Actors on stage with arms spread

Musical Theatre BA(Hons)

This practice-led degree will empower you for a career in musical theatre.

Key details
Location
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Attendance
Full-time / Professional Placement
UCAS code
W312 / PY06

Course overview

Turn your passion for musical theatre into an enduring career within a supportive community of creative performers. With training in acting, singing and dance, you’ll develop performance skills while engaging with traditional, current and future forms, including digital technologies. You’ll enhance and expand your musical theatre abilities through technique classes, exercises, scene work and project rehearsals of classic and contemporary musicals. Practical sessions, individual tutorials, professional development workshops and public performances will help prepare you as a versatile, industry-ready artist.

You will:

  • Study within AMATA’s creative and dynamic performing arts community, where actors, musicians, dancers and technicians collaborate in a dedicated facility, which is also a professional performance venue
  • Access industry-standard facilities, including extensive sprung-floor dance studios, practice rooms, recording studios and technical and music resources
  • Benefit from AMATA’s year-round performance programme, which attracts top artists and performers
  • Work with highly skilled and experienced staff with expert knowledge of the performing arts industry

This course is an accredited degree with Spotlight and Equity. Students are eligible to join Spotlight in the first term of their final year. Inclusive of their membership, they have a wealth of support, content and events tailored explicitly towards this membership group from Spotlight.

Spotlight logo

Course details

Musical Theatre BA(Hons)

On this Musical Theatre degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or study Musical Theatre BA(Hons) with a professional placement option.

As part of this vibrant musical theatre degree, you’ll learn acting skills, develop your voice and singing range, and advance your dance techniques in ballet, jazz and tap. Growing your knowledge and understanding of the genre, you’ll engage with and reflect critically on all aspects of it, together with an awareness of emerging forms. 

You’ll extend your personal repertoire in singing and dance, learn to perform confidently in live theatre and explore digital technologies. Professional development workshops will enable you to focus on strategies for future employability, developing your personal profile and potential. 

You’ll build core skills in all physical disciplines – focusing on body, voice and acting – while learning the histories and contexts of performance and the development of musical theatre. We’ll then concentrate on specific techniques and skills for voice, singing and dance, alongside character development and text analysis.

Modules

Preparation for Performance: Body, Voice & Wellbeing

In this practice-based module, you’ll develop an understanding of how to challenge and develop your vocal and physical capabilities. You’ll participate in regular vocal and movement/dance classes to build the foundational skills that are essential to the musical theatre performer. 


Contexts and Histories of Musical Theatre

In this module, you’ll develop a foundational knowledge and understanding of musical theatre history. Through a series of lectures and seminars, you’ll be introduced to a range of seminal works and genres that are significant to the contextual and cultural development of musical theatre. 


Acting 1: Storytelling, Character and Improvisation

Through studio workshop sessions, you’ll explore a range of storytelling modes and practices, enabling you to employ the tools of the body, voice, imagination and live presence to communicate with an audience. Through a series of practical experiential workshops, you’ll create and develop stories and characters from a wide range of sources and examine how storytelling principles establish the actor-audience relationship. You’ll then develop narratives through via a process of research, improvisation, rehearsal and peer and tutor feedback. 


Dance & Movement 1: Core Skills

In this module, you’ll explore a range of dance and movement techniques that are essential to the musical theatre performer. Through classes including Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Body Conditioning, you’ll gain a fundamental understanding of posture, placement and strength and an awareness of musicality, style and performance techniques. You’ll also establish a critical understanding of key musical theatre contexts and practitioners.  


Voice & Singing 1: Core Skills

You’ll begin to develop a fundamental singing technique – based on the ‘Estill’ method – for the varied singing styles required in musical theatre. Through spoken voice workshops, you’ll continue to develop your technical skills as well as your understanding of language, structure, rhythm and poetic devices.  

This module builds upon the skills learned in Preparation for Performance and is delivered through a series of ensemble classes and individual tutorials. 


Acting 2: Naturalism in Rehearsal and Performance

Drawing on the rehearsal techniques of Stanislavski and his contemporary interpreters, this module will introduce you to a methodological rehearsal process appropriate to naturalistic texts. You’ll increase your understanding of how to collaborate and communicate effectively with others and how to develop a contextually appropriate, organised and personally effective approach to rehearsal and performance. 

Developing your vocal practice, you’ll study techniques for both the spoken and sung voice. You’ll also learn ballet, tap, jazz and core dance skills, before integrating them into your first musical theatre project. Finally, you’ll engage in professional preparation and repertoire in dance and singing and learn to act for recorded media and digital technologies in musical theatre.

Modules

Dance & Movement 2: Developing Techniques

In this module, you’ll deepen your knowledge and experience of core dance styles in musical theatre. During your practical sessions you’ll explore choreography, develop your knowledge of seminal practitioners and learn to communicate character, emotion and narrative through a confident and fluid use of your developing technique. 


Voice & Singing 2: Developing Techniques

You’ll develop your understanding of spoken voice, technical singing and musicianship through individual tutorials and group classes. Practical work will increase your confidence in sight-singing and aural training and focus on the demonstration of technique, expression and communication within performance. You’ll be introduced to accents and will continue to enhance your practical responses to acting methodologies. 


Integrated Skills 1: Musical Theatre Project

Working as an ensemble cast, you’ll study, rehearse, perform and evaluate pieces from a varied repertoire of contrasting musical theatre content. This project will draw together all the skills you’ve developed in singing, dance and acting and will work towards a performance presentation. You’ll expand your understanding of the range of demands placed upon the performer, while integrating these skills in rehearsal towards a unified and collaborative approach to performance. 


Dance & the Actor: Professional Preparation & Repertoire 

In this module, you’ll explore musical theatre repertoire through dance, as well as integrating scene and song. You’ll be introduced to partner work and relevant social and historical dance, developing your ability to express style, character and emotion in performance. You’ll also learn about ‘Swinging’ within musical theatre and how to develop a comprehensive ‘Swing Bible’ and notation. 


Voice & the Actor: Professional Preparation & Repertoire 

Through an exploration of repertoire, you’ll explore the emotional, physical and vocal responses to both music and text. This will result in an expanding personal portfolio of songs and repertoire, together with an enhanced awareness of your personal potential and employability. In voice and text classes you’ll focus on different styles of sung and spoken text and explore the intersections between speaking and singing technique. 


Professional Development: Contemporary Industry Practice

In this module, you’ll expand your knowledge of industry requirements and processes as you prepare to become a professional performer. Seminars, lectures and workshops will include theatre audition technique, visiting industry professionals and guest artist talks. You’ll also learn about contract law, personal taxation and the importance of personal profile, self-promotion and professionalism. 

You can choose to take an optional professional placement after your second year on a three-year programme. 

You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the Employability team. 

Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you’ll study during your professional placement 

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks. 

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation. 

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth. 

Focusing on examples of industry practice, you’ll work on pieces from established shows and gather audition material. You’ll undertake a portfolio or dissertation engaging with emerging practice in musical theatre and learn from a series of guest industry practitioners. Towards the end of the year you’ll put on a final musical theatre production and have the chance to create a digital showcase.

Modules

Professional Development 2: Advanced Practice 

Here, you’ll advance your skills and the application of your existing techniques through classes, masterclasses and workshops guided by staff, guest artists and industry professionals. Building on knowledge gained in Professional Development 1, you’ll work on voice reel and showreel material that can be added to your personal promotional website. You’ll also learn the technique of self-taping and its importance as an auditioning tool within the industry. 


Professional Development 3: Musical Theatre Futures 

In this module, you’ll expand your creative potential both as performer and maker. You’ll be encouraged to explore and develop existing, new and original work to consider and create new professional employment opportunities. You’ll use your skills to contribute to the creation of new musical theatre work, either by developing your own ideas and material and/or by working collaboratively to select and adapt resources already in existence from page to stage. 


Integrated Skills 2: Musical Theatre Performance 

In collaboration with a director, choreographer, musical director and production team, you’ll work towards a fully supported public performance. You'll work in an intensive rehearsal environment as part of a theatre company and fully integrate all your performance skills in the areas of dance, singing and acting. This production is the culmination of all the skills gained and developed during your degree. 

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

Dancers in dresses throwing hands and heads backwards.
Dancers performing red dress

How you’ll learn & be assessed

You’ll continually develop your skills through technique classes, integration exercises, scene work, and project rehearsals of classic and contemporary musicals. Classes in dance and voice will be highly prioritised alongside acting classes and projects, but you’ll also learn through group seminars, workshops, small group tutorials, lectures and guest speakers. 

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

You’ll be assessed through a combination of written coursework, practical coursework and practical performance assessments.

Assessment methods

  • Written coursework
  • Practical coursework
  • Practical performance assessments
  • Constant formative feedback from tutors in class 
  • Formal verbal and some written feedback after assessments

Facilities

  • 11 performance and rehearsal spaces
  • 13 Practice rooms
  • 1,150sqm sprung dance floors
  • State-of-the art digital and analogue recording studio with 4 control rooms and a live room
  • Technical theatre and production facilities
  • Professional theatre venue
Performance Facilities Image
Performance - AMATA

Performance Facilities

The Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) is a purpose-built live venue housing an assembly of f...

Performance Facilities
Library facilities
Library facilities

Library Facilities

Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...

Library Facilities
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Sports Centre - Outside
Sports Centre

Sports Centre

Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...

Sports Centre

Staff

Your tutors will provide industry-based experience and expertise in areas like ballet, jazz and tap dancing, acting for stage, film and television, and industry-specific singing tuition. There’ll also be opportunities to learn from specialist associate lecturers and guest industry lecturers.

Dr Trevor Rawlins

Head of Theatre Arts

I trained as an actor at East 15 Acting School. Before coming to Falmouth, I was Head of Acting at G...

Dr Trevor Rawlins

Lewis Butler

Acting Course Leader, Musical Theatre BA(Hons)

Lewis trained at the Elmhurst Ballet School for 8 years, followed by a Diploma from The London Schoo...

Lewis Butler

Gemma Wright

Lecturer in Voice

Gemma joined Falmouth University in 2017. Previous to working at Falmouth, Gemma taught voice and ac...

Gemma Wright

Amanda Collins

Lecturer

Amanda is a theatre director and actor trainer. She trained as a director at Rose Bruford College an...

Amanda Collins

Ciaran Clarke

Lecturer

Ciaran began as a Lecturer at Falmouth whilst studying his for his PhD in 2018, teaching across Acti...

Ciaran Clarke

Grace Sellwood

Associate Lecturer in Dance

I'm a dance performer, dance teacher, aerial performer, matwork and aerial pilates instructor,&...

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Terrie Fender

Associate Lecturer

Terrie trained as an actress at the Drama Centre, London, and spent ten years working in the theatre...

Terrie Fender

Kuldip Singh-Barmi

Senior Lecturer, BA(Hons) Dance & Choreography

Kuldip's fascination with the body and its capability for expression and physical exploration throug...

Kuldip Singh-Barmi

Amely Instance

Associate Lecturer, Ballet Technique

After graduating in 1993 from the Royal Academy of Dance, I joined Angela Praed's contemporary dance...

Amely Instance

Naomi Schulke

Associate Lecturer of Singing

Naomi is a Singing Teacher, Writer and Interview Coach. She began life as a classical singer, before...

Naomi Schulke

Caroline Childe

Associate Lecturer, Musical Theatre BA(Hons)

Caroline studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama both as an undergraduate and on their po...

Caroline Childe

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Careers

Graduates are eligible to join Spotlight Casting Directory and Equity, the Actor's Union.

As a Musical Theatre graduate, you could become:

  • A stage performer in musical theatre
  • An actor
  • A musician
  • An educator
  • A creative practitioner

How to apply

Ready to join us? You can apply for September 2024 through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply via UCAS

Course route UCAS code
Musical Theatre BA(Hons) three year degree W312
Musical Theatre BA(Hons) with professional placement PY06

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.  

Course route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with professional placement 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. 

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2024

UK applications: 31 January 2024 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 31 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per professional placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,950 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per professional placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

  • Public Programme season tickets (student rate) costs found: AMATA Live Pass
  • Students must come prepared with suitable loose warm clothing appropriate for all practical classes (devising, voice, movement, rehearsals). Approx £70/year
  • General study materials such as scripts and key textbooks. Approx £70-£100/year
  • £70 - Recommended reading

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Ask a student

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From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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