Discover your route into the comedy industry by making and sharing your work.*
- Devise, write and perform your original material across the spectrum of comedy genres.
- Perform live and film your pilot in our contemporary multi-camera television studio.
- Become a versatile comedic performer who can also make the transition to dramatic acting.
*New for 2018 entry, this course is subject to final approval.
Comedy at Bath Spa responds to increasing employment opportunities for comedy writers and performers in the entertainment sector.
We step back to give you the hands-on experience you need to flourish within your specialism, whether that's sitcom writing, or creating a piece of broadcast-standard comedy, then bringing it to life in collaboaration with Film, Television and Digital Production students for a GALA showcase attended by industry guests.
As a Comedy graduate, you'll be well-versed in a range of genres including stand-up, sitcom, panel show, street performance, physical comedy, sketch, high comedy and satire. You'll also have real-world experience of live performance in a range of venues and circuits.
You'll develop a host of skills applicable to a broad range of careers and routes into further study, including physical performance, vocal performance and freelance comedic writing. You'll learn self-promotion, using digital media created during the course to develop and expand your valuable networks.
What you'll learn
The Comedy programme at Bath Spa enables you to develop and write sketch shows, monologues, comic plays and stand-up, then perform live across the stand-up club and festival circuit. You'll create videos and podcasts, enter writing competitions and collaborate on devising, writing and filming an original sitcom pilot using our state-of-the-art facilities.
Rigorous practice and contextual theory will enable you to enhance your academic writing and research skills while exploring a range of contemporary comedy genres. You'll gain valuable experience of current industry practices and record high-quality material for a showreel.
Regardless of the industry, humour is omnipotent. That's why we've devised a unique optional module that explores the link between communicating in comedy and communicating in business, using techniques taught to companies including Google, Channel 4, M&C Saatchi, UBS and Bank Paribas.
Learn the fundamental concepts, structures, principles and vocabulary that demystify comedic practice. Develop the discipline of writing for performance through the lens of modern satire and observational humour. Gain a practical understanding of the dynamics of performance and acting methodologies supported by skills training in voice, movement and improvisation. Test your knowledge and skills through the creation and performance of original comedic material on a weekly basis, within a supportive studio environment.
Continue to create and perform original comedic material on a regular basis in a range of performance venues. Further extend your contextual knowledge and develop your skills in academic writing and critical thinking. And apply your skills and understanding through practical exploration of specific comedy genres. This year, you'll also have the opportunity to study the link between communicating in comedy and communicating in business.
Finally, year three will prepare you for your future career within the industry. Experienced professionals provide networking opportunities and advice on the routes you could follow as you move towards writing and performing professionally. Skills classes teach you how to present your work online, create a profile and presence via social media, develop successful actor audition techniques, enter festivals, get comedy gigs and approach broadcast media.
How will I be assessed?
You'll be assessed through:
- Solo and ensemble performances
- Solo and collaborative comedic writing
- Weekly performances
- Critical and contextual analysis.
In your final year of study, you'll identify your comedic persona and seek to emphasise and exploit the unique qualitites that differentiate you from your competitors as you progress into industry. You'll write an extended research essay, using this opportunity to articulate your future comedic direction and to critically analyse your emerging comedic practice.
How will I be taught?
You'll be taught through a range of activities including lectures, workshops, weekly performances, seminars, skills classes, rehearsals, tutorials, work placements and theatre visits.
Work placements, industry links and internships
You'll benefit from visits from industry professionals, as well as networking opportunities and advice from those experienced in the comedy industry on the routes you could follow as you move towards employment.
As a Comedy graduate, you'll have identified your distinctive comic voice and will have the tools to write and perform to a professional standard.
You'll be creating and presenting your work on professional platforms that reach beyond the University, and you'll have the ability to showcase yourself both online and on stage.
You'll have a clear knowledge and understanding of the live and broadcast comedy industries, and how to successfully navigate this highly competitive field and exploit the opportunities therein.
Facilities and resources
Where the subject is taught
You'll benefit from use of teaching and rehearsal facilities on the Newton Park campus and also Burdall's Yard, a specialised and atmospheric performance venue in Bath city centre that is particularly well-suited to less conventional or more intimate cabaret or comedy performances.