Applied Performance (Community and Education) - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years)
September 2016

Develop and perform performance projects, such as theatre, spoken word and dance, that challenge perspectives with our Applied Performance (Community and Education) degree course.

What's covered in the course?

BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community and Education) gives you the opportunity to work as a performance maker/artist through devising, writing and physical movement-based acting work, as well as delivering workshops in community or educational settings.

You'll get stimulating, practical training at Birmingham School of Acting to prepare you for a career in an inspiring and rewarding area, using a variety of areas of applied performance.

Many graduates progress on to specialist masters-level study of applied performance in particular settings, work within settings such as health, prisons or with young people, or go on to teacher training programmes to qualify formally to teach Drama.

Community-based performances

The course is partnered with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, one of the UK's leading production theatres. This gives you fantastic opportunities for you to engage with The REP's facilities, productions and participation programmes.

The course embraces students from a wide variety of performance backgrounds and actively encourages you to develop your own areas of interest and practice. Recent students coming on to the course have included spoken word artists, musicians/singers, dancers and those with interests as diverse as puppetry and arts administration.

Many students have gone on to, or come to the course with the ambition of, developing and running their own community-based company.

Staff, students and graduates from the course also run Outspoken Performance, the degree course's own production company that aims " empower young people to be politically active in their City, using art as protest, making new, innovative work in Birmingham with social and political objectives."

Why Choose Us?

  • Benefit from close collaboration with a number of theatre companies and venues, such as Birmingham REP Theatre, Playhouse Theatre Company, Big Brum, HEARTH, Women and Theatre, The Drum and mac Birmingham.
  • The course embraces students from a wide range of performance backgrounds, from spoken word artists to musicians/singers and dancers, as well as those interested in puppetry and arts administration.
  • The School is a specialist drama school and part of the umbrella group for all specialist drama schools, Drama UK – the only Midlands member.
  • We offer an accessible alternative to London drama schools – while still being less than one and a half hours from London.
  • Outstanding studio space is available to you for performance, including specialist sprung floors.

Similar Courses

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Sign up for Open Day info

Our next University-wide Open Days will take place in 2016. If you're interested in attending, fill in the form below and we'll let you know when registration opens.

Sign up for Open Day info

Grants and Scholarships

Want to join us in September 2016? Undergraduate students can receive up to £4,000* in non repayable financial support.

*(criteria will apply)

This course is open to International students

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Woodhouse Primary School

And in jobs such as:

  • Dance Teacher

This course is accredited by:

Drama UK

Entry Requirements

You should normally have an A-level or equivalent in drama, dance, performance or a related arts subject.

We also welcome applicants with practical experience in the performing arts. You will normally need a range of GCSEs including English Language at grade C or above, plus a minimum of one of the following:

UK students

240 UCAS tariff points

Two A-Levels at grade C (including Drama) plus two AS-Levels at grade C

A-Level Drama or related subject (C), and CC in two further A-Levels

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (MMM) in Performing Arts or related subject

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (12 Units) (DD) in Performing Arts or related subject

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma when studied alongside other qualifications

Admission to this course is via interview. Please see our Guidance for Applicants for more information.

Application process also involves an interview

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2016/17 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

280 tariff points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
be predicted DMM profile at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

New UCAS tariff

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £15,500 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office.You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Grants and Scholarships

Want to join us in September 2016? Undergraduate students can receive up to £4,000* in non repayable financial support.

*(criteria will apply)

Course breakdown

Year one

In year one, you'll focus on developing your performance skills through a series of practical workshops, projects and classes, and be introduced to key ideas and elements to practical work; informing you as a future performer, maker of work or workshop leader.

In two core modules students explore the notion of community and identity and consider performance in terms of history and culture.

120 Credits - Cert HE

Performance workshop
Community and identity
Contextual studies and critical theory
Skills workshop 1
Project 1
Workshop facilitation

Year two

We'll help you to develop practical skills and discover how to apply them to different kinds of work and communities.

You'll also study arts administration, as well as making new work through devising or writing for performance. The year will include a professional placement within an industry, community or education setting.

240 Credits - Dip HE

Devising, making and writing
Applied practice and theory
Professional practice and administration skills
Workshop 2
Project 2
Facilitation in context

Year three

In year three, you'll put your skills and experience into practice by creating new work and outreach projects with communities in and around Birmingham.

The course is enhanced by guest speakers from various community companies from around the West Midlands, talking about their work and occasionally giving workshops and by visits out to see work in the area.

360 Credits - BA (Hons)

Project planning
Collaboration project
Outreach project
Applied Performance Project

'The Superheroes' was devised and performed entirely by Year 1 students in 2014

One group of final year students created a piece of theatre to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The resulting piece, entitled Déjà View, was performed at The Drum by the students' new theatre company, Outlined.

Student Martha Barnes said: "When choosing a theme for the piece we brought up a lot of issues that we were passionate about. PTSD was one of these issues amongst many others, but we then realised that the other issues, such as domestic violence and injustice, could all result in PTSD.

We had a packed audience and the responses we had after were brilliant! The piece certainly reached out to people and some of audience could relate to issues raised."

Read more

Teaching breakdown

31 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
62 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
7 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

31 Coursework FireBrick
69 Practical exams #fece5a

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

Drama UK
Drama UK

Birmingham School of Acting is accredited by Drama UK, the national organisation of drama schools. This means we are recognised as an institution whose courses deliver a conservatoire level of training, enhancing career development through professional, intensive and work-oriented study.

This accreditation not only recognises the high standard of staff and students within the school, but offers the chance for acting students to perform at showcases in the UK and internationally (as appropriate).

Erasmus scheme

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Student stories Kirsty McTighe

actor/teacher at the Playhouse Theatre

Kirsty McTighe started her career as an actor/teacher at the Playhouse Theatre – a position she was offered as a result of the partnership between BSA and Birmingham REP.

The thing I enjoyed most about Birmingham School of Acting was that it was small enough for you to know everybody in the building and have more direct contact from tutors but you could also have the big university experience. I also loved the fact that most of what we did was practical.

Employment Opportunities

This course offers a stimulating, practice-based training that will prepare you for a career within a variety of areas of applied performance, providing the possibility to work as a performance maker/artist through devising, writing and physical movement-based work and as a practitioner delivering workshops in community and/or education settings.

It also offers you the opportunity to progress on to specialist Master's level study of applied performance in particular settings or with particular groups of people such as health, prisons and young people.

Alternatively, graduates also go on to PGCE or GTP programmes to qualify formally to teach Drama. within community theatre, providing the possibility to work as community artists, workshop facilitators, writers, choreographers, devisors, community arts administrators or performers.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Student undertakes placement in Chicago

In 2013, one of our students headed off to Birmingham's twin city in the USA, Chicago, to complete her placement. She left this report prior to her trip:

"In July 2012 I made contact with Birmingham City Council to find out if the organisation Gallery 37 were still running any projects, as I was really excited by the projects they had done previously with communities in Birmingham. After speaking to a Council representative I found that Gallery 37 stopped running any projects as of 2009 due to the unfortunate cuts to Arts Council funding.

"So I decided to get into contact with Gallery 37 in Chicago which is where the Gallery 37 in Birmingham had been brought over from. I spoke to them and explained that I was looking to do a six-week internship with them and explained my reasons why. I was delighted when I said that I might be able to work with them but I wouldn’t find out for sure until around December 2012/ January 2013 when they would be planning their spring programme.

"I kept in contact with them just to make sure that they would see my interest and passion for art work in community and educational settings and would be able to see the benefits I would hopefully be able to bring to their organisation and vice versa.

"In February 2013 I received an email confirming that I could come to work with them in Chicago. I then contacted the Council rep I had spoken to back in July and asked if there was any possible chance that I could apply for funding for my flight and accommodation costs from the Trustees of Gallery 37 Foundation. After finding out that there could be a scope for me to receive a grant, on the terms that I put together a presentation of my internship and present it back to the Trustees, I applied. I was successful and received a letter and a cheque in the post of £650!

"At the moment I'm not too sure what to expect as I have never done anything like this before, especially not on my own. Initially I embarked on this road thinking that it was a good idea not for one moment did I think of it as a plausible one. I've been informed that my role whilst on my placement will be their Youth Outreach Officer, which sounds very hands on and daunting. However I'm very much up for the challenge, mainly because I'm going to be seeing a lot of Chicago and working with its different communities."


During Year 1 there are visits by different practitioners, artists and companies who deliver seminars and workshops and talk about their work. You will also participate in some workshops or observations of workshops led by companies.

In Year 2 you will have a professional placement in a theatre, education or community company; there are also classes in arts administration and business.

Year 3 prepares you for work in different communities by giving you the chance to create work, performances and workshops in various communities and education settings. Previous projects have included working with homelessness, reminiscence and work with patients (including military patients) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities


Birmingham School of Acting (BSA) is based at the University’s City Centre Campus. A part of the Arts, Design and Media faculty, BSA is based within Millennium Point but also has access to facilities at the Parkside building.

The Parkside building boasts state-of-the-art facilities such as radio and television studios, edit suites, photography studios, and much more. In addition to this we are currently constructing a new £40 million home for the Birmingham Conservatoire, due to open in 2017.

Rehearsal space

There are ten rehearsal spaces, a ‘black box’ performance studio, showers, lockers and workshop space within the Birmingham School of Acting. The ‘black box’ performance studio, also known as the Patricia Yardley Studio, is our in-house performance theatre. Using variable acoustics which can be adjusted, and housing a fully operational lighting rig and a quadraphonic sound system.

Each studio contains: specialist acoustic panelling; specialist sprung floors; a heating system that radiates heat equally around the studio; and an air replacement system that maintains a constant room temperature.


Students regularly perform at professional theatres across the West Midlands, including The Birmingham Central Library Theatre; Crescent Theatre; Hippodrome Studio (Patrick Centre); The Old Rep Theatre and The Drum.

Hannah Phillips

Course Director, BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community and Education)

Hannah Phillips is a Performance/Theatre Maker and Lecturer. She specialises in Applied Theatre/Performance, making work with social and political objectives. She uses performance/theatre as a tool to raise awareness, inform, educate and sometimes instigate change. Specialist areas include Feminist and Queer Performance, devising performance and making work with or for young people. She is currently the Course Director of the BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community and Education) Programme at Birmingham School of Acting.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

+44 (0)125 350 2917

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389


Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295