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Media and Performance

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - Performing Arts

UCAS Code: W400

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Study with highly-skilled professional practitioners to create cutting-edge media and live performance in a vibrant city with a fantastic theatre, arts and music scene
  • Study a course which has produced household names such as Jason Manford, Christopher Eccleston and Peter Kay
  • Have the opportunity to engage with the industry through networking, masterclasses and a suite of professional development opportunities
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course is the only one in the area combining vocationally focused learning opportunities in both media production and performance – live and recorded. You will have the opportunity to explore a range of performance skills and approaches from the experimental to mainstream live, TV and radio  work. You will be able to develop your skills behind the camera or microphone and to analyse and reflect on your learning through academic study. You will gain the knowledge, skills and understanding to become a versatile and resilient creative practitioner.

You will be able to choose from a range of options to pursue your own interests, including acting for camera, presenting, comedy writing and performance, radio performance and production, scriptwriting, media production and directing and producing. You will also have the opportunity to take part  in video drama projects led by professional directors or staff members.

In your final year you can develop your own project, choosing from a wide range of performance and media areas. These could include devised or scripted live or recorded  performance, an original film script, multimedia, stand-up, a ‘mockumentary’, documentary or a directing project.

We have excellent links with performance and media companies and professionals across the region and encourage you to make the most of the many project and networking opportunities offered to you during your time at the University of Salford.

We’re delighted to have officially opened our £55 million New Adelphi building with its 350-seat theatre. Find out more about this, and why renowned playwright Jim Cartwright has chosen the University as the new home for his theatre company, by watching the ITV Granada Reports feature.

Course Details

As a Media and Performance student, you will learn through a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical performance projects. Assessment will be through a range of means including essays, presentations, in-class performance presentations, video and audio projects and publicly performed projects.

The core curriculum in year 1 will give you foundational knowledge and skills across the spectrum of media and performance. In year 2 you will study a combination of core and optional modules so that you can pursue your individual interests, develop your talents and explore new areas. In year 3 you will combine taught optional modules with your own project work, including practical research or a dissertation. As the course progresses from year 1 to year 3 you will be given support and guidance to enable you to work independently, to manage your time and to collaborate creatively with others. You will also attend a number of careers-focused masterclasses and presentations that will give you practical advice in many employment areas relevant to media and performance graduates.

Year 1        

The module combines both technical and creative aspects of media production as students develop a broad awareness of the range of skills required for a video drama production, including camera, lighting, editing and sound.            
You will learn how to produce from script to screen a short video drama. Working to health and safety guidelines, students  develop group-working skills appropriate to a professional drama production.            
This primarily practical module focuses on the creative practices essential to build characterisations for live performance in a naturalistic context, drawing on Stanislavsky's System.            
This module will acquaint you with the range and scope of television and radio drama and involves an exploration of a range of techniques for performing on camera or for the microphone, as well as providing knowledge of fundamental procedures and skills of studio operation.            
Provides the historical framework to examine the development of performance from the late 19th century onward. Movements like Realism, Expressionism, Surrealism and Dada are examined in relation to other movements and across performance disciplines. Small group seminars support these lectures.            
This lecture and seminar based module focuses on textual analysis and critical approaches to live and mediated performance texts. It also considers key theories and practitioners who influenced the development of particular disciplines within performance.            
Study skills sessions will be offered to support your academic and critical writing skills.            

Year 2        

Core module:

In lectures, screenings and seminars the approaches to textual critical analysis introduced in the first year are further developed, as are your academic writing skills.            

Production options:
You will choose at least one production module from:

This offers you the chance to explore the practical and creative challenges in planning and producing a studio-based TV show. This module is one of two that are based in our professional quality TV studio on the Media City campus.            
Emphasises the aesthetic aspects of directing for screen along with the practical decision-making and problem-solving aspects of camera and lighting, sound recording, video editing, artistic resources and time management. You will be introduced to the role of the producer with regard to budgeting, scheduling        and        contingency planning.            
This module enables you to work on a range of exercises designed to develop your characterisation, vocal expression and tonal variety in performing audio drama. You are introduced to studio equipment for recording and editing and contribute to studio management for the assignment. You are assessed on        the        performance and production of a recorded radio drama script.            
This module develops the skills and approaches introduced in first year production modules, offering the opportunity to further explore camera, editing, lighting and sound recording.            

Production options:
You will choose either a Video Project or a Radio Comedy Project:

Working with a staff director or an external professional, you will perform and produce a short video drama under conditions mirroring industry practice. You will gain experience of the disciplines of shooting on location as well editing your footage.            
This project is led by a member of staff or a visiting practitioner. You will work in an ensemble to create original comedy sketch ideas and develop your own characters within them. The performance, recording and editing of selected sketches before a live studio audience constitutes the practical element of the assignment.            

Further options

This module gives you opportunities to further develop your screen acting, working with ex-broadcast drama scripts, which you will rehearse and record for camera under conditions mirroring industry practice.            
You will examine fundamental aspects of storytelling: narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, the use of subplots. You explore differing conceptual and technical approaches in scriptwriting for theatre, TV and film.            
You will explore performing pieces to camera, engaging with the audience by `breaking through the lens'; interview technique, the importance of asking pertinent questions, listening and putting an interviewee at ease; voice-over work - the importance of performing with energy, clarity and correct intonation. You will produce a five - eight minute magazine item containing an intro, a walk and talk piece to camera, practical exercise or short demonstration, voice-over, researched interview and outro, targeted at a specific audience and presented in an appropriate style.            
You will discuss examples of a range of radio and TV comedy before working in a small group to create an original comedy idea and to develop your own characters within it. You will be encouraged to develop range and flexibility in your vocal, facial and physical skills in order to produce a range of comic personas. You will then perform, record and edit the resultant TV/radio sitcom or sketch show. The module also examines aspects of storytelling‚ theme, narrative structure, character development, comic types, the relationship of character to plot, use of subplots - in relation to the writing of comedy drama and situation comedy. The module explores the writing and devising of comedy for recorded media.            
Through exercises and reflective analysis, you will develop vocal technique and learn to apply interpretative skills to the performance of dramatic text.            
This module offers a survey of the different forms TV takes and the many ways in which it is produced and consumed. Soap opera, lifestyle TV, reality shows, game shows, sitcom, series and serial dramas: you will study how each of these genres has its own narrative and projects its own vision on to its audience.            
During this module you are introduced, to the theories and practices of western physical/dance theatre. Practitioners and styles covered may include Vsevolod Meyerhold; Jacques Lecoq; Jaques Copeau; Odin Teatret; Rudolf Laban; Steven Berkoff; Pina Bausch; Lloyd Newson; and a range of contemporary Physical Theatre companies.            
You will engage in exercises and games, working with and without red nose, to explore key clown concepts of: play, complicity, bafflement, major, minor and ‘the flop’. Practical tactics and strategies for generating laughter are explored through the development of physical skills such as falling, rolling, ‘acting drunk’, stage fighting, double-takes, and tricks with objects.  The module concludes with a solo or group performance in a public space.            
You will learn skills of analysing and writing plays for the stage. The module covers history of playwriting, an introduction to the playwriting industry and the development of skills in areas such as concept, story, structure, characterisation and dialogue. You will then write a play or an analysis of existing published plays for your assessment.            
Approaches to using recorded and live feed video in live performance are studied, both theoretically and practically. You will also explore how new technologies such as mobile phones and social media can be used in live performance. You are introduced to practical techniques and the module is assessed through a devised, multi-media theatre production with evaluation.            
The module provides students with a practical knowledge and theoretical understanding of the uses, applications and value of drama and theatre as an aspect of social engagement and personal empowerment outside of the conventional theatre environment. The module explores the history of the 'form', and key practitioners and areas of contemporary practice. Practitioners/companies may include Cardboard Citizens, 7:84, TiPP, Geese Theatre UK, and Clean Break            
This module investigates developments in the staging of Shakespeare from Elizabethan times to the 21st century. Encompassing both live and recorded performances the module encourages you to address particular approaches to Shakespeare presentation (e.g. political, feminist, intercultural) by exploring the works of for example: RSC, Peter Brook, Robert Lepage and Kenneth Branagh.            

Year 3        

You will choose two of the following options:        

You will analyse, research, rehearse and perform a number of television drama scripts – and work in depth on a specific character from one of them.  Rehearsals of the extracts are recorded and critically reviewed in seminar sessions. Particular attention is paid to the layering of subtext, psychological details and technical skills.            
You will work on a range of exercises and texts, which are aimed at both extending your range of characterisation for radio and developing detail and complexity in vocal performance delivery. Technical workshops examine studio operation including recording levels, mixing, spot and pre-recorded effects, and you work in teams to record and produce radio drama pieces.            
You work with a range of texts, including Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Restoration works. In practical workshops you are encouraged to experiment with rhythm and language, and to apply characterisation and physicalisation techniques within the context of both naturalistic and non-naturalistic performance styles.            
You will examine specific approaches and processes in direction and production for professional broadcast media. This includes pre-production planning, directing actors, and effective decision-making to ensure fluidity and continuity in editing. You will then develop your knowledge and skills as director, lighting camera-operator/director of cinematography, sound recordist or editor.            
This module comprises sessions on production technique, including researching for television, producing and directing actors/presenters, producing and directing camera crew (studio and location), managing contributors, televisual grammar, programme structure, copyright issues, health and safety considerations, leading        to the team production of weekly programmes, either in studio or on location, researching programmes and briefing studio guests.            
Through a professionally geared script development programme, you will create first a premise, then treatment, step outline and first draft for a complete screenplay of at least fifty minutes. In seminars you will discuss ideas for story, character and theme within the group.Treatments, step outlines and the first draft are developed in one-to-one tutorials.            
Through class interaction, individual research and tutor supervision, you are encouraged to develop your own comic voice and persona and to devise and write original ideas toward solo live performance. A visiting professional comedian will be invited in to give feedback on the work before it is performed and/or recorded.            
You will explore the key elements that characterise comedy performance and the specific cultural and political contexts that influence scripting and “persona”. Intensive practical workshops, to develop comedy characters (personas) and short routines culminate in recorded in-house performances.  Each workshop contains elements of scripting work and improvisation, including performance skills to develop vocal diction, range, expression and tone.            
The module examines the importance of gender in the development of contemporary drama and performance. Gender as a social construction is investigated through a series of key movements that reflected a cultural shift in attitudes to heterosexuality and increased awareness of alternative gendered choices in Western culture.            
The module explores the spectrum of new trends in performance. Practices may include Live Art, multimedia/digital performance; immersive theatre; headphone performance; pervasive gaming; ‘one-to-one performance; You  will examine the work of current practitioners and will focus on how relations of space and place and audience and performer are being reconfigured and redefined in the 21st century.  You will then choose an area  of practice to explore through the creation of a solo or collaborative performance piece.            
A series of workshop/seminar classes will introduce you to the role of the director, employing a range of contemporary and historical scripts.  You will then consider and apply appropriate theatrical vocabularies in order to develop your own directorial approaches. You will be given the opportunity to lead small group work in terms of exploring and experimenting with a range of directorial approaches to both script and to performers.            
You will investigate the historical, social and industrial changes in Documentary production and learn about competing theories around Documentary and ‘Mockumentary’. You will learn about the range of production strategies adopted within mainstream TV and cinematic Documentary modes. Building on the existing production skills you will have the opportunity to produce and direct a short Documentary or Mockumentary film.            

You will do a research portfolio module:        

This module aids you in beginning to research and develop ideas for your Dissertation or Practical Research Project for semester 2. You will learn key research skills and be supervised in developing your ideas in order to create a strong base for the Dissertation or practical project.            

You will choose either Dissertation or Practical Research Project:

You will complete a major piece of independent written work which results from extensive research supervised by a dissertation supervisor. You will undertake your own research and while this will draw on other sources it is expected that the study will display a central thesis of your own construction.            
PRP is an opportunity for you to develop your own topic or area of practice, conceptual framework, and method of investigation. It may represent a vocational or career-focused endeavour or act as a springboard for postgraduate study. Projects could include: a devised performance; an original script – comic or dramatic - a dance or physical theatre piece, original choreography, an installation, multi-media performance or a directing project.            

You will also take the following double module:

In this project you create two video drama productions under staff supervision. You work in small groups to initiate and produce a major video drama and then crew a second drama. Your work is supported by tutorials and production meetings with a supervisor tutor who also monitors progress in pre- and post-production, and during location shooting.            

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English and Maths GCSE grade C
UCAS tariff points 112 points
GCE A level BBC. General studies accepted with two other A levels
BTEC National Diploma MDD in appropriate subject
BTEC Higher National Diploma If you have a relevant HND you can join the programme at year 2
Foundation Degree If you have a relevant Foundation Degree, you can join the programme at year 2
Scottish Highers 112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points
International Baccalaureate 31 points, 5 or 6 (Higher level) in a relevant subject
Access to HE 112 UCAS Tariff Points from a Level 3 QAA approved Access programme. Must include Media/Performance.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

What makes a strong personal statement

A strong personal statement articulates a candidate’s interest and experience in the area of acting/drama/performance. It shows she or he can articulate his or her previous academic and/or performance practice experience. It also allows the candidate to demonstrate an appropriate level of independence and maturity necessary to engage with learning in a higher education environment.  

What makes a strong audition

In a strong audition, candidates exhibit an ability to adapt and respond to stimulus and potentially new or unfamiliar approaches in relation to acting/drama/performance. The candidate will show an ability to use voice and physicality effectively. A strong audition also highlights a candidate’s ability to work sensitively and co-operatively with others and to sustain energy, concentration and focus throughout all stages of the audition process.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Applicant profile

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional Costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books and plays (from £100), stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


You will learn through various teaching methods. Practical classes will furnish you with a range of approaches and techniques for performance creation and will help you develop your performance skills and, where appropriate, production skills. Lectures and seminars will apply critical theory to live and mediated performance forms and methodologies. You will undertake project-based work including major performance projects and you will attend workshops with visiting professional practitioners.


  • Practical 60%
  • Essay 25%
  • Presentation 15%


Media and Performance graduates have forged successful careers as actors in film and TV (Jim Sturgess, Joanna Higson) , theatre and radio, as stand-up comedians (Peter Kay, Jason Manford), as writers, researchers, production managers and producers, as casting directors, as directors, as coaches, teachers, lecturers and academic researchers.

Many of our graduates have progressed to employment in an impressive range of arts, entertainment and media organisations. These include the BBC; ITV; The National Theatre; The Lowry, Salford; The Green Room Theatre, Manchester; Hull Truck Theatre Company; The Royal Exchange Theatre; and several Theatre in Education (TIE) companies. Salford has a reputation for providing the industry with highly skilled and dynamic graduates, whose names can regularly be seen on television and theatre credits, both as performers and 'behind the scenes' creatives. Many graduates also go into careers in teaching or as community dancers or workshop leaders or on to further postgraduate education.

Our graduates appear on TV and theatre credits both as performers and technicians. This includes leading performance roles and crew in numerous programmes for ITV BBC and Channel 4 television.

Recent graduates have worked in production roles at Granada and the BBC in such projects as Island at War, Hustle, The Jeremy Kyle Show, Coronation Street and others. Other graduates have appeared successfully in front of the camera: Emma Atkins (Emmerdale), Chris Bisson (Coronation Street and East is East) and Kaye Wragg (No Angels). Other successful Salford graduates include Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Maxine Peake (Shameless), Peter Kay and many more. Stage and TV success has come to comedian Jason Manford while Ellie Meigan Rose, Emma Hartley-Miller and Rachel Brogan have enjoyed success on stage at the Lowry, Royal Exchange and Royal Court. Recent graduates have won prestigious NSDF (National Student Drama Festival) awards.

Yet other graduates have gone to successful careers as video producers, marketing and commercial advertising executives, as radio broadcasters and editors. In recent years a number of graduates have successfully set up their own theatre/performance companies.

In addition to developing your performance skills and techniques and giving you opportunities and contacts for professional development and employment, this degree will also give you many transferable skills which are highly sought by employers. These include collaboration and team-working; communication and negotiation skills, time management and organisation; and presentation skills. These will equip you to work in many different professional fields, as well as in the arts.

Career Prospects

Links with Industry

You will be taught by practitioners who have worked with and have active links with leading film and TV companies including BBC TV and Radio Drama, ITV, Channel 4, Red Productions, as well as traditional and experimental theatre companies of many kinds including the Royal Exchange, the Young Vic, the UK's leading contemporary performance companies Blast Theory, Imitating the Dog, Plane Performance and, Reckless Sleepers.

Further Study

MA Digital Performance


You will have access to broadcast standard TV acting and presenting studios (including green-screen), a radio drama studio, postproduction video and audio facilities, state of the art location cameras (including 4K) and excellent live performance spaces including purpose-built flexible theatres.

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