What you'll study
This course offers distinctive and practical training for actors who have musical skills.
You will be guided by experienced staff, including industry professionals, who will help you to develop your actor-musician skills through practical classes in movement, voice, music and approaches to text and character. You will also develop your existing musical skills for use in a variety of performance contexts. Importantly, you will explore how these skills interconnect.
Your imagination to create, lead and make music will be developed whilst acting classes will explore the musicality of performance. You will need to be able to play at least one instrument to a good standard in order to get the best from this course, and we do not typically consider ‘voice’ to be an instrument.
Why choose this course?
Experienced staff, including industry professionals, will help you to develop the skills of the actor-musician through practical classes in movement, voice, singing, music and approaches to text and character
Innovative and specialised
The first course of its kind, for more than 20 years, we have innovated the way actor-musicians are trained and have a team of specialists in developing actor-musicians on hand
Studio and training facilities
Purpose-built rehearsal, movement and performance spaces including the fully-equipped Rose Theatre and Barn Theatre, a flexible drama studio and a digital studio with motion capture facilities
Take part in several productions in your final year, including a main house and the London Showcase to which agents and casting directors are invited. There are also chances to develop your own new work and see it performed
Learn from working professionals
Recently includes: Tarek Merchant (freelance), Ian Ross (MD, Wise Children), Max Reinhardt (World musicologist, BBC Radio 3 presenter), Jeremy Mortimer (BBC radio producer), Adjoa Andoh (RSC, the National and TV: His Dark Materials, Bridgerton), Dele Sosimi (Afrobeat specialist), Abigail Pickard Price (Watermill Theatre) and Shema Mukherjee (Sitar, Raag and Tabla specialist)
Learn to integrate your musical skills in performance to create, lead and make music alongside your work as an actor. Also learn how to apply actor musician skills in different, exciting contexts like Sensory or Specialist Learning environments
Course content is regularly reviewed, to make it relevant and current. Course modules are therefore subject to change.
You will be introduced to the academic and intellectual skills that you will need for study and professional development. In addition, you will begin to learn the practical and technical skills of the actor and contextualise these in developing your understanding of theatre making.
- Demonstrate a range of physical, vocal, music and performance skills
- Integrate these acting and musical skills and techniques into performance
- Engage with, articulate and reflect upon collective processes in the rehearsal room
- Identify key principles and concepts informing the discipline of the actor musician
- Locate dramatic text and performance practice within certain historical social contexts
- To demonstrate an awareness of professional discipline towards the work
- Demonstrate an independent imaginative response to your interpretation of text and performance
Your skills will be further developed towards a level appropriate to pre-professional work and you will experience performance in collaboration with other disciplines.
- To demonstrate the consistent use of physical, vocal and musical performance skills in a range of contexts
- Integrate music into your performance work
- Employ a range of analytical, reflective and communication skills, informed by an understanding of the processes inherent in a production
- Critically evaluate and analyse the relationship between the actor, the text, music, the performance and the audience in a range of social contexts, historical periods and cultures
- Take responsibility for the development and assessment of your own professional skills.
- Independent Research Project: research and develop your own area of interest
- Recorded Media: developing skills in TV, film, radio and voice-over
- Professional Preparation: mock auditions, industry lectures, Spotlight registration and CV / Portfolio guidance
- London Showcase: performance event for an invited audience of agents, casting directors and industry professionals
- Main House Production: a fully mounted public production with students from the Acting Course
- London Season: a fully integrated actor-musician production performed in a London venue
- The New Writing Season: a series of commissioned pieces for actor-musicians
Teaching and assessment methods
- You’ll complete approximately 30 hours a week of learning: this includes classes, independent learning on projects, productions, or self-directed study. Assessment will be through formative feedback, and through summative tutorials in which you reflect on your working processes, and determine your grading through discussion with your tutor.
Get a flavour
Your future career
We aim to put you in front of and amongst the profession. This includes opportunities to network and work on fully realised public performances as well as introducing your work to the industry and agents at our London Showcase and London Season performances.
Over the years our students have signed with agents like Eamonn Bedford Agency, Global Artists, Olivia Bell and Narrow Road
Evening Standard Award Winner and Olivier Award nominee for The Light Princess, Threepenny Opera, National Theatre.
Nashville, Strange Magic, Rebel
Julius Caesar, Donmar Warehouse; Small Island, National Theatre
Prince of Egypt, Dominion, West End; Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, Old Vic
Feature Films: Dune (2021); Mission Impossible 7 (2022); Girl From The North Country, Gielgud, West End
Writer / composer of Bloody Elle (a gig musical), Comedy of Errors - Shakespeare's Globe and Tour, Oliver Twist - Hull Truck
Lila Clements, Tarek Merchant and Alex Tomkins
Midsummer Nights Dream, RSC
Our graduates can be found at leading regional theatres, in the West End, RSC and National Theatre. In television, film, radio, children’s theatre, and in small scale touring theatre companies in the UK and Europe. And studying an Arts related subject gives you a wide range of skills that can be put to use in many careers. Recent graduates have gone on to become:
- Actors, entertainers and presenters
- Arts officers producers and directors
- Teaching and other educational professionals
Meet the staff
Programme Director for BA (Hons) Actor Musicianship
Alison Mackinnon is Programme Director for the BA (Hons) Actor Musicianship at Rose Bruford College. She worked as an actress for 10 years in rep and touring theatre and was a member of the Women’s Theatre Group.
She also worked as a voice teacher and dialect coach in film, in many leading drama schools and theatres nationally and internationally. Alison’s more recent focus has been the integration of musicality with acting skills.Read their full profile
How to join
Institution code: R51
Course code: W4W3
64 UCAS points*
This is equivalent to two Cs at ‘A’ level or one Merit and two Passes 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 and audition.
For 2024 entry, there will be a £35 audition fee, unless you are eligible for an exemption, which you can learn more about by clicking the link below.
Our Auditions page gives an overview of the process and a video about preparing for audition.Auditions Audition Fee Exemption
Mode of study
Course Fees (2023 Entry)
Course fees for 2024 entry have not been published yet
UK/Republic of Ireland students (Fee per year)
International students (Fee per year)
Fee Exemption Criteria
- 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.