From September 2017 we are offering two single honours programmes. Until this point Drama at BGU has been focused on Applied Drama with BA (Hons) Applied Drama in the Community studied either as a single honours course or as a joint degree in combination with other arts subjects or with a social science subject. The new BA (Hons) Drama programme provides an alternative route for students who do not wish to study drama within a more specialised community context. The two programmes will serve to create a vibrant, imaginative and interactive community of students who will continue to enrich each other’s undergraduate experience.
The Applied Drama course BA (Hons) Applied Drama in the Community, is designed for people who love drama and want to use it to make a difference in the wider world. It is both an academic and creative course that offers you the opportunity to put your love of drama to practical use. This course is ideal if you are lively, curious and interested in making a difference to others and want to take your projects into community settings such as special needs and mental health settings, care homes, schools, nurseries, youth groups, the list goes on whilst all the time improving your performance skills, communication skills and knowledge of the subject.
The BA (Hons) Drama focuses on contemporary drama – creating, adapting, devising and developing new work with fresh ideas. The ultimate goal of the programme is not to train actors, however, a substantial amount of acting is part of the programme at all levels, and a Level 4 module, Acting Skills, which focuses on Stanislavski’s acting techniques, is meant to lay a firm foundation for this. And because we believe that there is more into drama than acting, you will acquire a variety of skills – intellectual, practical and transferable skills – that can prepare you for the life after your programme at BGU. You will have the opportunity to take part in productions throughout your time, which will enrich and enhance your experience at BGU. By the end of the course you’ll leave us equipped with a wide range of transferable skills, which can be taken to a broad set of public, private, commercial and third-sector settings.
In addition to our full-time and part time staff, we bring in specialist practitioners to both degree programmes. This means that we can offer an up-to-date and relevant professional perspective. Our specialist practitioners offer students the chance to work alongside professional companies and take part in local and national festivals.
About Drama at BGU
Elements of enterprise and problem-solving, which are invaluable assets in the employment market, are central to our drama courses. As well as performance skills, you’ll develop good communication skills, confidence and resourcefulness.
On the BA(Hons) Applied Drama in the Community course you’ll learn how to assess community needs, use your energy and imagination to respond accordingly, devise workshops and performance work, and learn organisational, fundraising and event management skills at the same time. In addition to the academic study of drama and theatre, you will find yourself working in a lively atmosphere with like-minded people on interesting projects. Many of these projects are taken into schools and other community settings, such as youth groups, special needs units and care units, making drama work for individuals, community groups and society as a whole. You’ll have the opportunity to work collaboratively in groups, acting, directing and studying theatre.
At all stages of the course, you will practise what you learn through practical study and live projects. Extended placements make this a unique course, tailored perfectly for you. We encourage individuality and are genuinely interested in what your ideas and what you have to offer. You’ll take part in practical workshops, demonstrations, seminars, small group tutorials and lectures, with assessments such as small group performances, presentations, exhibitions and running workshops. There will also be written work, including essays, reports and analysis of practical work.
The new BA (Hons) Drama at BGU is a forward-looking programme that looks beyond historic and established conventions by exploring what drama can be now and in the future. The programme is grounded in the academic elements of drama as well as practical performance making. The programme will equip you with analytical skills, enabling you to contribute to academic debates on drama, theatre and performance. You will gain valuable experience and skills, which will be nurtured through a variety of teaching methods including productions, lectures and seminars, theatre visits, and practical workshops, providing a thorough and an in-depth understanding of professional practice. You will develop your own skills in critical analysis and interpretation of play-texts from different playwrights while enhancing your research skills and advancing your knowledge and understanding of drama in general. The structure of the programme will enable you to combine theory with practice, identifying the link between the two. Through a combination of theoretical and practical explorations you will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of creative practices and develop your own capacity as a contemporary practitioner and critical thinker.
What You Will Study
We have introduced the concept of a common first year for BA (Hons) Applied Drama and BA (Hons) Drama. All Level 4 modules are relevant to both programmes but specific modules provide pathways to different programmes. The BA (Hons) Drama programme modules are designed to build on each other at every level. This structure provides the opportunity for linear development as well as continuity that is able to be monitored by the teaching team and your personal tutor. For example, the Level 4 modules in your first year are foundational. They establish the knowledge and skills which Level 5 modules in your second year will appropriately build on. In the same vein, Level 6 modules in your final year advance the skills and knowledge already built in your second year. You will be able to apply all your knowledge and skills in an extended piece of independent research or project culminating in a dissertation in your final year. – See more at:
As experienced practitioners ourselves, we are very aware of differences in peoples’ learning styles and of the types of skills potential employers are looking for. We use a versatile range of assessments which reflect both the equal emphasis we place on theory and practice, and the importance we give to the future employment skills of our graduates.
Theory based assessment methods include:
- Analytical reports – evaluating what you have observed, read or accomplished
- Student-led seminars – presentations based on research on specific readings, companies or practitioner
- Essays, dissertations and exhibitions of work.
Practical assessments include:
- Analysed performances including in community settings
- Group presentations of information
- Oral presentations
- Practical performances
- Student-led workshops – involving other groups of students or community based groups
- Large scale individual community placements – negotiating with a community group to create a performance, presentation or an event.
Our aim is to produce confident, versatile and skilled practitioners who demonstrate professional judgment, good organisational skills and effective problem solving techniques and are able to contribute to any debate within the discipline at all levels – local, national and international.
What Our Students Say
My favourite thing about my course is the fact is gives you transfereable skills, not just skills that can be used in Drama
The teaching staff are great on our course as i feel i could talk to any of them, whether it be about a module, the course in general, or even personal problems.
I really like the practical areas of the course and learning about the different aspects of drama.
Sarah Freegard-Foster, Second year
Careers and Further Study
Throughout our courses you will acquire a number of useful skills which can be transferred to the workplace, such as good communication skills, the ability to work effectively in groups and as an individual, good organisational and decision making skills, effective analytical skills, and the ability to apply theory to practice.
Possible future careers for Applied Drama graduates include:
- Theatre management
- Drama therapy
- Teaching and academic careers
- Community and mainstream theatre work
- Community work, such as Special Educational Needs and mental health
Possible careers for all Drama graduates include:
- Public sector
- Private sector
- Creative industries
- The media
- Tourism and leisure
Employability is very important to us here at BGU, which is why we offer so many placements and opportunities. We also offer enterprise support for graduates who want to start their own business. Successful graduates of this course have also continued to study for higher degrees, with some choosing to pursue further study in the field of education. Those wishing to pursue a career in primary or secondary teaching will need to take one of a variety of teacher training courses either at BGU or elsewhere, subject to separate application.
Fees and Funding
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sorting out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step. Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.
How To Apply
Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. The application fee is £12 for a single choice or £23 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.
Common to both courses BA(Hons) Applied Drama in the Community and BA (Hons) Drama
Critical and Academic Skills
This module forms the basis for your academic development. You will be introduced to a broad range of exercises and workshops to help you to develop the praxis of writing and presenting at a university level, offering contextualised, practical applications and approaches to these ends. It draws together the existing body of knowledge within literacy scholarship, translating it into practical activities for academic development.
This module consolidates and develops your understanding of the roots of theatre through ritual and narrative. It takes a universal perspective of narrative and its importance as a vehicle for social values and its role as the basis of theatre. Cultural, social, political and historical context will be considered and you will be encouraged to consider your own use of narrative in relation to your social and cultural identity.
Documentary and Verbatim Theatre
This module will develop your understanding of fact-based drama, offering you the opportunity to explore global issues and events through the perspective of theatre and performance, using factual dramatic stimuli. You will be introduced to a variety of techniques through activities and workshop to develop the range of skills necessary to turn verbal and documentary accounts in to a performance.
Theatre and Studio Practice
This module acts as a foundation for the rest of the course and ensures that all drama students have a common core understanding of essential critical and practical skills. It allows a common vocabulary of performance to be established. Skills of working effectively as part of a group will be emphasised and will be important in developing appropriate working practices. It provides a basis for all first year drama students to work within the department on small scale public performances making links between drama students at all levels. You will be introduced to a selection of drama conventions and directing, devising and improvisation techniques.
Aspects of Applied Drama
This module equips you with a basic knowledge of key terminology and theoretical positions and raise fundamental questions about the use of theatre as a learning medium and as an intervention in social process. It will introduce you to a selection of Applied Drama strands such as Theatre for Development, Prison Theatre, Theatre and Disability, Theatre and Welfare, Reminiscence Theatre, Therapeutic Drama, Process Drama and others to explore theory and practice across the discipline.
This module forms the basis for the introduction to the application of the principle of Stanislavski’s acting techniques. It concentrates on the core skills of acting, voice, movement and text, helping you to develop your creativity and establish the beginning of a variety of skills that will be invaluable for most of the modules on this programme as well as future career in the theatre. Through structured-exercises, games, tasks and workshops you will develop the range of skills necessary to acting mostly on stage productions.
European Theatre History
This module will provide you with a common understanding of the historical perspective of European Theatre. It will facilitate the exploration of inherited expectations, theories and practices and enable you to recognise the development and evolution of different theatrical strands. A representative selection of eras from the following list; Greek, medieval, Elizabethan, Restoration, Commedia dell‘Arte, Melodrama, pantomime and Naturalism will be selected and exemplar texts from each of the eras will be explored.
Community Arts and Entrepreneurship
This module considers the function, value and role of the arts within a community context. Through practical workshop sessions you will develop the range of skills necessary to create appropriate community performances and workshops. You will also be introduced to a variety of skills necessary to creating a community arts-based project that is capable of attracting grants and funding.
BA (Hons) Drama
This module offers you practical training in the areas that contribute to a theatre production such as sound, lighting, and props-making, Scenic Construction, and/or costume. You will develop your technical skills, undertaking specialised training in the use of various software within the discipline (e.g. AutoCAD, pyrotechnics, stage automation, rigging and flying). With excellent links to the industry and the technical teaching staff who are themselves drawn from all areas of theatre and related professions, you will have hands-on experience from the start, working immediately on our public/student productions.
In this module you will be introduced to the linguistic structure, dramatic impact, aesthetic value and interpretative demands of Shakespeare’s plays around the globe. It will enable you to explore Shakespeare’s transcultural impact on theatre globally. You will develop a much deeper appreciation for Shakespeare, academic skills necessary to be able to critically analyse his plays from different cultural perspectives.
Contemporary British Theatre
This module, with a particular emphasis on post-war, concentrates on trends in British contemporary theatre that focuses on social issues and how they have been represented in dramatic/theatrical texts. You will be introduced to some influential contemporary British playwrights (mainly twentieth and twenty-first century dramatists) and their theatre forms and styles.
Theatre and Stage Management
In this module you will have a broad and comprehensive training in all aspects of stage and theatre management, giving you the career related skills that can make you get to work in theatre and other related industries – film, radio, and television, concert, and music festivals. You will work on various productions within the Department and also undertake a professional placement at our partners.
Script & Performance Writing
This module introduces you to the theory and practice of scriptwriting, focusing on playwriting and dramatic writing. You will be introduced to the specific writing conventions, formats, styles, and structure, narrative, dialogue and techniques of scriptwriting for different dramatic forms and genres – comedy, satire, tragedy, tragi-comedy, political theatres, etc. You will develop your writing skills and your abilities to create and understand dramatic texts.
This module offers you the opportunity to develop your understanding of issues of culture and identity in the performance practices of the people from the formerly colonised territories (e.g. Africa, Australia, Caribbean and India). You will engage with debates around issues of ‘post-colonialism’ and explore the diversity of cultural tradition as expressed through the chosen texts. You will be introduced to key influential thinkers such as Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Homi K Bhabha, Helen Gilbert, Christopher Balme and Michel Foucault.
Applied Drama in the Community
Theatre in Education
This module presents students with the opportunity to develop an issue based theatre package to take into the community as a form of experiential learning with the responsibility of interaction with community groups. Students research an issue, develop a short piece of theatre and create workshops around it. The work is taken out to community groups as an educational and developmental tool
Shakespeare in Context
This module presents students with the opportunity to develop a high quality performance for the community. This is one of the modules in the programme concerned primarily with the development of performance skills and an in depth study of text. Students develop and perform anthologies of Shakespeare’s work in public. It is important to allow students to experience the atmosphere and tensions of participating in a major performance event, and to learn about the associated stagecraft and administrative responsibilities.
Contemporary Theatre Contexts
This module is concerned with the relationship between theatre and society and considers the influence of one upon the other. Students are encouraged to uncover the links between society and the plays and productions that that society creates. There is a political, social, historical and ethical element to this module. There is a strong practical element to the module as well as a theoretical one. Sometimes, where relevant, students take their practical presentation performances into schools as a form of supplementary information and knowledge.
Professional Context & Entrepreneurship
This module provides students with an experience of the world of work in the form of a placement or work experience or a project with employer involvement. It enables students to apply knowledge and skills in a real-life context offering them a valuable experience to draw on when they present themselves to employers or selectors upon graduation. Students will be introduced to a variety of skills and business issues and will consider such issues as funding, learning and presentational styles, CVs and professional development.
Theatre for Development
TfD is a rapidly emerging field of Applied Theatre across the world and is central to a degree programme such as this. The importance of theatre as a tool for a social change has been documented across the globe. Theatre has the potential to effect positive change through participatory techniques that enable people or communities to tell or write their own stories and also perform them. In this context, theatre is grounded and domesticated specifically to the needs of individuals and/or communities; issues are discussed, treated and performed by the people who live in the community. This is an exciting, cutting edge module.
The module involves creating events to take into a community setting or/and creating a performance event such as a festival within the university for external audiences. The module explores the connections between the arts and community, with a focus on performance events and popular theatres. Students create pieces of Street theatre to perform in the city centre and are often asked to perform at festival, and/or groups of students create children’s theatre for invited audiences and children’s festivals.
BA (Hons) Drama
Directing and Devising
This module places a particular emphasis on professional leadership and the skills needed to be successful in the area of directing. The important processes of directing and devising will be examined in detail. The role of director will be examined, and work of famous and successful directors and their styles will be analysed, with the intention of helping you to identify your own strengths and qualities in the different forms.
Site Specific Performance
This module responds to the change in the theatre and performance convention. You will familiarise yourself with the theoretical framework upon which Site Specific Performance is grounded through discussion based seminars and planned activities. You will learn how to create winning business plan for a site specific project and how to apply for various grants to fund such a project.
This module provides you with an opportunity to build upon and apply the key intellectual, transferable and practical skills gained at Levels 4 and 5 to an appropriate study or a research project. It focuses on helping you to start planning for your dissertations by identifying research interests, initial enquires, generating a suitable topic and producing academic proposal that is clearly suitable for your intended research project. You will be given tutorial throughout to support the development of their ideas and projects.
Intercultural Performance Practice
In this module the relationship between cultural pluralism and how it informs contemporary performance practice will be examined. The impact of politics, religion, ritual and culture on performances will be considered. You will be encouraged to open your minds to other cultures in an explicit way, through exploration of your own cultural values and recognition of other people’s traditions. This module extends knowledge of performance and world culture and corresponds with the exploration of contemporary society as considered in some of the previous modules such as, Global Shakespeare, Decolonising Drama and Contemporary British Theatre.
This module provides you with an opportunity to work independently on a piece of research work that is substantial enough to advance knowledge. You will have the opportunity to build upon and apply the key intellectual, transferable and practical skills gained at Levels 4 and 5 of the programme to an appropriate study or research project by focussing in depth on a specific topic that interests you. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor who will support you in optimising this research opportunity.
Applied Drama in the Community
This very popular module allows single honours students to stage a small-scale performance event with full consideration for preparation, process, presentation and evaluation. Students have the opportunity to work on a subject, style or script that is of particular interest to them. Final year students will direct first year and other students on this project. The module offers a safe, in-house opportunity to prepare for the final community project in terms of focus, organisation and directorial skills.
This module focuses on drama as an educational tool. It looks particularly at Process Drama and provides students with an in depth knowledge of the theory and practice of educational drama as a whole , and the use of role play as an educational tool. It is particularly useful for those who are considering a career in education but is also useful for all practitioners in this field. Students gain practical experience in planning and running lessons and workshops.
This module is an opportunity for students to gain more insight and experience in working with community groups and serves as an introduction to the final year single honours extended Community Project. The module builds on the professional Context module and other modules with a community placement element. Students will have the time to consider, discuss and consolidate ideas for their final project and produce a viable proposal for it. Students who use the module wisely will access potential mentors and do background research on the community area and issues that they are considering.
This module is the culmination of the Drama in the Community single honours course. It builds on the foundation of everything the students have learnt over the three years of the course and it is their opportunity to meld theory with practice in their own specific undertaking. The module allows students to work independently and to demonstrate and develop skills that are directly relevant to employability. Previously students have done community projects with mental health group, prison groups, the elderly, special needs, vulnerable young people, schools, nurseries, the travelling community, migrants and so on.
This module provides an opportunity for students to work independently on a piece of written work substantial enough to advance knowledge. Using both primary and secondary sources and different methodologies, they will be required to define and undertake a written research project with the aim of producing a dissertation on an agreed topic. This might be in relation to the subject area of their community project or another area. Students will be given tutorials throughout to support the development of their ideas.
Final Year Community Project
During their final year, Drama in the Community students undertake an extended community project which runs across two modules in the second semester. This is the culmination of a course which includes short community placements and workshops in community settings throughout. For some students this is an opportunity to work in an environment that they wish to enter when they graduate from University, for others it is simply the chance to put all that they have learned into practice and push their boundaries.
Projects can take place in very varied settings, from schools to prisons, nurseries to care homes. In recent years we have worked with Lincoln Prison, Action for Young Carers, Age Concern, The Traveller Community, Government initiatives for unemployed young people, and numerous schools. Students can create community projects with local youth groups and charities where they are required to design and undertake a project which services the needs of the specific community they are working with and to adapt accordingly. They use not only Drama but Music, Dance, Art, and Crafts – anything which has relevance to the particular community or institution. This level of versatility and planning gives the students a huge advantage in the job market.
Below, are two of last year’s graduates who speak of their experiences of placement. Georgina Weller is currently working at The Drill Hall on an apprenticeship she was offered on the strength of her community project and Zoë Watkin-Drury is employed in the residential unit for young people with mental health issues where her placement took place.
“As part of my third year at university I ran a fund-raising project with Macmillan Cancer Support, who provide support and care to those affected with cancer and their families. The project ended with the ‘Take Over Lincoln City Centre’ event on the 10th of May 2014 which I was responsible for organising. Through the project we raised £2,000 and over 15 community groups took part. One of these community groups was a youth theatre group which I ran over an 11 week period in order to create some pieces of street theatre especially for the event. This project succeeded in not only raising money but also raised awareness and boosted participation in volunteering.
Working with Macmillian on this project not only taught me a great deal about communication but also about event organisation involving a large number of people and the management of issues and problems which crop up along the way. From the whole experience I gained a huge amount of confidence, met some inspiring people and although at times it was a little over whelming, I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect!
Through doing the project, I met a large variety of people which actually led onto an internship at Lincoln Drill Hall as a Marketing Assistant. I have already learnt a great deal from the role and I still have 3 months left!”
Drill Hall CEO Chris Kirkwood:
“Since joining us in September, Georgina has proved herself an invaluable member of the team. She has taken responsibility for developing and scheduling social media campaigns, poster distribution, press releases and much more. We are always confident in leaving Georgina to use her skills and initiative to complete tasks, which is fantastic for a small team working under pressure. Her work is completed with dedication and to a high standard and we are delighted with her progress.”
Fiona Goldsby – MacMillian Cancer Support:
“What did I get with Georgina? A right hand, someone who is passionate about the cause and brings great ideas with abundance of energy and enthusiasm. She is a bright individual who understands what cancer is all about and how necessary Macmillan are to patients.”
“My community orientation project was based at an in-patient unit for adolescents who are experiencing acute or complex mental health difficulties. I didn’t have much knowledge before hand about the issues or complexities of mental health and by completing my community project in such an environment. it provided me with a deeper understanding in that area.
To create the best opportunity for the project, I focused on the community I was working with by building on the strengths of the young people. The confidence of the participants grew each week and culminated in a phenomenal talent show that was performed to an audience of over 25 people. The project not only gave the participants confidence but it also gave them a positive outlook by showing them how to focus and create fun and a positive atmosphere for themselves. It gave the young people something to engage and associate with, something to work and focus on, and most importantly it gave them a sense of achievement. Their confidence expanded further and resulted in the creation of their own video to show what life was like on the unit. The project also engaged all the staff involved within the unit, creating a sense of community and having a positive effect on all. It reinforced that drama is fun, that is can build upon teamwork and that it can also be used as a form of therapy to work with people to gain a positive outlook on life.
Completing a project within a mental health community was both beneficial and rewarding. It allowed to me reflect upon all the skills I had built up throughout my degree and reinforced that I had the capability to facilitate and engage with a community group out of my comfort zone.
As a direct result of the project, I have been given an opportunity to become a Nursing Assistant within the unit. Alongside this role, I have also been offered the opportunity to continue working with the young people, within group sessions and one to one sessions to help to create a relaxed, calm and positive atmosphere allowing them to engage in drama related activities.
My community project has given me an opportunity of a lifetime and shown me a career path that I would never have even considered but which I now can’t wait to expand upon.
The feedback from the unit reflected that I am very enthusiastic, have an easy going manner with a positive outlook on life, which enabled me to share my qualities within the mental health community. I was described as ‘great with the young people’.
Staff memeber at the Unit:
“Zoe is an asset to the team, we welcome her with open arms and we are glad she is now onboard. She is fantastic with the young people, getting them all to engage with daily activities. Zoe is not only talented with her drama skills, a great quality to have and work with, but her kind and caring nature gives her the qualities needed to be an excellent staff member as part of our nursing team here at the unit.”
Viv Kerridge – Academic Coordinator for Drama
Viv Kerridge coordinates and teaches on the undergraduate programmes in Drama. Viv has a particular interest in interventionalist drama and the preparation of applied drama practitioners. Prior to joining Bishop Grosseteste University in 2001, Viv worked in a freelance capacity as both a drama practitioner in community settings and lecturer at a variety of educational institutions including further and higher education.
Dr Dennis Eluyefa – Senior Lecturer in Drama
Dr Dennis Eluyefa teaches on the Drama in the Community/Applied Drama undergraduate programme. He is also a practitioner, and he has worked professionally for many years with Dr Hubert Ogunde, the acclaimed father and founder of Nigerian contemporary theatre and had in-depth training in acting, voice and movement with him. He has done many TV and radio dramas, and also featured in ‘Nollywood’ films. He has also performed, danced and choreographed for many top musicians in Nigeria.
Head of School
Dr Andrew Jackson – Head of School of Humanities
Dr Andrew Jackson is the Head of the School of Humanities. Andrew is a historian with current research interests that include twentieth-century urban and rural change, and local and regional history. He also engages in consultancy and project work relating to community history and heritage, digitisation and e-learning. Andrew joined the staff of Bishop Grosseteste University in 2007, following ten years at the University of Exeter.
Andrew contributes to the teaching of the undergraduate subject of History, Masters programmes in Heritage Education and Community Archaeology, and the Doctoral programme in Education. Andrew’s teaching interests include: rural, urban and landscape history; local and regional history; historical and cultural geography; country houses and garden history; archives and history education; heritage and community identity; Lincolnshire’s history and heritage; and Devon history.