Why choose this course
Guildford School of Acting is arguably one of the world’s most successful conservatoires for musical theatre training with alumni appearing in the West End, on Broadway and across the world. We provide personalised industry-focused instruction and education, within the discipline of an ensemble, to develop your skills and abilities in preparation for a successful and rewarding career in musical theatre.
Our BA Musical Theatre course achieved 94 per cent overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2018. We have also been ranked 3rd for drama and dance in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020.
What you will study
Our BA Musical Theatre course will develop your professional and collaborative sensibilities through a rigorous programme of training. You’ll gain individual technical, critical and evaluative skills, with practical classes in a range of core disciplines – from jazz dance to stage combat.
On this course, your skills are continually developed through integration exercises, scene work, project rehearsals and productions of classic and contemporary musicals. Classes in dance and singing are highly-prioritised alongside acting classes and projects, which will enable you to become multi-skilled and highly versatile, ensuring your appeal to the industry and a flying start to your career.
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 audition panel is looking for:
- A vibrant and energised body and mind
- A healthy body and a healthy voice
- A passion for Musical Theatre and an enquiring mind
- An ability to transform the written text in either song or speech into believable and theatrically truthful words and thought
- An ability to freely use your imagination
- An ability to listen and follow instructions
- An ability to work with others to achieve a presentable piece of work
- The ability to train in acting, singing and dancing
- An ability to attempt everything regardless of previous experience
- A voice and body that is trainable and a personality responsive to our methods of training.
More detailed information about our musical theatre auditions can be found on the GSA website.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Our graduates have an unrivalled employment record in West End shows and national tours. Our very distinguished alumni include performers such as:
- Michael Ball
- Tam Mutu
- Hal Fowler
- Alex Gaumond
- Tom Chambers
- Billy Carter
- Michael Jibson
- Caroline Sheen
- Helena Blackman
- Savannah Stephenson
- Faye Brookes.
West End productions
- Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre
- The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre
- The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales
- Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre
- Les Miserables, Queens Theatre
- Mamma Mia!, Novello Theatre
- Wicked, Apollo Theatre
- Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre
- Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre
- School of Rock, New London Theatre
- Motown the Musical, Shaftesbury Theatre
- The Play That Went Wrong, The Duchess Theatre
- Dreamgirls, The Savoy Theatre
- Evita, Phoenix Theatre
- Matilda the Musical, Cambridge Theatre
- Tina Turner the Musical, Aldwych Theatre
- Heathers, Theatre Royal Haymarket.
UK tours and regional theatres
- Legally Blonde
- Happy Days the Musical
- Dreamboats and Petticoats
- The Buddy Holly Story
- West Side Story
- Avenue Q
- 9 to 5
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
- Singin’ in the Rain
- The Lion King
- Betty Blue Eyes
- Crazy for You.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) delivers its provision across three teaching blocks, within the University of Surrey’s existing semester structure.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
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. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
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 modules section for more information.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
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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.
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
We make offers in terms of grades after a successful audition and interview.
If you can demonstrate exceptional talent, and can satisfy the panel of your ability to successfully complete the course, you may also be considered irrespective of your academic background.
A non-refundable audition fee is usually charged. Further information can be found on the GSA website.
You may wish to consider applying for our Foundation in Musical Theatre, via the GSA website. Please note that this foundation course does not form part of a BA (Hons) degree. If you would like to study BA (Hons) Musical Theatre after the foundation course you should apply separately through UCAS.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
UK and EU £9,250
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
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.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
There are associated costs with this course:
- Books/stationery/admin: £10 - Dictaphone (phone voice recorder is sufficient)
- Production expenses: £175-350 - Portfolio photos
- Safety equipment and/or uniform: £240 approximately - Uniform including specialist footwear and boneprop
- UK-based activity: £150 approximately - Theatre trips (students should aim to see some live theatre throughout the course of their programme).
Grand total: £575-750 approximately
In final year, students may wish to apply for Spotlight (including graduates casting list) and Equity membership - £380 approximately. During the course of their programme, they may also wish to join the GSA Students' Union Society - £5 per annum.
Students are offered a week’s training in Stage Combat leading to Actors Combat Theatrical Training (ACTT) Standard level exam. Opportunities for advanced training may also be available to students. These are extra-curricular courses so additional charges apply.
All students at GSA are encouraged to attend productions of their fellow students’ work to enrich their learning experience and give opportunities for critical analysis. These are public events for which students will be charged a reduced ticket price of £5. Some productions will be free to attend. Within the course of an academic year a student might expect to attend around twenty five productions.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Application Deadline: 19.01.20
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Application Deadline: 30.09.20
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Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.