BA (Hons)

Musical Theatre

W312

Musical theatre dazzles, inspires and entertains us. But it’s not all about singalongs and dancing in the aisles, there is business behind the show. Musicals exist as cultural artifacts that have been used to divert us from the pressures of the world and to confront social issues head-on using humour, passion, and pathos.

Students in costume on a stage performing a musical

Course overview

If you share the same passion for storytelling through song and movement in the most dynamic way possible, and enjoy collaborating creatively with others then our Musical Theatre degree is just the ticket for you. It combines drama, dance, voice and performing arts in a rewarding and vibrant programme that engages with historical and contemporary musical theatre.

Our aim is to put you through your paces, enabling you to become a well-rounded and versatile performer. To achieve this we offer a rich learning experience which brings together technical training in singing, acting and dance, with industry and contextual studies culminating in a number of practical projects. Teaching takes place in a unique interdisciplinary environment drawing on the combined strengths of the musical theatre team and staff from the drama and acting programmes, with contributions by industry professionals. 

Your first year provides a foundation of skills training in acting, singing and dance, underpinned by contextual and industry studies. You will be given the opportunity to engage in projects exploring creative devising and extended scene studies from the musical theatre stage.

Year 2 continues to develop your technical skills in acting, singing and dance, supported by further industry studies and theoretical approaches to understanding musical theatre. If you are seeking alternative careers to performing, you may consider taking an optional module exploring the role of the director and the dramaturge in making musical theatre works, rather than studying dance. You will also have the opportunity to experience workshopping a piece of musical theatre in its early stages of development and staging another piece in its later stages of development in the New Musical Theatre projects. There are also opportunities to study abroad in America, to further enhance life and cultural experiences.

Year 3 is your chance to fly. You will continue to explore advanced technique and repertoire through the final year with the aim of building a showcase. Alongside this training you will also engage in a theatre company project, making threads from your study together with the intention to make your own work beyond the degree. The degree culminates in a fully staged musical theatre production. Students who may be wanting to pursue alternate careers to performing may opt to undertake an independent research project.
 
You graduate with practical performance skills, industry knowledge, and an impressive work portfolio under your belt - basically you are ready to pursue a variety of careers within the musical theatre industry, with the confidence to pursue your dream job.

Musical theatre is a diverse and dynamic industry and this is reflected in the careers open to graduates who go on to find roles as musical theatre professionals creating, performing, researching or writing. Others work for theatrical houses that either receive shows or produce their own, or work with young people in education and community contexts.

What you need to know

Course start date

September

Location

Winchester campus

Course length

  • 3 years

Apply

W312

Typical offer

96-112 points

Fees

from £9,250 pa

Course features

  • Learn from a friendly and supportive teaching team who have been engaged in musical theatre, acting, singing and dance in professional contexts
  • Rehearse and perform in our excellent Performing Arts Studios which provide six bespoke spaces and the latest technology for your productions 
  • Musical Theatre at Winchester achieved 95% overall satisfaction as rated by final-year undergraduate students in the 2020 National Student Survey
  • Work on exciting collaborations with industry partners who make sure you are tuned in to the latest training for the contemporary performing arts 
  • Produce and perform a final full-scale production with fellow students in a large public venue 

Course details

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 480 hours
  • Independent learning: 720 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 516 hours
  • Independent learning: 684 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 312 hours
  • Independent learning: 888 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course. 

Key features of the student experience are the performance modules and assessment; opportunities to undertake professional internships; opportunities to participate in workshops with international professional artists; and the chance to work with staff on their own performance projects and research activities.

Teaching hours

All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.

Assessment

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:


Year 1 (Level 4)*:
  • 11% coursework
    • 0% written exams
    • 89% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
  • 12% coursework
    • 0% written exams
    • 88% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:
  • 26% coursework
    • 0% written exams
    • 74% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Modules

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing. The University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed. For further information please refer to winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions

Modules

Introduction to Musical Theatre

The module will be presented as a series of lecture/seminars introducing key practitioners, concepts, and contexts, exploring how the history of musical theatre performance informed – and was informed by – social and cultural developments across cultures, societies, and art forms.

It will encourage students to understand performance in relation to historical, cultural, social, and political contexts to inform their practical work on other modules. The module will contextualise musical theatre from a variety of broader perspectives, say gender or national identity, and will require students to consider their practical work in relation to the context(s) in which said work was written and first performed.

Acting Foundations

This performance ‘training’ module will introduce students to a variety of foundational techniques and skills that will be assessed here, while also implemented in other modules/projects. The module will explore several different acting techniques, be it ‘mining the text’ or ‘viewpoints’, and engage with the work of key practitioners, i.e. Stanislavski. Students will work on both individual and group material to develop as both an individual actor, but also as a group – or ensemble – member.

This module will provide a foundation for students by introducing, and exploring through practice, several key texts, textual approaches, practitioners, and broader approaches to acting in musical theatre.

Voice in Action

This module is an introduction to basic principles of vocal sound production technique from a holistic, release-based perspective. Fundamentals include: application of abdominal, thoracic, vertebral breathing patterns to sound production; techniques for the use of resonators and the cultivation of resonance; work with sustained tones; articulation of sound in the English language and alinguistic sounds.

Musical Theatre Dance 1

The module focuses on the development of the performer by building skills, knowledge and understanding through safe dance practice. Ballet and Jazz techniques, practices and approaches will underpin the classes on the module, supported by viewing live and video dance performance. Students will explore a range of movement styles and approaches with an aim of building their physical and expressive capacity. Focus will be on strength, flexibility, alignment and coordination to enable the exploration of different dance techniques and performance styles. Students will be encouraged to integrate these approaches to develop an individual embodiment for application in choreographic contexts dancing alone and as part of an ensemble/chorus.

Creative Devising Project

This performance ‘project’ enables students to engage critically and creatively with a multitude of ‘texts’ to, ultimately, craft a devised group performance. The module employs skills developed in other modules to empower students as both individual and ensemble performers. The module introduces students to several key improvisation/devising techniques and practices, require students to devise a variety of solo or small performance pieces, before constructing (with the guidance of the tutor) a group performance for assessment. The group performance is likely to be contained, or influenced, by a broader theme, topic, or text(s) determined by the tutor.

Extended Scene Study

This performance ‘project’ enables students to engage critically and creatively with a variety of musical theatre texts, styles, and genres. The module employs skills developed in other modules to empower students as both individual and ensemble performers. The module introduces students to several key musical theatre composers, librettists, directors, choreographers, and more, while also a variety of works from across different genres, contexts, and time periods (i.e. American ‘Golden Age’ musicals). The module culminates in the performance of a excerpts from several existing musicals, many of which will be contrasting in terms of style, genre, tone, compositional practice, time period, context, and so on.

Modules

Understanding Musical Theatre

This theoretical module will focus on understanding the way musical theatre performance responds to and is received in the context of history, genre, form, and socio-cultural identity politics. It will introduce key theoretical concepts, including globalisation, interculturalism, adaptation, and postmodernism, plus key political developments such as identity politics (i.e. feminism or intersectionality) and theories of the body to challenge the idea that musical theatre is simply ‘entertainment’.

It will be taught through lectures, seminars, and classroom discussions and tasks. The work of this module will inform the practical exploration in other modules and projects.

Advanced Acting Practices

This advanced performance ‘training’ module will develop student’s existing knowledge and understanding of key acting techniques and skills for level 5 study. The module will both expand and introduce several different acting techniques, be it ‘actioning’ or ‘states of tension’, and engage with the work of key practitioners, i.e. Meisner. Students will work on both individual and group material to develop as both an individual actor, but also as a group – or ensemble – member.

This module will enable students to engage with, and exploring through practice, several key texts, textual approaches, practitioners, and broader approaches to acting in musical theatre.

Developing the Voice

This module allows students to focus on the development of their own voices in relation to singing a range of musical theatre repertoire. Drawing on the knowledge and exploration undertaken at level 4 this module will facilitate the further development of individual student vocal potential across a range of genres and contexts, with the aim of developing the student voice capable of operating confidently across musical theatre styles. Focus will be placed on the development of technical confidence, competence and understanding in order to facilitate engagement with a range of texts and repertoires across the spectrum of vocal use.  Emphasis will be placed on the development of critical thinking and analysis and the development of reflective practice.

Musical Theatre Industry 2

This module will develop employability-focused skills through largely practical tasks and projects. Students will participate in a ‘swing’ project in which they learn several roles (or tracks) within a section of material (e.g., a portion of an act of a musical). This will demonstrate the flexibility required in being a working performer, many of which who are highly skilled at performing a different ‘track’ at a moment’s notice. The module also focuses on audition technique in terms of developing student’s repertoire in relation to casting types and specific audition briefs.

New Musical Theatre Showing

New musical theatre works are constantly being created for professional performance, community contexts, and for other environments. In this module you will have the opportunity to perform a short musical theatre work that is new to you or that you have made a contribution to creating. This process of working on newer material will help you to understand the ways in which musical theatre functions differently for audiences than for performers, to learn about the processes of translating a work from page to stage, and to begin to understand the dramaturgies of musical theatre.

This first semester module is focused on pieces of new musical theatre that in their very early stages of development, and will provide a workshop space for writers, directors, dramaturgs, and performers to collaborate on the development of the piece resulting in a workshop showing.

New Musical Theatre Production

New musical theatre works are constantly being created for professional performance, community contexts, and for other environments. In this module you will have the opportunity to perform a short musical theatre work that is new to you or that you have made a contribution to creating. This process of working on newer material will help you to understand the ways in which musical theatre functions differently for audiences than for performers, to learn about the processes of translating a work from page to stage, and to begin to understand the dramaturgies of musical theatre.

This second semester module focuses on the rehearsal and small scale inhouse production of new musical theatre pieces that are at a later stage of development and the writers are ready to see how their musical plays in its entirety in front of small audiences. This module may require additional rehearsal time to effectively mount the whole show.

Modules

Theatre Company Project

This module is designed to combine elements of learning from across the degree together, including creative devising, directing and dramaturgy, the implementation of dance skills to create choreography, acting, singing, as well as the industry module. Students will form small companies to engage in a process of experiential guided learning to gain experience in forming a company and making work. The aim is to give students the confidence to create similar work beyond the degree as a means of creating meaningful employment.

Musical Theatre Production

This production module offers the opportunity for students to be involved in a large, directed musical theatre performance. Students will be required to conduct background research about the musical, the context, and their role, to attend rehearsals and to develop their roles using techniques learned elsewhere on the programme. The module will culminate in the performance of the musical.

Showreel and Entrepreneurship

Following on from level 4 studies in Film Enterprise and level 5 studies on Digital Distribution, Work Placement and Volunteering: Community Filmmaking, this module prepares students for post-study employment opportunities. The module aims to provide students with a realistic knowledge of the current employment possibilities within the film industry and develops the important aspects and understanding of industry requirements needed for graduate entry into the film industry. Professional and current practitioners will advise and tutor students on seeking and securing work within a particular sector, ones that compliment skills acquired on the Film Production degree. To hone interpersonal skills, each student will present their completed website and showreel, inclusive of a reflexive accounting of their creative choices.

Advanced Post-Production

This module develops understanding of how advance post-production techniques are deployed in the modern film production process. Using a wide range of Adobe Creative Cloud applications (Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects etc.) you will create a short film sequence utilising and demonstrating post- production techniques. Seminars and workshops will explore examples of post-production techniques in current use and provide historical context to improve understanding. This module will equip students with advanced skills in post- production appropriate to entry into the film and media production industries. A formative task affords project progression tutor feedback.

Optional modules
  • Technique and Repertoire - 30 Credits
  • Dissertation - 30 Credits

Optional

Theatre Company Project

This module is designed to combine elements of learning from across the degree together, including creative devising, directing and dramaturgy, the implementation of dance skills to create choreography, acting, singing, as well as the industry module. Students will form small companies to engage in a process of experiential guided learning to gain experience in forming a company and making work. The aim is to give students the confidence to create similar work beyond the degree as a means of creating meaningful employment.

Musical Theatre Production

This production module offers the opportunity for students to be involved in a large, directed musical theatre performance. Students will be required to conduct background research about the musical, the context, and their role, to attend rehearsals and to develop their roles using techniques learned elsewhere on the programme. The module will culminate in the performance of the musical.

Showreel and Entrepreneurship

Following on from level 4 studies in Film Enterprise and level 5 studies on Digital Distribution, Work Placement and Volunteering: Community Filmmaking, this module prepares students for post-study employment opportunities. The module aims to provide students with a realistic knowledge of the current employment possibilities within the film industry and develops the important aspects and understanding of industry requirements needed for graduate entry into the film industry. Professional and current practitioners will advise and tutor students on seeking and securing work within a particular sector, ones that compliment skills acquired on the Film Production degree. To hone interpersonal skills, each student will present their completed website and showreel, inclusive of a reflexive accounting of their creative choices.

Advanced Post-Production

This module develops understanding of how advance post-production techniques are deployed in the modern film production process. Using a wide range of Adobe Creative Cloud applications (Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects etc.) you will create a short film sequence utilising and demonstrating post- production techniques. Seminars and workshops will explore examples of post-production techniques in current use and provide historical context to improve understanding. This module will equip students with advanced skills in post- production appropriate to entry into the film and media production industries. A formative task affords project progression tutor feedback.

Optional modules
  • Technique and Repertoire - 30 Credits
  • Dissertation - 30 Credits

Entry requirements

96-112 points

Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:

  • A-Levels: CCC-BBC from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. CCC is comparable to BCD in terms of tariff points)
  • BTEC/CTEC: MMM-DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4
  • T Level: Pass (C or above on the core) in a T Level

Additionally, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.

In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:

GCSE English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further

If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on their website which may be of interest. 

Interview and Audition

Suitable applicants will be invited to attend a group workshop, audition and interview.

Upcoming audition dates:

  • 31 January 2024
  • 7 February 2024
  • 21 February 2024
  • 28 February 2024
  • 13 March 2024

 

International points required

If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:

  • IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry)
  • We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by contacting our International Recruitment Team via our International Apply Pages.

2024 Course Tuition Fees

  UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland 

International

Year 1 £9,250 £16,700
Year 2 £9,250 £16,700
Year 3 £9,250 £16,700
Total £27,750 £50,100
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,850 £3,340
Total with Sandwich Year £29,600 £53,440

Additional tuition fee information

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2024, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.

Remember, you don’t have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year.

UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £139.14 and a 15 credit module is £2,087.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year.

**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.

Additional costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

Mandatory costs

Printing and Binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.

Disclosure and Barring Service

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check may be required if you undertake a placement, volunteering, research or other course related activity where you will have contact with children or vulnerable adults. The requirement for a DBS check will be confirmed by staff as part of the process to approve your placement, research or other activity. The indicative cost is £40.

SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS

We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

CAREER PROSPECTS

Students pursue careers as musical theatre professionals creating, performing, researching or writing; working with young people as a teacher or in community contexts; or working for producing/receiving houses.

The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021, HESA.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.

OUR CAREERS SERVICE
Student with careers staff member

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