Acting (CDT), BA


3 years full-time, October start


Institution C35, Course W410, option CDT


Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Acting

About the course

Central’s BA Acting (Collaborative and Devised Theatre) is in creative partnership with international touring theatre company Complicite.

  • An innovative and rigorous actor training, emphasising the creation of new theatre
  • Embraces a multicultural and multidisciplinary methodology with diverse student groups
  • Celebrates the creative potential of collaborative processes alongside development of the individual actor
  • 3 years full-time, and students are entitled to full Equity status upon graduation.

You will graduate with the skills to work in classical and contemporary theatre, film, radio and screen, as well as being an accomplished maker of your own work. The core actor training includes the psychophysical techniques of Jacques Lecoq, Michael Chekhov, Konstantin Stanislavski, Kristin Linklater and Moshe Feldenkrais and emphasises an embodied and experiential approach.

As well as developing rehearsal techniques for script-based work, the course will encourage you to explore the most up-to-date forms of theatre and filmmaking and to have a full creative and political engagement with your work.

Audition Fees and Free Auditions

BA (Hons) Acting courses - Acting, Acting (CDT) and Acting (Musical Theatre)
An audition at Central costs £55, however many UK-based applicants may be eligible for a free audition. In addition to students engaged through Central’s Outreach work as part of its Access Agreement, the school also provides free auditions to applicants based in England who may face barriers in accessing conservatoire training. Last year, we awarded over 1,200 free audition vouchers which enabled more applicants to attend auditions and access specialist drama training.
Find out if you qualify for a free audition.
Learn more about what is included in the BA (Hons) Acting audition process

Course Detail

YEAR 1: Acting and devising practice

  • Through progressive work on acting, script analysis, voice, movement, devising, ensemble, singing, dance and improvisation, you will begin to undo physical and vocal habits
  • Develop openness and sensitivity to space, image and impulse and cultivate psychophysical connectivity
  • Apply these approaches to work on poetry, verbatim, observation and storytelling, as well as studio work on three plays.

YEAR 2: Transforming through acting and devising

  • Through continued and extended work you will move towards greater expressivity and transformation across a broad range of characters and genres
  • Full-length devised performance, American scenes, radio drama, comedy of manners and classical tragedy
  • Uniquely, the process includes the full integration of design (sound, lighting, video, set) in the autumn term
  • Class-based training concludes with a three-week clown intensive and a series of professional preparation workshops.

YEAR 3: Testing creativity and actor processes

  • Through producing public performances for paying audiences, agents, casting directors and industry professionals, you will develop your artistry and independence
  • Work on at least two plays and one devised theatre piece
  • Undertake radio and screen training (including recording voice clips and showreels, and writing, shooting and editing a short film)
  • One of the third year performances is usually performed off-site at a professional London theatre venue, as is the annual showcase.

Download BA Acting (CDT) Programme Specification 2019-2020.pdf (1.45 MB)

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

2 A Levels at C, 3 GCSEs at C, and selection by audition.

Normal offers may be higher and depend upon expected grades and audition performance. Exceptional applicants who do not meet this requirement, but demonstrate appropriate potential, may be accepted.


This is an intensive professional training course and must be followed in its entirety.

Applications for deferred places are not accepted for this course.

Candidates must be eligible to satisfy the general admissions requirements. Admission will be based on the reasonable expectation that you have the potential to complete and contribute positively to the programme and that you would benefit from honours study. There is no alternative to selection by audition.

Selection for audition will normally depend on you meeting, or being predicted to meet, minimum entry requirements, and on written references and demonstration of the following in the UCAS written statement:

  • engagement with theatre and acting at national/local level
  • evidence of a real commitment to acting and a long-standing interest in acting and theatre
  • knowledge of a range of theatrical forms and genres
  • experience gained in post-education contexts, such as the workplace, travel and voluntary settings.

In the absence of formal qualifications, an indication of academic potential will be sought in your UCAS statement.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.


Find out more about the audition process for our Acting, BA courses.

View the audition speech list, or request a copy by calling +44 (0)20 7722 8183.

International Auditions

Each year Central hosts a number of auditions outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central travelling to meet applicants. The international auditions are designed to replicate the London-based audition experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming audition locations and dates.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.

Industry Links & Visiting Staff

Permanent members of the Acting CDT staff regularly work on professional theatre projects and, from the outset, you will work closely with professional theatre companies and emergent or professionally active directors.

In recent years students have had workshops and created performances with Complicite, Engineer Theatre Collective, Filter Theatre, Catherine Tate, Lucy Porter, Ridiculusmus, John Hegley, Inspector Sands, Declan Donnellan, Robin Soans, Tanika Gupta MBE, Transport Theatre, Blind Summit, the TEAM (New York), out of Inc and Quiconque. Film and theatre professionals are often invited to hold research and development workshops with students, who may go on to work on those productions.

Recent Visiting Staff


Pooja Ghai (Stratford East), Nancy Meckler (Shared Experience, Royal Shakespeare Company), Mel Churcher (Control, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory), Wilson Milam (Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse, Tony Award Nominee), Marcello Magni (Globe, Complicite, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord), Yael Shavit (Young Vic: Jerwood Directors Award), John Walton (Fol Espoir), John Wright (Told by an Idiot), Dominic Rouse (Concerned Architect, Headlong), Simon McBurney (Complicite), Joyce Henderson (Complicite, National Theatre), Jemima James (Complicite, Theatre O).

Visiting Professionals

Tanika Gupta MBE (Royal Court, Royal Shakespeare Company, BBC), Ally Cologna, George Evans and Jesse Fox (Engineer Theatre Collective), Max Mackintosh, Imogen Knight (Old Vic, Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells), Maeve Diamond, Stephen Kemble (RSC, Birmingham Rep), Miranda Henderson (Prodigal Theatre), Vicki Manderson (National Theatre of Scotland), Lucy Cullingford (Royal Shakespeare Company), David Ashley, Ng Choon Ping (Royal Exchange, Hodgkiss Award Winner), Julie Spencer (Shakespeare’s Globe), Robert Bowman (Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Living Pictures).

Recent Graduate Successes


Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Sonia Friedman Productions; Lionboy, The Encounter, Complicite; Barbarians, Young Vic; The Plough And The Stars, Three Days In The Country, Moon On A Rainbow Shawl, Emil And The Detectives, People, Places And Things, The Amen Corner, National Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bristol Old Vic; A Raisin in the Sun, Sheffield Crucible; Beautiful Burnout, Frantic Assembly; The Roaring Girl, The White Devil, Royal Shakespeare Company; The Alchemist, Liverpool Playhouse; Let The Right One In, National Theatre of Scotland; The Vote, The Silence Of The Sea, Making Noise Quietly, Donmar Warehouse; The Mystae, A Human Being Died That Night, Hampstead Theatre; Richard III, Money The Game Show, Waiting For Godot, Refugee Boy, West Yorkshire Playhouse; The Crossing Plays, Hidden, Truth And Reconciliation, Royal Court Theatre; Powder Monkey, Manchester Royal Exchange; War Horse, West End and Broadway; Romeo And Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe; The Duchess Of Malfi, The Old Vic; Fear Of Music, Out of Joint.


Stella, Sky 1; Paranoid, Downton Abbey, Foyle’s War, A Touch Of Frost, ITV; Banana, Youngers, E4; A Song for Jenny, Cuckoo, In the Dark, One Child, EastEnders, The Ark, Peaky Blinders, Wallander, The Village, Inspector George Gently, Casualty, Holby City, Doctor Who, Robin Hood, Our Girl, Doctors, Call The Midwife, New Tricks, BBC; Cucumber, Hollyoaks, Fresh Meat, Drifters, Blackout, New Worlds, Channel 4; Law And Order, Hallmark; Game Of Thrones, HBO.


Lady Macbeth, BBC Films/BFI; Yardie,The Girl With All The Gifts, Altitude Films; Knights Of The Round Table: King Arthur, Velocity; Dunkirk, Gravity, Sherlock Holmes, Warner Bros.; Good People, Millennium Films; World War Z, Paramount Pictures; The Rochdale Pioneers; The Look Of Love, Film 4 / Baby Cow Productions / Revolution Films; This Is Not Happening, Picnic Films; Cinderella, John Carter, Disney / Pixar.

Notable Alumni

Naomi Ackie (2012) played Anna in William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth, for which she nominated for two British Institute Film Awards, namely Best Newcomer and Best Supporting Actress. She was also named one of Screen International Stars of Tomorrow in 2017.

Fisayo Akinade (2011) has already established a prolific career; theatre productions he’s recently starred in include Barber Shop Chronicles at the National Theatre, and Saint Joan at the Donmar Warehouse, for which he won an Ian Charleson Award in 2017. He was also named in 2017 as one of the Evening Standard’s Rising Stars. His television and film credits include roles in Russell T. Davies’ Channel 4 series Banana and Cucumber, The Girl with All The Gifts, and Ordinary Lies. He will next appear in BBC’s new drama A Very British Scandal.

Jasper William Cartwright (2016) plays Billy Narracott, and Lucas Button (2016) plays Joey, in a new major UK Tour of Warhorse.

Dino Fetscher (2013) starred in ITV’s eight-part drama Paranoid, released in early 2017. Previous credits also include television roles in Russel T. Davies’ hit Channel 4 series Cucumber and Banana. He has also previously performed in a number of West End productions, including As If at Trafalgar Studios and Ghost Stories at the Lyric Hammersmith.

Michael Fox (2013) recently played Ken Wilding in ITV’s Endeavour. Previous film and television roles include a performance in Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk, and the recurring role of Andy Parker in ITV’s critically acclaimed Downton Abbey. He has also performed in a number of theatre productions, including An Enemy Of The People at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2016.

Alice Hewkin (2014) played Ling in BBC comedy Cuckoo, and the recurring role of Lily in ITV’s Stella. In addition to this she has also performed in a number of theatre productions, including The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse, alongside fellow Central alumni Catherine Tate and Judi Dench, which was broadcast live on television in 2015, and Kiki’s Delivery Service at Southwark Playhouse.

Emilio Iannucci (2015) played The Young Doctor in Armando Iannucci’s recently released film The Death of Stalin.

Cherrelle Skeete (2011) played Rose Granger-Weasley in the opening cast of the West End’s production of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, she also recently performed in Chekov’s The Seagull at Lyric Hammersmith. 

Staff on the Course

View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.

Catherine Alexander, BA, SFHEA

Reader in Theatre Making, Course Leader Acting – Collaborative and Devised Theatre (BA)

Prof. Geoffrey Colman, BA, MA, FRSA

Head of Acting, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Acting

Lucinka Eisler

Lecturer in Movement

Daron Oram BA, MA, SFHEA, NTF

Senior Lecturer, Voice

Sinéad Rushe, BA, PgDip, DEA

Senior Lecturer, Acting and Movement

About Central's Acting, BA courses

by Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting

Historically, Central actors have always adopted a pragmatic approach to their training, drawing upon multiple performance theories rather than subscribing to a particular doctrine or method. The three specialisms reflect this eclecticism and celebrate the many and varied techniques available to the actor trainer.

Students are required to attend auditions held in London and internationally. At audition participants may opt to be considered for one, two or all three courses. If successful, an offer may be made for one or more of the courses, but it will not be possible to transfer between courses once accepted.

During their study students will be taught a wide range of acting processes by resident and visiting professional staff. Each of the three specialist courses of the BA (Hons) Acting will help them learn how to become self-determining creative actors eminently capable of working in theatre, television, film and radio and will constantly challenge their understanding of acting. Intensive conservatoire training also requires utter dedication and will demand courage, intelligence, wit and generosity.

The three courses exist within a thriving university/conservatoire environment – home to a dynamic range of related performance disciplines at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The training will be contextualised alongside relevant professional advice and is structured in such a way as to gradually equip students with a thorough understanding of the industry. Professional preparation, including meetings with agents, casting directors, producers and directors, as well as mock auditions/castings and a West End showcase, has meant that, in recent years, most students of the BA (Hons) Acting – across all three courses – have secured agent representation by the time they have completed the course.

Performances by BA (Hons) Acting alumni have long been recognised by major awards such as the BAFTAs, Oscars, Golden Globes, Olivier Awards, Tony Awards, London Evening Standard Theatre Awards and The Sunday Times/National Theatre Ian Charleson Awards.

Most recently alumni have been awarded a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, MTV Movie Award for Best Hero, British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor, Empire Award for Best Actor, Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Performance, San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Performance, Ariel Award for Best Actor and Emerging Talent Award at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Prof. Geoffrey Colman, BA, MA, FRSA

Head of Acting, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Acting

Class of 2020

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