Actor-Musician BA (Hons) – 2018 entry

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

Why Surrey?

Surrey is one of the UK's leading universities for Drama and Dance, with our programmes ranked second in the Guardian University Guide 2018.

Develop your skills as an actor musician and you will able to take advantage of the ever-growing demand for versatile professional performers who can combine superb acting ability with a high standard of musicianship.

Why study Actor Musician at Surrey?

At Surrey we focus on developing your combined talents as an actor and a musician with a programme that sits alongside our internationally recognised performance programmes in Acting and Musical Theatre.

For many years these programmes have been at the forefront of delivering top-quality actors and performers to the industry. As with all Guildford School of Acting (GSA) degrees, the focus is on developing the versatility to work professionally, in this case as an actor or actor musician, in a wider range of theatrical contexts.

Our programme will help you become a highly disciplined individual and versatile performer and introduce you to musicianship in performance, acting technique, voice, ballet, tap, jazz and singing.

On graduation you will be equipped to work both as an actor and an actor musician across a range of performance contexts, taking advantage of the growing appetite for versatile performers across the industry.

Programme overview

On our Actor Musician programme the first year of study is split over two semesters with the focus on core skills in acting, dance, singing and music.

In the second year students work on texts as diverse as Shakespeare, Lloyd Webber, Sondheim, Chekhov and Ibsen, with musicianship skills woven in.

The third year of study is based around three core performance projects: play, a musical and a devised piece, alongside a showcase for industry performed in a London venue. 

Programme structure

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specification documents which include further details such as the learning outcomes. Please be aware that these specifications are applicable to the current academic year.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)


Auditions are held between November and May each year and early application is advised to guarantee audition availability. Further information can be found on the GSA website.

We try to make our auditions as enjoyable as possible. We are looking for potential and, if we see it, we would like you to feel convinced that GSA is the best place for your training.

The Actor Musician audition is split into two sections and takes place over the course of one day. In the morning, you will:

  • Present one song to the panel (no longer than three minutes in length)
  • Take part in an acting workshop for which you should prepare one classical monologue (in verse) around two minutes in length
  • Take part in a dance/movement workshop (for which you will need dancewear)

After lunch, the panel will be joined by music staff who will listen to one pre-­prepared piece on your chosen instrument. This piece should be no longer than three minutes in length and should reflect the kind of repertoire that you consider a strength.

After this a brief theory/sight­reading workshop will take place and you will be interviewed individually. You will need to prepare:

  • One musical theatre song (no longer than three minutes)
  • One classical speech (in Shakespearean or Jacobean verse, no longer than two minutes)
  • One solo instrumental piece

Please note that GSA does not provide instruments, so you will need to bring your own. There will be a secure area on the day for you to store your instrument.

We may be able to provide larger instruments (piano, percussion, and so on); ­please contact us after you receive your audition date to confirm that we can provide what you need. Please note that loose, ill­-fitting attire is not suitable for auditions.


Discover more about our academic staff in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports.

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's Module Catalogue. See the programme structure section for more information.

Academic support

You are allocated a personal tutor to guide you through the programme and advise on your option choices and future career, helping you to get the most out of your time at Surrey.

Graduate prospects

Our graduates have an unrivalled employment record in West End shows and national tours. Our very distinguished alumni include performers such as:

  • Brenda Blethyn OBE
  • Oliver James
  • Bill Nighy
  • Owen Teale
  • Celia Imrie
  • Jonjo O’Neill
  • Kobner Holbrook-­Smith
  • Billy Carter
  • Ian Kelsey
  • Rob Kazinsky
  • Chris Geere
  • Claire Cooper
  • Justin Fletcher MBE

West End productions

  • Les Misérables, Queen’s Theatre
  • The Light Princess, The National
  • Spamalot, Playhouse Theatre
  • From Here to Eternity, Shaftesbury Avenue
  • Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales
  • Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre
  • The Commitments, Palace Theatre
  • Dirty Dancing, Piccadilly Theatre
  • Mamma Mia!, Novello Theatre
  • Matilda the Musical, Cambridge Theatre
  • Once, Phoenix Theatre
  • Stephen Ward, Aldwych Theatre
  • I Can’t Sing, London Palladium
  • Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre
  • Top Hat
  • Ghost
  • Hairspray
  • Shrek
  • Merrily We Roll Along
  • Color Purple
  • Sweeney Todd

UK tours and regional theatres

  • Shrek
  • Legally Blonde
  • Happy Days the Musical
  • Dreamboats and Petticoats ­
  • The Buddy Holly Story
  • West Side Story
  • Avenue Q
  • Cats
  • 9 to 5
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • The Lion King
  • Oliver!
  • Betty Blue Eyes
  • Evita

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this programme:

  • Production expenses: £175-350 - Portfolio photos
  • Safety equipment and/or uniform: £240 approx. - Uniform including specialist footwear and boneprop
  • UK-based activity: £150 - Theatre trips (students should aim to see some live theatre throughout the course of their programme)

Grand total: £565-740 approx.

Optional expenses

In final year, students may wish to apply for Spotlight (including graduates casting list) and Equity membership - £350 approx. During the course of their programme, they may also wish to join the GSA Students' Union Society - £5 per annum.

2018 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?


Overall: ABB.

Applicants taking an A-level science subject with the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass the practical element.

GCSE or Equivalent: GCSE English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent). 

Access to HE Diploma

Overall: QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit.

GCSE or Equivalent: GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall: DDD.

GCSE or Equivalent: GCSE English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent).

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 78%.

GCSE or Equivalent: Maths 6 and either English Language (1/2) 6 or English Language (3)7.

International Baccalaureate

Overall: 32.

GCSE or Equivalent: English HL4/SL4 and either Maths HL4/SL4 or Maths Studies HL4/SL4.

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Scottish Highers

Overall: AABBB.

GCSE or Equivalent: English Language - Scottish National 5 - C Maths - Scottish National 5 - C.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall: Pass overall with ABB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels.

Applicants taking an A-level science subject with the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass the practical element. 

GCSE or Equivalent: GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Select your country:

Selection process

Offers are made in terms of grades and a successful audition (which will include acting, movement and singing/instrument workshops).

Applicants who can demonstrate exceptional talent, and can satisfy the panel of their ability to successfully complete the programme, may also be considered.

A non-refundable audition fee is usually charged. Further information can be found on the GSA website.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BA (Hons) 3 years AD29 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Additional costs

There are additional costs associated with this programme – view the additional costs section for full details.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

Surrey Prestige Scholarship

This prestigious Surrey award for Undergraduates is aimed at high achievers and recognises academic excellence in your high school or equivalent leaving exams. 

The Full Surrey Award 2018 entry

The University will identify eligible students, so there is no application form for this scheme.

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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