Theatre

HKB’s BA in Theatre focuses on the craft of acting in the dynamic world of contemporary theatre.

This degree programme:

  • continues the tradition of Bern’s Drama School, which was always renowned as an innovative training centre for the actors of the future.
  • teaches the craft of acting in the dynamic world of contemporary theatre;
  • prepares you for work – as part of a theatre company or in film and television;
  • enables you to bring your own creative impetus to the artistic process;
  • enables you to develop and realise your own artistic ideas, helping you to carve out a long-term career in a volatile profession;
  • includes a practical semester (the sixth semester), during which you will join the company of one of our partner theatres and work with them for six months.

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Specialisations -
  • Mode of study Full-time (6 semesters)
  • Start date 17 February 2020
  • Application deadline 15 October 2019
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS credits
  • Study language German
  • Location Bern
  • Department Bern University of the Arts
  • Programme Handbook

Studiengangsbroschüre Bachelor Theater/Schauspiel

Structure + Content

HKB’s BA in Theatre provides wide-ranging, basic training in acting for the theatre or theatre-related formats. The programme focuses on practical acting work, encourages you to develop your own individual aesthetic and teaches the skills you will need to realise your own artistic ideas.

Portrait

Our practice-based programme is divided into various modules – Acting, Body, Voice, Theory, Expanded Practice, Bachelor’s Thesis. The focus on regular project work is a special feature of the HKB programme. The project work encourages you to develop your own artistic ideas and explore ways in which they can be presented. During the programme, students will therefore have the opportunity to stage their own theatre, dance or performance projects, with support from their lecturers.

Learning outcomes

The objective of our BA in Theatre is to enable our students to work independently and artistically as actors in today’s theatre and culture scene. The programme also focuses on original creative work: learning the additional skills needed to initiate and carry out artistic projects prepares students for the demands of the professional world.

By the end of the programme, graduates will have acquired the following skills:

  • Using your body, voice, intellect and artistic intuition as a combined ‘acting instrument’.
  • The ability to reach and move an audience.
  • An understanding of the semiotics of theatre.
  • The ability to adapt your own means of expression to different formats and styles.
  • A methodical approach to acting roles.
  • Knowledge of the specific performance demands of different media.
  • Experience of helping to shape artistic processes.
  • The ability to develop, plan, realise and reflect on your own, smaller projects.
  • Experience of collaborating on successful transdisciplinary projects.
  • An understanding of the relationships between content and form, means of expression and staging.
  • A basic knowledge of the history of theatre, cultural history, aesthetics, theory and the history of the arts, and an understanding of how to apply this knowledge.
  • The ability to apply research methods and make use of your theoretical and historical knowledge.
  • The ability to reflect on your own artistic work.
  • The ability to formulate your own artistic ideas, verbally and in writing.
  • The ability to handle criticism of your own work and that of others, and the ability to formulate and justify your own critical opinions.
  • Experience of taking responsibility within a team.
  • An ability to recognise and cope with conflicts and disagreements, and to make effective use of them in the context of your work.
  • An ability to work well under pressure.
  • The ability to apply appropriate learning strategies.
  • An understanding of creative methods and an ability to apply and adapt them.
  • The ability to develop personal training programmes and to continue building on your acting and artistic skills after completing the BA.

Specialisations + Areas of focus

Our BA in Theatre is a wide-ranging programme. It caters to our students’ individual artistic priorities.

Mode of study + Duration

Our BA in Theatre is a full-time degree and comprises six semesters (180 ECTS credits). The content is divided into six modules.

Curriculum + Modules

The programme’s module groups are as follows:

The Acting module group teaches you basic acting skills. The focus is on developing an awareness of your own unique creative potential and on learning the craft of acting.

The Body module group makes students aware of the reciprocity between perception and physical expression. The objective is for you to expand and differentiate your physical repertoire. We encourage you to adopt an individual approach that meets your own particular needs. You will also learn how to use physical impulses and physical memory as a basis for improvisation and creation.

The focus of the Voice module group is on individual vocal and singing expression. You will learn to master your vocal skills and apply them in a performance setting, continuing to work on them independently and adapting them to the specifics of theatre work.

The methods and knowledge taught in the Theory module group enable you to reflect on and communicate about theatre, both in a historical context and in relation to the current theatre scene. The interaction between theory and practice plays a central role here. We also explore artistic works that are not theatre-related, allowing contextualisation of the students’ individual artistic approaches. Methods of artistic research and project development are also taught.

In the Expanded Practice module group, the focus is on learning through project work and on expanding the range of discipline-specific and transdisciplinary artistic methods available to students. In addition to acquiring specific skills that can be used to develop and realise projects at an artistic and organisational level, an essential aspect of this module group is incorporating the skills acquired in module groups 1 to 4. Another key part of this module is the teaching of creative techniques.

The individual parts of the bachelor’s thesis demonstrate the abilities acquired in the course of the various module groups. Details are shown in the module plan and the relevant module description.

Student mobility

Are you a Swiss student interested in living, working or studying in another country? Or do you want to spend a semester at another Swiss university? Or maybe you’re an overseas student who’d like to spend a semester at Bern University of Applied Sciences? Mobility opportunities offer unique and valuable experience. During your studies, you will have the opportunity to spend exchange semesters and experience work placements elsewhere in Switzerland or abroad.

Lecturers

Acting

Ricardo Tomas Flachs Nobrega, Johannes Mager, Stefan Saborowski, Frank Schubert, Manuela Trapp

Film

Markus Baumann

Dance

Regine Schaub Fritschi, Kirsteen Haardt

Speaking

Julia Kiesler, Marianne Oertel, Jürgen Wollweber

Project development/Improvisation

Stephan Lichtensteiger

Aikido

Renata Jocic

Performance

Ralf Samens, Nils Torpus

Theory

Sibylle Heim, Maren Rieger

Voice

Alexandra Schmid

Movement/Feldenkrais

Katharina Maria Wille

We regularly bring in external lecturers to teach and to carry out assessments.

Partners

HKB is affiliated with a number of universities in Switzerland and abroad and frequently collaborates with international partners on various projects. The university is also a member of several international networks.

The Theatre division is networked with German-speaking university theatre departments via the ‘Ständige Konferenz Schauspielschulen’ organisation. In the light of changes in the theatre scene, international partnerships are also gaining in importance: Rotterdam, Bogota, Giessen and Hildesheim, Berlin. The degree programme’s integral practical semester allows students to work with different theatres or theatre companies.

Eligibility + Entry

Our BA in Theatre is aimed at highly independent individuals. We are looking for confidence, stage presence and physical, vocal and interpretive acting potential. This is a demanding programme, and you must be able to cope with both mental and physical pressure.

Entry requirements

The number of places available on our programme is limited (‘numerus clausus’). We administer an entrance examination to review your aptitude for our programme. We look for motivation, stamina, resilience and independence in our students as well as a readiness to participate actively in university-level projects.

Academic requirements

To be admitted to the entrance exam, we generally require that you hold a baccalaureate or equivalent qualification (vocational baccalaureate, specialised baccalaureate, Abitur). Candidates with exceptional artistic talent may be eligible for ‘special admission’.

Professional prerequisites

We do not require you to have professional experience.

Knowledge + Abilities

To be accepted onto the programme, you will need the following:

  • Confidence and stage presence.
  • Interpretive, physical and vocal
  • acting potential.
  • Artistic drive.
  • The ability to reflect on and dramatise a standard text.
  • Artistic imagination.
  • An enquiring mind that looks beyond theatre-specific matters.
  • The ability to take and give criticism.
  • The ability to cope with physical and mental pressure.

Language skills

The language used on stage is German. The bachelor’s degree programme is taught in German. The master’s is taught in German and English.

Applying from abroad

Foreign nationals require valid travel documents recognised by the Swiss government. A visa is often required. Exchange students must also apply for a residency permit and purchase health insurance before their studies begin. Please research your specific entry requirements carefully.

The admission procedure for the bachelor’s degree programme involves two stages: Preliminary test (1st round) and aptitude assessment (2nd round).

Preliminary test (1st round)

The preliminary test is designed to demonstrate your basic performance skills. This part of the admission procedure takes around half a day. You must prepare the following for your preliminary test:

  • A short monologue from a work of ancient or classical theatre
  • A short monologue from a work of modern theatre, written since the beginning of the 20th century
  • A short monologue of your choice or a scene/presentation you have developed yourself
  • A short song
  • A poem

Please note: When selecting the role, a personal interest in the character is crucial. We recommend that you read the entire work to ensure you have a well-rounded understanding of the role.

If you have passed this test at HKB or another university in the last 18 months, or have attended HKB’s Preparatory course in Theatre, you can skip this stage and apply directly for the aptitude assessment (2nd round).

Aptitude assessment (2nd round)

Our aptitude assessment determines who will be admitted onto the degree programme. It takes two days and comprises a practical test and an interview.

The aptitude test will test your physical, vocal and acting skills, your ability to think conceptually and your personal skills.

1.    Practical component

This part of the assessment again centres on the roles/presentation, song and poem you prepared for the preliminary test (see above). The preliminary test panel may ask you to prepare other pieces for the aptitude assessment.

2.    Interview

The interview is based on your personal statement (see Application) and the results of the practical test. Key factors covered in the interview include your motivation, previous theatre experience, career expectations and your reflective skills.

Qualification + Career prospects

Your career prospects are wide-ranging: they extend from a long-term contract to carving out a place for yourself in the artistic environment with your own projects, from acting (stage or film) to transdisciplinary collaborations with representatives of other artistic fields. You may also want to work in theatre education. A lot depends on your individual priorities. To help consolidate what you have learned, we recommend the follow-on MA degree programme.

Title + Degree

At the end of the programme, you will graduate with the title Bachelor of Arts (BA) in ‘Theatre’.

The BA is a first artistic qualification and offers an entry point to any related profession.
 
It serves as a foundation for our follow-on master’s programme and is one of the requirements if you wish to apply for the MA. The MA enables you to work professionally in your chosen theatre specialism in accordance with international standards.

Career prospects

Our BA in Theatre is a first artistic qualification within the framework of a broad, foundational theatre education. The degree gives graduates the basic skills necessary to work at a German-speaking professional theatre or in radio, film or television. They also gain experience of developing and realising their own projects independently.

There are diverse opportunities for theatre professionals, but competition in the job market is tough. Alongside long-term employment at a theatre, freelance work is becoming increasingly important. Flexibility and the continuous desire to learn are key to a successful artistic career.

Potential fields of work include:

  • Acting in a theatre
  • Collaborating on professional freelance theatre productions
  • Independent performance projects or theatre-related projects
  • Acting in film and television
  • Working as a voice artist in radio, a dubbing artist, or an audiobook reader
  • Related work in fields such as coaching, etc.

Practicalities + Application

Please note the dates and deadlines below, plus the documentation and information required.

Start date: 17 February 2020
Application deadline: 15 October 2019

At HKB, different fees apply for programmes and examinations.

Application* and aptitude test CHF/EUR 50

Matriculation

CHF 100

Tuition fees (per semester) 

CHF 750

Tuition fees for overseas students** (per semester) 

CHF 950

Examination fee (per semester)

CHF 80

Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)

CHF 24

Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)

CHF 15

Leave of absence fee (per semester) 

CHF 100

*The total fee for both parts of the examination (see above) is CHF/EUR 50, payable on the day of the pre-test before the examination. If the student passes the examination and accepts a place at the university, the matriculation fee of CHF 100 and the aptitude test fee of CHF 150 are due. If you have any questions, please contact the secretariat for your degree programme:
**Overseas students are defined as all persons with foreign nationality who, at the time of obtaining their university admission card, were not resident under civil law in Switzerland or in the Principality of Liechtenstein.
 
The matriculation fee must be paid within 10 days by credit card or, on request, by payment slip. In the latter case, a processing fee of CHF 10 will be charged. No waivers or refunds will be granted, for example for withdrawn or abandoned applications.

Auditing a course

CHF 150 per course and semester, covering one weekly lecture hour. Only passive participation in classroom instruction is possible (selected lectures and seminars, no individual instruction).

Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course.

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents.

Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Further information (incl. financial aid calculator):

The websites ausbildungsbeiträge.ch, stipendium.ch and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

The City of Bern also offers students support under certain circumstances. For more information, see the City of Bern website.

Foundations and funds

There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.). Other sources include the foundation directories for individual cantons and private foundations.

HKB-Fund for the Payment of the Tuition Fees

Many HKB students live in precarious financial circumstances. The opportunities to earn money while undertaking demanding and time-consuming studies are limited. And the cost of living in Switzerland is one of the highest in all of Europe. A doctor’s bill, a healthy diet, and paying the rent or semester and examination fees can become pressing problems. The HKB scholarship fund provides targeted support in such cases. If you are a student at HKB and require the assistance or advice of the scholarship fund, please complete the corresponding application form and submit it to the secretary’s office of your degree programme. The deadline for applications for a semester fee waiver is 15 May to 15 June (for the following autumn semester), or 15 November to 15 December (for the following spring semester).

The following foundations offer funding specifically to BFH students and students from other universities:

Contact

If you have any questions regarding scholarships and loans please contact Sebastian Ledesma.

At Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, we promote balance between study, work and family.

A limited number of nursery places are available to BFH staff and students. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, the relevant documents can be found on the BFH Intranet. The fees are based on your income and are in line with the cantonal rates described in the Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (Decree on Social Integration Offer ASIV) issued by the Canton of Bern. You can apply for a nursery place using the online form on the BFH Intranet. If you’re a new student or member of staff and don’t have access to the Intranet, please contact Corinne Badertscher (Tel. +41 (0)31 848 33 01, corinne.badertscher@bfh.ch). There is no legal entitlement to a nursery place.

Swiss students have to complete compulsory service while studying too. Make sure you start planning and coordinating your studies and compulsory service early.

We strongly encourage you to complete basic military training and your first block of civilian service before starting your studies. If you complete these activities during your studies, you may miss classes. As a result, the duration of your programme may increase.

General information on recruitment and civil service

Advice

You can get help with coordinating your studies and your compulsory service from HKB's Student Administration (+41 31 848 49 49).

Applications for the next cycle for studies beginning in February 2020 are accepted now. Please submit your application form by 15 October 2019.

Information

At HKB, you can expect an open mindset and a friendly, informal atmosphere. Come and see us.

Student advisory service

Info events

No info events are scheduled at this time.

Location + Facilities

HKB Theatre Zikadenweg

The Theatre division moved to its present location on Zikadenweg in 2012. The facility features over 3,000 square metres of work and presentation space, including three flexible, professionally equipped stages: the Main Stage, the Studio and the Rehearsal Stage. Nine large project rooms are available to students as rehearsal rooms and studios. There is also an editing studio for video and sound. The movement room and the range of studios, the workshop, the prop and costume room and the theatre library offer students an outstanding environment for intensive theatre study.

Other locations at HKB

In addition to the on-site facilities, students have access to the facilities at other HKB locations. The MediaLab is HKB’s audio-visual design and photography centre. The staff at the MediaLab provide courses and offer photography and AV training. They advise students and lecturers on technical and content-related issues. The workstations and studios are equipped with extensive production facilities and are available around the clock. The multimedia library is the specialist library for the areas of design and art, conservation and restoration and the Y Institute (Institute for Transdisciplinarity). It houses 35,000 media and is open to all HKB students.