This year, Emil Dale Academy adds a BA (hons) course to its scholarships offering, but its portfolio includes something for everyone, as Paul Vale finds out
In 2018, the Emil Dale Academy announced its first BA (hons) in Musical Theatre, a course designed in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire. As it enters its 10th year, the academy is partnering with The Stage to offer seven scholarships, including a full scholarship on its degree course. The total value of the scholarships on offer is in excess of £31,000.
Sarah Moore, operations manager at Emil Dale, explains: “We’ve organically grown from being a weekend school into a full-time school. Since we’ve launched the BA (hons), we’ve had an impressive number of people applying because we obviously have a great reputation.”
In total through The Stage Scholarships, Emil Dale Academy is offering one full scholarship and two part scholarships for its BTec Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre), which runs for two years, and two part scholarships for its popular Gap Year course in musical theatre. There is also a full and a part scholarship available on the BA (hons) in Musical Theatre.
The BTec Level 3 is the academy’s original course and operates similarly to a degree. It’s packed with content and students undertake 30 to 35 hours a week including ballet, jazz, ensemble singing and acting classes, audition techniques and more. There is a production mounted every year in the academy’s own theatre – the Factory Playhouse. Students work in conjunction with a professional director, choreographer and band – but more importantly, perform in front of a paying audience.
The Gap Year course is designed for people who haven’t done much foundation-level training or who haven’t quite got the skills to go in to higher education. This intensive one-year vocational course has similar contact hours to the BTec, but is less academic.
As Moore explains: “We’re honing in on basic skills and developing them. At the end, students get to showcase things they’ve been working on throughout the year – so parents can come and see what they’re doing, but again, it plays to public audiences.”
Xenoa Campbell-Ledgister, last year’s scholarship winner, says: “It’s very triple threat. We do half an hour of cardio every morning, which puts you into a mindset of hard work and pushing yourself. Even though you sometimes think it’s going to kill you, it’s worth it.”
Emil Dale’s new triple threat BA (hons) in Musical Theatre is designed for people aged 18 and above and there are up to 48 places in each year group. Classes are streamed according to ability. It’s a bespoke degree, accredited to the University of Bedfordshire, meeting the requirements of a degree course, but focused on what industry professional teachers have determined is needed to train students to be industry-ready in three years.
Course: Two-year sixth form in musical theatre (BTec Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts – Musical Theatre); intensive Gap Year in musical theatre; BA (hons) in Musical Theatre.
Educational level: Post-school.
Number of scholarships offered: Sixth form in musical theatre – one full and two part scholarships; Gap Year in musical theatre – two part scholarships; BA (hons) in Musical Theatre – one full and one part scholarship.
Value of scholarships: £31,300 in total.
What costs are covered? For the BA (hons) in Musical Theatre, students need to pay university tuition fees of £9,250, which are covered by student loan. The fees covered represent the private-sector hours Emil Dale offers in addition to the degree modules, but is part of the same student loan.
Where is the school? 60 Wilbury Way, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 0TP.
Likely audition date: January 26, February 18 or March 23.
How do I apply? Students do not have to apply through UCAS. Go to emildale.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Quote ‘The Stage’ when applying.
Audition requirements: You will need to learn a one-minute monologue of your choice land one musical theatre song with sheet music – you must bring the sheet music. You will also take part in a jazz class and have an interview