Top-Up, Performance and Theatre, BA (Hons)

Duration: 1 year, predominantly distance learning, October start Award: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Performance and Theatre

Theatre & Performance BA at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

About the course

The BA (Hons) Performance and Theatre Top-Up programme is a one year, predominantly distance learning, programme for those who have previously studied in higher education to the equivalent of diploma level. The course is for mature students who wish to gain an honours degree having initially passed a diploma from Central or who have obtained either a diploma of higher education in a relevant subject area or a relevant diploma from a Drama UK accredited organisation, pursuant to the approval of Admissions.

Through blended learning, primarily online through the school’s Virtual Learning Environment, as well as two intensive weekend sessions, one each in the autumn and spring, students will be provided with a variety of teaching and learning contact across two distinct units. Central’s state-of-the-art Virtual Learning Environment provides registered students with worldwide online access to a variety of course materials and additional resources, as well as providing multiple modes of communication among staff and students. This programme will enable students to actively engage with relevant concepts, exploring the rich heritage of theatre from critical, experimental and practical perspectives. Over the course of the year, students will be supported to produce a reflexive professional Career Portfolio, placing the career of the student in its context within the industry and a 6,000 word contextual thematic enquiry on a topic of the student’s own choice.

Students may elect to specialise in a given area of the theatre arts industry, based on initial qualifications and subsequent career. The Career Portfolio will therefore demonstrate engagement in this specialism over the student’s career together with an understanding of that career. The specialism will feature as part of the final award e.g. BA (Hons) Performance and Theatre (Acting) or BA (Hons) Performance and Theatre (Lighting Design).

Specialisms available include: Acting, Stage Management, Costume Construction, Lighting, Sound Design, Scenic Construction, and Prop Making. Other specialisms may become available subject to approval. Students will have contact with Central staff both in person and through electronic services (for example, email, Skype or telephone) throughout the course of the degree. The programme will aid networking through an on-line forum where students can discuss the industry and careers with fellow students.

Course Detail

The BA (Hons) Performance and Theatre Top-Up course is a 1-year ‘top-up’ degree primarily offered through distance learning. There are two required intensive weekends scheduled on the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama campus in London. The course year comprises a total of 30 weeks made up of two separate units which run concurrently. 

The course year is normally arranged as 3 x 10 week terms.  

Students will be allocated 240 credits of accredited prior experiential learning (APEL) on the basis of previous qualifications undertaken. The blended learning programme will then provide the further 120 credits at level 6 to enable the award of a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours.

Unit 1: Career Portfolio

The aims of this unit are for students to engage with the development of their chosen field of study in the broader outlines of performance and theatre today. Through a series of varied lectures, online discussion fora and two intensive weekend days, students will be asked to critically reflect on the progression of their career to date and examine options for future career development. Students will gain the opportunity both online and in person to engage with a range of academics as well as other cultural industries professionals returning to higher education for this year.

Unit 1 is assessed through a student-produced portfolio of her/his career, which will include a 4,000-word critical reflection. This should creatively and retrospectively record and reflect on practical work The portfolio will demonstrate the development and progression of the individual’s professional career in the appropriate context(s).

Unit 2. Contextual Studies: Thematic Enquiry

This unit invites students to demonstrate critical thinking skills and understanding of relevant cultural and theoretical discourses through a sustained piece of academic writing. The final 6,000 word essay will be expected to refer to examples of practice in the field. This unit allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and experience of the industry on a thematic basis through the creation of an argued and academic piece of writing. Based on industry experience, library resources including on-line journals and databases, resources on Learnzone and external sources, the final assessment will be a thesis-driven essay on a thematic question relevant to the industry.

Download BA Performance and Theatre Course Specification 2017-2018.pdf (106.54 KB)

Professional Focus

The learning process for this course is a ‘work-based learning’ model, drawing on your own professional experience. Much of your time will be spent reflecting on your own career progression, but seeing it in new and different ways because of the reading you will do and the content provided. As well, you will use your own career trajectory to conxtualise academic questions about the theatre industry today.

The course is for students, with at least seven years professional experience beyond their initial diploma who wish to gain an honours degree having initially passed a diploma from Central. The focus of the course is on The course is also open to students more than seven years post-diploma who have obtained either a diploma of higher education in a relevant subject area or a relevant diploma from a Drama UK accredited organisation, pursuant to the approval of Admissions.

This programme provides graduates at diploma (or equivalent) level, and experienced professionals with equivalent qualifications the opportunity to gain an academic qualification from Central. This programme will suit students who already hold a level 5 or above performing arts diploma and wish to refocus their career by acquiring a formal qualification (for example, for teaching), or who wish to pursue further study at Masters level and require a BA (Hons) qualification to do so, or are seeking to further own personal interest and development through academic study.

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

Candidates must be eligible to satisfy the admissions’ requirements. Minimum entry requirements are:

  • Prospective candidates are required to have successfully completed a two or three-year diploma course at Central, or
  • Prospective candidates who have successfully completed a two- or three-year diploma course at an accredited drama school or an institution of higher education in a related subject may be admitted pursuant to approval of the credential by Admissions
  • 7 years of relevant post-HE experience

Interviews

Selection for interview will normally depend on your meeting the minimum entry requirements, and on written references and demonstration of the following in the written statement:

  • engagement with theatre industry at national/local level
  • evidence of a real commitment to theatre
  • knowledge of a range of theatrical forms and genres
  • experience gained in post-education contexts such as the workplace, travel and voluntary settings.

Invitation to interview and admission will be based on the reasonable expectation from your application that you have the potential to complete and contribute positively to the degree.

We actively seek a cohort that is diverse in ethnicity, dis/ability, and age range.

Suitable candidates are invited for an interview. The interview process will be at Central, online, or in person at overseas locations as part of the interview and audition processes for other Central programmes.

International Interviews

Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.

International Students

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Key staff

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Fees and Funding

How to Apply

Prospectus

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International Students

Information for students from outside the UK.

Overview

The BA (Hons) Performance and Theatre Top-Up programme is a one year, predominantly distance learning, programme for those who have previously studied in higher education to the equivalent of diploma level. Students may elect to specialise in a given area of the theatre arts industry, based on initial qualifications and subsequent career, with these including: Acting, Stage Management, Costume Construction, Lighting, Sound Design, Scenic Construction, and Prop Making.