Acting, BA

Duration: 3 years full-time, October start

UCAS code: Institution C35, Course W410, option AP

Award: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Acting

All About My Mother, 2017 - a production performed by BA Acting 3rd year students

About the course

The BA (Hons) Acting at Central:

  • A comprehensive classical and contemporary actor training
  • Prepares actors who aim to become world-leading artists in theatre, film and television
  • Focuses on new thinking in response to the rapidly evolving world of the arts and culture
  • 3 years full-time, and students are entitled to full Equity status upon graduation.

The course has four key principles:

Self-discovery – we encourage you to investigate and interrogate your world, challenging your own habits and preconceptions and opening yourself to the journey of the training, while learning to accept uncertainty and failure as part of the process of change and growth, and making curiosity, originality and artistic courage the cornerstones of your professional and artistic life.

Artistry – we offer you the skills you need to build your craft as an actor, so that your imagination and creativity can find expression in truthful characterisation and in the telling of complex and profound stories that offer insights into our world and the human condition.

Empowerment – within the safety of the creative space and the integrity of the acting ensemble, we promote the honest exchange of thoughts and ideas, the sharing of creative inspiration and the generosity of spirit which should always characterise a true actor.

Tradition and innovation – intrinsic to this course is a commitment to studying longstanding theories and practices while welcoming innovation and new vision.

Course Detail

YEAR 1

Discovery – freeing and discovering. In your first year, an environment of active learning is carefully nurtured:

  • Particular emphasis is placed on the individual actor’s aptitude for self expression within a collaborative class, rehearsal and production setting
  • Learn to open up the body, voice and imagination
  • Embrace methodologies that promote professional discipline and self-discovery alongside the development of techniques that lead to a psychologically rooted, physically-embodied character.

YEAR 2

Mastery – expanding form and meaning. This year builds on core training:

  • Discover how to take what you have learned into new and intensified theatrical contexts
  • Expand your own physical, vocal and emotional range to meet the demands of classical and contemporary performance styles
  • Encounter a wide range of complex texts, exploring a heightened use of physicality, voice and speech (including accents and dialects) and the dramatic imagination
  • Learn to transfer skills to both television and radio
  • Towards the end of the year you will start to think about how to apply your training within industry settings.

YEAR 3

Independence – applying the craft of acting. This year focuses exclusively on the ‘industry-ready’ actor:

  • Perform in a number of productions that aim to consolidate your skills in acting, voice and movement
  • Embrace a broad range of industry-specific skills as part of a rigorous transition from personal development to career-orientation, including the presentation of an industry-targeted showcase
  • Develop an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the industry, meeting and speaking with industry professionals, such as agents, casting directors and working actors
  • Learn how to find work by acquiring skills in auditioning, television castings, selftaping and the production of showreels and voice reels.

Download BA (Hons) Acting Course Specification, 2017-2018 (984.62 KB)

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

2 A Levels at C, 3 GCSEs at C, and selection by audition.

Normal offers may be higher and depend upon expected grades and audition performance. Exceptional applicants who do not meet this requirement, but demonstrate appropriate potential, may be accepted.

Admissions

This is an intensive professional training course and must be followed in its entirety. 

Candidates must be eligible to satisfy the general admissions requirements. Admission will be based on the reasonable expectation that you have the potential to complete and contribute positively to the programme and that you would benefit from honours study. There is no alternative to selection by audition.

Selection for audition will normally depend on you meeting, or being predicted to meet, minimum entry requirements, and on written references and demonstration of the following in the UCAS written statement:

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

In the absence of formal qualifications, an indication of academic potential will be sought in your UCAS statement.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Auditions

Find out more about the audition process for our Acting, BA courses.

View the audition speech list, or request a copy by calling +44 (0)20 7722 8183.

International Auditions

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

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.

Industry Links & Visiting Staff

The Acting course has strong and growing links with the industry.

Central employs professional directors from the second year, and invites a range of industry professionals to deliver talks and workshops on subjects from audition technique to rehearsing Shakespeare.

Recent guests include acclaimed directors Michael Grandage, Lindsay Posner and Max Stafford-Clark, and well-known actors such as James Purefoy and Kit Harington.

Students gain professional work while still on the course and there are regular visits by major theatre companies, such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Almeida Theatre and Out of Joint, who give talks and hold workshops.

Recent Visiting Staff

Directors

  • Auriol Smith (Orange Tree, Royal Exchange)
  • Richard Beecham (Crucible Sheffield, Chichester Festival Theatre)
  • Angie Langfield (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry)
  • Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Propeller)
  • Bill Buckhurst (Shakespeare’s Globe)
  • Sarah Berger (Casualty)
  • Rolf Saxon (Woman In Gold)
  • Simon Dormandy (Liverpool Playhouse, Complicite)
  • Jonathan O’Boyle (Chichester Festival Theatre)
  • Irina Brown (National Theatre).

Visiting Professionals

  • Ian Brener (Theatre Royal Haymarket, Sadler’s Wells)
  • Paul Harris (Harry Potter)
  • Nick di Cola (Billy Elliot)
  • Peta Lily (Théâtre du Mouvement)
  • Mark Street (Forbidden Theatre Company)
  • Chris Pavlo (BBC Radio)
  • Philip Foster (Thriller Live)
  • Francesca Greene (Francesca Greene Casting).

What our students said

Joe Alwyn
Joe Alwyn graduated from BA (Hons) Acting at Central in 2015

Graduated 2015, first professional job was the title role in Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, subsequently filmed The Sense Of An Ending with Charlotte Rampling.

Central provided me with an environment that gave me the confidence and permission to go for something I’d always really wanted. It was hard work but I loved the level and the intensity of the training ... It’s a place where you can play around and make mistakes and grow, alongside a small class of people you’ll see almost every day for three years. It felt unique and exciting and unlike anything I’d experienced. The training is brilliant. You just have to jump in and give it your all: be bold in your own way, be hungry to soak everything up and find out what works for you.

Lindsey Campbell
Lindsey Campbell

Graduated 2013, first professional London stage debut in The Harvest at the Soho Theatre.

My time at Central gave me the essential training and knowledge I needed to develop as an actor at the start of my career. The course offers a wide variety of teaching that nurtures and liberates your creativity. I have also gained a huge support network that I know will always be there, inside and outside of Central.

Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield graduated from BA Acting at Central in 2004

Graduated 2004, recent film credits include The Amazing Spider- Man 2, 99 Homes, Martin Scorsese’s Silence with Liam Neeson, and Oscar nominated for Best Actor in Hacksaw Ridge directed by Mel Gibson.

It can be a playground. The core teachers inspire and can reveal parts of yourself that you might not know existed – if you allow them that trust and openness, you can experience true creativity. It can be testing and a struggle, but that’s where most of the learning happens. I feel that my training at Central ultimately showed me how generous you can be in this profession. You definitely get out of it what you put in. You are your own master. The teachers’ expertise is sacred. If you’re lucky enough to be in a creative environment with them, give all of yourself to it, but never lose who you are. It all ultimately comes from within you. And just play.

Notable Alumni

Andrew Garfield (2004) BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee. Credits include The Amazing Spider-Man and The Social Network.

Cush Jumbo (2006) Evening Standard Award winner and Olivier nominee. Credits include Josephine and I and Julius Caesar.

Jack Donnelly (2007) starred in Atlantis, BBC fantasy drama.

Tracy Ifeachor (2007) appeared with John Malkovich in Crossbones.

Kit Harington (2008) Actor of the Year at the Young Hollywood Awards 2013. Credits include Game Of Thrones, Pompeii, Spooks, and The Greater Good.

Paula Lane (2008) plays Kylie Platt on Coronation Street (ITV).

Morgane Polanski (2014) plays Princess Gisla in Vikings, series 3 for the History Channel.

Recent Graduate Employment

Recent BA (Hons) Acting graduate successes include:

Theatre

  • title role in Dr Faustus, Duke of York’s Theatre;
  • Baba in Hero’s Welcome, written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph Theatre;
  • Lucy in A Room With A View, Adrian Noble/Bath Theatre Royal;
  • Straker in Man And Superman, National Theatre;
  • Tara in Overshadowed, The New Theatre, Dublin;
  • Rico in The Shawshank Redemption, Bill Kenwright national tour;
  • Alice in Right Now, Michael Boyd/Bush Theatre national tour;
  • Charlotte Serber in Oppenheimer, Royal Shakespeare Company;
  • Ray Davies (lead) in Sunny Afternoon, Harold Pinter Theatre;
  • Rodolpho in A View From The Bridge, Young Vic;
  • Constable MacDonald in The Ladykillers, Watermill Theatre, Newbury;
  • title role in Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Globe;
  • Taj in Pine, Hampstead Theatre;
  • Sam Desai in The Suicide, National Theatre;
  • Pamela in Five Finger Exercise, Print Room;
  • Student in Losing Our Children To Islamic State, National Theatre;
  • Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing, Dundee Rep;
  • Amy in Dry Land, Jermyn Street Theatre;
  • Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Oxford Shakespeare Company;
  • Jack in The Importance Of Being Earnest, Pitlochry Festival Theatre;
  • Circe in The Odyssey; Missing Presumed Dead, Liverpool Everyman;
  • Trim in Solace Of The Road, Derby Theatre;
  • Shane in Brassed Off, Oldham Coliseum.

Television

  • Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones, HBO;
  • Adam in Apple Tree Yard, Dwight Enys in Poldark, Hedges in The Secret Agent, Mary in Dickensian, Young Anita Harris in Cradle to Grave, Sarah Francis in Father Brown, Andrew’s Assistant in Episodes, Theresa in Birds Of A Feather, BBC;
  • Easter in Jericho, Odile in Maigret Sets A Trap, Kylie Platt (regular) in Coronation Street, Dr Lennon in Emmerdale, Dash in Vera, ITV;
  • Ru’A in Tyrant, Kevan Carson in Ebola, Fox;
  • Ken in The Five, Keckers (regular) in Stella, Sky 1;
  • Lizzie in 4 O’Clock Club, CBBC;
  • Helen in Pobol y Cwm, BBC Wales;
  • Princess Gisla in Vikings, Sergeant Harold Reed in Murder Maps, History Channel;
  • Corporal Stewart in Rebellion, RTÉ;
  • Liv Nygaard in Fortitude, Sky Atlantic;
  • PC Taz Ahmed in No Offence, Channel 4;
  • Cromwell in Drunk History, Comedy Central;
  • Lieutenant Jeremy Foster in Outlander, Starz;
  • Aiden Stockton in Spark, ABC;
  • Iolo in Dim Ond y Gwir, S4C;
  • Patrick Mackay in Killer Psychopaths, Channel 5;
  • Joan in Joan Of Arc, BYUtv.

Film

  • Billy Lynn in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, TriStar Pictures (directed by Ang Lee);
  • Sophie Dunant in Unhallowed Ground (Ind Brit Horror directed by Russell England);
  • Mark Hudson (lead) in Entirely Accidental (US Feature directed by Maxime Arthur Gibert);
  • Deedee in What Happened Last Night (US Feature directed by Candice T. Cain);
  • Samuel in Brimstone (US feature directed by Martin Koolhoven);
  • Audrey Donahue in Trust Fund (US feature directed by Sandra L. Martin);
  • Faz in Lies We Tell (US feature directed by Mitu Misra);
  • James in FirstBorn (UK feature directed by Nirpal Bhogal);
  • Tomas in Modern Love (UK feature directed by Simon Aitken);
  • Jeannie Callaghan in The Holly Kane Experiment (UK feature directed by Tom Sands);
  • Python Suit in Brash Young Turks (UK feature directed by Naeem Mahmood);
  • Percy in D is for Detroit (UK feature directed by Israr Azam);
  • Nina in The Scampi Trail (UK feature directed by Craig Gallivan and Will Norris);
  • Karen Cramer in Live to Tell (US feature directed by Candice T. Cain);
  • Tim in Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool (UK feature directed by Paul McGuigan).

Radio

  • Young Ishmael in Moby Dick
  • Lovel in The Antiquary (Walter Scott series)
  • Hudson in The Reserve Rope, Brill Productions, BBC Radio 4.

Staff on the Course

View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.

Geoffrey Colman, BA, MA, FRSA

Head of Acting, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Acting

Vanessa Ewan, LCMD, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Movement, Co-Course Leader MA/MFA Movement: Directing and Teaching

Debbie Green, MA, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Movement

Peter McAllister, BA, PGDip, MA

Senior Lecturer, Acting

Nick Moseley, BA, PGCE, MA, SFHEA

Principal Lecturer, Course Leader Acting (BA)

Claudette Williams, PGDip

Senior Lecturer, Voice

About Central's Acting, BA courses

by Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting
Geoff Colman, Central's Head of Acting

Drawing upon multiple performance theories, rather than subscribing to a particular doctrine or method, Central actors have always adopted a pragmatic approach to their training.

The three specialist undergraduate acting courses: Acting, Acting Collaborative and Devised Theatre (CDT) and Acting Musical Theatre (MT), reflect this eclecticism and celebrate the many and varied techniques available to the actor wanting to work in theatre, television, film and radio.

These courses exist within a thriving conservatoire environment – home to a dynamic range of related performance disciplines at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Training is contextualised alongside relevant professional advice and is structured in such a way as to gradually equip you with a thorough understanding of the industry.

Performances by Acting alumni have long been recognised by major awards such as the BAFTAs, Oscars, Golden Globes, Olivier Awards, Tony Awards, London Evening Standard Theatre Awards and The Sunday Times/ National Theatre Ian Charleson Awards. Most recently alumni have been awarded a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, MTV Movie Award for Best Hero, British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor, Empire Award for Best Actor, Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Performance, San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Performance, Ariel Award for Best Actor and London Evening Standard Theatre Awards Emerging Talent.

If you would like to attend an audition (held in London or internationally) check the audition requirement section for further details on how to apply. Good luck!

Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting

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