Logo of Birmingham City University

BA (Hons)Applied Performance (Community and Education)

Birmingham City University
United Kingdom, Birmingham
Tuition fee To be confirmed
More information

Expenses, accommodation, working etc.



Transform your interest in applied drama and develop the skill, knowledge and confidence to take on a career in applied performance. Our BA (Hons) Applied Performance degree focuses on community and education, teaching you to develop workshops, engage with communities and excel within the delivery of theatre in education.

Part of one of only 18 schools accredited by Drama UK, this course will prepare you for an exciting, creative career as an Applied Performance practitioner.

Through our BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community and Education) programme you’ll have the opportunity to develop your artistic practice. This course allows you to specialise within your own area of interest, giving you the chance to craft your future.

Throughout the course you will regularly work with participants and communities in both formal and informal settings. Through experiential learning you will transform yourself from student to practitioner, working in partnership with your tutor, who will aid you to identify and undertake the roles of a director, performance maker and facilitator. We bring in an eclectic range of artists and companies to deliver workshops and seminars, giving you the chance to experience different styles and forms, all to inform your own practice.

You’ll join your course mates in forming a professional company, where you will work collectively. Within this company you will be expected to undertake individual roles and responsibilities, developing your professional abilities.

Professional practice is at the core of this programme’s delivery. With strong industry links and on-going relationships with educational and community based organisations, we aim to prepare you thoroughly for a career in applied performance.

At Birmingham School of Acting we believe that making and applying performance with social and political objectives has the potential to have a significant impact on the lives of individuals and communities. We use performance as a tool to raise awareness, inform, educate, empower, and instigate change and as a method of intervention.

As an emerging practitioner we will supply you with artistic space, autonomy and choice. With a primary focus on performance you will explore cultural discourses, developing an understanding of the awareness of critical reflection.

Programme structure

During your first year of study you will be introduced to applied performance in a range of community and educational settings. Your first year will be delivered through a series of six modules, each focusing on a different aspect of applied performance. You will develop skills and techniques in performance through skills-based teaching.

You will undertake weekly voice and movement classes through the Skills Workshop module, and you will be taught acting techniques through the Performance Workshop module. Regular dance theatre workshops and one-off workshops focusing on a range of art forms take place throughout your first year. You will have the opportunity to explore performance poetry, story-telling, physical theatre, clowning, mime, mask, singing and aerial work. Your first year of study offers you the chance to explore different art forms and creative space, developing your own artistic practices.

Through the Workshop Facilitation module you will establish the tools for designing and facilitating a workshop for a specific audience. You will undertake a performance project at the end of your first year, which usually takes places at mac Birmingham, and is intended as a children’s and family theatre piece. You will also explore the meaning of community, identity and their relation to culture and arts. You will learn through seminars and workshops, with an introduction to critical theory and contextual studies.

Your second year of studies will be delivered through skills based classes, such as Skills Workshop Two. You will continue to have weekly voice and movement classes, focusing on the facilitation of physical and vocal warm-ups within community groups. With a focus on making performance you will build upon the skills practiced in your first year during the Workshop Facilitation module.

In the Project Two module you will take part in three performance projects, including a theatre in education and a theatre for young people piece as well as a devised site specific piece. You will also take part in pre-show and post-show work which you will devise in small groups.

In the Project Two module you will take part in a performance in schools and colleges, created in a smaller group, with professional director.

You will also produce theoretical work that mirrors that of your practical work. You will explore the wider implication of various social and political approaches to practice. Within the Applied Practice and Theory module you will develop your understanding of the range of Applied Performance work.

Throughout the year you will also have seminars and workshops that are led by guest practitioners and lecturers who work within different fields of applied practice, such as education, health and prisons. You will research into an area of your choice, allowing you to enhance your knowledge of your personal interests.

A key aspect of your second year of study is a six week placement in term three.

Your final year of study builds on the skills you have developed throughout the course. You will engage directly with the community, pursuing your own areas of interest. With several major practical projects you will establish yourself as a well-trained and informed Applied Performance practitioner.

Through an Outreach Project you will produce a workshop for a particular community as well as a detailed resource for teachers containing research on the play, its production and rehearsal process. The resource, which can be web-based, will also research ideas and themes contained within the relevant work that places its status within a larger theatrical and social context. It will offer teachers and facilitators suggestions for further investigation and development, and demonstrate your knowledge and skill.

You will work in small groups to devise a multi-disciplined, site specific piece of work. Responding to a series of workshops delivered by industry professionals, you’ll apply your own areas of interest and think critically and effectively. You will develop an in-depth knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of Applied Performance, with a final project that will demonstrate this.

In the Applied Performance Project you work with a community group through community visits, research and a feasibility study. You are expected to manage and administer this project, taking responsibility for the budget. Within your group you will develop a series of workshops with the community group and an end event or performance with, for, or by the community group.

Career opportunities

The high-level of training we offer will pave the way for your future creative career. Recent graduate success includes Katie Finch, who works as a Learning Assistant with Frantic Assembly and Alison Hanson who has taken on work as the Early Years Officer for Birmingham REP Theatre. In addition to this our graduate Bethan Ball completed a paid internship with The Birmingham Hippodrome and Kim Allsopp has been offered work with both the Playhouse Theatre Company and Birmingham REP Theatre.

Graduate employment is very important to us, which is why we have developed our own company. Outspoken has been designed to employ graduates and give current students further professional experiences.

Outspoken’s first piece of work was Heterophobia – a piece of work which aimed to challenge young people’s preconceptions around issues of sexuality. The performance was programmed by Birmingham Hippodrome.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States