Performing Arts

BA single honours Performing Arts 2016/17

(with pathways in Dance, Drama, Theatre Production and Vocal Studies) 

Our three-year Performing Arts degree gives you the training and direction to start a successful career in the creative and performing arts industries. We have superb facilities, specialist tutors who are themselves professional practitioners in music, dance, drama and theatre production, and excellent working relationships with the creative industries in and around our lively arts community. These potential future employers are involved in the delivery of the course, and bring their experience and drive to your student experience.

84% of Performing Arts graduates were in employment or further study six months after completing their studies

2013-14 DLHE

Most importantly, there is great emphasis on your work as you progress through the course, and the final year offers an opportunity to mould your studies to your own specialisms.

Top reason to choose this course

Our three-year degree courses give you the training and direction to start a successful career in the creative and performing arts industries. We have superb facilities; specialist tutors who are themselves professional practitioners in Music, Dance, Drama and Theatre Production; and we have excellent working relationships with the creative industries in and around our lively arts community. These potential future employers are involved in the delivery of the course, and bring their experience and drive to your student experience.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

In the first year, you begin with work in all three disciplines: drama, vocal studies and dance. After this, you can choose to specialise or keep several disciplines going, it’s all about flexibility and choice. Modules in Acting, Dance and Vocal Studies allow you to continue to develop your art, whilst Devising, Stage Management, Production, Stagecraft and Multimedia help you get to grips with the realities and practicalities of performing arts production and apply theoretical study to your practice.

  • Acting 
    You will explore a dramatic text and engage with practical methodologies and rehearsal techniques appropriate to the text studied, gaining awareness of techniques that will help you to analyse character and transfer a textual character into a stage persona. You will develop greater vocal and physical awareness and flexibility, analytical skills, versatility in your acting methods and styles, and enhance your communication between fellow actors and with an audience.
  • Dancing 
    The investigation and development of ideas through improvisation and movement exploration tasks is central to the work. It includes a study of mainstream/traditional choreographic devices and compositional structures and offers an introduction to aspects of dance production and design.
  • Vocal Studies 
    You will develop your own singing technique, based on appropriate posture, proper voice placement and production, and strong breath control; this will in turn inform performances showing communication skills and confidence. You will also extend your repertoire to include a variety of solo and ensemble music in a wide range of styles and genres of music.
  • Devising 
    This module focuses on interdisciplinary working and the devising process. The investigation and development of ideas through exploration tasks is central to the work. It includes a study of mainstream/traditional devising devices and compositional structures and offers an introduction to aspects of production and design.
  • Stage Management
    You will explore the very specific roles relating to managing performance for large-scale events together with examples of how those roles conflate to a more all-encompassing single management role for small performance companies. You will have the opportunity to explore these various functions of performance organisation, develop practical skills through the facilitation of various performances throughout the academic year and perform roles within stage management teams for student-devised projects.
  • Multi Media Environments
    This is designed to explore the rapidly emerging and diversifying field of multimedia performance and interactive performance installation. Contemporary performance practice seeks to embrace new performative literacies and makes efforts to engage with current technologies in order to redefine the performance setting and the means by which performance is delivered. The module aims to guide you through this exciting and developing field of practice and expose you to the new theoretical concepts that underpin final performance/ installation works. Where possible, the content of the module will be guided through research informed teaching and practice based research methods.
  • Perspectives 
    The module aim to explore key developments in performance analysis. It will take as the basis of its work a number of key texts from the field, with a particular emphasis on performance studies. The module seeks to develop your understanding of the notion of performance through the exploration of performance practice within a broad context; to include such areas as ritual theory, play, and performance processes. It is intended that you will thus gain an understanding of the theoretical context in which the performing arts are practised and be able to put this understanding into effect in your practical work elsewhere on the course .
  • Stagecraft & Theatre Design 
    The module aims  to introduce you to the design concepts relating to the various discrete production areas that ultimately come together to create a theatrical mise en scène. You will gain a broad understanding of the ways in which the practical elements relating to costume, prop, lighting, sound and staging, communicate with one another on a functional level and how practitioners working in these areas collaborate with respect to a final performance product. The module is designed to prefigure more specific design work and support those students that may wish to explore modules specialising in individual design areas considered in related modules.
  • Creative Theatre Production
    This is designed to introduce you to the basic equipment and processes concerned with providing lighting and audio support for small form theatrical performance. You will also develop planning skills relating to the development and presentation of standard lighting plans.

There is a combination of theoretical lecture/seminar sessions and practical application. All students have a Personal Academic Tutor who works to support and challenge through enabling greater understanding of assignment information, assessment marking and feedback, target setting.

We think we have created a programme that sends our graduates out well-prepared for the real world of the performing arts in Britain and beyond. Students will be able to tackle anything from leading a Commedia workshop to running a lighting desk − and will know how to sell themselves in print, online, and in person. What course they take, in a multi-faceted industry, will be up to them − but we will have got them ready for it.

Transferable skills gained on your course:

  • Confidence
  • Self-presentation
  • Team work and collaboration
  • Time management and organisational skills
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-discipline
  • An open mind and the ability to move beyond boundaries and experiment with different ideas
  • Communication skills
  • Analytical, critical and research skills
  • Ability to cope with criticism and learn from it
  • Stamina

Download a fact sheet with more information about your career options with Performing Arts

Fees

The 2015/16 and 2016/17 annual tuition fees for this course are:

 UK/EUOverseas*
Full-time

£9,000**

£11,000

Part-time

N/A

N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

UK/EU full-time tuition fees for this course are set in line with the current maximum regulated tuition fee levels permitted by the UK Government.

Overseas full-time tuition fees for this course may be subject to an annual inflationary increase in every year where the course lasts more than one year. 

*Overseas fee scholarships may be available for eligible students. For further information please contact fees@canterbury.ac.uk or the International Office: ipo@canterbury.ac.uk.

**Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2015/16 and 2016/17 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,000 in Year 0.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students on courses are expected to meet. 

Read further information about the general additional costs which apply to courses at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Year 1

Core modules

Introduction to Stagecraft

This module will serve as an engaging and primarily practical way of introducing fundamental design concepts for theatre, which traditionally fall under the banner of stagecraft.

Perspectives on Performance 1

The first part of the module will be dedicated to the theory of performance studies taking Richard Schechner’s seminal text as the core work; you will apply its central concepts to examples ranging from canonical dramatic text to everyday life. The second part will focus on exploring ways of reading text and performance with reference to theories relating to space (Pavis, Balme) and the framing of performance (Goffman), and to semiotics and reception theory (Esslin and Bennett).

Interdisciplinary Devising: (Dancers, musicians, actors all work together to create work)

This module focuses on interdisciplinary working and the devising processes. The investigation and development of ideas through exploration tasks is central to the work you will produce. You will study mainstream/traditional devising devices and compositional structures and be introduced to aspects of production and design. In interdisciplinary groups (which may include students from music, performing arts, dance and drama) you will create a devised performance piece from a given stimuli.

Major Performance in Dance, Acting or Vocal Studies

Including areas such as choreography, contemporary Limon and African technique for Dance; introduction to text in performance and studying the actor and character for Acting; and contemporary music theatre and legit comic song for Vocal studies.

Option modules

Minor Performance in Dance, Acting or Vocal Studies

As with Major Performance, but you choose a different discipline for your minor performance module.

Theatre Design 1

You will begin to understand the use of scale and how to communicate ideas in two and three dimensions; and learn how to choose the appropriate materials for model-making and construction. You will also develop your appreciation of the importance of historical research; and explore the conceptual basis of the work of contemporary artists and designers.

Year 2

Core modules

Perspectives on Performance 2

You will explore the politics of identity through feminist theory and psychoanalysis and then reception theory and postmodern performances, placing the emphasis on issues of space and the body.

Major Performance in Dance, Acting or Vocal Studies

Including areas such as choreography and other techniques for Dance; the actor and verse and the actor and object for Acting; and sacred song and early art-song for Vocal studies.

Option modules

Stage Combat

You will consider the nature of historical combat scenarios, including appropriate physical movement and props and weaponry that would be suitable for the time period. You will also be introduced to the notion of site specific combat choreography and the limitations and/ or opportunities that can be afforded by the nature of the physical space.

Theatre Design 2

There will be a focus on the design and creation of costumes and props, with particular emphasis on structures, body extensions, and fantasy (for example animal costumes, armour and pantomime). You will look at the development and fusion of costume- and prop-making techniques applied to and around the human form, including mask- and headdress-making.

Approaches to Applied Performance

The module will primarily focus on the application of drama techniques for intervention in educational settings and/or with young audiences. The first weeks will be dedicated to the study and practical exploration of relevant theories and methodologies from applied theatre practice and arts management, covering a range of contexts including Theatre in Education (TIE) and Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA).

Contemporary Sound and Lighting Design

The module aims to develop and consolidate the work completed in the Lighting and Sound modules at Level 4. This module will focus on extending the awareness of design methodologies and the practical implications of providing lighting provision for a variety of performance genres beyond those of basic theatrical drama.

Stage Management 1

This module is designed to introduce you to the concepts and processes relating to stage-managing live performance events. You will explore the very specific roles relating to managing performance for large-scale events together with examples of how those roles conflate to a more all-encompassing single management role for small performance companies.

Year 3

Core modules

Practice as Research or Dissertation

You can choose to engage more practically or in the written form as you explore an area of interest in greater depth.

Major Performance in Dance, Acting or Vocal Studies

Including areas such as choreography and repertoire for Dance; actor and production and professional practice for Acting; and character song and opera and music theatre for Vocal studies.

Option modules

Two option modules chosen from:

Post-Dramatic Devising

The module will primarily focus on post-dramatic techniques of characterisation and storytelling including the use of persona, autobiographical performance, collage and adaptation. It will be drawing on existing practice by theatre collectives and practitioners such as The Wooster Group, Stan’s Cafe, Reckless Sleepers, Bobby Baker and Forced Entertainment.

Practicing Applied Performance

The module will primarily focus on broadening your understanding of applied performance by introducing you to the broad area of practice, such as the application of performance in the context of heritage, healthcare, social inclusion, environment, and management. In the first weeks, you will explore theories and practices related to applied performance within these contexts and their social, political, ethical and environmental implications.

British Theatre

The module will be focusing on the study of post-war and contemporary theatre examples by an array of British playwrights such as John Osborne, Harold Pinter, Sarah Kane, debbie tucker green, Martin Crimp and theatre companies such as Stan’s Cafe and Joint Stock. It will be covering a range of theoretical approaches and themes including identity politics and stylistic innovation.

Stage Management 2

You will focus on company stage management and the logistics of stage management in a professional context. Emphasis will be placed on professional development and employability, and you will build a portfolio of practical experience to evidence engagement with the professional process.

Theatre Design 3

The module acts as a natural extension to the design input at levels 4 and 5. It aims to broaden your awareness of design methods that move beyond the physically representative to explore the relationship between performance space, audience and the place of the object as a devising catalyst.

The programme is structured in such a way as to encourage student choice and autonomy, in order to allow students to pursue their areas of strength and interest in the performing arts.

At the heart of the programme is the interaction between tutor and student, whether in lectures, seminars or workshops; and full use is made of the virtual learning environment offered by Blackboard. A wide range of learning and teaching strategies is adopted in the proposal, as necessitated by the nature of the subject and by the programme aims.

The programme expects students’ independent study to be supported through the use of online learning facilities in the provision of lecture support materials, links to a wider range of information sources and contact with tutors and peers by means of electronic communication.

Given the aim to produce graduates who are competent and confident in the performing arts industry it will come as no surprise to find direct engagement with the Performing Arts and related disciplines: a great deal of practical performance is built into the programme. Students will engage in the various processes of production, rehearsal, performance, presentation of seminars and workshop leadership. The participation of those students who perform within performance workshops and masterclasses will provide the opportunity for their performances to be analysed and performance practice developed.

Whilst the practical component of many modules is important, most modules require an element of written work as part of the assessment strategy. This may take one of a number of forms, as follows:

  • Essay/dissertation
  • Seminar Presentation & viva:
  • Reflective Commentary
  • Portfolio

Fact file

UCAS code

  • W490 Performing Arts
  • W500 Dance
  • W400 Drama
  • W440 Theatre Production
  • W310 Vocal Studies
  • WN48 with Events Planning
  • W4W3 with Music

Length

  • 3 years full-time

Entry requirements

Location

School

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Last edited: 02/08/2016 16:18:00