Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) – 2019 entry
Why choose this course
We’re one of the UK's leading universities for theatre, with our programmes ranked 2nd in the Guardian University Guide 2018.
Our BA Theatre and Performance course is a unique programme offered by the Guildford School of Acting (GSA). It’s grounded in both practical and theoretical enquiry, and benefits from the University of Surrey’s long-standing reputation for cutting-edge dance and theatre research.
You'll make use of our state-of-the-art Ivy Arts Centre with its main theatre and studios, a separate performance studio for audiences of 120, and 15 rehearsal studio spaces.
What you will study
On our BA Theatre and Performance course, you’ll explore the ideas and practices that inform current theatre and performance making, both nationally and internationally.
The course is grounded in both practical and critical enquiry, with a particular focus on contemporary theatre practice and research.
Your studies will focus on artistic and cultural enquiry, theatre history, politics, ethics, and performance analysis. Engaging with a range of canonical work from William Shakespeare to feminist performance, alongside emerging trends such as immersive theatre and the latest live art, you will be provided with a robust platform for innovating your own ideas and creative practice.
You’ll engage directly with the specialisms that shape theatre and performance in the present moment, allowing you to thrive in a range of professions linked directly to theatre, as well as the creative and cultural industries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||W440||View KIS data set|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||W441||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Theatre and Performance placements
Our courses have a strong focus on preparing you for employment and a career. Unusually for a theatre and performance course, we offer you the option to undertake a Professional Training placement, giving you valuable experience in a theatre-related organisation.
As a pioneer in integrated professional training, the University has operated a placement scheme for the last 40 years, and employers have been impressed by the maturity and professionalism of our students.
In theatre and performance, we have established good connections with employers, both locally and internationally, but we’re always keen to help students identify placements with companies that are of particular interest to them.
Some examples of organisations that have participated in this scheme include:
- Chickenshed Theatre Company
- English Touring Theatre
- The Tricycle Theatre
- The National Theatre
- Royal Opera House
- Camden People's Theatre
- Allsorts Drama for Children.
During this year, you will be supported in gaining valuable experience in degree-related professions such as marketing, education, outreach, audience development, community work, media or arts administration. You will have the opportunity to draw from our extensive list of placement options, or to explore the prospect of a new placement informed by your own unique interests and staff knowledge and expertise.
A University supervisor and a workplace mentor will guide you through an original work programme in an industry context.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
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.
During your time on the BA Theatre and Performance course, you’ll have a personal tutor who will monitor your progress and offer you guidance and advice. You’ll identify an individual career path and establish a plan that will support your career aspirations.
Our teaching is informed by professional practices, to support your work on your degree and to prepare you for life on the Professional Training placement and in a career after university.
Our BA Theatre and Performance course will equip you with skills, knowledge and experience that are valuable for a range of careers, in areas such as:
- Performance and contemporary theatre practice
- Arts administration and management
- Technical production
- Education and community arts
- Events management
- Cultural policy
- Media and creative arts.
Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:
- Actor, Lyceum Theatre
- Teacher of Theatre and Singing, City Academy
- Actor, Vienna's English Theatre
- Actress/Singer, Queen's Theatre
- Marketing Assistant, Society of London Theatre
- Assistant Stage Manager, Jamie Hendry Productions
- BBC Radio 2 Intern, BBC Radio.
Throughout your course, you will secure goals and competencies that will help you to prepare for a specific career path.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
In order to add an international element to your University of Surrey experience, you might decide to spend one or two semesters overseas doing a Professional Training placement abroad or studying at one our partner universities.
Our partners include:
- Monash University
- University of Sydney
- University of Wollongong
- Brock University
- Victoria University of Wellington
- North Carolina State University
- University of Central Florida
- University of Maryland
- University of North Carolina at Wilmington
- University of Virginia.
Our courses are well resourced in terms of practical spaces and library holdings. Studio classes, rehearsals and workshops are run in spaces across the campus, including the purpose-built studios in the GSA building. The University campus houses the state-of-the-art Ivy Arts Centre with its main theatre and studios, and a separate performance studio for audiences of 120.
You will be encouraged to locate taught modules in the context of wider performance and arts practice. There are live theatre and arts events on and off campus and several student societies engaged in staging theatre and performance.
In Guildford, the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and GLive show new and canonical works, and the town is also home to an established book festival and a host of local galleries, libraries and archives.
With London only half an hour away, there is a wealth of arts and culture to explore, with theatre trips and regular reference to recent productions forming an important part of the life of the programme.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are also agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, as well as our terms and conditions. View our offer holder terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect (please note: the terms and conditions for 2019 entry will be available in the September prior to commencement of your studies). These terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course which will be confirmed during registration. View our generic registration terms and conditions.
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.
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. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
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.
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.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Choose 6 modules from the 12 listed optional modules.
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Choose 6 modules from the 15 listed optional modules.
Year 1 (with PTY)
Year 2 (with PTY)
Optional modules for Year 2 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 5
Choose 6 modules from the 12 listed optional modules.
Year 3 (with PTY)
Optional modules for Year 3 (with PTY) - FHEQ Level 6
Choose 6 modules from the 15 listed optional modules.
Professional Training Year (PTY)
|PROFESSIONAL TRAINING YEAR MODULE (FULL-YEAR WORK)||Compulsory||Year-long|
|PROFESSIONAL TRAINING YEAR MODULE (WORK-STUDY 50/50)||Compulsory||Year-long|
|PROFESSIONAL TRAINING YEAR MODULE (FULL-YEAR STUDY)||Compulsory||Year-long|
Optional modules for Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year
Students must choose 1 of the above 3 modules.
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).
Our BA Theatre and Performance course is taught through a combination of practical classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials. Through practical modules, you’ll establish a professional approach to performance creation. Academic sessions develop informed thinking about theatre in a shared space that values both individual contribution and peer reflection.
We encourage you to own your individual learning experience and to become familiar with building and sustaining peer networks.
Learning is fully supported by the University’s e-learning environment, and you will be able to develop skills in using academic software and become familiar with the ways in which new technologies can support work and learning.
You will be encouraged to articulate your ideas through a range of forms and to understand key aspects of these forms, whether in practical performance, essays or presentations.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
ALSTON A Dr (GSA)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
Personal/professional development and employability.
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.
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each 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. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Suitable candidates will be invited to attend an interview. Offers are made after interview and are normally made in terms of grades.
During their visit to the University, candidates will be able to find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.
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.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||Not applicable|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||To be confirmed|
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.
There are associated costs with this programme:
- Safety equipment and/or uniform: £180 approx. - Uniform including specialist footwear
- UK-based activity: £150-200 Theatre trips (students should aim to see some live theatre throughout the course of their programme)
Grand total: £330-380 approx.
These additional costs are accurate as of September 2017 and apply to the 2018 year of entry. Costs for 2019 entry will be published in September 2018.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
"My greatest achievements this year were moments where I stepped right out my comfort zone, for example - moving away from home and learning to live independently."
"I would definitely recommend a Professional Training placement. It’s incredible. It totally changed me as a person and it also got me a job offer."