Award:BA (Hons) Professional Acting


Locations: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School - Operating on two specialist teaching sites (Downside Road and Christchurch Studios) and performing in the major producing theatre venues in Bristol.

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: 3 years (full-time)

Academic year: Full-time course: 1st October 2018 – 5th July 2019

Audition and Interview Fee Waiver Scheme

The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) is now able to offer a number of free audition and interview places across the Conservatoire schools.

Places are offered on a first come basis and interested applicants must meet specific criteria.

Please check the CDD website for further details on this page.

For more details on preliminary auditions being held in Leeds, Belfast and Glasgow, please see below

Please note: ALL Locations, Leeds, Glasgow and Belfast now FULL, applicants will have to come to Bristol for their audition.

Please see this page for information on auditions being held in Glasgow

Please see this page for information on auditions being held in Belfast

Please see this page for information on auditions being held in Leeds

“All applications are made direct to UCAS Conservatoires. ”

Course Fees Term Dates Policies & Procedures

Entry requirements 2017-18

All applicants meet the University’s minimum qualifications for admission, except where age, experience and alternative qualifications are contributory factors.

Please note: this course is only open to those who are ordinarily resident in the EU/UK. This course is NOT open for international applications.

The selection process is entirely through audition.

All applicants are auditioned.

All applicants attend a fifteen-minute one-to-two audition.

These initial auditions are informal, friendly and as stress-free as possible.

Following these preliminaries, the applicants with the greatest potential are invited to Bristol for a recall audition where final selections are made.

All applicants who have professional experience follow the same procedures but background and relevant professional experience are taken into consideration alongside talent and potential.

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

Course overview

This BA Hons level programme provides students with advanced level skills and knowledge in Acting for all media including Theatre, Television, Film and radio.

It is a predominantly vocational course with high contact hours concentrating on core skills in Acting, Voice, Movement and Singing in the first year, followed by three community tours to school and theatre audiences in the second year.

The final year consists of three full productions in theatres and other venues within Bristol.

Students also produce high quality short films and broadcast radio standard pieces for showreel and promotional purposes. A London Showcase in front of industry professionals is an annual event.

Core classes in technical skills are maintained throughout the second and final years alongside industry specific training in professional development and audition skills.

The ethic of the ensemble runs throughout the three years.

The opportunity to work with professionally recognised directors such as Sally Cookson, Tom Morris and Bill Alexander is hugely beneficial to the future employment prospects of the students and in recent times students have progressed to work at the major theatre playing houses including The National, the RSC and the Royal Court as well as feature in major roles within Film and Television productions both in the United Kingdom and America.

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.

Year 1

  • Module Number: UATPA3-40-1 - Module Name: Specialised Vocal Development
  • Module Number: UATPA4-40-1 - Module Name: Specialised Physical Development
  • Module Number: UATPA5-40-1 - Module Name: Specialised Acting and Performance Techniques

Optional Modules: There are no optional modules for this stage of this award.

Interim Award: Cert HE Professional Acting

Credit requirements: 120 from the above specific level 1 modules.

Year 2

  • Module Number: UATPA6-30-2 - Module Name: Children's Theatre (Touring)
  • Module Number: UATPA8-30-2 - Module Name: Theatre in Education Touring
  • Module Number: UATPA9-30-2 - Module Name: Community Theatre (Touring)/ Supporting Performance/Understudy
  • Module Number: UATA94-30-2 - Module Name: Radio & Television Production

Optional Modules: There are no optional modules for this stage of this award

Interim Award: Dip HE Professional Acting

Credit requirements 240 from the above specific Level 1 and Level 2 modules.

Year 3

  • Module Number: UATPB3-40-3 - Module Name: Main House Public Productions
  • Module Number: UATPB4-20-3 - Module Name: Radio and Television Production 2
  • Module Number: UATPB5-30-3 - Module Name: Showcase Productions – Bristol/London
  • Module Number: UATPB6-30-3 - Module Name: Self-Presentation/Marketing/Career Management

Award: BA Hons Professional Acting

Credit requirements: BA Hons - 360 credits

Teaching and Learning

The programme is practical and career focused.

It is integrated with the school’s other programmes during productions, as well as within the professional environment, as some performances take place in local professional theatres.

The programme features a high level of one-to-one teaching by specialist professionals and work is realised for professional standard performances.

The learning is immersive and singular in its focus on high level specialist professional employability as a main learning outcome. There are up to fourteen students accepted to this course per academic year.

The learning is immersive with students taught supervised by teaching staff at least 35 hours per week across the 99 weeks of the programme.

Students are assessed through ongoing monitoring, analysis and feedback on their classes, workshops, rehearsal processes and performance skills and through the assimilation of the guidance and informed judgements of an extensive range of internal and external professional practitioners and potential employers.

Assessment also focuses on the development of self-reliance, intellectual and emotional engagement and initiative in creating growth.

Written career strategy work is assessed on the basis of thoroughness of research, demonstration of assimilation and understanding and clarity, accuracy and practicality.

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

You 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 senior academics, Head of Acting Courses, Artistic Director, Head of Acting, Head of Voice, Head of Music and Singing, Head of Movement and other Acting Tutors and visiting specialist professionals.

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


Students are assessed through ongoing monitoring, analysis and feedback on their classes, workshops, rehearsal processes and performance skills and through the assimilation of the guidance and informed judgements of an extensive range of internal and external professional practitioners and potential employers.

Assessment also focuses on the development of self-reliance, intellectual and emotional engagement and initiative in creating growth.

Written career strategy work is assessed on the basis of thoroughness of research, demonstration of assimilation and understanding and clarity, accuracy and practicality.

Fees and Funding

BA (Hons) Professional Acting

Duration: 3 years (full-time)


Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Home/EU Fees.

New UK undergraduate students £9,250*

New EU undergraduate students £9,250*

Isle of Man and Channel Island students £9,250*

*Subject to further increase in subsequent years in line with Government policy.

Please note: International Students are not eligible for this course

(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).

Accommodation and living costs not included in the fees

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits.

Details 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 undergraduate students, which you may be eligible to apply for. Some of these are available to students on any course (such as Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD) scholarships, Hardship Fund and bursaries offered by charitable trusts)

As you would expect from a university that places great emphasis on student support, BOVTS is keen to offer help to students. Bursaries and scholarships worth almost £200k are available for new and returning students.

The Undergraduate Award Scheme is part of The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama's (CDD) Access Agreement with the government and is aimed at widening access to degree courses by removing financial barriers to education for students from under-represented groups.

Conservatoire Scholarships

The Conservatoire offers a range of scholarships in the form of bursaries and fee discounts. See the link below for details of what the scholarships are worth and who is eligible.

Conservatoire Scholarship Scheme – up to a maximum of £4,000 per annum (cash or tuition fee discount) awarded on the basis of need or talent available on all undergraduate courses – Click this text to go to the CDD website in a new tab

How do I apply for a scholarship?<

If you wish to be considered for a Conservatoire Scholarship, you need to indicate as appropriate on your application form to the school/s. You then need to complete an application to Student Finance England (or its equivalent) as early as possible in order to be income assessed. Remember to allow consent to share information. This will allow the Conservatoire to assess what level of support you may be entitled to.

You can apply to Student Finance for income assessment even if you are not eligible for a loan, or do not wish to apply for a loan. Scholarships awarded on the basis of talent will be allocated by the schools and all eligible students will be considered.

If you are eligible for an income assessed scholarship, you may also be considered for additional support through the ‘talent and need based scholarships’ criteria. The maximum amount you can receive is usually £4,000 per year for each year of training.

To apply for student funding please click this text to go to the Gov website in a new tab

The Care Leaver and Estranged Students Bursary is allocated in addition to any other financial support.

Other Bursaries

Audition Process

Audition Process

We currently operate a two stage process for admission. The first is a 15 minute preliminary audition, if you are successful you will be required to come back for a recall workshop. Preliminary auditions are normally held between November and April. Recalls are normally held between January and June. Details are below;

Each preliminary audition lasts for roughly fifteen minutes

At your audition, you will be required to present:

  • - A speech from a classical English play (written before 1800 - Elizabethan, Jacobean, Restoration or Eighteenth Century – Shakespeare is always appropriate).
  • - A piece in prose from a modern play (written in the 20th or 21st Centuries).
  • - A short, unaccompanied song – we strongly suggest avoiding contemporary pop songs.
  • On top of this you will be given;
  • - A short piece of Sight Reading prose – to be provided when you arrive, therefore you may wish to arrive earlier to prepare for this.

Each piece should last no longer than 2 minutes; if you exceed this time limit you will be stopped. For the song, you may wish to perform a verse and chorus from your chosen piece.

If you are successful you will be asked to come back for a recall workshop, which is an all day workshop from 9am - 6pm.

The workshops are held on a different date than your preliminary audition, therefore you will have to prepare to come back to the school at a later date for the workshop.

Please note that we are unable to offer feedback on audition or interview

How to Apply

To apply for entry to the BA (Hons) Acting programme in October 2018, you will need to use the UCAS Conservatoires.

To apply for this course please click here: click here to apply via the UCAS website in a new tab

Applications open on the 1 September 2017 and close on 28th February 2018.

Please note that UCAS Conservatoires is a different application system to UCAS Undergraduate.

Applying Through UCAS Conservatoires

Although UCAS Conservatoires (previously CUKAS) offers many advantages, it was originally designed to handle applications for music programmes at UK conservatoires and is in the process of being adapted to meet the needs of drama applicants.

We are working with UCAS Conservatoires and other drama schools to ensure this happens as quickly as possible but, in the meantime, you may find the following notes helpful.

Application Codes

  • The UCAS Conservatoires Institution Code for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is B65
  • and the Course Code for BA (Hons) Acting programme is BOV1.

  • • When applying, you will be required to 'select an instrument', please select drama performance for the BA (Hons) Acting programme.
  • • In your application, you will be asked for details of your 'practical/music referee'. This should be a reference written by your drama teacher / lecturer, Head of Department, or any other appropriate person who can comment on your acting performance abilities.

The UCAS Conservatoires website will allow you to track the progress of your applications using a unique username and password. You will see details of audition dates and times as well as any decisions as they are posted.

You will find guidance on using this service at or you can contact the UCAS Conservatoires Customer Service Unit on +44 (0)871 468 0 470 (Monday to Friday, 08:30 and 18:00hrs).

Additional Guidance on How to Apply

Registration and Audition Fees

There is a one-off registration fee of £25 to register (for entry 2018) to use the service. The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School also charges an audition administration fee of £65 to cover the cost involved in arranging and delivering auditions. Both fees are payable through UCAS Conservatoires.

Personal Statements

We recommend that you pay particular attention to the information you provide in your personal statement on your application form in order to give us as full a picture as possible of your relevant experience and reasons for applying.

Application Dates

You can apply through UCAS Conservatoires from the 1 September 2017. The equal consideration deadline for applications to the BA (Hons) Acting programme is 15 January 2018. However our applications for this course will close on 28th February 2018.

If you have any further queries please contact the Admissions Department to discuss:

Deferred Entry

We are unable to consider applications for deferred entry to the BA (Hons) Acting programme.

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.

Applications will open at 9am on the 1st of October 2017 and will close at 4pm on Wednesday 28th of February 2018

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Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Ltd, 1-2 Downside Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XF
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Conservatoire for Dance and drama University of the West of England