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Musical Theatre (BA)

BA Musical Theatre is a unique two-year intensive programme which offers practical training that will equip participants in the ‘triple-threat’ disciplines of acting, singing and dancing.

By working with industry professionals, the BA Musical Theatre will offer young performers an excellent, industry-relevant, focused course of study. The course teachers are committed to developing creative, independent, thinking artists; artists relevant to the industry.

All of our teaching staff are theatre professionals who work in higher education as well as the industry.

UWTSD Cardiff wishes to see this course provide talented and focused professional graduates for stages across Wales and beyond. The course’s structure is ambitious, and the experiences gained by the students will be rich, timely and varied, which will ensure they are prepared thoroughly for a Musical Theatre career.

PATHWAY OPTIONS AND HOW TO APPLY

Musical Theatre (BA)
UCAS Code: MTH2
Apply via UCAS


Book an Open Day Book a Taster Day Request Information Apply Now
Contact Email: cbc@uwtsd.ac.uk
Contact Name: Eilir Owen Griffiths

Tuition Fees 2021/22:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

Why choose this course?

  • Triple-threat Musical Theatre degree
  • Small classroom sizes
  • Taught by industry professionals
  • Final showcase
  • Full productions with professional directors and technical support

What you will learn

Course Overview

Level 4

Level 4 is a period of developing core skills and techniques. The first 15 weeks are an opportunity to focus on acting, singing (1 to 1 and ensemble work) and voice work classes along with Tap, Bale, Jazz and Contemporary dance classes. There’s an opportunity to analyse and research a wide range of styles in our theatre laboratory.

The period ends with a performance project that gives the opportunity to apply all the skills developed during the level.

Level 5 

Level 5 continues to develop and advance the core skills and begins to apply and contextualise them into an all rounded performance. Students will be introduced to new writing and developing their own work as well as building skills and competencies necessary for career resilience and professional development for the future work context.  

Level 6

Level 6 is about bringing the skills and techniques together in two productions that give you the opportunity to work with a director and a professional production team. The Creative Industries module focuses on the necessary skills to make the transition to the world of work including the preparation of a final showcase. In addition, you will work on an independent project that can focus on any aspect of the degree and showcase your individual talents.

Module Topics

LEVEL 4

Acting (20 Credit)

During this 20 week programme students will develop acting skills and character development and also their abilities as actors to analyse text as part of a rehearsal process.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Employ strategies to prepare scripts for effective rehearsal
  • Exhibit an understanding of the connection between thinking, breathing, emotional release and text
  • Apply practical and theoretical approaches to an actor’s development of a character;
  • Apply acting skills derived from naturalistic approaches to performance.

Singing 1 (20 Credits)

During this 20 week module students are introduced students to a variety of musical theatre singing styles and general music literacy. They are introduced to the anatomy and physiology of the singing voice and to a variety of voice techniques designed to develop vocal ability.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Understand, select, rehearse and perform an appropriate selection of solo songs that displays a knowledge of the underlying concepts of a range of genres and singing styles.
  • Understand the fundamentals of vocal anatomy, and how we make the sounds, we make, both spoken and sung.
  • Understand new techniques and methods appropriate to stylistic requirements of specific material and the effective application of various techniques in the performance of their solo songs.
  • Understand the rudiments of music theory.

Dance Training 1 (20 Credits)

During these 20 week modules, students will receive training in Jazz, Ballet and Tap techniques through developing physical awareness, musicality, rhythmic quality and coordination. Emphasis also will be put upon the importance of nutrition and fitness and their effects on related performance practices and disciplines 

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Jazz technique within travelling exercises, corner work and a routine at a foundation level.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Ballet technique in Barre work and Centre work at a foundation level.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Tap technique through a series of exercises at a foundation level.
  • Appraise the importance of nutrition and fitness and their effects on performance.

Performance Class (20 credits)

During this 20 week programme, students develop the students’ repertoire, performance and self-presentation skills.

 Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Confidently present a series of songs in different styles and from a range of periods;
  • Confidently present a series of monologues from a range of plays and playwrights;
  • Constructively evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as actor-singers.

Musical Theatre Laboratory (20 Credits)

MT Lab is an opportunity for students to explore, analyse, rehearse and perform a range of musical theatre styles. The module broadens students' understanding of the historic context of musical theatre.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate their understanding of a wide range of Musical Theatre styles/techniques
  • Research and reflect on the work of a number of composers, librettists and producers of musical theatre.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the history and development of Musical Theatre from Greek theatre to the present day

Learning in the digital era (20 Credits

During Level 4, this module develops the student’s skills for independent study and life-long learning, which will form the foundations for successful completion of their degree programme and support future employment opportunities. 

  • Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate the foundational skills required to be a resilient and healthy independent learner. 
  • Practise the principles of learning agility use suitable technology to support and enhance their learning experience within the discipline area.

Level 5

Dance Training 2 (20 Credits)

This module enables students to develop their skills and techniques in ballet, tap, jazz and commercial dance.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Jazz technique within travelling exercises, corner work and a routine at an intermediate level.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Ballet technique in Barre work and Centre work at an intermediate level.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Tap technique through a series of exercises at an intermediate level.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Commercial dance through two contrasting routines.

Singing 2 (30 credits)

This module is designed to further develop the student’s range of repertoire and understanding of style and develop the students’ vocal technique, and the application of skills to specific styles.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Critically investigate, rehearse and perform an appropriate choice of solo and group songs leading to a presentation/performance that displays an applied knowledge of well-established principles and techniques, applying underlying concepts and the appropriate stylistic interpretation.
  • Present a confident and ambitious performance, demonstrating effective communication skills with the accompanist and the audience.
  • Demonstrate that they have the ability and the desire to develop and broaden the style of the pieces performed.
  • Apply the Estill Model to identify and solve vocal problems.

Acting for Musical Theatre 2 (20 Credits)

This module provides knowledge of the historical development and theories of acting, including scene analysis and character creation, and apply this knowledge to the acting of text, songs, and original company-devised work.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Perform dramatic excerpts that fully identifies devices in writing, synthesizes physical and vocal techniques, and demonstrates effective control of speaking with rhythm, meaning and power.
  • Perform a musical theatre song with sound and an effective understanding of the poetic structures of thought and poetic devices employed by the lyricist.
  • Create, rehearse and perform an original ensemble-devised piece of theatre based on various forms of research by the ensemble.
  • Critically analyse their performance.

Collaborative Project (20 credits)

This module is a great opportunity for students to develop and create new work. Students are introduced to how professional R&D procedures work.

On successful completion of this modular, the student should be able to:

  • Work collaboratively to research, rehearse and perform a contemporary piece of theatre
  • Critically evaluate their own contribution to the production process.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the various artistic processes and choices involved in the producing process.
  • Balance self-direction and collaborative work. Adapt and design working methods for each new situation. Self-management, collaborative working skills, problem-solving, listening, critical analysis and valuing own and others' ideas and beliefs.

Audition Technique (10 Credits)

This module aims to develop the student’s understanding of their casting potential in readiness for auditioning in the industry. 

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Understand their own casting potential.
  • Understood the pathways to source the most relevant monologues and collated a portfolio of works demonstrating the student’s strengths as a performer. 
  • Demonstrate understanding and application of audition etiquette
  • Have robust and constructive handling of feedback.

Changemakers: Building your Personal Brand for Sustainable Employment (20 Credits)

This module is designed to build the skills and competencies necessary for career resilience and professional development for the future work context.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Evaluate personal employability skills and their congruence with the skills required for professional practice in a real or simulated environment.
  • Build a personal brand and promote a professional identity for a specific opportunity.

LEVEL 6

Production 1 (30 Credits)

The structure of the practice process will reflect current professional practice. Students spend 5 weeks working and theatre production. There will be an opportunity to work with a professional director(s) to prepare them for the industry.

By the end of this modular students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a high level of conceptual understanding in the development of theatre production;
  • demonstrate a high level of skill in practical development and realize the role(s) assigned to them in the production(s);
  • demonstrate a high level of organisational skills at all stages of production;
  • Demonstrate a high level of ability to work independently, with a director and in collaboration with their peers; • evaluate the creative process and their contribution to it.

Final Production (30 Credits)

This is an opportunity for the students to combine the acting, singing and dance skills they have developed during Levels 4 and 5. Experience is provided, equivalent to a professional one, of working on production with industry practitioners.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Exhibit a high level of conceptual understanding regarding developing a theatre production;
  • Exhibit a high level of skill regarding practical development and realisation of the role/roles allotted to them in the production(s);
  • Exhibit a high level of ability to work independently, with a director and in cooperation with their peers;
  • Present their research and evaluation work in an intelligent way.

Creative Industries (20 Credits)

This module offers students the opportunity to prepare themselves for the wide range of opportunities and challenges facing graduates. The student's job to build a repertoire of material suitable to enter the profession will be at the heart of the modular. In consultation with tutors, students will research and prepare an appropriate range of materials/portfolio to demonstrate their abilities as developing practitioners.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Exhibit the necessary variety of skills outlined in each of the other modules to industry standard;
  • Produce a portfolio of material suitable for entry to the profession
  • Critically appraise their strengths and weaknesses;

Independent Project (40 Credits)

The module aims to develop students' ability to critically and innovatively address theory and/or practice relevant to the subject areas they study in order to formulate a detailed project specific to their discipline.

Upon the successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate intellectual skills in the identification of an appropriate topic, problem or challenge for investigation pertinent to their field of study and formulate a suitable plan for further research utilising relevant investigative methods in order to produce a response.
  • Evidence in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of principles necessary to underpin their education within their chosen field of study and problem solving techniques applicable to this.
  • Evidence independence of thought and critical evaluation in the production of an independent piece of work, demonstrating transferable skills through exercising initiative and personal responsibility in planning own learning and self-management.
  • Organise their knowledge and learning through use of a range of media, and present their work appropriately in a manner that can be understood by specialist and non-specialist audiences.
Assessment

Performances/Events
Students regularly have the opportunity to take part in performances/events throughout their degree, in which we can see the growth and application of skills and knowledge. 

Regular tutorials
Throughout the degree, we hold formal and informal tutorials in which each student discusses their work with the module tutor or Programme Director. We look at practical development, conceptual growth and future intentions.

Presentations
Presentations normally occur at the end of a module, exhibition or performance, to measure a student’s performance against assessment criteria.

Process workbooks
Students will document their process and practical work in a workbook that demonstrates their learning and individual pathway.

Canolfan Berfformio Cymru, Graduates and Performances

Student and Cardiff Life

Key Information

Staff

Professional artists from the creative industries, who are experts in their field, teach on our degree. They can offer not only detailed and thorough information but also personal experience and insight into the performance industry as it stands today.

Programme Director and Senior Lecturer: Eilir Owen Griffiths 
Theatre Lecturer: Elen Bowman
Dance Lecturer: Tori Johns
Administration Officer: Nia James

Visiting Artists:

  • Ian Nicholas (Voice)
  • Rhian Morgan (Voice)
  • Rhian Cronshaw (Voice)
  • Aled Pedrick (Acting)
  • Tonya Smith (Acting)
  • Eiry Thomas (Acting)
  • Angharad Lee (Acting)
  • Robbie Bowman (Acting)
  • John Quirk (Music Director)
  • David Laugharne (Singing)
  • Michael Moorwood (Singing)
  • Eiry Thomas (Acting)
  • Mali Tudno (Acting)
  • Steve Cassey (Acting)
  • Amy Guppy (Dance)
  • Alexa Garcia (Dance)
  • Morgan Thomas (Physical Theatre)
  • Luke Hereford (Director)
  • Sara Lloyd (Director)
  • David George Harrington (Music Director)
  • Llyr Simon (Music Theory)
  • Christopher Fossey (Music Director)
Entry Criteria

We would be looking for 90-120 UCAS Points.

The university may consider applicants without formal qualifications if they are able to demonstrate an exceptional level of ability and practical experience.

Online Audition Process

STEP 1: Self-tape

Musical Theatre students should prepare a self-tape with the following content:

  1. Songs:2 Musical Theatre Songs
  2. Dance: Self-tape of the following jazz exercises:
  3. Standing on the spot, 4 jazz kicks to the front and 4 jazz kicks to the side on both legs.
  4. A single pirouette in parallel to the right and to the left
  5. With turned out legs – 8 jumps in first and 8 jumps in second
  6. With parallel legs – 8 jumps in parallel first and 8 jumps in parallel second
  7. Short jazz routine lasting roughly 16 bars. This should demonstrate performance quality and musicality. If you already have a recorded or filmed routine, please ensure that it is clear who you are if it is a group routine. 

Make sure you state clearly at the beginning of the tapes the following info:

  • Full Name
  • Degree applying for
  • Title of Audition Pieces

STEP 2: Interview

You will be invited to a short interview with the programme team on zoom. You must prepare the following:

  1. Monologue: The monologue should last no longer than two minutes and from a published play and should not be extracts from poems, novels, films or television scripts. It is advisable to choose a character that is close to your age and you should perform it in your native accent.
  2. The programme team will work with you on your chosen piece followed by questions.

Following a successful audition applicants will be offered a place. There are limited places available each year.

Related Courses
Student Quotes

Erin Summerhayes

“BA Musical Theatre at UWTSD has been everything I hoped for and more. The professionalism and friendliness of everyone involved is outstanding; I feel so welcomed.

"I am thoroughly enjoying the triple threat training provided and cannot wait to continue my journey with them, getting me one step closer to achieving my dream.”

Lloyd Macey

“I’m very proud to have studied at UWTSD Cardiff – it gave me the opportunity to grow and develop as a performer and to find my own voice. I don’t think I would ever have gone for the X-Factor if I hadn’t done this course.

I’d always sung and I’d had the experience of singing before but it gave me confidence and it taught me so much about myself. It taught me how to channel my nerves... to think I can sing in front of millions of people every weekend… two years ago, I would never have been able to do it.

So no way, I would never have done the X Factor if it hadn’t been for all the hard work and effort that the lectures put into this course."

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study.  To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.

Accommodation

Please visit our Accommodation pages for more information.