Acting BA (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
HNC/HND courses
Several actors on stage moving around dynamically

The BA (Hons) Acting degree, in collaboration with the world-famous Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, aims to produce proactive professional actors.

Year of entry


CU Scarborough (Scarborough)

Study mode



3 year - Degree
2 year - HND
1 year - HNC

Course code


Start date

September 2024

Course overview

The Stephen Joseph Theatre (SJT) is a professional producing theatre, was Britain’s first theatre in the round, and has premiered over 80 of the plays of acclaimed playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

  • In this unique collaboration, you will work with SJT professionals at points throughout the programme – including mentoring, observation of professional rehearsals, and participation on stage in a professionally directed piece for theatre.
  • You will work daily in our professionally equipped spaces and studios, working and collaborating with industry professionals in a variety of contexts, with the aim of making you fully industry-ready upon successful graduation.

Why you should study this course

The course is dedicated to making acting an accessible and rewarding occupation for all, regardless of background.

  • Over the three years, you will look to acquire a secure grounding in the skills needed to replicate human behaviour at a realistic level, insight into performance versatility, and familiarity with recorded media and emerging contexts of new work for actors.
  • Upon graduation, you should have a comprehensive portfolio of experience and knowledge, enabling you to be ‘industry-ready’ at a high level. This could include headshots, showreel material, showcase and CV work as well as industry contacts and experiences.


This course is delivered in collaboration1 with the following bodies:

The Stephen Joseph Theatre

Stephen Joseph Theatre

The Stephen Joseph Theatre (SJT) is an independent theatre and cinema on the North Yorkshire coast with an international reputation for producing brilliant theatre. The theatre has an illustrious history, with a longstanding commitment to producing new plays including premiering over 80 plays by acclaimed playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

In this unique and exciting collaboration, CU Scarborough students are given the opportunity to work with SJT professionals, gaining invaluable industry support with mentoring, observation of rehearsals, and performance opportunities in both The Round (the first theatre in-the-round in the world) and The McCarthy (end-on theatre and cinema). In their third year, students form the cast of a professionally directed Christmas show for families with a two-week run at SJT as well as an acting showcase in front of invited industry professionals. Throughout their studies, students will also have the opportunity to see SJT productions for free or at discounted rates.

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Acting at CU Scarborough

"The course prepares student actors for what the industry will be like in 10 years’ time." Liam Farricker, Graduate, quoted June 2023

What you'll study

Within the first year, you'll seek to learn the key foundations of being an actor. Voice, movement and core acting skills will be explored with influential practitioners. You should gain a personal understanding of your methods and styles as an actor. Students who successfully complete year one will be awarded a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Acting.


  • Use movement as an actor to effectively connect body and breath to emotional connection. This module will allow you to start to make those connections and link you into creating characters and telling stories with your physicality.


  • Learn how to use and connect your breath and vocal qualities using a variety of different methodologies You will explore different vocal practitioners but will connect with the work of Kristen Linklater and Chuck Jones using breath to free up your voice and connect to the characters that you play.


  • Working with the methodology of Stanislavski amongst other practitioners you will learn how to put different choices together for performance. This will culminate in a live performance as a rehearsed reading.


  • This module requires you to perform live in an un-costumed, fully staged, studio-level production of a naturalistic dramatic play. No scripts or prompts are allowed, requiring you to draw on character, story and contextual knowledge to ‘troubleshoot’ where necessary during a live performance before an invited audience.


In the second year, the course broadens to include training as an actor facilitator working in a range of settings and also expands to include acting for exploring voice recording, filmmaking, acting for camera and audio narration as well as other recorded media options.

Performance project work covers different venues and you will encounter a variety of audiences. At this stage, you should have developed more sophisticated story-telling skills and be able to draw on your deepening awareness of communication skills to become more versatile as a performer. This could include film performances, theatre performances or other performance types. The second year will culminate in a performance within a theatre4.


  • You will explore the range and versatility of yourself as an actor. This module will challenge you to learn and cumulatively apply greater physical, vocal and professional versatility. Here, you will plan and develop your imaginative and risk-taking application of acting techniques. You will develop and demonstrate physical, vocal and verbal versatility across character ‘types’.


  • This module challenges you to learn and apply the acting approaches required for recorded work. You will experience how to create work for recording including initial setup and operation of recording equipment such as cameras and microphones. Performance project work includes acting for film and TV and acting for audio (for example plays and presenting for radio).


  • You will explore the role of the Actor as a Facilitator within a variety of different settings. This work is increasingly required of professional actors.

    You will experience practically various trends in drama facilitation which continue to influence contemporary practice. A range of groups covering different ages and remits will be experienced. You will build a repertoire for your own practice. You will also acquire an understanding of the principles of planning practical workshop sessions.


  • You will work on a professionally directed production. You will experience the process of working as an actor on a production, including mock auditioning and exploration of the text both independently and under the guidance of a director; rehearsal including technical/dress rehearsal and performance.


In the final year, you will explore contemporary contexts of performance, creating work for public presentation and working on a project as a producing theatre company, creating a public tour4 of this performance to test your ability to manage your professional skill set. You'll create online professional profiles and explore issues related to self-employment. The course will culminate in a graduation showcase for invited industry professionals. You will be a part of the SJT company for the Christmas show for young audiences with a full run of this show to get you ready for industry. You will be able to synthesise theoretical aspects of acting with practical work, ensuring you can graduate with a command of skills at a professional level while recognising the need to continue developing as an actor throughout your career.


  • This module enables you to explore the possibilities of creating your own work for performance. Students work to form their own small company and create their own piece of performance work. You will also learn how to create your own marketing material and also how to source funding for your creative projects so that you can create your own work.


  • You will explore, create and perform acting work within a portfolio of emerging contexts. Areas to be explored include presenting (including television, radio, online professional vlogging, and YouTube video production) and recorded motion capture (for example for video games). You will investigate the particular skills, technical abilities and safety factors required for successful participation in different areas and will work to create a portfolio investigating your work within each field.


  • You will seek to learn and develop your understanding of the role of the actor as a professional, how to work in the professional rehearsal room and complete a run of a show to an audience. You will understand how to create theatre for different audiences and how to communicate and be a part of a professional team.


  • On successful completion of the course, you will be able to develop the role of the freelance actor. You will understand how to market yourself as a professional actor, looking at CV, spotlight, showreel content. You will take part in a showcase for invited industry professionals, agents and casting directors.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

The course is brilliant at offering connections and networks to prepare you as an actor going into industry.

Ellen Ramos, Graduate, quoted June 2023
Ellen Ramos Acting student

How you'll learn

This is a course that is practically driven and you will be assessed in a variety of ways.

Learning is delivered in a workshop style so that you get the best out of your training.

  • You train with people who are also industry professionals so the knowledge you get is up to the minute.
  • You train in a professional environment where you are free to also explore your own artistry.
  • Industry-applied learning is integral to every aspect of the programme.
  • You will learn about building the ensemble and the importance of working together as part of your everyday practise.

Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from module to module, however, on average, it is likely to be around 20 taught hours per week. Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-delivered rehearsal and development of character work and script work of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group work, and online tutorials depending upon the modules.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment methods vary and include, practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, oral presentations, tutorial tasks and assessments which take place at the end of each six-week block.

Course Breakdown:

  • Coursework
  • Performances
  • Recordings
  • Vivas

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

One-to-one training and a great network of professionals prepares you brilliantly for industry.

Heather Taylor, Year 3, quoted June 2023
Heather Taylor on stage acting

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Acting Higher National Certificate (HNC)

64 UCAS tariff points. All courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C including Maths and English (or level 2 equivalents).

Acting Higher National Diploma (HND)

80 UCAS tariff points. All courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C including Maths and English (or level 2 equivalents).

Acting BA (Hons) degree

104 UCAS tariff points. All courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C including Maths and English (or level 2 equivalents). All courses require at least two A2 level or a BTEC equivalent qualification.

The audition process

This will be a physical audition at one of the CU campuses in Scarborough, London or Coventry. You will not be charged to audition, but you will be required to cover your own travel costs.

Typical entry requirements

If you don’t fulfil the entry criteria your application may be considered on an individual basis, taking into account any work experience, other qualifications and/or any training you have completed. Speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the CU Support Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

CU Support Scheme

Acting Higher National Certificate (HNC)

64 UCAS tariff points. All courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C including Maths and English (or level 2 equivalents).

Acting Higher National Diploma (HND)

80 UCAS tariff points. All courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C including Maths and English (or level 2 equivalents).

Acting BA (Hons) degree

104 UCAS tariff points. All courses require 5 GCSEs at A-C including Maths and English (or level 2 equivalents). All courses require at least two A2 level or a BTEC equivalent qualification.

The audition process

This will be a physical audition at one of the CU campuses in Scarborough, London or Coventry. You will not be charged to audition, but you will be required to cover your own travel costs.

CU Scarborough welcomes international students from all around the globe. If you are an international student and are interested in applying for a Foundation Year, HNC or Degree course you can do so by completing our online application form.

Once your application form has been processed you will receive the outcome of your application via your given email address.
Please be aware you will need the following information in order to make your application:

  • All academic transcripts
  • Copies of degree/diploma certificates or work reference if employed
  • One academic reference
  • Be trained to English language proficiency level IELTS 6.0 and no less than 5.5 in each component
  • Your personal statement
  • Copy of your current passport

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Tuition Fees

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 per year Not available
EU £7,950 per year with EU support bursary**
£18,300 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,300 per year Not available

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of international scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees3:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


We work out of a working theatre4 which is equipped with 3 rehearsal rooms, film studio with green screen and voice booth, café area and an additional classroom. This space has a fully equipped theatre with 240 seats and a full working rig and dressing room facilities.

Our campus building4 is designed with your needs in mind. It features an open central atrium with IT suites and study spaces. The onsite library offers a wide range of essential and recommended reading materials, including access to over 115,000 eBooks. Additionally, you'll find dedicated spaces for career guidance, study support services, a café, a prayer room, and social areas within the building.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Understand your personal methods and styles of communication and apply them to the process of acting.
  • Effectively market yourself as a professional in a versatile range of contexts including commercial live theatre, recorded media, and educational and community settings.
  • Understand research-informed performance versatility, and a familiarity with recorded media.
  • Apply a comprehensive portfolio of experiences and knowledge, enabling you to be industry ready.

The collaboration with the SJT ensures that employability is embedded from the outset and exposure to creatives and industry professionals will facilitate high-level networking, enhancing professional opportunities and prospects following completion of the degree.

The course provides skills training in the art of acting and the business of acting, in a versatile range of contexts including commercial live theatre, recorded media, and educational and community settings. From a business perspective, you will be introduced to business concepts including marketing, budgeting and entrepreneurship, in order to ensure that upon graduation, you are able to market yourself professionally.

Where our graduates work

  • Stephen Joseph Theatre
  • Rusticus Theatre Company
  • ARCADE Arts
  • KIT Theatre Company
  • YMCA Theatre Yorkshire Coast
  • Freelance Actor: Various companies, television adverts, programmes etc
  • Magical Quests North
  • Next Door But One Theatre

Graduates have a real opportunity to develop work outside in the professional world and development across a variety of theatre spaces and environments. They extend the range of their skills across various professional performing spaces. They are industry ready and work from the beginning in a professional environment as a strong ensemble. Very high-quality and experienced industry leaders who still work in professional practice who are very industry connected.

Marcus Romer, Theatre and Film Director, quoted June 2023
Lots of students seen whirling about on stage during a production of Antigone

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2024/2025 contract is available on the website. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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