One Year Acting Course
  • One Year Course

    One Year Course

one year
“She is capable of getting to the truth of a character at the drop of a hat. And I think it’s because first of all, she’s enormously talented, and secondly, she’s incredibly well trained”

Nicolas Cage on Claire Foy (graduate of the One Year Acting Course)

This is an intensive course with an extended final term to allow for the last four weeks to take place in London. It is designed for those who have completed their academic studies and have some theatre or film experience already. This is a course for high achievers who are knowledgeable about the industry and are determined to succeed. It is important that you are bright and flexible but at the same time able to meet the challenge of trying new methods of working. We expect you to be fearless in your understanding of yourself and appreciation of others.

We are currently one of only two vocational schools to receive Government funding for our One Year Course.


Available Funding

Public funding is available for this course. Find out details of the different funding options and fees.

Find out more

Course Content

Throughout the course you will have contact with, and feedback from, people working in the industry including Casting Directors, Agents and graduates.

Term One

Term One

A thorough analysis of the basic principles of acting and their application to a wide range of demands: from Shakespeare through to the techniques required for film and television. Techniques are drawn from the work of Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov and Uta Hagen among others.

Term Two

You will be fully immersed in all aspects of the rehearsal process in preparation for a full scale production in front of tutors and students at the School. You will also rehearse and record a personal showreel in a professional recording studio.

Term Three

Term Three

This begins with a full scale public production by an experienced professional director at The North Wall, on of the professional theatres in Oxford. Film work continues in preparation for filming on location of specially commissioned scenes. Over recent years these have been written by William Boyd, Phoebe Waller- Bridge and Vicky Jones.

London Season

For the final part of this term all classes take place in London where you will have workshops with casting directors, rehearse for your production at Soho Theatre and take part in the Showcase for casting directors and agents. In 2018 students performed a new play especially written for them by Jodi Gray and directed by Chelsea Walker.

Throughout the course your application to voice and movement classes is crucial to developing your technical ability and vital if you are to realise your full potential. Core classes in film and television, radio and professional development run alongside acting classes and are taught by specialist tutors with many years’ experience in the profession and teaching at this School. You will have regular individual tutorials in singing and voice and termly individual tutorials in acting and movement.

The Oxford School of Drama is a small school and will always remain so. Some years we have taken as few as 14 students on this course, and never more than 19. This means that if we offer you a place then you can be confident that we believe you will succeed and, provided you are prepared to be brave, flexible and open to new approaches, we will work hard to make this happen. So at the end of the course, you will be one of a small number of graduating students rather than one in a group of 100 or more, as is the case at some graduate showcases.

One Year Film work 2018


Directors who have recently worked with students in their final term include:

  • Paul Hart, Artistic Director, Watermill Theatre Newbury
  • Alice Malin, Associate Director, ATC
  • Polina Kalinina
  • Chelsea Walker, winner of Royal Theatrical Support Trust Director Award 2017

Writers who have been commissioned to write for students in their final year include:

  • Jodi Gray
  • Vicky Jones
  • Matt Parvin
  • Caitlin Shannon
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge

As a School we make no distinction between the graduates of our One and Three Year courses. They all achieve at the highest level. In recent years graduates of the One Year Course have secured their first acting jobs with employers such as BBC Television, ITV and BBC Radio and on stage for The National Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket, English Touring Theatre, Royal Court, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Chichester Festival Theatre, Theatre Centre, Barbican Centre, Bristol Old Vic, Glasgow Citizens Theatre and Eastern Angles.

Graduates from the One Year Acting Course include:

Ritu Arya in Genesis Inc at Hampstead Theatre

Rhys Bevan in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers

Victoria Blunt in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Watermill Newbury

Babou Ceesay in AMC’s Into the Badlands

Margaret Clunie in ITV’s Victoria

Paul Dodds Romeo and Juliet at the RSC

Claire Foy in The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Tom Gibbons in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers

Emily Hughes in Liverpool Everyman repertory company

Louise Marwood as Chrissie White in ITV1’s Emmerdale

Aoibheann McCann in Assassins at The Gate Theatre Dublin

Jude Owusu as Tamberlaine in RSC’s Tamberlaine

Gary Pillai in the national tour of The Kite Runner

Tanya Reynolds in Sky’s Delicious

Kiran Sonia Sawar in Sky’s Black Mirror


This course is validated by Trinity College London as degree equivalent, Level 5 in the Government’s National Qualification Framework. Equity membership is awarded to all students who complete this course.