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Performance Theatre and Drama FdA

About Studying at UCO
Key Information

Start date:September

Institutional code:O10

UCAS code:WW40

Duration:2 years full time, 3 years part time

Course type:Full Time / Part Time

Fees per year 2018/19:£7500 full time/ Part time - please contact HE Admissions Team

Additional costs per year:Theatre trips, Travel costs £15-£20, Essential Text Book £10-£15

Entry Requirements

64 UCAS points from a range of Level 3 qualifications (NVQ3, BTEC Award, or A Levels) preferably in performance-related subjects, other credit bearing qualifications such as LAMDA or Gold Arts Award, and through successful completion of an interview and audition.


FdA Performance: Theatre and Drama validated by University of Central Lancashire

This course offers you the opportunity to engage with rigorous training and to gain experience as a performer whilst part of a small-scale touring theatre company.

This is a practical course with opportunities to experience working first-hand in a range of professional environments. You will develop your skills and knowledge through the creation of a range of performance projects delivered to public audiences. You will also investigate the work of current performance practices and industry professionals. Alongside your work as a company there are opportunities to develop individually by undertaking focused projects including workshop facilitation, directing, performance writing and solo performance for example.

Our FdA Performance: Theatre and Drama is delivered by experienced practitioners supported by excellent visiting practitioners and industry professionals. We work closely with a number of local organisations including Oldham Coliseum and Oldham Theatre Workshop and we have strong links with a number of performance companies. Past workshops, performances and guest speakers include: John Britton from Duende Theatre Ensemble, OBRA Theatre Company, Red Ladder Theatre Company, Gerry Flanagan from Shifting Sands Theatre Company, Eggs Collective, 154 Collective, Art with Heart, Powder Keg, Mighty Heart Theatre, writer and producer Julie Bokowiec, and producer Ben Rothera.

Course Content - Year 1


In the first year of the course you will be introduced to a wide range of contemporary performance practices in practical and seminar based contexts. You will:

Develop yourself as a performer in performance training classes.
Create two productions lead by creatively diverse directors.
Attend a number of live performances and meet industry experts.
Learn and discuss this fascinating area of the creative industries

You will develop your creative, imaginative and reflective abilities through a number of process-based assessments enabling you to explore both practice and theory in interesting and investigative ways.

Performance Training MDF013

Performance Training is practical class where you engage in rigorous and thorough training to support your development as a multi-skilled performer. Important principles of performance training are introduced including stage presence, awareness, focus, concentration and energy. Yoga, martial arts, clowning, improvisation, devising techniques, voice training, movement training are also explored as practices that will enhance your performance.

Professional Practice MDF014

Professional Practice is a module which encourages you to think about your own professional development within the performing arts industry. You will reflect on an area of practice that particularly interests you and explore what knowledge and skills you will need to develop. You will identify future goals and create a professional development plan. You will begin to develop your professional profile through a series of outward facing tasks and the development of an online portfolio.

Performance Project 1A MDF015 and Performance Project 1B MDF016

Performance Project modules are production-based and enable you to explore creating and performing in two contrasting projects. You will develop your understanding and abilities through participation in the creative process and final performance of each project. Examples of performance projects include: physical theatre, verbatim theatre, mediatised performance, immersive theatre, music theatre, text-based performance, devised performance.

Contemporary Performance Practices MDF017

Contemporary Performance Practices provides an introduction to a range of significant approaches for understanding contemporary performance. This includes; methods for analysing performance and influential historical companies and movements. You will begin to develop the skills required for academic study and research through watching, discussing and evaluating live and recorded performances in written and verbal formats.

Course Content - Year 2

During year two of the FdA you will start to experiment and test out your own ideas whilst being encouraged and challenged through staff-led guidance. You will further consolidate your knowledge and understanding of the cultural industries considering the purpose and function of performance in a wider context. There will be opportunities to develop industry links through production tours and the delivery of workshops. Individually you will identify, research and develop your own independent project with input from a range of specialists who will help you in realising your project and in gaining valuable industry experience.

Advanced Performance Training MDI011

Advanced Performance Training enables to you deepen your learning and work with increasing autonomy to identify your individual training needs. You will work practically to create and design your own training score which is tailor made and dependent on your particular performance interests (physical theatre, naturalism, clowning, mediatised performance, dance, musical theatre) as well as your own strengths and weaknesses.

Professional Project MDI012

Professional Project provides you with opportunities to develop your own practice, building on your learning in Professional Practice. You will create your own individually focused project exploring a particular area of performance practice. You will plan and explore your own project, drawing on the work of professionals in the field. Previous projects have included the creation of a solo performance, writing a performance-text or play script, the design and delivery of educational workshops with a particular focused group and exploration and research into the work of drama therapists.

Performance Project 2 MDI013

Performance Project 2 is a production module which expands upon the techniques and processes employed in the creation of Performance Project 1A and 1B. As a performance company, you will work under the direction of a tutor to realise a large scale production. You will develop your abilities as performers and company members learning specific creative and devising skills, as well as building on your technical performance skills.

Cultural Industries MDI014

Cultural Industries provides you with a useful overview of the creative and cultural industries in contemporary society. You will engage with current debates around performance practices and their role in society and management by institutions. You will learn about arts policy, the effects of funding, and the development of the creative and cultural industries. You will consider how political, societal and economic factors influence creative practices in order to understand your own developing practice and factors that may influence it.

Placements and Work Experience

Students are encouraged and supported in looking for relevant work experience, and in making contact with industry specialists who offer guidance and support within particular aspects of their course.

What careers can the course lead to?

The course prepares you for work in the performance industry, with some of our students going on to create their own performance companies or joining existing companies. It will provide you with valuable experience of carrying out a number of roles within the arts industry from a freelance practitioner, actor or performer to an arts administrator. Potential career options include a number of different roles such as a performer, an actor, a director, a workshop facilitator, freelance practitioner, a performance writer and other positions.

Some professions will require further study and many students go on to complete the BA (Hons) Performance (Top Up). With further qualifications this could lead to a career in teaching or drama therapy.

Teaching and Assessment methods

This predominantly practical course is mostly taught and assessed through practice-based work, from individual skill-based presentations within the class, to full-scale public productions. All practice-based work is supported by theory which aids in the development of academic skills through the carrying out of research, essay writing, presentations and portfolios.

Facilities particular to the course

The University Campus has two purpose built studios. The 9m x 9m Rehearsal Studio, with its high-grade semi-sprung floor, allows you space to train and rehearse. The Performance Studio is a state of the art public performance venue from which you can showcase your performances before taking them on tour. We have a good relationship with a number of local, national and international performance companies and theatre organisations providing opportunities for industry experience and access to further professional expertise.

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