Performance courses at Salford

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If you dream of a career on the stage or screen, or have ambitions of writing, directing or staging performances, a performing arts degree from the University of Salford has got you covered.

When you study a performing arts course with us, you’ll call the £55 million New Adelphi building home. It’s where you’ll find industry-standard facilities and teams of supportive and experienced staff, many of whom work within the industry as successful actors, writers, directors and theatre makers.

You’ll be able to specialise in the areas that interest you, develop your work on your own or in teams, and at the end of it all, you’ll graduate with a portfolio of work and the confidence you’ll need to make an impact from day one of your new career.

Read on to find out what courses we offer, and where they could take you.

Got a question? We're always here to help support you and answer any queries you may have. Get in touch with our friendly team by emailing enquiries@salford.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)161 295 4545.

Did you know?

1.

You can follow in the footsteps of notable alumni, including Peter Kay, Jason Manford, Emma Atkins and Haiesha Mistry.

2.

You'll perform in industry-standard facilities in our £55 million New Adelphi building, including a 350-seat theatre, radio and screen acting studios.

3.

Our students have showcased performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and have won the Chortle Student Comedy Award for the last two years running.

What performance courses do we offer?

Undergraduate

Spend three years exploring the areas of performance which interest you most. You’ll gain an understanding of the general skills you’ll need, and as you progress you’ll get the chance to shape your degree how you want to.

Postgraduate

Build on your undergraduate and work experiences so far to further develop your skills and job prospects in a specific area.

FAQs

What's the teaching style like for performance courses at the University of Salford?

Every one of our lectures has their own teaching style and that’s what makes your experience with us richer. Our teaching staff are very approachable and are invested in helping you learn, seeing you thrive and excel in your chosen area.

Are the performance courses more practical or do I need to write a lot of essays?

Learning and assessment happen in many ways. You’ll be assessed practically around 60% of the time, but you’ll also write essays, deliver presentations, create journals or blogs and take part in vivas. Generally, practical work amounts to 60%, written 20% and presentations 20%. This means you have a varied set of assessment methods which give learners multiple ways to express themselves.

Are there internship options or what type of jobs could I get after I finish my degree?

You can apply to be a Graduate Intern once you graduate with us. If your application is successful, you could work with the New Adelphi Theatre team or gain the necessary experience within the Performance Department helping schedule and support with managing productions. 

As a University, we also have internships across many different departments where you can enhance and learn new skills. You can also sign up with Uni Temps; this works like a temping agency, and you can work in a paid position as an usher or a student ambassador working with us on Open Days, for example. 

We're proud of our graduates; they go on to do many things: acting for TV, theatre and film, casting directors, theatre directors, running their own small scale theatre companies, drama facilitators for young people and community groups, scriptwriters, playwriters, teachers, editors, voice-over artists etc.

For Technical Theatre, there is a work placement module where you spend 60 hours in a professional organisation such as The Royal Exchange or independent technical practitioners or designers. Technical theatre students are also encouraged to be involved with the professional technical staff in the running of shows at the New Adelphi Theatre, and they also are heavily involved with Almost Famous, the university drama society.  
  
Our postgraduate alumni have gone on to be supported artists at the Royal Exchange Theatre, as well as to secure funded PhD places at Salford and Lancaster Universities, and present work at HOME and the Manchester International Festival.

Will I be able to write, act or produce my performances?

Yes. At 2nd year you’ll work under the direction of a theatre or film director and show your work to an external audience. 

At 3rd year you’ll be making your performances, films or developing your own scripts; these will be presented at the Debut Festival of Theatre and Comedy or part of our public screening festival at the New Adelphi Theatre and HOME cinema in Manchester.
  
As part of our postgraduate provision, there are a number of opportunities to connect with venues, agents, programmers, producers and artists in your area. The vibrant Arrival Festival showcases the work of postgraduate contemporary performance-makers in August/September every year. 

How do your current students showcase their performance work right now?

There are many ways for you to showcase your work: At TaPP Fest, a public performance festival for 2nd-year Theatre students, Video Projects and screenings for Media and Performance students, Debut Theatre and Comedy Festival and more film screenings at 3rd year. 

We also hold an 'agents showcase' which allows you to audition and present your acting skills in front of an invited audience of agents. So you'll have the opportunity to be signed by an agent, potentially.

Do your performance courses have any social platforms I can follow?

Our performance courses have a Facebook account that you can follow. 

You can follow students on the MA in Contemporary Performance Practice degree on Twitter and Instagram 

 

I prefer scriptwriting - do I have to do other things if I choose the University of Salford?

Coming to the University of Salford gives you the chance to explore new things and expand your skills and knowledge in a wide range of theatre, media, academia so you may end up finding new interests. 

Many of our students discover a passion for something new, but you can still specialise and develop your own work as you move through the degree. We hold one-to-one tutorials with students so we can work all of this out together.

Is there much technical work involved in putting together a performance?

This depends on your module or performance. Our Technical Theatre students often support our student performances, but you may take on some extra responsibility for the performance you’re in. For example, in lighting design, production management, costume, set, production elements including camera, edit and multi-media.

We encourage our students to get involved in all aspects of the performance; the more you actively get involved, the more transferable skills you'll gain during your degree.

 

How often do you refresh your course content to keep what I'm learning fresh?

We often review modules to ensure the content is aligned with media trends and industry practice. For some modules, you have to go and see the latest touring work in order to respond to this for your assessments. Or you may be watching new films, listening to radio plays, reading new plays/creative writing and responding to these in class or as part of your assessments. 

 

What's the performance lecturers' professional background?

We’re researchers writing new books and academic papers that contribute to the national and international landscape of performance. We’re actors, voice over artists, theatre makers, film makers,
directors, radio presenters, writers, sound artists, lighting designers, physical theatre and clowning specialists, young people’s theatre facilitators, impro specialists and more.

 

If performance lecturers had to pick a scene, musical, show or a one-liner to sum them up, what would it be?’

I’m not sure this sums me up, but I love the late Nigel Charnock in DV8’s 1992 physical theatre piece Strange Fish. Particularly the bar scene where his skilful yet awkward physicality and his sheer needy energy exhaust me just watching him!' Niki Woods, Senior Lecturer in Performance. Programme Leader Theatre and Performance Practice and Artistic Director New Adelphi Theatre 

There are so many quotes from my favourite film  Saturday Night and Sunday Morning that I could choose. It was adapted by Alan Sillitoe from his debut novel into a 1960 film starring Salford's very own Albert Finney, and was directed by Karel Reisz. I'm still so familiar with the script that I'm almost word perfect and love the energy and defiance of the character Arthur Seaton. There are so many lines that the character has that I could quote, however: 

'it's a hard life, if you don't weaken'  is a particular favourite. Michelle Morris:  Lecturer in Media and Performance 

Are there technical staff that'll help me learn new skills?

Where a module requires technical skills, the content will include the training of these skills. There are technicians on hand who specialise in editing, camera, studio etc along with the tutor who will continue to support you once you have been trained. You are then able to hire various studios and equipment to work independently on your projects again with guidance from the technicians.

What type of essays are we expected to write?

Essays are linked to a taught module, whether it be a more theory based class or to reflect and evaluate on some practical work undertaken. The two are designed to link and support your performances and practical work and to gain a better understanding of how you can improve or further your skills.

What's the performance scene like in Greater Manchester?

We're proud that Greater Manchester's performance scene is etched on the world map. Greater Manchester has produced iconic shows such as Coronation Street, The Voice, Queer as Folk, The Royle Family and Shameless. Our local alumni includes talents such as Peter Kay, Christopher Eccleston, Warren Brown and Jason Manford.  

Greater Manchester is also a fantastic place to build a career in making live performance, with many opportunities for emerging makers arising from the range of venues in the region, as well as the biannual Manchester International Festival and countless smaller events and spaces for making and presenting your work. 

NEED MORE HELP?

Confused about accommodation? Unsure how you’ll pay for university? We know there’s a lot to consider and it can all be a bit confusing. That’s why we’ve pulled together all the information you’ll need before you apply on our Pre-Applicant Hub, so you can get the whole picture.

EXPERIENCE OUR PERFORMANCE FACILITIES

Fancy learning your craft using the same type of facilities you’ll use when you’re working? Study with us and you’ll become confident and comfortable with industry-standard kit and facilities. You won’t just be left to work it out on your own – our experienced tutors and technicians will show you how to master everything we have on offer.

Take a 360 tour of our £55 million New Adelphi building below - it's the home of performance on campus.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

We're always here to help support you and answer any queries you may have. Get in touch with our friendly team by emailing enquiries@salford.ac.uk, phoning +44 (0)161 295 4545 or using the form below.