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Foundation Course in Acting - Foundation

  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Study mode: Full Time (20 weeks), Part Time (34 weeks)
  • Location: City Centre

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year 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.

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.

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 will complete the Trinity Performance exam in Performance 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.

This course is open to International students

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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. 

Attending one of 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. 

Please view our Guidance for Applicants for further information. 

English language requirements

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

Award: Foundation

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: Foundation

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

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

Applicant workshop dates: TBC

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 it may be that you would not be asked to perform this.  

Venue for all dates: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (Acting), Ground Floor, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG

T: +44 (0)121 331 7563

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

Applicants who apply online will be invited to attend a workshop.

Guidance for Home/EU applicants

Guidance for International applicants


T: +44 (0)121 331 7563

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.

Fees for part time students

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.

Additional costs

You will be required to equip yourself with clothing and footwear appropriate to the often physical nature of classes.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

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.

Fee payment arrangements

As this course is a 20 to 34 week course, it does not qualify for Student Loans Company finance/funding for tuition fees or living expenses.

Home and EU students

If you are made an offer of a place on this course you will be required to make a £500 non-refundable deposit within three weeks of accepting the offer. You will then be required to pay £2,500 at enrolment in September and you can set up a direct debit of three £1,000 payments for the remainder of the fee to be paid (in November, December and January). Alternatively, after the £500 deposit has been paid, the tuition fee can be paid in full at enrolment.

International students

If you are an international student and made an offer on this course, in order to obtain a CAS letter to apply for your student visa you will need to pay a deposit of £3,000. The remainder of the fee can be paid at enrolment or by direct debit instalments once you have a UK bank account. More information regarding international fees, finance and Student Tier 4 visa information.

20 week full time pathway

The 20 week full time programme includes two terms of 10 weeks. 

With professional workshops at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, plus theatre visits, masterclasses and professional audition panel experience, you will be given valuable insight into a challenging but exciting profession.

Classes include:

  • Acting technique – these classes form an introduction to the application of the principles of character creation and application in performance.
  • Text work – an introduction to the analysis of a script to discover the dramatic relationships and character clues.
  • Audition preparation – advice on auditioning for drama schools, and individual work on audition pieces in small groups.
  • Singing – an introduction to the mechanics of the singing voice and individual work on solo songs in small groups.
  • Acting Through Song - an introduction to the creation of character and performance in the medium of song through exploration of repertoire.
  • Voice – an introduction to one of the actor’s most important tools, whilst developing the mechanics and safe use of the voice.
  • Movement and Dance – exploring the use of the body as a tool for the creation of character and the telling of dramatic stories.
  • Stage combat – work in both armed and unarmed combat for the stage.
  • Improvisation – an opportunity to access the creative imagination and explore the uses of improvisation as a rehearsal and performance tool.
  • Theatre visits/back-stage tours – The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is surrounded by a great variety of theatres and performance spaces; we will have the opportunity to visit several of these and examine the many performance styles offered by different spaces.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon workshops – The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has the good fortune to be within easy reach of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Students on the Foundation for Actor Training course will have the opportunity to visit Stratford and experience workshops with professionals.
  • London – Access to London and its empire of theatres is extremely easy and visits are organised to watch plays relevant to the work undertaken on the course. We also attend masterclasses and workshops at The Globe Theatre as part of the course.
  • Projects Students also work on two projects per term, which usually include Musical Theatre, Shakespeare, Improvised Storytelling and Modern Playwrights.

34 week part time pathway

The 34 week part time programme is delivered over three terms. 

Throughout the 34 weeks you will study: Acting and Improvisation, Singing, Voice, Text Analysis and Audition Preparation.

Students will also get to work on one production based project in the final term.  

Four students discuss the Foundation Course in Acting
Why consider the Foundation Course in Acting?

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 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.

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


Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is based at the University’s City Centre Campus. A part of the Arts, Design and Media faculty, we are based within Millennium Point but also have 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. 

Rehearsal space

There are ten rehearsal spaces, a ‘black box’ performance studio, showers, lockers and workshop space within the Department 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.