Module code: ACT1014

Module Overview

Physical Skills 1 seeks to:

  • Physically and mentally prepare a healthy, strong and balanced body.

  • Introduce, develop and refine a secure and consistent technique in physical skills.

  • Extend existing knowledge and ability.

  • Develop professional conduct.

The module is a Tutor led and skills based introduction to movement and dance that is tailored more specifically to the needs of the Actor through classes such as Laban, Movement Fundamentals, Historical Dance and Physical Acting. Through these classes the student will explore physical boundaries in a safe environment and develop movement vocabulary that is transferrable into other acting techniques.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W410

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


An introduction to Laban’s principles including Body, Effort, Shape and Space.

  • The development of movement efficiency through somatic practices (including Bartenieff Fundamentals and Pilates based conditioning)

  • Use of Improvisation to enable the student to explore movement range and potential.

  • Finding a character through movement, use of breath and voice from a Laban perspective.

Movement Fundamentals:

  • Elementary exercises which develop good posture, placement, strength, flexibility and alignment.

  • A development of rhythm and dynamics.

  • A development and understanding of coordination of arms and legs through center and floor work - standing exercises. (May include Bartenieff and Pilates fundamentals, Feldenkrais, Green and Ewan)

Historical Dance:

  • Movement techniques and practices of different eras such as 15th and 16th century dance.

  • Historical partnering – leading and following techniques.

Physical Acting:

  • An introduction to languages of mime, including mime of action, figurative mime and cartoon mime

  • An introduction to eight of Lecoq's twenty movements.

  • An introduction to Neutral Mask and subsequent investigation of 'identifications', starting with elements and materials.

Daily Physical Warm-up

  • Cardio-vascular fitness

  • Exercises for the development of core strength

  • Dynamic stretches to warm muscles and joints

  • Upper and lower body conditioning  


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment PHYSICAL ACTING 40
Practical based assessment HISTORICAL DANCE 20
Practical based assessment STAGE COMBAT 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a growing understanding of placement, line, attitude, and precision with moving physically in each of the different areas of the module

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Classroom assessment for Historical Dance consisting of demonstrating a particular dance or dances, classroom assessment for Physical Acting of eight of Lecoq’s twenty movements, classroom assessment for Stage Combat which will consist of showing ability to apply combat techniques within a dramatic situation.

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback will be given during each teaching session, with written feedback being given after each assessment 

Module aims

  • Encourage students to create a vibrant and truthful relationship with their imagination
  • Inspire an open, generous and playful approach by integrating the techniques and skills acquired in other modules
  • Ensure steady and well-founded development of movement skill, building upon existing knowledge and developing individual progress.
  • Introduce students to a variety of dance and movement training through practice.
  • Develop knowledge of physical practices and methodologies and how they relate to the vocabulary of the body
  • Ensure understanding of good physical practice in movement and dance.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate greater physical awareness of the body and its ability to affect space. KCPT
002 Demonstrate clarity, extension and isolation of movement KCPT
003 Have acquired a stronger link between imagination and physicality.
004 Demonstrate an integration of techniques and skills acquired in other modules. KCPT
005 Display a willingness to experiment and be innovative CPT
006 Demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively through movement and physicality KCPT
007 Demonstrate an elementary physical understanding of the techniques of dance and movement. KCPT
008 Work within the context of healthy, sustainable and good movement and dance practice. KCPT
009 Display the ability to work with discipline, physical precision and accuracy within the context of accepted movement conventions and practice. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 4

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Place an emphasis on the practical development of skills that are required for extended and best practice in the profession.

  • Enable students to acquire versatility in their physical skills and integrate their knowledge across all acting disciplines all of which lead on to a firm foundation moving toward the study of acting at Level 5.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Practical, skills based and tutor led group sessions following traditional formats.

  • Visual, Audio and Kinaesthetic methods of learning – including use of VLE.

  • 1.5 hours per week of physical acting workshops for 12 weeks of semester 1.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for PHYSICAL SKILLS 1 :

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.