European Theatre Arts (Training the Contemporary Performer) BA (Hons)

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About this course


3 Years

Term Start

September 2021

Entry Requirements

We are still accepting applications for Autumn 2021 entry, please go to to apply.

96 UCAS points*

This is equivalent to three C’s at ‘A’ level or three Merits at BTEC (QCF) National Diploma or equivalent.

​*We offer places based upon your future potential. We may offer you a place based on lower UCAS points than shown here, or an offer that is not linked to UCAS points if we have evidence of your potential from your application or interview/audition.

This course is validated as BA (Hons) European Theatre Arts. 

At the heart of the European Theatre Arts programme is the notion of the crossing of boundaries. You will be training in European theatre practice and investigating not only the role of the performer, but also the part played by the director, playwright and designer. You will study these practices in a variety of historical and socio-cultural European contexts, and you will spend part of the programme abroad studying at another European institution of theatre training.

Crossing the boundaries between theatrical vocations, cultures, countries and languages, the European Theatre Arts programme offers you a comprehensive understanding of all processes of theatre making and how they are shaped by the specific cultural context in which they occur.

The programme is founded on the belief that the study and experience of theatre in other cultures offers new and enlightening insights into one’s own theatrical practices and traditions.

You will not only be engaging with the work of practitioners who shaped 20th-Century theatre, but you will also be given the opportunity to experiment with new forms of theatre and develop research as practice. Not surprisingly, the emphasis is on innovative practices.

Why choose this course?

  • You will train rigorously as a contemporary performer to acquire a wide range of skills and techniques, empowering you to create and shape innovative performance. Build on your own interests to craft a personal artistic voice.
  • Perform in small-scale and large-scale ensembles, exploring devised and text-based theatre. Collaborate with other performers, designers and technical specialists to present original work.
  • Explore a wide range of European practices and techniques, closely tutored by an international team of theatre experts. Enjoy working in close collaboration with visiting industry professionals, investigating contemporary performance practices.
  • Spend a semester studying at one of our European partner institutions, developing your skills and enhancing your employment opportunities. Current partners include DAMU (Prague), EESTI MUUSIKA (Tallinn), ESAD (Murcia), EIOLA (Barcelona), Janácek Academy of Music and Performing Arts (Brno), PWST National Academy of Theatre Arts (Wroclaw) and RESAD (Madrid).
  • Graduate ready to work in a variety of contexts, in the UK and abroad, as a freelance performer and theatremaker; able to build a successful portfolio career in the performing arts industry.
  • We recognise the importance of face to face teaching for practice-based programmes, and as the pandemic progresses, we will continue to deliver face to face teaching whenever possible. All of our programmes safely delivered face to face teaching in Autumn term 2020 with rigorous COVID 19 safety procedures in place.

Employability & Industry

ETA graduates have gone on to perform with established, cutting-edge theatre companies (Forced Entertainment, Frantic Assembly, Teatr Zar, Ockham’s Razor), to form their own companies and work with established venues such as the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), Barbican Theatre, National Theatre and Icelandic National Theatre among others.

ETA graduates continue to produce work at a range of festivals, including Edinburgh, Prague and Brighton Fringes. Other destinations include directing, writing, teaching, establishing theatre venues, producing and more.

A number of ETA graduates pursue postgraduate study/research. Other destinations include directing, writing, teaching, establishing theatre venues, producing and more.

Read ETA Graduate Jade Withrington's blog about her experiences on the Programme.

Alumni Success 

James Eeles (Peaky Blinders, Darkest Hour, Farming)

Ro Hutson (Strong Female Character, Outstanding Comedy Show Melbourne Fringe, 2015)

Jorge Lopes Ramos (Artistic Director of ZU-UK, Hotel Medea)

Graduate Companies
Filskit Theatre
Nonsuch Theatre
Sleepwalk Collective
Smoking Apples

Graduate Spotlights
Visit our ETA Graduate Spotlight Page for Graduate Profiles.


Graduate Occupations

Studying an Arts related subject provides our students with a wide range of skills. Recent graduates have progressed into the following occupations:

  • Actors, entertainers and presenters
  • Arts officers producers and directors
  • Teaching and other educational professionals
  • Musicians
  • Leisure and theme park attendants
  • Special needs education teaching professionals
  • Archivists and curators
  • IT use support technicians
  • Artists
  • Authors, Writers and translators
  • Photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators
  • Interior decoration designers
  • Set designers
  • Marketing associate professionals
  • Human resources and industrial relations officers
  • Vocational and industrial trainers and instructors
  • Financial administrative occupations
  • Stock control clerks and assistants
  • Playworkers
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Educational support assistants
  • Care workers and home carers
  • Leisure and travel services

Source: DLHE Data 2013/2014 to 2016/2017

"Rose Bruford College is where it all started for us. As students on the European Theatre Arts BA Degree course, the three of us were sent off to Prague for six months to attend DAMU, the theatre academy there. It was here that we were able to foster our passion for puppetry and explore using it as a form in theatre. Upon our return, we decided to look at what would happen if we combined our physical theatre training from our UK course, with the puppetry training from Prague and as result, Smoking Apples was born. Our fondest memories of being at Rose Bruford College are of working with the incredible practitioners ETA bring in. The spread of skills we were exposed to was huge and this allowed for us to experiment and create our own unique style. As Smoking Apples, we have since gone on to create an alternative type of puppet theatre which incorporates disciplines of storytelling, physical and visual theatre. We make our own shows and are frequently commissioned to collaborate on larger productions. Smoking Apples have also moved into the realm of t.v and film with our puppetry, working on adverts for Weetabix, and making a shadow music video for Kate Bush. Last but by no means least, we also have continued to nurture our relationship with Kinetika, who we met at Bruford and most recently puppeteered the two giant lion heads for the Olympic and Paralympic, Team GB, Our Greatest Team Parade. We cannot recommend Rose Bruford and European Theatre Arts highly enough. The people here gave us the confidence to try anything and be anything and we hope that we will go on to inspire others in the way that our tutors, visiting practitioners and fellow students inspired us."

Molly Freeman,
Smoking Apples.

Fee and Application Information

Mode of Study: Full Time

How to Apply

2021 Entry

UK/Republic of Ireland Applicants

International Applicants

Please e-mail if you require assistance.

2021/2022 Fees

  • UK/Republic of Ireland Students - £9,250
  • International Students - £18,000

Please click here for information about Student Loans and Bursaries.

The Department for Education in England has now issued the fees and Student Support regulations that will determine who is entitled to be treated as a ‘home’ student for higher education courses in England that start from 1 August 2021 onwards. Please bear with us whilst we assess how this impacts the fees that apply to EU students for 2021 entry.

Audition Fees

For 2021 entry, all initial/first-round auditions will be via video submission. You will be sent full instructions regarding how to record and submit your video, and what to include, once we have received your application from UCAS. Under the circumstances, we will not be charging an audition fee for this first round stage. We are hoping to hold second round auditions on campus in the Spring if it is safe to do so. 

Please click here for information about our audition process.

We don’t charge an audition fee if you:

  • You audition as part of a progression agreement.
  • Your household income is under £25,000 per year.
  • You are in receipt of benefits including disability benefits: Universal Credit, PIP, DLA.
  • You are Care Experienced (Care Leaver/in the care of your Local Authority).
  • You have Caring Responsibilities (Young Carer/ Carer).
  • You are irreconcilably Estranged with no contact with parents/family due to a relationship breakdown living independently without financial/emotional support from parents/family.
  • You can offer other evidence of financial hardship.
  • ​You are being auditioned overseas.

 If you think you are eligible for the above fee waivers, our admissions team will be able to provide you with more details when you apply. 

Course content

Year 1 (Level 4):

  • Workshops and performance on different dramatic texts
  • An introduction to devised theatre
  • Performance techniques in relation to critical theory
  • Productions illuminating key periods of European theatre history
  • Directing fundamentals (optional).

Please click here to view our Level 4 module specifications

Year 2 (Level 5):

  • Workshops and seminars on selected European practitioners
  • Productions and seminars on texts from different European nations or regions
  • Study in another European country
  • Directing and designing European texts.

Please click here to view our Level 5 module specifications

Year 3 (Level 6):

  • An introduction to research in practice
  • Final collaborative productions
  • Final practical projects and dissertations
  • Professional preparation and research on different European theatre companies.

Please click here to view our Level 6 module specifications


Please click on the links below to download:

​We champion diversity because a rich mix of people makes Rose Bruford College a more productive and creative place to study and work; and we champion equality because it is the right thing to do.

 Keep up to date with the latest news and events from this course across our social media channels through #rbcETA

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Graduate Spotlights

Spotlight on: Eva Solveig

Spotlight on Olivia Birchenough

Spotlight on Miles Mitchell


View all our ETA Spotlight Features.