SOTE Foundation course March 2024

What you'll study

This course is accredited by Rose Bruford College and delivered at the School of Theatre Excellence.

The School of Theatre Excellence was established in Birmingham in 2010 and has become a centre of excellence bringing high quality musical theatre training to young students in the Midlands. The full-time Foundation course, now in its seventh year, has had an incredible success rate of students being offered places on three year courses.

The course is designed to further equip people who show potential in the performing arts, but require more training to be accepted on a three-year musical theatre course at a top college. It may be that you have completed A-Levels or a BTEC Course and feel that you need additional training in acting or singing or have only recently discovered a passion for dance.

*This course is currently subject to validation

SOTE Foundation course March 2024

Why choose this course?

State of the art studios

We are based in our own fantastic studios in Digbeth, ensuring that all classes take place in fully equipped dance studios that include ballet barres, up to date music systems and fitness mats. Acting rooms and one to one singing rooms are also a part of the facilities.

Making training accessible

Our course allows students to work part-time during their training to help fund their studies and living expenses.

Be ahead of the rest

The Foundation course begins in August, by the time you come to audition for an Undergraduate degree, you will have had 20 or more weeks of intense technical training in performing arts.

Immersive acting, dance and singing experience

The course includes comprehensive training in acting, improvisation, choral singing, ballet, jazz, tap dancing classes and more.

SOTE Foundation course March 2024

Course breakdown

The 30-week Foundation course will give you the technical training to ensure you successfully audition for a full-time drama school.

Taught across three terms, each week includes 27 hours of contact time. The timetable is structured with equal amounts of dance, singing and acting. Group classes in each subject are taught by our experienced faculty, with lots of one-to-one attention, ensuring each student improves in each subject as they work through the course.


In your acting classes you will study many different acting techniques. You will take part in workshop classes, tutorials, and improvisation groups to enable you to develop a personal approach to acting through exploration of a variety of techniques.

Term 1: The self, using freedom & response and acknowledging blocks and habits.

  • Introduction to vocal technique
    Exploration of dynamic vocal choices (poetry).
  • Introduction to Meisner technique.

Term 2: Tackling text. We introduce a basic toolkit for approaching text, to include fundamental work on units and objectives.

  • Introduction to Stanislavsky technique.
  • We also Introduce Actioning Technique through Shakespeare and apply to contemporary text work.

Term 3: Creating character, expressive movement, heightened/classical text.

  • Drawing the focus towards character creation. You will rehearse an extended scene study project to be performed at the end of term, carrying out a full rehearsal process with the group, with the tutor taking on a directorial role.


In Singing, students will develop their technical ability, musicality and confidence in singing. Enabling students to sing with technical control, safety, confidence, concentration, discipline and energy.  Through Ensemble classes, One to one singing lessons, Audition class and Weekly performance classes you will learn:

  • Presentational skills for auditions.
  • Using the voice safely in performance.
  • Application of appropriate vocal technique.
  • The ability to work in an effective and disciplined way as a soloist and as a member of a chorus.
  • The development of a ‘legit’ singing style.
  • To perform a range of songs to suit a variety of audition requirements.
  • The understanding of the techniques and terminology of professional musical theatre.
  • Develop a broader understanding of a variety of musical theatre styles.
  • In acting through song classes you will integrate the acting skills with the vocal techniques to develop your storytelling in song.


Students will begin to develop their skills and knowledge of the core dance disciplines of Musical Theatre.  You will take part in daily technique classes in jazz, ballet, tap, commercial and contemporary. The foundation course aims:

  • To give students a solid foundation in dance technique.
  • To develop each student’s competence and confidence in jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary and physical conditioning.
  • To develop an understanding of the history of dance in musical theatre through the study of practitioners including Matt Mattox, Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennett & Fosse.
  • The inclusion of Pilates in our course will help develop an understanding of the human body to avoid injuries and improve physical fitness.
  • Song and dance classes will develop the relationship between Acting, Singing and Dance.
  • To provide students with a foundation in dance training in a Musical Theatre context.

Alumni success

SOTE Foundation course March 2024

Jack Gardner

Went on to study at Mountview Academy before appearing in Harry Potter & The Cursed Child, Royal Shakepeare Company, Nandos Adverts

Tom Crabtree

Went on to study at Rose Bruford College currently appearing in Oh What A Lovely War

Zoe Atkins

Went on to study at Laine Theatre Arts before appearing in Peter Pan, Grease the Musical

Sydney Isit Ager

Went on to study at Laine Theatre Arts before appearing in Nativity The Musical, Christmas on Mistletoe Farm, I Should Be So Lucky

Ben Tanner

Went on to study at Bird College before appearing in Peter Pan, Laurel & Chaplin The Feud, Dick Whittington, Mother Goose

Career options

Studying an Arts related subject gives you a wide range of skills that can be put to use in many careers. The School of Theatre Excellence alumni have gone on to work in:

  • Musical Theatre
  • Cruise Ships
  • Children's Theatre
  • Set Design

How to join

Apply directly to The School of Theatre Excellence by clicking the “Apply Now” button.

Entry requirements

Two A-Levels at C grade/equivalent, Level 3 qualifications, or relevant experience.

Audition fees

The cost of the audition day is £15. Once you have completed the online application form, please pay via the link provided.

Institution code: Not applicable

Course code: Not applicable

Apply Now

Course Summary


30 weeks

Mode of study

Face to face

Start date

August 2024

Course Type

Foundation Course

UK/Republic of Ireland students & International students


Additional Costs