Acting Diploma (Level 3)

Course Dates: 09/01/21 - 05/08/21
Time: 18:15 - 21:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Jayne Denny
Kelly Manteli
Deirdre Strath Clyde

An exciting and rigorous one-year part-time training in the core disciplines of acting. Taught by industry professionals, this course will build your craft as an actor and is ideal for anyone intending to enter full time training at drama school. You will work towards a Level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts awarded by OCN London.

The course fee is £2225, plus an upfront fee of £275 payable at the time of your enrolment.

If you are unable to pay the course fee upfront, you can choose to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from Student Finance England (SFE) to help cover the cost. The Advanced Learning Loan is written off on completion of a Higher Education degree course. You can find more information about the Advanced Learner Loan

If you are unable to pay the upfront fee, you can talk to our Information, Advice and Guidance team who will advise you on other financial support available. You can contact the Advice and Guidance Team by phone on 020 7492 2500 or by email:

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

This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit


What is the course about?

This highly practical and comprehensive course is for anyone aspiring to a career in acting. All sessions are taught by industry professionals, in a range of modules that develop skills in voice, movement and character work, underpinned by a grounding in acting methodology. Studying part-time over a year, you will gain a Level 3 Diploma in Performing Arts accredited by Open College Network London. This course has access to Advanced Learner Loans which cover the bulk of the course fee.
Entry is by audition and these are currently being held online using Zoom. Course days and times: Thursdays 17:30 – 21:30 and Saturdays 10:00 – 17:30
Sundays 10:00 - 17:30 on these dates only 10 January, 28 March, 11 April, 23 May
Production week (26-31 July 2021): Mon - Fri from 18:00, all day Saturday.

What will we cover?

Classes include the study of contemporary and classical texts, voice work, textual analysis, and the exploration of the work of key acting practitioners. You will develop creatively through improvisation, actors' movement and physical theatre, screen acting and audition technique. In the final section of the course, you will apply your skills in a public performance of a full-scale production, with professional values, in the John Lyon’s Theatre at City Lit.

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
• Understand key industry expectations
• Progress to drama school or further vocational training
• Audition for roles in the City Lit Theatre Company or other dramatic productions
Previous students have progressed to a range of drama schools including RADA, Royal Scottish, East 15, Mountview, ALRA and Drama Studio. Others have pursued careers directly within the industry.

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

You will have previous experience of actor training, such as City Lit's Foundation in Drama or equivalent. Entry is via audition, at which you will need to demonstrate suitable practical skills. Please prepare two monologues no longer than two minutes each, one classical, one contemporary, i.e. written in the last 20 years. You may also be required to participate in a workshop involving voice, movement and acting. At the audition and during the course you will need to communicate intention clearly, respond positively, assimilate constructive feedback, and demonstrate your interpersonal skills in collaboration with others.
If you have any additional queries please email the Drama Department

To apply:
• read this further information: Acting Diploma Course Guide and Drama Audition Advice 2021
• obtain a headshot (photo of yourself including face and shoulders)
• download and complete an Application Form
• Send your completed form and headshot photo to the email the Drama Department


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, comprising your peers on the course. For some sessions, you split into two smaller groups, and your scene work will involve individual solo pieces, paired work, small group pieces and work within the full ensemble.
There is a significant amount of line learning and preparatory work for each class, and you will be required to support your studies with some written reflective work. You are also encouraged to read widely around the subjects and practitioners you are studying in order to underpin your practical understanding.
This course is intensive and demands full commitment and 100% attendance. Course days and times:
Thursdays 17:30–21:30 and Saturdays 10:00 – 17:30
Sundays 10:00–17:30 on these dates only: 10 January, 28 March, 11 April, 23 May
Production week (26–31 July 2021): Mon - Fri from 18:00, all day Saturday.
Some work will be filmed as part of the assessment, verification and moderation processes. Please note that filming/recording of you is essential to the course, and recordings will be shared with OCN. Your personal data will be used in accordance with our privacy policy, and recordings will be held by the college for verification purposes. By enrolling on the course, you acknowledge that you understand this, and that you cannot withdraw consent to being recorded.
You may 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?

The course fee is £2,500, including a deposit of £275 that is required within three weeks of successful audition to secure your place. Course fees can be paid upfront, by instalments, or with an Advanced Learner Loan from Student Finance England (SFE), which covers up to £2,225 of the fee. This Loan is written off if you later complete a Higher Education degree course.
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. You also need an A4 ring binder, notebook, pen, pencils and erasers for script work for each class.
You may be eligible to apply for financial support towards travel, books etc. For information and advice, email our Information, Advice and Guidance team.

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

Progress to further study at drama school. Continue training at City Lit on a bespoke range of courses designed to complement and enhance the skills developed on the Diploma, including City Lit Theatre Company. Please ask the course leader and your tutors for individual advice and recommendations.


Customer Reviews 6 item(s)

Write a review

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.

This course offered me a valuable grounding in numerous disciplines. I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to experience the variety of subjects we covered on the course. It was hard work reading behind the subject, learning lines, often rehearsing in our own time to bring our classwork up to the standard we wanted – but the feeling of accomplishment was huge. Working towards the production in the final term was indeed the climax of the year – trying to put into the performance all the skills we had learned over the year – all working as a team towards one common goal.
As an older student it was wonderful working in a class with such a range of ages. People came from all walks of life with different career paths but we connected through our love of drama and the theatre. I had the pleasure of working with some wonderful tutors and have made some good friends through this course. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for training to prepare them for drama school auditions or indeed for heading into the industry immediately. The wonderful thing is that there are also numerous short courses I can now do at the City Lit to supplement and further increase the knowledge and skills I have learned on this year-long course.

Course Rating
Review by Samantha / (Posted on 09/09/2019)
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 17/06/2019)
The course 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 17/06/2019)
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 17/06/2019)
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.
Course Rating
Review by JP / (Posted on 17/06/2019)
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 17/06/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Laura Baggaley See more
Simon Darwen Tutor Website See more
Gary Grant See more
Vernon Thompson Tutor Website See more
Martin Wimpress See more
Lloyd Wylde See more

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Check your level

Course Code: DRC101

Thu, eve, 09 Jan - 05 Aug '21

Duration: 65 sessions (over 31 weeks)

Full fee: £2,500.00
Senior fee: £2,500.00
Concession: £2,500.00

Before booking on this course, we'll need you to log in or register with us if you're new. Please then contact us for a chat with our team to check that this course is the right level for you.
Why do I need an advice session?

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2542

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.