Acting Diploma

Develop your skills as an actor with specific classes on improvisation, text analysis, voice, movement, devising and character development.

Acting diploma at Central School of Speech & Drama

    Course fee



    Course attendance type



    Register for an audition

    Register for an audition for the Acting Diploma using the form below, and we'll contact you with further information.

The Acting Diploma is a one year, part-time, evening and weekend course (January to August) that develops acting, voice and movement skills.

Although this course is not accredited, it is designed to act as a springboard for those wishing to undertake actor or performance training. The course develops your skills as an actor with specific classes on improvisation, text analysis, voice, movement, devising and character development. All teaching staff are theatre professionals and work within the drama school sector as well as the industry. In the final summer term you will rehearse and perform in one of Central’s fully equipped theatres. Please note that this is not an agents’ showcase.

On completion of the course you should expect to:

  • attain a practical skill set of the tools necessary to embark on an actor training
  • create and broaden your performance vocabulary and begin to constructively critique your own performance skills as well as other company members
  • develop a professional work ethic which enables you to work to the highest standard possible in a rehearsal/workshop environment
  • approach performance holistically, incorporating voice, movement and text.

In line with the ethos of our full-time courses, full attendance is expected of all modules as well as the Intensive Weeks.



We will begin auditioning for Jan 2019 entry in April 2018. Please fill out the contact form on the left-hand side of this page and we will then be in touch when we have confirmed audition dates. 

For your audition, you will need to prepare a contemporary piece from the last 50 years of no longer than two minutes duration.



Requirements for admission

  • Applicants must have IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent in the English language.
  • Minimum age for admission is 18.
  • You must audition for this course.

Who is this course suitable for?

This is a practical, part-time acting course suitable for people who:

  • wish to pursue your acting skills and knowledge without having to give up your day job
  • work in an allied area (e.g. arts management/administration, education and outreach) and wish to gain a more practical experience
  • would like to gain confidence and enhance communication skills
  • are considering studying  acting at BA or MA level and would like experience within a drama school
  • enjoy acting and would like a practical experience in a professional environment.

What we’re looking for in applicants

We’re looking for people who:

  • demonstrate commitment to the subject
  • can work well within a team
  • are passionate about acting and theatre
  • are willing to work independently
  • show an understanding/respect for rehearsal room etiquette e.g. time keeping, discipline, etc
  • want to progress and learn about musical theatre in a practical way.


Other requirements for admission

  • Applicants must have IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent in the English language.
  • Minimum age for admission is 18.
  • You must audition for this course.

Dates and Duration

The following dates (for the 2018 course) are indicative and given as a guideline only:

Term 1: Improvisation, Voice, Movement
15 January –21 March 2018
Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Intensive Saturday: 17 February, 12:00pm-5:00pm

Term 2: Devising, text, character
23 April – 4 July 2018 (No classes on Bank Holidays, 7 and 28 May)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Intensive Saturday: 26 May, 12:00pm-5:00pm

Term 3: Rehearse and perform a text

Monday 16 July 2018, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Wednesday 18 July 2018, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday 21 July 2018, 10:00am – 4:30pm
Monday 23 July 2018, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Wednesday 25 July 2018, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday 28 July 2018, 10:00am – 4:30pm

Intensive week: 06 - 11 August 2018

Intensive week: 13 - 17 August 2018

Performance day: 18 August 2018

Auditions - further info

Auditions are held throughout the year and cost £10. Please note this is a non-refundable fee.

For your audition you will need to prepare a contemporary monologue from the last 30 years of no longer than two minutes duration.

Following your audition, we will let you know the outcome within 2 weeks.

What our students do after the course

As the course grows, our graduates’ destinations become increasingly exciting. Students from our Diploma courses have won places on:

  • BA and MA Acting courses here at Central
  • Guildhall
  • Rose Bruford
  • East 15
  • Mountview
  • ALRA
  • Arts Educational
  • other leading universities.

Students have also gone on to perform at The Royal Court, The Bush Theatre, and BBC, amongst others.

Structure of course

The diploma is divided into three terms. In the first two terms you will work for two evenings and one Saturday for a total of 55 hours a term. In the third term you will work on Monday and Wednesday evenings plus Saturdays and for an intensive 2-week period.

Example classes

Term 1:

Acting Fundamentals 

You will develop the precursors to acting: relaxation; trust; exuberance; discipline; response to criticism; a playful attitude; and the ability to work as part of an ensemble. You will learn the fundamentals of acting, including: concentration; pursuing an objective with actions; listening and responding; and working from moment-to-moment, using both improvised and scripted scenes.


Through physical and vocal exercises, you will begin to release your voice from habitual tensions and develop breath connection, support and stamina. You will begin to learn how to project your voice without strain, using the principles of general and specific resonance and develop vocal range. Articulation work will enable you to approach text with greater specificity, accuracy and muscularity.


This unit will allow you to explore and develop movement/physical vocabularies and begin to understand the significant role the body plays in expression. You will become aware of your physicality through experiential anatomy, articulation of the body parts, alignment of the spine and the three body weights. you will explore connection to breath, presence in space, neutrality and it's relevance to an acting training.

Term 2

The Actor and The Text 

This module will allow you to apply your acquired skills from Acting Fundamentals to script work. You will learn a clear process, including active and textual analysis, which will allow you to explore and realise monologues, duologues and scenes effectively.


This module explores the creation of character in both textual and devised settings. The creation of character is fundamental to all forms of acting therefore you will concentrate not only on naturalistic character but also archetypes, commedia dell'arte and Brechtian characters. Using the techniques and methods of various practitioners you will develop and sustain your own character.

Devising and theatre-making

This module will give you the tools to start to develop ideas into ensemble-based performance. The acting industry is increasingly reliant on actors who can devise, write and perform in autonomous ways; you will create work using a variety of sound, light and text based stimuli.


Term 3

Performance Project: Rehearse and Perform

This unit culminates in a production wherein you will have gone through a full rehearsal process taking into account the text, character and knowledge of prominent 20th Century practitioners and their acting systems. The use of your acting, voice and movement skills will be evaluated in both the rehearsal process and final performance. You will be cast in extracts from a play and have an intensive rehearsal schedule. You will be expected to attend all rehearsal and also work in your own time. You will apply systems of rehearsal to your work, learn movement and be expected to take and adapt well to direction. You will perform the show in front of an invited audience.

Please note that this is NOT a showcase and agents will not be invited.