Access to HE diploma (Drama)

Course Dates: 15/09/18 - 29/06/19
Time: 10:00 - 21:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Laura Baggaley, Stephen Billington, Simon Darwen, Jayne Denny, Kelly Manteli, Philippa Nelson, Deirdre Strath Clyde, Vernon Thompson, Martin Wimpress

Course times: Thursdays 18.30 - 21.30 and Saturdays 10.00 - 17.30

Accredited by OCN London, the Access course is an exciting and rigorous training in the core disciplines of acting. Studying part time over a year, you will be taught by industry professionals on a range of modules that will develop your skills in voice, movement and character work. This course is perfect if you are intending to enter full time training at Drama School or if you want to build your craft as an actor and hone your developing skills.

Classes include the study of contemporary and classical texts, voice work, textual analysis and the exploration of the work of key acting practioners including Stanislavski and Laban. You will develop creatively through improvisation, physical theatre, devising, musical theatre, screen acting and audition technique. You will also have the opportunity to develop an innovative piece of theatre on a practical and independent project. In the final term, you will apply your skills in a public performance of a full scale production, with professional values, in the John Lyons Theatre.

Previous students have progressed to a range of drama schools that include RADA, Royal Scottish, East 15, Mountview and Drama Studio. Others have pursued careers directly within the industry. PLEASE NOTE: Course dates and times can be subject to change, please contact the Drama department for details. There will be some additional dates beyond those advertised as you will be required to attend induction day and individual tutorial dates which you will be notified of in time to make arrangements to attend.

The course fee is £3384. If you’re unable to pay this upfront, you can choose to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from Student Finance England (SFE) to help cover the course fee. The Advanced Learning Loan is written off on completion of a Higher Education degree course. A deposit of £340 is also payable to secure your place (refundable after you complete the course). You can find more information about the Advanced Learner Loan

(If you are 18 at the start of the course, the fee may be less- please contact us).

For more information, please call Drama, dance and speech on 020 7492 2542.


What is the course about?

This in-depth course offers a route to higher education or further training and is for anyone who would like a career in acting. All sessions are taught by industry professionals and are underpinned by a grounding in acting methodology. This, combined with essential study skills that develop your analytical and academic abilities, provides a solid grasp of the key industry expectations and the tools necessary to succeed in HE or further vocational training.
On qualifying, students will gain a full level 3 qualification (the equivalent to three A levels) validated by OCN London.

What will we cover?

The course covers a wide variety of acting theories and practical techniques. You will explore Stanislavski, Shakespeare and Laban. You will study contemporary and classical texts, develop your abilities in improvisation, screen acting and audition technique and apply these skills in the third term during final production which is performed in front of a public audience at the John Lyons Theatre.
Coursework will underpin your studies, and allow you to achieve an academic qualification.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Apply your practical skills confidently in a range of acting scenarios. Progress to drama school or further vocational training. Some students take their first steps into the industry or continue training with us on a bespoke range of courses designed to complement and enhance the skills developed on Access.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Entry on to this course is via audition. You will need to demonstrate suitable practical skills and be able to work academically at level three. Please prepare two monologues (one classical, one contemporary) no longer than 2 mins in length. You may also be required to participate in a workshop involving voice, movement & acting. To arrange an audition please contact the department on 020 7492 2542. A £20 audition fee is payable prior to audition.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

All sessions are practical and skill based and you will develop from the safety and support of the ensemble company, comprised of twenty of your peers. For many of the sessions you will be spilt into two smaller groups and your scene work will involve individual solo pieces, paired work, small group pieces and work within the full ensemble.
In addition to a significant amount of line learning and preparatory work for each class you will be required to support your studies with some written reflective work. Each term there is a Subject Review and Evaluation (SRE) that you must complete in order to achieve the full level 3 diploma. You are also encouraged to read widely around the subjects and practioners that you are studying outside of class in order to underpin your practical understanding.

This course is intensive and it demands full commitment and 100% attendance.

You may or may not be asked to participate in rigorous activity from time to time. Please consider whether you could do this, if you are in any doubt consult a medical practitioner.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will be required to attend all classes in ‘your blacks’ (comfortable black clothing that you can move in) and wear soft shoes in the studios. There will be set texts to purchase, although for some classes, script extracts will be provided for you. You also need an A4 ring binder, notebook, pen and pencils with rubbers for script work for each class. You will receive further advice once offered a place on the course.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Progress to drama School, or further vocational training. Some students will go onto study further as part of the City Lit Theatre company.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 6 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

I have just completed the year long Access to HE Drama course here at City Lit and I can honestly say it has truly been a very enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to pursue Acting.

We got to cover a whole range of modules such as Stanislavski, Shakespeare, physical theatre, musical theatre, screen acting and more, and this provided me with a set of skills which I can now draw from when building characters and scenes which is great. The academic aspect also helped in furthering my learning: I gained greater knowledge and more understanding of the subject which in turn helped with my acting. The learning environment is really open and supportive, and this is mainly thanks to the brilliant teaching staff who I feel really encouraged and supported me throughout the year, always pushing me to do better. Overall, I've taken away so many positive experiences this year that have increased my enthusiasm and have allowed me to develop my confidence and skill as an actress, and I now intend to continue with further professional training at City Lit as a result.
Course Rating
Review by JessOlim / (Posted on 25/07/2017)
I have just completed this course and i can honestly say it has truly been a very enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to pursue Acting.

The learning environment is really open and supportive, and this is mainly thanks to the brilliant teaching staff who I feel really encouraged and supported me throughout the year, always pushing me to do better.

Overall, I've taken away so many positive experiences this year that have increased my passion and have allowed me to develop my confidence and skill as an actress.

I intend to continue pursuing more acting training at City Lit as a result.
Course Rating
Review by Jessica / (Posted on 03/07/2017)
The course was very well structured and provided a fast but well-paced introduction to a whole variety of areas of the dramatic arts, which I found very useful as someone with no qualification in drama or theatre studies.

A clear order to the teaching units was evident, beginning with foundation acting methodologies and progressing towards more specific and advanced areas of stage and screen acting. While the course is designed to prepare you academically for HE the core vocational skills such as voice, acting and movement are very much core, which allowed me to push myself in these areas throughout the year in addition to the academic learning.

The tutors were all extremely committed and knowledgeable. It was a safe and enjoyable environment in which to experiment and push myself to try new things. The course is rigorous and fun. I have formed new friendships and feel I have developed significantly. I feel well-prepared for higher education both from an academic and vocational point of view.
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Review by JP / (Posted on 28/06/2017)
This is a challenging and highly engaging course delivered with energy by both experienced and inspiring tutors. I have learnt so much about myself, and the demands, discipline and skills required in developing as an actor.

I feel it has given me the confidence to take the next steps into further professional training. Although rigorous, it has also been enormous fun.

As a mature student I felt totally included and I have l really enjoyed the experience of developing and working in a delightful ensemble of fellow students.
Course Rating
Review by MaryT / (Posted on 27/06/2017)
The part-time 'HE Access Diploma in Acting' at City Lit is vigorous, creative and thought provoking. The course itself has allowed me to improve my levels of communication, overall confidence within an ensemble, public speaking skills and most importantly widen my range of instruments as a budding actor, especially in-relation to body, voice, imagination and concentration.
Many of the drama tutors were professional practitioners, which really helped to make every class relaxed, providing the opportunity to make friends and learn new skills.
This course is a perfect stepping-stone for any actor wishing to apply for Drama School. Teaching you the basic foundations that are paramount and shouldn't be overlooked. As a result I was fortunate enough to be awarded 4 offers from top UK accredited Drama schools."
Course Rating
Review by Aa / (Posted on 21/07/2016)
This course was a wonderful grounding in a wide variety of disciplines, the tutors are committed enthusiastic, professional and work really hard to provide real content and the opportunity for the students to progress in six week sessions. With their support I feel I have taken great steps forward and am in a strong position to move onward to learn more.
It is a challenge, I spent most of my free time learning lines, practicing techniques or doing the research and written work required. I did not realize what I was taking on but it was possible to do even with a demanding full time job.
I am coming out the other end with a good understanding of the strength of purpose and work that will be needed to build an acting career.
Course Rating
Review by none / (Posted on 29/06/2015)

This course has now started

Course Code: DRC101

Started Thu+Sat, day, 15 Sep - 29 Jun '19

Duration: 82 sessions (over 42 weeks)

Full fee: £3,384.00
Senior fee: £3,384.00
Concession: £3,384.00

Call us to check your level, see if you can still join the course or to discuss other suitable courses

020 7492 2542

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.