Stuart Hepburn, Sergio Casci and Martin McCardie at The Scottish BAFTAS

Good luck to UWS Associate Lecturer Martin McCardie who’s been nominated for a screenwriting award by the Celtic Media Festival. Martin teaches on several Modules in our Performance Subject Area : Writing For Stage & Screen, Camera Acting Techniques and Team Writing for Television. He was a key member of the Katie Morag writing team for Move On Up TV.
Katie Morag’s awards up to now are as follows
2 British Academy Children’s Awards for Best Drama and Best Performance, (also nominated for Best Writer for Sergio Casci)
Best Children’s Series BAFTA Scotland
RTS Scotland Children’s Award
Best New Kids Series 2015 Kidscreen Awards Miami
Freesat Free TV Awards Best Children’s Series

All the best to Martin and the team!

Students from our UWS Performance Programmes can be seen acting on the BBC Writer’s Room Website as part of the “Room To Write Project” .

Claire McKinnie, Chris Martin and Nicole Donald are all final year students in the BA(Hons) Contemporary Screen Acting Degree.
Look out for Claire McKinnie in “Exploding Bones” here

Chris Martin in “Wedding”

And Nicole Donald in “Animals”

 University Of The West Of Scotland Musical Theatre Students are performing the new Musical The Green Door at the Ayr Gaiety Theatre from 28th January to the 31st January. We have arranged for all UWS students and friends to book tickets (via the phone line) for £4.00 per ticket (on the 28th January) and £8 on subsequent performances. This offer applies to any one in your party. All you need to do is book your tickets via the phone line and state you are UWS students and receive all your tickets booked there and then for the above prices. Please support your peers.
We sincerely hope to see you there.
All the best
UWS Performing Arts Team
and here’s a video link in case you have not seen it already.
Phone line is 01292 288235

Student work makes it to BBC Show!

A film made by students and staff at the Media Academy has been shown at BBC Scotland and some shots from it used in the BBC network Children in Need Show.

Earlier this year The University was approached by the organisers of ‘The Trossachs Challenge’ – a mountain-biking and hiking event organised by the business community to raise money for Children in Need. They asked if UWS could make a film of the event. The primary purpose of the film was to publicise the event in order to increase participation in the 2015 event.

They offered us a small fee and this allowed us to put together a team of students, recent alumni and staff . Staff members Paul Tucker, Keith Bird and Jamie Hare were joined by Broadcast Production students Charlotte Lines Sutton and David Montgomery, Creative Media Practice student Gabriel Malone and recent Film-making and Screen writing alumni Shaun Sutton and Sarah Kesson. A drone (remote controlled aerial camera) was piloted by lecturer Shona Wallace and her husband Craig.

The resultant film can be seen here – The music is also composed and recorded by a ‘Songwriting and Performance’ masters student, David Roddie.

The film has been very well received. It has been shown throughout the BBC Scotland building in the lead up to Children in Need night. Also – a bit of a coup this – some shots from the film were used on the BBC network Children in Need show .

Senior management at the BBC have also been very positive –

Donald Iain Brown, Head of Production Talent Network, BBC said,

“I’ve just watched this. What a brilliant film…the music is fantastic and the song is brilliant.”

Donalda Mackinnon who is Head of Programmes and Services at BBC Scotland said,

“The film is amazing…on behalf of BBC Children in Need, thank you so very much.”
Well done to Head of Broadcast Production Paul Tucker and all involved.

Photographer Gary McGlaughlin is seen here capturing the cast of UWS 2nd year Performers Panto “Jock And The Beanstalk” today at UWS Ayr.

They tell the tail of local lad Jock McGroin, a wannabee popstar and X Factor applicant, as he fights the evil Giant Farquhar McFrack and his aide de camp, Barry McBad The Bad.

Can Jock save his village from the predations of the giant who wants to drill for shale oil?

Will Barry McBad the Bad’s Vow to make him rich ever come true?

Can Daisy the Cow dance and will Jock ever find true love?

These questions and many more will be answered in the first ever Panto performed by UWS students in our newly lit Studio Theatre.You are cordially invited to come along

to Boo, Hiss and Cheer. Oh yes you are!

First night of the show is Thurs 11th Dec at 6.00 PM in the Studio Theatre, UWS. Ayr.

Matinee 1.00 pm Friday 12th and last night 6.00 PM .

Tickets £5.00 and £2.50 on the door. Suitable for all ages.


In schools and colleges all over the country, students interested in the Performing Arts are thinking about what their next step should be.
There have been lots of exciting developments in the performance subject area  at University Of The West Of Scotland in the past year.
We have formed a teaching partnership with the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr.
We have brought BA (Hons)Musical Theatre in-house to our £81 million campus in Ayr.
We have a brand new Technical Theatre Degree delivered through our partnership with the Gaiety .
Most importantly, all our Performance-based degrees are now 3 year Honours with entry levels at second year (Level 8) as well as third year (level 9).
All degrees require an audition, but students can apply to the courses in second year with :

3 Advanced Highers BCC or plus English at Higher level and Maths at Standard Grade 3 or above, National 4 or Intermediate 2.
3 A levels BBC or
An HNC (120 points) or
A B Tec 4 or
Intermediate 2 or
An International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 28 points.

All our degrees also have a level 9 entry with an HND or equivalent to our DRAMA UK recognised degrees.

With all this expansion, we want the best students to come to UWS Ayr. Every year , more and more students apply through UCAS, and the standard of work and quality of candidates is increasing.

Two of our students from Edinburgh College, Emily Barr and Jennie Walker have made a short video about life at UWS.
If you have any contacts at your old college or know of any British or Overseas students who might be interested in a 3 year honours degree, please share this post with them so that they can get an idea of what it’s like being a student at UWS Ayr.

Also, here are the links for anyone of your friends or relatives who may be specifically interested in our 3 years honours degrees.

BA(Hons) Musical Theatre

BA(Hons) Performance

BA(Hons) Contemporary Screen Acting

BA(Hons) Technical Theatre (subject to validation)…/technical_theatre_(3rd_year_entry)/

Please feel free to share this and spread the word to your old colleges , colleagues or friends. If you think that your old college would like a visit from UWS staff to talk to students, then please let us know too.
Any questions, email

You are cordially invited to both of our free Fife Writes Events below.
Fife Writes presents 2 free events
in association with Book Week Scotland and kind support from Create in Fife
Fife Writes Wordcraft Workshop
Tips and techniques for writers of prose and poetry explored – for budding and experienced writers – at 1.30 p.m. on Saturday, 22 November, in the Activities Room of Kirkcaldy Galleries. Featuring Tom Hubbard.
Fife Writes presents a Night of Stars
A glorious evening packed with the talents of Billy Kay, Dawn Wood and Brian Johnstone, and captivating music by Sonny Carntyne – at 7 p.m. on Saturday 29 November in Studio 6, Rothes Halls, Glenrothes.

Members and their friends and the public are cordially invited to our free Fife Writes Events
If you can manage to advertise these on your website and social media channels that would be great. Please see for further details. Thanks.
Best Regards
George Sinclair
On Behalf of Fife Writes

Website –
Twitter –
Facebook –

We are very sorry but due to unforeseen circumstances, both performances of “Tragic” by Iain Heggie on 4th of November have been cancelled.

tragic-flyr-05-08-14-frontcmyk11-lst149270Tragic by Iain Heggie

We are very sorry but due to unforeseen circumstances both performance of “Tragic” at UWS on Tues 4th Nov have been cancelled.

‘You cant kill someone just cos a ghost tells you. I mean: is a ghost the most reliable source?’

he’s little more than a boy
and he’s saying these totally outrageous things
about his family
and friends
and neighbours
from the privacy of his bedroom
when this total bombshell drops
and he’s left with the mother of all dilemmas
and – as they say in Hollywood –


Iain Heggie’s hilarious, exciting and moving one man adaptation of Hamlet clears away the fog and brings the great story to vivid, pulsating life.

UWS Performance Space 1.

Tuesday 4th November.

Matinee 2.00 PM.

Evening Performance 6.00 PM.

Both Performances FREE to UWS Students and Staff

You may know someone looking to do a PhD in screenwriting research, including by practice. If so, this might be of interest.  You can contact me using  email  or use the link or contact Helga direct (below).

best wishes


Full PhD Scholarships in the School of Media and Communication

The School of Media and Communication is offering a number of full PhD Scholarships for study commencing in October 2015. Research Council funded awards are available from the AHRC through the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities and from the ESRC through the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre. Closing dates for these are 2 February and 3 February 2015 respectively.

In addition the School is funding full scholarships covering maintenance and fees, equivalent to the Home/EU rate, for a period of three years from October 2015. They support full-time study leading to a PhD in any area of the School research activities, and are open to home/EU and international applicants. Closing date for School Scholarships is 1 May 2015.

Further details for can be found on the ‘Fees & Funding’ tab at

With many thanks

Helga Mitterbacher
PVAC Graduate School
School of Music, room 1.04
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

Tel: 0113 343 3756

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