University Centre Colchester | BA (Hons) Musical Theatre

Welcome to Musical Theatre

This is a dynamic and intensive course, which is centred on vocational practice where students learn, develop and apply skills in acting, dance and singing.

We are continually excited by the curriculum opportunities we provide for our students as part of the course. Watching the development of the students across the three years and then progress into either industry or Postgraduate study is both rewarding and exciting. We are passionate about our subject and along with a great team of practitioners, look forward to helping you in your musical theatre and performance careers.

As part of the course, you will perform in regional and national venues, trained and guided by experienced staff who ensure that your work is seen by industry agents and other professionals. Arts Theatre London, Leicester Square Theatre London, Brighton Fringe Festival, Battersea Barge London, Mercury Theatre Colchester and The Other Palace London are some of our regular performance venues.

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Musical Theatre
Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre
Musical Theatre

PlacesTo Live
Course IntroductionModulesEntry RequirementsGraduate CareersAdditional

Your profile

You possess the drive, stamina, confidence and talent to pursue an electrifying career in musical theatre. Your curiosity is matched only by your creativity. You are bold, brave and born to take the stage. With a passion to succeed in musical theatre, you will have a level of skill and/or experience in the required disciplines and are prepared to audition your skills to a panel of staff and show the ability to take direction.

Your subject

As technology evolves and entertainment mediums shift, the art of musical theatre endures. Touring shows, London’s West End and New York City’s Broadway are powerhouses in the entertainment industry, and the pinnacle of live performances. Successful musicals can run for decades and recent enthusiasm for the stage has encouraged even more shows to premier. This popular pastime has developed into a global multi-billion pound industry that is yours for the taking.

Your course

BA (Hons) Musical Theatre at University Centre Colchester is a dynamic, intensive and professional degree programme that will provide you with the acting, singing and dance skills necessary for sustainable employment within the creative industries. The programme has a strong emphasis on practical training, supported by reflective and theoretical practice. The course reflects the nature of work within the performing arts industries, which requires flexibility, diversity of skills, technical competence and the ability to respond to changing trends. You will be taught by experienced staff and industry guests who will deliver the required skills and theatre projects. As part of the programme, you will perform at regional and national venues, such as Colchester’s Headgate Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre, Brighton Fringe Festival, Battersea Barge in London, Colchester’s Mercury Theatre and The Other Palace in London.

Your future

Once you graduate, you will leave with a range of skills to ensure you have a prosperous career within the performing arts. The transferable skills you will gain include research, communication and confidence, enabling you to move into other roles across the creative arts industry. Recent graduates include Karis Jack (Les Misérables, West End 2017-18), David Michael Hands (Blue Man Group, Las Vegas 2018-19 and Jersey Boys, International Tour 2018) and Fred Smiley (Kinky Boots, UK Tour 2018-19).

Undergraduate courses operate on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 20 or 40 academic credits (depending on the programme), with each credit taken equating to a total amount of study time which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Most full-time students will take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.

Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Course Overview Module Overview Year One (Level 4) Year Two (Level 5) Year Three (Level 6)

Normally students on this course will have 96 UCAS points* or greater. All applicants will be auditioned in acting, dance and singing to demonstrate ability and potential.

Click here to find out more about the audition:

BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Audition Book 2023

*UCAS Tariff points where shown, are for entry on to higher education programmes starting from September 2023.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Additional requirements for International Students:

  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for at least 10 years and of having studied within the last five years
  • a face-to-face interview is required before an offer is made.

Graduates from this course have gone to work in London’s West End and in many venues and productions around the world. Others have pursued postgraduate training at Masters level at institutions such as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music, Guildford School of Acting, Musical Theatre Academy, American Musical Theatre Academy, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Arts Educational School, London School of Musical Theatre, Italia Conti and Northern School of Contemporary Dance. We also have a number of graduates who have gone into the teaching profession at schools and colleges nationwide.

Career Opportunities

A wide variety of careers is possible including performance, leisure and entertainment industry, arts administration, workshop leadership and education.

Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week.

Teaching and Learning: You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practicals. Seminars enable smaller group discussions to develop understanding of topics covered in lectures.

When not attending lectures, seminars and practicals or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-directed study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, learning zone or technical learning resources, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations

Assessment: The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

 Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Possible additional costs for Musical Theatre students and advice to save money

ItemApproximate Costs to StudentsAdvice
Printing and photocopying in the library£5 supplied each year by UCC. Additional £5 may be needed depending on usage.Students share sheet music and the library is full of piano vocal books
Professional backing tracks£10 over 3 years.Accompanists will provide piano rehearsal tracks for free. YouTube is a good resource
Dance wear£50 dependent on specialist requirementsTry second hand on Depop or eBay.
Discounted bus pass with an email address is recommended by the students£100Worth it for the discount overall.
Travel to London venues for performancesGet a 16-25 student railcard to save 1/3rd off travel

£30 for 1 year or

£70 for 3 years

Saves £199 on average per year according to their website.
Ticket prices to watch other course performances£50 per year on average (£5 per student performance).


All students benefit from watching local and professional shows in the region and in the West End.

BA (Hons) Musical Theatre - Full-time
LevelLevel 6
Duration3 Years
Academic Year2023-2024
Study ModeFull-Time
Campus / Adult Skills CentreUniversity Centre Colchester
ApplicationsThis course is closed for applications
Fee(s)2024-25: £8,750 per year
Additional Cost Information

For certain performances there may be travel costs incurred e.g. to a London theatre and (if desired) overnight accommodation. For the BA (Hons) Musical Theatre programme there is a list of required dance wear and clothing which is available from the School. There may be travel costs and entry costs for extra-curricular visits to concerts, gigs, performances and expos.

Awarding/Validation BodyUniversity of East Anglia
Course Overview

A dynamic and intensive course which is centred on vocational practice. Students learn, develop and apply skills in acting, dance and singing.

This programme is for applicants who are passionate about working in the industry and have significant experience of acting, singing and dance.

Musical Theatre practitioners need to be multi-skilled as singers, dancers and actors. At UCC, we offer an equally balanced Musical Theatre course to provide the relevant skills across the disciplines. Through rehearsals, auditions and productions, this course will help prepare you for a career in the performing arts industry.

The BA Hons Musical Theatre programme provides students with the range of skills for sustainable employment within the creative industries or further study. It is designed to give a sound educational base for a range of careers. The course design for this degree reflects the nature of work within performing arts which requires flexibility, diversity of skills, technical competence and the ability to respond to changing needs.

Specific skill acquisition is coupled with a broader understanding of the genre, along with academic skills to ensure that students can embrace the changeability of the marketplace and earn a living in specific or related performing arts fields. The programme features group and one to one singing lessons, jazz, ballet and tap dance styles, performance and touring opportunities.

You will aquire (year one), develop (year two), and apply (year 3) new and existing skills in acting, dance and singing throughout the programme.

Module Overview

Singing Modules

What’s it about?

The singing modules will teach you the necessary skills and knowledge to maintain vocal health and efficient use of the voice as singer and actor in a musical theatre context. As you progress, you will continue to develop vocal and musicianship skills, looking to apply these with an increased focus on characterisation, acting through song and the integration of other practical disciplines. You will be exposed to more public performances and develop a wider repertoire and knowledge of current songs and shows. Alongside this, with the support of a one to one singing tutor you will develop a varied repertoire and ability to secure appropriate musical and vocal choices for a variety of musical theatre styles. You will start to plan and prepare your own solo and ensemble performances and work with accompanists.

What do I learn?

You will be considering the current principles of voice production and vocal delivery. This will be developed through the introduction and understanding of the Estill Model in lectures and small practice groups. Alongside this, you will develop appropriate levels of musicianship to prepare you for the challenges of rehearsal and audition practices. You will develop the practical application of voice and physiology in performance, enabling informed and appropriate choices in your acting and singing in solo, small group and large choir contexts, culminating in cabarets, showcases, tours, concerts and full scale productions.

Acting Modules

What’s it about?

We look at discovering character and how to approach text in rehearsal and performance.  Also, we focus on confidence within performance through improvisation and exercises.  How you use your voice on stage is another element to acting and we look at Acting Through Song (ATS) and what that actually means within performance. We also start to look at audition technique in preparation for performances in 3rd year and beyond.  You will develop the ability to secure appropriate and imaginative choices in pressure situations including a variety of performance and audition situations.

What do I learn?

You will be learning how to approach a script as an actor and how to start creating character.  You will learn how to start using your voice in performance.  You will learn what Acting Through Song is and how to begin using it effectively.

We will look at actioning text, Laban effort actions and the concept of ‘play’ in performance amongst other approaches. You will learn what it is like to prepare text for a performance with much higher expectations and challenging material.  You will also learn about the importance of context when approaching a song. You will learn to respond to the pressures of performance and auditions, ensuring imaginative, effective and efficient singing. You will develop your own repertoire and audition folder with support from your own one-to-one singing tutor, and receive regular feedback from industry specialists. You will develop the ability to plan and prepare performances with your peers.

Dance Modules

What’s it about?

You will undertake practical classes in Ballet, Jazz and Tap focussing on the principles of technique, safe practice and application of dance styles within a musical theatre context. In addition, there is a choreography element to the module, where you will choreograph your own work and perform in other student pieces.

We have a student-led dance company, CIDCO, which rehearses twice weekly and performs during the year, with many students engaged in choreographing the material and performing. Auditions are held during freshers’ week.

We also work on regional projects with the Dance Network Association.

What do I learn?

You will learn about class structure, application to set routines and exercises along with regular focus on your own development within the dance styles. Weekly fitness classes run alongside your dance studies to build stamina, strength and flexibility. Each dance discipline is assessed through a practical class, demonstrating your ability to reproduce the set exercises and routines. During the course, there is more focus on the dance disciplines within a musical theatre context allowing for a variety of styles within each discipline, for example Lyrical, swing and musical theatre jazz styles may be studied and performed. Studying choreography will allow you to choose and develop your own work and dance style, leading a group of dancers across a number of rehearsals.

Research Modules

What’s it about?

An important part of your development is critical thinking, understanding the musical theatre industry and preparing for your future career.

You will be learning about the history of Musical Theatre in Broadway and the West End in order to improve your own understanding of how musicals are written and produced, which will help develop you as a performer.  You will be learning how different world influences have shaped Musical Theatre over the last 100 years such as culture, race, gender, sexuality and politics in order to develop your own understanding of how musicals are created and how to apply these concepts to Acting Through Song and other aspects of performance.

By developing independent thought and research skills you will prepare yourself for a wide range of career options outside of performing. This module will train you to investigate the Musical Theatre industry and look at the “bigger picture”.

What do I learn?

You will investigate music and key people over the last 200 years and how musicals are constructed and their relationship with the world around them.

You will be learning how different world influences have shaped Musical Theatre over the last 100 years such as culture, race, gender, sexuality and politics in order to develop your own understanding of how musicals are created. You will also further develop critical thinking to review your progress during the year to improve your confidence and motivation as a practitioner. You will develop your writing skills for research projects.

These transferable skills will demonstrate your ability to organise, plan and critically engage with the industry as well as relying on practical skills to get a performing career.

Professional Career Preparation

What’s it about?

You will develop personalised critical thinking to review your progress during the course in order to improve your confidence and motivation as a practitioner. Through target setting and reflective practice you will develop your own understanding of your strengths and areas for improvement. We also focus on honing your audition technique skills for your future within the performing arts industry. You will have the opportunity to receive feedback from a panel of industry professionals in preparation for auditions.

What do I learn?

You will learn to make highly informed critical judgements through deep and precise reflection and evaluation in order to allow for personal development planning relating to enhancement of career potential and progression on completion of the course.

Performances and Shows

What’s it about?

As part of the course, you will perform in regional and national venues, trained and guided by experienced staff who ensure that your work is seen by industry agents and other professionals. Some of our regular performance venues include: The Other Palace London, Arts Theatre London, Leicester Square Theatre London, Brighton Fringe Festival, Battersea Barge London, Mercury Theatre Colchester, Colchester Arts Centre and the Headgate Theatre, as well as our Swinburne Concert Hall on campus.

What do I learn?

You will learn to make highly informed critical judgements through deep and precise reflection and evaluation in order to allow for personal development planning relating to enhancement of career potential and progression on completion of the course.

Motown The Musical - Dayo Adeoye, Karis Jack
The cast list for UK Tour of ‘Motown The Musical’ has recently been released and features not one but TWO graduates from the BA Honours Musical Theatre.

Karis Jack graduated in 2012. Credits include: Eponine in Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre, West End); Young Viveca in The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Theatre Royal, Stratford East & Tour); Fay in Baddies: The Musical (Unicorn Theatre); Little Inez in Hairspray (Curve, Leicester & UK Tour, Kuala Lumpur & Singapore); Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors (Salisbury Playhouse & Mercury Theatre); Little Sally in Urinetown (St James Theatre and Apollo Theatre, West End). Karis was nominated for the WhatsOnStage award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance as Little Sally in Urinetown.

Dayo Adeoye graduated in 2015. As a Vocalist: Toured Sweden, Finland, and Monaco with Party Band; backing vocalist for BBC 1xtra Live Lounge session; sung in venues such as Excel London, Koko Bar, Jazz Cafe, Omeara London & the Monte Carlo Hotel, Monaco.
Kinky Boots Musical Theatre Fred Smiley
Fred Smiley Graduated from the BA Honours Musical Theatre programme in 2016. He performed the role of St Jimmy in ‘American Idiot the Musical’ in Colchester and performed on board the Battersea Barge for his final Cabaret performance
The Book of Mormon Luke Simmonds Musical Theatre
Lukin Simmonds joined the BA Honours Musical Theatre third year in 2015 after completing a 2 year foundation course at Bath Spa University. He took on the role of Amos Calloway in ‘Big Fish the Musical’ at The Mercury Theatre in 2016 and went on to study at the London School of Musical Theatre.
David Hands - Musical Theatre
David Hands graduated in 2015 and performed in ‘Addams Family the Musical’ as his final major musical project and was part of the college touring company and performed at Brighton Fringe Festival as part of the course. He toured the far east with ‘Jersey Boys International Tour’ where he performed as an ensemble and in the role of Tommy DeVito. David is currently in New York training with the ‘Blue Man Group’.


All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2023-24 academic year and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.