The BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance programme is designed for you to explore a plethora of performance skills, to identify your artistic intentions, and to push boundaries in making innovative work. The course focuses on training you as a professional theatre maker, engaging in contemporary styles of performance. This is not an actor training programme, but a course designed for a new generation of performers. It is designed to give you the tools to create your own work, as opposed to acting in someone else’s; it uses performance techniques and methods to make more experimental and convention-breaking theatre and performance.

Whilst studying on the programme you will be introduced to a number of performance disciplines ranging from devising, acting, and comedy to international performance, filmmaking, and prison theatre. You will watch numerous multi-disciplinary performances, be visited by professional companies, and benefit from the established industry-experienced team of lecturers. Throughout your studies you will engage with techniques and methods that will ultimately result in the development and creation of your very own unique performance festival, entitled ‘unTaPped’, which attracts audiences of industry professionals.

This is the course for those wanting to bring their own theatrical ideas and passions to a constantly changing industry. This is the course for the innovators and the exciters. For the rule-breakers and the experimenters. For the players and the game-changers. This is the course for the performance makers of the future.

Nicholls Campus
Full Time
3 years
September 2021
Awarding Partner:
Sheffield Hallam University
Wayne Steven Jackson
• PhD candidate at London South Bank University.
• Creator of Now|Then the critically acclaimed show in a taxi around Hull during its year as City of Culture.
• Founding member of Escape Theatre, Manchester-based contemporary performance company.

Deborah Newton
• PhD candidate at Leeds Beckett University.
• International Theatre Practitioner.
• Published in multiple performance journals and books.

Craig Bennett
• Professional physical theatre and movement specialist.
• Lead Performer for Stories of St. Helens and Stories of Wigan.
• Choreographer at Latitude Festival.

Graham Hicks
• Artistic Director for the 2017 European Taekwondo Championship’s opening ceremony.
• Creator and Director for Surge, Glasgow-based community street theatre company.
• Founder, Director, and Producer of RAWD, Liverpool-based learning disability theatre company.

Rachel Austin
• Sophie Lancaster in the RTS award winning Black Roses.
• Screen and Theatre Actor (Oldham Coliseum, Royal Exchange, Bolton Octagon, ITV, BBC).
• Regular Radio Actor on BBC Radio 4.

Aiden Brooks
• Founding member of Egg People, Liverpool based clowning and street theatre company.
• Nominee for Best Comedy at Brighton Fringe 2010.
• Director and Producer of Random Acts of Wildness.

• Appropriate FdA /HND (for level 5 and 6 entry)

• 80 UCAS points
Applicants will need to attend an audition which will consist of a group workshop, presentation of a prepared speech, and an interview.

Skype interviews may be arranged in special circumstances, at the Course Leader’s discretion.

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 (20 credits)
Developing a contemporary actor’s toolkit, through the methodology of Stanislavski.

Year 1: Autobiographical Performance (20 credits)
Investigating personal narratives and memories in the performance of self.

Year 1: Contextualising Contemporary Performance (20 credits)
Studying theatrical movements and introducing theory in relation to current contemporary practices.

Year 1: Devised Performance (20 credits)
Creating a large ensemble performance to feature in the annual mini-festival ‘unTaPped’.

Year 1: Performance Skills (20 credits)
Introducing a range of interdisciplinary techniques and strategies including movement, body conditioning, stand-up comedy, physical comedy, voice, and singing.

Year 1: Presentational Performance (20 credits)
Understanding the role of the audience, the performer, and their relationship, by challenging the conventions of theatre.
Brook, P (1996) The Empty Space
Carlson, M (1996) Performance: A Critical Introduction
Etchells, T (1999) Certain Fragments
Oddey, A. (1994) Devising Theatre
The majority of your work will be assessed via practical means, through performances, presentations, and skill shows.
Theoretical and critical engagement will be assessed in a variety of ways that include:

• Essays
• Professional discussions
• Application forms
• Research portfolios.
Once graduated you will have the skillset and ability to form or join a professional theatre company, or create work as a solo artist.

Alternatively, the course can lead to employment in the industry, particularly in theatre administration, organisation, and programming. This course is also ideal for you if you are interested in teaching drama or theatre as it introduces you to a wide range of performance styles and techniques.

Graduates of Theatre and Performance are equipped with a set of unique skills, which make them extremely attractive to many industries and professional platforms.
Here are a few statements from past students

‘The course gave me the confidence to explore old interests differently and new interests without fear’ (Claire Andrew – Graduate 2011)

‘I can’t express in words how much The Arden has done for me, not only in my academic capabilities, but my personal confidence and artistic limits’ (Jessica Owen – Graduate 2013).

‘Do this course and make your own work. You are in charge of what happens on stage. I only discovered how creative I could be whilst at The Arden’ (Sharon Klizscz – Graduate 2014).

‘This three-year learning curve has been the most enriching and illuminating experience; I feel equipped to establish a name for my own theatrical voice’ (Lauren Greer – Graduate 2017).
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.

Students are expected to contribute approximately £100 each year for theatre visits, £50 in the second year for a film festival trip, and £150 in the third year for International Performance.

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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