BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Our ambitious degree provides contemporary vocational actor training, in a variety of styles, media and venues.

  • Napier code:


  • UCAS code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    2 years

  • Award:

    BA (Hons)

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

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.

BA(Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen provides contemporary vocational actor training. 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, centered on acting for stage and for screen, and on the craft and practice of performance.

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

Applications for 2017 entry should be made through UCAS to Queen Margaret University using the course code W410.

Acting students

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.

What you study

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

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.

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.

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.

Minimum year 3


B in Graded Unit in relevant subject.

Other entry requirements

Audition & 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 3 parts:

  • A Classical speech (Shakespeare) of which we will send you a selection to pick from
  • A two minute devised piece that might reflect something about yourself
  • A song which would 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.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your 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 being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £7,000 £7,000
Overseas £11,950 £13,000

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

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