BA (Hons) Acting Programme



Programme Aim and Title – CertHE in Introduction to Acting

Intermediate Awards Available – n/a

Teaching Institution(s) – Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts

Alternative Teaching Institutions
(for local arrangements see final section of this specification) – None

UEL Academic School – School of Arts and Digital Industries

UCAS Code – W411

Professional Body Accreditation – Federation of Drama Schools & CDET

Relevant QAA Benchmark Statements – Dance, Drama and Performance

Additional Versions of this Programme – n/a

Date Specification Last Updated – August 2017


Programme Aims and Learning Outcomes

This programme is designed to give students a clear understanding of what the work of an actor (both training’ and professional) actually entails and begin to develop the skills that form the foundation of an actors’ training.
During this programme students will be introduced to the basic principles of actor training, which will be delivered through the following modules:

  • Acting Practice; classes which will cover a variety of acting techniques, approaches and acting fundamentals, as well as preparing students for Drama School auditions.
  • Rehearsal & Performance; Scene Studies and a Project which focuses on implementing skills and developing the beginnings of acting process for rehearsal through to sharings and performance.
  • Technical Skills (Body & Voice); core classes in Voice, Movement and Singing (acting through song) which will build an understanding and the practical foundations of an actor’s skills training.
  • Contextual Studies; classes and workshops that investigating and exploring ‘the actor’, performance elements, and collaborative practice, as well as providing tasters on both acting and the wider creative/training options available. Additional work on interview and audition preparation with Mock Auditions.

Our basic approach to acting training is rooted in the principles of Stanislavski, as developed by Uta Hagen and other contemporary practitioners. However, both the Italia Conti ‘CertHE in Introduction to Acting’ and ‘BA (Hons) Acting’ programmes do not seek to mould young actors to any one method or system for acting. Rather, they try to make available to its students a range of ideas and training methods, so that each student may begin to construct a personal way of working, which they can continue to develop at other acting institutions or in other learning environments.

On completing the ‘CertHE in Introduction to Acting’ students will have knowledge of the skills necessary to develop as an actor and should have some capacity to apply them. Students should also have a solid sense of their own potential as an actor.
The overall aims of the programme are:

  • To give students an introduction to conservatoire-style actors’ training, including a greater understanding of what is required of an actor and an actor in training, as well as a solid understanding of what the industry requires from the contemporary actor. Thereby enabling students to make a truly informed decision about pursuing acting, other creative strands of acting and wider theatre practice – with an idea of what approaches/options are available and best suited to the individual in pursuing these goals.
  • To develop students’ understanding, practical engagement and implementation of necessary acting and actor training skills. Creating an intellectual and practical foundation in acting work, vocal work and physical work as well as developing critical and analytical awareness preparing them for a three-year conservatoire-style training or practical university course.
  • To prepare students for Drama School/practical auditions and wider HE study. Focussing on the basic requirements of improvisation, contemporary and classical speeches and interview preparation. Building confidence, ease and an appropriate approach to and communication of text and character, which forms the basis of a successful candidate on a three-year conservatoire-style actors’ training.
  • To offer students tasters in specialist skills and other creative career and training options that can both inform their understanding of the acting and theatre making collaboration and potentially ignite an interest in a non-acting career within the industry – and offer support and advice in pursuing this.

At the end of this programme, students will be able to:


  • Identify, discuss and explore practitioners, techniques, skills and practices that begin to form the basis of an actor’s process, with an understanding of some of the language employed in an actors’ training.
  • Practically understand and realise basic movement patterns, recognise movement habits and physically inhabit a neutral body.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic vocal anatomy, how sounds are made, and begin to recognise vocal and speech habits and patterns.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of text/lyric analysis and have a basic understanding of vocal and singing technique.
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of research methodologies and approaches as a specific to actors and creative work generation, as well as relevant academic approaches.
  • Engage in critical perspectives on contemporary debates indentified as pertaining to acting, actors and performance.

Thinking Skills

  • Undertake appropriate and useful background research and analysis.
  • Break down text and indentify devices, subtext and intentions in a way that supports appropriate presentation.
  • Begin to cognitively understand the connection between mind, body and voice.
  • Indentify personal strengths and needs, and reflect objectively on personal development as an actor.
  • Operate and think reflexively creatively/imaginatively and critically to develop ideas and construct arguments within the generation of presentations, in preparation of rehearsal/performance and written tasks.
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret performance/texts/ideational materials/concepts within the generation of presentations, in preparation of rehearsal/performance and written tasks.

Subject-Based Practical Skills

  • Work actively as a generous and supportive member of an ensemble. Engaging with a discourse in a group process of discussion to inform creative decision making.
  • Create and explore characters and on-stage relationships, working towards believable and natural responses that are appropriate to the needs of the text/piece
  • Move with increased confidence, increased freedom and physical articulation and basically connect emotionally and with intention to the physical moment.
  • Begin to align and use a free breathing technique, with connection of breath and thought in a released and supported vocal sound.
  • Articulate fundamental speech sounds with clarity and truth in own accent.
  • Engage with some of the fundamental principles of acting/storytelling through song with some confidence, in both solo and group scenarios.
  • Analyse and evaluate performance/texts/ideational materials collaboratively and independently to generate ideas and approaches to explore in performance related processes and practices.

Skills for Life and Work (General Skills)

  • Evaluate own work and that of others.
  • Work independently and collaboratively, negotiating and pursuing goals and the needs of the project with others in a focused, supportive and exploratory way.
  • Express a range of ideas using appropriate physical, vocal and written communication (including appropriate use of technology), demonstrating an understanding of academic and subject specific conventions and styles.
  • Identify, access and collate evidence from a variety of academic and industry sources to demonstrate and develop knowledge, understanding and argument/ideas.
  • Demonstrate evidence of reflection on academic performance by implementing feedback given.


Learning and Teaching

There will be a variety of types of sessions; primarily practical work where students will be doing exercises in a group studio workshop, but also talks, individual tutorials and offsite activities such as theatre trips. There will also be reflective and critical sessions which are designed to assist students with preparing for the next steps of their training, preparing them for auditions, interviews and developing their personal statement.

Knowledge is Developed Through:

  • Guided Reading
  • Knowledge-based activities with feedback
  • Classes, Workshops, Lectures and skills-based activities with feedback
  • 1:1 and small group tutorials

Thinking Skills are Developed Through:

  • Classes, Workshops, Lectures and skills-based activities with feedback (script analysis etc.)
  • Reflective activities with feedback

Practical Skills are Developed Through:

  • Classes, Workshops, Lectures and skills-based activities with feedback
  • 1:1 and small group tutorials
  • Rehearsals and Performances with feedback

Skills for Life and Work (General Skills) are Developed Through:

  • The demands of the study medium (i.e high contact-hours, rehearsal process/periods, etc.)
  • Class work
  • Project work


Each student will also receive a detailed briefing sheet or scheme of work at the beginning of each term, which will outline the specific content of each class series within each module, and the learning outcomes and assessment practice within each of these.

In general students will be assessed on Learning Outcomes (as per the Module Specifications) pertaining to ‘Knowledge’, ‘Thinking Skills’, ‘Practical Skills’ and ‘Skills for Life and Work’, via the following methods:

  • Cumulative Practice (Rehearsal Process/Class work)
  • Sharings/Performance
  • Presentation
  • Essays
  • Written Reflective Analysis and Evaluations
  • Reflective Portfolio

Students with disabilities and/or particular learning needs should discuss assessments with the Director of Acting Programmes or Programme Director to ensure they are able to fully engage with all assessment within the programme.


Work or Study Placements

There is no compulsory and/or optional work/study placement(s) within this programme.


Programme Structure

All programmes are credit-rated to help you to understand the amount and level of study that is needed.
One credit is equal to 10 hours of directed study time (this includes everything you do e.g. lecture, seminar and private study).
Credits are assigned to one of 5 levels:

3 – Equivalent in standard to GCE ‘A’ level and is intended to prepare students for year one of an undergraduate degree programme.

4 – Equivalent in standard to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme.

5 – Equivalent in standard to the second year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme.

6 – Equivalent in standard to the third year of a full-time undergraduate degree programme.

7 – Equivalent in standard to a Masters degree.

Programmes are made up of modules that are each credit weighted.

The module structure of this programme:


All modules are core module, which a student must have passed (i.e. been awarded credit) in order to achieve the CertHE award. There are no optional modules for this programme.
Please note that this programme includes workshops and classes which deliver complimentary skills. These classes may be compulsory sessions, but are not assessed within the programme, and may vary from year to year.

The overall credit-rating of this programme is 120 credits. If for some reason you are unable to achieve this credit you may be entitled to an intermediate award, the level of the award will depend on the amount of credit you have accumulated. You can read the University Student Policies and Regulations on the UEL website.


Programme Specific Regulations

Students on this programme are expected to maintain a 90% attendance rate in order to progress effectively through the levels of study and achieve the learning outcomes. Attendance is compulsory on an intensive timetable which runs for a MINIMUM of 30 contact hours per week over at least 36 weeks and typically more, with additional self led study hours. Attendance of less than 90% may be considered a disciplinary matter, and may after due process lead to termination of studies on the programme.
The Programme runs according to specific academic regulations and policies which may diverge from standard UEL frameworks in order to uphold the professional vocational standards expected and to ensure the principles of holism, integrated skills development and embodied learning are fully supported.


Typical Duration

The expected duration of this programme is 1 year full-time.

A student cannot normally continue study on a programme after 4 years of study in full time mode unless exceptional circumstances apply and extenuation has been granted. The limit for completion of a programme in part time mode is 8 years from first enrolment.


Further Information

More information about this programme is available from:

  • The UEL website (
  • Italia Conti Academy – Acting website (
  • The programme handbook
  • Module study guides
  • UEL Manual of General Regulations (available on the UEL website)
  • UEL Quality Manual (available on the UEL website)

All UEL programmes are subject to thorough programme approval procedures before we allow them to commence. We also constantly monitor, review and enhance our programmes by listening to student and employer views and the views of external examiners and advisors.

Additional Costs:

  • Purchasing of relevant books/play-texts
  • Cost of Excursions, Theatre trips.
  • Basic costume, props or rehearsal materials.


Alternative Locations of Delivery

The programme is delivered by the Acting Department at Italia Conti Academy, in Clapham North. As with all programmes delivered by Italia Conti, classes, rehearsals, workshops and performances may be scheduled to take place either at ‘Avondale’ (72 Landor Road, SW9 9PH) or at one of the academy’s annexes.