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BA (Hons) Contemporary Theatre and Performance

College
WIMBLEDON
Start date
September 2020
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

In this unit you 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.

  • To develop practical skills and knowledge required for your initial development as a theatre-maker
  • To grow your creative and intellectual skills in performance composition and theatre-making
  • To 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. 

  • To present the study of acting, theatre and performance as a set of inter-related practices by drawing on a range of theories and approaches 
  • To place acting, theatre and performance practices in their social, cultural and historical contexts, enabling you to examine, question and challenge their politics and ethics
  • To 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
  • To 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.

  • To be able to choose from a range of projects
  • To create and make a performance
  • To examine a range of theatre forms and acting conventions
  • To situate acting and performance within the context of an aesthetic event and scenographic environment
  • To improve and grow your acting and performance-making skills, creative capacities and theatre knowledge
  • To develop a personal process of practical investigation and reflective critical enquiry

Year 2

Unit 5 - Performance histories

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

  • To 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 
  • To 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.

  • To learn practical skills and approaches to digital performance making
  • To explore performance making for digital environments and platforms, including acting for screen and interactive media
  • To 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.

  • To extend your knowledge of current theoretical and practical approaches to making contemporary theatre
  • To further develop your critical awareness and practical experience of performance making as an investigative and experimental process
  • To investigate and explore contemporary approaches to making socially and politically engaged theatre and performance
  • To improve your compositional skills and creative capacities as a contemporary theatre-maker and ensemble practitioner
  • To 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.

  • To 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
  • To produce a substantial piece of performance research practice
  • To think about the social, economic and political impacts of your research
  • To 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. 

  • To make a professional-standard public production, using the contemporary theatre and performance-making strategies and ensemble performance processes you have explored on the course
  • To 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 Diploma in Creative Computing.

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

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.

Following your UCAS application to this course all home / EU applicants will be invited to choose a date for a selection event.

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.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3:

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (year 1 and 2) in the equivalent units or modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry application:

This course will consider deferred entry applications.

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

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to or asked to book onto a suitable date to attend an interview selection event.

Interview selection event

The event will involve a performance-based workshop and an interview with academics. It will also give you a chance to take a tour of the college and see the facilities.

More details about your selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen your selection event date.

For the selection events you should bring along an image of either:

  • A performance you have been in or have been involved in making

or

  • A performance you would like to have been in or would like to have been involved in making

We will then discuss your choice at the interview. For example, we want you to think about things such as:

  • What inspired you about the performance?
  • How did it make you think and feel?
  • What did it teach you about performance?

Selection for Home/EU applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • In person at Wimbledon College of Arts
  • By phone or Skype

If you choose phone or Skype, you will be sent an email requesting that you upload a digital portfolio using UAL’s online portfolio review system.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

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

There are 3 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Wimbledon College of Arts:

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.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3:

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (year 1 and 2) in the equivalent units or modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively. The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Deferred entry application:

This course will consider deferred entry applications.

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

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

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you’ll be invited to or asked to book onto a suitable date to attend an interview selection event.

Interview selection event

The event will involve a performance-based workshop and an interview with academics. It will also give you a chance to take a tour of the college and see the facilities.

More details about your selection event will be emailed to you once you have chosen your selection event date.

For the selection events you should bring along an image of either:

  • A performance you have been in or have been involved in making

or

  • A performance you would like to have been in or would like to have been involved in making

We will then discuss your choice at the interview. For example, we want you to think about things such as:

  • What inspired you about the performance?
  • How did it make you think and feel?
  • What did it teach you about performance?

Selection for international applicants happens in a variety of different ways:

  • By phone or Skype
  • In your country, if your application was made through one of our official representatives
  • In person at our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts

If you choose phone or Skype, you will be sent an email requesting that you upload a digital portfolio using UAL’s online portfolio review system.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

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

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 & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

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

£22,920 (2020/21).

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

Use our search tool to find out more about the scholarships and awards available to 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.

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