Acting and Performance - BA (Hons)

This two-year BA (Hons) in Acting course draws on QMU’s highly respected teaching expertise within the performing arts. The rich and varied curriculum will provide a distinctive actor training in the conservatoire tradition.

The course gives graduates the skills necessary to work as an actor, on stage or on screen. You can also apply these skills to a wide range of other roles in the performing arts. This could include playwriting, community outreach, and theatre in education.

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

The course is an articulation route for students who have already achieved an HND in Acting and Performance/Musical Theatre or who have completed two years of an appropriate degree.

Why QMU?

  • Long history of providing actor training: QMU has been training actors since 1971 with 2021 marking the 50 year anniversary of our teaching in this area.
  • Ranked highly in the UK: QMU is ranked 1st in Scotland and 9th in the UK for Drama in the Guardian University Guide 2024.There is 100% overall satisfaction with our BA (Hons) Acting and Performance course (National Student Survey 2023).
  • Professional links: QMU is a member of the Graduate Spotlight Scheme.
  • Modern approach to learning and teaching: Our course is tailored to a modern era with a 50:50 split of theatre and film training.
  • Community of creativity: You will be part of a large performing arts department, studying alongside students on our Costume Design and Construction, Drama, Film and Media, and Theatre and Film courses.
  • Staff expertise: Many of our staff are active theatre/film makers, writers, voice practitioners and movement specialists and bring that experience to our rehearsal rooms.
  • Holistic approach to learning and teaching: As a teaching team we work collaboratively to create an integrated curriculum, incorporating health and wellbeing, to ensure we train healthy, rounded, versatile actors.
  • National Student Survey ranking: We are in the top 2 Scottish higher education institutions for overall satisfaction for courses in Drama. (National Student Survey 2023)  

Acting and Performance Digital Showcase 2024

Acting and Performance Graduate Showcase film

Acting and Performance (BA Hons): The course in brief

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.

How will I be taught?


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.

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.

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.

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

What will I learn each year?

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; and
  • 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

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; and
    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

NB The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2023) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2024. Please check back here for any updates.

Career opportunities

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.

Acting and Performance - BA (Hons): Entry requirements and application information

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.

Other requirements

A satisfactory criminal records check from the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme will be required if you select the optional module Drama in Education later in your studies.

Other costs

  • The cost of the PVG check is £18 or £59 (depending on the level of clearance required) and is the responsibility of the student. Please note that the cost is subject to change.
  • You will be expected to cover some additional expenses for equipment etc circa £500.

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Awarding body


View specialist facilities film

Become your best you: study at QMU

Photography from some of our productions:

Course Overview

2 years full-time (Years Three and Four of an honours degree)
Start Date
September 2024
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

Opportunities to meet us: open days and more

As well as open days, we offer campus tours and online events throughout the year to help you find out more about student life and studying at QMU.

Open days and other ways of meeting us: more information

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