BA (Hons) Musical Theatre*

Course accredited by the CDMT

Qualification validated by Bath Spa University
 * subject to final approval

Duration 3 years full time (5 days a week)

Scheduled teaching per week 30 hours (average)

Location The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, 207 Balgreen Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2RZ

Our three-year BA (Hons) course in Musical Theatre builds on the core skills in acting, singing and dance to turn you into a professional performer, ready for anything the industry can throw at you!

Why choose this course?

As a ‘triple threat’ student in training you will have opportunity to improve those areas of performance that you currently struggle with as well as discover and develop your strengths. You’ll be challenged to step outside your comfort zone and rise to the challenges placed before you as both on an individual and as part of an ensemble. Our team of exceptional tutors and guest staff will help you understand what is expected of you as a performer throughout your training, as you develop the skills and stamina needed to secure – and maintain – employment in the musical theatre industry.

Through productions and presentations you’ll experience the wonderfully diverse and colourful world of musical theatre, from classics of the genre to modern day popular productions, through to new writing and cabaret performance. Classes offer an excellent grounding across core body and voice skills plus industry basics such as audition technique. Through our ever-expanding network of industry contacts MGA maintains a finger on the pulse of the international musical theatre scene and we are constantly exploring new opportunities for our students and welcoming visiting artists from around the world.

Course content

This course consists of three years of top-quality training within a musical theatre context, focusing on the transition from technique-based classes to performance-based work. The third year includes extra personal and professional development sessions. Additional specialist workshops led by visiting professionals feature throughout the training.

Year 1:
Acting and Voice 1 (20 credits); Musical Theatre Dance Skills 1 (40 credits); Musical Theatre History and Repertoire (20 credits); Musical Theatre Singing 1 (20 credits); Personal Development (20 credits)

Year 2:
Acting and Voice 2 (20 credits); Musical Theatre Dance Skills (40 credits); Musical Theatre Performance Processes (40 credits); Musical Theatre Singing 2 (20 credits).

Year 3:
Musical Theatre Independent Study (20 credits); Professional Musical Theatre Performance Project (60 credits); The Professional Musical Theatre Performer (40 credits).

Learning enrichment

MGA’s training is delivered with the highest possible standards expected from students in each discipline. MGA operates on the belief that more can be learned about these disciplines in a few minutes of rehearsal or on stage in front of an audience than can be achieved in hours of classroom-based tuition. Our students are therefore given as many opportunities as possible to get into a rehearsal room or in front of a live audience to perform. These include: an annual festive concert at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall to audiences of over 1,700, original dance productions, straight plays and musical theatre productions. In addition, throughout the year there are one-off concerts, appearances, workshops and small-scale performance opportunities, alongside ongoing studio-based productions directly connected to course topics.

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts adopts a policy of student feedback that follows an ‘always honest, always constructive’ philosophy rather than the often-used ‘always positive, almost pointless’ approach. MGA aims to encourage a sense of respect, direction and dedication within the practice and study of performing arts, and the courses on offer require a huge commitment from students – but with the potential for huge rewards.

Attracting tutors from across the UK and internationally, MGA prides itself on the high standards of the core teaching staff and their abilities to bring their experiences and unique skills into the classroom and studio. They can actually do what they are teaching you to do! The tutors are complemented by a whole host of well-respected and talented industry professionals and consultants who take time out of their busy schedule to share their skills, lead workshops and shape productions.

MGA also has a long list of consultants who are on hand to offer advice and support for projects and performances, maintaining strong links to the professional world of performing arts. Students get to learn all about the ups and downs of a career in the industry from the people who know it best.

Singer, musical theatre performer, dancer, actor, choreographer, director… no matter what you want to do on the stage, MGA wants to help you do it successfully, professionally and lucratively. With the support of a network of casting, management and production contacts, you really will be hard pressed not to make a success of your career after graduating.

Entry requirements

Degree Course applicants should have 80 UCAS points including qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (Higher / A Level / Other). Applicants should be aged 16 years or over.

Entry onto all our courses is by online registration, written application and audition (details of audition process and application provided on registration). Auditions are held throughout the year and applicants will be contacted within two weeks of receipt of application form.

Natural aptitude, potential and attitude will be key considerations throughout the application process.

Students applying from overseas should apply in exactly the same way. However if attending an audition in the UK is not possible, applicants may apply by video/DVD with supporting documentation from both professional and character referees.

Academic progression

Students who pass this course are eligible to apply for postgraduate study, such as a Master’s Degree.

Tuition fees

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts is the only accredited Council for Dance and Drama Education and Training college in Scotland. We are also the largest independent SQA Approved Centre running professional training courses in Scotland. All tuition fees are kept to an absolute minimum but do reflect the expertise of the teaching staff, quality of facilities, small class sizes and sheer number of contact teaching hours offered.

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information and read the fee notes carefully or contact us to arrange a consultation.

Equipment checklist

MGA students are expected to have the following – a definitive list is discussed at audition stage.

  • MGA Full-Time uniform
  • Jazz trainers/shoes
  • Tap shoes
  • Ballet tights, leotard and shoes
  • Knee pads
  • Dictaphone, notepad and pencil
  • Boys will also need a pair of dress shoes and a black suit
  • Girls must have a pair of character shoes and character skirt, and a black cocktail dress

Are there any other course costs?

There is a reading list and a kit list of important items that students need to purchase before the first day of term. This can be discussed during the interview at the audition stage and will be issued on acceptance of a place. Advanced and third-year students must also pay to join the Spotlight Casting Directory and become a member of Equity before their second term.

We run a Professional Expenses Account on behalf of our student and the costs of this are communicated during the audition process.

Is there any funding available?

SAAS funding may be available to Scottish and European students and you should contact your Local Education Authority for advice on other sources of funding for full-time training for which you may be eligible.

Several charitable trusts exist that help finance performing arts students and a directory listing these grant-making trusts and charities should be available at your local library.

Full-Time Audition Dates

Audition sessions for entry in September 2019 are:

  • 25th November
  • 27th January
  • 17th February (Dublin)
  • 17th March
  • 24th March (Manchester)
  • 28th April
  • 2nd June
  • 16th June
  • 18th August

All at MGA in Edinburgh except where stated otherwise.

If you are interested in applying for full-time courses at MGA fill in our application form and we will contact you with information on the application process and audition requirements. (You can also book on to the Open Day with this form.)

Published 13/6/18   9:19PM

Gemma steps into new Hairspray role

Gemma Lawson (Musical Theatre, 2009) is currently touring in the UK production of Hairspray. After a short break in the tour, last night was Gemma’s opening performance in the main role of Amber Von Tussle! The MGA team were thrilled to be able to take a group of the next… » Read more

Published 11/6/18   8:32PM

Abbie's onboard for NCL!

Congratulations to Abigail Stenhouse (Musical Theatre, 2014) who continues her career success since graduating: Abbie is currently appearing in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on board the Norwegian Epic for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Published 11/6/18   9:30AM

Last chance to apply for September

The final block of auditions are coming up over the summer for entry on to our full-time training courses in September – are you going to If your dream is to be a professional Dancer, Musical Theatre Performer or Actor and you are looking for some of the UK’s finest… » Read more

Published 2/6/18   9:50PM

Jennifer heading out to Miami

Jennifer Campbell (Musical Theatre, 2014) is flying out to Miami today to start rehearsals as a Singer / Dancer onboard the Celebrity Equinox. Safe journey, Jen!