Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Media and Performance

School of Arts and Media

Attendance

Full-time

Course

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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Introduction

In a nutshell

This course is the only one in the area combining vocationally focused learning opportunities in both media production and performance – live and recorded. You will have the opportunity to explore a range of performance skills and approaches from the experimental to mainstream live, TV and radio work. You will be able to develop your skills behind the camera or microphone and to analyse and reflect on your learning through academic study. In addition, you will gain the knowledge, skills and understanding to become a versatile and resilient creative practitioner.

You will be able to choose from a range of options to pursue your own interests, including acting for camera, presenting, comedy writing and performance, radio performance and production, scriptwriting, media production and directing and producing. You will also have the opportunity to take part in video drama projects led by professional directors or staff members.

In your final year you can develop your own project, choosing from a wide range of performance and media areas. These could include devised or scripted live or recorded performance, an original film script, multimedia, stand-up, a ‘mockumentary’, documentary or a directing project.

We have excellent links with performance and media companies and professionals across the region and encourage you to make the most of the many project and networking opportunities offered to you during your time at the University of Salford.

You will:
  • Learn to create cutting-edge media and live performance
  • Study in a vibrant city with a fantastic theatre, arts and music scene
  • Engage with industry through networking, masterclasses and a suite of professional development opportunities
International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

You want to develop your skills in front of and behind the camera or microphone

2.

You have some experience in the area of acting/drama/performance

3.

You can use voice and physicality effectively

Course details

All about the course

As a Media and Performance student, you will learn through a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical performance projects. Assessment will be through a range of means including essays, presentations, in-class performance presentations, video and audio projects and publicly performed projects.

The core curriculum in year one will give you foundation knowledge and skills across the spectrum of media and performance. In year two you will study a combination of core and optional modules so that you can pursue your individual interests, develop your talents and explore new areas. In year three you will combine taught optional modules with your own project work, including practical research or a dissertation.

As the course progresses from year one to year three you will be given support and guidance to enable you to work independently, to manage your time and to collaborate creatively with others. You will also attend a number of careers-focused masterclasses and presentations that will give you practical advice in many employment areas relevant to media and performance graduates.

Year one

Production Skills

The module combines both technical and creative aspects of media production as you develop a broad awareness of the range of skills required for a video drama production, including camera, lighting, editing and sound.

Production Workshop

You will learn how to produce from script to screen a short video drama. Working to health and safety guidelines, students develop group-working skills appropriate to a professional drama production. 

Acting Methods

This primarily practical module focuses on the creative practices essential to build characterisations for live performance in a naturalistic context, drawing on Stanislavsky's System.

Acting for Recorded Media

This module will acquaint you with the range and scope of television and radio drama and involves an exploration of a range of techniques for performing on camera or for the microphone, as well as providing knowledge of fundamental procedures and skills of studio operation.

Performance in Context

Provides the historical framework to examine the development of performance from the late 19th century onward. Movements like Realism, Expressionism, Surrealism and Dada are examined in relation to other movements and across performance disciplines. Small group seminars will support the lectures.

Critical and Textual Studies

This lecture and seminar based module focuses on textual analysis and critical approaches to live and mediated performance texts. It also considers key theories and practitioners who influenced the development of particular disciplines within performance.

Non-assessed skills training

Study skills sessions will be offered to support your academic and critical writing skills.

Year two

Performance Studies

In lectures, screenings and seminars the approaches to textual critical analysis introduced in the first year are further developed, as are your academic writing skills.

Production options

You will choose at least one production module from:

Programme Production Techniques

This offers you the chance to explore the practical and creative challenges in planning and producing a studio-based TV show. This module is one of two that are based in our professional quality TV studio on our MediaCityUK campus.

Directing and Producing

Emphasises the aesthetic aspects of directing for screen along with the practical decision-making and problem-solving aspects of camera and lighting, sound recording, video editing, artistic resources and time management. You will be introduced to the role of the producer with regard to budgeting, scheduling and contingency planning.

Radio Performance and Production

This module enables you to work on a range of exercises designed to develop your characterisation, vocal expression and tonal variety in performing audio drama. You are introduced to studio equipment for recording and editing and contribute to studio management for the assignment. You are assessed on the performance and production of a recorded radio drama script.

Integrated Production Skills

This module develops the skills and approaches introduced in first year production modules, offering the opportunity to further explore camera, editing, lighting and sound recording.

Production options:

You will choose either a Video Project or a Radio Comedy Project:

Video project

Working with a staff director or an external professional, you will perform and produce a short video drama under conditions mirroring industry practice. You will gain experience of the disciplines of shooting on location as well editing your footage.

Radio Comedy Project

This project is led by a member of staff or a visiting practitioner. You will work in an ensemble to create original comedy sketch ideas and develop your own characters within them. The performance, recording and editing of selected sketches before a live studio audience constitutes the practical element of the assignment.

Further options

Acting For the Camera

This module gives you experience of working with ex-broadcast drama scripts, which you will rehearse and record for camera under conditions mirroring industry practice.

Introduction to Screenwriting

You will examine fundamental aspects of fictional storytelling: narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, and the use of subplots. You will explore differing conceptual and technical approaches used in screenwriting for theatre, TV and film; you will workshop your screenplays in class and produce a finished script by the end of the module.

Presenting

You will explore performing pieces to camera, engaging with the audience by `breaking through the lens'; interview technique, the importance of asking pertinent questions, listening and putting an interviewee at ease; voice-over work - the importance of performing with energy, clarity and correct intonation. You will produce a five - eight minute magazine item containing an intro, a walk and talk piece to camera, practical exercise or short demonstration, voice-over, researched interview and outro, targeted at a specific audience and presented in an appropriate style.

Comedy Writing and Performance

You will discuss examples of a range of radio and TV comedy before working in a small group to create an original comedy idea and to develop your own characters within it. You will be encouraged to develop range and flexibility in your vocal, facial and physical skills in order to produce a range of comic personas. You will then perform, record and edit the resultant TV/radio sitcom or sketch show. The module also examines aspects of storytelling‚ theme, narrative structure, character development, comic types, the relationship of character to plot, use of subplots - in relation to the writing of comedy drama and situation comedy. The module explores the writing and devising of comedy for recorded media.

Voice and Text

Through exercises and reflective analysis, you will develop vocal techniques and learn to apply interpretative skills to the performance of dramatic texts.

TV Genres

This module offers a survey of the different forms TV takes and the many ways in which it is produced and consumed. Soap opera, lifestyle TV, reality shows, game shows, sitcom, series and serial dramas: you will study how each of these genres has its own narrative and projects its own vision on to its audience.

Physical Theatres

During this module you are introduced to the theories and practices of western physical theatre. Practitioners and styles covered may include Vsevolod Meyerhold; Jacques Lecoq; Jaques Copeau; Odin Teatret; Rudolf Laban; Steven Berkoff; Pina Bausch; Lloyd Newson; and a range of contemporary physical theatre companies.

Clowning

You will engage in exercises and games, working with and without red nose, to explore key clown concepts of: play, complicity, bafflement, major, minor and ‘the flop’. Practical tactics and strategies for generating laughter are explored through the development of physical skills such as falling, rolling, ‘acting drunk’, stage fighting, double-takes, and tricks with objects. The module concludes with a solo or group performance in a public space.

Playwriting

You will learn skills of analysing and writing plays for the stage. The module covers history of playwriting, an introduction to the playwriting industry and the development of skills in areas such as concept, story, structure, characterisation and dialogue. You will have the chance to work with professional playwrights in this course and write a play for your assessment.

Introduction to Multi-Media Performance

Approaches to using recorded and live feed video in live performance are studied, both theoretically and practically. You will also explore how new technologies such as mobile phones and social media can be used in live performance. You are introduced to practical techniques and the module is assessed through a devised, multi-media theatre production with evaluation.

Theatre and Communities

The module provides students with a practical knowledge and theoretical understanding of the uses, applications and value of drama and theatre as an aspect of social engagement and personal empowerment outside of the conventional theatre environment. The module explores the history of the 'form', and key practitioners and areas of contemporary practice. Practitioners/companies may include Cardboard Citizens, 7.84, TiPP, Geese Theatre UK, and Clean Break

Shakespeare In Performance

You explore Shakespeare’s plays through performing them and through deconstructing performances of them. You also enjoy the opportunity here of working with students on other degree programmes.    

Year three

Research Portfolio

This module aids you in beginning to research and develop ideas for your Dissertation or Practical Research Project for semester two. You will learn key research skills and be supervised in developing your ideas in order to create a strong base for the Dissertation or practical project.

Video project

Working with a staff director or an external professional, you will perform and produce a short video drama under conditions mirroring industry practice. You will gain experience of the disciplines of shooting on location as well editing your footage.

You will choose either a Dissertation or Practical Research Project:

Dissertation - Media and Performance

You will complete a major piece of independent written work which results from extensive research supervised by a dissertation supervisor. You will undertake your own research and while this will draw on other sources it is expected that the study will display a central thesis of your own construction.

Practical Research Project

You will develop your own topic or area of practice and method of investigation. It may represent a vocational or career-focused endeavour or act as a springboard for postgraduate study. Project outcomes could include: a devised performance; an original script – comic or dramatic - a physical theatre piece, a live art installation, multi-media performance or a directing project.

You will choose two of the following options:

TV Acting

You will analyse, research, rehearse and perform a number of television drama scripts – and work in depth on a specific character from one of them. Rehearsals of the extracts are videotaped and critically reviewed in seminar sessions. Particular attention is paid to the layering of subtext, psychological details and technical skills.

Radio Acting

You will work on a range of exercises and texts, which are aimed at both extending your range of characterisation for radio and developing detail and complexity in vocal performance delivery. Technical workshops examine studio operation including recording levels, mixing, spot and pre-recorded effects, and you work in teams to record and produce radio drama pieces.

Renaissance Theatre Acting

You will work with a range of texts, including Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Restoration works. In practical workshops you are encouraged to experiment with rhythm and language, and to apply characterisation and physicalisation techniques within the context of both naturalistic and non-naturalistic performance styles.

Creative Techniques for Video Drama Production

You will examine specific approaches and processes in direction and production for professional broadcast media. This includes pre-production planning, directing actors, and effective decision-making to ensure fluidity and continuity in editing. You will then develop your knowledge and skills as director, lighting camera-operator/director of cinematography, sound recordist or editor.

Programme Production

This module comprises sessions on production technique, including researching for television, producing and directing actors/presenters, producing and directing camera crew (studio and location), managing contributors, televisual grammar, programme structure, copyright issues, health and safety considerations, leading to the team production of weekly programmes, either in studio or on location, researching programmes and briefing studio guests.

Scriptwriting for TV and Film

Through a professionally geared script development programme, you will create first a premise, then treatment, step outline and first draft for a complete screenplay of at least fifty minutes. In seminars you will discuss ideas for story, character and theme within the group. Treatments, step outlines and the first draft are developed in one-to-one tutorials.

Stand-up Comedy

Through class interaction, individual research and tutor supervision, you are encouraged to develop your own comic voice and persona and to devise and write original ideas toward solo live performance. A visiting professional comedian will be invited in to give feedback on the work before it is performed and/or recorded.

TV Comedy

You will explore the key elements that characterise comedy performance and the specific cultural and political contexts that influence scripting and “persona”. Intensive practical workshops, to develop comedy characters (personas) and short routines culminate in recorded in-house performances. Each workshop contains elements of scripting work and improvisation, including performance skills to develop vocal diction, range, expression and tone.

Gender, Sexuality and Performance

The module examines the importance of gender in the development of contemporary drama and performance. Gender as a social construction is investigated through a series of key movements that reflects a cultural shift in attitudes to heterosexuality and increased awareness of alternative gendered choices in Western culture.

New Trends in Theatre and Performance

The module explores the spectrum of new trends in performance. Practices may include Live Art, multimedia/digital performance; immersive theatre; headphone performance; pervasive gaming; one-to-one performance; You will examine the work of current practitioners and will focus on how relations of space and place and audience and performer are being reconfigured and redefined in the 21st century. You will then choose an area of practice to explore through the creation of a solo or collaborative performance piece.

Theatre Directing

This module begins with series of classes exploring the role of the director in relation to a range of contemporary and historical scripts. Under close tutor guidance, you will then consider and apply appropriate theatrical methodologies in order to develop your own directorial approach. All students will be given the opportunity to lead small group work in terms of exploring and experimenting with a range of directorial approaches to both script and to performers.

Documentary to Mockumentary

This module aims to investigate the historical, social and industrial changes in Documentary production. The module is concerned with the development of competing theories around documentary. It will address conflicting definitions of documentary and mockumentary within a global marketplace and will compare and contrast the range of production strategies adopted within mainstream TV and cinematic documentary modes. It will build on the existing production skills from your second year, providing students with the opportunity to produce and direct a short documentary or mockumentary film.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

60%

Practical

25%

Essay

15%

Presentation

TEACHING

You will learn through various teaching methods. Practical classes will furnish you with a range of approaches and techniques for performance creation and will help you develop your performance skills and, where appropriate, production skills. Lectures and seminars will apply critical theory to live and mediated performance forms and methodologies. You will undertake project-based work including major performance projects and you will attend workshops with visiting professional practitioners.

ASSESSMENT

You will be assessed using a combination of methods. These include:

  • Presentations
  • Essays
  • Practicals

School of Arts and Media

The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from fashion image making and styling, television and radio, creative writing and music to journalism, animation, design and performance.

This broad range of disciplines offers enhanced opportunities for specialist and interdisciplinary study, including collaborative work across subject areas.

Facilities

You will study in our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of creativity on campus. This means You will have access to broadcast standard TV acting and presenting studios (including green-screen), a radio drama studio, postproduction video and audio facilities, state of the art location cameras (including 4K) and excellent live performance spaces including purpose-built flexible theatres.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Media and performance graduates have forged successful careers as, among other professions, actors in film and TV (Jim Sturgess, Joanna Higson), theatre and radio, as stand-up comedians (Peter Kay, Jason Manford), writers, researchers, production managers, producers and directors.

Many of our graduates have progressed to employment in an impressive range of arts, entertainment and media organisations. These include the BBC, ITV, The National Theatre, The Lowry in Salford; The Green Room Theatre in Manchester and several Theatre in Education (TIE) companies.

The University of Salford has a reputation for providing the industry with highly skilled and dynamic graduates, whose names can regularly be seen on television and theatre credits, both as performers and 'behind the scenes' creatives. Many graduates also go into careers in teaching or as community dancers or workshop leaders or on to further postgraduate education.

In addition to developing your performance skills and techniques and giving you opportunities and contacts for professional development and employment, this degree will also give you many transferable skills which are highly sought by employers. These include collaboration and team-working; communication and negotiation skills, time management and organisation; and presentation skills. These will equip you to work in many different professional fields, as well as in the arts.

FURTHER STUDY

A taste of what you could become

A film/TV actor

A theatre performer

A stand-up comedian

A scriptwriter

A director

And more...

Career Links

You will be taught by practitioners who have worked with, and have active links with, leading film and TV companies including BBC TV and Radio Drama, ITV, Channel 4 and Red Productions.

Our staff have also worked with traditional and experimental theatre companies of many kinds including the Royal Exchange, the Young Vic, the UK's leading contemporary performance companies Blast Theory, Imitating the Dog, Plane Performance and Reckless Sleepers.

Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICATION PROCESS

A strong personal statement articulates a candidate’s interest and experience in the area of acting/drama/performance. It shows she or he can articulate his or her previous academic and/or performance practice experience. It also allows the candidate to demonstrate an appropriate level of independence and maturity necessary to engage with learning in a higher education environment.

In a strong audition, candidates exhibit an ability to adapt and respond to stimulus and potentially new or unfamiliar approaches in relation to acting/drama/performance. The candidate will show an ability to use voice and physicality effectively. A strong audition also highlights a candidate’s ability to work sensitively and co-operatively with others and to sustain energy, concentration and focus throughout all stages of the audition process.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent).

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

A level

112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject 

UCAS tariff points

112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject 

BTEC National Diploma

DMM including Performing Arts or similar subject 

Access to HE

112 UCAS Tariff Points from a Level 3 QAA approved Access programme. Must include Media/Performance.

Scottish Highers

112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject 

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject 

International Baccalaureate

31 points, 5 or 6 (Higher level) in a relevant subject

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 60% overall 

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2019/20 £14,820per year
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £15240per year
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

For more information go to International Scholarships. 

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Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID W400

Institution S03