BA (Hons) Acting Programme

Audition Code of Practice

Acting Department

Italia Conti BA (hons) Acting programme operates under a strict code of practice to ensure its audition procedure is fair, rigourous and transparent.

This does not mean that everyone will get in- or get an audition. It means that if you don’t, there will be clear reasons why you didn’t and you are able to ask us why.

1:  Italia Conti undertakes to consider all applications

All candidates for Acting courses will be offered an audition, provided they meet the following criteria:

–     BA (Hons) Acting candidates must complete a UCAS application, indicating the specific course and following all procedures that go with that

–     All candidates must complete the additional Italia Conti Registration form including a written statement, a photograph, and payment of the required audition fee.

–     The candidate must meet the age requirements of their course at the start of their first year of study.

–     Applications must be received by the deadline;  usually the end of March for a complete application (UCAS and the Italia Conti Registration form)

  • Candidates are invited to disclose any access or learning requirements on their application form, so that any reasonable adjustments within the audition or interview process can be made.
  • In order to ensure that Italia Conti can offer as much support as possible, candidates are invited to disclose any long term, ongoing or significant past health issues on their application form so that these can be discussed.
  • Italia Conti does not discriminate on grounds of age, background, race, colour, disability, family circumstances, gender, nationality, political beliefs or party membership, religion, sexual orientation, trade union membership or on any other grounds deemed to be irrelevant to participation in the course.
  • Italia Conti is committed to providing access to our courses to as wide a range of social groups as possible.
  • Italia Conti offers Foundation Courses for young people interested in preparing for a full-time training course in Acting. All BA candidates are automatically considered for this course within the standard audition process.
  • Foundation course applications are made directly to the academy, the website

2:  Italia Conti undertakes to provide candidates with the necessary information before and during the selection process

Before The Audition:

  • Italia Conti will contact all applicants upon receipt of the completed Registration form (the second form NOT just the UCAS application) and associated data with an automatically generated email reply acknowledging receipt of the application.

~     For BA (Hons) Acting candidates, the link to the above form is supplied by UEL after the UCAS application has been completed.

  • Details of audition requirements and this code of practice are accessible for reference via the Italia Conti Website at any stage of the process.
  • All candidates should be aware that, owing to the high number of applicants, it may take up to three months for a audition date to be assigned (and on occasion longer)
  • Italia Conti will not contact applicants until an audition date has been assigned. Students are welcome to contact the Academy at any point with reference to the audition process.
  • When an audition date has been assigned candidates are sent an email inviting them to attend for audition. The email will include:

–     audition date and time

–     audition requirements (what candidates will be asked to prepare)

–     details of the audition day

–     directions to the school

Audition requirements:

Acting candidates must prepare two short monologues, maximum two minutes each.   The monologues must be:

–     1 classical (from the supplied list)

–     1 other from a modern play

  • Candidates are strongly advised to explore material close to their own “casting” that allows them to demonstrate a simple and truthful connection to the character in the text.
  • They are also strongly advised to be thoroughly familiar with the text from which the monologue is drawn.
  • According to candidates success through the stages of audition, over the course of the day they will engage with warm-ups, improvisation sessions, movement, voice and singing workshops and interviews. These sessions do not require specific preparation.
  • Audition dates are generally filled up on a ‘first come first served’ basis on receipt of completed application, so candidates may receive the letter notifying them of their audition date several months in advance. However, we do our best to accommodate students’ wishes if they need to change their audition date, for example if they have exams, or are booked to audition at another school and so Italia Conti reserves the right to fill some audition slots out of sequence.
  • We will endeavour to give a month’s notice for audition dates, however if an applicant requests a change of date this may not always be possible. Candidates may request a change of date no more than three times within one audition cycle.

Matriculation Requirements:

While audition is the primary means of determining the applicant’s suitability for entry, the Academy normally requires the following additional formal qualifications for entry to the BA programme:

–     UCAS tariff of 160 points

–     GCSE passes in five subjects including Maths and English Language. We will also accept a pass in the Key Skills Qualification at level 2 in place of GCSE English and Mathematics.

–     Where English is a second language.  In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.0 (with no skill level below 5.0), or equivalent, is required.

At present there are no formal qualifications required for participation on the foundation course. Applicants should be aware that participation on the foundation course does not automatically carry a formal qualification on graduation, and this may affect international applications.

Experience and prior learning accreditation:

Italia Conti, in common with other drama schools, considers applications from those who have followed unconventional academic pathways, those who have changed careers later in life and those who have little experience in acting or even of the humanities but who show great potential.  The value added dimension of a vocational education for the latter group should not be underestimated.  The implications of these factors are that:

–     There is no alternative to audition as a means of admitting students to the course.

–     The cultural and academic diversity of entrant groups of acting students is likely to be greater than is common in many other areas of arts education and training.

–     Italia Conti may ask for sample written work from prospective candidates to support an application with this profile through the matriculation requirements of the validating university and the programme

–     When the Academy is satisfied that an applicant from an unconventional academic background without formal qualifications nevertheless fulfils the audition criteria (see below) it may accredit previous learning.

3) Italia Conti undertakes to provide a specific audition process to uncover aptitude and potential within candidates for the programme and the profession

Audition Criteria:

The aim of the audition is to provide the applicant with the opportunity to demonstrate the quality of his/her work and his/her potential to benefit from the course. Auditions are conducted by panels of teaching staff who look for reasonable evidence that the applicant:

–     is able to portray truthfully a fictional character in a human and dramatic situation

–     is able to apply his/her intelligence and instinct  to the understanding of text and the communication of meaning

–     is capable of work that uses the self creatively and spontaneous impulse to negotiate moments of truth

–     is able to work effectively with others

–     is flexible, industrious and receptive to suggestions and direction

–     possesses the vocal and physical potential to develop as an actor

–     possesses the determination, motivation and stamina to participate in, develop through and complete the course

These criteria may not necessarily be required to all be present to a high degree, but the panel must be convinced that the candidate has the potential to develop in all areas, and that any areas of weakness do not present major barriers to the overall training process.

Selection Process:

Audition Day Procedure – Acting

  • Applicants are invited to attend as part of a group of approximately 35 candidates. Applicants are asked to prepare one contemporary speech and one classical speech (from a specified list), which they must commit to memory. The audition day begins between 8.30 and 9 am, and throughout the day candidates are retained or released on the basis of performance through the various stages of assessment.
  • These stages are: warm-up, Group improvisation, Panel 1(speeches), skills workshops (Movement, Singing and Voice), Panel 2 (speeches and interview). Any student may be released or retained on the basis of their performance at the following stages: after the first round of speeches or at the end of all three skills workshops. No student taken to the speeches review and interview stage is guaranteed a place.
  • This sequence allows candidates to demonstrate their capacity to  engage with character and text in a variety of contexts, and to embrace a variety of methods of working
  • Outcomes from this audition process are: rejection, foundation course offer, Recall, BA waiting list, BA offer (conditional) BA Offer without conditions.
  • Applicants should be aware that offers of all types are subject to the terms and conditions of the Academy and Drama UK acceptance deadlines.
  • Students who wish to defer their place, may do so on occasion only at the discretion of the Head Of Programme.
  • It is Italia Conti policy that all auditions are conducted by tutors who teach core subjects on the programme.  Audition panels are usually made up of the Head of Programme, Heads of Year and senior tutors. No tutor assesses for audition without a substantial briefing from the HoD and being made aware of the specific criteria and processes that operate within this process.
  • Student helpers are usually on hand to answer any questions, and candidates are encouraged to ask as many questions as they can, in order to find out whether this is the right course, and the right school, for them. Where they are on panels, they provide an additional perspective, but are not fundamental to selection decisions
  • Audition candidates are welcomed to the school by a staff member or student who will explain the process of the day.
  • All candidates are welcome to request feedback with reference to their performance, and the assessment of all sessions within the day are noted to facilitate this.
  • Feedback must be requested via email, and will only be issued when a final decision about the application has been made. Candidates should be aware that this may not be until the end of the audition cycle.
  • In certain circumstances a DVD submission will be considered as a preliminary first round audition. All candidates should be aware that this format cannot replace attendance in person at a recall audition. All applicants who wish to submit a DVD need to arrange this with the Programmes Administrator immediately upon completing their application.

4):  Italia Conti undertakes that the decision-making process is fair, consistent, and transparent

  • The criteria for audition are available to candidates within this document which is available to all candidates who apply.
  • The audition panel, which consists of a selection of core BA teachers engage with the students as a group, but adjudicate individually. All assessments are recorded on paper. The feedback is made available to candidates in an edited and summary form on request.
  • All assessors complete assessment forms, with consistent criteria and marking guidelines for each individual candidate, asking them to grade each student according to criteria demonstrated.
  • Where separate panels have been organized to manage the first round speeches, a meeting is convened prior to rejection/selection to ensure parity across the processes.

5)  Italia Conti undertakes to ensure that candidates are informed of the outcome of an audition/interview

  • Every effort is made to ensure candidates feel at ease and are given opportunities to ask questions, speak to staff and students and to look around the building.
  • All candidates are informed in writing (usually via email) within 2-3 weeks of their audition, although we aim to inform them within 14 days.
  • Italia Conti will offer feedback to each candidate who requests it, All feedback,  we stress is particular to our process and offers no specific or directed areas for improvement: ie we may note a poor speech choice, but there is no capacity to offer other suggestions.
  • If you have applied for the BA (hons) acting programme you should be aware that UCAS may inform you that your application has been unsuccessful of that you have been withdrawn this is a default rejection/withdrawal made by our university/UCAS at certain stages throughout the year. This is in part  because the Drama Uk deadlines for acceptances are different to those of UCAS.
  • Your potential place at the academy is based on your audition(s) and so it is only AFTER your audition that a decision can be made.