Critical and Textual Studies
Theatre and Performance Practice
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Earning a degree in theatre and performance can pave the way to an array of exciting career opportunities – both on the stage and behind the scenes. Whether you’re looking to perform in front of live audiences or on screen, direct your own production or make devised performances for touring, or write your own plays or screenplays, our theatre and performance degree course will give you the tools you need to take the first step in your chosen profession.
Delivering a diverse range of learning opportunities across the spectrum from mainstream stage, TV and radio to experimental performance forms and multimedia work, this theatre and performance course gives you the chance to combine academic study with practical approaches to performance. All geared towards your future career, you’ll also develop the skills and knowledge you need to establish yourself as a theatre and performance professional.
What’s more, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of options to suit your individual interests, from theatre and communities and theatre directing to playwriting, screenwriting, and TV presenting, to name a few. As your studies in theatre and performance progress, you’ll also take part in publicly performed projects, which may include devised performances, physical theatre pieces, site specific work or scripted plays, which are led by a professional director.
- Create and perform cutting-edge theatre in a vibrant city with a thriving theatre, arts and music scene
- Build your professional profile and develop your career path by taking part in focused masterclasses led by leading creative practitioners
- Develop your creativity, acting and performance-making skills by exploring a range of live and mediated performance approaches
In the most recent National Student Survey, our theatre and performance course received 93% for overall student satisfaction (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data).
This is for you if...
You want to develop your skills, knowledge and employment prospects in theatre, live and screen-based performance.
You have a passion in acting for TV and stage, theatre making, writing or directing and are keen to gain hands on experience with creative professionals.
You want to launch a professional career in performance practice and develop a strong portfolio of work.
All about the course
Our Theatre and Performance degree allows you to explore a combination of core and optional modules so that you can pursue your individual interests and develop your talents. You’ll work as part of a group to create a wide variety of performances – from plays or originally devised work, to comedy shows and multimedia productions.
In the first year of your programme, you’ll learn the basic acting and theatre making skills and key forms of theatre practice, along with associated theories and debates. You’ll hone your skills in physical and vocal performance as well as critical and reflective writing.
As you progress through your studies, you’ll examine theatre and performance in a variety of optional modules, from radio production to theatre directing, from Shakespeare to new trends in theatre and performance. You’ll be given the support and guidance needed to work independently, manage your own time and collaborate creatively with your fellow students – all of which are vital skills for performers and transferable skills that are valued by employers.
On this course, you’ll learn through a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical performance projects, with assessments including essays, presentations and publicly performed theatre projects, which are produced in our own theatre studio and 350-seat New Adelphi Theatre.
Want to find out more? Read our course breakdown to learn what you’ll be exploring in each module.
Examines key texts and critical approaches central to live performance and media disciplines from the perspective of particular analytical approaches, e.g. semiotics, ideological approaches and structuralism. The theories of key practitioners who influenced the development of particular disciplines will be examined in detail. Small group seminars appropriate to your pathway will support these lectures.
Performance in Context
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 will support the lectures.
Combines an exploration of key performance approaches with week by week acquisition of warm up methods and voice and movement techniques.
This module is designed to further develop and extend your performance skills. You will apply these skills to the devising and rehearsal of a group performance piece performed in our main theatre space.
Acting Methods 1
This is a primarily practical module which focuses on creative approaches central to characterisation within naturalistic drama. You will apply Stanislavski-based approaches to performing published texts. This module will introduce textual analysis, which will develop your ability to understand and interpret theatre texts and to think critically about your own theatre practice.
Acting Methods 2
This module will extend your learning of acting and characterisation into non-naturalistic forms. You will learn to appropriately apply expressive and presentation techniques to a range of theatre texts, beginning with the work of Artaud and Brecht and then exploring contemporary playwrights who bear their influence.
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.
You will work as an ensemble under the direction of professional artists/theatre companies and work intensively on a performance project. The outcomes will be performed in various spaces, including a double bill with the work of that company at The Lowry theatre studio, a small scale tour or at the New Adelphi Theatre.
Optional modules are as follows:
You will explore performing pieces to camera, engaging with the audience, interview technique, the importance of asking pertinent questions, listening and putting an interviewee at ease, working with green screen, autocue and using studio talkback, the importance of performing with energy, clarity and correct intonation. You will produce a five - eight-minute showreel containing an intro, a walk and talk piece to camera, practical exercise or short demonstration, autocue read, researched interview and a vlog, targeted at a specific audience and presented in an appropriate style.
Radio Performance and Production
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.
The module centres on building confidence in singing and developing your vocal agility through a range of exercises and songs performed in solo and group situations. The module introduces basic musical notation, sight singing, and harmony work and you will also experiment practically with microphone techniques.
Comedy Writing and Performance
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.
Acting For the Camera
This module gives you experience of working with ex-broadcast drama scripts, which you will rehearse and record for camera under conditions mirroring industry practice.
Voice and Text
Through exercises and reflective analysis, you will develop vocal techniques and learn to apply interpretative skills to the performance of dramatic texts.
Introduction to Screenwriting
You will examine fundamental aspects of fictional storytelling: narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, and the use of subplots. You will explore differing conceptual and technical approaches used in screenwriting for theatre, TV and film; you will workshop your screenplays in class and produce a finished script by the end of the module.
Text and Performance
The module focuses on theatre texts from 20th and 21st Century that cover both dramatic and ‘postdramatic’ approaches. You will further develop your skills in textual analysis in seminars and will explore acting, directing and dramaturgical approaches in practical workshops.
In this module students develop their knowledge of the work of a range of contemporary theatre making practitioners. These are drawn from practices in post-modern devising, verbatim and documentary theatre, site-based performance and ‘relational’ performance. You will develop practical techniques and composition skills in the making of original theatre work, drawing from sources such as text, autobiography, performance scores, space and site, body, tasks and rules.
Professional Practice (Performance)
This takes the form of either a professional work placement or a student-led performance project which allows you to apply independent and collaborative creative techniques for devising or adapting work for performance. Those who pursue the work-placement option will be assigned a mentor and will work for a performance/arts event organisation in one of a variety of roles (which can include arts administration, stage-management, technical support, assistant director). Those who pursue the project option will receive tuition and supervision to facilitate a self directed performance.
Shakespeare In Performance
You explore Shakespeare’s plays through performing them and through deconstructing performances of them. You also enjoy the opportunity here of working with students on other degree programmes.
Introduction to Multi-Media Performance
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.
During this module you are introduced to the theories and practices of western physical 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.
Theatre and Communities
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
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 have the chance to work with professional playwrights in this course and write a play for your assessment.
Theatre Project (double module)
This project is designed to enable you to work collaboratively in a small group to generate, organise and manage your own performance work. The nature of the performance will be dependent on the individual skills and interests of the project group and the culminating production will be publicly performed over two nights. You will undertake research appropriate to your project and keep a Personal Learning Journal in order to facilitate reflection and submit a critical analysis which reflects upon the rehearsal and production process.
In semester 1 you will complete a preparatory portfolio of independent written work and/or presentation of research with the support of a supervisor. This leads to a practical, creative outcome or an extended piece of academic writing in the linked semester 2 module – Dissertation or Practical Research Project.
Dissertation or Practical Research Project
If you choose to undertake a Dissertation, 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.
In a Practical Research Project, you will develop your own topic or area of practice and method of investigation. It may represent a vocational or career-focused endeavour or act as a springboard for postgraduate study. Project outcomes could include: a devised performance; an original script – comic or dramatic - a physical theatre piece, a live art installation, multi-media performance or a directing project.
You will choose two of the following options:
Scriptwriting for TV and Film
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.
Gender, Sexuality and Performance
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 reflects a cultural shift in attitudes to heterosexuality and increased awareness of alternative gendered choices in Western culture.
New Trends in Theatre and Performance
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.
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.
Renaissance Theatre Acting
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.
Stand up Comedy
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 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 videotaped and critically reviewed in seminar sessions. Particular attention is paid to the layering of subtext, psychological details and technical skills.
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.
A series of workshop/seminar classes will initially explore the role of the director, employing a range of contemporary and historical scripts. Thereafter, the students will, under close tutor guidance, consider and apply appropriate theatrical vocabularies in order to develop their own directorial approaches. All students 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.
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.
What will I be doing?
As part of your theatre and performance course, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent interests.
Your classes will be based at our New Adelphi building.
An important part of your theatre and performance degree is the opportunity to demonstrate your academic strengths in a variety of different ways. Your modules will be assessed using a range of methods, including essays, presentations, in-class performance presentations and publicly performed theatre projects.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Performance courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it
This Theatre and Performance degree is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of performance and creativity on campus.
Our range of performance facilities include:
New Adelphi Theatre – this 350-seat venue provides an opportunity for you to stage shows in front of live audiences.
Studio theatre - this classic black-box performance space offers a more intimate venue than the New Adelphi Theatre. It features flexible seating and staging, so you can shape the space to meet your creative needs.
Voice acting studio - from podcasting and video game dialogue to radio drama and foley sound effects, this facility gives you the flexibility to produce a range of audio for your projects.
Screen acting studio – are you passionate about a career on the screen? You’ll learn to hone new skills using our two-screen acting studios. featuring fixed and flexible sets,
Take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.
What about after uni?
Studying for a Theatre and Performance degree opens a variety of exciting career opportunities in related fields and beyond. Many of our graduates have established careers in an impressive range of arts, entertainment and media organisations, including the Royal Exchange Theatre, Contact Theatre, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and some have gone on to work with streaming services like Netflix.
Many graduates have gone on to work professionally as performers, theatre directors, creative producers, casting directors, artistic directors, theatre makers, TV and radio actors, teachers and community theatre practitioners. And it doesn’t end there. As a bachelor of theatre and performance, you’ll also have access to a range of Employability masterclasses that focus on scriptwriting, directing, researching, performing producing and more. These opportunities will enhance your learning, professional development and future career prospects
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
As part of your Theatre and Performance degree, you’ll be taught by a team of expert teaching staff, researchers and practitioners who have worked with some of the UK’s leading companies, including Blast Theory, Imitating the Dog, Quarantine and Reckless Sleepers. You’ll also benefit from our industry links with global organisations such as BBC TV, ITV, Channel 4 and theatre venues such as The Lowry, HOME, Contact Theatre and the University’s own New Adelphi Theatre.
What you need to know
To gain a place on this Theatre and Performance degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your theatre and performance practice personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of theatre, TV or comedy?
- how have you been involved and what did you do?
- have you had active involvement in the arts and what did you do?
- what theatre, performances, or live productions inspire you?
- why do you want to work in the performance sector?
- and why the University of Salford and this performance degree is the right choice for your future goals.
For some applicants, you’ll be asked to provide us with a portfolio of work and potentially take part in an informal group discussion or interview, either live or on camera.
Ordinarily we'd invite you to attend a face-to-face audition and interview. At the moment though, we’re are reducing the number of people we have on our campus. Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
English Language Requirements
Applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.
English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
UCAS tariff points
112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
BTEC National Diploma
DMM including Performing Arts or similar subject
BTEC Higher National Diploma
If you have a relevant HND you can join the course at year 2
Access to HE
Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma, to include Media/Performance
112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
Irish Leaving Certificate
112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
31 points, to include 5 or 6 (Higher Level) in a relevant subject
Pass Diploma with 72% overall
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.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2021/22||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£15,600per year|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2022/23||£15900per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.
We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.
See the full range of our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID W440
Interested in starting this course in September 2021? Find out how to apply through Clearing.