Are you looking for the ideal creative environment to develop your full potential as a musical theatre professional?

Did you know there is an attractive alternative to London’s crowded scene?

You can enjoy the advantages of achieving your BA honours degree in musical theatre outside the competitive pressure and expensive environment of the nation’s capital.

The Arden School of Theatre offers tuition from an international faculty of industry professionals. Develop your potential for excellence as a triple threat over our three year musical theatre degree, targeting the needs of the industry and master the three main skills: acting, singing and dancing.

As a part of Manchester College, The Arden enjoys the benefits and reputation of an established HE institution of learning and student support structure.

Manchester enjoys an impressive international theatre scene with an ever-increasing amount of northern-based theatre and TV agents with Media City on the doorstep. There are also many museums and libraries, an impressive Manchester shopping experience and a diverse, multicultural nightlife. Your new life adventure begins at The Arden!

Nicholls Campus
Full Time
3 years
September 2021
Awarding Partner:
Sheffield Hallam University
Tim Flavin: Acting Tutor/Director - Olivier Award Winner, star of many musicals in the West End, UK and worldwide

Robert Purvis: MD - Musical Director for many West End shows and international conductor

Marie Mair: Acting Tutor – many TV credits include Sue Walker in the BAFTA award winning In The Flesh (BBC3), Ruth Price in JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, South Riding, The Street, Ripper Street, Wallander and Coronation Street. Film credits include The Last Hangman.

James Mair: Acting Tutor – many TV credits including Spike Island, Coronation Street, Last Tango in Halifax.

Leonie Alcock: Dance Tutor – Leonie is a well-respected dance teacher who also regularly teaches at Northern Ballet, Centre Pointe and other dance schools across the North West.

Gavin Bailey: Singing Tutor/MD – has sung regularly for many UK opera companies including Opera North, Welsh National Opera, English Touring Opera. Recent roles include Husband/Doctor in the world premiere of Room of Worlds and Pontius Pilate for Streetwise Opera (BBC4).

Robert Owen: Ensemble Tutor / Musical Director – Rob has worked as a vocal coach and musical director in many shows, included work for Celebrity Cruises, A Chorus Line and Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure. Most recently he worked as children’s vocal coach on Gary Barlow’s: The Girls and MD for Louise Dearman in her one woman show in Manchester.

Andrew Stephenson: Andrew is a singing teacher, primarily specialising in Estill Voice International. Andrew has extensive experience in working with singers from undergraduate to the West End.

• 96 UCAS tariff points
Applicants are required to attend an audition to showcase skills in singing, dance and acting. You will attend a morning of dance and singing auditions, followed by a short interview. You may be asked to stay for acting workshops in the afternoon.

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

Format of interview/audition – formal/informal, approx. length of time, group/individual, call back

Documents to prepare – texts/songs 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: Acting Methodologies (20 credits)
This module is intended to introduce techniques and skills for the development of an acting process. Students will largely work through the methodology of Stanislavsky but they will also be introduced to other practitioners such as Laban and Meisner.
Voice and Movement will be explored in order to foster a holistic approach that promotes attention to the psychological and physical demands of acting.

Year 1: Acting Through Song (20 credits)
The modules aims to further develop and strengthen subject knowledge and provide a process for revealing the dramatic shape of a song. Intensify the characters needs and establishing character relationships and develop and use objectives as part of the through line of the narrative.

Year 1: Dance Techniques into Performance (20 credits)
The module aims to introduce and develop a range of dance techniques and skills that students will need in order to work in musical theatre. Develop their fundamental skills including; posture, alignment, core stability, musicality and movement memory.

Year 1: Ensemble and Solo Singing Techniques (20 credits)
The module aims to introduce students to the key components that underpin vocal technique. Develop an appreciation of vocal and instrumental composition individually and as part of an ensemble
Introduce the principals of general musicianship through music theory and sight singing.

Year 1: Musical Theatre: Context & Guidance (20 credits)
The module aims to further develop and strengthen subject knowledge and encourage students to identify and examine their own practice in the wider context of the history of musical theatre.

Year 1: The Epic and Heightened Form (20 credits)
This module aims to provide a process for revealing the dramatic shape of a song, intensifying the characters needs and establishing character relationships and objectives as part of the through line of the narrative.
Deer, J & Dal, V. R (2008) Acting in Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course

Stanislavski, K (1980) An Actor Prepares

Kayes, G (1996) Singing and the Actor

The course is practical with the typical module broken down into 80% practical and 20% written. This may include:

• Written evaluations
• Professional discussions
• WordPress Blogs

Alongside the practical work, you will study context and guidance which prepares you academically for a final research project at Level 6.
Many graduates are working in musical theatre and related industries with the final year Showcase receiving a high percentage of agent uptake. Recent alumni credits include:

• West End - Kinky Boots, Oliver!, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cats, Dogfight, Cool Rider, Honk

• UK Tour: Dreamboats and Petticoats, Rent in Concert, The Octonaughts, Footloose, All Or Nothing

• TV – Casualty (BBC) regular cast member, Strictly Come Dancing

• Film – Les Miserables, Nativity 3

• Disney Tokyo, Walt Disney World

• Royal Caribbean International, P&O, Silversea, NCL cruises
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.

Dancewear (depending on existing kit) approx. £120

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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