Any of heard of academy of the science of acting & directing?

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Mindspanking
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So I was looking at drama schools and universities that offer acting courses and discovered this place through the which university site and had never heard of it before.

Does anyone know if it's any good? I know that recently Kingston university has validated its courses so it can actually offer a degree in acting, although you aren't eligible to get a student loan until next year. But it doesn't seem to have accredit from drama uk.

The website is here;http://www.scienceofacting.com/
I was wondering if those who are in or know more then me about drama schools if the course seem ok? Would it be respected for its training or not?
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returnmigrant
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Do not apply to any drama school unless it is accredited by http://www.dramauk.co.uk/

There are loads of 'fake' schools out there. that have no credibility and are just interested in taking money off you. Be very careful.
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HeraF
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Hi,
I study at the Academy and in my opinion it is the best possible acting training there is(although obviously I haven´t tried them all). All the teachings are very clear and you are never left feeling unsure of what to do or how to get good results in acting as I often found before having done loads of acting before coming to school where I often had uncertainties about what was good or bad acting or what I was doing that made it good or bad and how to get to only good acting.
I have just finished my second year and acting has become so much more enjoyable and clearer to me. A part of the training we get is learning deeply about ourselves in order to be able to know and analyse characters which is a huge benefit and helps with our acting as well as ourselves as human beings. Obviously the biggest downside is that the school isn´t widely known and recognised but the education you get will more than enable you to go out there in the industry after graduation, enable to think for yourself and create your own career as an actor, we have many successful graduates as it is.
I hope this helps in some ways, I recommend you look at the book written by the founder of the school, Sam Kogan(a pupil of the pupil of Stanislavski), it´s called "The science of acting" and goes through the theory we use in our training at school.
Hope you find a course you´ll be happy with,
Hera
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M.Thatcher
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The Kogan Academy of Dramatic Arts a.k.a. The Academy of Science of Acting and Directing isn't recognized by Drama UK (www.dramauk.co.uk) the merger of the Conference of Drama Schools (CDS) and the National Council for Drama Training (NCDT) of the UK. British citizens cannot loan money to study in The Kogan Academy of Dramatic Arts.


The so-called Academy is only accredited by British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education (BAC, www.the-bac.org). However, BAC is not a governmental or state agency. It's a private organization. It's stated on their site as: 'A registered charity, no. 326652 (England and Wales) and PRIVATE COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE, no. 1828990 (England)'. [Pay attention at the bottom of their site.]


In 2013, The Kogan Academy of Dramatic Arts had only 10 students instead of 20 needed to run the school finically. Most of the students there are people from abroad. Alumni of that school cannot find a proper job. That includes one of my relative — the reason why I investigated all of that.
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returnmigrant
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The above is VERY good advice.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS check on the http://www.dramauk.co.uk/ website before you apply to ANY UK Drama or Theatre School (even if it is connected to a University) to make sure it is accredited before you apply.
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pgb6
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Hello I am an Alumni of this school and I have acted in many 'proper' jobs including the original cast of Jersey Boys, The Dark Knight, Dark Shadows, etc etc.. and have just returned from San Francisco where I've been filming. I'm currently concentrating on developing my directing career with my debut film being released next month. Directing is a skill I learnt at The Kogan Academy and, together with the equally comprehensive acting course I couldn't have wished for better training.

I previously studied at another drama school that is accredited and recognised by Drama UK and I also attended the National Youth Theatre, so I'm qualified to say that the standard of training at The Kogan Academy compares extremely favourably and in a lot of areas excels, the better known drama schools. Just because something isn't accredited by this or that body, doesn't necessarily mean it is bad, as your post, M Thatcher, seems to be suggesting.

When I studied at the Academy there were plenty of students there who had attended other accredited and recognised schools and who subsequently attended the Academy as I did, to augment and improve their training. Many of them including myself had spent time in the profession and then applied to the Academy.

Finally you say that 'Alumni of that school cannot find a proper job' ...that is the case with every drama school, accredited, recognised or not. The percentage of graduating students that don't work and quickly drop out of the profession is very high whether they attended RADA, LAMDA, Guildhall, Central, Mountview etc. or The Kogan Academy.

So original poster, don't be put off by others here who seem to have it in for the Kogan Academy and wrongly consider that not to be accredited by Drama UK indicative of lack of quality and integrity. The Kogan Academy is listed on the Drama UK website under its old name The Academy of the Science of Acting and Directing. The Kogan Academy offers a degree course in Acting in association with Kingston University and it is true the courses aren't as yet, accredited by Drama UK, but Drama UK have this to say about that on their website..... 'There are however plenty of well regarded courses that don't have Drama UK accreditation or recognition. As we have not assessed these courses we cannot award them a quality mark but by providing details of these courses along with key indicators (details you can compare) we hope you will be able to make a better informed choice from the courses available'.

I studied at the Kogan Academy for four years and it was the best four years of my life. If you want to find out more about it they have Open Days and there is also a book called 'The Science of Acting' which is the main technique taught at the Academy. If you follow me on twitter I'm happy to answer any questions you might have... @PhilipBulcock

My advice for now is just to find out for yourself as much as you can about the schools you are interested in and their courses. Ultimately it is your commitment to the profession of acting and the pleasure of creating different characters that will inform your choices. Best of luck.
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B.Hill
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Dear Philip.

Thanks for your post! The main point here is that you studied at this academy when Sam Kogan was still alive. So you learned from him personally. And that makes the big difference!!!

The point is that the Kogan academy is not in the same condition anymore as it used to be in the past. If this academy is so great as you have described it, why then they cannot enlist even the half of their annual capacity with regard to students? Great places of education always attract prospective students. Why then this one does not or cannot?

Regards,

B.H.
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benkins
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Hi All - I'm also planning on auditioning for drama schools this year, and have looked into the Kogan Academy as well as the usual ones. l've been to an open day there, spoken to some current students, sat in on a few classes etc. A lot of stuff that has been written here is very misleading....From what I saw it looked excellent. You can get UK student loans to study there and it's also accredited by the QAA (I've read the QAA inspection online). I met the external assessor at the Academy and he is a past chairman of the conference of drama schools. A asked a friend of mine who's a director in the biz, and she say's it has a good reputation with a clear approach... despite not being a member of UJK drama. I also asked the academy about this and was told they will be applying for UK drama accreditation this year. I planning on auditioning at Kogan, LAMDA, RADA, E15 & Guildhall....fingers x'd!
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returnmigrant
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(Original post by benkins)
You can get UK student loans to study there and it's also accredited by the QAA
Both are irrelevant. Without NCDT accreditation (http://www.dramauk.co.uk/drama_uk_accredited_schools) you will not be eligible for Equity graduate membership, and no agent or director worth their salt will go anywhere near the place. Don't make it difficult for yourself - go to an established drama school like RADA, LAMDA , Central or Bristol Old Vic.
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ouchie
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Please listen to the people discouraging you, this school is a waste of time and money!! The technique is available in book-form, I would advise reading through that before making any decisions. Any school can have a shiny website and has one or two students who have had the odd acting job. I know several actors from the more successful academies (Rada & Central School of Speech and Drama); they are taking leading roles in plays, films and television series, not very minor roles in blockbuster films - don't let that sway you, lots of people have minor roles in hollywood films...that's why the credits are so long!

If you're going to embark on a career in acting, go to an accredited school as everyone above has mentioned (NCDT accreditation in particular). The reason you pay all that money is for a school that will introduce you to the best agents, best directors, producers and any other possible connection they can muster through their contacts. This school scheduled one of their fourth year showcases on the day of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations! Naturally hardly any agent would have wanted to attend on a bank holiday and to my knowledge not one of the actors was taken on by the agents who did attend. That is not just shockingly bad business but it is an insult to the students who spent four years at the academy for what was essentially an embarrassing flop.

Furthermore, the school was undergoing inspections for degree accreditation while I was studying there on the part time course and the part time course was not included in any of this. It was so badly organised that I turned up for class at the end of term and all I could find were two students in the academy, no lesson had been planned and this went on until the end of term. After deciding that I would not go back for a second year, I requested a refund and was given one for the missed classes (I'll be happy to show you my email exchanges with the school).

I cannot tell you how frustrating and humiliating it was to have put my faith in a school only to be messed around and have absolutely nothing to show for it apart from a stage combat certificate. Acting is a competitive industry and believe me I do not relish the question "so which drama school did you go to?". Think of acting as a business first, making a decision on that alone should convince you that only the top schools are worth the time and money you invest in them. I know plenty of former graduates of this academy, none of them have agents and none of them are working on full time paid acting contracts. Many of them attended before the school had degree accreditation and so literally have nothing to show for the time they spent there (one of them studied for 6 years part time). You have to think about the future and while a degree certificate is more useful than nothing, if you're serious about acting go to a school that is going to get you your money's worth - you are investing in them as much as they are investing in you.

I'm sure lots of actors will tell you that auditioning is tough, especially the knock backs and lots of actors end up going to lesser schools because they get rejected by one of the top academies (especially rada). There is a lot of desperation to get into the industry, especially these days when it seems as though everyone is getting their 15-minutes of fame but I can promise you that investing in one of the better schools will be well worth it and will allow you to build a proper career.
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SWYT
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Interesting... just doing the stats in my head...I attended an accredited Drama School 25 years ago (Drama UK, NCDT, Conference.. you name it) and I think probably around 10/15% of my year are still in the business. I also attended the School of the Science of Acting about 21 years ago and at least 90% of us are still in the business. I think it's to do with confidence...
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Clare Evans
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I studied at the Academy of the Science of Acting for 3 years, this is the only place I recommend. Acting and directing are the toughest professions to get into and stay in. The number of 'sucessful' graduates from any drama School is small, it is just the way of the profession. Find out about the school, read the book, go and see some productions and decide for yourself.
Clare Evans.
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ouchie
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(Original post by SWYT)
Interesting... just doing the stats in my head...I attended an accredited Drama School 25 years ago (Drama UK, NCDT, Conference.. you name it) and I think probably around 10/15% of my year are still in the business. I also attended the School of the Science of Acting about 21 years ago and at least 90% of us are still in the business. I think it's to do with confidence...
While that is a faintly amusing attempt at undermining the points other people have been making, if acting were simply about confidence no one would need to go to drama school in the first place and if that's the key than drama schools should have confidence modules on their curriculums. Also, when recent reports came out to say that obesity can prevent you from getting Alzheimer's the first thing I wonder was whether Cadbury's chocolate had funded the research...likewise the "stats" you've popped up there mean nothing if they're just coming out of your head. In both cases you attended the schools at least a quarter of a century ago and things have changed since then.


The bottom line is that the top schools are the topschools for a reason; they have a higher level of graduates going into better jobs and having much longer spanning careers, you only need to look on their websites to see faces you'll recognise from television, film and theatre. It also depends what you mean by being "in the business". For most people that would mean making a living wage by acting, without subsidising that wage with other jobs or teaching.


The technique is worth reading and it's in book form for anyone who wants it but it isn't a revolutionary acting technique, it's very similar to what other schools and other techniques teach, many of which are also available in book form. What shocked me about the school was the absolute lack of visiting directors, producers, script writers, agents etc etc. The students lived in a Science of Acting bubble without any real exposure to others practicing in the profession. Based on that alone I'd say it isn't worth it. Read the book, go to a better school.
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benkins
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Take the unfair sledging and outdated, incoherent bitter rambling here with a pinch of salt and find out for yourself - that's what I did. I learnt more about acting & directing (& myself...some of which was challenging) in a recent two week workshop at KADA, than I had in 1 year of previous study at another 'top' school. KADA is the only school in London, other than perhaps the Drama Centre, that has a direct methodological approach to acting, and despite what anyone says, this approach cannot be not found in any other drama school. Some people prefer not to use a method or technique with acting, which is fair enough, but for anyone who does I would recommend looking into KADA.
Things may have not been the same their 3-4 years ago - I don't know - but my recent experience at KADA was very positive & inspiring and I'm a better actor because of it.
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Sofia_Johansson
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I now take my bachelor degree in acting from the Kogan academy of dramatic arts. And I learned a way to create and play characters in a way that will help me thru my career. Now it is up to me what I do with it. Because it is just an education, like any acting school, they give me the tools and now I choose how to use them. I believe I am a better actor and more ready for the profession then I was before, even thou I already was full paid on stage before coming here, now I can only say I got exactly what I wanted from my education, witch is to know how to do good acting and performance with the same standard every time. I want to be proud of my work. To have a great career for me is to be the best actor I can be, not stress for fame with out having done my best and also what I will leave after in the future is something beautiful to watch and remembered. I got exactly what I needed out of this education, but the education can not give me a career, that I will give myself. And I must say it makes me sad to see people not thinking about that this is a school and teachers who only do their best to help people like me, but I wont argue, only do my acting and hope this school will help many other actors for a long and happy career.
Best of luck!
Sofia Johansson
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JohanR
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I am a current student of a the school currently in my 3rd year on the Full-Time Bachelor Hons. course.

Having been here for a few years I can't recommend it highly enough. I've never met teachers that care as much about your progress as here at the academy and I have developed hugely from years studying here.

I also have many friends who are graduates from the school and they are all working professionals within the industry. They are also, more or less all of them, making films, directing plays and producing theatre that either they or other graduates act in. To my mind this is one of the most inspiring places to be for someone wanting to become an actor. I'd advice anyone interest to contact the school and ask to come for a visit and have a look around for yourself
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JohanR
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(Original post by returnmigrant)
Both are irrelevant. Without NCDT accreditation (http://www.dramauk.co.uk/drama_uk_accredited_schools) you will not be eligible for Equity graduate membership, and no agent or director worth their salt will go anywhere near the place. Don't make it difficult for yourself - go to an established drama school like RADA, LAMDA , Central or Bristol Old Vic.
This is not correct. I know a lot of people from the academy that are recent graduates and they are all graduate members of equity.
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AlexDower
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Hi

I trained as an actor & director at the Academy. It gives an exceptionally high standard of training. I don't understand what you mean by "Alumni of that school cannot find a proper job".

Since I graduated I have worked as an actor at the National Theatre, in the West End, and in TV, film and radio. As a director I have won awards & been commissioned to make short films, commercials & music videos. I have also taught all over the world (including at the National Theatre Studio & Jerwood Space) & been acclaimed for work I have done in Russian prisons, Lebanese refugee camps & in various places in UK & Australia.

My fellow graduates are acting & directing in every area of the profession (see Eddie Marsan, David Bark-Jones, Andrew Byron, Philip Bulcock, Audrey Sheffield...). The last time I was aware of the measure being taken, it had the highest 'retention rate' of any UK drama school - ie. graduates staying in the profession. I believe this is because of the brilliance & clarity of the methodology taught and the inspiration & work ethic instilled in students.

Since it was awarded degree status by Kingston, the intake has more than doubled, with a far higher proportion of students being from the UK, without losing the beneficial diversity of students from abroad. It has always been a small school and thus individual students get a level of care and attention that I have not seen in any other school or university (and I've studied or worked in many).
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