The Arden School of Theatre

Theatre and Performance

BA (Hons)
Leaflet Code: CR26759FT


Our Theatre and Performance degree, in partnership with Manchester’s renowned Contact theatre, trains the next generation of creative performers to make postmodern and metamodern theatre. Rooted in contemporary theatre, in the experimental and the avant-garde, the programme is challenging, dynamic, and highly practical, for those students who are not only exceptional performers but also artistic, imaginative, and resourceful makers. Importantly, this is not an actor training programme, rather a course designed to nurture and develop the tools to create and perform original work, as opposed to acting in somebody else’s. Each of our public performances, of which there are twelve across the year, are notoriously evocative, convention-breaking, and extraordinary.

Whilst studying on this BA (Hons) programme, you will train in four key areas: performance making, physical skills, vocal skills, and critical thinking. You will be introduced to a wide range of core performance disciplines from devising, mask, and clowning, have the option of selecting projects that include filmmaking, site-specific performance, and prison theatre, as well as perform both nationally and internationally. You will take advantage of the rich Mancunian theatre scene, engage in additional workshops led by professional companies, and benefit from the established industry-experienced team of lecturers. Throughout your studies you will develop and hone your skills and methodologies, which will ultimately result in the development and production of your very own unique performance festival, unTaPped, hosted at Contact for a public audience that includes industry professionals.

  • City Campus Manchester
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • September 2024

Awarding Partner:

Sheffield Hallam University

Dr. Wayne Steven Jackson
• Contemporary theatre maker, solo artist, writer, collaborator, and workshop facilitator
• Founding member of the Manchester-based contemporary performance company, Escape Theatre
• Work includes ‘Now|Then’, a show in a taxi, and the critically acclaimed ‘From Me To Us’, that documents his journey to parenthood as a single gay man.

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

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.

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.

Olivia Owens
• Internationally acclaimed voice coach
• Qualified Vocal health first aider and currently training to vocal health practitioner
• Designating in Linklater practice

Simon Jones
• Award winning theatre maker, movement director, and actor
• Associate artist and creative collaborator with the physical theatre company, Tangled Feet
• Currently working on a large scale outdoor show, The Local: A Skatepark Project, supported by Lawrence Batley Theatre

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

• 96 UCAS tariff points

• If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or equivalent.

• We strongly recommend that all applicants have GCSE English Language and Mathematics grades A*-C or level 9-4.

• Full level 3 qualification

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.

UCEN Manchester is unable to consider international applications due to UKVI regulations.

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.

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.

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. The UCEN Manchester Admissions Policy and Procedure can be found here.