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Performance and Entertainment, BA (Hons)

Performance and Entertainment, BA (Hons)

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Key Information

Start date:September

Institutional code:O10

UCAS code:PE22

Duration:3 years full time

Course type:Full Time

Fees per year:£7500 / Part time fees - contact HE Admissions Team

Additional costs per year:£25 towards the cost of essential text books, or travel costs.

Delivery Method:Face to face via studio practice, lectures, seminars and tutorials

Delivery Method:Face-to-face via Lectures, Seminars and Tutorials


BA (Hons) Performance and Entertainment, awarded by the University of Central Lancashire

Course Regulations
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Course Handbook
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Do you want to create performances for the stage, for camera, and experiment with new technologies such as virtual reality and motion capture?

This course offers you the opportunity to become the Performance and Entertainment makers of the future.

This is a practical course offering a diverse range of performance skills and experiences for a wide range of performance platforms including: live and recorded performance, immersive performance, digital performance, virtual reality and animated performance, and presentation skills for social media. You will investigate and engage with the work of current performance practices and industry professionals. From year one you will create group-based performances for live audiences, as well as designing and creating individual projects. There will be opportunities to explore a range of performance skills depending on your particular career aspirations. These may include creating digital or live performance, workshop facilitation, directing, performance writing, producing and presenting.

Our BA (Hons) Performance and Entertainment is delivered by experienced lecturers and practitioners who are supported by excellent visiting practitioners and industry professionals. We work closely with a number of local organisations including Oldham Coliseum, Oldham Theatre Workshop, Live@thelibrary, HOME, and we have strong links with a number of performance companies and industry professionals. Past masterclasses, performances and guest speakers include: Karen Henthorn (Coronation Street, EastEnders), Karen Blick (Emmerdale), Connor Calland (Hollyoaks), John Britton from Duende Theatre Ensemble, OBRA Theatre Company, Red Ladder Theatre Company, Dare to Know Theatre, Eggs Collective, 154 Collective, Art with Heart, Powder Keg, Mighty Heart Theatre; writer and producer Julie Bokowiec; producer Ben Rothera; director Sarah Punshon; and writer Cathy Crabb.

Course Content Year 1

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

  • Develop a range of performing and acting skills in performance training classes.
  • Create two performance productions (live, digital, immersive or other).
  • Attend a number of live performance events and meet industry experts.
  • Learn about 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

Performance Training is a core practical module 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. You will also explore other techniques to enhance your acting and performing skills such as vocal training, movement training, yoga, martial arts, clowning, improvisation, acting for virtual reality and motion capture.

Professional Practice

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 and Performance Project 1B

The two Performance Project modules are group-based performances where you create and perform 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: devised performance, digital performance, immersive theatre, music theatre, text-based performance, physical theatre, and verbatim theatre.

Contemporary Performance Practices

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

Course Content Year 2

During year two of the degree you will start to experiment and test out your own ideas whilst being encouraged and challenged through staff-led guidance. You will explore the cultural industries and consider the purpose and function of performance in a wider context. There will be opportunities to develop industry links through your contribution and attendance at our annual EXCEL Performance Festival. 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

Advanced Performance Training enables to you further develop your performance skills. Focussing on your own personal development needs, you will learn how to design your own training score and develop the skills that you need for your career in the performance or entertainment industries.

Professional Project

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 live or digital 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

Performance Project 2 is a performance 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 live or digital 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

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, their role in society and their 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.

Course Content Year 3
Practice as Research

Practice as Research is a module which helps you to integrate your knowledge and experience of practice with established theoretical perspectives on performance. The module will focus on a specific area of performance practice which you will investigate collaboratively with peers. This will take place through a combination of practice, reflection and academic research. Examples of a focussed area of practice include may include a genre of performance, a specific acting technique or an exploration of a particular performance form.

Individual Case Study

Individual Case Study enables you to carry out theoretical and practical research into a particular practitioner or company which relates to your individual vocational interests. You will explore research methods and look at key conceptual frameworks to investigate your chosen company or practitioner. By carrying out a detailed analysis through this case study, you will apply your practical and theoretical findings to the development of your Independent Creative Project.

Performance Making Project

Performance Making Project enables you to develop and extend your skills and knowledge in performance making to a high-quality professional standard. You will work as member of a performance company to contribute to the preparation and realisation of a major performance production to a public audience. Under the direction of a tutor or visiting director, you will negotiate your role within the process, considering individual areas of expertise and developmental needs.

Independent Creative Project

Independent Creative Project enables you to plan, explore and create a significant piece of work which reflects current performance practice. Using research carried out for the Individual Case Study to support your project, you will produce work relevant to your individual vocational interests. Previous projects have included: a solo performance project, ensemble-based performance productions, comedy performance, performance writing, creating a mediatised performance project, development of an acting portfolio, planning and delivery of a series of workshops for a specific group of participants.

Placements and Work Experience

Students are encouraged and supported in looking for relevant work experience, and in contacting industry specialists who are able to offer guidance and support within particular aspects of their course. Previous placements have taken place at Manchester International Festival, Oldham Coliseum and with Oldham Theatre Workshop on a European Applied Theatre project.

What careers can the course lead to?

The course prepares you for work in the performance and entertainment industries. It will provide you with valuable experience of carrying out a number of roles within the arts industry such as a live or digital performance maker, actor or performer, freelance practitioner, presenter or arts administrator. Potential career options include a number of different roles such as a performer, actor, director, workshop facilitator, freelance practitioner, performance writer, producer. There are opportunities to progress onto further study to pursue a Master’s degree or a teaching qualification.

Teaching and Assessment methods

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

Facilities particular to the course

We have 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 great 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.

EXCEL Festival YouTube

The Excel festival highlights the opportunities available for a career in the performing arts industry drawing together Industry Experts and Professionals offering workshops, masterclasses and advice. EXCEL has kindly sponsored by University Campus Oldham and GM Higher.


Entry Requirements

For students who have recently been in education:
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. Students who have completed Level 4 (HNC, Professional Diploma) or Level 5 (FdA or HND) in performance-related subjects may be invited to join the 2nd or 3rd year of the course.

For mature students:
Applicants may present a more varied profile of achievement including experience gained through amateur dramatics groups, acting classes, or work experience in the performance /cultural industries. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) from completing other undergraduate courses or extensive experience in the industry will also be considered enabling some applicants to join the 2nd or 3rd year of the course. Whether an APL claim is based on certificated learning or experiential learning it will need to be evidenced in both cases.

Audition Requirements and Assessment Criteria
Applicants are asked to perform a two-minute audition piece chosen from a range of performance disciplines (e.g. monologue, movement piece, improvisation, vocal score) demonstrating the students’ performative abilities.

In the audition, the Admissions Tutor will be looking for evidence of the applicant’s potential within the following areas where applicable:

  • Effective use of physicality
  • Effective use of voice
  • Effective communication
  • Knowledge of the performance material / score / technique
  • Development of the material
  • An ability to respond to direction

On the audition day the tutor will discuss all aspects of the Performance and Entertainment course at UCO. Students will be introduced to staff, the facilities, their chosen course and the philosophy that underpins their study.

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