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
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 showreel containing an intro, a walk and talk piece to camera, practical exercise or short demonstration, autocue read 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.
Comedy Writing and Performance
The module explores the writing and devising of comedy. You will watch, listen to and discuss examples of a range of online, radio and TV comedy before working in small groups to create an original comedy sketch idea and to develop your own script and 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. 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. In the second half of the module you will create your solo performance: a piece of Stand Up of comic monologue.
Acting For the Camera
The aims of the module are to develop practical skills with a range of technical exercises such as hitting marks, cheating eye-lines and body angles; regulating movement in relation to the camera; avoiding dialogue overlaps., and to further awareness and interpretative skills in translating textual and sub-textual elements into effective performance to camera.
Voice and Text
Through exercises and analysis you will develop safe vocal and physical technique related to the free, relaxed, aligned body and learn to apply interpretative skills to the speaking of verse, dramatic text and heightened prose. Workshops will also explore the free and flexible use of your home accent as well as the foundations and principles of adopting other accents, including Neutral Standard English.
Introduction to Screenwriting
In this module you will develop your own original idea for a screenplay across the semester, writing it up from a one line pitch, onto a treatment and scene-by-scene breakdown and ultimately to a script. The script can be for any platform or audience, with no limitations to cast size or location. The module examines the fundamental aspects of storytelling for screen: character, story, structure and dialogue. You will learn how to format your documents to a professional standard.
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.
Shakespeare In Performance
This module examines developments in the staging of Shakespeare from Elizabethan times to the 21st century. 20th/21st century developments in approaches to and presentation of Shakespeare texts will encompass both live and recorded performance. As the module progresses you will be encouraged to address particular approaches to the presentation of Shakespeare presentation (e.g. political, feminist, intercultural) by exploring the work of for example; RSC, Peter Brook, Robert Lepage and Kenneth Branagh). A range of plays are studied, with one or two plays as ‘core’ texts – one of these will usually be a text with local stage performance.
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
Playwriting offers you the chance to experiment with a variety of theatre writing styles and forms. We will cover the craft of playwriting, studying character, dialogue, narrative, form, and stagecraft. We will also look at the business of playwriting, exploring the many professional opportunities and routes open to playwrights.
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.
Careers and Professional Pathways
Students will engage with a range of industry-led masterclasses and workshops, which are designed to equip them with the knowledge of industry practices that will benefit their employment endeavours. The sessions will also guide the students in the production of specific materials, some of which may be used directly in applying for employment opportunities.
Performance Research Project
In this module you will undertake an individually tailored project building out from all you have learned on your degree programme with support from staff. You will research relevant materials and current industry trends around your project area. This will lead into the delivery of the project itself, which will follow one of three pathways:
Practical Project: this can be a live performance or a recorded performance (screen or audio) or a script (screen, stage or audio).
Dissertation: this will be a written submission taking the form of a long essay.
Industry Project: this can be a work placement, an organisation study or planning and running a workshop.
You will choose two of the following options:
Scriptwriting for TV and Film
Through a professionally geared script development programme, you will create a premise, a treatment, a step outline, and a first draft of 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 and Sexuality in Performance
The module examines the importance of gender and sexuality in the development of contemporary drama and performance in the UK and USA from the turn of the twentieth century to the global streaming platforms of today.
Gender and sexuality are examined through a series of play texts and screenplays and contextualised in the dominant discourses about both in each period. Seminar sessions will function as forums for debate about evolving and competing theories, whilst practice workshops will explore the texts through readings, improvisations, and appropriations.
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.
This module is designed to develop acting skills for radio drama to a professional standard. Principally working from professional scripts, you will work on vocal control, microphone technique, spatial awareness and ‘lifting the text off the page’. You will have the opportunity to direct each other and feed back to each other, as well as listening to and critiquing some notable radio drama already broadcast with a view to appreciating the breadth of style and content available in the medium. As part of this, you will be encouraged to keep a ‘listening journal’, in which you can critique both broadcast audio dramas and your own vocal performances in class.
This module aims to acquaint you with the range and scope of audio drama, including related audio performance opportunities such as voiceovers, voicing animations and accents, as well as developing the basic skills of fundamental procedures of studio operation.
Renaissance Theatre Acting
This module is designed to develop acting skills for Renaissance theatre. Working principally with the plays of Shakespeare, you will work on vocal control and performance skills intended to embody the text in a manner that is psychologically believable within the conventions of dramatic verse and heightened prose. You will be encouraged to thoroughly research the context informing your chosen pieces and to apply analytical skill in decoding the complexities of Renaissance English, of metaphor and of poetic techniques of rhythm, alliteration and rhyme.
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 recorded and critically reviewed in seminar sessions. Particular attention is paid to the layering of subtext, psychological detail and technical skills.
TV Comedy: Writing and Performance
On this module you will develop one of both areas of knowledge - comedy writing and comedy performance. You will also learn about sitcom making for broadcast.
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.
Making Performance for Social Media
This module will explore the importance of the emerging performance and technologies associated with social media content creation. This is an area that uses a lot of similar skills and theories that students may already have learned in level’s 4 and 5 in modules such as: Acting for Camera, Presenting, Comedy Improvisation, Multimedia Performance, Integrated Production Skills, Programme Production.
The outline for the module will be divided into three sections: content and persona creation, marketing and promotion, and production techniques. These sections will culminate in the students creating their own ‘channel’ in their chosen social media platform.
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.
You’ll learn through a variety of teaching methods, including practical classes designed to furnish you with a range of approaches and techniques for performance creation. You’ll also take part in lectures and seminars, where you’ll apply critical theory to live performance forms and methodologies. Project-based work will also be a central component of this course, involving practical workshops developed by visiting professional practitioners.
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 Student 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,
Explore our Performance facilities at the University of Salford or take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.
MEET THE PERFORMANCE TEACHING STAFF
Looking to learn more about the background of our Performance tutors and technical demonstrators or put a face to a name?
Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.
What about after uni?
Studying for a Theatre and Performance Practice 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 Practice 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 4,000 characters), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of theatre - this could be physical theatre, community theatre, stage management, voice and singing work, other types of performance
- have you had active involvement in the arts and what did you do?
- what theatre, performances, or live productions or practitioners 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 may be invited to a group interview, audition and workshop. We will let you know if this is the case and provide all the information you need.
Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
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.
UCAS tariff points
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
104-112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
Irish Leaving Certificate
104-112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
29 points, to include 5 or 6 (Higher Level) in a relevant subject
Pass Diploma with 72% overall
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5.
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||2024/25||£9,250.00per year|
|Full-time international||2024/25||£17,040.00per 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. Explore our international scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID W440