Qualification | Degree
Course Director | Chris White
Validated by | University of East London (UEL)
Location | Currently Avondale (Clapham) but subject to relocation in 2021, see details
Course Length | 3 Years, Full-Time
Start Date | September 2020
Much of your work on the programme will be devoted to vocal and physical training, to the exploration of a range of techniques for creating and developing character and to working responsively within the space.
The modern actor is not a puppet who regurgitates words and movements for an audience, but a creative artist who uses their inner resources to create truthful fictions and constantly seeks new ways to communicate. Part of the programme will teach you to be original and individual in your work, to reinvent old techniques and to develop new ones.
Italia Conti's BA (Hons) Acting Programme does not seek to mould actors to any one method or system of Acting, rather, it makes available to its students a wide range of ideas and training methods, so that each student can construct a personal ‘tool box’ of methods of working.
The programme aims to produce versatile performers who can work in as wide a range of styles and media as possible.
The programme has clear theories about training and performance and upholds philosophies about the role of Theatre in society which permeates the teaching.
BA (Hons) Acting, at Italia Conti, is a three-year, full time vocational course, for anyone aged 18+ wishing to become a professional actor on Stage, Screen, Radio and Digital and recorded media.
The programme is validated by University of East London (UEL). Full government funding is available through Student Finance England for Home students.
"MY TRAINING AT ITALIA CONTI HAS CHALLENGED, FULFILLED AND BROADENED ME AS AN ACTOR AND AS A PERSON. THE BUFFET OF TECHNIQUES ON OFFER WILL ALLOW ME TO MEET ALL CHALLENGES IN ANY AVENUE."
The programme is organised in a modular structure, with various modes of assessment. It is through performance that the ability to integrate and apply acting, voice, movement and singing skills is measured. The holistic nature of acting means that this form of assessment is most appropriate, and so performance assessment is embedded throughout the programme modules at every level of training.
In the 1st year, the curriculum focuses on the attainment of technical skills, such as acting, voice, movement and singing. Rehearsals for projects allow students to put the techniques they have learnt into practice. This very technical 1st year underpins the 2nd year, where more time is given over to rehearsals and project work. In the 3rd year, technical classes take place on Mondays only, with the rest of the week given over to rehearsals for public performances with outside professional directors. All productions, live and recorded, receive voice, movement and singing input as required. In addition, students are given career advice and support through the Professional Preparation module.
YEAR 1 (Level 4)
The student actor needs a firm understanding of the core principles, which support a successful performance. The 1st year introduces the student to the principles behind Stanislavski's system of physical actions as interpreted by a range of 20th Century and contemporary practitioners such as Uta Hagen, Michael Chekhov, Declan Donnellen and Max Stafford-Clarke. Through improvisation and work on a range of texts, the student acquires the tools and knowledge necessary to create an emotionally and psychologically credible characterisation. As the student moves through the 1st year, they are exposed to increasingly complex theatrical texts and genres which required continual adjuistment or augmentation of the core principles.
Each term students undertake a group project. Project work encourages the intergration of acting, voice, movement and singing skills, and enables the individual to develop his or her process within a rehearsal and performance situation.
Typical projects might be:
- Devising project using world stories
- Chekhov / Gorky
Emphasis is placed on the collaboration of acting, movement, voice and singing, and consequently there is a significant amount of time teaching at all levels. Interpretive, reflection and analytical skills are encouraged through contextual studies, in which students are encouraged to eveluate their own work as well as that of others.
YEAR 2 (Level 5)
Having aquired the core skills associated with Stanislavski's system in the 1st year, students are now asked to adapt these principles to the demands of non-naturalistic texts and further naturalistic texts.
Typical projects include:
- Restoration Comedy
- Commedia Dell'Arte & Clowning
- New Writing
Alongside these, students acquire associated practical skills such as:
- Stage Combat (with the option of taking a
BASSC exam in Summer)
- Social Dance (with the option of taking
Bronze, Silver and Gold dance exams)
- Further accent training
- Further acting through song training
- In students' weekly TV and Radio lessons,
they continue to work on developing their
skills learnt in the 1st year.
In the final term, students work on two separate plays, with a big focus on ensemble and stylised performance. Every year, students fundraise money over the three terms to take both shows up to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This is not a compulsory part of the course, however all students benefit from the experience of taking work to a festival, with the support from the Academy as and when needed.
YEAR 3 (Level 6)
The priority for this year is to encourage each student's capacity to engage with the profession in multiple ways, maximising their employability.
The final year bridges the gap between the classroom and professional world. Students participate in three professional shows, working with outside industry directors. Both the Academy and students invite agents, casting directors and other industry professionals to try and obtain representation and exposure.
Professional preparation and career development opportunities include:
- Mock auditions throughout the year, run with
the help of casting directors from The RSC
and The Royal National Theatre
- Mock agent interviews with industry agents,
who provide detailed feedback on
presentation and technique, maximising your
chances of acquiring representation
- Full help and guidence on choosing your
headshots and presenting your actors CV
- A range of workshops and seminars to
ensure entry into the industry is fully
- One to one sessions with our Industry
Liaison to maximise your exposure
- Auditions for the Carleton Hobbs Radio
Competition and The Sam Wanamaker
Festival at Shakespeare's Globe
A distinctive feature of this year is the opportunity to work on a long form film project, professionally produced and directed, which provides every student with solid exposure to filming practises, and high quality material for their own marketing and show reel purposes.
As part of the degree, all students must complete a practical dissertation in the second term where they present their own written scripted work, encouraging independant and professional working practises in the development of their own work.
Italia Conti’s international acclaimed programmes provide practical training and instruction in all aspects of the entertainment industry. Our training directly addresses the competitive demands of todays industry and prepares professionals with a broad, in-depth background. Students actively participate in a supportive, professional environment, taught by leading experts and artists currently working in todays theatre business.
Founded in 1911, Italia Conti is the world's most prestigious performing arts education programme. Students attend an intense five day a week training program which includes vocational training, focused on the key disciplines, including Acting, Dance, Singing, Voice and the many facets of each, as well as the critical life skills necessary to prepare them to work in the professional world of entertainment. Emphasis is not only placed on the individual art forms but also on the collaborative process and the collective creation of theatre arts.
The programme is designed to provide you with: The knowledge and skills to perform as an actor to professional industry standards whether in TV, Film, Theatre or Radio. Specialised skills in acting, voice, movement and singing.
Transferable skills, especially in communication and self-presentation, team-work, independent research and critical analysis, which will allow you to operate successfully in a variety of fields. The knowledge and skills to be pro-active in the creation of employment.
MOVEMENT FOR ACTORS
Acting is a physical process that requires the body to be available, aware and articulate. It is through the body that we communicate – in movement and in sound. The BA Acting movement training works to prepare and locate the body firmly within the acting process. This is a dynamic and rigorous programme with two primary strands of training that run concurrently throughout the 1st and 2nd year – fundamental and expressive.
The first focuses on developing strength, flexibility, kinaesthetic and spatial awareness and skill-specific physical techniques; the second develops physical acting skills, focusing on how the body communicates meaning, the connection of thought, action and speech, and the understanding of theatrical space.
There is no single technique used. Instead we draw upon and incorporate various techniques and skills at appropriate points in the three year course, including sound and movement improvisation, authentic movement, contact improvisation, Pilates, yoga, release techniques, acro-balance, period movement, stage combat and social dance. The course philosophy is also influenced by the work of practitioners such as Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov, Growtowski, Boal, Laban, Decroux, and Lecoq.
VOICE FOR ACTORS
Voice for actors requires an awareness of body and voice and is one of the primary means of expression for the actor to engage with the creative process. The aim of the voice course is to train and develop the voice into a fully supported, resonant and flexible instrument with strong speech skills. This allows the student to achieve their full vocal potential, whilst developing the individuals own natural voice. No single practitioners work is studied exclusively, but students are taught a wide variety of techniques and methodologies. Movement practices such as release technique and contact work are incorporated in order to integrate the voice, body and mind.
SINGING FOR ACTORS
The singing course aims to provide each student with an efficient and safe technique, encouraging an individual and free singing voice. The actor/singer relationship is very much at the core of what the course aims to teach, involving each student in various strategies and techniques associated with acting through song. We treat sung text very much in the same manner as we would spoken text, applying various acting techniques to the overall process of learning a song. The structure and content of the course offers a range of musical experiences including a working knowledge of various historical styles and genres. By the end of the 2nd term in the 3rd year, each student will be expected to have established a portfolio of solo songs suitable for professional auditions.
The singing department staff are all experienced, freelance practitioners who combine their work at Italia Conti with professional engagements as musical directors, singers and performers.
Camera classes start in the first year and continue on into the second year in order to develop students’ skills further. The first year is geared towards building confidence, learning basic camera craft and knowing ones casting. Students will begin to learn how to adapt the other acting disciplines they have been developing throughout the rest of the course to the subtleties of acting for the camera.
In the second year, students begin working with scenes from popular Soaps, Episodic Dramas and Commercials, dedicating time to studying the various skills and acting styles needed when working in television. All aspects of the actor’s preparation, from audition technique to the final performance, will be studied as well as the differences working with both single and multi-camera set ups.
All work will be filmed and students will be encouraged to evaluate their performances in order to improve camera skills.
In the third year, students will work on a short film project with an industry professional crew. These scenes could contribute to individual showreels.
Radio is taught in the second year of training over 3 terms. In the first term, students learn the technical aspects of studio work, such as studio procedures, cue lights, use of headphones, microphone technique and the general discipline of the recording studio environment. They also begin to work on simple scripts.
In the second and third terms, the work is developed and includes radio drama and radio comedy, classic and contemporary narrative texts, voice-overs, commercials, radio announcements, and mock auditions. Technically demanding skills such as sight-reading scientific papers or creating cartoon voices will be studied. Students learn to apply skills acquired in both voice and acting units, in order to act truthfully and imaginatively in recorded media.
Students may audition for the Carleton Hobbs competition in their third year. The winners are given a 5-month contract with the BBC Radio Drama Company. Successful actors are invited to undertake professional work with the BBC. The Academy is pleased to note our most recent success – Gary Duncan (2017 Acting Graduate) won the competition and will start working for the BBC from July 2017.
FEES & FUNDING
UK & EU Tuition Fees | £9250 per academic year, (paid in advanced termly instalments)
Audition Fee | £45 (non-refundable)
Deposit | £250 (non-refundable before commencement, but returned in the 2nd/3rd year)
We are unable to accept applications from international students on the BA (Hons) Acting due to new Office for Students regulations.
FEES TERMS & CONDITIONS
Terms and conditions apply upon acceptance to Italia Conti and can be found on our Policies page.
The BA (Hons) course offers the following funding options:
- Private Funding
- Student Finance
"ITALIA CONTI ALLOWED ME TO DO MY FAVOURITE THIING
EVERYDAY IN A SAFE SPACE AMONGST TALENTED,
SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE. BEING TAUGHT BY SKILFUL TUTORS WAS INVALUABLE. THE SMALL CLASSES ENSURED MY VOICE WAS ALWAYS HEARD AND HELPED ME HONE IN MY SKILLS."
ENTRY TO BA (HONS) ACTING REQUIRES THE FOLLOWING:
- 18+ by the 31st August in the year of entry.
- Level 2 English and Maths at GCSE Grade 4 or above or recognised equivalent qualifications.
- 64 UCAS points or admission through recognition of non standard entry qualifications/experience:
A level: CC
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: MPP
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: MM
Access to HE Diploma: M = 15 credits, P = 30 credits
- IELTS Level 6
- Legal right to reside/study in the UK for the full period of the programme.
- Successful audition through Italia Conti, details of which can be found below.
- Evidence in hard copy of all the above must be provided.
After completing the application process you will be invited to attend one of our audition days where you will be required to demonstrate a variety of skills. Information about auditions can be found below.
Application to the BA (Hons) Acting course is to be made through UCAS only. Please note that our listing on UCAS is shown as University of East London (UEL) - Acting.
UCAS Institution Code | E28
UCAS Course Code | W410
Once applicants have applied for the BA (Hons) Acting programme through UCAS they will receive an email from UEL containing a link to Italia Conti's BA (Hons) application form. Applicants must complete this form and pay the audition fee (£45) in order to be considered for the course. Applicants cannot apply through UCAS alone for this programme.
Applicants should have completed Italia Conti's application form and paid the audition fee by the 19th January in the year of application in order to be considered for audition.
Applicants who have applied through UCAS and who have not received an email containing a link to Italia Conti's application form should contact
before the 19th January in the year of application.
Audition fees are non-refundable. These fees act as both an administration fee for processing your application as well as a non-refundable deposit for a place on an audition day.
In line with our admissions policy, Italia Conti reserves the right to alter or withdraw offers at any point. Places on our courses are limited; it is usual for drama schools to make more offers than there are places. Acceptances are dealt with on a first come first serve basis and so early acceptance is advised.
The entrance audition comprises of two components - Acting and Interview. The audition process is designed to ensure that prospective students meet the criteria for acting training including a demonstration of prior knowledge and a good understanding of the commitment full time acting training requires.
Both audition components will take place on the same day, and candidates should be prepared to spend at least half a day at the audition. You may wish to bring lunch or a snack to the audition, as breaks between sections will not be long enough to leave the audition site. Also, please note that family and friends will not be permitted to observe the audition and depending on the set-up of the audition site may not be able to have contact with the applicant until their audition is finished.
The audition day begins at 9am. Auditionees come to the Avondale Building on Landor Road, Clapham, London, SW9 9PH and report to Reception. See Contact page for map and travel information.
1 Classical Monologue (from our Shakespeare Audition Pieces list below)
1 Contemporary Monologue (Post 1950)
C (Conditional offer);
U (Unconditional offer);
O (Offer to another course)
Recall (applicants offered a recall will be invited to a session normally held in May or June).
Unsuccessful auditionees are entitled to feedback should they require it, and should contact the Academy by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successful auditionees are reminded that they are not permitted to accept offers at more than one Drama School within the CDS.
2. Please keep your audition pieces to one and a half minutes or under.
3. Make sure that your pieces are within your playing range in terms of gender, age and physical type.
4. Do not attempt accents other than your own unless you are very confident about your ability.
5. Learn your pieces very thoroughly.
6. Avoid self-written pieces.
7. If possible find at least one piece with which you have a particular relationship or connection: e.g. a piece by a Scottish writer if you are from Scotland.
8. Familiarise yourself with the plays your pieces are taken from.
9. Wear loose comfortable clothing, for ease of movement.
10. Try not to spend ages getting into character. It’s best to take a couple of breaths and start when you are on thought.
11. Be prepared to be redirected and if you don’t understand the redirection, please say so!
12. And finally, we don’t mind if you speak directly to the panel – we’d rather you spoke to us than to an empty chair!
SHAKESPEARE AUDITION PIECES
“Thou, nature art my goddess………”
“I heard myself proclaim’d………”
“To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus……Who’s there!”
“Nay, ‘twill be this hour…..” [Prose]
“Thus do I ever make my fool……”
“This fellow’s of exceeding honesty,…….”
“Have you the heart? When your head did ache………”
“I know you all, and will awhile uphold……”
“But I do think it is their husbands’ faults…..”
“I left no ring with her……..”
“Brave warriors…….. may sing and dance”
“Sir, spare your threats……..”
“The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse……...”
“You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand…….”
“By day and night he wrongs me………Prepare for dinner”
“Is Brutus sick………”
Regular workshop sessions are held to give students the opportunity to work with directors, choreographers and industry professionals whilst training. Second and third year students also have to opportunity to join the Italia Conti Agency and undertake professional work should the opportunity arise. During the 3rd year students take part in their final Showcase whereby agents are invited, and Italia Conti has connections with many of these.
You will be taught by a team of industry specialists who have extensive experience of the audition processes used by both professional theatre companies and the country’s leading drama schools. In addition, all of the Academy staff are successful professional practitioners (actors, directors, dialect coaches, movement directors, etc.) with excellent industry links. We also work very closely with leading casting directors and theatre agents.
Italia Conti graduates populate the performance industries and include: Tom Ainsley, Leon Annor, Gabrielle Anwar, Russell Brand, Jennifer Brooke, Karla Crome, Jonno Davies, Letitia Dean, Mark Ebulué, Jess Ellis, Barbara Ferris, Karen Gillan, Jamie Foreman, Linzi Hately, Aisling Jarrett-Gavin, Matt Lapinskas, Leona Lewis, Pixie Lott, Lesley Manville, Hans Matheson, Daniel Mays, Bethany Muir, James Nelson-Joyce, Racheal Ofori, Gemma Salter, Julia and Nadia Sawalha, Lucie Shorthouse, Daniel Francis Swaby, Gary Trainor, Nina Toussaint-White, Tracy Ullman, Dwane Walcott and Gabby Wong.
ALUMNI & GRADUATE SUCCESS
With over 107 years of Italia Conti history, our graduates populate the performance industries and include many famous faces. Recent graduates can be seen working on prestigious productions in all areas of the industry.
ALUMNI SUCCESS >