Musical Theatre BA (Hons)


Musical theatre is one of the most popular forms of entertainment. For over a century, it’s helped us to understand how the world works, generating stories of hope and optimism while considering the challenging issues at the heart of being human.

Develop vital stagecraft skills in movement, voice, acting, and devising on our Musical Theatre degree course and explore contemporary approaches to music and theatre. You’ll immerse yourself in all forms of practice, create new musicals. stage a full production in your first and final year, and produce a professional showreel for use in the industry.

You'll also examine musical theatre's significance in popular culture and society, exploring themes such as the representation of race, gender and politics on the local and global stage, and gain vital transferable skills for all kinds of career opportunities after you graduate.

Along the way, you’ll use specialist facilities, collaborate with students on other creative courses, work with professional composers, writers, and directors, and perform in many fantastic locations – in Portsmouth and beyond.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Enhance your creative collaboration by working alongside peers and new writers to create shows
  • Boost your professional profile by developing a showreel to perform in front of agents, producers, and casting directors as part of your final-year career preparations
  • Develop career-enhancing skills in mixed- and multi-media arts, including live and virtual practices
  • Gain valuable industry experience by taking an optional placement
  • Take advantage of pioneering research by studying at the home of Studies in Musical Theatre – the UK’s only international academic journal dedicated to musical theatre
  • Get current professional insight by attending guest lectures from leading actors, producers, and authors – past guests include actor Sheila Hancock, Randy Adams (Tony award-winning producer of Memphis the Musical), Lyn Darnley (former Head of Voice and Text, Royal Shakespeare Company), and Ken Cerniglia (Hadestown dramaturg and Disney Theatricals’ literary director)

Work experience and career planning

Get work experience while you study with support to find part-time jobs and volunteering opportunities. Towards the end of your degree and after graduation, you'll get 1-to-1 support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to find your perfect role. On top of this you'll get bespoke careers support through our faculty 'career-ready' programme.

Between your second and third year, you can complete an optional work placement to gain professional experience and enhance your skills. It's also a great incentive for employers once you graduate.

You can work for a company, organisation or agency, or you can go self-employed and start your own business with fellow students or by yourself.

Whatever you decide – or even if you just want some employability advice – our exclusive Creative Careers team can support you every step of the way.

Module Details

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Programme Assessment

You’ll be assessed through:

  • practical performance
  • dramatic writing
  • essays
  • video productions
  • group presentations
  • examinations
  • dissertation/project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 8% by written exams, 48% by practical exams and 44% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 57% by practical exams and 43% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 37% by practical exams and 63% by coursework

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • seminars
  • lectures
  • one-to-one tutorials
  • work placement

As well as learning the academic side of musical theatre, there's a strong focus on the practical side of performance. You'll have many opportunities to perform or put on shows both at and outside the University.

Student Destinations

After this course, you'll have skills in production, technical theatre, stage management, directing, choreography, and other creative fields that can be applied to a variety of careers within and outside the theatre industry.

You can also start your own company, pursue a postgraduate degree, and engage in research.

Past graduates have gone on to careers in areas including:

  • theatre, arts and events management
  • broadcasting
  • the media industry
  • teaching
  • business
  • project and team management

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • actor
  • producer
  • playwright
  • theatre manager
  • arts administrator

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience. You can also venture into freelancing, or set up and run your own business with help from the University Startup Team.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

BA (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

  • 112–120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Applicants may be requested to provide a portfolio to support their application.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

University of Portsmouth in Pictures

Latest Updates from University of Portsmouth

Location of University of Portsmouth