Do I need an HND and an agent to get into theatre?

Kate is unsure how useful an HND in drama will be for a theatre career.

I’m doing Higher Drama at college at the moment, but do I really need a HND in Drama plus an agent to get into professional theatre?

I’m confused about whether I really need it or not. I’d really like someone to tell me in black and white: “Yes, you need HND Drama” or “No, you don’t!” 

— Kate

Expert answers

Daniel Ainsleigh's reply:

​Hello Kate,

It’s not really possible to be black and white in this question but I’ll try to keep it as short and clear as possible. 

You don’t need any qualifications to call yourself an actress. Where qualifications come in handy is that they may qualify you in the eyes of other professionals -they are certainly a reassurance to many agents and casting directors who may have limited time or information upon which to make a decision about working with you. The greatest benefit of completing an DramaUK (the new name of the NCDT) accredited course is that it should make you a considerably better performer. It would also arm you with technical skills and a certain knowledge of how the profession and business works. In short, there is no better route into the profession, no better training ground and no better launch pad towards winning representation with a good agent than an DramaUK accredited course. Take a look at for accredited courses.

If this isn’t possible for logistical or financial reasons then you should consider working with a professional acting coach who can offer something more intensive. There are tons of them around but some are better then others. Check out 

So, in short, no you don’t need to do an HND in Acting, but it might benefit you greatly to do it!

Daniel Ainsleigh

Actor and Acting Coach

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