LOCATION: Cambridge

Drama Foundation – Classical & Contemporary Acting

A three-term Actor training programme, designed for students determined to succeed in the performing arts. 

Success in the competitive world of Acting requires focus and determination, as well as refined work across the disciplines that challenge body and mind. The Foundation programme at CSVPA offers students the wonderful opportunity to specialise before starting university; to begin the process of undergraduate skill development while preparing their drama school and university auditions. 

  • The Foundation programme is modelled on a 1st year Conservatoire-style training programme.
  • You will enjoy up to 25 hours a week contact time with teaching staff.
  • Every week you will receive one-to-one sessions with acting tutors to develop your audition material and support your development as an actor.
  • Weekly group classes will further challenge you in subjects like Acting, Movement, Dance, Physical Theatre, Text, Voice, and Scene Study.
  • Class groups are small, allowing for intensive work that can be adapted to meet your needs and allow for personalised feedback and guidance.
  • Our teaching staff are highly trained with experience in professional theatre.
  • The teaching team is dedicated to helping you discover your full creative potential as unique performers.
  • We are a community of developing artists who support each other, encouraging all to take risks, push boundaries, and grow as performers.
  • Performing Arts programmes offer opportunities for performance throughout the academic year. 


On our Classical & Contemporary Acting Foundation, our goal is to help you grow and progress in all aspects of an actor’s craft. Our programme is strongly focused on the development of the individual as a whole – physically, emotionally, and intellectually. The work is geared to help improve confidence, emotional accessibility, physical and mental stamina, willingness to explore and experiment, as well as a strong work ethic. 


At the end of the year upon successful completion, you will be awarded the UAL Level 4 Professional Diploma in Performance. 

“We have all improved enormously since the beginning of the course because we are now willing to throw ourselves in and we are less self-conscious. We have been taught: “don’t think, just do!” If you want to be an actor, I could not think of a better place to go than CSVPA.”

Tom – Drama Foundation student




Course Location 
Course Length 
1 year (3 terms) 
Course Start 
Tutor Support 
Up to 25 hours per week 
Studio Access 
Students have access to our studios 7 days a week, from 8:00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday and from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm at weekends. 
Awarding Body 
University of the Arts London Awarding Body 
How your Work is Assessed 
Performed and written assignments and projects following the specification set by UAL, the awarding body. 

English Language 
Up to 5 hours per week if required 
Drama School or University 


17  years + 
Educational Level 
Completion of High School is needed or a minimum of 1 x Level 3 qualification, preferably in a relevant creative subject (i.e. A level) and 3 x GCSEs at grade 4 or grade C, including Maths and English and at least one of which should be in a creative arts subject. Students who do not meet these entry requirements will still be considered on their own individual potential to succeed. 

English Level for International Students 
IELTS 5.5+ (no element under 4.0) 
An audition piece is required for entry to this course. Please refer to the Audition Process tab for more information. 



In these classes be prepared to challenge your thinking, what does it mean to act, and what is the role of the actor? There will be a mix of acting theory, drawing on several critical perspectives, and practical work involving movement, voice and all the tools of self-expression. We will workshop a variety of material with tutors, peers, and guest lecturers all in support of your application process for university or drama school. 
Scene study classes follow the process of preparing, rehearsing and presenting a scripted text. The rehearsal room is where actors experiment with and apply their training in relation to different theatrical forms and rehearsal processes. The classes enable actors to explore, develop and take risks. Scene study is where all acting techniques learned on the course are put into practice and critique given for the benefit of all in the class. 
A stalwart for all actors in training is developing a healthy and robust speaking voice. This class is a physical practice; working with your body and breath, turning sound into speech, and applying this work to different styles of text for performance. Work on resonance, volume, clarity, articulation, pitch, and develop your sound through experimentation and practical application. 
This class will breakdown dialects of English with sessions on anatomy and how vocalised sound is made. Learn the international Phonetic Alphabet as it applies to RP (Received Pronunciation) and apply this understanding to different dialects and how a phonetic understanding can help you deliver text with control, clarity, and confidence. 
Discover your body’s expressive potential and have at your disposal the techniques which will allow you to achieve the physical and imaginative transformations required as an actor. The classes explore key movement influences, including Laban, Lecoq and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints training. The focus of the classes is to embody movement with imagination at its heart, working on body awareness, improvisation and developing original performance and choreography that allows you to clearly express ideas, emotions and enrich storytelling. 
Establish a process for working with words as a starting point, turning the written word into the spoken word. Develop your practice of finding the drama and making sense of any text. Particular attention will be paid to Shakespeare along with poetry, prose, and a healthy dose of sight reading!
The ballet course provides students with strong technique and understanding of the basic requirements for ballet. Through a structured programme of floor work, barre and centre practice the students learn how to maintain correct posture and how to correctly use their turnout, while also developing a knowledge of the French vocabulary and common dance patterns. By the end of the year they will be confident in dancing short sequences and responding to a variety of music, leaving them well prepared for college auditions. 
Play will be your final lesson of the week; come together with all performing arts courses in a lesson dedicated to play. Through this class you will develop a strong, positive group dynamic and find more freedom and possibility in performance through theatre games, trust exercises and the exploration of improvisation techniques. 
These sessions will explore how through movement we can be inspired to tell stories in new and innovative ways. Unique movement vocabulary can be devised from unexpected starting points and it is through this creative process that new choreography emerges. Students are led on a revealing and liberating journey, connecting narrative, emotion and character with movement. 
These classes shed light on a range of influential practitioners across theatre and performance training. We will explore the key ideas and approaches that have formed the background to theatre’s development and pivotal moments in actor training practice. 
Identify and apply the skills and specific training related to devised performance. Extend your creative development, addressing acting as an embodied and exploratory art form at the heart of the theatre-making process. Interpret and evaluate performance methodologies from a diverse range of critical perspectives, with a focus on contemporary companies and practitioners. 
Students will work on developing the foundations of Jazz technique through a variety of exercises focused on improving strength, flexibility, and performance skills. Students will be challenged by working on a range of jazz styles and contrasting routines. 




Students can attend an audition in person by contacting the college to arrange an audition with the Head of Drama. If an in-person audition is not possible, please submit a video audition. See “What we look for in an audition” for guidance on how to prepare both for the in person audition and also video submissions.  


International students who cannot attend the audition in person, can audition via DVD/Video/YouTube. This must be submitted with your application form. Following this you may also be asked to attend an online interview as well. 


What We Look for in an Audition guide, to prepare fully for your audition at CSVPA.



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