BA (Hons) Acting For Stage & Screen

Undergraduate, Full-time

Acting For Stage & Screen BA (Hons)

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This practical, performance-based course is offered jointly by Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University. The course is designed for direct entry to Year 3 and provides a contemporary approach to vocational actor training that is distinctive from the more stage-based tradition of the acting conservatoire.

You'll perform in a variety of venues, styles and media, culminating in potentially a full run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This course provides vocational and industry-relevant training, centred on acting for stage and for screen, and on the craft and practice of performance.

Our recent graduates can be found working in a variety of roles and places within the industry.

Applications for 2019 entry should be made through UCAS to Queen Margaret University using the course code W410.

Two male student actors performing in the play Vernon God Little

Mode of Study:



2 years

Start date:


UCAS code:


About you
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Course details

This course is designed to provide a credible vocational training for applicants who have completed two years of Higher Education.  Our brief in designing the course was to create an exciting pathway for the many people who have completed HND, Foundation Degrees, Associate Degrees or two years at the Higher Education level in any subject area, and want a training course that is of equal value to more traditional conservatoire courses. Our close ties with Scotland's only Screen Academy (housed at Edinburgh Napier), Queen Margaret's history and expertise in actor training, close links with the industry and, our proximity to, and involvement in, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival give this course a context that cannot be matched elsewhere in the UK.

The Degree works in two phases: students begin with a year of intensive teaching, then move gradually toward more independent work in their final year: forming companies, working with playwrights, screenwriters and film makers, learning to produce and have the opportunity to be mentored through a full run at the Edinburgh Festival. Along with this career-launching run, students leave with a show reel and significant experience in acting for screen.

While training, our students have worked with National Theatre of Scotland, Gridiron Theatre company, Lyceum Theatre company, Royal Shakespeare Company, and Bard in the Botanics.

The degree is designed to help students make the transition from student learning to independent freelance artist as smoothly as possible.

Given our Edinburgh location, you'll be working in some exciting venues, with professional directors and teachers, and the course culminates in potentially a full run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

This is a full-time course studied over two years. In both years there will be particular focus on style and the ability to adapt performance to specific medium. Through intensive study of the similarities and differences between the demands of stage and screen acting, you'll gain a critical understanding of your own acting process and confidence in your ability to work easily in both areas.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    Your learning experience will consist primarily of practical, workshop-based classes, tutorials, and seminars with visiting professionals.

  • note and pen Assessments

    The majority of your assessments will be practical and performance-based, all of which will be underpinned by research and analytical course work.

Popular modules

Year 3

  • Intensive training in voice, movement and acting
  • Approaches to sustained performance and theories of performance
  • Stage and screen performance technique
  • Advanced techniques for performing classical texts
  • Entrepreneurial business skills appropriate for a freelance career in the entertainment industry

Year 4

  • Professional productions on stage and screen
  • Critical approaches to acting and performance
  • The integration and practice of skills in public performances
  • The application of acting techniques appropriate to a particular style of performance
  • The development of a personal portfolio showcasing the individual’s work
  • Workshops with industry professionals
  • Festival performance


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements


B in Graded Unit in relevant subject.

Audition and application

Your audition plays a big part in the selection process, but we are looking for a demonstrated interest within acting, whether it be in subjects at school or clubs, societies etc. We're looking for passion, self-motivation, strong imagination and a willingness to be open to new ideas. If you show potential in the audition, and can meet the academic criteria, then we will be able to offer a place on our course.

The audition will be in three parts:

  • a classical speech (Shakespeare) - we will send you a selection to pick from
  • a two-minute devised piece, which might reflect something about yourself
  • a song to be sung a cappella (pick your best 16 bars of music).

For each part of the audition, we're looking for an imaginative connection to the world of the piece you've chosen. Our advice is to come prepared: understand and learn all your material, inside and out. Otherwise, nerves will prevent you from performing to the best of your ability.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test. The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS (Academic) with 6.5 overall and no element below 6.0.  For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2019/20 2020/21
Scotland/EU £1,820 tba
England Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK) £9,250 tba
Overseas £13,500 tba

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
A fee is charged for all students for each year of this 2-year programme


Two student actors play a scene

This course will give you the skills necessary to work in the performing arts, as well as a wide range of transferable skills you can take into employment in other fields.

Previous graduates have moved onto:

  • Stage and screen acting
  • Producing
  • Managing and launching small theatre companies
  • Theatre company management
  • Arts administration
  • Various roles in the entertainment industry which require initiative and creativity

Over 50% of our graduates have secured agency representation and student destinations have included Dundee Rep, Carriage Works Theatre Leeds, Pipe Up Productions, Bespoke Theatre, Edinburgh Literary Pub Tours, Waterloo Road (Shed Productions), Outlander (Starz Network), and many others.

The qualification also provides a platform for further research and study and an academic or teaching career.

Student actor wrapped in US flag