BA (Hons) Musical Theatre

Welcome to Musical Theatre

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. Want to find out more? Come and meet our staff on an Open day, or contact UCC directly to arrange an individual visit.

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Course IntroductionModulesEntry RequirementsGraduate CareersAdditional

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.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 30 or 15 academic credits, 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.

Compulsory modules enable you to cover key subject knowledge whilst and optional allow you to develop your own interests. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of core modules at a given level. Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

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.

*2017-18 UCAS Tariff

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:

  • 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 practical’s. Seminars enable smaller group discussions to develop understanding of topics covered in lectures. You will use and have access to industry-standard software and facilities throughout your course.

When not attending lectures, seminars and laboratory or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-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.

Apply Full-time
BA (Hons) Musical Theatre - Full-time
LevelLevel 6
LocationColchester
Duration3 Years
UCAS CodeWW34
Academic Year2018-2019
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2018
Fee(s)2018-19: £9,250 per year
Year One (Level 4)

CRITICAL STUDIES 1 (30 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

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 also develop critical thinking to review your progress during the year to improve your confidence and motivation as a practitioner.

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 develop your writing skills both academically and making critical judgements on your own practice and skills development.

What’s the assignment?

There are two written submission: An essay (3000 words) about musical theatre development on a theme of your choice and a reflective journal/blog reflecting on your progress (3000 words).

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

ACTING 1 (30 CREDITS)

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 1 and we look at Acting Through Song (ATS) and the what that actually means within performance.

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.

What’s the assignment?

There are three practical assessments: A monologue, A scene study and a song from a musical.

To see the module description, please click here.

DANCE 1 (30 CREDITS)

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.

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.

What’s the assignment?

Each dance discipline is assessed through a practical class, demonstrating your ability to reproduce the set exercises and routines.

To see the module description, please click here.

SINGING 1 (30 CREDITS) 

What’s it about?

You will be learning the necessary skills and knowledge to maintain vocal health and efficient use of the voice as singer and actor in a musical theatre context.

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.

What’s the assignment?

There are three practical assessments, including ensemble and solo performances and a voice and physiology assessment.

To see the module description, please click here.

 

Year Two (Level 5)

CRITICAL STUDIES 2 (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

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.

What do I learn?

You will investigate world music and culture along with current affairs and wider issues and how this affects the Musical Theatre industry. You will further develop your writing skills both academically and making critical judgements on your own practice and skills development.

What’s the assignment?

There are two written submission: An essay (3500 words) about musical theatre development on a theme of your choice and a reflective journal/blog reflecting on your progress (2500 words).

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

ACTING 2 (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

The second year is about looking at contemporary text and dealing with a much larger performance.  We also start to look at audition technique in preparation for performances in 3rd year and beyond.  We also develop the skills you started to gain from year 1.

What do I learn?

You will learn what it’s 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.

What’s the assignment?

There are two practical assessments where skills are expected to be combined: A detailed scene study and a fully developed song performed to an audience.

To see the module description, please click here.

DANCE 2 (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will continue practical classes in Ballet, Jazz and Tap developing your skills and techniques. In addition, there is a choreography element to the module where you will choreograph your own work and perform in other student pieces.

What do I learn?

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. Fitness classes continue throughout the year.

What’s the assignment?

Each dance discipline is assessed through a practical class. Choreography is assessed through weekly workshops and feedback as well as a final practical performance

To see the module description, please click here.

SINGING 2 (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

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.

What do I learn?

You will develop the practical application of voice and physiology in performance, enabling informed and appropriate choices in your acting and singing. 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.

What’s the assignment?

There are two ensemble performances, one full group performance and a second with smaller groups and tasks that are more independent in preparation. There is then a solo performance of two contrasting songs.

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Three (Level 6)

CRITICAL STUDIES 3 (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

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”.

You will also 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.

What do I learn?

You will be taught how to plan and research the industry and write a formal research paper on a theme of your choice, including how to interview people, create online surveys, develop your confidence in speaking to theatres and creative teams or famous performers. You will also prepare for your career by reflection on your audition process, masterclasses with industry performance and visiting agents as well as your public performances throughout the year.

What’s the assignment?

There are two written submission: A research project / dissertation (4000 words) about the wider Musical Theatre industry on a theme of your choice and a reflective journal/blog reflecting on your progress (2000 words).

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

ACTING 3 (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

Developing from year 2 we look at another style of text within a scene study, for example Shakespeare.  We also focus on honing your audition technique skills for your future within the performing arts industry.

What do I learn?

You will learn the skills required to perform the chosen style of text to performance standard.  You will learn what various types of auditions are held within the industry and what you need to do to be successful within them.

What’s the assignment?

There is one practical assignment: a highly detailed performance of a text.

To see the module description, please click here.

DANCE 3 (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

Your final year of dance focusses on Ballet and Jazz

What do I learn?

Exercises in these styles demonstrate enhanced ability to interpret, recall and reproduce extended movement phrases and routines. Fitness classes continue alongside your dance studies.

What’s the assignment?

Both dance disciplines are assessed through a practical class.

To see the module description, please click here.

SINGING 3 (15 Credits) 

What’s it about?

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 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.

What’s the assignment?

The assessment consists of a cabaret performance at a public venue and two skills tests. The first skills test measures ability and progress in musicianship within both ensemble and solo singing. The Second skills test demonstrates the security and knowledge of appropriate vocal choices within an audition context.

To see the module description, please click here.

MUSICAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE (45 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

This module is about demonstration of the disciplines studied throughout the course, integrating and applying them to performances within the public arena.

What do I learn?

The module demands discipline, professionalism and versatility as you will work with a variety of directors/choreographers/musical directors across a variety of performance disciplines and productions. You will learn about performing in different venues and how to apply your skills to a range of performance settings. You will also have the opportunity to receive feedback from a panel of industry professionals in preparation for auditions.

What’s the assignment?

You will be assessed through your practical approach to rehearsals and performances in the public domain.

To see the module description, please click here.



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.
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
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 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’.
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