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The Mill School of Performance

Dynamic degree-level actor training for the next generation of performance artists.  Apply now to study in September 2024. 

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Acting 4

About Us

The Mill is University Centre Leeds' dedicated school for professional actor training. 

Together with our industry links, we provide students with the skills and tools to form a long-lasting career in the performing arts industry.

Our down-to-earth approach to training means that through hard graft, anyone can have the chance to succeed in this exciting business. And we can show you how.

Acting at The Mill

Our acting training is structured for the first two years as a foundation degree. This can then be extended to a full BA (Hons) qualification by taking a third year, known as a top-up degree

Each year is designed to follow on and continue to develop skills previously established. 

The three-year programme is specifically designed around what our industry partners have told us they need from professional actors.

At The Mill, we believe that the 'generalist actor' works the most; the more you can do, the more you will work. That's why our acting training covers more than just acting. 

We aim to give you all the creative and transferable skills you need to become an independent thinker and reflective artist.

All years are delivered over a minimum of 24 hours per week, with a 70% practical and 30% academic split. All theory-based work is relevant to and enhances skills acquired through the practical work.

As you progress through our acting programme, you’ll train to a high level of technical ability. You'll study multiple aspects of acting including:

  • TV and Film Acting
  • Acting for Games and Animation
  • Green Screen Acting
  • Classical Theatre
  • Naturalism
  • Physical Theatre
  • Script Writing
  • Circus Aerial
  • Stage Combat
  • Puppetry
  • Workshop Design and Delivery
  • Dance
  • Voice
  • Singing
  • Actor Musicianship
  • Improvisation
  • Business Skills (Spotlight, Tax, National Insurance, Networking and Finding and Acquiring Work)

We also deliver various wellbeing sessions, to help look after your physical and mental welfare, such as:

  • Meditation
  • Nutrition
  • Injury prevention & care

If you continue onto our third year top-up, you'll also be given the opportunity to:

  • Write and deliver your own workshops
  • Research a particular area of interest for performance purposes
  • Devise and perform your own work to industry professionals

We are committed to widening the participation in professional performance training by making our courses accessible for everyone. 

Regardless of your age, physical disability, race, sexual orientation, gender, class status or any other reason that you think might prevent you from having a career as a professional performer, we want you. 

We welcome students from all walks of life who can bring authentic style to their performance. So if you have a passion to perform, along with the grit to train to a professional standard, get in touch and start your application today. 

328188 Stuart Blackburn

Stuart Blackburn - TV Producer

"This isn’t just any acting degree; it's a truly vocational experience that arms its students with the skills for a successful career.

With local, regional and national professional contacts, this degree is as relevant as any in the country. It's also uniquely diverse in its intake, which enriches the experiences of all its students.

The creative industries are going through seismic changes but this degree has the agility to help its students prepare for this.

If I was looking to take a degree in performing arts this, without doubt, would be the one for me."

Find out more at an open event

Our facilities

Based in the heart of Leeds, our acting degrees are taught across two campuses. You'll spend 70% of your week in practical training at Prime Studios and the other 30% working academically at our Quarry Hill Campus.

Training on the doorstep of the city, you’ll be surrounded by our course patrons and industry partners such as: Leeds Playhouse; Red Ladder Theatre Company; ITV Studios; Paper Birds Theatre Company; Common Wealth Theatre Company; Rash Dash Theatre Company; Slung Low Theatre Company.

Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining. Photography By The Other Richard

Photography by The Other Richard.

James Brining - Artistic Director, Leeds Playhouse

“I’ve been so impressed by the students I’ve worked with from The Mill, and their commitment to developing as theatre makers.  

Having The Mill students so close to The Playhouse provides a unique opportunity for a close relationship between a producing theatre and students in training. 

Over the last year I've got to know many of the cohort through discussions, workshops and invitations into our rehearsal rooms, and I look forward to building on this collaboration.”

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Artistic Director. Common Wealth Theatre Co Evie Manning 2

Evie Manning - Artistic Director, Common Wealth Theatre Company

"The course is wholly practical which is unique for these times when many drama degrees are theoretical and leave students unprepared for industry.

It focuses on career pathways by engaging professionals from various fields, and is incredibly well thought through, considering every element of performance making. 

It's also really future proof. It's thinking about performance in all areas - from traditional to contemporary, preparing students for devised work as much as TV or Shakespeare, allowing students to find their own creative direction."

Hear first-hand from our acting students

They talk us through what it's like to study at The Mill, what a new student can expect, their career goals and how The Mill has helped them achieve this.


Callum talks about his experiences of studying our acting foundation degree and BA (Hons) top-up degree. 


Anothemba talks about their experience of studying our acting foundation degree and BA (Hons) top-up degree. 


Ross talks about his experience of studying our acting foundation degree and BA (Hons) top-up degree.

Ready to join us? 

If you're ready to take your next move towards a career in the performance industries, here's what to do next. 


Get more in-depth information on our acting degree courses, including our entry requirements, assessment methods, programme specifications and more. 

Get our 2024 University Centre Leeds Prospectus now - direct to your phone or delivered to your door. 

Register your interest in all future online and on-campus open events.

Our open events give you a chance to hear from tutors, discover the range of student support available, and find out why University Centre Leeds has the highest student satisfaction in the city (NSS, 2023). 

Get a step-by-step guide on how to apply for our acting degree courses and unlock your dream career in just a few clicks. 

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