BA(Hons) Drama and Acting

Six Drama and Acting degree students acting in a performance
Entry year
Course code
Tariff points
Creative and Cultural Industries
City Campus
Three years full-time; six years part-time
Full-time; part-time
Programme leader
Dr Amanda Penlington

Clearing applicants who do not meet the standard requirements as specified on the Entry tab may be considered.

Please call our Clearing helpline on 0117 32 83333 for further advice.

Page last updated 4 July 2022


Combine extensive practical experience with underlying theory and graduate confident, creative and ready for an exciting future as a performer.

Why study drama and acting?

Contemporary acting is competitive. You need know your strengths as a performer and develop them to the highest level possible through practice and direction.

When you audition for a role or drama school, you need to be able to demonstrate your range and ability in as little as three minutes.

Being prepared isn't just about learning your lines, it's about choosing the right one and being ready for changes and questions on the day.

Studying drama and acting prepares you for these challenges so you have the best chance to make an impression.

Why UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Drama and Acting is for those who love performing live and appreciate a challenge. You'll develop your performance skills through core modules in acting for stage and screen, and physical theatre.

Work closely with our supportive theatre community to share ideas and work as collectively on productions.

Build your skills in all aspects of performing and gain plenty of practical experience.

Play a part in Bristol's vibrant culture, with regular exchanges between the university and local theatre network. Get support to form your own theatre company, producing your own extra-curricular work and making the most of rehearsal and performance space.

As an actor, you will devise and perform original pieces of theatre. Specialist workshops led by staff and industry professionals will give you the chance to develop skills such as auditioning for theatre, film and television, and you'll showcase your work at the New Performance Festival.

City Campus is a creative powerhouse that spans the city of Bristol and is made up of Bower Ashton, Spike Island, Arnolfini and Watershed.

BA(Hons) Drama and Acting is based at the City Campus, and uses theatres and specialist spaces at the Arnolfini and Bower Ashton Studios.

Shaping the course towards the type of acting, or area of theatre making you're most interested in, you'llemerge as a confident and creative practitioner, ready to thrive in your career.

Showcase your work to potential employers at the final year Creative Industries Degree Show and build an impressive portfolio of work.

Where can it take me?

Graduate in a confident position for a career performing for theatre, television and film.

You could also progress to further study with one of the country's prestigious theatre schools such as the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

  • Introduction to Actor Training
  • Introduction to Physical Theatre
  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • Introduction to Performance Texts and Contexts.

Year two

You will study:

  • Acting for Stage
  • Devising Physical Theatre.

Plus, two optional modules from:

  • Playwriting
  • New Shakespeares
  • Inventing Modernism.

Final year

You will study:

  • Final Year Project
  • Acting for Screen

Plus, two optional modules from:

  • The Creative Writing Project
  • Avant-Garde Theatre
  • Contemporary British and American Drama.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

Learning and Teaching

Our staff come from a variety of theatre backgrounds around the world. We're committed to your personal development, and offer a unique curriculum with a variety of teaching methods.

There aren't any lectures or written exams - you'll be taught through three-hour workshops.

You can set up own theatre company, and attend workshops dedicated to helping you put together applications and prepare for auditions.

Develop your professional and creative practice, with practice-led teaching, access to leading facilities and plenty of professional input. 

Explore wide-ranging acting skills, theories and practices, from classical to contemporary, and realism to expressionism. Study physical theatre. Dip your toes into lots of different areas to see where your talents lie.

Craft your skills as a researcher and draw on different theories and techniques to create your own performances. You'll be working with academics and practitioners helping to shape new thinking in the field. Find out about our academic staff and their areas of expertise.

Develop enterprise skills, explore different audiences and contexts for your work, and build a compelling portfolio to take to employers.

With 50% of your modules in acting and the other 50% in drama, you'll develop your acting skills, while also exploring other areas such as writing, producing or directing. If you want to focus further on one of those avenues, there's the option to switch to the BA(Hons) Drama title in one of these areas in Year three.

In Year three, you will devise, produce and act in a final year show, with an emphasis on performance.

Your portfolio will be shaped towards the aspect of theatre you want to progress in, whether that's a showreel for acting, a portfolio for writing or a CV for directorial work.

Find out about our academic staff and their areas of expertise.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year: 

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year

Get involved

The Drama Society is open to all students. It stages three or four shows a year, including a traditional pantomime and a large-scale summer production. The latter has previously travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

You'll get to audition for high-profile events such as the New Performance Festival at the Arnolfini.

Masterclasses by industry professionals offer valuable insights on everything from auditioning technique and acting Shakespeare, to puppetry and stage combat.

Apply for support through our Graduate Development Programme to access advice and scratch performance space, to keep your theatre company going after graduation.


The way your work will be assessed depends on which modules you choose.

You can be assessed through live and filmed performances, portfolios of writing, written reflections, presentations and essays. Every performance will be double or triple marked.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year



Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees and are better prepared for entering the commercial sector. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professionalism through networking, making you a sought after graduate.

Formal placements aren't part of the course but we encourage you to find your own extra-curricular work and provide open access to rehearsal and performance space.

You'll have a wealth of opportunities to develop personally and gain real-world experience through our strong links with Bristol theatres.

Get help to find your placements and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.

Study facilities

BA(Hons) Drama and Acting is based at our City Campus in the heart of Bristol.

City Campus at Arnolfini offers studio and teaching spaces and technical facilities on Bristol's harbourside, as well as access to the ground floor auditorium for performance workshops.

You'll also use the resources available at other City Campus sites. This includes Bower Ashton Studios, which has a working theatre and houses the main library dedicated to the creative and cultural industries, as well as a number of student support services.

A mix of traditional and hands-on learning environments helps you quickly take on essential knowledge and skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

Tailoring what and how you study, you can shape the course towards your chosen career path.

Our graduates go on to a career performing for theatre, television, and film.

Many progress to postgraduate courses at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (BOVTS), the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and Central School of Speech and Drama.

You'll be supported in your final year by workshops on applications and the audition process.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Supplementary fee information

Additional costs

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: Grade C/4 in English Literature or Language, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

    *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.

    For information on required Guided Learning Hours please see our minimum entry requirements page.

  • Access: No specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.
  • T Levels: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

International applicants

For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages. If you are applying to study at UWE Bristol and require additional support to meet our English language requirements, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

Selection process

Applicants will be required to attend an interview. For more details on the process, please visit our selection page.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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