HippyChick04
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Hoping to study acting at degree level after I've finished college nxt yr 2022. I'm currently studying A levels Drama & media studies, btec performing arts as well as an extracurricular dance award. I have also been a student at NAPA (Northern Academy of Performing Arts) since I was 10yr learning drama & musical theatre.
I love musical theatre as a hobby but my heart is set on acting so have started looking at where to study after college but am confused as to whether to take the risk and apply for only conservatories or to apply for universities too. Which will be more beneficial to help with an acting career???
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AlexSilver
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If you want to study Acting then you will get the best training at an accredited Drama School where you will work towards a final agent showcase in Year 3 and getting agency representation and your Spotlight page.
However it gets confusing as most drama schools now have their BA Acting courses validated by universities, but mostly operate quite independently.

This means that you might end up applying through UCAS or UCAS Conservatoires.

Most people would agree that a university degree in Drama or a degree in Acting from a mid to low-ranking university is unlikely to lead directly to an acting career - you'd need to follow up with a postgrad course at drama school afterwards.

Where are you looking at applying? It might help to talk about specific places.
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HippyChick04
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(Original post by AlexSilver)
If you want to study Acting then you will get the best training at an accredited Drama School where you will work towards a final agent showcase in Year 3 and getting agency representation and your Spotlight page.
However it gets confusing as most drama schools now have their BA Acting courses validated by universities, but mostly operate quite independently.

This means that you might end up applying through UCAS or UCAS Conservatoires.

Most people would agree that a university degree in Drama or a degree in Acting from a mid to low-ranking university is unlikely to lead directly to an acting career - you'd need to follow up with a postgrad course at drama school afterwards.

Where are you looking at applying? It might help to talk about specific places.
So far I've looked at GSA, Arden Manchester, Manchester Met, Uni of Chichester but want to find out about as many as possible as really don't know. Needs to be covered by student loan tuition, have accommodation that could be covered by full maintenance loan, have a spotlight and connections available during the last year and as I'll be supporting myself financially need to be able to work pt also as will need something to top up what's left of maintenance loan after accommodation.
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University of Chichester
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
So far I've looked at GSA, Arden Manchester, Manchester Met, Uni of Chichester but want to find out about as many as possible as really don't know. Needs to be covered by student loan tuition, have accommodation that could be covered by full maintenance loan, have a spotlight and connections available during the last year and as I'll be supporting myself financially need to be able to work pt also as will need something to top up what's left of maintenance loan after accommodation.
Hi there,

Good to hear you've had a look at our courses! Let us know if you have any questions or would like to be put in contact with a lecturer

Thanks, Sian
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Bunny-hop123
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(Original post by University of Chichester)
Hi there,

Good to hear you've had a look at our courses! Let us know if you have any questions or would like to be put in contact with a lecturer

Thanks, Sian
Hello Sian - Can you confirm that you offer your students, a showcase to the top agents and producers and directors in the field of entertainment, so that they can compete with the top drama schools, (who have done this for year?) Can you confirm that your members of staff/drama teachers are members of Equity, and are equipped to advise the students upon topics like Spotlight membership, entertainment law, agents agreements, the world of voice overs and the possibility of further musical theatre study, (as there are more jobs in that field.) Are you aware that all students need to have a filmed demo show reel, and are you capable of working with them to provide that? Are you also aware that an audio-demo of voice clips is a "must" and do you have a post production facility to help the student with that?
Or
Are you staffed by a drama dept of people who are strong on Academics, but not too sure about how to survive a professional audition, because they've never been selected for one?
Are you staffed by people who can write books about Meyerhold, Growtowski and Stanislavski, but they are unable to explain to the students about the "Buy Out " option for a TV commercial.
Should you ever wish to create a course that can actually prepare students for the world of work, then that would be great. But that doesn't seem to be top of the list with you - and - it is unfair to say to a student "Yes, we can help you", when you obviously are not equipped to do so. The 18 year olds do not know the difference.
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HippyChick04
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(Original post by Bunny-hop123)
Hello Sian - Can you confirm that you offer your students, a showcase to the top agents and producers and directors in the field of entertainment, so that they can compete with the top drama schools, (who have done this for year?) Can you confirm that your members of staff/drama teachers are members of Equity, and are equipped to advise the students upon topics like Spotlight membership, entertainment law, agents agreements, the world of voice overs and the possibility of further musical theatre study, (as there are more jobs in that field.) Are you aware that all students need to have a filmed demo show reel, and are you capable of working with them to provide that? Are you also aware that an audio-demo of voice clips is a "must" and do you have a post production facility to help the student with that?
Or
Are you staffed by a drama dept of people who are strong on Academics, but not too sure about how to survive a professional audition, because they've never been selected for one?
Are you staffed by people who can write books about Meyerhold, Growtowski and Stanislavski, but they are unable to explain to the students about the "Buy Out " option for a TV commercial.
Should you ever wish to create a course that can actually prepare students for the world of work, then that would be great. But that doesn't seem to be top of the list with you - and - it is unfair to say to a student "Yes, we can help you", when you obviously are not equipped to do so. The 18 year olds do not know the difference.
Hi Bunny-hop123,
Thank you for your insight.
Is it in your experience that Chichester doesn't not offer everything you mention?
And in your opinion which are the best top 10 places I should seriously consider applying to?
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AlexSilver
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
Hi Bunny-hop123,
Thank you for your insight.
Is it in your experience that Chichester doesn't not offer everything you mention?
And in your opinion which are the best top 10 places I should seriously consider applying to?
I think you need to do more of your own preliminary research, to be honest I'm afraid. Have you read some of the old threads on this topic (it comes up lots) It's just that nobody can tell you what the 'best top 10 places' are for you individually - it depends very much what you're looking for!

As Bunny said - check carefully any university 'Acting' course to see whether it offers industry links and proper training (most don't!). Of the ones you mention, GSA does and I think Arden does (although it's not so well known - more of a regional school).

But also be realistic about what a long and hard journey it is to becoming an actor, and how most never 'make it' to a career that can sustain them financially.
Good luck!
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HippyChick04
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(Original post by Bunny-hop123)
If there any university courses that take the commercial approach to launching students on a career, then I don't know about them. I'm taking a break from The Student Room, as I have had two warning notes and my question about racism at Bangor Uni was declined. Good luck. Hope my posts have helped.
That's a shame as I have found your Frank answers very helpful as I am truly clueless. Please before you go can you give me your top 10 places to apply in your personal opinion for a BA in acting?
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HippyChick04
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(Original post by AlexSilver)
I think you need to do more of your own preliminary research, to be honest I'm afraid. Have you read some of the old threads on this topic (it comes up lots) It's just that nobody can tell you what the 'best top 10 places' are for you individually - it depends very much what you're looking for!

As Bunny said - check carefully any university 'Acting' course to see whether it offers industry links and proper training (most don't!). Of the ones you mention, GSA does and I think Arden does (although it's not so well known - more of a regional school).

But also be realistic about what a long and hard journey it is to becoming an actor, and how most never 'make it' to a career that can sustain them financially.
Good luck!
Thanks for your reply I'm currently reading/researching as much info as possible but using this site to gain a realistic insight/opinions/advice to different places that offer the course I'm interested. As I'm worried about making my choice just because one place has a better website than others.
I'm first generation going to degree education so can not get advice from family.
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AlexSilver
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
Thanks for your reply I'm currently reading/researching as much info as possible but using this site to gain a realistic insight/opinions/advice to different places that offer the course I'm interested. As I'm worried about making my choice just because one place has a better website than others.
I'm first generation going to degree education so can not get advice from family.
Articles like this one are useful to explain what you're looking for in an 'Accredited Drama School' : https://howtodrama.com/accredited-drama-schools-uk/

Also lots of articles like this if you google 'Top UK Drama Schools' https://headshothunter.co.uk/blog/uk-drama-schools/

The top London schools (RADA, Central, LAMDA, GUildhall etc) are INCREDIBLY difficult to get into (3000+ applicants a year for 30 spaces) and many people take YEARS of trying but still never make it.
Regional schools may be easier.

As you'll see, not many (if any?) university 'Acting' courses appear on that list! (GSA is an accredited drama school within the Uni of Surrey)
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ChurchBells
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Interesting list, thank you for sharing
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HippyChick04
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(Original post by AlexSilver)
Articles like this one are useful to explain what you're looking for in an 'Accredited Drama School' : https://howtodrama.com/accredited-drama-schools-uk/

Also lots of articles like this if you google 'Top UK Drama Schools' https://headshothunter.co.uk/blog/uk-drama-schools/

The top London schools (RADA, Central, LAMDA, GUildhall etc) are INCREDIBLY difficult to get into (3000+ applicants a year for 30 spaces) and many people take YEARS of trying but still never make it.
Regional schools may be easier.

As you'll see, not many (if any?) university 'Acting' courses appear on that list! (GSA is an accredited drama school within the Uni of Surrey)
Thanks Alex those links will be helpful. GSA is my first choice from what I've read so far but so hard to get into any of the top ones and totally prepared for getting into the industry or not, whatever fate maybe.
Wondering if don't get into a good one when apply to start nxt yr to just get a degree anywhere then keep applying for the top ones afterwards??? Really not sure and lots of research and thoughts to process atm.
Really do appreciate your thoughts x
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University of Surrey Student Rep
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
Thanks Alex those links will be helpful. GSA is my first choice from what I've read so far but so hard to get into any of the top ones and totally prepared for getting into the industry or not, whatever fate maybe.
Wondering if don't get into a good one when apply to start nxt yr to just get a degree anywhere then keep applying for the top ones afterwards??? Really not sure and lots of research and thoughts to process atm.
Really do appreciate your thoughts x
Hi there!

It's great to hear that your considering GSA as your first choice! It is a hard decision when it comes to thinking about choices and there is a lot of research and thought processes to be considered. Keep your head up and keep thinking positively, show the university your hard work and dedication and go get that space on the course!!

Please let me know if you have any questions, I am here to help!

Becca (2nd Year Psychology Student)
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HippyChick04
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(Original post by University of Surrey Student Rep)
Hi there!

It's great to hear that your considering GSA as your first choice! It is a hard decision when it comes to thinking about choices and there is a lot of research and thought processes to be considered. Keep your head up and keep thinking positively, show the university your hard work and dedication and go get that space on the course!!

Please let me know if you have any questions, I am here to help!

Becca (2nd Year Psychology Student)
Thanks Becca,
What makes the 30 successful applicants stand out from the 3000? What are GSA looking for in a student at audition?
If you could forward my questions to a current tutor or student I would be grateful.
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University of Surrey Student Rep
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
Thanks Becca,
What makes the 30 successful applicants stand out from the 3000? What are GSA looking for in a student at audition?
If you could forward my questions to a current tutor or student I would be grateful.
Hi there!

As I am a Psychology student I am unsure as to what GSA would be looking for. They will probably have a criteria that students they are looking for will need to fall into to. However, I would suggest to go into your audition, remain calm and try your best. All you can do in the moment is try your best and if your dedicated to doing that, hopefully they will see your passion for acting. https://gsauk.org/courses/ba-hons-acting If you scroll down on this link, you will be able to see graduate stories; these may be good for you to read to get an overview about their student experience at GSA with acting


Becca
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AlexSilver
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
Thanks Becca,
What makes the 30 successful applicants stand out from the 3000? What are GSA looking for in a student at audition?
If you could forward my questions to a current tutor or student I would be grateful.
Have you had a look at the GSA prospectus: https://gsauk.org/prospectus/#prospectus/13 ?

(Hint: page 12 "We look for . . ."

For any school you're interested in you should interrogate their websites and you will find all these answers!
They also have (virtual) open days in June - a good chance to get a feel for the school.

I once heard an admissions person say that it was always very clear who was REALLY committed to the course and who wasn't by the questions they asked. Too many students ask questions such as "how many students do you take per year or what will I study" - which are questions they could have easily found out themselves.
The keen students ask detailed questions about what they have already found out. Hope this helps!
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mlyfrncs
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
Hoping to study acting at degree level after I've finished college nxt yr 2022. I'm currently studying A levels Drama & media studies, btec performing arts as well as an extracurricular dance award. I have also been a student at NAPA (Northern Academy of Performing Arts) since I was 10yr learning drama & musical theatre.
I love musical theatre as a hobby but my heart is set on acting so have started looking at where to study after college but am confused as to whether to take the risk and apply for only conservatories or to apply for universities too. Which will be more beneficial to help with an acting career???
Hiya!

Whilst I study musical theatre, I hope I can give you some valuable advice here.

Drama school will nearly always be the best option - they have access to industry connections (helping you secure jobs and agents), can give you access to a spotlight account and have higher contact hours meaning you get more training for you money, as well as being more practical based, giving you all the necessary skills for a career in the industry.
Universities will give you more theory based lectures and fewer contact hours, due to having on campus theatres, agents are less likely to travel out of London to see productions so securing representation is harder - you would be more likely to teach drama with a degree like this than enter the industry.

There are lots of options though of how to get to drama school!
1. Audition to drama schools for the BA courses and get in!! I recommend finding 7 or so that you LIKE and want to study at.
2. If you feel like you are not ready for a BA course or you get rejected from the BAs, you can audition for foundation courses at the same schools, these help to top your skills up and provide the foundation for a BA. However, doing a foundation at a school does not guarantee you for the degree but the extra training is SO SO helpful to most people. The only downside is you can't secure government funding for them...
3. Do an acting degree at a traditional university and then go on to do an MA at a drama school, many top performers have done this - some of them didn't even do acting degrees before their MAs!

Here are some of the schools for acting that I would recommend you to look at for BA and Foundation!
- GSA
- Mountview
- East 15
- Bristol Old Vic
- Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- LIPA
- Central School of Speech and Drama (they audition you for three courses - acting, acting for MT and CDT)
- READ College (foundation only)
- Rose Bruford
- LAMDA
- RADA
- The Arden
- The MTA (they do a 50/50 stage and screen split in acting and MT)
- ALRA

I hope you found this helpful, feel free to ask me any more questions! 😊
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HippyChick04
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(Original post by mlyfrncs)
Hiya!

Whilst I study musical theatre, I hope I can give you some valuable advice here.

Drama school will nearly always be the best option - they have access to industry connections (helping you secure jobs and agents), can give you access to a spotlight account and have higher contact hours meaning you get more training for you money, as well as being more practical based, giving you all the necessary skills for a career in the industry.
Universities will give you more theory based lectures and fewer contact hours, due to having on campus theatres, agents are less likely to travel out of London to see productions so securing representation is harder - you would be more likely to teach drama with a degree like this than enter the industry.

There are lots of options though of how to get to drama school!
1. Audition to drama schools for the BA courses and get in!! I recommend finding 7 or so that you LIKE and want to study at.
2. If you feel like you are not ready for a BA course or you get rejected from the BAs, you can audition for foundation courses at the same schools, these help to top your skills up and provide the foundation for a BA. However, doing a foundation at a school does not guarantee you for the degree but the extra training is SO SO helpful to most people. The only downside is you can't secure government funding for them...
3. Do an acting degree at a traditional university and then go on to do an MA at a drama school, many top performers have done this - some of them didn't even do acting degrees before their MAs!

Here are some of the schools for acting that I would recommend you to look at for BA and Foundation!
- GSA
- Mountview
- East 15
- Bristol Old Vic
- Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- LIPA
- Central School of Speech and Drama (they audition you for three courses - acting, acting for MT and CDT)
- READ College (foundation only)
- Rose Bruford
- LAMDA
- RADA
- The Arden
- The MTA (they do a 50/50 stage and screen split in acting and MT)
- ALRA

I hope you found this helpful, feel free to ask me any more questions! 😊
Thank you as knowing your 3rd point is an option (government funding permitting) is very helpful.
Where abouts are you studying or have studied?
Foundation option is out if not government funded as myself or my parent don't have that kind of income.
Have looked and currently still looking at quite from your list but haven't looked at Old Vic or The MTA yet so will add that on my to look at list.
Drama schools I've looked at as well as the ones on your list are Leeds Conservatoire, Royal Birmingham, Manchester MET & LMA.
As well as Drama schools I've also looked at Uni's (Chichester, Staffordshire, Winchester, Bath Spa, East London UEL & Manchester).
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mlyfrncs
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
Thank you as knowing your 3rd point is an option (government funding permitting) is very helpful.
Where abouts are you studying or have studied?
Foundation option is out if not government funded as myself or my parent don't have that kind of income.
Have looked and currently still looking at quite from your list but haven't looked at Old Vic or The MTA yet so will add that on my to look at list.
Drama schools I've looked at as well as the ones on your list are Leeds Conservatoire, Royal Birmingham, Manchester MET & LMA.
As well as Drama schools I've also looked at Uni's (Chichester, Staffordshire, Winchester, Bath Spa, East London UEL & Manchester).
I believe that MA degrees allow you to get government funding, also, remember that most schools offer scholarships so don't rule out foundation courses, I know someone who got a FULL scholarship to GSA foundation and Urdang degree!
What degree would you do at LMA? Do they do an acting degree or just MT?
I'm starting a MT BTEC at a drama school in September, I just don't want to say where due to privacy reasons ). I am currently in Y12 at a 6th form so I will be going back a year but I do have a lot of knowledge in the world of auditioning and theatre pathways.
If you want a nice in between of drama school and degree then Chichester is a good choice - like other unis I would recommend an MA afterwards but they do have a lot of successful students who don't do masters, they are probably the most successful university course!

I hope any of this helps, I love a drama school chat
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Bunny-hop123
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(Original post by HippyChick04)
Thank you as knowing your 3rd point is an option (government funding permitting) is very helpful.
Where abouts are you studying or have studied?
Foundation option is out if not government funded as myself or my parent don't have that kind of income.
Have looked and currently still looking at quite from your list but haven't looked at Old Vic or The MTA yet so will add that on my to look at list.
Drama schools I've looked at as well as the ones on your list are Leeds Conservatoire, Royal Birmingham, Manchester MET & LMA.
As well as Drama schools I've also looked at Uni's (Chichester, Staffordshire, Winchester, Bath Spa, East London UEL & Manchester).
Hello HippyChick04 - I know a top agent and she says that there are MORE JOBS than qualified people to do them, in the field of Musical Theatre. So she is fed up of people coming out of Acting courses hoping to offer "just acting"... She can't find them work.
So my suggestion is this.
Look at Northern Ballet School. They are VERY STRONG in placing students in West End/International Musical Theatre jobs. They have an excellent reputation and are situated near Oxford Road Station in Manchester. (Am I right in thinking that you could commute there?)
See if you can talk to a tutor there called Emma Woods. She has a done alot of West End Musicals and will be able to advise you.
My suggestion is that you do Musical Theatre training/work while you are young, and put some money aside, (it is well paid), for your later career - which - will probably mean going to University at age 26 or so.
That way you avoid getting into debt.
You also avoid the horror that is a Student Hall of Residence, (unless disgusting living conditions are your cup of tea, not to mention the threat of sexual abuse, high rents, and claustrophobic rooms, with the sound of somebody being sick in the corridor. People are paying £200 a week in London for that.)

So that's my advice. Go to the hotspots for Musical Theatre jobs, Laine or NBS, (northern ballet school), and get your West End experience, plus TV experience, plus a good agent. THEN go to uni when you are older.
Don't waste your time at BA (hons) Drama with timewasters who can't learn their lines, can't turn up to rehearsals, can't see their way into a performing career - cos it will drive you nuts. And whatever you do, check that those teaching you are former actors who know the industry and who KNOW people.
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