East 15 Acting School’s BA Physical Theatre course is for actors who want to specialise in a world of physical and visual performance beyond traditional theatre and television. We combine dynamic, exciting acting training with devised and ensemble work, offering all you would expect from a traditional British drama school coupled with modern European performance methodologies.
We are looking for actors and performance makers who are passionate about physical performance, creating new work and re-imagining traditional text whilst working in parallel with the traditional intellectual approach to acting.
You acquire a wide skills base by experiencing areas such as aerial circus, devised storytelling, mask, mime, puppetry and clowning. This is underpinned by a core training in acting, voice, singing and movement, enabling you to create challenging new shows and to re-imagine traditional pieces for public performance.
This course is taught at our vibrant and modern Southend Campus. With its lively, state-of-the-art facilities and close-knit international community, Southend is the perfect environment for living and learning.
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 Southend Campus is based in the heart of Southend-on-Sea. A vibrant and modern British seaside town with excellent transport links.
Famous for its beach resort and pier, Southend-on-Sea stretches along seven miles of award-winning coastline. There are also over 650 acres of parks and gardens, a fun park, leisure centres, pubs, clubs, cafés and restaurants.
Southend Central railway station is opposite our Campus and the journey to central London takes less than an hour. Southend Airport, with flights to many European and UK destinations is just three miles away. We are also just one hour away from London’s Stansted Airport.
Our Gateway Building houses a purpose-built suite specifically for East 15 students. This includes fully equipped, state-of-the art rehearsal studios with panoramic views across Southend-on-Sea, plus seminar rooms, computer labs and media production resources including an Apple Mac edit suite for our BA Creative Producing (Theatre & Short Film) students.
A magnificent Victorian former church in the heart of Southend’s conservation area was converted into East 15’s Clifftown Theatre. It also houses a variety of unique spaces for rehearsals, technical and practical work and performances. The church nave, with its original organ and stained glass windows now provides an inspirational and atmospheric environment, re-designed to accommodate the needs of a twenty-first century performance space.
In ‘The Forum’ building, students have round the clock, secure access to the Learning Hub, which provides innovative IT and study spaces. The Forum also houses an integrated public and academic library, carrying books and other support materials. Students in Southend also have access to the East 15 Loughton Campus library and the University’s Colchester Campus library.
Outside of learning, the Students’ Union at our Southend Campus provides a dedicated space for students to meet, have a coffee, relax and watch films or sport. It runs a wide variety of entertainment throughout the term, such as international nights and open mic nights.
In addition to working as actors and performers on stage, film and television in the UK and across the world, BA Physical Theatre graduates have worked as puppeteers, aerial specialists, street and clown performers, and have set up their own theatre companies creating and touring new work including the award winning ‘Outbound Project’, ‘Ditto’, ‘Moth Physical Theatre’ and ‘Project Lockout’.
Graduates are currently performing in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’, ‘Life of Pi’, ‘War Horse’ and ‘A Comedy About a Bank Robbery’ and work with companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, The Globe, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Told By an Idiot, Improbable, Les Enfant Terribles, Tangled Feet, Tall Stories, Graeae, La Fura Dels Baus, Theatre Royal – Stratford, the Barbican, Contact Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland.
“I believe the training in physical theatre gives a deeper awareness and understanding for any actor. I am very privileged to be in this course at East 15 with the most supportive staff and classmates, which made studying overseas feel like home.”
Deborah Hoon, BA Physical Theatre
Applicants will need to successfully complete a physical workshop audition and should also have, or expect to have:
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 developing the basic skills that you will use throughout your career. You will:
Many modules culminate in performances among your peers and your practical classes are supported by contextual and historical study.
During your second year, you will extend and build on the skills developed through first year and continue core work in acting, voice, movement and singing. You will also engage with more technically demanding subjects, such as:
Technical skills work results in two major classroom-based performance projects per term.
Your final year concentrates on professional performance and career preparation. Alongside core classes, this includes:
Students also undertake an Industry Showcase for an invited audience of influential agents, casting directors, film, motion capture, TV and theatre directors.
£9,250Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £650 per academic year. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.
£16,050Additional costs for materials and field trips of up to approximately £650 per academic year. Equipment lists are reviewed annually.
Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
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 our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.
You also need to complete and send us an East 15 application form, including a copy of your audition payment receipt so that we can arrange 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.
With its lively, state-of-the-art facilities and a close-knit international community, Southend is the perfect environment for living and learning.
If you're joining our School of Health and Social Care, East 15 Acting School, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, or Essex Business School, you may well be studying at our Southend Campus.
Famous for its beach resort and pier, Southend-on-Sea stretches along seven miles of award-winning coastline, providing plenty of opportunities for a wide range of water sports and leisure activities.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
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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