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Acting BA (Hons) at Drama St Mary’s is a rigorous, full-time course that equips you for a career in acting.

Acting (with a Foundation Year) video Acting (with a Foundation Year) video Acting (with a Foundation Year) video Acting (with a Foundation Year) video

Why study Acting (with a Foundation Year)?

This course helps you develop practical, holistic acting skills. You get 30 contact hours a week for 30 weeks of the year. Our tutors are industry professionals who bring their experience and knowledge into our studios.

Our Voice and Movement classes develop the core skills you will need as an actor. Acting classes hone your imagination, technique and stage and screen craft. In the Performance classes you can be playful, experimental, spontaneous and collaborative. The Contextual Studies stream investigates where your work fits into the wider world, both past and present.

In your first year you will build a firm base for your training. This serves as a base for developing your craft in year two through in-house productions and workshops. In your final year you begin your career with public productions, links to industry professionals and a graduate portfolio.

Why St Mary's?

Drama St Mary’s is The University Drama School. We provide the best of Drama School practical training in a university setting. You can enjoy all the best bits of being at university – the campus services, accommodation and being part of a community of students and societies.

Our Greater London campus is on the doorstep of numerous local theatres, and we even have our own theatre at The Exchange.

We have regular guest lectures from leading industry names, and plenty of successful graduates now making a living in the acting profession.

About the Foundation Year

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.

On successful completion of the Drama Foundation Year pathway - and subject to a successful audition - you will progress on to the three-year undergraduate degree in Acting.

Key facts

  • Drama St Mary's - unlike other drama schools - does not charge an audition fee
  • Drama St Mary’s offers Pre-UCAS interviews and auditions that give you feedback before you apply through UCAS
  • Up to 30 contact hours a week for 30 weeks of the year, taught by industry professionals
  • Opportunity for Central London Showcases
  • Rigorous vocational training
  • Links to the industry and development of graduate portfolio material
  • Drama School Training in a university context - offering personal support and tutorial supervision

Entry requirements

48-72 UCAS points required


A Levels


BTEC Extended

View alternative requirements

Additional requirement information

Auditions and interviews

Auditions and interviews are part of the application process for BA Acting. You will be asked to perform a two-minute monologue of your choosing (classical or contemporary) and be interviewed about your interest in the course and your possible routes for development beyond graduating.

There are also opportunities on these days to take part in a group workshop, meet the Acting staff and current students, and tour the facilities.

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergraduate degree.

Subject to a successful audition, on successful completion of the foundation year you will be enrolled on to the first year of the undergradaute degree.

Foundation year

  • Personal Learning Competencies Core
  • Taking a Professional Approach Core
  • Theatre Arts 1 Core
  • Theatre Arts 2 Core
  • London Stories Core
  • Individual Project Core

Year one

  • Voice and Movement 1 Core
  • Acting 1: Methodologies Core
  • Performance 1: Skills Core
  • Acting 2: Methodology to Text Core
  • Performance 2: Ensemble Core
  • Contextual Studies 1: Acting in Theory and Practice Core

Year two

  • Voice and Movement 2 Core
  • Acting 3: Classical Core
  • Performance 3: Devising Core
  • Acting 4: Acting for TV and Film Core
  • Performance 4: Applied Theatre Core
  • Contextual Studies 2: Theatre History Core

Year three

  • Production Core
  • Contextual Studies 3: Professional Practice Core
  • Creative Thinking and Theatre-Making Core
  • Finalists Productions Core
  • Acting for Screen and Radio Core

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

By the end of this Acting degree, you will have had a professional training appropriate to a career in theatre and be equipped with creative, analytical, communication, team-working and organisational skills relevant to a wide range of graduate employment.

Recent graduates have found employment as actors both on stage and on screen including American television or London’s West End.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Acting students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

The course is predominantly (90%) taught through practical classes and workshops, as well as rehearsals for productions.

The Contextual Studies strand of the degree is taught in lecture seminars (10%) throughout the course and links to the work you do in practical classes, giving you a wider understanding of the theatre.

Class sizes are usually 20 to 25 students, and year three productions run in casts of 10 to 12.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 22%
  • Guided learning: 43%
  • Independent study: 35%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

Acting, Performance, Voice and Movement modules (comprising 90% of the course) are assessed through practical exercises, performances and workshop demonstrations. The Contextual Studies modules are assessed by essay (two essays across three years) and graduate portfolio in your third year.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £12,250

* Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2019 or 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs can occur should you wish to join casting directory Spotlight in your final year. This costs £103 for a discounted membership as a student of a Spotlight accredited school. If you want to invest in professional headshots, these also tend to average at around £200.

You are advised to budget £100 a year throughout your degree to purchase scripts and course texts and will need to buy several pairs of rehearsal blacks to train in.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.


View all facilities

Teaching staff

Dan Ford Dan Ford
Programme Director - Acting

Heather Hartnett Heather Hartnett
Programme Director - Acting

Sola  Oyeleye Sola Oyeleye
Senior Lecturer - Drama

Mark Griffin Mark Griffin
Head of Department - Humanities and Creative Industries

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline