Learn by doing on this exciting practical theatre course. You’ll build skills in performing, directing, writing, dramaturgy and technical areas of theatre. You will have sessions with industry professionals, making valuable contacts and learning from their expertise. You will also have numerous opportunities to create original performances.
In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.
This practice-based program is taught by active theatre practitioners and companies. Our tutors have exceptional teaching experience and are committed to helping students reach their fullest potential. We proudly welcome students from across the UK and around the world.
Students are trained to be versatile artists with classes in acting, directing, movement, writing, dramaturgy, design, producing, and theory. Our graduates include award-winning practitioners who work in a range of capacities across theatre, film, and television.
We believe in learning by doing, so our students continuously make and present performances. We have a rich calendar of professional workshops, talks by practitioners, performance visits, industry collaborations, and placements to help you get the most out of your time.
Every element of the program has been carefully designed to prepare you for working life. We teach professional conduct to help you meet the high standards expected by employers and you will also learn the skills required to set up your own projects and companies.
Our students enjoy use of the University’s excellent facilities and studios, and make professional connections throughout their education. So far this year, they have learned from practitioners with the National Theatre, Royal Court, Cirque du Soleil, and other international companies. They've also had numerous classes and talks with artists from Complicite, one of the country’s most celebrated theatre ensembles.
Our program has links with companies and festivals in cities across the world, including New York and Rome, and students often have the option to travel to help enhance their learning.
The course has a Facebook page with news and events from alumni, students and staff.
There are no exams during this course. Assessment is conducted via a combination of workshops, performances, productions, discussions, presentations, journals/portfolios and essays.
Self-assessment and reflection are key factors in the process of learning and are therefore considered throughout assessment.
In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:
If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Film, Photography and Media Extended Degree.
Students are required to attend an interview workshop day as part of the application process.
Mature students with previous relevant experience are encouraged to apply.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 1 modules include:
Acting and Performance Skills 1 is a year-long module that places the performer at the centre of theatre making. It will encourage the student to investigate the role of the actor in theatre practice by introducing them to performance skills, techniques and processes. It will reference a variety of practitioners. It will allow students to apply these skills and techniques in practice and engage with workshop explorations and text based scene study.
This module aims to expose students to the skills and strategies necessary for devising performance. Students will engage in practical exploration and debate the content and forms of individual and group devised contemporary theatre practice. Through this they will work with improvisation techniques in the development of original interdisciplinary material towards the creation of ensemble devised performance. Students will negotiate and analyse the process of collaboration towards building knowledge and ability in working inclusively, discursively and proactively in diverse collaborative environments.
This is a year-long module that will introduce students of Theatre and Performance Practice to an aesthetics of theatre practice through a range of small scale projects drawing on the craft-based activities of puppet and object theatre. They will learn craft-based skills that will be utilised and developed throughout their course of study and investigate and experiment with the use of puppets and found objects in regard to narrative, character and the conceptual practice of the ‘untransformed’ object as a style and method of theatre making. Complemented with sound and lighting workshops this will enable students to understand the process and practice of craft-based activities in theatre practice.
Through a series of seminars and workshops students will be introduced to the potential of conveying ideas through puppetry and object theatre. They will be introduced to contemporary puppetry and object theatre through workshop and practical explorations of performance techniques and approaches; investigating and researching directors and theorists of puppetry and object theatre. Students will develop skills in sourcing, crafting, preparing, manipulating and animating puppets and objects in visual theatre practice and storytelling.
The work done on the module will be recorded, curated and evaluated in a Project and Evaluation Portfolio that will be handed in at the end of the module as part of the assessment process.
This module explores a cross-disciplinary approach to art and cultural studies, centred in the concept of performance as a starting point. It will introduce key questions in performance, art and film theories and relate these to a selection of historical and contemporary practitioners. The module is intended to provide students with an introductory range of critical and creative strategies, which is to inform their development across the whole course, both in BA Theatre and Performance Practice and in BA Theatre and Film.
Through a range of activities, this module will examine links and parallels between artistic disciplines and broader cultural questions and introduce students to an interdisciplinary approach to research, promoting links between theoretical and creative practices in the field. The module will provide an introductory range of critical strategies and knowledge that can be transferred to a variety of subjects across the programme and develop academic skills (e.g. essay writing, study skills, assignment presentation), applicable across the course.
Year 2 modules include:
This core module builds upon the foundational acting skills and techniques developed in Acting and Performance Skills 1.
Acting and Performance Skills 2 explores established methods for preparing and utilising texts, and advances students’ understanding of how to employ experience and imagination to achieve truthfulness in acting. They will also engage and experiment with systems of rehearsal that can be employed by actors to generate new texts, imagery, and other performance material. Greater awareness of individual and group identity on stage will be developed through ensemble work and experimentation with different performance styles. This learning will be supported and enhanced through training in voice and movement techniques. Students will also be taught to practice industry-specific norms of professional conduct and behaviour.
Developing from Performance, Art and Film Ideas 1, this module will investigate social and cultural issues that are both enacted and questioned by established texts (“texts” in the broader sense of the term, to include works in theatre, cinema and fine art). Informed by critical theory perspectives, a key emphasis here is on social interactions, as explored in the communication strategies between artwork and spectator, in the social function of a work, and in the political and ideological context depicted in this or embedded in its creation. The module will also establish a sociological study of performance institutions and their organisation within the professional industry.
The aims of this module are to evaluate the social context of performance, art and film, as it is consciously depicted by this or latently inherent to it; to refer to a variety of theoretical perspectives, ranging from critical theories, to sociological concepts, in the analysis of such practices. The learning strategy and indicative syllabus will promote innovative ways of exploring the subject in question, making use of inter-disciplinary, blended learning, field research and creative practice.
This is a practice-based module that provides students with the key techniques and creative skills required for different professional pathways in theatre and performance. Students will develop their understanding of industry specialisms such as:
4. installation and site-responsive work;
6. workshop leadership.
Students will undertake a combination of workshops, exercises and presentations to advance their knowledge of different areas of theatre and performance from the particular perspective of an identified professional role or practice. Students will also develop the qualities required to realise group projects and/or successfully complete independent creative tasks, drawing from theoretical and historical awareness to create their own original work and/or learn how to nurture others through different creative processes. A selection of these specialisms will be offered each year to students at levels 5 and 6, providing the opportunity to work alongside each other and collaborate on a variety of studio based activities and projects.
This is a 30 credit module that runs over one semester. The ethos and approaches explored in Autumn Semester in Acting and Performance Skills 2 are applied to the creation of a staged production, led by the assigned Director. The group functions as a company, each member taking on specific roles and working towards a collaborative result. The production will be rehearsed over 15 weeks one day a week (whole day). The production models a professional process and the final performance is open to the public. Whilst the Director leads the process, students will be expected to engage in every part of the process of making the piece of theatre.
The module will facilitate the exploration of systematic approaches to rehearsal in the creation of a mid-scale production, professional relations and dynamics within the context of a company and develop methods of working collaboratively under artistic direction.
Year 3 modules include:
The Festival Showcase represents the student’s final piece of practical work, the equivalent of a dissertation, and will be a culmination of all the work undertaken on the course or through prior experience. It consists of a programme of short theatre, performance, and multimedia productions, which will be presented to a public audience in a professional context. It is designed to allow students to develop their chosen specialisms, both within creative and production roles.
The module will enable students to apply creative and production skills, and knowledge learned on the course, to complete a professional level work. It will utilise the ability to work both collaboratively and independently within a self-managed ‘festival’ setting and provide the opportunity for students to develop professional skills fostering their potential employability.
The module includes the following areas of work-related learning:
- creating and presenting original performances to an external audience;
- marketing, including the professional use of social media;
- box office and audience management;
- logistics of setting up a company;
- pitching work to producers and programmers;
- writing an agenda and keeping minutes of meetings;
- creating a timetable.
Performance Research & Development is a module designed to complement SM6P10 Festival Showcase. It enables students to undertake intensive research and development (R&D) projects leading to the sharing of two consecutive works-in-progress: draft performances presented for feedback to an invited audience. The notion of R&D is a vital aspect of the professional industry, increasingly required by funding bodies and an integral part of producing venues’ programmes. Students will work collaboratively, to tight deadlines, in accordance with the creative guidelines provided by the tutor. This will develop their ability to create rapidly within given briefs, encompassing such approaches as adapting existing dramatic texts and devising new material from stimuli. Students will engage self- and peer-evaluation skills throughout the module.
This is a practice-based module that provides students with the key techniques and creative skills required for different professional pathways in the performing arts. Students will develop their understanding of industry specialisms such as:
• creating installations and site-responsive work;
• workshop leadership.
Students will undertake a combination of workshops, exercises and presentations to advance their knowledge of different areas of the performing arts from the particular perspective of an identified professional role or practice. Students will also develop the qualities required to realise group projects and/or successfully to complete independent creative tasks, drawing from theoretical and historical awareness to create their own original work and/or learn how to nurture others through different creative processes. A selection of these specialisms will be offered each year providing the opportunity to work alongside each other and collaborate on a variety of studio based activities and projects.
This is a 30 credit module that runs over a period of 15 weeks. Building on the skills and awarenesses developed through previous education and experience, this core module will join students from both strands and create an opportunity for an intensive collaboration. The work will be centred in the creation of a film project that tackles social issues within a local or global community.
Students will explore collaborative strategies across disciplines, centred in a film-based project and develop areas of interest and specialism within group collaborations; exploring creative ways in which to address local or global issues through the medium of film and collaborative practice.
This module allows students to explore in depth a theory, theory and practice or practice topic of their own choice, arising out of previous experience or their study at levels 4 and 5 (subject to supervisor approval). Their individual study is facilitated by a tutor assigned to the project according to subject specialism.
This module is mainly self-managed by the student with facilitation by a specialist in the chosen subject. Students’ individual work is supported by regular consultation and feedback from their tutor and peer-led workshops.
The project incorporates both formative and summative assessment. Students will present their project plan orally in a subject specific workshop and in written form to their project supervisor. The summative assessment consists of the actual project, either a written project or a film and/or performance project with outline, treatment and theoretical statement.
“At the heart of the course were its staff. They were professionals who brought their industry specialisms to the classroom, but were also mentors who nurtured and guided us, allowing individuality and creativity to flourish... It was informing, challenging, inspiring, and always brilliantly fun.”
Tanya Roberts, former student.
Graduate and actress Maimie McCoy of our former performing arts course had this to say about her experience:
"A huge amount of our performances were site specific, which meant we could be more imaginative with our staging. My final third year project was staged in the courtyard. I think we probably had the best teachers in the country who specialised in this approach to theatre and dance. They were hugely encouraging of everyone’s experience and opinions and determined for us to shatter the way we thought about performance, especially as most of us had come from a more traditional background."
Read more on Maimie's profile page.
There is a focus on helping you develop professional skills throughout the course. As a graduate, you could find yourself working in many exciting areas of theatre, including acting, directing, producing, community performance or theatre in education, theatre-making, arts policy making and arts administration or marketing.
Much of the course replicates working industry environments that strengthen the careers education element of the course. Staff maintain strong links with the industry, and use these to help students to access opportunities for internships and employment during and after the course. Modules in creative and cultural industries, and business and marketing will give you the opportunity to learn the skills appropriate to self management in the arts.
Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things such as equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.
Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.
Students may be asked to pay for a Disclosure and Barring Service check in their third year.
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If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.
Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.
The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.
If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.
Please select when you would like to start:
15-18 May 2019
A feast of Theatre and Performance graduation work at the CassTheatre Arts Festival 2019
8th-13th April 2019
Cass PhD student Chiara D'Anna presents one woman show at Tristan Bates Theatre.
Students put on unique performance at Hackney's social club for the over 60s
Cass student works with lecturer at British Council festival of science and creativity in Hong Kong.
11-16 December 2018
Cass lecturer Jacek Ludwig Scarso leads participatory experience at Tate Modern reflecting on the meaning of waiting.
13th December, 5pm-8pm
Festive fine art open studio at Aldgate Bauhaus promises a feast of student creativity
The exhibition, made up of live art and multimedia installations, takes place at the Atrium Gallery in Goulston Street
Theatre Arts students were treated to a private viewing of 'Games', the latest play by Henry Naylor
4 and 5 December 2018
Exhibition of live art and digital installations will see twelve young artists reimagine The Cass Atrium as a metaphorical waiting room.
27 November 6pm
Public panel event as part of Making a Living Week explores what – and how – we create for children.
28th November 6pm
In conversation event with the Artistic Director of the Barbican, as part of Making a Living Week at The Cass
15 and 17 November
Cass PhD student Chiara D'Anna presents one woman show at Cockpit Theatre.
Dr Jacek Scarso creates new work inspired by Ikebana, the ancient Japanese tradition of flower arrangement.
“I’ve been thrilled to involve students in this important and high-profile work,” says Rishi Trikha, course leader for Theatre and Performance Practice BA.