Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Acting


Program Description

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Acting


A comprehensive classical and contemporary actor training, this demanding course nurtures students through a life-changing journey, in which they are challenged to achieve their full potential as actors and acquire skills for working in the full range of acting contexts.

About the course

The philosophy of the course can be summed up by the words, ‘embodiment’, ‘imagination’ and ‘interaction’. The training develops the actor’s body and voice as strong and effective communicators of thought, emotion and intention, and opens up the imagination, so that the actor can create and sustain three-dimensional worlds from the playwright’s text. These processes invariably take place in an interactive context so that the actor is constantly learning to respond to outside stimuli – whether people, objects or atmosphere – in an open and uncensored way.

Students are entitled to full Equity status upon graduation.

Course Detail

Year 1

Freeing and discovering: students start from the uniqueness of self within the group context and the rigour of the training studio, and learn to work with truth and integrity, opening up and releasing the body, voice and imagination, and developing a personal process and craft through which to build character and live truthfully within a fictional world. By learning to live and breathe in the moment, students start to discover the creative potential of the acting space.

Year 2

Stretching and growing: building on this experience, students expand their physical and emotional range, developing the art of transformation and working imaginatively from within worlds and characters which are substantially removed from their own. They also learn to transfer skills to television and radio. Towards the end of the year, students start to think about applying their training within industry contexts.

Year 3

Applying the craft: through a series of contrasting public productions and recorded media projects, students apply and develop their craft within simulated professional contexts, while at the same time engaging in the process of interfacing with the industry and learning how to survive as a working actor.

Professional Focus

The Acting course has strong and growing links with the industry.

Central employs professional directors from the second year and invites a range of industry professionals to deliver talks and workshops on subjects from audition technique to rehearsing Shakespeare.

Recent guests include acclaimed directors Michael Grandage, Lindsay Posner and Max Stafford-Clark, and well-known actors such as James Purefoy and Kit Harington.

Students gain professional work while still on the course and there are regular visits by major theatre companies, such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Almeida Theatre and Out of Joint, who give talks and hold workshops.

Recent Visiting Staff

Directors: Ellis Jones, Richard Beecham, Tim Hardy, Angie Langfield, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, Russell Bolam, Bill Buckhurst.

Others: Ian Brener, Paul Harris, Mary Howland, Peta Lily, Mark Street, Jonathan Tafler, Joe Atkins.

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

2 A Levels at C, 3 GCSEs at C, and selection by audition.

Normal offers may be higher and depend upon expected grades and audition performance. Exceptional applicants who do not meet this requirement, but demonstrate appropriate potential, may be accepted.


This is an intensive professional training course and must be followed in its entirety.

Candidates must be eligible to satisfy the general admissions requirements. Admission will be based on the reasonable expectation that you have the potential to complete and contribute positively to the programme and that you would benefit from honours study. There is no alternative to selection by audition.

Selection for an audition will normally depend on you meeting or being predicted to meet minimum entry requirements, and on written references and demonstration of the following in the UCAS written statement:

  • engagement with theatre and acting at a national/local level
  • evidence of a real commitment to acting and a long-standing interest in acting and theatre
  • knowledge of a range of theatrical forms and genres
  • experience gained in post-education contexts, such as the workplace, travel and voluntary settings.

In the absence of formal qualifications, an indication of academic potential will be sought in your UCAS statement.

Auditions in London

Find out more about the audition process for our Acting, BA courses on our website.

View the audition speech list, or request a copy by calling +44 (0)20 7722 8183.

International Auditions

Each year Central hosts a number of auditions outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central travelling to meet applicants. The international auditions are designed to replicate the London-based audition experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming audition locations and dates.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.


Lindsey Campbell

Graduated 2013, first professional London stage debut in The Harvest at the Soho Theatre.

“My time at Central gave me the essential training and knowledge I needed to develop as an actor at the start of my career. The course offers a wide variety of teaching that nurtures and liberates your creativity. I have also gained a huge support network that I know will always be there, inside and outside of Central.”

About Central's Acting, BA courses

by Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting

Historically, Central actors have always adopted a pragmatic approach to their training, drawing upon multiple performance theories rather than subscribing to a particular doctrine or method. The three specialisms reflect this eclecticism and celebrate the many and varied techniques available to the actor trainer.

Students are required to attend auditions held in London and internationally. At audition, participants may opt to be considered for one, two or all three courses. If successful, an offer may be made for one or more of the courses, but it will not be possible to transfer between courses once accepted.

During their study students will be taught a wide range of acting processes by resident and visiting professional staff. Each of the three specialist courses of the BA (Hons) Acting will help them learn how to become self-determining creative actors eminently capable of working in theatre, television, film and radio and will constantly challenge their understanding of acting. Intensive conservatoire training also requires utter dedication and will demand courage, intelligence, wit and generosity.

The three courses exist within a thriving university/conservatoire environment – home to a dynamic range of related performance disciplines at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The training will be contextualised alongside relevant professional advice and is structured in such a way as to gradually equip students with a thorough understanding of the industry. Professional preparation, including meetings with agents, casting directors, producers and directors, as well as mock auditions/castings and a West End showcase, has meant that, in recent years, most students of the BA (Hons) Acting – across all three courses – have secured agent representation by the time they have completed the course.

Performances by BA (Hons) Acting alumni have long been recognised by major awards such as the BAFTAs, Oscars, Golden Globes, Olivier Awards, Tony Awards, London Evening Standard Theatre Awards and The Sunday Times/National Theatre Ian Charleson Awards.

Most recently alumni have been awarded a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, MTV Movie Award for Best Hero, British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor, Empire Award for Best Actor, Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Performance, San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Performance, Ariel Award for Best Actor and Emerging Talent Award at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

Central stands at the forefront of training and research in the Dramatic Arts. Graduate employment statistics are amongst the highest in our sector, and our research has recently been assessed as ‘Wor ... Read More

Central stands at the forefront of training and research in the Dramatic Arts. Graduate employment statistics are amongst the highest in our sector, and our research has recently been assessed as ‘World Leading’ – and is unique in the realm of drama conservatoires. The ratio of undergraduate applications to places is the highest of any UK university. Read less