Students that are passionate about theatre and drama should consider studying a musical theatre degree due to the range of topics covered throughout the course. A musical theatre degree allows students to develop a range of skills in particular areas such as singing, ballet, jazz, tap, acting and stage management.
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Studying Musical Theatre
Most students decide to study a musical theatre degree through a specialist performing arts school such as East 15 Acting School; however, there is the opportunity to study this degree through a higher education institution. The degree is awarded as a BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Degree, and has many title variations such as Performing Arts degree, Theatre Studies degree and Drama Studies. The degree takes three years of full time study to complete.
Throughout the first year of study students are introduced to modules such as theatre studies, performance analysis, contexts of drama, storytelling, and modernism in the arts. In the second year of study students study some core modules such as theatre techniques, performance composition, contemporary performance and postmodern drama. Students are also given a list of further optional modules which they can choose from including performance directing, performing composition, writing for theatre, and television drama. During the final year of study students are required to undertake an independent study of their choice, otherwise known as a dissertation. Alongside the dissertation students are able to choose their optional modules from a list of available modules such as creative enterprise, Russian theatre, Victorian drama, and performing comedy.
Entrance to an undergraduate musical theatre degree can vary depending on the institution and how well it ranks in the university league tables. The top five universities for musical theatre studies are the University of Sussex, the University of Surrey, Warwick University, Lancaster University, and the University of Birmingham. Entry requirements to these universities require students to have gained A Level grades between AAB – ABB with some preferred A Level subjects being drama, theatre and dance. All of these universities also require students to have an entrance audition and interview to display their suitability and competence in the field.
Generally speaking, graduates from a musical theatre degree will gain various job roles within various industries including performing arts, media, journalism, film, marketing, events organisation and writing. Graduates wishing to work directly in the industry of performing arts can look for job roles such as director, performer, writer, producer, technician and administrator.