Professional Voice Studies is an exciting and uniquely designed course offering students the opportunity to undertake specialised voice studies training within an internationally acclaimed theatre school setting. (In the UK the terms course and programme / program are used interchangeably)
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 theatres in the South West of England and students will have the opportunity to work with the actors on these productions as part of their studies.
There will be opportunities within the curriculum for collaboration with students on other courses including the MA Drama Directing, MA Performance Design and Professional Acting courses.
A summary of essential course information is available (PDF, 181 KB). Please note that this summary is intended for students commencing their course in September 2020 and is subject to change for future years.
ⓘ Where Covid-19 control measures impact our ability to deliver this course as described for the 2021-21 academic year, we will update offer holders by email and confirm teaching arrangements at least four weeks before term begins.
Applications can only be accepted through UCAS Postgraduate and not via any third party.
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:
The course includes theoretical aspects of voice studies 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 the undertaking research on their own areas of interest. This research will conclude with a ‘practice-based research’ project.
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 MA degree from the University of the West of England (UWE).
Applicants would normally be expected to have an honours degree in a related subject area. However, applicants with extensive relevant professional experience will also be considered.
If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate English language proficiency through a relevant qualification, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which can also be used to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. For MFA Professional Voice Studies, an overall score of 7.0 is normally required, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
All applicants will be interviewed by two members of staff.
For UK or international applicants it may be possible to conduct the interview via Skype or equivalent.
The selection process will include listening and perception tests.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.
All modules are compulsory, with each module worth a specified number of credits. They enable you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interests.
Module number: UATAWY-15-M Voice Anatomy and Physiology (15 Credits)
Module number: UATAWW-45-M Phonetics and Accents (45 Credits)
Module number: UATAX3-60-M Voice, Speech and Text (60 Credits)
Module number: UATAWX-60-M Practice and Research (60 Credits)
Optional Modules: There are no optional modules.
Interim Award: There are no interim awards under this award scheme.
Award: MFA Professional Voice Studies
Credit requirements: MFA – 180 credits
The course is largely practical but with a theoretical underpinning. It 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 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.
This is a full-time course consisting of 38 weeks of teaching spread over one year. Students usual attendance hours will be Monday – Friday from 9.15 am until 5.30pm. However, there may be an occasional requirement for weekend attendance.
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.
Please note: the named teaching team is correct at the time of writing but may be subject to change.
You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.
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).
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.
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 here.
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.
You can also find additional information for disabled applicants and students at all Conservatoire for Dance and Drama affiliated Schools here.
Assessment is through practical and written assignments, presentations, coaching/teaching and ‘practice-based research’ projects.
Students are assessed on their professional practice on a pass or fail basis.
Judgements about student performance are made against the relevant industry standards.
The UWE qualifications are awarded as non-classified/non-differentiated.
MFA Professional Voice Studies
Duration: 38 weeks (full-time)
UK students tuition fees for the MFA Professional Voice Studies course starting in September 2020 will be £10,800 for the whole course.
International students (non UK) tuition fees for the MFA Professional Voice Studies course starting in September 2020 will be £24,000 for the whole course.
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:
Info and advice regarding potential accommodation and living costs can be found in the General Student Information Handbook
Sources of financial support
Details on funding options can be obtained from our Student Fees home page.
Bursaries, scholarships and prizes
Please see the BOVTS Fees and Financial Support page for details of Bursaries and Scholarships.
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.
Applying for a course at BOVTS
How to apply for our courses through UCAS, including specific advice for international applicants and mature students.
Before you apply
Check the entry requirements
All our courses have course-specific entry requirements. Before you apply, check that you meet the entry requirements for the course you are interested in.
Research your course
Before you apply, you should research the course you want to study. Read the UCAS guide on choosing a course.
UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. It is a charitable organisation that handles applications for UK universities.
When to apply
International students are advised to apply at least six months before the beginning of the course to ensure time for appropriate visas to be granted. UK/EU students can apply at any time.
Submitting your application
To apply through UCAS, you will need to fill out a form on the UCAS website to apply. UCAS provides guidance on filling out the application, which will help you:
Applying as an international student
The application process for international students is the same as it is for everyone else. You still need to apply through UCAS.
As well as meeting our course entry requirements, you may have to provide proof of your level of English. This is because you need to meet the Home Office required standards to get a Tier 4 Visa to enter the country for study.
You can find out about Tier 4 Visas from the UK Government.
Applying after a break in studying
If you are age 21 or over, you are defined as a mature student. Although your route to higher education may be different, the application process is the same as it is for everyone else. You still need to apply through UCAS.
We accept a variety of qualifications, including the Access to HE Diploma and Open University credits. View our course pages to find out about entry requirements for each course. If you are a mature student and you have any questions about our entry requirements or your qualifications email [email protected]
Completing the UCAS form
You should complete all sections of the UCAS form. You must include:
In your personal statement you should also explain why you have chosen to return to study now and how you feel you will benefit.
The UCAS guide for mature students explains the different ways you can get into higher education.
Applicant Auditions & Interviews
For some of our courses, we will invite you to attend an interview or audition if your application looks suitable and you are studying a qualification that is harder for us to assess on paper. We may also invite you to attend an interview or audition if you have had a less typical educational history, which means we are unable to consider your application using our normal criteria.
You can find further advice and guidance about our audition and interview process can be found on the individual course page.
Tracking your application through UCAS
You can follow the progress of your application through UCAS Track.
The University is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities for all. We consider each application on the basis of the applicant’s suitability for the proposed programme of study, at the same time acknowledging the statutory and professional requirements of some programmes. We are keen to encourage applicants from a wide range of academic and social backgrounds to take up the opportunity of studying at the University. We aim to create an environment that respects the diversity of students and enables them to derive maximum benefit and enjoyment from their involvement in the life of the University. To do this we will be proactive about ensuring people are treated fairly regardless of age, disability, race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
The Admissions Office deals with enquiries and applications for all undergraduate programmes.