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Acting for Contemporary & Devised Performance BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    W411

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Duration:

    3 years full time

  • Starting:

    Sept

  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £9,250

  • Fees International:

    Full Time: £13,000

  • Location:

    Waterside

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 894503

TEF Gold. Teaching Excellence Framework.

Overview


Acting for Contemporary & Devised Performance is a conservatoire-style actor training for contemporary performers who want to create their own work. Initially you will be introduced to the foundations of Acting, Voice and Movement. Additionally, there will be stage combat classes & exams, Capoeira, Storytelling, Improvisation, Writing and Acting through song.

Building on this foundation, students then go on to study Contemporary & Devised approaches to performance which include physical theatre, immersive, site-specific performance and filmmaking as well as deepening the work on the key foundations of voice and movement.

Finally, you will work on six concentrated projects which mirror the industry standard. You will perform as an actor on text-based and devised public performances working with lecturers and visiting directors who have extensive industry experience and knowledge.

This programme has over 30 hours training per week for three terms, so you will need to be dedicated, enthusiastic and highly committed. Graduates have gone on to work on stage, TV and film as well as forming their own theatre companies.

Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

Updated 24/11/2020

Highlights


  • Course recognised by Spotlight & Equity
  • Links to prestigious Royal and Derngate theatre
  • Theatre visits & workshops with Industry Professionals
  • Focus on practical training
  • In 2020, 100% of Acting for Contemporary & Devised Performance BA (Hons) students who took the National Student Survey said: “Staff are good at explaining things and have made the subject interesting”, NSS 2020
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
  • HP Laptop and software included with this course. Terms and Conditions apply

Course Content


  • In your first year, you will work rigorously on the fundamental techniques of movement, voice and acting that will form the basis of your training. Encountering the methodologies of practitioners such as Stanislavski, Laban, Lecoq, Roy Hart Voice & Grotowski. The year will culminate in a devised performance which will be open to the public.

    In your second year, you will continue to develop your fundamental acting skills and be challenged to apply them to TV, film, radio, classical text and physical theatre. You will encounter contemporary practices such as immersive and interactive theatre, verbatim, puppetry, autobiographical work and site-specific performance. The year will culminate in a devised show inspired by a classical text which will be open to the public.

    In your final year, you will spend most of your time working with professional directors. You will perform a contemporary take on a play text, as well as a devising final year show with external directors. Alongside this, you will have professional development classes, preparing you for life as an actor by developing your Acting CV, headshots, show reel, business planning and audition technique. For your dissertation you will create your own theatre company to devise and perform an original piece of work in the Flash Theatre Festival. At the end of the course you may be invited to perform in our London Showcase in front of agents, theatre companies and producers. You will have the opportunity to be considered for the Spotlight Prize & to perform for some of the UK’s top industry professionals.

      • Module code: ACT1001
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to explore the body and voice together as one expressive and creative tool. The module provides students with the opportunity to explore some of the basic elements of actor training which are necessary to master before the craft can be developed further.
      • Module code: ACT1002
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to develop an actor?s core vocal skills both technically and artistically. It's a blend of practical and critical analysis of voicework and designed to allow the voice to release the actor and their creativity. Students learn to use their voice safely appropriately and artistically.
      • Module code: ACT1004
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is provide a basic introduction to actors body and movement training. Students will be led through a programme of movement training that focuses on physical health strength awareness and neutrality. These will culminate in a creative exploration in performance.
      • Module code: ACT1006
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the concept of creating their own performance work. This is approached through a mixture of theory and practice.
      • Module code: ACT2002
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to develop and apply their vocal practice artistically critically and socio-politically within the demands of performance material. Students will be expected to demonstrate further autonomy and complexity in both research and practice.
      • Module code: ACT2004
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to explore practically the skills required by performers working in screen and radio. It will develop appropriate performance skills and techniques and develop an understanding of the actor's professional role in media performance processes.
      • Module code: ACT2006
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to explore the range of skills needed by an actor/practitioner in preparation for employment and self-employment in professional theatre contexts.
      • Module code: ACT3006
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to draw on authored and self-authored texts as the stimulation for a range of performance outcomes including group and solo work. Students also study the necessary requirements to set up and operate as a theatre company/creative practitioner.
      • Module code: ACT3007
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to gain knowledge and experience of the broad range of skills needed (creative management and administrative) for working in socially effective theatre contexts.
      • Module code: ACT4001
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to facilitate students working independently on an industry-based high-quality performance project.
  • How will I be taught on Acting for Contemporary & Devised Performance BA (Hons)?

    Classes are predominantly studio-based and practical in nature, with a rigorous approach to psycho-physical work. You will have over 30 hours of practical sessions per week, which reflects the practical and robust nature of the industry. The craft of the actor-creator is learnt through practice, and we aim to facilitate an environment for you to take creative risks, make creative mistakes, and to break creative boundaries developing your own unique way of devising and performing through encounters with different contemporary methodologies. We hope our core team of professional performers, theatre makers, and visiting professionals inspire you to be passionate and dedicated performers.

    How will I be assessed?

    Most assessments are practical performances, worth 80% of your final grade. Each module has a theoretical component, worth 20% of your final grade, that is either written in essay or presentation form or spoken in a viva voice examination.

    Will I have access to any specialist facilities and features?

    • Bespoke rehearsal rooms that are practical, safe and ideal for learning the craft of acting
    • The course actively looks for dramatic and adaptable performance environments for site-specific and immersive performance opportunities
    • Access to television and radio equipment including sound and video editing
    • Technicians with lighting and theatre technology expertise
    • Lecturers with award winning professional experience as actors, devisers, theatre company directors and Artistic Directors
    • Direct links to the prestigious Royal and Derngate theatre who also audition students for their main house productions
    • Theatre visits and workshops which range from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the latest contemporary theatre & performance (Previous visits include Kneehigh, The Barber Shop Chronicles and The Royal Court Theatre)
    • You graduate with a Student Equity card & Graduate Spotlight account
    • Talks and workshops by directors, actors & producers. In recent years workshops have included contributions from Pecs Drag Kings, PAPATango, Beatmotion, Suzuki workshops, DIY Filmmaking, Storytelling etc.
  • A typical offer would be in the region of BBC at A-Level or DDM at BTEC, in conjunction with an extensive audition.

    We welcome applications from a range of non-traditional education or professional qualifications.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2021/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • Home – Full Time: £9,250
    • Home – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    Additional Costs
    • Students are required to pay an annual Fee of £90 to cover theatre trips.
    • Show Reel: £120 (approx)
    • Head shots: £70 (approx)
    • Spotlight membership: £100 (not compulsory)
    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • Home/EU – Full Time: £9,250
    • International – Full Time: £12,900
    Additional Costs
    • Students are required to pay an annual Fee of £90 to cover theatre trips.
    • Show Reel: £120 (approx)
    • Head shots: £70 (approx)
    • Spotlight membership: £100 (not compulsory)

     

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

     

  • As a graduate you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to work as an actor in the Creative Industries – across stage, TV, film and online platforms. You will leave with a student Equity card and Spotlight membership enabling you to work in the industry immediately upon graduation. The Acting industry is notoriously challenging but this course aims to enable you to avoid long periods of ‘resting’ as an actor by giving you the skills and knowledge to be able to sustain your own theatre or production companies, devising and creating work for yourselves.
    This course will open up a range of career opportunities, including:

    • Actor
    • Artistic Director
    • Theatre Maker
    • Producer
    • Film-maker

    Previous students have gone on to do…

    • Stage, TV and film acting
    • Set up & run their own Theatre Companies
    • Performance for CGI films and games
    • Theatre composer
    • Actor-musicians
    • Immersive & Interactive performance
    • Stage, TV and film acting
    • Set up & run their own Theatre Companies
    • Performance for CGI films and games
    • Theatre composer
    • Actor-musicians
    • Immersive & Interactive performance
  • Freya studied Acting for Contemporary & Devised Performance BA (Hons). She dreams of becoming a working actor in a touring theatre company and is convinced that the standard of training she is receiving is preparing her for the journey ahead.

    Freya - Acting CDP student story

    “The Performing Arts industry is ever growing, and with so many universities and conservatoires generating hundreds of graduates every year, the game is getting tougher. My course has provided me with at least five days a week of training for the past two years, and I feel very prepared already. We are taught about how the industry works and the level of professionalism required to get through it healthily and with a thick skin.”

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