Why study this course
Use your passion for drama as a tool to engage and work with communities and to enable others.
You'll have opportunities for short community placements and the experience of undertaking an extended third year placement within a specific community of your choice.
This is an engaging and collaborative course that enables you to get to know your peers and work together to gain a strong sense of community.
There is excellent flexibility within the course. Adapt, change and enhance your pathway through drama depending on your preferred aspects of the course.
We have a passion for drama at BGU, and we want to share that passion with you. If you love drama and want to use it to make a difference in the wider world, then you’ll find that our Applied Drama courses, which mix the academic and the creative, will offer you the opportunity to put your love of drama to practical use.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
About this course
Applied Drama at BGU is for you if you are lively, curious and interested in making a difference to others. It's ideal if you want to take your projects into the community, such as into special needs and mental health settings, care homes, schools, nurseries, youth groups and many more - whilst all the time improving your performance skills, communication skills and knowledge of the subject.
We encourage our students to express individuality, connect with local communities and demonstrate what they have to offer. 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.
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.
At all stages of the course, you will practice 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 your ideas and what you have to offer.
BG offers two full time single honours Drama degrees. The BA (Hons) Drama programme provides an alternative route for students who do not wish to study drama within a more specialised community context. It has a contemporary focus – 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. You will develop your skills in critical analysis and interpretation of play texts from different playwrights, while enhancing your research skills and advancing their knowledge and understanding of drama in general. The programme is grounded in the academic elements of drama as well as practical performance making. It is designed to equip students with analytical skills enabling them to contribute to academic debate 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 in depth understanding of professional practice. Although the programme focuses on contemporary drama it has a strong practical element which will enhance graduate employability. The structure of the new programme, therefore, will enable you to combine theory with practice, identifying the link between the two.
Both single honours courses share a common first year which means greater flexibility for students.
What will you study
During the course of your undergraduate, you’ll cover 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.
This module will allow you to extend your theoretical knowledge of the field and to enhance the understanding of workshop techniques in relation to Applied Theatre. The history and political and social background of Theatre in Education will be studied and the challenges of interventionalist theatre will be explored in some detail.
The module will work on Shakespearian text with a particular emphasis on the relevance of Shakespeare’s work to a contemporary audience and its role within the National Curriculum. The whole process of staging a production will be investigated in detail, from script preparation and directing styles to set, costumes and administration.
The purpose of this module is to allow you to gain detailed insights into the world of the playwright, their intentions and influences. You will implicitly consider how one’s social class, context and gender influence performance work, and investigate form, structure and meaning.
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 module is centred on theatre as a tool for social change through the use of participatory techniques. It is designed to equip you with the necessary skills to enable you to employ those techniques to facilitate positive effect within a community context.
This module will include study of the major practitioners in educational drama during the past thirty years, and emerging drama teaching philosophy. Detailed consideration will be given to the place of signing, symbol and metaxis in drama teaching and the subtleties of working alongside young people in developing process drama will be practiced in the studio.
During the course of this module there will be a significant amount of group discussion and exploration about ethics, health and safety, methods of negotiation and a recap of workshop skills. Discussion will take place about safeguarding, disclosure and the need for lines communication with host community groups.
This module builds on the foundation of everything you will have learnt over the three years of the course and it is your opportunity to meld theory with practice in your own specific undertaking. You will be tasked with facilitating a relevant and appropriate event which reflects the needs of the community group in a challenging yet supportive framework.
During the course of this module you will be equipped to identify an area that interests you regarding your research project on a topic of your own choosing, with support from a supervisor and/or personal tutor, plenary teaching and online learning resources. Lectures will consider issues of research design and the creation of research questions, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, data gathering (and the ethics of data collection) and analysis.
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.
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.
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 decision-making skills, effective analytical skills, and the ability to apply theory to practice. Possible future careers for Applied Drama graduates could include theatre management, drama therapy, teaching and academic careers, community and mainstream theatre work, community work (such as Special Educational Needs and mental health).
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.
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 decision-making skills, effective analytical skills, and the ability to apply theory to practice.
Possible future careers for Applied Drama graduates could include theatre management, drama therapy, teaching and academic careers, community and mainstream theatre work, community work (such as Special Educational Needs and mental health). 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.