BA (Hons) Acting

Course accredited by the CDMT

Qualification validated by Bath Spa University

Duration 3 years full time (5 days a week)

Scheduled teaching per week 30 hours (average)

Location The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, 207 Balgreen Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2RZ

Wherever you wish to take your career, our three-year BA (Hons) course in Acting will equip you with all the creative tools and skills you need to successfully deliver your performance, and the commercial awareness you will need to sustain a lucrative career.

Why choose this course?

You will build your acting technique and skills for performance on stage and on film. Classes will enable you to understand the acting process, its history and development, and how to use your body and vocal performance to the best of your abilities. Our training aims to build your core skills, to prepare you for the physical and emotional demands of the industry and to successfully meet the requirements of the casting process.

Classes include academic study and practical studio-based learning and you will work from a variety of texts and source materials that cover a range of periods and styles. As well as productions, presentations and readings, you will be given creative space for improvisation and devised pieces, with opportunity to work within ensembles and on solo performance – you’ll also be encouraged to push yourself beyond your perceived boundaries and learn other performance skills such as singing and dance. While giving you a solid grounding in technique, our wonderful team of acting tutors draw on their personal experiences to guide you through the world of acting for stage and screen, allowing you to discover your own personal process and highlight your strengths.

Course content

This course consists of three years of dedicated acting training, focusing on the transition from technique‑based classes to performance‑based work. The third year includes extra personal and professional development sessions. Additional specialist workshops led by visiting professionals feature throughout the training.

Year 1:
Acting Processes 1 (40 credits); Contextual Studies (20 credits); Ensemble Practice (20 credits); Performance Skills1 (40 credits)

Year 2:
Acting Processes (40 credits); Actor Creator (20 credits); Screen and Media (20 credits); Performance Skills 2 (40 credits)

Year 3:
Acting Production Project (60 Credits); Independent Acting Project (20 credits); The Professional Actor (40 Credits)

Learning enrichment

MGA’s training is delivered with the highest possible standards expected from students in each discipline. MGA operates on the belief that more can be learned about these disciplines in a few minutes of rehearsal or on stage in front of an audience than can be achieved in hours of classroom-based tuition. Our students are therefore given as many opportunities as possible to get into a rehearsal room or in front of a live audience to perform. These include: an annual festive concert at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall to audiences of over 1,700, original dance productions, straight plays and musical theatre productions. In addition, throughout the year there are one-off concerts, appearances, workshops and small-scale performance opportunities, alongside ongoing studio-based productions directly connected to course topics.

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts adopts a policy of student feedback that follows an ‘always honest, always constructive’ philosophy rather than the often-used ‘always positive, almost pointless’ approach. MGA aims to encourage a sense of respect, direction and dedication within the practice and study of performing arts, and the courses on offer require a huge commitment from students – but with the potential for huge rewards.

Attracting tutors from across the UK and internationally, MGA prides itself on the high standards of the core teaching staff and their abilities to bring their experiences and unique skills into the classroom and studio. They can actually do what they are teaching you to do! The tutors are complemented by a whole host of well-respected and talented industry professionals and consultants who take time out of their busy schedule to share their skills, lead workshops and shape productions.

MGA also has a long list of consultants who are on hand to offer advice and support for projects and performances, maintaining strong links to the professional world of performing arts. Students get to learn all about the ups and downs of a career in the industry from the people who know it best.

Actor, musical theatre performer, director, singer, dancer, choreographer, … no matter what you want to do on the stage, MGA wants to help you do it successfully, professionally and lucratively. With the support of a network of casting, management and production contacts, you really will be hard pressed not to make a success of your career after graduating.

Entry requirements

Degree Course applicants should have 80 UCAS points including qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (Higher / A Level / Other). Applicants should be aged 16 years or over.

Entry onto all our courses is by online registration, written application and audition (details of audition process and application provided on registration). Auditions are held throughout the year and applicants will be contacted within two weeks of receipt of application form.

Natural aptitude, potential and attitude will be key considerations throughout the application process.

Students applying from overseas should apply in exactly the same way. However if attending an audition in the UK is not possible, applicants may apply by video/DVD with supporting documentation from both professional and character referees.

Academic progression

Students who pass this course are eligible to apply for postgraduate study, such as a Master’s Degree.

Tuition fees

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts is the only accredited Council for Dance and Drama Education and Training college in Scotland. We are also the largest independent SQA Approved Centre running professional training courses in Scotland. All tuition fees are kept to an absolute minimum but do reflect the expertise of the teaching staff, quality of facilities, small class sizes and sheer number of contact teaching hours offered.

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information and read the fee notes carefully or contact us to arrange a consultation.

Equipment checklist

MGA students are expected to have the following – a definitive list is discussed at audition stage.

  • MGA Full-Time uniform
  • Jazz trainers/shoes
  • Tap shoes
  • Ballet tights, leotard and shoes
  • Knee pads
  • Dictaphone, notepad and pencil
  • Boys will also need a pair of dress shoes and a black suit
  • Girls must have a pair of character shoes and character skirt, and a black cocktail dress

Are there any other course costs?

There is a reading list and a kit list of important items that students need to purchase before the first day of term. This can be discussed during the interview at the audition stage and will be issued on acceptance of a place. Advanced and third-year students must also pay to join the Spotlight Casting Directory and become a member of Equity before their second term.

We run a Professional Expenses Account on behalf of our student and the costs of this are communicated during the audition process.

Is there any funding available?

SAAS funding may be available to Scottish and European students and you should contact your Local Education Authority for advice on other sources of funding for full-time training for which you may be eligible.

Several charitable trusts exist that help finance performing arts students and a directory listing these grant-making trusts and charities should be available at your local library.

Full-Time Audition Dates

Audition sessions for entry in September 2019 are:

  • 25th November
  • 27th January
  • 17th February (Dublin)
  • 17th March
  • 24th March (Manchester)
  • 28th April
  • 2nd June
  • 16th June
  • 18th August

All at MGA in Edinburgh except where stated otherwise.

If you are interested in applying for full-time courses at MGA fill in our application form and we will contact you with information on the application process and audition requirements. (You can also book on to the Open Day with this form.)

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Published 18/9/18   3:00PM

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After only graduating from The MGA Academy of Performing Arts a year ago, Megan Gardiner (Musical Theatre, 2017) has just landed a dream role in the UK tour of Les Miserables as Cover Cosette for Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. This UK tour begins in Leicester in November and moves round the… » Read more

Published 13/9/18   3:14PM

A new home for MGA…

Introducing the Rose Theatre, a new home for our Acting students and live performances. Originally The Rose Street Chapel, the Rose Theatre is now newly refurbished and renovated by our wonderful MGA Patron Peter Schaufuss. With offices, rehearsal spaces and three beautiful performance venues it is with a great deal… » Read more

Published 13/8/18   10:00AM

Announcing MGA's very first Patron!

Exciting news: A first Patron for The MGA Academy of Performing Arts! We are absolutely thrilled to have received the backing of the Olivier Award-winning ballet dancer, choreographer and director Peter Schaufuss. Peter is the founder of The English National Ballet School and, in a stellar career, has performed and… » Read more