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The Foundation in Musical Theatre is a one year programme designed to develop skills in preparation for auditions for further training and study. 

Students learn through a balanced programme of core training in acting, singing and dance technique along with developing artistic and creative individuality.  The timetable for the course comprises of core compulsory sessions (for example Jazz, Singing, Vocal Repertoire, Acting, Creative project) with optional classes selected to enable students to devise their own training programme. With 15 compulsory contact hours per week, this course also allows students to take additional classes alongside the course. ESPA offers a variety of additional classes, and top up packages are available to develop a 5 day a week schedule. 

As part of the Foundation course, students will work towards their Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Performing Arts (General Pathway) allowing for an academic development alongside the practical training. This enables students to access finance through Student Finance England. 

Performance opportunities are provided throughout the year, including a showcase and a full scale musical. All classes are taught by industry professionals who are highly experienced in their specialist field. A variety of guest workshops from current industry professional will also be on offer throughout the course. 

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ESPA Student Destinations:

Arts Educational School London


Trinity Laban Conservatoire

Guildford School of Acting

Urdang Academy

Performers College

Italia Conti

Bird College

Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

Oxford School of Drama

Midlands Academy of Dance & Drama



Liverpool Theatre School 

Emil Dale


Stella Mann

I have seen great improvement since starting the Foundation training course in September. Not only in my overall ability as a performer, but my life skills as a person. As a Level 3 student, I thought my only way to continue was by going to university or drama school. I knew that I wasn’t ready to pursue that sort of education. I also wanted to study in an environment with smaller classes, more one to one and in depth teaching. By doing this I have been able to advance much more than I would have done in a large group. I have been taught to work professionally and to the best of my ability. A high percentage of my classes are practical, which is what I love, but still learning a great deal from my theoretical lessons. I am being taught by experienced industry professional who I trust, I study with people I love to be around and in a place where the skills I have learnt will last forever.

Without the incredible training I received and the people at ESPA, I would not have been accepted on to the

BA (Hons) Course at Bird College Conservatoire of Musical Theatre and Dance. 

Luke Duberry

2018-2019 - Foundation Training/Higher National Certificate


Starts : September 2023

Insitution Code: P56

UCAS Code: 1A69

Fees : £7500 per year

Uniform: £50 - £100.

Mandatory trips and visits: £100


80 UCAS tariff points

• A Level 3 Extended Diploma with at least an MMP profile

• 3 A Levels at grade C or above

• An interview and audition

• Mature students who may not have formal qualifications are encouraged to apply for an interview where you will be considered in relation to your experience, enthusiasm and commitment


Apply through UCAS 


*Apply Now* 

  • Auditions will include a Jazz class and a Singing/Acting workshop. 

  • Candidates are to prepare a solo musical theatre song with backing track

and a monologue of their choosing. 

  • Higher Education students are asked to bring an example of written work to their audition.


  • All candidates will participate in an interview with the course coordinator.

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ESPA are a successful partner of UCP and further information about UCP can be found at and guidance to policies, assessment regulations and terms and conditions are available at

The follow policies and procedures relate to your study:


HE Student Charter 2023-24

Terms and Conditions UCP 2023-24

Higher Education Student Complains Policy

·        CS1 Form

·        CS2 Form

P921 HE Recruitment and Admissions Policy

P921 HE Criminal Conviction Form

P921 HE Admissions Fee Assessment Form

University Centre Peterborough Access and Participation Plan 2023-24

Student Protection Policy 2023-24

P902 Higher Education Freedom of Speech and External Speakers Policy

Higher Education Tuition Fee Policy

HNC/HND (Pearson) Accredited Provision Policies

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