

Be ready to provide us with:

  • Your current course handbook
  • Year 1 / Year 2 unit transcripts
  • An official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed

Study Abroad

Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course.

For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section.

Careers

Upon completing this course, you will be:

  • Equipped with a range of specialist acting skills and transferrable performance skills. These will enable you to work within the theatre, creative and cultural industries
  • Able to communicate effectively through the medium of performance
  • Confident about your ideas and ability to transfer them into a professional environment.
  • Able to work independently and collaboratively
  • Connected and engaged with critical communities of performance related debate and research
  • Prepared for postgraduate study

Find out how careers and employability helps our students and graduates start their careers.