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BA (Hons) Contemporary Theatre and Performance

College
WIMBLEDON
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W442

BA Contemporary Theatre and Performance at Wimbledon College of Arts is for students who are interested in making performance.

Wimbledon Stories

Course overview

BA Contemporary Theatre and Performance will give you the opportunity to develop as a collaborative theatre-maker, creative entrepreneur and innovative performance practitioner. You will work collaboratively to create contemporary theatre productions and to develop innovative forms of performance.

The course will enable you to work in an ensemble and to form a company or collective. You will plan, design, develop and deliver performance projects for a range of theatrical and non-theatrical locations and contexts, ensuring your work is engaged with contemporary culture.

What to expect

  • To develop practical and critical skills to produce solo and group performances
  • To be able to make performance across a range of creative forms and disciplines
  • To investigate critical approaches to contemporary theatre and post-dramatic performance
  • To study the theory and practice of performance composition
  • To have the opportunity to develop your own compositional practices
  • To gain an understanding of performance in relation to text, image and action
  • To investigate different performance environments
  • To look at performance in a cultural, political and historical context
  • To examine global theatre practices, post-colonial narratives, and socially-engaged performance
  • To learn about digital, participatory and relational performance practices
  • To have access to Wimbledon's shared workshops. View the Wimbledon facilities

Mode of study

BA Contemporary Theatre 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

A short description of each unit and what you can expect.

Year 1

Unit 1 -  Introduction to Contemporary Theatre and Performance

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

Unit 2 - Contemporary performance lab

This unit will investigate a range of contemporary theatre and performance making practices and compositional methods. It will provide you with a firm grounding in key approaches to dramaturgy and performance composition.

  • You will develop practical skills and knowledge required for your initial development as a theatre-maker
  • Grow your creative and intellectual skills in performance composition and theatre-making
  • Develop your critical awareness and practical experience of performance-making as a compositional process

Unit 3 - Theatre in context

This unit will investigate theatre as an expanded field of cultural practice and artistic endeavour. It will look at performance as a critical and conceptual framework. 

  • It will present the study of acting, theatre and performance as a set of inter-related practices by drawing on a range of theories and approaches 
  • Place acting, theatre and performance practices in their social, cultural and historical contexts, enabling you to examine, question and challenge their politics and ethics
  • Explore what acting might be and performance might mean in different parts of the world by looking at cultural traditions, historical meanings and societal impacts of theatre locally and globally
  • Investigate the possibilities and limitations of cross-cultural performance practices and inter-cultural collaboration

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 an historical, cultural and artistic context.

  • You will be able to choose from a range of projects
  • Create and make a performance
  • Examine a range of theatre forms and acting conventions
  • 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
  • Develop a personal process of practical investigation and reflective critical enquiry

Year 2

Unit 5 - Performance histories

You will look at different approaches to acting and performance as cultural narration and storytelling practice.

  • 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 
  • Investigate the relationship between performance and history, interrogating how dramatic, theatrical and filmic narrative forms contribute to the perception of the past and its shaping of the contemporary

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.

  • You will learn practical skills and approaches to digital performance making
  • Explore performance making for digital environments and platforms, including acting for screen and interactive media
  • Experiment with new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality

Unit 8 - Contemporary theatre-making

This unit looks at a range of contemporary theatre-making practices developed by contemporary performance companies, directors and performer-practitioners.

  • You will extend your knowledge of current theoretical and practical approaches to making contemporary theatre
  • Further develop your critical awareness and practical experience of performance making as an investigative and experimental process
  • Investigate and explore contemporary approaches to making socially and politically engaged theatre and performance
  • Improve your compositional skills and creative capacities as a contemporary theatre-maker and ensemble practitioner
  • It will encourage you to sustain a personal creative process of practical investigation and reflective critical enquiry

Year 3

Unit 9 - Performance research

This unit will provide you with a firm grounding in performance research. It will enable you to conduct supervised independent research practice in any area of acting, theatre and performance.

  • 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 performance research practice
  • Think about the social, economic and political impacts of your research
  • Be able to choose the form your research takes

Unit 10 - Ensemble performance

This unit will provide you with a firm grounding in the practical process of creating and performing an ensemble production. 

  • You will make a professional-standard public production, using the contemporary theatre and performance-making strategies and ensemble performance processes you have explored on the course
  • Work with designers, technicians and other theatre and performance-makers

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
  • Practical performance projects
  • Practical workshops
  • Performance analysis of live theatre and digital screenings
  • Performance labs
  • 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

Assessment methods

  • Critical and creative portfolios
  • Essays
  • Live presentations - pitches, proposals, papers
  • Performance etudes
  • Performed and digital essays
  • Process workbooks and reflective journals
  • Production roles and ensemble contribution
  • Project proposals, plans and reports
  • Written and performed dissertations

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

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
  • 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

Making your application

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should show an interest in, and experience of, acting and performance practices and processes.

This could include, for example:

  • Selected photographs, short video clips (max 2 mins), and written reflections about a role you have played or a performance you have been involved in making
  • Critical review(s) of professional performances you have seen and would like to have been in
  • A short character study with or without a ‘self-tape’ (max 2 mins) for a role of your choice, indicating why you would like to play the role and how you would approach the character, indicating the context of the intended performance.

Any written work will have to be uploaded as an image.

You should not include recorded ‘audition pieces’ or long performance extracts. This may jeopardise your application. You should only include work that can be verified as your own.

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

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W442

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application deadline is 15 January.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 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.

Please add ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

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 receipt of your digital portfolio you will be invited to book an online interview selection event.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

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:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback - please email ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

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 and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

There are 3 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W442

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. 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 15 January 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.

Please add ccw.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

Immigration history check

Whether you’re applying online via UCAS, through a UAL representative or by direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you don’t complete the check we won’t be able to proceed with your application.

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 receipt of your digital portfolio you will be invited to book an online interview selection event.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

  • If you applied through UCAS you will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track
  • If you applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL portal

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:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback - please email ccw.international@arts.ac.uk. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

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 and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide 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.


Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals . However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 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 are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Upon completing this course you will be:

  • Equipped with a range of specialist performance-making and transferrable performance-related 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.