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Acting for Contemporary & Devised Performance BA (Hons)

Attendance
Duration
Location
Start Date
Duration
3 Years
Location
Innovation Centre
Start Date
September

Overview Updated 27/05/2020

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.

Course

Highlights

  • Fully accredited by Spotlight & Equity
  • Links to prestigious Royal and Derngate theatre
  • Theatre visits & workshops with Industry Professionals
  • Focus on practical training
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.

HP Laptop and software included with this course.*

Additional

Information

Careers

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

Course Details

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.

Methods of Learning

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.

Assessments

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.

The Northampton Employment Promise.

*We promise to secure paid experience for you, if you need it.

We work with employers to understand what they’re looking for and we’re confident that if you follow one of our structured awards, as well as committing to your studies you’ll be in a competitive position when it comes to applying for graduate jobs.

We’re so confident, that we promise to secure a paid 3-6 month internship for you, if you need it. Find out more about the Northampton Employment Promise, including how it works and who is eligible.

Open Days

See for yourself

Our Open Days offer you a fantastic opportunity to get a real taste of university life at Northampton and discover how studying here will be a life-changing experience.

Each Open Day has a packed programme of subjects talks, advice sessions and activities designed to give you all the information you need about studying at The University of Northampton.

To find out more about the day, please feel free to have a look at our Open Day Guide.

Student Story

Freya Mawhinney

Freya is currently studying our BA (Hons) Acting & Creative Practice programme. 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.

“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 with one year still to go. We are taught about how the industry works and the level of professionalism required to get through it healthily and with a thick skin.

Events

Changing Futures Week

A break from the usual timetable to experience workshops and talks from special Industry Professional guests, and other activities across the whole University

Theatre Trips – the chance to see a range of live performances. £90 upfront cost for the whole academic year.

Contacts

Course enquiries
study@northampton.ac.uk

Application status enquiries
admissions2020@northampton.ac.uk

Online enquiry form

Current student enquiries
SID@northampton.ac.uk

International student enquiries
international@northampton.ac.uk

Applying for 2020
Facebook Applicant Group

Office hours:
Mon – Thu: 9am – 5pm
Fri: 9am – 4.30pm

Phone Call

Home / EU: 0300 303 2772

International: +44 (0)1604 894503

 

Entry Requirements

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.

Course Content

The first year introduces you to the fundamental techniques that form the basis of your studies – how to act with a text, how to create text from character, how to improve vocal strength and health, and how important the body is to the craft of the actor. We will introduce you to the supporting skills you will need as actors, such as stage combat and singing.

  • Actor’s Body and Movement 1 (20 Credits)
    Module code: ACT1004
    Core Module Y
  • Acting Methodologies 1 (40 Credits)
    Module code: ACT1001
    Core Module Y
  • Vocal Technique for Actors 1 (30 Credits)
    Module code: ACT1002
    Core Module Y
  • Creative Theatre Practices 1 (30 Credits)
    Module code: ACT1006
    Core Module Y

Module information is quoted for 17/18 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.



Course Stats

Facilities &

Special Features

  • Six 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.
Reading List
  • Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen
  • Actions: The Actor’s Thesaurus by Marina Calderone
  • The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit by Bella Merlin
  • Finding Your Voice by Barbara Houseman
  • Actor Movement – Expression of the physical being by Vanessa Ewan and Debbie Green
  • The Moving Body by Jaques Lecoq
  • Acting Shakespeare’s Language by Andy Hind

Research

at the University of Northampton

We are committed to delivering outstanding research that makes a difference to society. Our Research Institutes and Centres work closely with external partner organisations, locally, nationally and internationally. We produce internationally renowned and relevant research and disseminate knowledge on an international scale.

Visit our Research Hub page for more information.

Business and Enterprise

Opportunities Available

We are committed to supporting and encouraging business growth and we are involved in a variety of initiatives which seek to benefit the wider community as well as students and staff of the University.

Discover what businesses we work with and what opportunities may be available to you on our Business and Enterprise pages.

Fees & Funding

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.

Full Time: £9,250
Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module

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)

2019/20 Tuition Fees

Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 19/20 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

Full Time: £9,250
Part Time: £1,400 per 20 credit module

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.

Full Time: £12,900

Additional Costs

Students are required to pay an annual Fee of £95 to cover theatre trips.

Show Reel: £120 (approx)
Head shots: £70 (approx)
Spotlight membership: £100 (not compulsory)

2019/20 Tuition Fees

Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 19/20 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

Full Time: £12,500

Scholarships

Sir Thomas White Scholarship

The Sir Thomas White scholarship will support and acknowledge an academically gifted student, with the proviso that the selection panel is confident that there is…

TD Lewis Scholarship

The T D Lewis Scholarship provides both undergraduate and postgraduate students with financial awards of up to £1,000.  This scholarship is awarded on educational excellence…

The Chancellor's Fund

The Chancellor’s Fund is a bi-annual fund providing students with awards of between £100 and £1,000. You must be a current student to apply.  The…

Wilson Endowment Scholarship

The Wilson Endowment Scholarship provides a £1,500 scholarship to undergraduate students from the Northamptonshire area. The endowed scholarship was donated in memory of Mr Lynn Wilson,…

Is this course
for you?

Apply Now

You might also like
to consider

Acting BA (Hons) >

Drama BA (Hons) >

Mentors Matter

Sometimes the most valuable advice can actually come from people who have walked in your shoes.

We have an Alumni E-Mentoring scheme that does just that. It puts you in touch with other University of Northampton graduates who in turn can offer a number of mentoring services. From CV advice to the possibility of job offers, sign up to become a mentor or a mentee.


*Course data provided by Unistats

Waterside

Our brand new £330 million campus.

  • Designed to adapt to 21st century teaching.
  • Full range of integrated learning environments.
  • 24/7 library and learning zone.
  • Low environmental impact.

Now Open

Discover the campus

360° Tour

Updated 27/05/2020

  • 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.

    Course

    Highlights

    • Fully accredited by Spotlight & Equity
    • Links to prestigious Royal and Derngate theatre
    • Theatre visits & workshops with Industry Professionals
    • Focus on practical training
    • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.

    HP Laptop and software included with this course.*

  • 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.

    Methods of Learning

    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.

    Assessments

    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.

    Additional

    Information

    Careers

    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
    • *We promise to secure paid experience for you, if you need it.

      We work with employers to understand what they’re looking for and we’re confident that if you follow one of our structured awards, as well as committing to your studies you’ll be in a competitive position when it comes to applying for graduate jobs.

      We’re so confident, that we promise to secure a paid 3-6 month internship for you, if you need it. Find out more about the Northampton Employment Promise, including how it works and who is eligible.

    • See for yourself

      Our Open Days offer you a fantastic opportunity to get a real taste of university life at Northampton and discover how studying here will be a life-changing experience.

      Each Open Day has a packed programme of subjects talks, advice sessions and activities designed to give you all the information you need about studying at The University of Northampton.

      To find out more about the day, please feel free to have a look at our Open Day Guide.

    • Freya Mawhinney

      Freya is currently studying our BA (Hons) Acting & Creative Practice programme. 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.

      “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 with one year still to go. We are taught about how the industry works and the level of professionalism required to get through it healthily and with a thick skin.

    • Changing Futures Week

      A break from the usual timetable to experience workshops and talks from special Industry Professional guests, and other activities across the whole University

      Theatre Trips – the chance to see a range of live performances. £90 upfront cost for the whole academic year.

  • 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.

     

    Contacts

    Course enquiries
    study@northampton.ac.uk

    Application status enquiries
    admissions2020@northampton.ac.uk

    Online enquiry form

    Current student enquiries
    SID@northampton.ac.uk

    International student enquiries
    international@northampton.ac.uk

    Applying for 2020
    Facebook Applicant Group

    Office hours:
    Mon – Thu: 9am – 5pm
    Fri: 9am – 4.30pm

    Phone Call

    0300 303 2772

    +44 (0)1604 892134

    +44 (0)1604 892546

  • The first year introduces you to the fundamental techniques that form the basis of your studies – how to act with a text, how to create text from character, how to improve vocal strength and health, and how important the body is to the craft of the actor. We will introduce you to the supporting skills you will need as actors, such as stage combat and singing.

    • Actor’s Body and Movement 1 (20 Credits)
      Module code: ACT1004
      Core Module Y
    • Acting Methodologies 1 (40 Credits)
      Module code: ACT1001
      Core Module Y
    • Vocal Technique for Actors 1 (30 Credits)
      Module code: ACT1002
      Core Module Y
    • Creative Theatre Practices 1 (30 Credits)
      Module code: ACT1006
      Core Module Y
      • Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen
      • Actions: The Actor’s Thesaurus by Marina Calderone
      • The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit by Bella Merlin
      • Finding Your Voice by Barbara Houseman
      • Actor Movement – Expression of the physical being by Vanessa Ewan and Debbie Green
      • The Moving Body by Jaques Lecoq
      • Acting Shakespeare’s Language by Andy Hind

    Module information is quoted for 17/18 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.

    Facilities &

    Special Features

    • Six 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.
    • at the University of Northampton

      We are committed to delivering outstanding research that makes a difference to society. Our Research Institutes and Centres work closely with external partner organisations, locally, nationally and internationally. We produce internationally renowned and relevant research and disseminate knowledge on an international scale.

      Visit our Research Hub page for more information.

    • Opportunities Available

      We are committed to supporting and encouraging business growth and we are involved in a variety of initiatives which seek to benefit the wider community as well as students and staff of the University.

      Discover what businesses we work with and what opportunities may be available to you on our Business and Enterprise pages.

  • 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.

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module

    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)

    2019/20 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 19/20 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,400 per 20 credit module

    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.

    Full Time: £12,900

    Additional Costs

    Students are required to pay an annual Fee of £95 to cover theatre trips.

    Show Reel: £120 (approx)
    Head shots: £70 (approx)
    Spotlight membership: £100 (not compulsory)

    2019/20 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 19/20 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Full Time: £12,500

    Scholarships

    Sir Thomas White Scholarship

    The Sir Thomas White scholarship will support and acknowledge an academically gifted student, with the proviso that the selection panel is confident that there is…

    TD Lewis Scholarship

    The T D Lewis Scholarship provides both undergraduate and postgraduate students with financial awards of up to £1,000.  This scholarship is awarded on educational excellence…

    The Chancellor's Fund

    The Chancellor’s Fund is a bi-annual fund providing students with awards of between £100 and £1,000. You must be a current student to apply.  The…

    Wilson Endowment Scholarship

    The Wilson Endowment Scholarship provides a £1,500 scholarship to undergraduate students from the Northamptonshire area. The endowed scholarship was donated in memory of Mr Lynn Wilson,…

  • Sometimes the most valuable advice can actually come from people who have walked in your shoes.

    We have an Alumni E-Mentoring scheme that does just that. It puts you in touch with other University of Northampton graduates who in turn can offer a number of mentoring services. From CV advice to the possibility of job offers, sign up to become a mentor or a mentee.

*Course data provided by Unistats

Is this course
for you?

Apply Now

You might also like to consider

Acting BA (Hons) >

Drama BA (Hons) >

Waterside

Our brand new £330 million campus.

Now Open

Discover the campus

360° Tour