A Guide to Acting Courses

Studying acting at university will give you the chance to hone your performance skills in a nurturing and encouraging environment. Your course will aid your professional development, allowing you to equip yourself with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for future employment. You will be exposed to both on-stage and off-stage elements of acting, so you can reap the rewards of a holistic higher education.

What you will learn whilst studying Acting

A degree in acting will give you a good foundation the theory and practice of acting, public performance, voice and movement, physical skills, audition skills, professional acting skills, and small production studies. These modules will prepare you for a variety of career options.

Your degree will be delivered through a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical assessments and theatre sessions. You may also be presented with opportunities to attend masterclasses with industry professionals in a range of dramatic arts sectors.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence the area in which you choose to study after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Acting for Film and TV
  • Acting for Theatre
  • Vocal Skills
  • Production and Contextual Studies
  • Recorded Media
  • Rehearsal Skills

If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, submit a final major research project, or take part in a final degree show, this will give you the opportunity to further explore a favoured area of acting.

Accreditation and Certification

The accreditation of an acting degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), or in some cases a Bachelor of Science (BSc).

Depending on your career path when you have graduated, you may be presented with opportunities to gain further professional or academic qualifications and certifications.

Studying Acting at University

You can study Acting at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level at University.

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Timeframe and Further Studies

Generally, an undergraduate degree in acting will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.

On successful completion of your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate certificate or diploma.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for an acting degree will depend on your institution of choice. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.

Prospective acting students may be required to submit a portfolio as part of their application. Your institution will be able to provide more information about what format it should come in, what should be included, and how to submit it. You may also be required to attend an audition as part of the admissions process.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their acting programmes.

  • UK – 5.5 IELTS
  • US – 3.0 GPA

Funding Your Studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.

Career Options

Graduates of an acting degree will find that there are many different career opportunities available to them. You might choose to work in a role directly related to your degree course. This could include becoming a professional actor, working for or setting up your own theatre company, teaching at a performing arts or drama school or as a director.

You will have gained a wide range of transferable skills throughout your degree. These will be useful in the acting industry, as well as highly applicable in other creative arts industries and beyond. Skills gained might include idea development, effective communication, and teamwork.

Top Courses in Acting

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