• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateTuesday 29 August 2017
  • Course length1 year - full time

Foundation Studies in Performance - Drama Centre London

With its focus firmly on practical skills and techniques, Foundation Studies in Performance broadens your horizons and lets you test your aims and aptitudes in a supportive environment. You’ll emerge very well placed to apply for further training in the highly specialised, competitive and demanding performance sector.

Great reasons to apply

  • Foundation Studies in Performance at Drama Centre London has an extremely strong record of students gaining places at recognised drama schools for BA courses 
  • You'll benefit from excellent studio, practice and teaching rooms in our iconic building, part of the exciting King's Cross development
  • The course offers a real experience of drama school life, with the same teaching staff and facilities as the BA and postgraduate courses at Drama Centre London
  • You'll experience weekly visits to theatres and other cultural visits as well as close contacts with the profession and professional actors
  • You'll have the opportunity to participate in a professional production - a great start to your career CV.

Welcome from Richard Williams, Course Leader

I know that most people on the Foundation course want to go onto a BA Acting course at a recognised drama school. In fact many people on the course have tried for a BA and been recommended to gain more experience. Therefore our foundation course offers a terrific preparation for BA Acting auditions and courses.

As part of the course you will get one-to-one advice and tuition on audition monologues so you are in the best possible condition both physically and mentally for your next step. And we have a great success rate. Each year about sixty percent of the year group go onto a BA Acting or Directing course at a recognised drama school. 

That's only a part of the course. You'll enjoy studying a broad range of subjects - including Shakespeare, Stanislavski, Text in Action, Acting for Camera, Dance, Movement and Performance Technique - all part of the highly focused Drama Centre conservatoire training. Our students approach their next step with the confidence that only such an intensively concentrated course can offer. I know the course isn't cheap, but that's because we are offering the very best of teaching and tuition with an incredibly intensive 30 hours of teaching weekly. 

Take a moment to read how vitally productive some of the present and past students have found it. Think about Drama Centre London Foundation Course as the place to begin your successful theatrical career.

Richard Williams
Course Leader Foundation in Performance Studies


Richard Williams is a theatre and opera director with a long and distinguished career who has won several awards for his directing. He has worked with some of the country's leading performers including Imelda Staunton, Roger Allam, Mark Rylance, Sylvester McCoy and Alison Steadman. Naturally he brings a wealth of experience to the course as well as careful attention to each individual student.

The tutors on the Foundation Course all also teach at BA or MA level and include Oleg Mirochnikov, Liana Nyquist formally assistant to Yat Malgrem, film maker and West End director Harry Burton, and ex RSC actor and director Paul Goodwin.

After the completion of the course the Course Leader invites students to join in one or more summer projects which he is connected to in a professional capacity. So in the past students have appeared alongside professional performers at The Bath International Festival in a cabaret of Brecht/Weill songs, poems and scenes; Buxton Opera Festival in acting roles in a Vivaldi opera; the well-established Old Vic New Voices project; ‘Chalk Legends’ an epic production with The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as part of the Cultural Olympiad and other exciting professional opportunities. 

Trilokjit Sengupta

Students take part in ballet class, part of the conservatoire based teaching at Drama Centre 

Trilokjit Sengupta

Students perform in their Final Major Showing, a public performance in the Platform Theatre Studio

Shahrbanoo Nezam Mafi

Students film work for their Final Major Project pieces

Performance class.

Students prepate for a movement class at Drama Centre. Key staff teach across the whole school, both on the Foundation course and on BA Acting. 

Course description

The Foundation Course at Drama Centre London is aimed at those who wish to improve their acting, directing and other performance skills in order to make informed decisions about their future careers. This course is part of the Access to HE and Progression programme.

Foundation Studies in Performance enables you to experience the rigour and variety available in the field of drama and to test your expectations and aspirations against the realities of vocational training. On completing the foundation course, students will normally expect to go on to study in higher education, mainly at vocational drama schools.

During the foundation course you will enhance your capacity to learn in a disciplined, organised manner and develop skills leading to self-reliant learning. You will also develop your critical awareness of contemporary performance and will learn to express your ideas clearly and articulately.

Foundation Studies in Performance is fully based in the practice of performance, delivered within a leading drama conservatoire, thus benefiting from the high levels of expertise of the professional staff at Drama Centre London.

Foundation Studies in Performance is "diagnostic" in nature: that means that the tutors will seek to help you widen your understanding of the various opportunities for careers in the field of drama. You may already feel that you are determined to pursue a career in acting or directing, for example. In this case, the course will help you to test your commitment and define your expectations. On the other hand, you may feel that, while attracted by the idea of working in drama, you are not yet sure of what the profession has to offer and of how your talent can be developed. If this is the case, then Foundation Studies in Performance will help you explore the opportunities available and enable you to make informed decisions about future studies.

Comments from this year's students

"The knowledge and experience I have gained from the course is phenomenal. It's an incredible start for anyone considering a career in performance"

"I definitely feel it's great value. It's world class training that has prepared me for a BA course"

"Worth every penny and I feel lucky to have gained a place here at Drama Centre."

"The tutors have taught me to challenge myself."

"The intensity was what I needed, the course was challenging and extremely beneficial."

"The Drama Centre course has allowed me to express myself physically and emotionally in a safe and creative environment. The foundation has given me invaluable tools that will carry me through my career."

"I got to know myself a lot better, physically and mentally in a safe and collaborative environment."

Foundation Studies in Performance is structured in three stages and includes units in:

  • Acting
  • Acting for Camera and Recorded Media
  • Rehearsal and Performance
  • Improvisation
  • Movement
  • Voice
  • Text Interpretation
  • Introduction to the Performing Arts Business
  • Monologue Study
  • Scene Study/Rehearsal Methodology
  • Singing
  • Directing/Writing options
  • Preparation for Auditions

Stage One

The first, exploratory, stage introduces you to core areas of performance: interaction; physical expression; communication of ideas. You and your colleagues arrive at a shared understanding of the essential nature of performance and its various media, periods and styles. Focused visits to theatre, dance, film and other performance opportunities are followed by group discussions designed to provide a contemporary and historical context. Sustained acting, voice and movement classes begin to develop a sense of 'play', character and circumstance and stage relationships.

Stage Two

The second, pathway, stage invites you to focus on a range of projects, studying the creative, technical and vocational aspects of the different performance media, reflecting your individual interests and potential. Scene and monologue study, recorded media, more advanced movement and voice, contribute to the deepening of the understanding of the art and skills which enable communication between performer and spectator.

Stage Three

The third, confirmatory, stage encourages you to adopt an autonomous, proactive approach to your future development as a performer. You undertake a significant piece of work and assume within it roles that reflect your future aspirations for work and/or further study. You continue to develop and put into practice your own ideas, informed by the experience of the first two stages. Personal, professional and promotion skills are put into practice in order to support your applications to drama schools and elsewhere.

Detailed course information: Foundation Studies in Performance (PDF 229KB)‌

Studio Theatre

  • Costume

    Find out more about the Costume facilities at Archway

  • Studio Theatre

    Find out more about our Studio Theatre

Staff

Course Leader
Richard Williams

How to apply

When to apply

We recommend you apply by end of July at the latest to avoid disappointment. Please note that the deadline for Bursary applications is 1 July.

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

Required information for Foundation Studies in Performance

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items when completing the online application form:

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history (if applicable);

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should:

  • Be no longer than 300 - 500 words
  • Tell us your reasons for applying to your chosen course;
  • Inform your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities;
  • What you wish to achieve on the course? And your career aspirations.

If you do not complete all the required information or upload the necessary documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and audition.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Apply to Foundation Studies in Performance

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

If you meet the entry requirements you will be sent instructions on how to book and pay for your audition online. The non-refundable audition fee is £50.00

Auditions normally take place between February and July. We recommend you choose an early audition date. For more details about our audition procedure visit the auditions and interviews page.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder) and your account on the UAL Applicant Portal. These emails will contain important information about your application.

Audition and Interview Advice

When choosing your audition pieces, you are advised to pick pieces which: 

  • Are of your own gender and playing age;
  • Last between 1.5 minutes and a maximum of 2.5 minutes;
  • Avoid swearing, unless it’s essential to the context;
  • Demonstrate your current acting ability, rather than showcasing roles you would like to take on.

You should present two contrasting monologues from plays of any period; each one must last no longer than two and a half minutes.

You can replace one or both speeches with duologue scenes from the same period(s), in which case you’ll need to bring a partner with whom to present the scene(s).

The interview panel places a lot of emphasis on the interview in seeking to determine your potential as well as to help clarify your aspirations. 

On audition days you will be looked after by Drama Centre students who will do their best to answer your questions and help you relax so that you can give the best account of your potential. Wear clothes that are comfortable and allow you to move freely. Try not to wear clothes that will work against the characters you’ll be portraying.

You should set aside a whole day. You’ll find refreshments in the coffee bar or canteen or within walking distance around King’s Cross Station.

Selection process

The audition day

The audition day has two stages. After the first stage we make a selection and notify candidates using a shortlist pinned to the board. If your name doesn’t appear on this ‘recall’ list, it means your application won’t progress further.

  1. Stage 1

First audition including a short interview: two speeches heard by a panel of two. The recall list will go up at the end of each session. 

  1. Stage 2

Workshop: if you were selected after the first stage, you will be asked to work with partners and in a group on simple verbal and non-verbal improvisations in a workshop lasting about one hour. 

Please note that stages 1 and 2 are held on the same day. Auditions sometimes finish around 6.00pm and you may need to make appropriate travel arrangements.

Selection is by the audition team (normally the Course Leader and one other), and offers of places are made on the basis of our selection criteria. We expect to let you know the outcome of your audition within two or three weeks.

Can’t attend the audition?

International applicants (or EU applicants in exceptional circumstances) unable to attend the audition at college may submit a digital recording of their performance of the two speeches via UAL’s online video upload system. If short-listed you will be interviewed via telephone or Skype. 

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

Following a review on your application and audition(s), you will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept applications for deferred entry.

When to apply

We recommend you apply by end of July at the latest to avoid disappointment.

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

Required information for Foundation Studies in Performance

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items when completing the online application form:

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history (if applicable);

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should:

  • Be no longer than 300 - 500 words
  • Tell us your reasons for applying to your chosen course;
  • Inform your particular subject interests, relevant experience or abilities;
  • What you wish to achieve on the course? And your career aspirations.

If you do not complete all the required information or upload the necessary documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and audition.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Apply to Foundation Studies in Performance

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

Applying and how your application is considered

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • Through a direct application
  • Through one of our official representatives in your country

Please note that you can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via a UAL Representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal.  Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

If you meet the entry requirements you will be sent instructions on how to book and pay for your audition online. The non-refundable audition fee is £50.00.

Auditions normally take place between February and July. We recommend you choose an early audition date. For more details about our audition procedure visit the auditions and interviews page.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder), and your account on the UAL Applicant Portal. These emails will contain important information about your application.

Immigration History Check (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an Immigration History check.

If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application and audition.

Audition and Interview Advice

When choosing your audition pieces, you are advised to pick pieces which: 

  • Are of your own gender and playing age;
  • Last between 1.5 minutes and a maximum of 2.5 minutes;
  • Avoid swearing, unless it’s essential to the context;
  • Demonstrate your current acting ability, rather than showcasing roles you would like to take on. 

You should present two contrasting monologues from plays of any period; each one must last no longer than two and a half minutes.

You can replace one or both speeches with duologue scenes from the same period(s), in which case you’ll need to bring a partner with whom to present the scene(s).

The interview panel places a lot of emphasis on the interview in seeking to determine your potential as well as to help clarify your aspirations. 

On audition days you will be looked after by Drama Centre students who will do their best to answer your questions and help you relax so that you can give the best account of your potential. Wear clothes that are comfortable and allow you to move freely. Try not to wear clothes that will work against the characters you’ll be portraying.

You should set aside a whole day. You’ll find refreshments in the coffee bar or canteen or within walking distance around King’s Cross Station.

Selection process

The audition day

The audition day has two stages. After the first stage we make a selection and notify candidates using a shortlist pinned to the board. If your name doesn’t appear on this ‘recall’ list, it means your application won’t progress further.

  1. Stage 1

First audition including a short interview: two speeches heard by a panel of two. The recall list will go up at the end of each session.

  1. Stage 2

Workshop: if you were selected after the first stage, you will be asked to work with partners and in a group on simple verbal and non-verbal improvisations in a workshop lasting about one hour.

Please note that stages 1 and 2 are held on the same day. Auditions sometimes finish around 6.00pm and you may need to make appropriate travel arrangements.

Selection is by the audition team (normally the Course Leader and one other), and offers of places are made on the basis of our selection criteria. We expect to let you know the outcome of your audition within two or three weeks.

Can’t attend the audition?

International applicants unable to attend for an audition at college may submit a digital recording of their performance of the two speeches via UAL’s online video upload system.  If you are short-listed you will be interviewed via telephone or Skype. 

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

Following a review on your application and audition(s), you will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal. 

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept applications for deferred entry. 

Entry requirements

Selection to this course is determined by the quality of the application, meeting the minimum entry qualifications and meeting the selection criteria through the quality of an audition.

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved, or be expected to achieve, the course entry requirements details below: 

  • A pass in 1 GCE A Level (Grade C or above)
  • Passes in 3 GCSEs at Grace (Grade C or above)

OR

  • Pass at BTEC Level 3 National Diploma /or other level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts
  • Passes in 3 GCSEs at Grace (Grade C or above)

OR

  • Pass in International Baccalaureate Diploma (with overall 28 points or above); students need to achieve at least 4 certificates - 2 subjects at Higher Level and 2 subjects at Standard Level with a minimum of grade 4 or above in each certificate

OR

  • An equivalent High School Diploma qualification from an EU or non-EU institution

You can also demonstrate this educational level by:

  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required
  • A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning that, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is: 

IELTS Academic 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the 4 skills (on one single test)

For further information visit the English Language requirements page. 

Applicants who require a Tier 4 General Student Visa must take IELTS Academic Test for UKVI which is approved by the UK government for your UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application. No other test can be accepted.

Please check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. 

What we look for

We look for applicants who can perform as a member of an ensemble, show a positive attitude to performance and demonstrate commitment.

Selection criteria

The Audition Panel assesses all applicants’ potential with regard to:

  • Analysis of the character, text and action presented in the audition pieces;
  • Stage presence, use of emotion, intellectual engagement, voice and body;
  • Acting focus, level of intensity and variety of expression;
  • A sense of play and the ability to collaborate on stage;
  • Knowledge and experience of performance;
  • Awareness of personal and career goals. 

The interview will focus on:

  • Your views and ideas about theatre and performance;
  • Your experience and aspirations for further training or study.

At Drama Centre we aim to audition all qualified applicants. We ask you to present two contrasting monologues from plays of any period; each one must last no longer than two and a half minutes. 

You can replace one or both speeches with duologue scenes from the same period(s), in which case you’ll need to bring a partner with whom to present the scene(s).

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fee - £13,800
Registration fee - £tbc (2018/19). (In 2017/18 the fee was £174)
Other (cultural visit fees) - £300 (2018/19)

Total: £tbc

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase. 

International fee

Tuition fee - £13,800
Registration fee - £tbc (2018/19). (In 2017/18 the fee was £174)
Other (cultural visit fees) - £300 (2018/19)

Total: £tbc

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Careers and alumni

An impressive list of famous performers and a number of world-famous directors have emerged from courses at Drama Centre London.

Alumni include Paul Bettany, Pierce Brosnan, Simon Callow, Frances de la Tour, Paola Dionisotti, Colin Firth, Tara Fitzgerald, Anastasia Hille, Geraldine James, Helen McCrory, Jack Shepherd, John Simm, Colin Tierney, Lambert Wilson, Penelope Wilton and many more. Adrian Noble (for ten years Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company); film writer and director David Leland; novelist Esther Freud and television director Jan Sargent are among our graduates.

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers support page.