module specification

SM4020 - Acting and Performance Skills 1 (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Acting and Performance Skills 1
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 310
166 hours Guided independent study
144 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Continuous Assessment
Coursework 50%   Continuous Assessment
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Morning
Year North Tuesday Morning
Year North Tuesday Afternoon
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

Acting and Performance Skills 1 is a year-long module that places the performer at the centre of theatre making. It will encourage the student to investigate the role of the actor in theatre practice by introducing them to performance skills, techniques and processes. It will reference a variety of practitioners. It will allow students to apply these skills and techniques in practice and engage with workshop explorations and text based scene study.


The module will be taught through practice in a workshop setting.  Students learn introductory performance skills – for example, presence, focus, immediacy, energy, use of voice, space and movement. LO1

They will also learn professional norms of conduct, including rehearsal room discipline and processes. LO2

They will understand the approaches of specific practitioners such as Stanislavski, Chekov, Meisner, Hagen, Brecht, Boal, Brook and Grotowski. LO3

They will apply these processes, disciplines and techniques to solo and group improvised workshop exercises and to text based explorations. LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development.
The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions. 

This module will be taught through practice which will be supported by research and theory.
Learning and Teaching strategies will include:

• practical workshops;
• individual and small group practical tasks;
• self- and peer-observation and evaluation;
• independent research tasks;
• practical assessments with group and individual feedback;
• seminars;
• tutorials.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:

Cognitive intellectual abilities
1) utilise introductory acting and performance skills, techniques and processes;

Transferable skills
2) apply acting and performance skills in theatre practice in a closed workshop situation;

Subject specific skills
3) employ and investigate text as a basis for performance;

Knowledge and understanding
4) implement the learned skills in an exploration of presence, structure, pace, use of space, voice and movement in theatre practice.


There is no core text for this module.

Benedetti, J. (2008) Stanislavski and the Actor – The Final Acting Lessons, Methuen
Bryon, E. (2014) Integrative Performer, Routledge
Chekov, M. (2002) To The Actor: On the Techniques of Acting, Routledge
Hagen, U. (2008) Respect for Acting, Jossey Bass
Reeve, S. (ed.) (2013) Body and Performance:  Axminister, Triarchy
Stanislavski, K. (2013) An Actor Prepares, Bloomsbury Revelations
Stanislavski, K. (2013) Creating a Character, Bloomsbury Revelations
Tufnell, M. and Crickmay, C. (2015) A Widening Field: Journeys in Body and Imagination: London, Dance Books Ltd.
Meyer-Dinkgafe, D. (2001) Approaches to Acting, Continuum
Moseley, N. (2012) Meisner in Practice, Nick Hern Books
Merlin, B. (2010) Acting the Basics, Routledge
Panet, B. (2009) Essential Acting, Routledge
Zarilli, P.  (2002) Acting Re-considered, Routledge

Online Resources: