Award: MA/MFA Professional Voice Studies*, please note this course is subject to validation.

Locations: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School - Operating on two specialist teaching sites (Downside Road, main site and Christchurch Studios).

Awarding body: University of the West of England (UWE)

Students who complete the course successfully will receive a degree from the University of the West of England (UWE). The agreement between the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the University of the West of England is reviewed every five years for developmental purposes and was last renewed in 2016.

Duration: 4 Terms – 44 weeks (full-time)

Academic year: Full-time course: 23rd April 2019 – 3rd July 2020 (TBC)

“All applications are made direct to the Theatre School NOT THROUGH UCAS.”

Course Fees Term Dates Policies & Procedures

Entry requirements 2019-20

Successful candidates will be non UK/EU residents who have a first degree in a related field and/or experience in a related profession. They should have an excellent command of both written and spoken English.

Candidates will have two interviews – the first via Skype and, if successful, a second round interview in person at the School.

Course overview

This is an exciting and uniquely designed new course offering students the opportunity to undertake specialised voice training within an internationally acclaimed theatre school setting.

The course is eclectic in its approach drawing on a range of methodologies and practitioners. Bristol Old Vic Theatre School produces professional standard productions at a range of professional theatres in the South West of England and students will have the opportunity to work on these productions as part of their studies.

The aim of the course is to produce self-reflective, entrepreneurial voice practitioners who will work within traditional fields, or go on to develop the practice into new areas. It is envisaged that graduates will seek careers in a range of voice related roles such as voice and/or dialect coaches for theatre, TV, film or radio; voice directors for theatre productions; voice teachers within conservatoires or university acting departments; voice and presentation skills coaches for business or other non-performers; voice artists for radio, audio books, animated productions; or voice artists within the fields of performance or contemporary art.

The course includes theoretical aspects of voice work including: vocal anatomy and physiology, and phonetics. The emphasis, however, will be on the practical applications of theory. This will include work to develop the potential of the student’s own voice; coaching and teaching practice; and encouraging the student to research their own areas of interest. This research will conclude with a ‘practice-as-research’ project for the MA pathway or a written dissertation for the MFA pathway.

There will be opportunities within the curriculum for collaboration with students on other courses including our MA Directing, MA Design and Professional Acting courses.

A copy of the rules and regulations governing the course is available consult the BOVTS policies and procedures page.

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits. All modules are compulsory, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interests.

  • Module number: TBC - Vocal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Module number: TBC - Phonetics and Dialects
  • Module number: TBC - Voice, Speech and Text
  • Module number: TBC - Vocal Pedagogy
  • Module number: TBC - Practice and Research

Optional Modules: There are no optional modules. However, there are two pathways: MA and MFA. In order to be awarded the MA a ‘practice-as-research’ project must be completed. In order to be awarded the MFA a written dissertation must be completed.

Interim Award: There are no interim awards under this award scheme.

Award: MA/MFA Professional Voice Studies

Credit requirements: MA – 180 credits MFA – 180 credits

Teaching and Learning

The programme is largely practical but with a theoretical underpinning. The course is taught through practical classes, workshops, lectures, projects and coaching/teaching observation and practice.

Coaching/teaching practice takes place either within the School in tutorial or class settings; on student productions in professional theatres; or in other professional contexts outside the School.

Teaching is provided by highly specialised tutors and subject practitioners in small groups.

Only four students are accepted on to the course each year.

Students are expected to be engaged on the course for a minimum of 35 hours a week over 44 weeks; this is four terms of 11 weeks each. Contact hours will vary depending upon the module.

Academic and Student Support

As part of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD), the School is committed to selecting, training and supporting students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion.

Applicants to CDD schools are chosen solely on the basis of their talent and potential to develop the skills required for their chosen profession. The School does, however, judge applicants on their suitability for a course and their potential to successfully complete the training, as the work is rigorous and requires high levels of energy and commitment.

Student Support on the programmes at the School covers a variety of areas such as support for disabled students, academic support, student finance and health and welfare.

Julia Heeley, Student Support Manager, is able to answer queries about support available for disabled applicants/students. Her email address is and she can also be reached by telephone on 0117 980 9247.

Our Academic and Student Support services team provides help in the following areas:

Support for students with disabilities including specific learning difficulties In our admissions process, we are committed to supporting students with disabilities.

Disabled students are encouraged to disclose their support requirements so that we can endeavour to meet them during the audition process and subsequent training.

The School welcomes all students regardless of disability. It is our aim to provide appropriate support so that all students are able to achieve their full potential.

Students with a disability will be provided with advice and support from the Student Support Manager. If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty we recommend you contact her either prior to starting your course or during your first few weeks at the School to discuss any support requirements you may have.

This may include support resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment, learning difficulties such as dyslexia or dyspraxia or mental health difficulties.

We recognise that everyone is an individual and we will work with students to identify potential barriers to training and do what we can to remove those barriers. We will also make any necessary reasonable adjustments, to ensure that disabled students can train at the School.

Quickscan screening

At the School we put a great deal of emphasis on supporting students during their time with us.

We are aware that nationally there is a very high proportion of students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia, in institutions which specialise in art, design or the performing arts.

During your first week, the School encourages all students to take a short questionnaire known as QuickScan which has proved to be a useful piece of screening software for students and staff across the CDD Schools. It takes the form of an on-line, easy to navigate, questionnaire which will help to identify your learning style and specific areas of learning strengths and weaknesses. It is used in conjunction with other indicators, including student disclosure (as part of the interview and registration process), tutor feedback on practical and written work, and students expressing their concerns and any support requirements which may become apparent during their studies.

Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)

UK students with disabilities (including Specific Learning Difficulties and long-term Mental Health conditions) can apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

DSA usually provides support for students with the specialist equipment and tools necessary to support you with your studies, including software, hardware and study skills support. Unlike a student loan, DSA does not have to be repaid. However, it is rarely awarded in the form of financial support.

Applications are made through, Student Finance England (SFE), Student Finance Wales (SFW), or Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

In order to apply for DSA, Student Finance will require evidence of any impairment or disability. This may take the form of a doctor’s or specialist’s letter or, more often, a report from an Educational Psychologist (Diagnostic Assessment Report).

If you require a Diagnostic Assessment from an Educational Psychologist, the Student Support Manager can arrange this for you and can guide you through the process.

Personal Academic Support

Various staff members at the School can help in different ways if you need academic support. If you need help with the content of classes or assessment work, you can ask the relevant head of course, tutor or your pastoral care tutor for an appointment or you can ask the Student Support Manager to arrange a tutorial with the relevant member of staff on your behalf. If you make an appointment, you can prepare for the meeting and discuss your concerns away from class. Heads of courses, modules leaders and individual tutors can all help you with understanding aspects of your training and can offer overall guidance or advice about your programme of study.

Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)

Study skills support is usually arranged for students who have been awarded support through Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). However, the Student Support Manager will be happy to arrange one to one study skills support for you if deemed appropriate and necessary.

Mental Health And Wellbeing

Schools within the CDD recognise the challenges faced by students entering higher education and that training in a conservatoire institution can place great demands on a student both physically and emotionally. The CDD has published a leaflet aimed to help students identify signs of mental distress and where to go for support: click this text to go to the CDD website in a new tab


The School has a student therapy and counselling service,¬¬ which is organised and staffed by accredited, registered psychotherapists and counsellors and is there to help with any more deep-seated personal problems on which pastoral tutors are not qualified to advise. If students wish to have an initial assessment with a therapist or counsellor, they should contact the School’s Student Support Manager. A strict professional code of confidentiality is always maintained.

Student welfare and pastoral care

We actively encourage students to develop a pro-active and positive approach to their own ‘wellness’. We are preparing professionals to enter physically and mentally challenging professions and we work to enable students to sustain a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.

Every student is assigned a pastoral tutor who monitors they progress throughout the year in addition to having access to the Student Support Manager. All students have tutorials with their head of course, head of year or allocated pastoral care tutor in which non-teaching issues can be discussed. A confidential tutorial can be requested of any member of the full-time teaching staff on your course.

In addition, BOVTS students have access to UWE’s Student Wellbeing Service, details of which can be found at:

click this text to go to the UWE Wellbeing website in a new tab UWE Wellbeing Service, 3F Reception, UWE, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY Tel: +44 (0)117 32 86268 E-mail:

For further information on support which the School offers, please see the Guide to Student Support which can be found at: click this text to go to the guide in a new tab

You can also find additional information for disabled applicants and students at all Conservatoire for Dance and Drama affiliated Schools here: click this text to go to the CDD website in a new tab

Teaching staff

Students will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes the Course Leader (Head of Voice: Carol Fairlamb) and visiting specialist tutors and practitioners.

You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles Here


Assessment is through practical and written assignments, presentations, coaching/teaching, ‘practice-as-research’ projects - and for the MFA pathway a written dissertation.

Fees and Funding

MA/MFA Professional Voice Studies

Duration: 4 Terms - 44 weeks (full-time)

Fees 2019 Entry :

International students (non UK/EU) tuition fees for the Four Term MA/MFA Voice Studies course starting in April 2019 will be £6,500 for the first term of the course (summer term 2019). The remainder of the tuition fees due for 2019/20 academic year has not yet been determined but will not be less than £19,500

(Full-time route only)

It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years, as these are dependent on Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes, but the maximum increase in each year will not exceed the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

Accommodation and living costs not included in the fees

Industry work placement – accommodation and travel expenses will be covered.

Sources of financial support

Details on funding options can be obtained from our Student Fees home page available here Please see the BOVTS fees page.

Bursaries, scholarships and prizes

The University also provides a number of scholarships and prizes for postgraduate students, which you may be eligible to apply for. There is also a Hardship Fund and bursaries offered by charitable trusts.

How to Apply

Please note: all applications for this course are made direct through the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and NOT through UCAS


Offline Applications

Please contact:The Admissions Office, 1-2 Downside Road, Bristol BS8 2XF.

Tel: 0117 973 3535.


PLEASE NOTE: Applications are for April 2019 entry.

Application regulations

  • We will only accept one application per applicant, per year.
  • We will not accept applications if you have previously applied in four or more consecutive years.
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Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Ltd, 1-2 Downside Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XF
Admin: 0117 973 3535 | Box Office: 0117 973 3955 |

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Conservatoire for Dance and drama University of the West of England