course page main image

Acting - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry. Switch to 2025/26 Entry

Apply your passion and complete your training at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – we offer drama school level training to mould you into a versatile actor and help you launch your career.

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location Bournville
  • School Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students


Course is Full for 2024/25 Entry

This course is now full for 2024/25. If you'd like to apply for 2025/26, applications are open now.
If you'd still like to apply for September 2024, take a look at some of our other available courses.

[00:00:00] Speaker 1: Ruskin Hall is beautiful. It's set in Bournville in Birmingham, and it's a Quaker village, and it's so scenic. [00:00:10][9.9]

[00:00:10] Speaker 2: So what's nice about studying Ruskin, is that it sort of ties in with the structure of the course. So the structure of the course is that for year one, the first year is very much about having a laboratory. It's very much about bringing you into a safe space where you can start to feel comfortable and confident to make mistakes. And so you also want a space which is focussed and concentrated, and you can just go from class to class to subject to subject just in between being able to have a common room space, to have some breakout spaces and chat and recharge and go to your next class. [00:00:48][37.6]

[00:00:49] Speaker 3: It's a really nice it's a really nice building. And like the windows, we see a lot of trees. [00:00:54][4.7]

[00:00:55] Speaker 3: And there's a real sense of community here as well. [00:00:58][2.8]

[00:00:58] Speaker 1: We're all just a family and it feels great coming in every morning knowing that everyone I'm going to be interacting with is a friend. [00:01:06][7.3]

[00:01:06] Speaker 2: It is quite a quiet, playful, exploratory time. And so for that, all you need is a safe place to explore yourself and the work and get to know your colleagues. [00:01:20][13.4]

[00:01:21] Speaker 3: It's a really nice environment. I look forward to coming in every day. [00:01:21][0.0]


Apply your passion and complete your training at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – we offer drama school level training to mould you into a versatile actor and help you launch your career. 

Our BA (Hons) Acting is designed to develop you practically, personally and professionally and prepare you for this challenging industry. We have carefully designed a contemporary course that will train you for a creative career in front of a stage, screen or radio audience. You will receive specialist training in voice, movement and singing, graduating with the skill and aptitude to take on the exciting and dynamic world of the dramatic arts.

According to the Guardian League Table 2024, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's acting and performance provision is the 2nd in the UK (drama and dance category).

This course equips you with the skills you need to become a professional actor; continually stretching and challenging you to reach new levels of personal achievement and self-discovery. As a vocational actor training course, full commitment and attendance would be expected.

Applications still open for September 2024 entry.  Apply now!

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Complete your training in a supportive environment alongside your dedicated peers. With a proactive attitude you will achieve the high-standard of skill and adaptability that is required of professional actors in the industry today

Your classes will mainly be studio-based sessions, focusing on the practical application of acting, voice, movement and singing. For some modules you will have timetabled rehearsal time, where you will work in groups to produce material.

During the final year of your training you will get the opportunity to make a showreel, perform showcases to industry professionals, and be cast in professional productions staged in external theatres. In the first two years you will apply and develop your skills, getting regular opportunities to perform to your peer group and to invited audiences.

You can find our graduates all over the industry

Graduates of this course have gone on to craft successful and inspiring careers across the entire spectrum of the industry, including actors such as Rob Mallard – best known for his role in Coronation Street for which he won the award for Best Newcomer at the 2017 British Soap Awards, and Helen George, who played Trixie Franklin in Call the Midwife. Airing in early 2017, new Channel 4 comedy from the producers of Father Ted Derry Girls stars 2011 graduate Nicola Coughlan.

Our graduates can also be found on stage in musicals, for example Dominic Hartley Harris has appeared in the West End in Bat out of Hell and Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, and Lewis Howard played the Heart of Joey in War Horse. Our graduates are flexible and entrepreneurial, and in some cases have gone on to start their own companies – Theatre 63, a theatre company founded by our graduates, was nominated for the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) 2017 Edinburgh Award. We also produce successful writers and directors – playwright Charlene James has won a number of awards, including for her well-received play Cuttin It, and Gemma Colclough directed The Hunting of the Snark at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End.

Will I be famous?

Who knows! We aim to transform you into a confident performer and practitioner with a diverse skills base who recognises your own talent and creative ability. This course encourages you to create a well-informed working process that is supported by practice, theory and reflection. You will learn to create opportunities for yourself through a forward-thinking attitude, and engage with the course both intellectually and creatively. 

You will engage immediately with full-time training and a high level of contact hours. The course is demanding and energetic, allowing you to explore your full potential in an inspiring yet challenging environment; applying your passion to become the best that you can be.


You never know where the training will take you, but every pathway is unique and wonderful. I loved my time at RBC; it’s not only a cracking training, it’s a unique family of likeminded individuals that supports and uplifts each student to achieve their best in an industry we all love!

Seb Yates Cridland

Matthew Underhill

Despite an ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease, Matthew secured his spot at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire after just two auditions. He now feels ready to face the future as a trained actor.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • We’re ranked 2nd in the UK for Drama and Dance (Guardian League Table 2024).
  • Our tutors have vast, and notable experience, both in the UK and internationally. Staff have worked with well-known individuals, projects and companies such as the BBC, the RSC, West End stars, British repertory and festival theatres.
  • We are proud to be a part of Birmingham City University, where, as a student you are not only part of a Conservatoire but also a member of the Federation of Drama Schools.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to enhance your industry awareness by getting involved with our Curzon Street Studios team in a wide range of production and film projects, including working on gigs and commercials for professional football clubs and high-profile industry giants such as Sony, Disney and Microsoft.
  • Graduates of the BA (Hons) Acting course have successful careers as actors, writer and directors.
  • On TV you will see our graduates appearing in programmes such as Peaky Blinders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders, WPC53, Call the Midwife, Holby City, The Royal, and Shameless, among many more.
  • Study at our new home at the idyllic Ruskin Hall in Bourneville, a stone’s throw away from the famous Cadbury World.
  • You can find our versatile graduates performing at prestigious venues such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the National Theatre, and we are always well represented at festivals such as the Edinburgh Fringe.

Open Day

Join us on campus where you'll be able to explore our facilities and accommodation in person, and chat to staff and students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Booking isn't open yet for our next event, register your interest and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: 5 December 2024

Register Interest

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

Essential requirements

64 UCAS tariff points

Applicants will also need to complete an audition for this course; see audition arrangements below.

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £9,250 in 2024/25
  • Applications Closed

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £19,020 in 2024/25
  • Applications Closed

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.


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.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires specialist clothing and shoes for movement/acting work.

Specialist equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment, including a personal yoga mat for floor work. Voice and singing work will require personal vocal props to aid work.

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. We suggest allowing around £50 although you may wish to purchase additional books and playscripts.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost. You are encouraged to visit the theatre regularly, as well as opportunities to visit art galleries and other cultural experiences to support course work.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals, websites or publications, such a The Stage Online.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course. You will be encouraged to join Spotlight in your third year.

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.

This course is now full for 2024/25 but you can apply for 2025/26 now via UCAS.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement 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.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Year one

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits): 

Year two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits): 

Year three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits): 

Download course specification

Download now

Course Structure

Throughout the course you will be taught through a series of modules. These modules will each cover a different aspect of the acting field, teaching you a diverse, yet specialised combination of knowledge and skill. Take a look at these monologues by our third year actors to get a sense of how far they have come in three years of training.

Mara Huf

Mara is a dual American and German citizen living in London. She graduated from the BRIT School of performing arts before completing her training at RBC. After graduating Mara signed to Jewell Wright Ltd and appeared in the FDS showcase in New York City, which showcased the variety and depths of talent of recent graduates of the top UK Drama Schools.

Shobat Kadara

Birmingham born Shobat appeared in 'Trojan Horse' at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which was named as the third best show overall. The play also won the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award and a Scotsman Fringe First award. Based on real-life events that saw several Birmingham schools being investigated following claims of ‘hardline' Muslim teachers and governors plotting to control them, Trojan Horse depicts a community torn apart by racial division, British values and the culture of the counterterrorism strategy known as Prevent.

Nicole Miners

Originally from Hong Kong, Nicole's favourite project since graduating has been the research and development for Yellow Earth's 'Forgotten' at the Arcola Theatre: "It was such an amazing experience working with so many amazingly talented East Asian actors and creatives, and I can't wait to see the finished product soon!" Nicole is signed with Simon & How Associates.

Student stories

Brennan Reece

Brennan Reece has put his experience of performing to good use, enjoying a successful career as an award-winning stand-up comedian. Since winning the English Comedian of the Year Award in 2015 Brennan has appeared on TV in comedy shows such as 'Live at the Apollo', and was the narrator of the series 'Survival of the Fittest.' In 2018 he took his third solo show 'Evermore' on tour and received 5 star reviews.

Gillian MacGregor

Originally from the West of Scotland, award winning actress Gillian MacGregor's credits include adventure western 'The Stolen', critically acclaimed Sci-Fi drama 'Beyond', 'A Lonely Place to Die', 'Street Fighter: Resurrection' and 'Nikola Tesla and the End of the World' for which she won the Best Actress award at the 31st International Valencia Film festival.


Enhancing your employability skills

Through studying the theory and practice of key acting processes you will be equipped with the skills expected of a contemporary actor. You’ll be able to engage critically and creatively, mapping out the performance possibilities of a production text.

The course will teach you the necessary skill to perform as an actor to a professional standard, fully preparing you to pursue a professional career in acting.

Throughout the programme you will develop a firm, theoretical knowledge and practical skills base to build your ability to perform professionally. You’ll learn how to be proactive in creating employment opportunities and you will be able to successfully operate in a professional theatrical environment.

You will develop the ability to apply background research skills and enquiry methods to support and enrich performance. You will be able to blend the theory and practice of acting processes, integrating this into your performance and relating it to media industries. Therefore you will be thoroughly prepared, with the confidence and competency to take on live, radio and screen roles.

In addition to this you will be encouraged to respond creatively and imaginatively to source material. This will help you think proactively, responding to the demands of industry, as well as specifically being able to relate this to acting forms such as improvisation. Through the development of an open-minded attitude to all kinds of drama and performance you will be well equipped to tackle and succeed in various roles.

Throughout the course there are opportunities to compete in various industry competitions, including the Carleton Hobbs Competition for Radio, organised by the BBC, the Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, and the Sondheim Performer of the Year Competition, organised by the Society for West End Theatres.

Recent graduates are currently employed with The Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre, The BBC and Independent Television, and in film (see Alumni Section).


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 & Staff

Our Facilities

The School of Acting is based at Ruskin Hall in Bournville, although students can also benefit from a range of performance spaces around the city. As a part of the Arts, Design and Media faculty, 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.


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.

Our staff

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...

More about Danièle

Stephen Simms

Vice Principal - Acting, Professor of Actor Education

Stephen is the Vice Principal of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire - Acting, one of the UK's leading conservatoires of acting, where he is also the Head of Acting. He is also Professor of Actor Education, the only person to hold this position in the country. He directs and teaches on the acting courses at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Recent...

More about Stephen
[00:00:05] Speaker 1: Hi there. [00:00:06][0.2]

[00:00:06] Speaker 2: I'm Becca. And I'm Georgia. [00:00:07][1.1]

[00:00:08] Speaker 1: And we're students on the Acting course. This is Ruskin Hall, which is where the Acting courses at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire are mainly based. [00:00:16][8.1]

[00:00:17] Speaker 2: Follow us. Today, we're going to take you on a little tour around Ruskin Hall. So this is Studio one which is one of ten studios we have here at Ruskin Hall. It's one of our big studios, and it's a favourite of a lot of us because it's it's super bright, it's super open. It's got a big, big window at the back, stained glass window. You have quite a lot of classes in here across all different years. You might do quite a lot of your first year projects in here, maybe dance stuff that needs a lot of space. [00:00:46][28.7]

[00:00:47] Speaker 1: So as you can see, Studio two is connected to Studio one, which is very helpful. When we were doing our divide project in the second year, because we had both spaces, we could have one group rehearsing with the director in Studio one and then we could break out and do some additional work in here. [00:01:01][13.9]

[00:01:02] Speaker 2: Lots of windows, a nice. [00:01:03][0.9]

[00:01:04] Speaker 1: Nice, bright space. [00:01:04][0.5]

[00:01:08] Speaker 2: So this is the resource room. This room is always free, so it's open to any students. If you need to come and do some research, if you want to flip through some plays or even if you just want a bit of downtime to just chill out for a while. [00:01:20][12.4]

[00:01:21] Speaker 1: So as you can see, we've got a number of computers here that are really useful because we get access to single drama online. Got thousands of plays on it as well as connections from the National Theatre on the Globe. If you wanted to watch some plays, if you want to read some plays, we've got this selection here. [00:01:36][15.1]

[00:01:37] Speaker 2: So here we come to some lockers. This is one set of lockers is quite few. [00:01:41][3.5]

[00:01:41] Speaker 1: You get access to a key when you start in first year and I know I used it all the time, I kept my character skirt, and then my characters shoes and any bits of like props or costumes for jewels and things just to save me locking them in every day. I could just store them in one of these. So it's nice and easy. This is Studio three, formerly nicknamed the Green Room. It comes with chairs and desks, so any sort of theory based classes are usually done in here, like acting script studies, that kind of thing. [00:02:05][24.2]

[00:02:06] Speaker 2: And you also might just come in here to do your own personal study in this nice big open room with loads of space to do your work. [00:02:11][5.9]

[00:02:14] Speaker 1: This is Studio four. It's a lovely, nice, bright, open studio, lots of windows. It's used for a range of classes across the years. I remember I had a voice class in here, for example, in the second year. [00:02:24][9.9]

[00:02:24] Speaker 2: As you've probably seen a lot of the studios link into each other. So Green Room literally links into this one. So the building's got a really nice flow and you can always hear of the years and other classes rehearsing, which is really nice. [00:02:35][10.8]

[00:02:36] Speaker 1: So Ruskin is across three levels, we've just shown you the ground floor. Plus there's also Studio five just down there, which is similar to the other studios. Lovely and bright. [00:02:44][8.6]

[00:02:45] Speaker 2: And we're going to now just take a look upstairs. [00:02:47][1.6]

[00:02:54] Speaker 1: This is Studio ten, and this is predominantly where singing lessons at all. [00:02:57][3.3]

[00:02:57] Speaker 2: Yeah, it's for singing lessons. You're normally in a group. [00:02:59][1.5]

[00:02:59] Speaker 1: Please don't worry if you're not a singer. I was terrified on my first day of singing, but the teachers are so supportive and they really, really help you across the first two years of the course with singing. [00:03:09][9.2]

[00:03:09] Speaker 2: Yeah. We also have pianists that come in every lesson. So you have your teacher and then a pianist as well. So you've got two people with a wealth of knowledge about the industry to help you. [00:03:19][9.5]

[00:03:22] Speaker 1: So this is Studio six, one of the largest studios at Ruskin Hall. Just for an example of how this might be used in the second year, I rehearse one of my projects in here with my classmates. We also got to work with the Stage Management students for the first time in the second year, so they would come in in the morning, do a complete mock up of the sets and props tables. Then they'd have a desk with all the effects cues on there. So it was really great to get to work with them from the second year. [00:03:45][22.7]

[00:03:46] Speaker 2: Yeah, also in Studio six as it is one of our biggest studios. You might do quite a lot of movement work in here, so dance or any sort of yoga classes and also on stage comebacks. It's really good. Everyone's got lots of room. [00:03:58][12.3]

[00:03:59] Speaker 1: So this is Studio seven and as you can see, we've got mirrors behind us, which is really useful for movement classes, dance classes, just to see what your body is doing in the space. [00:04:07][8.4]

[00:04:08] Speaker 2: Yeah, and also the studio links to Studio six, the studio just in there and that has a really nice flow to Studio eight. So this is the common room. It's a really nice, cosy, chilled place to come. At lunch or in between any classes. It's got a microwave, a fridge if you want to bring your own lunches. And there's also a really nice independent cafe about a one minute walk across the green, which does coffee and loads of lunch and food. [00:04:43][35.7]

[00:04:44] Speaker 1: And we love that. [00:04:44][0.8]

[00:04:45] Speaker 2: So that concludes our tour of Ruskin Hall. Very much hope you've enjoyed. It's a really lovely building ever since we've been based here. Everyone in a drama school, has just loved that we've been in bournville, it's a really nice, picturesque, safe and fun environment. [00:04:45][0.0]