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The award
BA (Hons)

How long you will study
3 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 9250

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
October

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Comedy at Bath Spa University

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

Overview

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.

Course structure

Year one
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.

Year two
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. 

Year three
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
  • Self-reflection
  • 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.

Opportunities

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. 

Careers

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.

Facilities include:

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course fees find out
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will studySandwichHow long you will study4 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £9,250 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 £13,900 Year 2 Published Jan 2019 Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2019 Year 2 Published Jan 2020 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2020/21 Entry

Course fees

Year 1 Published Jan 2020 Year 2 Published Jan 2021 Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Entry requirements

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for dynamic individuals with an interest in exploring a wide range of performance forms.

On your application form you should refer to:

  • Your experience, skills and interests
  • The performance work, plays or books that have influenced your thinking
  • The shows in which you have performed
  • Why you think Comedy at Bath Spa is the right course for you.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - grades BCC including Grade B in Drama, Theatre Studies, English or related subjects accepted
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 26 points required in addition to evidence of additional qualifications or experience in Acting, Drama or Theatre Studies
  • Access to HE courses - typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) accepted in addition to evidence of additional qualifications or experience in Acting, Drama or Theatre Studies.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

  • IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

What students think about Bath Spa University

    Yasmina Van De Peer, BA (Hons) English Literature and Film Studies, Spain

    Where to start with this year? There have been so many new friends, a new life-style with freedom and no muYasmina Van De Peerm bossing me around. My year has not been easy but I would do it all again, life challenges you in many ways and this experience definitively has.

    When I arrived in September, I felt like a lost girl trying to find something that I could grasp and change my life forever. My first year in a foreign country was fantastic and thanks to the creative writing department, I will never forget my second year as I have the privilege of studying in Chicago for a full academic year! However, this has no real connection with why I chose Bath Spa University.

    I worked as an ambassador for this University and a lot parents have asked the same question, why did I choose it? After 50 parents it gets tiring- especially when I was unsure. As everyone else I want to succeed in life. I have dreamt about going to Oxford, Harvard or any well known University. But the one thing that I have learnt in life is that you can be successful and come from the smallest place in the world. The key to success requires determination to reach your goal.

    Bath Spa just felt right and it allowed me to combine my subjects [English Literature and Film Studies], be myself and it also has an inspiring and picturesque scenery. For me it was perfect.

    Johannes Gerdes, BA Business and Management, Germany

    I chose BA Business and Management as I have always been inspired by my dad who runs a world leading business. The opportunity to work for him during holidays gave me a chance to look inside a company and to experience what management, leadership and communication is all about. I wanted to widen my knowledge and hence started my Business & Management career here at Bath Spa.
    My parents always wanted to give me the opportunity to study abroad. My old school, near Bristol, where I stayed as a boarding student for the last two years, helped me to discover where most of my interests lie. In addition, friends of mine started studying here at Bath Spa.

    I would describe Bath Spa in three words as: Cultural, Wonderful, Friendly.

    In the future I hope I will be working together with my dad and widen the market to countries which haven't been discovered yet.


    Don't be afraid of university life. University is the best time in your life. You meet so many new people from different nationalities and all come together! You will settle down easily. You make friends so fast and there is always someone around to help you! Even language barriers can be fixed with a perfect Writing and Learning Centre [the English Language Unit (ELU) is also available for all international students to access where English is not their first language] here at Bath Spa. Come to Bath and experience the whole range of activities they offer and be open to new things!

    Nassos Polyzoidis, MMus Songwriting, Greece

    Even though I live in Greece, I'm familiar with many British Universities, as I work for some English Examination Boards for Music and I've attended some Summer Schools in UK over the years. Bath Spa University's reputation in Songwriting and Commercial Music was known to me for a long time. Being a guitarist and working for the RGT at the same time, I have heard stories about Bath being the birthplace of guitar magazines and other music and artistic events. I was accepted to study Commercial Music as an undergraduate student about 4 years ago, but due to some sudden accidents I have to decline my offer. After this unfortunate event, I decided to become better Musician and Songwriter, so that I can return as a postgraduate applicant. When I noticed that there was a distance learning degree, MMus Songwriting, I knew I had to do this. Meanwhile, I did my research, which only lead me to ensure my initial decision to study at Bath Spa University.


    I was attracted to this course as I was already familiar with Bath Spa University's reputation in this field. In addition to that, Songwriting isn't taught in my home county at all. I knew that only few Institutes offer Songwriting as a postgraduate degree, so I did my research over the last 3 years. During this time, I was only ensuring myself that I have to apply for this course. I really want to become a successful songwriter, and also, probably one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece, so I know that this course is best for me. I knew that the course will help me become more confident and enhance my professional skills in the field. Finally, being mainly inspired by British Songwriters, it was really important that my songwriting skills would develop a lot lyrically, which can help me open the door to an international market.


    I would describe Bath Spa University in three words as: Innovative, modern, artistic.


    Once I have my degree, I am really hoping to become a successful songwriter. Being inspired mainly by British Songwriters, I would really like to write songs for the UK and international market. In addition, I will probably become one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece. Last, but not least, as I'm already collaborating with several English musicians, I'm considering in my future plans to apply for a PhD and probably seek for more collaborations in UK, which might extend my visits there.


    My advice I would you give to other international students who want to study in the UK would depend on the ethics and societal context of each county. So, a general advice I would give is "Do not be afraid of failure, do your best and apply to the courses that you really like!"

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