• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: Court Theatre Training Company
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2018

Course Overview

You can expect be guided, stretched and supported by experienced professional practitioners and be part of a company developing your craft through active involvement in every aspect of theatre, TV/film and audio production. Self-discipline and continual practice are essential - vital for a professional actor and arts practitioner.

The Courtyard Theatre Training Company's ethos provides an integrated training programme that will encourage you to work as a creative equal in the production process and to open channels for a free exchange of ideas. Actors, technical specialists, designers and directors all work together in order to create a true ensemble and collaborative ways of working. There are substantial inter-disciplinary exchange opportunities within the programme, which encourage understanding and appreciation of all skill areas and create a dynamic learning experience constantly informed by practical tasks and creative problem solving.

You will be encouraged to take creative risks and achieve emotional impact through truthful performance supported by research. Skills’ training is seen as not an end in itself, but as a necessary conduit through which meaning is delivered.

This course is aimed at mature-minded people with a passion for the industry who will use their time well and wish to train with like-minded people in a professional company environment. It takes a life-time to train in theatre, and this course provides the perfect starting point to springboard you to your chosen career.

Click here to download a prospectus from The Courtyard Theatre Company

Course Details


This course is an accelerated programme which requires the study of 180 credits per year for two years (rather than the standard 120). The KIS Data below reflects this adjustment.

The training is split into three sections:

  1. The skills/craft of the actor
  2. Using and expanding the skills/craft of the actor
  3. Professional experience.

The training's main thrust will be on these sections with the basic craft of the actor including acting, voice, movement, singing, scene study and productions predominant. The working knowledge gained in these runs in front of a paying audience is invaluable -a total hands-on experience, and an opportunity to build and increase your working skills as an actor. Plus the fact you will be seen continuously, in a professional London venue where your work will be taken seriously by agents & casting directors. You will leave with a working professional CV to hold you in good stead for your future career.

Acting: Classes include Work on Self, Work on Role, Concentration, Imagination, the Senses, Maskwork for transformation and Characterisation, Character Behaviour, Relationships, Impulse Exercises, Actions-Object Exercises, Stage Craft and working actions studies.

Audition and Career Skills: Interviews, auditions, audition choices, sight reading, CVs, photographs, Equity, Spotlight, Tax, Agents, Casting Directors, How To Get Work. A Casting Showcase for Agents & Casting Directors is presented each year.

Theatre Studies - The history and study of: Greeks, Shakespeare & Jacobian, Restoration, Eighteenth Century, Ibsen, Shaw, Chekhov, European, Contemporary Theatre, New Writing.

Play/text Analysis: Company members should be thinking creative beings who share in the process of making a play. They are part of an ensemble, working imaginatively on their contribution, diligently researching into period, society, politics and religion etc, so that both character and play are recreated. They need to appreciate that if theatre is to be an experience, it should reflect the human state; that a play develops from its period or is it fighting it?. The company must understand how theatre functions as a relevant force in our society -where it has come from and where it is going to.

Improvisation/Theatre of Storytelling: Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. An eclectic input is encouraged from the group working from relaxation, concentration, imagination, to generate enthusiasm and absolute creativity. Using improvisation, physicalisation and our own life experiences to develop our potential for immediate, expressive theatre. Communication is the key. You should not be afraid to fail. Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours. Improvisation is an important skill which the well rounded actor should acquire.

Voice: The voice reflects the person. When we increase physical and imaginative control of voice and language we open up unique vocal range. This supports the actor in creating character, in finding the rhythm of emotion and thought in text. You need a flexible and responsive instrument, to respond to differing demands of text, verse, the play and communication.

Movement Analysis: is a way and means to physical characterisation. The body must be an expressive and flexible tool to reflect the conflict and tensions within the character. The actor must be able to move within their space with assurance; to inhabit and project beyond; to inter-relate with people and objects on stage; to react with every fibre of their being to the demands of the thoughts and feelings of the character.

Other Disciplines Taught Include:

Stage Combat - Armed & Unarmed, including the British Association of Stage and Screen (BADC) exam
Period Dance
Fitness & body conditioning
Acting for Camera
Acting for Radio/Voice-over

Teaching and Learning

Your course consists of a combination of structured learning and teaching activities and independent learning. The programme specification will provide more information on the specific learning and teaching activities on this course.

Overall workload

Your overall workload will include your learning and teaching activities and independent learning with total study time of around 10 hours being worth 1 credit. While your actual contact hours will depend on any option modules you choose.

Year 1: 59 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, learning and assessment: 1062 hours
Independent learning: 738 hours

Year 2: 54 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, learning and assessment: 964 hours
Independent learning: 836 hours


You will be given opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. This may take the form of practice or ‘formative’ assessments for which you will receive feedback from your tutor. Formative assessments are developmental and any marks you receive do not count towards your overall module mark. There is at least one formal or ‘summative’ assessment towards the end of each module. The marks from summative assessments do count towards your overall module mark.

Assessment methods vary, but your programme specification will provide more information on the specific methods used on this course. You can find out more about the assessment methods used across the University in the assessment guide on the Academic Advice pages.

Balance of assessment

The balance of assessment will vary depending on any option modules you choose. Assessments are broken down into coursework, written exams or practical. Coursework covers both written work such as essays and reports and practical work such as the preparation of a portfolio and project outputs completed on many art and design programmes. Exams include both formal written exams and in-class time-constrained assessments or TCAs. Practical assessments largely consist of oral presentations and contributions to seminars, and competency-based activities such as clinical or lab skills.

Year 1

15 percent coursework 0 percent written exams 85 percent practical

Year 2

15 percent coursework 0 percent written exams 85 percent practical

Please note: The percentages above do not include any pass/fail elements as these do not contribute to the overall degree classification. All modules must be successfully completed for credit to be awarded.


You will receive feedback on all assessed coursework and practical assignments and we aim to provide this within three weeks. Feedback on examinations is also available on request.

Assessment feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module leader.

What are the course entry requirements?

Please visit our partner college's website for entry requirements.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits (typically either 15 or 30 credits for undergraduate courses). Compulsory (or ‘core’) modules cover key subject knowledge, while ‘option’ modules enable you to develop your own interests. For a full-time course you must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of option modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at each level. You can find more information about how your course is structured via the Academic Advice pages.

Our teaching is informed by research and employer requirements, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the subject area. In addition, where we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an option module, this may not be offered. If an option module does not run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Year 1 Modules

  • Acting 1
  • Acting 2
  • Acting 3
  • Classical Theatre
  • Movement
  • Rehearsal Process
  • Voice

Year 2 Modules

  • Acting for Recorded Media
  • Devising
  • Early 20th Century Drama
  • Production 1
  • Production 2
  • Production 3


How much does it cost

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years may rise in line with inflation, course delivery costs or subject to government regulations.

For information on financial assistance to support your learning, visit our Undergraduate Fees and Funding section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow


What are my career prospects

The Courtyard Theatre was established in 1989. It is the first professional theatre in London with its own resident training company, an innovative and completely realistic approach to your training. This system is unique and has only ever been seen before in Russia. The underpinning philosophy of the Court Theatre Training Company is that the best training for a life in the industry is to work in the industry. Court is London's only practical 'hands on' and truly vocational training, an apprenticeship staffed by working professionals and experienced practitioners who guide and provide you with the right skills for your chosen career. You are part of a company learning your craft by active involvement in every aspect of theatre, including the technical and administrative side of the theatre are provided as well. Court claims to provide members with training and experience that will enable them to not only earn a living in the performance industries, but more importantly, challenge them to contribute towards advancing the industry itself as well as furthering their own individual talents. In other words, not only take to but to give to their chosen discipline. We are completely focused on your future within the Arts and Entertainment industry with a strong emphasis on the business side of auditioning and employment.

80% of our graduates gain work in the first month after leaving. Courtiers leave with an employer friendly CV (including professional dates) enhanced by the wide range of theatre experience they gain whilst with Court. Final performances are to the paying public. Productions range from the classics, to new plays and includes devised work, theatre in education and physical theatre.

Both the resident companies The Courtyard and our springboard N1 Theatre Company together with visiting experimental companies present an exciting programme of work which has received critical acclaim as "Work in progress and Actors in progress"
(Financial Times).

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.

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