Acting Foundation Course (HNC)

Course accredited by the SQA and recognised by the CDMT

Qualification awarded by The MGA Academy of Performing Arts (HNC)

Duration 1 year (4 days a week)

Scheduled teaching per week 20 hours (average)

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

Our Acting Foundation year incorporates the Higher National Certificate (HNC) and is designed to offer students a solid foundation – both in terms of technical vocational skills as well as recognised qualifications – best-placing them to apply for and successfully get accepted onto full-time vocational training programmes at BA (Hons) level and above.

Why choose this course?

A year designed to prepare you for the demands of professional, full-time performing arts training, providing you with the skills required to audition successfully for the country’s leading drama schools, dance colleges and musical theatre courses.

Foundation courses are aimed at students who have left school (or are about to leave) and are intending to pursue vocational training but are either underqualified to gain acceptance, too young to apply or lacking the technical skills to fully realise their potential during the audition process.

These courses prepare you thoroughly in your chosen speciality for the process of auditioning and the rigours of taking up a place on a full-time training programme.

We aim to empower you, expand your skill set and enable you to fully realise your full potential in your future training.

Course content

  • Acting in theory
  • Voice and vocal technique
  • Accents and dialects
  • RP and phonetics
  • Weekly monologue/duologue classes
  • Actor’s movement
  • Scene study and text analysis
  • Dance for the actor
  • Singing for the actor
  • Personal development
  • Audition technique

Learning enrichment

MGA’s unique focus on audition technique and professional development will ensure that students are best placed to gain entry into any of the UK’s distinguished drama schools.


Foundation students who have passed our courses successfully have gone on to study at HND, BA and MA level at many prestigious institutions including:

  • American Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
  • Arts Educational Schools
  • Bird College
  • Guildford School of Acting
  • Laine Theatre Arts
  • Mountview Academy
  • Performers College
  • Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
  • The MGA Academy of Performing Arts
  • Tuition fees

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.)

Published 18/9/18   3:00PM

A dream role for Megan

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

Published 13/6/18   9:19PM

Gemma steps into new Hairspray role

Gemma Lawson (Musical Theatre, 2009) is currently touring in the UK production of Hairspray. After a short break in the tour, last night was Gemma’s opening performance in the main role of Amber Von Tussle! The MGA team were thrilled to be able to take a group of the next… » Read more