Acting International MA
1 year – 40 weeks (full-time)
This one-year Masters level course gives up to 14 International postgraduate students from outside the EU the opportunity to study in Bristol on an intensive forty week conservatoire course.
Course summary document can be found here – MA Professional Acting Course Key Facts
As well as working on the core actor skills, there is a focus on the classical British and European repertoire, with close attention given to a practical exploration of Shakespearean text in performance.
In their final term international students are directed in a fully-mounted production, supported by professional design, stage management and costume students or practitioners.
The main thrust of the course is to equip students with a range of techniques appropriate to the varied acting demands made within the current performance industry, including those appropriate to the recorded media and offer training which will provide graduates with the skills to work at a high professional standard in their country of origin
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.
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.
Full-time course: 24th September 2018 – 16th August 2019
The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has been approved for the US Federal Student Loan programme for the upcoming 2018 – 2019 MA Acting school year. We are currently in the final stages of preparation to accommodate this, and will have those systems up and running as soon as possible.. Information about the US Federal Student Loan programme can be most easily accessed through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) website at FAFSA.gov
Dates and venues TBC
Dates and venues TBC
The course opens (for 2019 entry) via UCAS on 18th July 2018 and will close at 4pm on Thursday 28th February 2019.
Please note: this course is only open to those who are NOT ordinarily resident in the EU/UK. This course is ONLY open for international applications.
All applicants meet the University’s minimum qualifications for admission, except where age, experience and alternative qualifications are contributory factors.
Selection for programmes of this nature are not primarily driven by specific qualifications, however a first degree is normally required or extensive practical professional express.
Those qualities which distinguish applicants from students enrolled on an undergraduate degree are the evidencing of intellectual capacity, and experience. Typically, successful candidates will have a first degree, often in Drama, Acting, Theatre Studies, or Performance Studies, or will have equivalent professional experience.
They should either have English as a first language or exceptionally good command of written and spoken English.
If offered a place, it may be necessary for some students to complete IELTS.
Applicants will be able to demonstrate a good standard of Acting at audition, both in terms of preparation and ability to take direction.
Applicants will be auditioned by two practitioners, at least one of which will either be a senior member of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Acting staff or a practitioner of high standing in the industry.
In addition auditions will be video recorded for final selection by senior members of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Acting staff.
Applicants will be given an opportunity to ask questions of at interview and via internet or phone contact.
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.
Optional Modules: There are no optional modules.
Award: MA Professional Acting (for international students)
Credit requirements: Total 180 credits from the above modules at level M.
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.
Students are taught supervised by teaching staff at least 35 hours per week across the 40 weeks of the programme.
There are up to fourteen students accepted to this course per academic year.
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 [email protected] 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.
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) https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/overview.
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: [email protected]
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
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.
Students are assessed on their professional practice on a pass or fail basis.
Judgements about students’ performance are made against the relevant professional standards.
The UWE qualifications are awarded as non-classified/nondifferentiated.
We charge a £75 audition fee
Auditions for the 2018 – 2019 MA Professional Acting (for international students) course take place in New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Sydney and Bristol.
Please note: N.American auditions (New York, Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco) normally take place in late January/early February 2019. Sydney auditions are held in early to mid March. Bristol auditions run from November 2018 to May 2019.
Applications for auditions in North America and Sydney should be submitted by mid January.
Please note: Auditions will be held in the following cities;
San Francisco – dates tbc
Vancouver – dates tbc
Toronto – dates tbc
New York – dates tbc
Sydney – dates tbc
Each audition lasts for roughly forty five minutes
At your audition, you will be required to present:
Each piece should last no longer than 2 minutes; if you exceed this time limit you may be stopped. For the song, you may wish to perform a verse and chorus from your chosen piece.
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.
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
https://www.ucas.com/connect/blogs/how-apply-ucas-conservatoires-5-steps 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 £75 to cover the cost involved in arranging and delivering auditions. Both fees are payable through UCAS Conservatoires.
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.
You can apply through UCAS Conservatoires from the 18th July 2018. The equal consideration deadline for applications is 15 January 2019, however our applications for this course will close at 4pm on 28th February 2019.
If you have any further queries please contact the Admissions Department to discuss: [email protected]
We are unable to consider applications for deferred entry.
“The tutors are so passionate and supportive.
It’s more of a family than a school.”
“The intensity and quality of the course means that you will get more from a year’s training than you would think possible.”