2020 applicants
Undergraduate Course

Certificate of HE Theatre Arts

Certificate of HE Theatre Arts


The details
Theatre Arts
October 2020
9 months
East15 (Loughton) Campus

Our Certificate of Higher Education in Theatre Arts provides a strong foundation in acting and is an ideal preparation for further full-time study in acclaimed drama schools.

You study different aspects of theatre practice including a range of acting techniques, improvisation skills, as well as movement, dance and music.

In addition to exploring the history and theory of theatre and its relation to other arts forms, you have regular opportunities to attend performances of plays, music and dance, as well as to visit art galleries, films and relevant historic sites.

Why we're great.
  • One year intensive acting skills development.
  • Audition technique coaching.
  • Preparation for advanced acting training.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

“The CertHE course was one of the best years of my life, I learnt so much in a very intensive, safe and fun environment. The course is headed by an incredible teaching staff who all have or still work in the industry, giving the best possible up to date advice and training.”

“It’s an excellent course for anyone wanting to gain groundwork in actor training or wanting to further their studies to a three year course at drama school.”

Nadia Devereux, Certificate of Higher Education in Theatre Arts (now studying BA Acting at East 15)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Successful audition, plus
A-level: E or equivalent qualification

IB: A Higher Level certificate grade 3

International & EU entry requirements

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.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

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 5.0 overall, with a minimum of 4.0 in each component. IELTS tests must be a UKVI IELTS taken at an approved IELTS test centre on the UKVI’s list, available here, in order to be accepted for entry to below degree-level courses. Tests must be taken within two years of the start of your course.

Please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.


Example structure

We offer dynamic and unique course for actors, directors, 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.

Acting 2: Approaches to Text

Use of research: You explore the uses of research to stimulate and inform imagination and to help create the world of a play. Use of improvisation: You learn how to improvise truthfully and to give and take with others. You also learn the value of improvisation as an aid to the rehearsal process. Approaches to text: This part of the module introduces you to the use of the text to discover information – about the play, its themes and characters. Approaches to relationships: Focussing on play texts from Shakespeare and others, you learn how to demonstrate truthfully expressed relationships.

View Acting 2: Approaches to Text on our Module Directory

Acting 3: Performance Projects

Understanding the structure of a play: You learn how to break down a play into ‘units of action’ and how to apply this learning to the rehearsal process. Approaches to deeper characterisation: Character analysis, characters’ objectives, finding a character’s ‘through line’. Incorporation of skills. Rehearsal processes, recreating rehearsed work.

View Acting 3: Performance Projects on our Module Directory

Acting and Audition Technique

This module is fundamental to the CertHE programme’s aim to prepare you to enter the next level of full-time acting or similar training for the professional theatre. Work begins in Term One with an overview of drama training provision, focussing on ‘accredited’ schools and courses. You learn how to find audition pieces and explore criteria for assessing their suitability. You begin the work of acquiring a repertoire of audition pieces specifically aimed at drama school audition environments. You work on general presentation skills, including interview technique, for drama school auditions. You begin rehearsal of material selected in Term One. Under the guidance of your tutors, with regard to your preparedness in terms of audition pieces, you select suitable courses and apply for further training in Term Two. The work of the final term continues the expansion of repertoire and rehearsal of speeches. As you progress your applications for further training you are encouraged to share your experiences of audition practices at other institutions, your successes and rejections, so that collectively you deepen your knowledge and understanding of audition technique.

View Acting and Audition Technique on our Module Directory

Movement for Theatre Arts

Work begins with an introduction to basic anatomy. You begin the work of developing suppleness and stamina. Techniques for the release of emotion in movement are introduced. You develop balance, co-ordinations and rhythm, linking movement and dance with acting. You learn a range of styles and carriage. Finally work covers preparation for physical demands and the extension of physical and dance vocabulary.

View Movement for Theatre Arts on our Module Directory

Voice for Theatre Arts

The module begins with an introduction to the anatomy of voice production. You begin the work of acquiring good vocal habits through the use of basic vocal exercises. Techniques for direct communication with voice are introduced. You develop the structures used by voice. You work on improving articulation and explore accents and the voices of others. Finally you work on the vocal demands of acting, on developing clarity and power. By the end of the module you will have the ability to assess critically your own vocal capabilities and will have in place vocal exercises and a regime for future use.

View Voice for Theatre Arts on our Module Directory

Singing for Theatre Arts

The work begins with an assessment of vocal range, introduction to singing techniques and group songs. Later you begin to identify personal needs in terms of performance preparation and audition requirements. You select and work on solo songs and work on improving approaches to singing. You also work on achieving audition standard in two contrasting songs. Finally you work on integration of character into singing, increasing confidence in solo work and extending your personal repertoire.

View Singing for Theatre Arts on our Module Directory


Term 1

In the first term you explore different means of communication imaginatively while learning about the roots of theatre practice. Modules cover subjects including:

  • Studying self and character – understanding the human being
  • Audition technique
  • Movement and dance
  • Voice and singing
  • Historical and contextual studies

The term culminates in an assessed studio-based show to an invited audience of East 15 staff and students.

Term 2

Your second term focuses on:

  • Working with heightened, poetic and classical texts and characters
  • Understanding different approaches to analysing texts
  • Introduction to improvisation

The term culminates in an assessed studio-based performance to an invited audience of staff and students.

Term 3

Your third term acting module brings together all the skills and experience your have developed through the course.

The course culminates in two productions in our campuses’ theatre spaces.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee


International fee


Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home and EU fee information

International fee information

What's next

Open Days

We don’t currently offer Open Days for this course but if you would like more information, then please email us at east15@essex.ac.uk.


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 a completed 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.

Apply now


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.

Loughton Campus

Visit Loughton Campus

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.


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.

Find out more

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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