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.
If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction in what it means to be a university student, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective undergraduate study. In addition, during your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress your studies in your chosen subjects.
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.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
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
In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practice and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.
You will learn about a range of resources and practice locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.
This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.
Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.
The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Enrivonment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.
This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.
Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models. As part of this module, you will have an opportunity to attend live delivery of an ongoing degree programme which will provide a taster of discipline-specific undergraduate study.
Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.
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.
Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GSCE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application, you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.
Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.
The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year. International applicants are not eligible to apply for an undergraduate course with a Foundation Year.
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.
During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliography, presentations, micro-teach, use of digital technologies, reflective journal and academic essay. Assessment strategies are designed to be supportive, build confidence and also aim to ensure you will develop the core skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, comprehensive, diverse and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support your preparation for undergraduate study. All modules involve early, small and frequent informal and formal assessments, to ensure that you gain confidence in your knowledge and abilities as you progress through the Foundation Year. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.
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.
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.
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.