Just because you dream of performing on the West End doesn’t mean you need to head all the way down to London’s crowded college scene. This BA (Hons) degree at UCEN Manchester will give you all the exceptional skills you need to fulfill your potential in the world of musical theatre.
Based at our outstanding Arden School of Theatre, you’ll learn a wide range of vital techniques across your three years here, focusing on the triple threat of singing, acting and dancing. You’ll explore acting methodologies, develop new performance skills and devise your own choreography and ensemble pieces.
You’ll be learning every day from renowned musical theatre professionals, who’ll pass on their real-life skills and experience to you, helping you to understand everything from rehearsal etiquette to auditioning effectively. You’ll complete the course with an industry showcase in London, before one final show-stopping performance!
As well as being passionate about performance and musical theatre, you should have at least 2 A Levels at grade C or above, and a third relevant qualification or a BTEC Level 3 Diploma at grade Merit, Merit, Merit or Level 3 Certificate at Distinction, Distinction. This should be relevant to the performing arts subject area. A grade 5 in music theory will also be a big help.
You should have at least 96 UCAS points, but if you’re a mature applicant with relevant experience in your chosen specialism, we can still consider your application. International students should be able to demonstrate a proficiency in English, with an IELTS score of 6.0.
All applicants will be invited to audition with us.
HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?
Throughout your entire degree, you’ll be participating in a wide variety of assignments and workshop sessions, and we’ll give you regular, constructive feedback on all of these.
Alongside the practical assessments of your singing, dancing and acting skills you’ll also evaluate your own development and be responsible for your own research project in your third year.
FEES, FINANCE AND FUNDING
The fees for this BA (Hons) degree in Musical Theatre are currently £8,900 per year.
The first year is your skills year, where you will develop the core disciplines of Musical Theatre through the completion of the following modules:
You will work predominantly on Stanislavski acting technique, developing your acting process. You will be supported by voice lessons, improving your clarity, articulation and projection.
Ensemble and Solo Singing Techniques
Through small and large ensemble sessions you will explore a wide array of harmony repertoire from the Musical Theatre genre. You will be supported by General Musicianship lessons that will teach you 'real world' music theory and vocal techniques, preparing you for the industry. You will also receive a weekly singing lesson with a tutor to develop your vocal technique and repertoire.
Developing Dance Techniques
Through streamed dance classes in ballet, tap, jazz you will be pushed to the maximum of your ability to develop your dance techniques in the core Musical Theatre disciplines.
Acting Through Song
You will take your acting to the next level, learning further techniques and devices and applying them to song.
Context and Guidance
You will learn the history of Musical Theatre and its social and political contexts, developing your written and critical thinking skills.
Epic and Heightened Form
The first year culminates in a large ensemble performance integrating all of the skills studying a chosen musical play.
The second year is known as challenges, where you will integrate the skills developed in the first year and develop your process through the completion of the following modules:
The Historical Musical
You will focus on two different historical musicals, applying the acting skills learnt in first year as well as integrating dance and singing. The focus will be on rehearsal technique and stagecraft, working with a Director and Musical Director.
Developing Ensemble and Solo Singing Techniques
You will be pushed further in ensemble singing, exploring more complex harmonies than ever before and continuing your development plan with your solo singing tutor. You will further explore vocal technique, musical theory and sight singing.
Dance Techniques, Performance and Choreography
You will continue to develop your techniques in dance, with more focus on repertoire and introducing commercial jazz. You will be given the opportunity to choreograph your own work and develop your individual style.
Theory and Context
You will continue to develop your analytical skills, looking at a variety of performance theory. You will develop your critical thinking and research skills.
You will work with a Director and Musical Director to produce your very own musical. This will be your first public performance, exploring the roles of composer, choreographer, writer and stage management.
The Contemporary Musical
You will work as an ensemble to recreate a Contemporary Musical with a Musical Director and Director. You will then culminate the year with your very own Musical Theatre Cabaret.
The third year is your professional year, where you will focus on professional projects to build your industry contacts and leave prepared for the world of showbusiness.
You will begin the year by developing your audition repertoire and learning how to prepare yourself for professional auditions.
Rehearsing and Presenting a Public Performance
Led by a professional director, you will be auditioned and cast in a Musical Theatre show to be performed in front of a paying audience, with full technical, orchestra, Musical Director and stage management.
You will showcase your skills in front of a selected industry audience in London and Manchester.
Negotiated Research Project:
You will utilise all of your academic skills and critical thinking in the development of either a written or performed dissertation.
You will be supported through the process of self-marketing, including recording your own vocal reel, CV writing, contacting agents and developing your all-important audition repertoire folder.
Your degree culminates in a final production, led by a Director and Musical Director, with full show support including stage management, orchestra and technical support.
With this comprehensive BA (Hons) degree in Musical Theatre, you’ll have the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the industry. You may choose to continue onto an MA at a dedicated academy or conservatory, or you might want to begin your career right away.
You could find yourself performing on stage at the West End, like many of our recent graduates, or acting in TV shows and film productions, like Casualty or Strictly Come Dancing. A number of our alumni have joined UK tours of big musical performances, or gone on to work abroad for the likes of Walt Disney World and Royal Caribbean International. There are a huge range of career opportunities for you to follow.
Joshua Dowen (Picture above, left)
Josh graduated on the BA (Hons) Musical Theatre in 2011. Credits include starring as Ren in Footloose (UK Tour), All or Nothing (UK Tour), Dogfight (Southwark Playhouse), Cool Rider (Lyric Theatre) and The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee (UK Tour).
Phil Graduated from BA (Hons) Musical Theatre in 2010. His credits include Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre), Putting on the Ritz (UK Tour), Strictly Come Dancing (BBC) plus pantomimes and cruiseship work.