Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) – 2018 entry

Why choose this course

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

Through performance, analysis and debate, engage directly with the specialisms that shape this changing field.

Our students benefit from the University of Surrey’s long-established reputation for dance and arts research, and our Theatre and Performance degree sits within the Guildford School of Acting (GSA) as a unique programme grounded in practical and theoretical enquiry.

Students benefit from our state-of-the-art Ivy Arts Centre with its main theatre and studios, and a separate performance studio for audiences of 120.

Through practice, analysis and debate, you will 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.

At Surrey we place a large emphasis on preparing you for employment and a career. On our Theatre and Performance degree you will be given the opportunity to undertake a Professional Training placement with a partner organisation related to the theatre industry.

What you will study

Through our Theatre and Performance programme you will explore the ideas and practices that inform current theatre and performance making, both nationally and internationally.

The programme is grounded in considerations of key historical landmarks, before widening out to consider a breadth of contemporary performance practices, theatre texts and events.

Your studies will focus on artistic and cultural enquiry, theatre history, politics, ethics, and performance analysis, alongside a pronounced spirit of experimentation, all informed by research, practice and reflection.

Course facts

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

Unusually for a Theatre and Performance degree, we offer you the option of a Professional Training placement, giving you valuable experience in a theatre-related organisation.

A pioneer in integrated professional training, the University has operated the placement scheme for the last 40 years and employers have been impressed by the maturity and professionalism of those who have undertaken it.

In Theatre and Performance, we have established good connections with employers, both locally and internationally but are always keen to help students identify placements with companies that are of particular interest to them.

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.

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 Theatre and Performance programme, you will have a personal tutor who will monitor progress and offer advice and guidance. You will identify an individual career path and establish a plan that will support your career aspirations.

Teaching on the programme is informed by professional practices, to support your work on the degree and to prepare you for life on the Professional Training placement and in a career after university.

Our Theatre and Performance degree will equip you with skills, knowledge and experience that are valuable for a range of careers in such areas as:

  • Performance and contemporary theatre practice
  • Arts administration and management
  • Technical production
  • Education and community arts
  • Events management
  • Cultural policy
  • Media and creative arts

Throughout your degree, 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.

In previous years, students have studied at:

  • La Trobe University, Melbourne (Australia)
  • Monash University, Melbourne (Australia)
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane (Australia)
  • University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Victoria University, Wellington (New Zealand)
  • North Texas University (USA)
  • North Carolina State University (USA)
  • University of Central Florida (USA)
  • Brock University, Ontario (Canada)


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.

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.

Professional Training Year (PTY)

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.


Theatre and Performance is taught through a combination of practical classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials. Through practical modules, you 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.

You are encouraged to own your individual learning experience while at Surrey 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.


This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Programme leader


Personal tutor

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:

  • Academic progress
  • Pastoral/welfare issues
  • 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.

Assessment methods include:

  • Performance workshops
  • Performance analysis
  • Essays
  • Book reviews
  • Critical reflections
  • Documentation practices
  • Manifestos
  • Portfolios
  • Presentations
  • Viva voce
  • Dissertation

As a modular programme, Theatre and Performance enables you to monitor your progress throughout the degree.

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 modules section for more information.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

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?


Overall: ABB.

Required subjects: Arts, humanities, or social science at Grade A.

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

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

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

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall: DDD.

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

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

International Baccalaureate

Overall: 32.

Required subjects: HL6/SL7 in an Arts, Humanities or Social Science subject.

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

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 78%.

Required subjects: 8.5 in an arts, humanities or social science subject.

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

Access to HE Diploma

Overall: 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit.

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

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

Scottish Highers

Overall: AABBB.

Required subjects: An arts, humanities or social science at grade A.

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. 

Required subjects: An arts, humanities or social science A-level at grade A.

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

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

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

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.

Selection process

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 £9,250 £17,500 Not applicable
BA (Hons) 48 months £9,250 £17,500 £1,800

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

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 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.

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.

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.

Admissions information

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.

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