Why study this course

This is predominantly a theatrically-focused degree, excellent for you if you're looking to develop technical theatre skills, such as stage and theatre management, acting and script writing.

It's an engaging and collaborative course that enables you to get to know your peers and work together to gain a strong sense of community.

We have exceptional support mechanisms available in order to help you achieve success, both practically and academically.

There is excellent flexibility within the course, allowing you to adapt, change and enhance your pathway through drama depending on your preferred aspects of the course.

Course summary

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.

Key facts


Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS code

W401

Duration

3 years

Mode of study

Full-time

Start date

September

Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code

B38

Course details

About this course

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 all our drama 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. 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.

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.

BG offers two full time single honours Drama degrees. BA (Hons) Applied Drama in the Community offers students the opportunity to take their drama skills into community settings working with people of all ages such as children and the elderly and into specialist areas such as special educational needs, mental health and work with other vulnerable groups. Students develop workshop skills and directing and devising skills which enable them to create and deliver work which can enhance wellbeing, participation and wider education. The programme has a strong practical element which will enhance graduate employability and allows students to combine theory with practice and develop strong analytical skills. The programme involves small group and individual projects in community settings and enables students to use their skills to make a difference in society.

Both single honours courses share a common first year which means greater flexibility for students.

What will you study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules

During the course of this module you will focus on a broad range of skills required in order to function academically. This will include essay writing, presentation of work using technology, debating academically, and how to do a literature review manually and through digital media.

The module will explore key contemporary theories relating to the functions of narrative including the work of Zipes, Warner and Wilson. The origins and nature of drama, including ritual and narrative, will be considered in addition to the resurgence of public storytelling in current society.

During the course of this module you will explore key contemporary theories relating to the functions of fact based theatre, including the work of Douglas Murray and Littlewood and work of many verbatim theatre makers such as Richard Norton-Taylor, Gillian Slovo, Moises Kauffman, Alana Valentine. The historical origins and nature of verbatim and documentary will be considered in addition to theatre design, convention and the staging of plays.

This module will act as a foundation for the rest of the course and will ensure that you have a common core understanding of essential critical and practical skills. The module will reference the work of a selection of theatre practitioners and theatre styles such as Stanislavski, Artaud, Grotowski.

You will consider the historical and theoretical roots of Applied Drama and work through some of its forms. Sessions will look at 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 is built around the principal approaches to Stanislavski’s acting techniques to the creation and realisation of a character and performance. All sessions will focus on equipping you with the basic skills required to engage in acting through a series of structured exercises, games and workshops, and specific directed tasks.

This module will take a European perspective of theatre history in a social context. 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.

During the course of this module there will be an analysis of key contemporary community art practitioners/theories and how to relate these to the needs of the community. You will engage in the exploration of key contemporary community art practitioners/theories in relation to the function of the arts, with specific emphasis on dance and musicianship.

In this module, you will work on many Shakespeare’s plays, looking at their relevance in the 21st century to a contemporary audience and different cultures. It will cover major topics such as critical analyses of Shakespeare's works, theoretical approaches to understanding, reading and performing Shakespeare as a ‘theatre brand’ and as an adaptation.

During the course of this module you will gain detailed insights into the world of the playwright, their intentions and influences. You will read and see current plays and analyse them in relation to their correlation with the preoccupations of contemporary society and the level of challenge they provide.

As part of this module, the fundamentals of scriptwriting, such as structure, narrative, dramatic action, genre, suspense, character, dialogue and rhetorical effect, focusing on performance possibilities, will be considered. You will also study different approaches to writing, individual authorship, group writing and writing to specific briefs, will also be studied.

Some issues and concepts within postcolonial drama – culture, identity, assimilation, separatism, inter/multiculturalism, Colonialism, homogeneity, heterogeneity, Hybridity, equality, difference, notions of the ‘other’, notions of ‘great chain of being’, cultural re/presentation and values – will be explored and theoretically analysed. You will be introduced to post-colonial theory and other relevant and important theories, which can be used in the analysis of some post-colonial plays that will be discussed in the sessions.

This module is designed to offer students a broad training in aspects of technical theatre and an insight into stage and theatre management. The module will equip students with the necessary career related skills that they need to work in theatre and other related industries such as film, radio, television and concert and festivals. With excellent links to the industry and teaching staff who are themselves drawn from all areas of theatre and related professions, students will gain hands on experience working on various public/student productions within the department and the university.

This module provides you 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 you to apply knowledge and skills in a real-life context offering you a valuable experience to draw on when you present yourself to employers or selectors upon graduation.

This will be an intensive investigation of different techniques, and most of the work will be through various teaching methods. A text will be investigated in depth, and practical experiences in directing and devising will emerge from it.

Through a series of structured exercises, games and workshops, using different creative mediums, you will use variety of structures to create site-specific pieces of work in a widening scope. You will read about and view documentation of site-specific work by site specific practitioners to enable you develop your thinking about the aesthetics and politics embedded in site-specific performance practice and help stimulate your creative impulse.

This module will focus on equipping you to identify an area that interests you regarding your research project on a topic of your own choosing. This module will enable you to demonstrate your understanding of and ability to integrate the conceptual and substantive foundations laid in the earlier part of the programme.

During the course of this module, you will be introduced to a number of theories appropriate to the module including, cultural theory and interculturalism. World theatre, dance and music will be introduced through video, visits and practical sessions with professional artists.

This module will focus on equipping you to identify an area that interest you regarding your research project on a topic of your own choosing. You will be strongly encouraged to think strategically and analytically and to work independently and autonomously as appropriate and within agreed guidelines.

Entry requirements

You will normally need 96-112 UCAS tariff points (from a maximum of four Advanced Level qualifications). We welcome a range of qualifications that meet this requirement, such as A/AS Levels, BTEC, Access Courses, International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Pre-U, Extended Project etc.

However this list is not exhaustive – please click here for details of all qualifications in the UCAS tariff.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (AP(E)L).

How you will be taught

There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.

Placements are a key part of degree study at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.

Assessment

We use a versatile range of assessments in Drama 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, student-led seminars, presentations, essays, dissertations, exhibitions of work and portfolios. More practical assessment methods may include analysed performances, group presentations, practical performances or large scale individual community placements.

Careers & Further study

Throughout our drama 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 decisionmaking skills, effective analytical skills, and the ability to apply theory to practice. Possible future careers for Drama graduates could include theatre management, drama therapy, or in teaching and academic careers. All Drama graduates may also find employment in the public or private sectors, in the creative industries, within the media, the tourism and leisure sector, or within education.

Interested in a career in teaching?

As an Undergraduate student at BGU, you'll be offered a free place on one of our Preparing for Teaching (P4T) courses as a part of your degree (currently exclusive to BGU students).

Led by our team of teacher training experts, the course is designed to prepare you to apply for a place on a PGCE programme. It covers topics such as:

  • How to apply
  • What to expect at an interview
  • The realities of teaching and much more

Not only will you gain essential skills that will support you in your future career, by completing the course you'll also get a guaranteed interview to one of our highly sought after PGCE courses.

If you have any questions about the P4T courses you can register by clicking here or you can speak to our Admissions team via admissions@bishopg.ac.uk

Support

Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

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 sort 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.

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.