Qualification | Certificate in Higher Education

Course Leader | Bradley Leech

Validated by | University of East London (UEL)

Location | Woking

Course Length | 1 Year, Full-Time
Start Date | September 2023


Certificate of Higher Education, Introduction to Acting, at Italia Conti will enable you to experience the rigours of vocational training and enable you to make informed choices about your future.

You will train in the professional and disciplined environment of a leading drama conservatoire and profit from the knowledge and experience of Italia Conti’s teaching faculty.

Individual sessions working on interview technique and monologue preparation will help to maximise your chances of success in future auditions. You will be encouraged to develop a self-reliance and independent working process on a programme that emphasises the importance of respect within the rehearsal room, generosity and a shared passion. Above all, Italia Conti aims to generate a secure and nurturing training environment that will allow you to be creatively fearless.

A series of organised theatre visits and excursions will develop your awareness and appreciation of current theatre practice. You will learn how to critically evaluate contemporary performance and to express your ideas with clarity and confidence, thereby improving your self-promotional skills.


Certificate of Higher Education, Introduction to Acting, at Italia Conti, is a one-year, full time foundation in actor training for anyone aged 18+ who wishes to develop their existing skills in Acting, with the view to moving onto a full-time, three-year actor training programme at Drama School or University level.  


The programme is validated by University of East London (UEL). Full government funding is available through Student Finance England for Home students.

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Amy Johnson

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The programme will focus on you as an individual and help you to fulfil your potential as an emerging artist. The one year Certificate of Education in Introduction to Acting at the Academy is aimed at those who wish to enhance their existing acting skills with a view to moving onto full time actor training at an accredited Drama School or on a practical University course. It will enable you to experience the rigours of vocational training and enable you to make informed choices about your future.


The programme is structured over three terms and includes practical classes and workshops in:

  • Improvisation

  • Contemporary and Classical Monologues

  • Acting Technique, Rehearsal and Performance

  • Sight Reading

  • Acting for Camera

  • Movement

  • Voice

  • Acting through Song

  • Audition Practice

  • Interview Skills/Professional Preparation

  • Contextual Studies



Term 1 introduces you to the fundamental principles which support a successful performance.


Acting classes are underpinned by Stanislavski's system and focus on creating and communicating believable characters, situations and relationships through work on text and improvisation. You are introduced to vocal and physical usage through voice and movement classes. Audition practice helps you select and work on appropriate monologues (contemporary and classical) and songs for future auditions. A programme of theatre visits and excursions will be accompanied by contextual studies classes in which you will be encouraged to objectively appraise performances, yourself as an actor and develop your awareness of the work of actors, directors, theatre companies and writers currently working in the industry.


Term 2 consolidates and develops the work of term 1.


Starting with an intensive period of audition preparation and practice, you will refine and polish the speeches required for Drama School auditions. Mock auditions are held with an industry expert to improve audition technique. Interview skills and professional preparation workshops enable you to develop your personal and promotional skills in order to support your application to drama schools and elsewhere. The balance of the term is focused on the rehearsal and performance of a workshop production which will take place in the Sheridan Studio at the end of term. More advanced voice and movement classes support this project and increase your ability to work expressively and with flexibility. A programme of short workshops is also embedded into the timetable to allow a diversifying of approaches to training and practice, where sessions might include Meisner Technique, Acting for Camera, Period Dance, Clowning, etc (please note that this workshop programme may change from year to year).


Term 3 offers a diverse range of intensive projects, focused on specific performance practices such as Acting for camera, Commedia Dell’Arte, Musical Theatre and a Devising project, (please note that this programme may change from year to year).


The focus of the work is on applying skills in practice, widening understanding of performance in all its many aspects and extending your work as an actor across the widest possible skill set. This helps to provide a solid base of skills and knowledge, whatever your next steps within the profession may be.


All students on the CertHE programme will be offered an audition for the BA programme for the following year. It should be noted that attendance on the CertHE programme does not guarantee you a place on the BA programme.



Tuition Fees | £9250 per academic year, (paid in advanced termly instalments)

EU Student Fees | £11880 per academic year

International Student Fees | £15000 per academic year (approximately)

Audition Fee | £45 (non-refundable)

Deposit | £275 (The deposit is refundable within 14 calendar days of the payment being

               received by Italia Conti but will not be refunded thereafter for non-enrolment. It

               will be held by the School and will be refundable on completion of the course,

               without interest, less any outstanding sums owed by the student to Italia Conti.)


Terms and conditions apply upon acceptance to Italia Conti.


The Cert HE course offers the following funding options:

- Private Funding

- Student Finance

See Further Funding Info >


Italia Conti welcome application for audition fee waivers for those who are eligible.


See Audition Fee Wavier >




Henry Brackenridge

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- 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

- 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 Cert HE Introduction to 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 | W411


Once applicants have applied for the Cert HE Acting programme through UCAS they will receive an email from UEL containing a link to Italia Conti's Cert HE 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 26th 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

admissions@italiaconti.co.uk before the 26th 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.



We will be conducting first round auditions digitally for the W411 Cert HE Introduction to Acting course, for September 2023 entry. ​​



Due to the volume and standard of applications received this year, Italia Conti need to extend our turnaround time for us to inform candidates of their result. Any first round applicant will receive the result from their audition submission within 3-4 weeks of receipt. We apologise for the delay but every submission deserves our full time and attention.


ACTING AUDITION, including voice exercises, singing and a brief chat to camera answering some questions. 

Applicants will be requested to submit a self-tape with the following: 

  • Identification – name, UCAS number and programme you are applying for

  • Speech 1 – Shakespeare Speech from the list on the website and audition pack 

  • Speech 2 – Contemporary Speech - A piece from a modern play (we define this as 1970-present day), of your choice  

  • Voice Exercises – 6 exercises as per the audition pack 

  • Singing Audition - ‘Happy Birthday’, or any short extract from any song that you know unaccompanied. 

  • ‘About me’ - Brief chat to camera answering the questions in the audition pack 


Speech guidance:

  • Please note: neither speech must be longer than one and a half minutes 

  • Ensure speech is from published plays. They should not be extracts from poems, novels, films or television scripts

  • Please choose characters close to your own age  

  • Please perform your speeches in your native accent  

  • Auditionees should wear comfortable fitted rehearsal wear that best represents you and/or helps with your characterisation  

  • In a minority of instances panel may require a further tape or live-online audition responding to direction


Each of these elements is explained in more detail in the audition pack that you will be sent with your audition submission date. 

The self-tape should be compiled into one video and then submitted – help and advice on this can be found in the ‘How to Submit’ section of the audition pack. 


Please choose one Shakespeare speech from the list below (you may select a character of any gender):

Measure for Measure – Act 2, Scene 4 – Isabella

“To whom should I complain?... And fit his mind to death, for his soul’s rest.”


Macbeth – Act 3 Scene 1 – Macbeth  
“To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus……Who’s there!”  

Romeo & Juliet – Act 2 Scene 5 – Juliet  
“The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse……...”  


Othello – Act 4 Scene 3 – Emilia  
“But I do think it is their husbands’ faults…..”  


Othello – Act 1 Scene 3 – Iago  
“Thus do I ever make my fool……”  

Othello – Act 3 Scene 3 – Othello 
This fellow’s of exceeding honesty,…….”  

Merchant of Venice – Act 3 Scene 2 – Portia  
“You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand…….”  


King John – Act 4 Scene 1 – Arthur  
“Have you the heart? When your head did but ache………”  

  Julius Caesar – Act 2 Scene 1 – Portia  
“Is Brutus sick? and is it physical…….. who did hide their faces Even from darkness ”  

 Henry IV Part 1 – Act 1 Scene 2 – Prince Hal  
“I know you all, and will awhile uphold……”  

 Henry VI – Act 1 Scene 4 – Queen Margaret  
“Brave warriors…….. may sing and dance”  


King Lear – Act 1 Scene 2 – Edmund  
“Thou, nature art my goddess………”  

King Lear – Act 1 Scene 3 – Goneril  
“By day and night he wrongs me………Prepare for dinner”  


King Lear – Act 2 Scene 3 – Edgar  
“I heard myself proclaim’d………”  

Much Ado About Nothing – Act 2 Scene 3 – Benedick [Prose]

“This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne… I do spy some marks of love in her”

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Successful first round applicants will be offered a recall audition. COVID-19 permitting, Italia Conti are aiming to conduct these in-person. Should in-person auditions be cancelled by Italia Conti, appropriate adjustments to the recall audition will be made to ensure that all eligible candidates are auditioned and assessed by a panel using the same process as if you were auditioning in person. Any decision to cancel auditions are precautionary and the effect of this will not place your application at a disadvantage.

Recall auditions may include:

·         a duologue session

·         speeches/redirection

·         improvisation, movement and voice workshops

·         an interview

We would like you to use the same speeches as your first-round digital audition. You are welcome however to prepare additional speeches which you can offer to the panel (although they may not hear these).

As your recall may fall after the institution’s deadline for updating your status on UCAS, you may be marked as ’rejected by default’ on the UCAS system. Your application will still remain live on our system until we have completed your audition, and should you be successful we will update UCAS accordingly.

By applying for the W410 BA (Hons) Acting Course or W411 CertHE Intro to Acting Course you are automatically considered for both acting courses.

Best of luck and enjoy!