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Undergraduate course

Musical Theatre BA (Hons)

Start a career in Musical Theatre the art form where music, drama and dance collide.

A student is performing. They hold up a grey coat and look at the sky.

On our course you will focus on creating and performing musical theatre. You will sing, dance and act with other people who share your passion for musical theatre. We will encourage you to expand your creativity as you learn to create new work and collaborate with students from our other courses.

  • Subject to final approval

York campus

  • UCAS Code – W3MT
  • Duration – 3 years full time | 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS points

    3 GCSEs Graded at C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

The York St John Experience

Course overview

This is a great time to get involved in this multidisciplinary art form. You will develop skills in music, theatre and dance as you grow as a musical theatre performer. We have decades of experience in delivering theatre and music courses. Supporting you to become a skilled and creative performer is what we do.

While studying Musical Theatre, you will gain core skills across several subjects. From acting and dance to music and movement, you will feel confident to take on any role in musical theatre. You must be able to think on your feet and solve problems as a creator of performances and we will help you gain these skills.

Alongside your performances, you will engage in critical thinking and communication practice. This prepares you for your career and life beyond university. Together with your classmates you will reflect on performance practices in musical theatre and critique them, working to innovate new ways of working. 

We are proud of our commitment to engaging with social and political issues through performance. We will give opportunities for you to explore musical theatre in the community. To ignite creativity and inspire the musical theatre makers of the future.

Course structure

Year 1

Cabaret (30 credits)

This module is your opportunity to create a cabaret style show with your classmates. In practical sessions you will explore 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.

Acting (20 credits)

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 and contemporary techniques used by companies including the Wooster Group and Forced Entertainment. You will consider the contested nature of the actor and actor training in the 21st century.

VOX (20 credits)

On this module you will focus on developing your vocal abilities. Workshops will explore basic breathing and voice production techniques. We will look at diphonic singing, the spoken voice and vocal ensemble performance too. Alongside this practical exploration of voice you will examine vocal styles from around the world, including:

  • German and French Cabaret
  • Arabic singing
  • Religious chanting in Tibet, Egypt, Greece and Rome
  • Bulgarian female singing
  • Italian operatic tenors.

Perspectives on Music 1 (30 credits)

Develop your research and writing skills as you start studying music at university level. By completing several short projects you will explore music from a range of genres. This will help you understand how music connects with societal, cultural and political issues. These projects will also allow you to develop musical skills like score reading, production analysis. The vocabulary and skills you gain on this module will help you throughout your degree.

Dance for Musical Theatre (20 credits)

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 perform extended movement sequences.


Year 2

Producing Professional Musical Events (20 credits)

This module is you chance to put on a full length musical theatre show. It's time 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 classmates to rehearse and produce your musical theatre show. Students from our Music course will collaborate with you in the production of this show and it will give you practical experience in different roles in the production process.

Solo Performance Strategies (20 credits)

This module will help you develop as a solo performer across a range of styles and genres. You will enhance your technical and interpretative abilities on an instrument of your choice in weekly instrumental lessons. Alongside this we will introduce you to effective performance preparation strategies. This includes finding an effective practice routine and ways of dealing with tension and anxiety in performance.

Physical Theatre (20 credits)

We will introduce you to Physical Theatre as 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. Dance and drama students work together on this module, so you can share knowledge and broaden your skills.

Perspectives on music (20 credits)

On this module you will continue your exploration of research in the field of musicology. You will start researching independently and exploring complex ideas in more detail. Through a series of projects you will explore different themes while developing and fine tuning your musical skills. These themes might include:

  • Music and film
  • Newness in music
  • Identity in music
  • Musical fusion
  • Creativity in music
  • Music ownership and originality.

Making Musical Theatre (20 credits)

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 create your own work. At the end of the module you will rehearse and perform a piece of original work, written collaboratively by you and your classmates. It's time to put all that you have learnt so far into action.

Musical Exploration (20 credits - optional)

This module is your chance to try experimental ways of creating and distributing music. We want you to blur the lines between composer and performer to gain a wider understanding of how music is created. You will develop creative skills in crafting music and technical skills in performing music unconventionally. Together we will investigate improvisation and consider how you can include it in your work. While doing this, you will also think about the philosophical issues that surround the creation of music.

Composition Strategies (20 credits - optional)

On this module we will help you develop your understanding of compositional techniques. You will investigate song writing, music technologies and the multimedia applications for music, including films, games and installations. As you apply these new techniques to your own work, you will continue to develop your music notation abilities, exploring lead sheets, text scores and more. You will have the chance to work with students who specialise in performance as you develop your work and to write for visiting professional performers.

Principles of Community Music (20 credits - optional)

This is your introduction to the vibrant and exciting practice of community music. We start by considering the history of community music in the UK, as you look at the main theories and concepts. You will then learn how to set out basic workshop structures including the planning, implementation and evaluation of sessions. Apply this learning and gain experience by working in a local community music setting. This is your chance to refine your skills in running workshops. Practising community musicians and music therapists will have input during the module, helping you think about your future engagement in the field.

Year 3

Company (40 credits)

On this module you will form your own professional company with people from your year group. You will work together to create original musical theatre pieces, shaping them with the interests and experiences of the company. Your tutors will support you throughout but you will work together to make decisions through a democratic and collaborative process.

Advanced Solo Performance (30 credits) 

On this module you will have the freedom to plan a final 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. Throughout the module you will be supported by tutors through tutorials. You will also receive individual tuition, either instrumental or vocal, to help you improve your abilities. You will also have the chance to work with your classmates who specialise in composition, performing their written pieces to different live audiences.

Dissertation (20 credits)

This is your chance to conduct independent critical research on an area that interests you. You can choose an element of your performance practice to focus on and explore it through analysis, theory and reflection. A dissertation tutor will be assigned who will support you through this module and who will meet with you regularly to discuss your progress.

Collaborative Project (30 credits)

This module is your chance to engage with a large creative project. You can collaborate with artists across different specialisms and courses, bringing your expertise together to create your final piece of musical theatre. We will support you with your project through lectures that explore practice-based research methods and examples of effective collaborative practice. You will also receive individual and group tutorial support throughout the module.

Teaching & Assessment

The Musical Theatre course is delivered using a variety of teaching methods. These include: 

  • Practical workshops 
  • Small scale production creation in our studios 
  • Lectures 

You will also be expected to undertake further reading around the subjects you are studying and complete your assignments in addition to your taught sessions.

There are no written exams on this course and you will be assessed largely through practical work and performances. Other types of assessment include: 

  • Written assignments reflecting on the development of practical work 
  • Written essays 
  • Research study in your final year.


Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

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

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 your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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 EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 202 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/EU, 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.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

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

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

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. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

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