BA (Hons) Acting and Performance

This two-year course draws on QMU’s rich and highly respected teaching expertise within the performing arts and provides the training needed to pursue a contemporary career as an actor on stage and screen. It is an articulation route for students who have already achieved an HND Acting and Performance/Musical Theatre or who have completed two years of an appropriate degree.

Why QMU?

  • QMU has been training actors since 1971 with 2021 marking the 50 year anniversary of our teaching in this area.

  • QMU is a member of the Graduate Spotlight Scheme.

  • Our course is tailored to a modern era with a 50:50 split of theatre and film training.
  • You will be part of a large performing arts department, studying alongside students on the Costume Design and Construction, Drama, Film and Media, and Theatre and Film courses.

  • Many of our staff are active theatre/film makers, writers, voice practitioners and movement specialists and bring that experience to our rehearsal rooms. 

  • You can select from a range of optional modules that complement your training as an actor and will improve your future.

  • The rich and varied curriculum will provide a distinctive actor training in the conservatoire tradition and provide you with the knowledge and skills required for the diverse range of opportunities which the industries offer.

  • QMU has an holistic approach to learning and teaching.
  • QMU is ranked in the top 12 amongst UK universities for Drama and Dance (Guardian University Guide 2023).

On this course you will: 

  • Focus on intensive stage and screen actor training with additional options that allow you to expand your skills to include areas such as community theatre, playwriting, directing, devising and creative entrepreneurship.
  • Experience practical and practice-led teaching methods to explore the ways in which the skills you already have can be developed and enhanced to embrace the demands of theatre, media and performance.
  • Deepen your knowledge of the fundamental skills of acting, voice, movement, textual analysis and interpretation, examining the ways in which they are deployed and synthesised to create character and performance, on stage, screen and in media work.
  • Engage with current industry professionals and organisations.

This course enables you to convert an appropriate existing qualification into a degree and is equivalent to years three and four of an honours degree. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.

Year Three

You will:

  • Build an expressive set of voice and movement skills
  • Explore characterisation and in-depth character development
  • Discover the dynamics and performative structures of a wide range of contemporary and historical texts
  • Understand and develop a range of film and media techniques for acting in front of, and working behind, the camera


  • Advanced Acting: Skills
  • Advanced Acting: Text and Techniques
  • Advanced Acting: Screen and Media

Year Four

You will:

  • Create an audition portfolio and audition for a range of industry specialists
  • Create a showreel and a voice reel
  • Perform in a piece of live theatre and make a film
  • Perform in both a live and digital showcase
  • Learn about the industry and how to market yourself within it


  • Audition and Showcase
  • Honours Performance Project
  • Creative Entrepreneurship
  • plus options 

Options could include:

  • Playwriting
  • Writing for Radio
  • Creativity with the Community
  • Drama and Education
  • Directing, Designing and Performing Shakespeare
  • Directing, Designing and Performing Contemporary Plays
  • Devised Physical Theatre
  • Performance Art Practices

Teaching, learning and assessment

A large portion of your course will be delivered through skills-based workshops, you will have the opportunity to undertake student-led research projects, perform in professional standard productions, prepare a personal portfolio to support your career after graduation and showcase your work to industry professionals. You will be assessed through a range of performances, viva, workshops participation, reflective portfolios and reports.


Successful completion of the course gives graduates the skills necessary to work as an actor or to apply these skills to a wide range of other roles in the performing arts such as playwriting, community outreach, and theatre in education. Many of our students go on to establish their own creative business.

You can read about the careers of some of our drama and performing arts graduates on a dedicated section of our website.

Entry requirements

Direct Entry: HND Acting and Performance/Musical Theatre with A in the graded unit for the second year. Foundation degrees in appropriate subjects considered. Two years of a relevant degree considered.

International: IELTS of 6.5 with no element lower than 6.0

Auditions: Final selection will be based on an audition.

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

View Open Day presentation

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you will be expected to cover some additional expenses for equipment etc circa £500.

Please note:

  • The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2022) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2023. Please check back here for any updates.
  • The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).
  • Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Course Overview

2 years full-time (Years Three and Four of an honours degree)
Start Date
September 2023
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

Student Story

Danielle Jam "What stood out to me was the focus on making their students industry ready. I think it can be a daunting idea of stepping out into the world when you’ve been in education all your life so I wanted to be as prepared as possible."

Danielle's Story