East 15 Acting School’s BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre course is renowned not only for its pioneering, highly influential training program, but also as a creative hub that produces original, bold theatrical work.
This unique and highly challenging pathway is dedicated to training multi-talented actors. We combine developing your skills as a performer with experimentation in European physical theatre, devising, creative writing, composition and cross-media art, allowing you to expand into roles such as actor/musician, actor/writer and actor/choreographer. The training is inspired by leading contemporary international companies such as Complicite, the Schaubühe and the Wooster Group.
Our philosophy sees the actor as an independent, inventive and entrepreneurial ‘artist’, and gives you the confidence and the competencies necessary to realise your artistic inclinations.
This course is taught at our picturesque Loughton Campus which is located on the edge of East London and is just a short 30 minutes by underground train from the heart of the capital’s West End theatre district.
View more undergraduate courses from East 15 Acting School, including further Actor training programs as well as behind the scenes courses in Creative Producing and Stage & Production Management.
Our training is by professionals and for professionals, allowing our graduates to work successfully across the globe.
Our international, outstanding teaching faculty is made up of professionals from all areas of live and recorded performance.
Learn more about our staff here.
Our Loughton Campus is perfectly located, providing access to both the rich, cultural diversity of London and an attractive and peaceful setting in which to study.
We are just a five-minute walk from London Underground station, Debden, where you can travel in only thirty minutes to Central London, West End theatres and mainline train stations including the Eurostar.
We have three sites at our Loughton Campus – Hatfields, Roding House and Unit Four. Hatfields is a beautiful Georgian dower house, set in five acres of lawns with orchards, flowerbeds and a small lake, providing an idyllic atmosphere for study, relaxation and performance.
Just a short walk from Hatfields is Roding House, a £1.3 million facility containing 10 rehearsal rooms, a green room/café, a sound recording studio and a video editing suite, and our costume department.
Next to Roding House, Unit Four is a £1.5 million facility which is home to the Stage & Production Management department. The Unit contains a large workshop, paint shop, prop shop, prop storage facilities and teaching spaces.
Our on-site Corbett Theatre is named in honour of Harry H Corbett, a key member of Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop and early benefactor of East 15. It is used extensively for student productions and is a practical training hub for our BA Stage and Production Management students.
The building is a medieval tithe barn that was dismantled and transported to Hatfields in the 1960s. These unusual origins create a unique performance space with a special atmosphere. Renovated to include full technical facilities, tiered seating for 130 people and fitted dressing rooms, the theatre provides an excellent resource for public productions, while the adjacent Bar and Café provides a social meeting point for students and staff.
Alumni of the BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre course are participating in the industry not only as actors in theatre, film and TV, but also by staging their own work to audiences worldwide. Recent graduates have gone on to work with major companies such as the National Theatre, Complicite, Cirque Du Soleil, The Globe, Frantic Assembly, BBC and ITV.
A highlight of the graduate year is the acclaimed ‘Debut Festival’, a unique platform dedicated to staging new work written, directed, produced and performed by students. Many works have transferred to professional production in Britain and abroad, winning awards such as the Edinburgh Comedy Award, The Stage Best Ensemble, Scotsman Fringe First, Best New Musical and BFI Best Short Film. Transfer venues include the Soho Theatre, Bush Theatre and Manchester Royal Exchange as well as tours to Belgium, Denmark, Iceland and New Zealand.
Festivals to which BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre students work has transferred includes;
In its short history, the course has shaped a number of exciting new practitioners including film and TV actors Lily Newmark and Adam El-Hagar, writers Charlotte Josephine and Somalia Seaton, directors Bryony Shanahan and Jesse Briton, as well as major theatre companies such as Fat Rascal and Police Cops.
“This course nurtures creativity and playfulness in its actors whilst instilling in them a practical and extensive understanding of theatre craft and its artistry. It allowed me to develop both as an actor and an artist. By the time I graduated I had already signed to a leading agent and established a production company with two of my peers. We went on to win national awards at the Edinburgh Festival, leading to an international tour.”
Nathan Parkinson, BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre
Successful audition, plus
A-levels: CDD, or the equivalent in UCAS tariff points, to include 2 full A Levels
IB: 25 points or three Higher Level certificates with 433.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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If you do not require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK then we will assess your English language proficiency/ability at your interview or audition.
If your first language is not English and you are an international student that requires a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK then you will need IELTS 6.0 overall, with 5.5 in each component.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.
Please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English course that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
We offer dynamic and unique courses for actors, directors, producers, technical theatre specialists and students of theatre practice. Training at East 15 draws upon 50 years of tradition combined with a keen sense of the world of stage and screen today.
Our carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore and develop your specialist training.
Your first year focuses on introductory acting, voice, articulation, singing and movement. You explore your own individual creativity and responsiveness to other actors. During the first year you will:
Your second year focuses on familiarisation with form and style, allowing you to explore and experiment with a range of areas, including:
You will also explore the relationship between film and theatre as well as theatre as a tool for social change. In addition, you will construct original works including an expressionist piece, physical comedy show and short film.
The year ends with a site-specific production of a classical text.
Your final year focuses primarily on staging new work. Led by visiting practitioners from the industry, students develop ideas and produce a range of different projects including new plays, burlesque and short films.
You will also receive guidance to prepare you for your post-training career with professional development classes in forming companies as well as casting exercises.
You also have opportunities to stage work in public, including a showcase event for an invited audience of influential agents, casting directors, film, voiceover, TV and theatre directors. East 15 continually liaises with industry professionals to ensure the format for the event accords with the changing landscape of the industry.
£9,250Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £650 per academic year. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.
£16,850Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £650 per academic year. Equipment lists are reviewed annually. EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for the University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.
You will also need to complete and send us an East 15 application form, including a copy of your audition payment receipt so that we can schedule your audition.
For full details, please see the East 15 website.
Applicants to this course will need to book an audition. If you apply to us through UCAS we will send you information on how to do this. Alternatively, you can apply to East 15 directly. If you’re resident in the UK you’ll visit our campus to take part in the audition, where you’ll meet some of our staff and sample our teaching. Please see our website for more information about preparing for auditions.
Our staff travel the world auditioning applicants so if you’re not resident in the UK, it’s likely that we’ll be in a location near you at some point. This will be a one-to-one audition. If you still can’t make a physical audition, we are sometimes able to accept video auditions.
Offers for these courses will only be made after a successful audition.
For full details, please see the East 15 website.
You’ll be in intensive training at one of the most prestigious and internationally respected conservatoires in the country, gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in the performing arts. But fear not! It’s not all work and no play at East 15 Acting School in Loughton.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
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