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Undergraduate Course

Musical Theatre BA (Hons)

Start your career in Musical Theatre: the art form where music, drama and dance become one.

On this course you will perform, and create, musical theatre; learning how to improve your skills within the three main areas of singing, acting and dancing. We will train you to be a creative professional, as you devise new work and collaborate with other skilled students from our music and theatre courses who share your passion for the stage.

  • Available in Clearing

94% Music and Theatre students responded with a 94% positivity score for how good teaching staff are at explaining things. (National Student Survey 2023)

91% Music and Theatre students responded with a 91% positivity score for how often the course is intellectually stimulating. (National Student Survey 2023)

York campus

  • UCAS code – W3MT
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2023, September 2024
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum entry requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition fees

    UK 2023 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2023 entry £13,000 per year full time

Discover Acting, Dance and Theatre

Dr Sarah O'Brien, Associate Head of Performance, introduces us to Acting, Dance and Theatre at York St John University.

Course overview

This is a great time to get involved in musical theatre. We have decades of experience in delivering theatre and music courses and will support you to become a skilled and creative performer.

On our Musical Theatre course you will study modules dedicated to:

  • Acting and acting through song
  • Company practice
  • Dance technique and choreography
  • Devising musical theatre
  • Individual and group vocal technique
  • Musical theatre academic writing
  • Producing both repertoire musicals (book musicals) and showcase musicals

We will teach you to think on your feet and solve problems, which are essential skills for creating performances. When you graduate you will have the confidence to audition for musical theatre roles and collaborate on musical theatre productions.

This course has a focus on practical performance, but you will also explore the theory of music, theatre and dance. Through group discussion you will reflect on performance practices in musical theatre, evaluating them and working to develop new, creative ways to devise performances. This will develop your critical thinking and communication abilities, preparing you for your career, and life beyond university.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you study each semester will depend on whether you are a full time or part time student. 

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study: 

  • 2 compulsory modules across semester 1 and 2
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 2

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will take part in practical exercises to develop your understanding of acting techniques and training. You will draw on the methods outlined by practitioners such as Stanislavski and Chekhov, as well as contemporary techniques used by companies including the Wooster Group and Forced Entertainment. You will consider the contested role of the actor and acting training in the 21st century. You will study this module alongside students on first year Drama courses.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module combines practical work and academic study to introduces themes which are integral to musical theatre vocal practice. These include:

  • The prioritising of learning through practice
  • The progressive and creative development of musical theatre performance technique
  • Inclusive group work
  • Establishing a broad understanding of musical theatre vocal repertoire

You will build on your pre-existing musical theatre vocal skills and start to gain ensemble skills, leadership and conducting skills, creative song-writing experience, and musical understanding which are a central to this degree.

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This module explores company practice and creates an opportunity for the company to programme, rehearse and deliver a cabaret style showcase musical theatre experience. Through practical sessions you will develop the pieces you want to perform. By investigating the history of musical theatre, you will develop your musical and theatrical understanding. We will offer you weekly singing lessons, helping you to advance your vocal ability and giving you the confidence to perform.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your research and writing skills, preparing you to study musical theatre at university level. By completing several short projects, you will explore musical theatre and music from a range of genres, appreciating how they connect with societal, cultural and political issues. These projects will also allow you to develop musical skills such as score reading and production analysis. The vocabulary and skills you gain on this module will help you throughout your degree. You will study this module alongside first year students on our Music courses.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will take to the studio and explore dance and movement as a narrative tool in musical theatre. You will improve your dance abilities and build an understanding of relevant dance styles and techniques. We will encourage you to use dance and movement to establish and develop characters. You will work with your classmates to choreograph extended movement sequences, and perform fully realised dance routines in a practical assessment.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 4 compulsory modules across semesters 1 and 2
  • 1 optional module in semester 1

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

Optional modules are timetable dependent and may change in subsequent years. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

You can find out which modules are available in semester 1 on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This module is your chance to choose, programme and perform a full length musical theatre show. It is an opportunity to apply what you have learnt so far and think about your future in musical theatre. Before you start rehearsing, you will conduct research into different employment opportunities related to musical theatre. You will then form a professional company with your cohort to rehearse and produce your musical theatre show. Second year students from our Music courses will collaborate with you on this module.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will help you to develop as a solo musical theatre performer, enhancing your technical and interpretative singing abilities. Acting through song will also be explored in this module. Alongside this, we will introduce you to effective performance preparation strategies. This includes finding an effective practice routine, and developing ways of dealing with tension and anxiety in performance. This module shares some sessions with second year solo performers on our Music courses.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will introduce you to physical theatre; a genre used by many contemporary performance companies. You will start by examining the history of the genre and go on to explore a range of techniques used by physical theatre practitioners. Musical theatre, dance and drama students work together on this module, so you can share knowledge and broaden your skills. This will run as the optional module in 2022 to 2023.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will continue your exploration of research in musical theatre and musicology. You will start researching independently, and exploring complex ideas in more detail. Through a series of projects you will explore different themes, while also developing and fine tuning your musical and analytical skills. You will study this module alongside second year students on our Music courses.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is all about creating original musical performances. You will research how musical theatre professionals create their performances, and use this to inform how you devise your own work. At the end of the module you will rehearse and perform a piece of original work, written collaboratively as part of a group.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will encourage you to explore how the actor as auteur interprets, performs and makes short productions for the screen. You will examine, through practice, how an actor can have creative control of a short film production, and have the opportunity to act in a film while also negotiating your own artistic vision for that practice. Relationships between performance and cinematic technique will be adapted for short film making, so that you can gain skills in the processes necessary to work as an autonomous actor.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semesters 1
  • 2 compulsory module in semester 2

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module, which leads to Company 2, is the musical theatre experience which draws together all your learning across the degree as you create a new musical with the company you have formed. Every part of the delivery of this musical will be done by you and your cohort. You will devise, compose, workshop and reflect on practices on this highly practical module. The assessment at the end of semester one is a Performance Presentation of the devised show in process.

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This module follows on from Company 1 in your first semester, bringing together all of your learning on the course. You will organise and run workshops and practical sessions engaged with rehearsing and producing your final production. You will be actively encouraged to view this practice research as modelling good practice for your working life after graduation. For this half of the module you will be assessed on the final performance of your show.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module continues your solo musical theatre performance training. You will continue with individual singing lessons and work towards a contemporary recital at the end of semester 1. This is also an opportunity to showcase brand new musical theatre compositions. Seminars, workshops and masterclasses, alongside third year Music students, will further support your development. 

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, which continues from Repertoire 1, you will have the freedom to plan a final solo performance of your choice. This will give you valuable experience in choosing your repertoire, organising the project, and honing your skills to perform at a high standard. This is also an opportunity to plan audition repertoire and showcase it in a professional environment. 

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This is your opportunity to specialise in an area of musical theatre that you are passionate about. For your dissertation you will choose your topic, design the research, and complete an extended piece of written research. You will explore your topic through analysis, experimentation, theory and practice. This module includes a large portion of independent study, but you will be supported by a dissertation tutor throughout and receive feedback as you progress.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

We keep our group sizes small so that we can get to know your creative personality and support your aspirations. We deliver your modules through:

  • Practical workshops
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Rehearsals, shows and concerts
  • Individual vocal lessons
  • Lectures

Each module has 2 to 3 hours of contact time a week. We schedule our taught sessions between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Beyond your contact time, there may be concerts, rehearsals and tutorials to attend.

You will need to conduct independent study outside of this time. This might include individual practice, listening to music, reading, researching and completing assignments. You can also arrange academic tutorials with your module tutors throughout the year to receive feedback on your work and discuss the course content.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


There are no formal examinations on this course. You will be assessed through live events and coursework, which will include:

  • Performances
  • Presentations
  • Placements
  • Essays
  • Compositions
  • Recordings
  • Online portfolios

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Musical Theatre

Through this degree you will develop a unique portfolio of skills based on your individual aspirations. This degree could be the first step toward your career as a:

  • Musical theatre performer
  • Actor/singer/dancer
  • Director
  • Musical director
  • Composer
  • Choreographer 
  • Drama/dance/music therapist
  • Community arts practitioner
  • Teacher

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

PGCE at York St John University

Further your education and work towards a rewarding career in teaching by studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) after you graduate. For over 180 years, we have worked with enthusiastic individuals who want to shape the future of young people across both primary and secondary school settings. You'll spend a lot of time in schools, developing your practice by teaching. You will graduate with Qualified Teacher Status and become part of the well respected alumni of York St John educators.

Discover more about PGCE

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

Additional requirements

If your UCAS application is suitable, we will make you an offer for our Acting or Musical Theatre courses. Once you have your offer, you will have the chance to 'upgrade' from a conditional offer to an unconditional offer by submitting an audition.

For Musical Theatre, your audition will be 1 song from a musical theatre production of your choice. The song should be 1-2 minutes long.

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements


Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK, or internationally (outside the UK). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry onto this course is:

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time

These prices apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page:

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition fees

    UK 2023 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2023 entry £13,000 per year full time

International 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this course is £13,000 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree:

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email

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