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BA (Hons) Musical Theatre

Deepen your knowledge and prepare to take to the stage for a career as a performer and to develop a broad portfolio of skills to work as creative entrepreneur in the world of musical theatre

Musical Theatre students

Train as a triple threat performer with no written examinations

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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

UCAS points 96

UCAS code MST1

UCAS institution code P63

Duration Three years full-time

Course Summary

Successful musicals can run for decades and a lot of people are needed to keep all that jazz on the road. As well as performers, musical theatre requires writers, composers, choreographers and directors to make it a success.

The Musical Theatre degree is designed for students with a passion for acting, music, and dance. You’ll gain an understanding of musical theatre forms such as revue, book, juke box and rock through practical exploration. You’ll do weekly intensive skills training in singing, dance and movement with industry professionals.

There are multiple opportunities for public performances in our versatile 300 seat theatre and you’ll perform in a full-length musical directed and designed by industry professionals in the final year.

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

Taught by theatre professionals and expert researchers with a wealth of experience, this course features unique links with theatre makers and companies. You will have opportunity to connect with and learn from artists active in the field of theatre and performance.

Our core staff team is led by director Ellie Chadwick (previous work at Barbican Guildhall London, Exeter Phoenix, Jackson's Lane London, Trinity Centre Bristol, Tate Modern London), and includes performance maker Sharon Smith (member of international collective Gob Squad), performance artist Natalie Raven (work presented across Europe and North America).

Additionally, we have arts practitioner Kate Massey-Chase (experienced facilitator of community projects, including in prisons, addiction recovery services, mental health services, with young refugees, adults with Parkinson’s, and in schools) and performer/director Karma Tucker (experienced singer, dancer, actor, and director of professional and youth theatre with recent productions in the South West and London).

Past guest lecturers on our performing arts programmes include director Natasha Nixon (previous work at West End, The National Theatre, The Young Vic Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith), actor Alice Feetham (as seen in TV series Save Me) and actor Adam Courting (voice actor for BBC Radio 4).


Student performing on stage

Why this course at Marjon?

Become a triple threat, develop your music and singing, dance and acting skills

Expand your musical theatre network through workshops with a wide range of musical industry contacts

Ongoing singing training

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

Acting, singing and dancing taught by industry professionals and directors

Create an original musical theatre ready to perform with a business plan and marketing materials

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

During your first year you will explore approaches to acting on stage and learn how music interacts with performance in a practical environment. In the second year you will gain an understanding of the history behind musical theatre and further explore the theory behind music and singing in popular culture. You’ll bring these skills together in various performances across the year. Your third year focusses on preparing you for entering the industry with modules on building your portfolio, insider tips on getting job opportunities and a dissertation.
Sarah McAdam - Director of the School of Arts and Humanities

1st Year

Theory and practice 1
This module lays the foundation for thinking about musical theatre, 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 and 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.
Dance technique and improvisation
Practical dance training focussing on a range of contemporary techniques and development of individual creativity through exploring the process of choreography from stimuli through to 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 scripts to life.
Singing and music: theory & practice 1
Introduction to the core singing and music skills of the Actor Musician, focusing on developing the technical skills as both a solo and ensemble performer.
Ensemble performance 1
Create, rehearse, and perform an original project, under the guidance of a creative team of experienced practitioners for 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.
Singing and music: theory & practice 2
Intensive development of singing and music skills for performance, focusing on extending technical skills as both a solo and ensemble performer.
Dance and musical theatre styles
Practical dance training focussing on jazz and tap for musical theatre performance, and development of dance routines for performance.
Theory and practice 2
This module provides the opportunity to choose an area of interest within musical theatre and develop this specialism, with supervision, for your own personal career development.
Ensemble performance 2
As a company your will explore a range of musical theatre styles then rehearse musical theatre work for public performance under the guidance of a creative team of experienced practitioners.

3rd Year

The freelance artist
Gain the creative business skills and industry knowledge necessary to build your career as a working actor musician. 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, and audition material needed to launch your musical theatre career.
Acting through song
Apply acting skills to the exploration of plot, character, context, relationships, and subtext to the development of songs and scenes for performance.
Festival performance
Working within standard industry guidelines for festival performances create a self-directed small-scale musical theatre 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 and perform a full length musical theatre show under the guidance of a professional guest director. This module concludes your actor musician training.

This course is perfect if you’ve ever asked yourself...

How do I become a triple threat?

How do I make a career out of musical theatre?

What is acting through song?

How do I develop my brand as a musical theatre performer?

Jazz hands - love 'em or hate 'em?

How do you get an agent?

What might you become?

Students graduating from this course will have a range of skills which could be used in careers around performance and theatre. They will also have broad transferable skills around research, communication and confidence in order to move into other roles across the creative arts industry.

Student singing on stage

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 classes developing you as triple threat in singing, acting and dance, preparing you for all aspects of the production process from auditioning through rehearsal and performance.

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 including essays and blogs as well as discussion. There are no written exams.

Ellie Chadwick

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: £9250 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


Katy Morse

Visiting lecturer

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Katy is a professional actor and has performed in many musicals on UK national tours, including at the Victoria Palace, London and the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. She teaches Performing Arts in Education and Musical Theatre.


Karma Tucker


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Karma directs musical theatre productions and teaches across a range of modules including Acting Through Song, Dance, Ensemble, Singing. 

Students rehearsing a musical theatre number
Students rehearsing a musical theatre number

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