Foundation Course in Acting and Performance (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 or 5 days a week)

Scheduled teaching per week 20 hours average per week

Location Edinburgh

The MGA one-year foundation course in Acting offers a pre-vocational year designed to prepare you for the demands of professional, full-time training and provides you with the skills required to audition successfully for the country’s leading Drama institutions.

It is directed at those students who have left school (or are about to leave) and are intending to pursue vocational training but who either don’t quite yet have the skills required to audition successfully or who do not have the required academic qualifications to start a Bachelor of Arts qualification.

The course is designed to thoroughly prepare you for the process of auditioning and the rigours of taking up a three-year place at a Drama school, expanding your skill set and enabling you to realise your full potential in your future training.

MGA Foundation Students have gone on to study at, amongst others, the 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 – and, of course, The MGA Academy of Performing Arts.

The Foundation schedule runs for one whole academic year over three full-time terms of training and an HNC qualification is awarded to those who successfully complete all the required modules.

The course is technique orientated, giving you a solid foundation in the key discipline of Acting that can then be built upon in future studies.

Specialist classes and training workshops include:

  • Acting and performance
  • Monologue and preparation
  • Voice and vocal technique
  • Text analysis and Scene Study
  • Actors Movement
  • Singing and Dance for the Actor
  • Audition technique
  • Theatre History
  • Professional and personal development

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.

Though MGA has an excellent track record, given the nature and level of competition for Drama School places, we cannot guarantee that foundation students will be accepted at their chosen full-time provider and successful completion of the MGA foundation course does not automatically mean that students will progress onto MGA’s own three-year programmes.

You must be a UK or EU citizen to apply for MGA’s professional full-time training courses and be able to provide proof.

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 2020 are:

  • 24th November
  • 19th January
  • 1st March (Dublin)
  • 29th March
  • 26th April
  • 31st May
  • 28th June
  • 9th August

Auditions are held at MGA in Edinburgh except where otherwise stated. (Please check when you apply that you select the appropriate date for the course you’re choosing.)

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.

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