Based in the heart of Manchester the BA (Hons) in Acting For Live and Recorded Media is a vocational course offering training way beyond what is traditionally expected from a classical drama school.

The course, designed and taught by industry professionals is unique in offering a three year intensive training in both screen and stage. This, together with state of the art facilities in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse ensures our students have a true understanding and familiarity of what is expected from an actor today.

This course is unique in providing a true vocational qualification. All modules are designed to train you as a working actor and give you the opportunity to learn your trade within a number of work based scenarios. This includes tours of schools, performances at established fringe venues, showcases in Manchester and London and public performances at established theatres such as Z-Arts and The Lowry in Manchester. Alongside this you will leave with up to date knowledge of auditions skills taught by leading industry specialists and, most importantly of all, a professionally produced showreel and audio reel.

Nicholls Campus
Full Time
3 years
September 2020
Awarding Partner:
Sheffield Hallam University
Visiting Practitioners to The Arden ALARM course have included:

• Sally Carman (Shameless, Prisoners Wives)
• Mark Womack (Hillsborough, The Good Cop, Route Irish)
• Shaun Dooley(Cuffs, Broadchurch ,South Riding)
• Jake Abraham (Game Of Thrones)
• Martin Gibbons Casting (nominated for casting director of the year 2016
• Monkeywood Theatre
• Reuben Johnson (Prisoners Wives)
• Andrew Ellis (This Is England)
• Nico Miralleggro (My Mad Fat Dairy,The Village, Spike Island).

Staff Industry Work:

Marie Mair - Coronation Street, In the Flesh (BAFTA winner), The Secret Agent. Paul Broughton- Doctors, Brookside

Rachel Austin - Black Roses (Television and Royal Exchange)

Risa Duff- Radio 4 leads –Three for the Road, Four on a Tour
National Tour Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

• 96 UCAS tariff points

• English at grade C/level 4 or above
Applicants are required to attend an audition to showcase your skills in acting and acting to camera. You will attend a morning of acting and acting to camera workshops. You may be asked to stay to be re-directed on your scenes and be interviewed.

Due to the scale of applicants and the time it takes to audition, there is a £35 charge to audition for this course.

Documents to prepare – texts/speeches for audition
Availability for Skype interviews – for overseas/applicants who have to travel

Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) who are able to demonstrate relevant skills or knowledge gained in employment or vocational activity will be considered and may be invited to interview.

Year 1: Context and Guidance (20 credits)
In order to further develop and strengthen subject knowledge, this module aims to encourage students to identify and examine their own practice in the wider context of the history of Acting in a variety of contexts and mediums

Year 1: Introduction to Camera (20 credits)
In order to further develop and strengthen subject knowledge, this module aims to introduce students to the medium of television and the current working practise of the television industry.

Year 1: Preparation for Screen Acting (20 credits)
In order to further develop and strengthen subject knowledge, this module aims to introduce students to the fundamental methodologies and principles involved when preparing for contemporary television drama. It also transfers and embeds creative skills from other modules within the creative medium of television and the current working practice of the television industry

Year 1: Skills for the Actor (20 credits)
In order to further develop and strengthen subject knowledge, this module aims to equip students with the necessary vocal and physical understanding, discipline and technique to develop the skills required by the actor.

Year 1: Tools Of The Trade 1: The Naturalistic Actor (20 credits)
In order to further develop and strengthen subject knowledge, this module aims to identify the common principles of acting as established by practitioners such as Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Mike Leigh and Sanford Meisner introducing technique and skills in the development of an acting process

Year 1: Tools of The Trade 2: The Actor and the Text (20 credits)
This module aims to develop the fundamental approaches and principles involved when building a complex character through dramatic action and will enable the student to employ textual analysis, research and observation in the development of roles in selected texts.

Year 2: Acting for Radio (20 credits)

Year 2: Critical Context (20 credits)

Year 2: Modern and Contemporary Drama (20 credits)

Year 2: Screen Acting (20 credits)

Year 2: Skills for the Actor 2 (20 credits)

Year 2: The Classic Text and Acting (20 credits)
Stanislavski K. (1980) An Actor Prepares

Hagen, U. (1991) Respect For Acting: A Challenge for The Actor

Parkinson, D (2012) History of Film (World of Art)

Brown, J (2001) The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre

Fiske, J (1987) Television Culture (Studies in Communication Series)
The course is practical with the typical module broken down into 80% Practical and 20% written.

This may include:

• Written evaluations
• Professional discussions
• Annotated scripts
• Character studies.

Alongside the practical work you will study context and guidance which prepares you academically for a final research project at level 6.

Many students use the course to follow a career in performance on stage screen and radio. Other students have become:
• Teachers
• Writers
• Casting agents
• Theatre managers
• Agents
• Directors
• Many have set up their own independent theatre companies and children’s theatre schools.

Recent graduates include Adam Long (Happy Valley, Spike Island, Don't Take My Baby) and graduate Saoirsa Jackson whose first job was The Five for Red Productions/Sky 1.
There are two main costs you will have whilst studying and if you are a home student studying on a full-time course, you can apply for student finance to cover both of these:

 Your tuition fees for each year of your course.
 Help with your living costs e.g. rent, food, clothing, course materials, entertainment.

You can find more details, including the actual tuition fee charged on our Fees, Funding and Finance Page.

Learn more
All of the books required for the course are available from the library. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Clothing approx. £60

Travel/Accommodation contribution for 3rd Year London Showcase: Approx £65

All students are subject to UCEN Manchester’s Terms and Conditions from the date they accept an offer to study here, full details of which can be found here. The UCEN Manchester Admissions Policy and Procedure can be found here.

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