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Foundation Course in Acting - Foundation

 From January 2022, the School of Acting will be moving to a new location, and will no longer be based in Millennium Point. Although not part of the University’s City Centre Campus, the new location will be in Birmingham city centre. Further information will be made available on the website in autumn 2021....

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City Centre
  • Award Foundation
  • Start date September 2022
  • School Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

 From January 2022, the School of Acting will be moving to a new location, and will no longer be based in Millennium Point. Although not part of the University’s City Centre Campus, the new location will be in Birmingham city centre. Further information will be made available on the website in autumn 2021.

This course, with two pathways of delivery to choose from, allows you to learn the secrets of a successful audition, alongside voice, movement, dance and acting classes.

The Foundation Course in Acting, available both full-time or part-time will give you a broad foundation in performance techniques and methods, and will be invaluable to anyone wanting to go to Drama School or take up a place on a performance course at University. It is also available to those who want to expand their experience in acting before applying. Former students have gone on to train at a variety of drama schools in the UK and in the USA.

  • Professional Workshops at Shakespeare's Globe (full-time pathway only)
  • Audition Preparation for Acting and Singing in Small Tutorial Groups
  • Level 3 Qualification: Students are awarded between 24 and 30 points depending on their exam result.

With less contact time than the full-time route, the part-time option of this course concentrates on the core skills of acting, voice and text. You will work on one major project towards your assessment.

Please note: At 20 to 34 weeks in length, this Foundation Course in Acting course does not qualify for Student Loans Company funding/finance for fees or living expenses. However payment plans are available.

This course is open to International students.

Why Choose Us?

  • A course aimed at committed and enthusiastic young people, who have a passion for acting and who want to improve their experience level.
  • Taught in small, very intensive classes.
  • Class size is limited, and you may be asked to audition.
  • As part of the course, you would usually be entered for a performance exam that is assessed by an external body which can contribute up to 30 UCAS points (depending on the value placed on the course by the institution(s) to which you are applying, and your assessment result).
  • Former students have gone on to train at a variety of drama schools in the UK and in the USA.

Entry Requirements

No previous qualifications are necessary.

Students are normally a minimum of 18 years of age.

Applicants will be invited to an audition workshop and will be required to submit a personal statement and reference details as part of the online application. Please view our Guidance page for more information on your application, and our Schedule page for workshop dates.

Guidance

Schedule

The workshops allows for the admissions tutors to gain a better understanding of your skills and potential for the Foundation Course In Acting.

For EU and International students who are unable to travel to the workshop, alternative methods may be considered on an individual basis.

English language requirements

  • UKVI IELTS overall score 6.5 (5.5 in all components) or equivalent is required.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: Foundation

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: Foundation

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Specialist equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Please apply by clicking the ‘Apply now’ Button next to the Full time or Part Time route.

Applicants are required to attend an audition workshop. The workshop consists of ‘getting to know you’ improvisation and devising tasks, some text and song work and general workshop practices. We would also like you to have a one-minute contemporary monologue prepared, but please note that you may not be asked to perform this.

Applicants who apply online will be invited to a workshop. Workshop dates and further information can be found here.

Guidance for applicants

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)121 331 7563
E: acting.admissions@bcu.ac.uk

We have Frequently Asked Questions sections relating to applying to drama school and to auditioning.

Portfolio Guidance

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

If you study this course part-time or via distance learning, you will be charged on a pro-rata basis. This means your fee will be calculated per module.

Course in Depth

Full time

The 20-week full-time programme includes two terms of 10 weeks. The course is made up of a combination of classes, workshops and projects, in addition to external masterclasses and workshops:

Acting Technique

These classes form an introduction to the application of the principles of character creation and application in performance.

Acting Through Song

An introduction to the creation of character and performance in the medium of song through exploration of repertoire.

Audition Preparation

Coaching on auditioning for drama schools and individual work on audition pieces in small groups.

Improvisation

An opportunity to access the creative imagination and explore the uses of improvisation as a rehearsal and performance tool.

Movement and Dance

Exploring the use of the body as a tool for the creation of character and the telling of dramatic stories.

Singing

An introduction to the mechanics of the singing voice and individual work on solo songs in small groups.

Stage combat

Work in both armed and unarmed combat for the stage.

Text Analysis

An introduction to the analysis of a script to discover the dramatic relationships and character clues.

Voice

An introduction to one of the actor’s most important tools, whilst developing the mechanics and safe use of the voice.

You will also work on two projects per term – four in total across the 20 weeks – which usually include Musical Theatre, Shakespeare, Improvised Storytelling and Modern Playwrights.

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has the good fortune to be within easy reach of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. You may have the opportunity to visit Stratford and experience workshops with the RSC actors.

We also attend The Globe Theatre as part of the course to undertake workshops, usually including work on the Globe’s stage.

You will also undertake mock audition panels with industry professionals including agents and casting directors who also offer workshops.

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is surrounded by a great variety of theatres and performance spaces; we may have the opportunity to visit several of these and examine the many performance styles offered by different spaces.

Access to London and its empire of theatres is also extremely easy and visits may be organised to watch plays relevant to the work undertaken on the course.

The full-time pathway is delivered over an average of around 30 hours per week, although this can vary from week-to-week.

Part time

The 34-week part-time pathway is delivered over three terms of 11 or 12 weeks each. The course is made up of a number of classes and a final project:

Acting Technique

These classes form an introduction to the application of the principles of character creation and application in performance.

Audition Preparation

Advice on auditioning for drama schools and individual work on audition pieces in small groups.

Improvisation

An opportunity to access the creative imagination and explore the uses of improvisation as a rehearsal and performance tool.

Singing

An introduction to the mechanics of the singing voice and individual work on solo songs in small groups which also coach you on the importance of acting through song.

Text Analysis

An introduction to the analysis of a script to discover the dramatic relationships and character clues.

Voice

An introduction to one of the actor’s most important tools, whilst developing the mechanics and safe use of the voice.

You will also work on one production-based project in the final term.

This can be studied as a non-credit-bearing course but we offer an external grade 8 exam at the end of the programme which will carry UCAS points if passed successfully.

The part-time pathway is delivered over six hours a week across two evenings.

Employability

While many students will want to move on to train for careers in performance, the course offers a unique experience and transferable skills that will be useful in many walks of life.

Some students have gone on to gain places at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire to continue their training, while others have gone on to a host of other UK and American drama schools, including:

  • Bristol Old Vic
  • Guildford School of Acting (GSA)
  • East 15
  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Rose Bruford
  • Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
  • LIPA
  • Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Theatre School)
  • ALRA
  • Oxford School of Drama
  • American Academy of Dramatic Art
  • Stella Adler

OpportUNIty

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.

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:

Facilities and Staff

Our Facilities

Location

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is based at the University’s City Centre Campus. A part of the Arts, Design and Media faculty, the School of Acting is currently based within Millennium Point but will be moving to a new city centre location from January 2022.

We also have access to facilities at the Parkside Building, which boasts state-of-the-art radio and television studios, edit suites, photography studios, and much more.

Our staff

Robert Miles

Course Director for Foundation in Acting, Head of Singing

Rob is a musician and works as a composer, arranger, musical director and vocal coach. He established, and now runs, his own prestigious vocal ensemble in addition to holding a senior residency at Birmingham School of Acting where he is Head of Singing and Course Director for the Foundation in Acting course.He is also an academic consultant and visiting specialist to educational institutions which specialise in performing arts course deliveries.  Rob also runs a private vocal practice, training and coaching clients for stage and television productions.

More about Robert

Danièle Sanderson

Head of Undergraduate Studies (Acting); BA (Hons) Acting Course director

Danièle started life as a Drama student, training at the Drama Centre, London. She followed her interest in the body and actor by training in Physical theatre both in London and in Paris. After working for 10 years as a freelance actor and movement director, her interest turned to directing and she gained a Masters in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University which afforded her the opportunity of further studies in Moscow and Madrid.

Danièle started her working life with Birmingham School of Acting in 1999 as a freelance director and was invited to join the full time staff in 2001 as the course director for the post-graduate degree in acting. In 2004, she was appointed course director for the BA in Acting and in 2006 become the Deputy Director of BSA. Since the school became part of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2017 Danièle has become Director of Undergraduate Studies for Acting as well as continuing as course director for the BA Acting.

More about Danièle