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BA (Hons) Acting

Entertain, engage and challenge your audience. Participate in high-intensity workshops to develop acting skills for stage and media. Write and produce your own work, and be part of a theatre company.

BA Acting students perform A Clockwork Orange

Performance opportunities

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Full-time Part-time

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above

Or Access 23-45 D/M with min 6D

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above

Applicants with other qualifications are welcome to apply

Audition required

UCAS points 96

UCAS code W410

UCAS institution code P63

Duration 3 years full time

Course Summary

Immerse yourself in acting and develop a versatile skillset in line with the demands of the modern industry. We'll prepare you with skills and experience of acting for theatre and a range of media including radio, film and TV. We believe in training actors to be proactive with the creative and business skills needed to work in all aspects of the profession, including making their own performances. Our cutting-edge BA (Hons) Acting degree combines theory with practice in the purpose-built Marjon Arts Centre.

With a versatile 300-seat theatre and black box studio theatre, you’ll enjoy weekly skills classes in singing, movement and dance, as well as multiple opportunities for public performances. You will gain valuable first-hand experience of working with industry professionals including visiting directors, and build strong working links within the industry to support your future career.

You'll be a member of The Actor's Wheel theatre company, learning about every stage of making theatre from audition through to performance including marketing, production and financial management.

You'll work in live theatre on a range of texts from Shakespeare to 21st century new writing. We will also prepare you for acting in media both on location and in our TV and radio studios equipped with top of the range broadcast technology which shares a site with BBC Broadcasting House in Plymouth. Our radio station, TV studio including green screen and links with early career filmmakers offer multiple media performance opportunities.

The black box performance theatre is a large and versatile 300-seat space. Some acting students are rehearsing while other students look on. It is used for a variety of events and performances.

Why this course at Marjon?

Perform in our 300-seat theatre and black box studio theatre

Work with industry professionals and directors

Combines directing opportunities, scene study, behind the scenes skills and core acting skills

Create an original work ready to tour, a business plan and marketing materials including headshots, and show and voice reels

Train in our state of the art radio and TV studios on site at BBC Broadcasting House in Plymouth

Strong alumni network of working acting professionals

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

The first year was a great introduction to the basics of acting. We learnt about the origins of theatre, Shakespeare and storytelling. We also worked with other students to make short films so we could understand the difference between acting for camera and stage. In our second year we looked at more forms of theatre and went out into the community to do performances to make an impact in the local world. As well as a dissertation, third year is about building a portfolio and learning how to succeed in the industry after graduation.
Thomas - Second year, BA (Hons) Acting

1st Year

Theory & practice 1
This module lays the foundation for thinking about acting, providing the tools to communicate your ideas clearly, concisely and creatively whilst considering how the ideas of key practitioners might be used to influence or shape performance practice.
Craft & discipline
Begin to develop your actor’s tool kit, with a foundation in core rehearsal techniques and skills in voice, movement, acting and improvisation that you can utilise and develop throughout the course and your career.
Global theatre perspectives
Explore contemporary and historical theatre practices from around the globe through practical performance.
Practical training in script analysis, researching the world of the play, exploring subtext and character development, using the methods of Stanislavski to bring late nineteenth century plays to life.
Acting for media
Develop acting techniques for a range of media production contexts such as radio, voice overs, television, and film through working on a range of projects both on location and at our state of the art radio and TV studios on site at BBC Broadcasting House in Plymouth.
Classical performance
Practical training in original and contemporary staging practices, verse speaking and direct audience address leading to a public performance.

2nd Year

Popular forms
A practical study of key popular theatre forms including forms such as Musical Theatre, Pantomime, Music Hall/Variety, Slapstick, Puppetry and Clowning leading to a performance.
Theatre for social change
Develop and apply facilitation skills, leading workshops and theatre for social change projects with groups in community or educational settings.
The actor as theatre maker
Explore a range of improvisation, devising, and creative processes within acting and directing leading to the creation and performance of an original piece of theatre.
Theory & practice 2
This module provides the opportunity to choose an area of interest within the performing arts industry and develop this specialism, with supervision, for your own personal career development
20th century text and performance
Practically explore twentieth century practitioners and scripts, developing work under direction.

3rd Year

The freelance artist
Gain the creative business skills and industry knowledge necessary to build your career as a working actor. Develop your brand, networking, audition, financial, and marketing skills. The module concludes with the creation of a portfolio of all the materials including cv, headshots, audition material, voice and show reels, to launch your career.
New writing in performance
Explore how actors contribute to the development and staging of new writing in the twenty first century, including working with directors and playwrights on new plays in development.
Festival performance
Working within standard industry guidelines for festival performances create a self-directed small-scale show. Take responsibility for every aspect of the performance from development through to marketing and liaising with technicians. The module concludes with a public performance festival.
Directed production
Rehearse a performance under the guidance of a professional guest director.

Current students say...

Holly Docherty

“I have been given opportunities that I wouldn’t get anywhere else. I performed at The Minack Theatre in Cornwall, I remember standing on the stage staring out to the stormy sea, and I thought “this is what I am trained for”. I have been pushed outside my of comfort zone but for the better, I now have the confidence to go for auditions. When I came to Marjon I had lost sight of where I wanted to go but now I’m ready to start a PGCE to train as a Drama teacher. Thank you Marjon - for everything.”

Ashleigh Reynolds

"This course gives me the opportunity to tour not only regionally and later, the country, but to experience performing internationally. With a wide range of industry experience inbetween; from camera work to physical theatre; Shakespeare to Beckett. The course gives me the time to find my strengths and weaknesses, what I like and dislike doing within the industry."

Chelsea Vincent

"Touring was an unforgettable experience. It challenged my perceptions of the career I’ve chosen and taught me how to adapt to new situations. It was one of the most enlightening experiences of my personal and professional life. It was incredible."

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

How do I make a career out of acting?

Is film acting and theatre acting as different as people think?

What do we mean by being truthful in performance?

How is casting changing in the 21st century?

Why do we need another production of Romeo and Juliet?

How do you get an agent?

We’ve cast Marjon BA (Hons) Acting students in all three of our summer Shakespeare productions and all have been incredibly professional and fantastic actors - it's near impossible to tell them apart from our professional actors! Their attitude and dedication during rehearsals, publicity requirements and during performances has been exceptional. This is clearly a testament to the high-quality training they receive and are a real credit to the course and Marjon.
Jo Cann - Marketing & Communications Manager - The Barbican Theatre

See where our graduates are now

Connor Reed

"It’s been an amazing course & the best time I’ve ever had in my life. I feel physically in tune, I know how my body works on stage as an actor, I know how to work with other people and I feel brave. Every element of our degree has been so well thought out. I definitely feel I have developed so much as an actor. The support and dedication from all the lecturers is brilliant and extremely helpful, both on a personal level and the whole group. I value it. I’m so happy I went there."

Connor now works at Outpost Rep Company.

Lisa Wordsworth

"During the course I was offered the part of Helena in A Midsummer Nights Dream at the Barbican Theatre. It was an amazing experience, one that I will never forget. I experienced working with professional actors, different directing styles and adapting to different venues. The Actors Wheel has been the root to all vital tools that were needed and I cannot thank everyone who allowed me to be a part of this enough as it truly was a life changing experience."

Lisa now works at Outpost Rep Company.

James John McColl

“The Actors Wheel is amazing, all of the elements combine to make you into a total actor. It really hones all your skills in and we got the chance to work with outside directors and make fantastic connections through the course. That kind of relationship is something that is missing from other degrees and that relationship is key for when you enter the big wide world… there’s someone there that can give you a hand.”

James now performs with Pilot's Thumb Theatre.

What might you become?

Our graduates go on to work as actors in theatre, film and TV, a range of theatre industry roles including technical roles, playwrighting, front of house management, directing and running their own theatre companies.

Students also develop the thinking and critical skills needed to go on to postgraduate study such as qualifying to teach drama in schools.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Every lecturer is a practicing professional in their field ensuring they are up to date with current industry practice, we also draw on an extensive network of visiting industry professionals and directors.

Students are taught through reflective praxis, which is a process of learning through doing and reflecting. This includes practical skills training, practical classes exploring acting for different theatre and media forms, rehearsal and performance, reflection and engaging with current industry debates.

Students are taught through weekly classes alternated with blocks of intense daily rehearsals for productions.

How will you be assessed?

Students are assessed through practical work. This is supported by research and reflection which is assessed by presentations, written work such as essays and blogs, and discussion, to ensure students develop the necessary communication skills for the industry. There are no written exams.

Dr Eleanor Chadwick

Course leader

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Ellie is a theatre practitioner and researcher with international experience. As a resident artist at the Watershed Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol with her company Sleight of Hand, Ellie directs and produces experimental theatre practice using immersive technologies and community-engaged approaches. She has previously worked for the University of Bristol, the University of Warwick, and Shanghai Theatre Academy. In addition to teaching at Marjon, Ellie continues to work for a variety of companies and venues as a freelance theatre director in London, the South West, and further afield.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Kate Massey-Chase


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Kate is an experienced Performing Arts teacher. She is passionate about social justice and the use of drama and theatre for social and political purposes, and as a platform for individual or social change. She is currently researching the use of theatre in mental health contexts.

Dr Sharon Smith

Senior Lecturer

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Sharon's interests are ‘performance presence’ and the practice of improvisation. She is a member of the Berlin based performance collective Gob Squad, who devise and tour a wide range of collective, collaborative performance work.

Linzie Wishart

Visiting Lecturer

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Linzie is the resident Vocal Coach for our Performing Arts courses. She has over twenty years professional performing experience as a comedy vocalist, impressionist and singer. She has performed worldwide in theatres, onboard cruise ships and in the commercial and corporate entertainment business. Alongside this, she also has experience as a Creative Learning Practitioner and Drama Teacher, working for Theatre Royal Plymouth and in schools across Devon. 

More information

Training Company Model

By studying with us students automatically become a company member, as well as a student on the programme. We intentionally keep numbers small in order to enable our person centred approach to training, each student benefits from regular one to one tutorials in order to ensure their progression is tailored to the individual.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

In addition to the structured course elements there will be numerous additional opportunities to develop your practice and CV which are actively encouraged.

  • Workshops from visiting professionals and companies.
  • Castings and auditions for film, radio and theatre roles.
  • Theatre visits and film screenings.
  • Being part of a buzzing creative community based at Marjon Arts Centre.

Apply now for this course

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