HND Theatre Practice
2 years (full), 3 - 4 years (part-time)
One A Level at Grade D or above or a BTEC Level 3 or equivalent including GCSE Grade C in English.
Our specialist resources include:
• Studio theatres with full lighting rigs, sound equipment and lighting control boxes
• Dance studios with fully sprung floors
• Rehearsal studios.
The HND Theatre offers an opportunity to study theatre practice Levels 4 and 5, with an emphasis on practical and vocational work. It is perfectly suited to those performers who are determined to make an impact in the entertainment industry, either as actors, actresses or theatre production staff. Its key benefit is the focus on practical experience and real-life performance skills, which can help you break into a career in the theatre. Indeed, some of our previous students have gone on to achieve success in the performance world, as actors in TV programmes and national theatre productions.
The most significant feature of the course is the number of performance projects in which you can get involved. Currently HND students take part in a minimum of six major projects where they perform to a public audience. Previous performances have taken place in the community, at local festivals and in professional venues across the county. These give students a great opportunity to gain experience of being on stage in front of large audiences, which prepares them for their chosen careers.
The first year of the course explores the fundamentals of theatre performance, looking at the production process, key skills in voice, speech and movement, and the dynamics of arts management and acting development. The second year involves a research project, as well as modules in writing and directing performances, acting as a professional, and small-scale touring theatre. You can also choose one extra module in this year, focusing on either musical theatre, theatre in education or music for performance.
These practical elements are underpinned throughout by theory and academic work, which supports your learning experience, whilst teaching you key transferable skills such as communication and time management.
You will be taught by an excellent team of experienced staff, professional actors and active practitioners who will help you to fulfil your dreams. Our staff work as playwrights, actors, directors and managers in a variety of local arts companies as part of their professional development, giving them expert knowledge of how the industry operates.
The College also enjoys great relationships with local professional theatres such as the Royal & Derngate in Northampton and The Castle Theatre in Wellingborough, where students have performed in the past with professional companies, such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. There is also ample opportunity to perform at community events such as the Northampton Arts Festival, where students have previously staged dramatic productions.
Assessment of this course covers a range of practical productions and performances alongside the academic assessments that you would expect at this level of study. You will take part in presentations of your research, write reports, essays and a short dissertation, and be involved in peer assessments of performed work.
The emphasis will always be on practical work and the development of your performance skills across a range of different styles of productions, and through the duration of the course you will gain the professional performance skills that will enable you to move into more specialised training or to begin looking for work in your chosen specialism.
Typical job choices for theatre students range from actors, choreographers and theatre stage managers to drama therapists, community arts workers and even broadcast presenters. Students from the course have gone on to do some really exciting jobs – some are employed as actors in the RSC, some have performed at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, and others have set up their own theatre companies. If you have the motivation and drive to succeed, then the opportunities to gain success and exposure in this field are endless given the supportive arts and festival environment that this country offers.You could apply to continue your education by a top-up year at the University of Northampton or other Higher Education Institution to gain a full degree. Or you could select further training courses at specialist drama schools to improve specific skills.
- Course running at Northampton