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Dance and Drama BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time WW45 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

This course is subject to validation.*

Why choose this course?

This combined dance and drama degree will allow you to combine critical and creative practice, giving you the skills to master physical performance in both subjects. 

On this course there is no barrier between theory and practice: theory will help you understand and make the most of practice, while practice is used to shed light on theory. The degree is designed to allow you to develop your own identities as informed dance and theatre-makers. By studying a wide variety of practices independently and with others, you will gain knowledge of the industry as a whole, and learn how your interests might fit into the bigger performing arts picture.

Foundation year - Humanities & Arts

If you are thinking of returning to education after a break you could apply for our foundation year course. This course will provide you with the academic and transferable skills you need to study an undergraduate degree in any of the humanities or arts. At Kingston these include Creative Writing, Dance, Drama and English Literature.

Throughout the year-long course, you can study a range of these subjects, allowing you to get a better idea of which ones you prefer. It'll guide you in the direction of a humanities or arts degree that you're particularly interested in. The foundation year will develop your independent study skills and help you to better understand your academic ability, a potential career path and how to develop the skills that employers look for in graduates.

What you will study

You'll work on a range of workshops and across a wide range of performance styles, which reflects today's professional practices. Through active technique classes and seminar/workshops, you'll acquire analytical, choreographic, directorial, ensemble and performance techniques that will equip you to work in the performance industry. In particular, the course enables you to study a wide range of popular and non-Western forms and is designed to distinguish between high and low art forms.

You will be encouraged to develop projects through workshops, rehearsals and full productions. You will regularly take part in Kingston's International Youth Arts Festival and the Camden Fringe Festival, gaining valuable professional experience and adding to your employability.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This Level 4 module is designed to provide students with knowledge and understanding of Western Theatrical Dance history. The module introduces students to the histories and practices embedded in Western theatrical dance and the research methods associated with the study of dance history.

    The combination of practice and theory will enable students to establish, identify and experience the relationship between dance histories, theory and practice. In a series of tutor-led seminars/practical sessions and workshops, students will consider the historical contexts that gave rise to and changed dance practices, the dancing body and dance performances. For example, discussions and practical sessions may include theories and histories embedded in the dancing body; Natural Movement in Britain; Reconstructing the past: re-enacting the cannon; Judson Church: rethinking dance performance and the dancing body.

    Besides learning subject-specific theory and practice, the module includes sessions dedicated to the development of academic skills. These sessions will enable students to develop their academic writing and key research skills such as information search and retrieval, bibliographical research, identifying and selecting relevant information, and referencing. 

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  • This is a year long, core Level 4 module for all students taking Dance programmes at Kingston.  In this module students will study dances from an anthropological perspective through both theoretical and critical analysis, and embodied practice and performance.  Students will study, analyse and embody dance practices from a range of cultures and societies.  Discussion will include how dances have been, and currently are regarded by a range of ‘audiences' and their participants, as well as analysis of the specific contexts of their production, reception and consumption.  Inherent in these discussions are notions of change, transmission and migration of dance forms and practices to other contexts.  Students will be encouraged to explore the relationships between dance and culture, dance and identity, and dance and the community, as well as reflecting on the role, place and value of dance in a range of cultures and societies, including their own.  Throughout the course students will participate in blocks of practical workshops that will develop technical and expressive skills in relevant dance styles.

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  • This module is a core requirement for all Drama students at Level 4 and runs throughout the academic year. It operates and is assessed in conjunction with DA4001 Staging Histories. The module introduces students to significant skills, vocabularies and methods associated with creating performance and explores ways in which these may be applied within a range of dramatic and theatrical contexts. The main features of this module are the study and practice of key elements of performance such as the use of space, time, force (or energy); body and voice; play; interpersonal interaction onstage and off; performance structure and dynamics; and the creation of dramatic meaning and theatrical effect. In the first part of the module students participate in a variety of tutor-led exercises designed to increase their understanding and skills in these areas. These are drawn from methodologies and techniques developed by 20th and 21st century practitioner-theorists such as Anne Bogart; Rudolph Laban, Jacques Lecoq and Augusto Boal. They are also introduced to the basic principles of theatre lighting and sound. In the second part of the module they apply what they have learned in a student-led, staff-supervised project based around material studied in DA4001 Staging Histories.

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  • This module compliments and extends knowledge and understanding of key concepts of performance developed in Making Theatre Happen by focussing on the relationship between the actor and the written playtext.

    There are two interweaving strands and each is designed to serve as a foundation for students' ongoing studies.  Students explore fundamental components of drama such as plot, action, character and dialogue and examine ways in which each is presented in a series of written playtexts.  These plays are studied in detail and each is identified as a pretext for performance.  Students are introduced to ways of interrogating the texts and develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the relationship between what is written on the page and what is presented on the stage. The same playtexts are also used to explore a range of differing performance methodologies that can be utilised to identify the performance potentials of a text in a workshop environment.  Students are led through cycles of Preparation, Exploration and Realisation - understanding what these terms mean and the actions they consist of will be an important aspect of the module - and not only learn appropriate ways in which to create intelligent and imaginative performance informed by a written text but also develop a range of acting skills necessary to perform them effectively. 

    Throughout the module students are also introduced to the basic principles of theatre lighting and sound and will be encouraged to explore the impact of these technical elements when used in a performance context.  

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This core Level 5 module enables students to frame critical and analytical investigations of dance movement, dance works and dance events. Performing Theories combines practical sessions and lectures in order to introduce students to methodological tools, theoretical frameworks and critical writings in relation to dance performance and dance practices. 

    The module addresses a number of key methodologies used within 21st century dance research, including intertextuality in dance, the body politic and gender representations in performance.  These concepts will be explored through technique classes, repertoire sessions, video and live performance analysis and group discussions.  

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  • This is a core module for full-field Drama students and an option for those taking Drama as a major field. It builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills students gain in the Level 4 core module DA4002 Making Theatre Happen, enabling them to develop and adapt these within the context of devising theatre. It begins with an exploration of dramaturgical principles in relation to devised performance with a focus on how companies and practitioners select and respond to stimulus material of different kinds and how they shape that material into performance. Students study and critique devised productions and engage in creative exercises which enable them to experiment with a range of methods and techniques of devising. They then explore ways in which these approaches can be utilised and adapted within community and applied contexts. They are introduced to principles of theatre as social intervention, studying examples of applied theatre practice and participating in workshops focused around the employment of devising techniques in community contexts with a particular emphasis on collaborative methodology. For their assessment, students create a group-based devised performance They can choose to conceive of this as aimed at a specific audience such as a specific age group or community.  

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • This is a core module for Level 5 Dance students that introduces the concept of ‘popular dance' through the examination of a range of theoretical approaches, the analysis of a number of popular dances, practical embodiment and students' own ethnographic research.  During the module we will examine the concepts of popular culture and popular dance using writing from cultural studies, popular music, film and media studies, and sociology.  We will examine a number of popular dance forms within their specific contexts of production, circulation, consumption and participation, and consider how the various sites in which they take place (across the vernacular, stage and screen media) have an effect on meaning, value and aesthetics.  We will consider how engaging in popular dance provides individuals with ways to negotiate, and challenge constructs of identity, and the social frameworks in which they are located.  We will also discuss and examine various methodologies used for the research of popular dance forms, and through practical workshops learn about specific technical and performative techniques that are often used when popular dance styles become theatricalised and codified.

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    • This 30 credit Level 5 optional module is available to full and major field students and is designed to consolidate the creative and critical concepts introduced at Level 4 and to expand upon improvisatory practices and choreographic techniques. Through the study of different dance and performance genres, students will be expected to make more sophisticated use of choreographic devices and effectively combine creative strategies from said dance genres in the creation of a piece of choreography.

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    • This is a core module for all Drama students. It builds on the knowledge, understanding and performance skills students have gained in Level 4 modules, particularly DA4003, The Actor and the Text and DA4001 Staging Histories. This module provides an opportunity to explore in detail the key facets of Modernism, as it was manifested in theatre.  The first part of the module explores the themes and principles of Naturalism in theory and practice. Students study its historical context and conventions alongside the work of key dramatists and directors who helped to shape Naturalistic theatre. The exploration of this key movement in modern theatre is underpinned by practice.  Key scenes are explored in detail and appropriate processes used to realise them in performance. The second part of the module explores the gravitation towards the ‘Anti-Realism' movement of the early twentieth century Avant-Garde, touching on Symbolism, Dada, Surrealism and Absurdism. The conventions, themes and principles of these movements are explored in terms of their social, cultural and political concerns. Selected texts from key dramatists will be fully interrogated within the workshop/classroom and their influence on performance today will be examined.

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    • This optional Level 5 year long module develops students' knowledge and understanding of the professional dance world.  The module is designed to develop student employability for a range of professional dance contexts and careers (for example dance management and dance company education).  Students will be encouraged to develop key professional skills needed for the workplace, such as CV writing and project management, as well as learning about the structures and policies of large-scale dance organisations in the UK, and professional standards and codes of conduct.  In the second part of the academic year students will gain first hand experience of project organisation and management by working in groups to set up a University focused dance event, dance performance or dance education workshop with specific roles tailored to students' career interests.  This module may also prepare students who wish to undertake the additional qualification of the Trinity College Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning (Children and Young People) for examination in Unit 2 at the end of the academic year.

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    • DA5006: The Theatre Director: crafting productions for the stage.

      This is an optional module that enables Level 5 Drama students to explore in detail a range of theatre rehearsal and production processes.  Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the role and function of the theatre director in relation to the other key members of the creative team: actors, designers and technicians, and apply the skills and competencies they develop to the independent creation and production of theatre performance.  The module's initial focus is directorial preparation and students will use Katie Mitchell's The Director's Craft as a template to explore, amongst other things, production-focused play analysis; interpretation and Dramaturgy; workshopping the text and ways in which to rehearse a scene.  This section of the module will culminate in the preparation and presentation of a rehearsal demonstration.  They will then be encouraged to think about the production more broadly and produce a director's book demonstrating that they are able to to consider carefully the perspectives and approaches of theatre designers and technicians whilst discovering effective ways in which to collaborate with the production team.

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    • This optional Level 5 year long module develops students' understanding and skills relevant to dance teaching and learning.  The module is designed for students who have an interest in developing knowledge and skills for teaching dance either in the community sector or within formal educational contexts in any dance style.  The module content includes educational theory, learning and teaching styles, inclusive dance practice, and the professional codes and conduct of a dance teacher.  During the module students will gain experience in planning, teaching and evaluating sessions with their peers, as well as external classes.  This module also prepares students who wish to undertake the additional qualification of the Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning (Children and Young People) for examination in Unit 1 at the end of the academic year.

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    • This is an optional module for all Drama students at Level 5 that runs throughout the academic year and introduces students to a range of European popular performance traditions.  Commedia dell' arte, pantomime and clown are typical examples of these traditions although the module could equally focus on a number of other forms.   The origins and histories of these modes of performance are examined and used as a foundation for the exploration of theory associated with academics and practitioners such as Jacques Lecoq, John Rudlin, Dario Fo and John Wright. Both the historical context and the theoretical framework provide a reliable basis for the practical exploration of essential techniques and conventions of performance associated with each of the forms studied.  The mutable and capricious Clown, an enduring feature of popular performance, is a recurrent figure within the module and serves as a playful means of approaching concepts such as presence, play, and the role of the spectator in the creation of meaning as well as common themes such as marginality, transgression order and chaos.

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • This module is a core requirement for full field Drama students and an optional module for students taking Drama as a major field. It provides a preparation for DA6002 Production Projects B. Major Drama students opting to do Production Projects must take both A and B. However, it can be taken as a stand-alone module by study-abroad students.

    Building on students' studies at Levels 4 and 5, this module explores in depth and detail how theatre productions are made. At its heart is an advanced examination of dramaturgy - the relationship between form, structure and meaning in performance - as it has been conceived of in different time periods and contexts and as it relates to both process and performance. The module begins with an exploration of different dramaturgical perspectives, ranging from the 'well-made-play' to the post-dramatic. Following on from this, through a series of linked presentations and workshops, including workshops offered by visiting theatre professionals, students investigate the roles played by contributors to both devised and script-based theatre production, such as actor, deviser, director, designer, writer and dramaturg. These workshops are related in concrete ways to texts, themes and approaches students might employ in creating their own production and lead to the group-based presentation of a 'pitch' for a devised or scripted theatre production which they then have the opportunity to carry through to fruition in DA6002 Production Projects B.

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  • This is a core requirement for full field Drama students and an option for students taking Drama as a major field. It continues from DA6001, enabling students to develop the ideas and research they have undertaken in that module and carry them through to realisation. It is a capstone project which allows students to draw together their learning from across the Drama programme and apply it in a 'real-world' context through the creation, rehearsal and performance of a theatre production.

    This module is largely undertaken through independent group-based rehearsal, although there is also a series of presentations and workshops addressing specific areas such as groupwork strategies, problem-solving, rehearsal planning and scheduling, managing budgets and publicity and marketing. Students form groups, select roles and choose scripts, themes and modes of performance based on the 'pitch' they made and the feedback received at the end of DA6001. The size of groups may vary but groups should not be made up of fewer than 5 students or more than 12. Each group will have a designated supervisor and a budget allocated on the basis of group size. The rehearsal process will be constructed around a series of formatively and summatively assessed stages such as work in progress performances, group and individual reflective exercises, submission of design and technical plans and presentation of publicity materials. Performances will be scheduled across a number of weeks in consultation with the Drama Technical Production Manager.

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • This Level 6 optional module enables students to undertake a placement with an professional dance organisation in a career path of their choice (for example community dance teaching, teaching dance in schools, community dance management, dance event organisation, dance company management, dance company outreach).  Initially students attend lectures at the University that will prepare them for applying for a placement, and then undertaking the placement successfully.  With help and advice from the module tutor students then organise their own placement with a relevant organisation, company or venue.  Whilst on work placement students must plan and manage a specific project, the focus of which is decided on with their placement host and is dependent on the type of placement (e.g. education, outreach, dance event management, project management, marketing).  The amount of time students spend in the placement will vary depending on the kind of activity with which they are involved.  Students should complete a minimum of 40 hours on placement (and a maximum of 120 hours) during the year long module.  Access to Dance also prepares students who wish to undertake the additional qualification of the Trinity College Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning (Children and Young People) for examination in Unit 4 at the end of the academic year. 

      Note: Students opting to be assessed for the Diploma will need to undertake a minimum of 60 hours of placement experience in a dance teaching or leading context for children and young people.  They will also undertake an additional final practical teaching assessment at the end of the academic year.

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    • This module provides an opportunity for students to work independently under supervision on a piece of written work substantial enough to constitute a capstone project. It offers an additional and optional opportunity for students to present the results of their research in a conference setting. Students will be able to exercise and deploy knowledge and skills acquired in earlier levels of their programmes in PASS by focussing in depth on a specific and discrete topic in dance, drama, film and television, media or music. Using both primary and secondary sources, students will be required to define and subsequently undertake a research project with the aim of producing a dissertation on an agreed topic. Students will be permitted to undertake research in inter-disciplinary areas such as dance on screen, music theatre or cyber theatre.

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    • This module is designed to develop new skills whilst allowing students to capitalise on existing skills in the process of conceiving, devising and delivering a creative outcome.

      The module introduces students to collaborative approaches to creative practice. The collaborative approach will be explored in two different areas: choreographic practice and collaboration with different fields (e.g drama, film, music). In terms of choreographic practice, students will be able to select the nature of their role within the choreographic process and explore ideas embedded in didactic and democratic models of collaboration (Butterworth, 2009). The module enables students to collaborate with a creative from a different field (e.g drama, film, music) in the conception, creation and delivery of a creative outcome (e.g. dance on screen, choreography and composition, physical theatre).

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    • The cultural impact of music hall, variety theatre and differing incarnations of cabaret has been felt at various times since the latter half of the nineteenth century and the legacies of these traditions continue to inform a wide range of current performance practice. This year-long module, which is optional for all Drama students at Level 6 provides, an opportunity to study a range of popular performance forms from historical, theoretical and practical perspectives.  It therefore enables students to investigate issues such as the impact of Modernism and the emerging avant garde on the cabaret culture that spread throughout Europe, but significantly not as far as the UK, during the late nineteenth century; the importance of the halls in the development of popular culture; the birth of alternative cabaret and subsequently alternative comedy as a reaction to the Thatcherite politics of the late 1970s and early 1980s; and the current popularity of neo-burlesque.  It also supports the exploration of essential practicalities such as the development and expression of a performer's personality; establishing rapport with the audience; ways in which material might be generated; and the necessity of presence and spontaneity.   

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    • This Level 6 optional module allows students to further specialise their study of dance by focusing solely on the group of popular dance forms that have become known under the umbrella term of ‘street dance'.  During the module students will study a number of ‘street dances' in their historical, cultural, economic and political contexts, reflecting on the ways in which these popular dance forms have been transposed, modified, codified, commodified and hybridised.  Using theoretical approaches introduced in the core Level 5 module Popular Dance, students will analyse street dances in relation to issues such as authenticity, ownership, identity, commercialisation and globalisation.  Students will also study how street dances are represented in screen media, for example in street dance films, music videos, TV talent shows and advertisements.  This module has a substantial practical component with a particular focus on developing technical skills in styles that may include locking, popping, breaking (or b-boying / b-girling), hip hop or house.

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    • Tragedy, Catastrophe, Trauma is a special-study option module in the third year Drama field, and may be taken by both single honours and joint honours students.

      The module examines how ideas about tragedy have changed, and how these changes have produced different forms of tragedy at different times. The major emphasis of the module is on approaches such as Howard Barker's Theatre of Catastrophe, where the idea of tragedy is re-worked in relation to the practitioner's understanding of contemporary social, political and cultural contexts.

      The main feature of the module is critically-informed experimentation with staging a tragic drama for today. The module is taught through practical workshops exploring key texts in the development of tragedy. These texts are introduced and contextualised through a series of seminars and research tasks. The module is assessed formatively through presentations in class, and summatively through an academic essay, and the performance of an extract from a Barker play.

      Core materials are provided through Study Space and the LRC. This module provides students with an independent and in-depth practical and critical engagement with the origins, development and significance of different forms of tragic theatre.

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    • This module is an option for all level 6 Drama students. It builds on students' learning in the core Level 5 module DA5004, Modernism and the Stage and, in reflecting on the breakdown of boundaries between different theatre and performance forms in the late 20th century, draws together learning from a wide range of other modules. Its focus is on avant garde conceptions of performance and how these have altered and developed from the mid twentieth century to the present day. A key concept is that of the movement from 'acting' to 'performance'. The module begins with key influences from late Modernism, such as Brecht's Alienation Effect and the Theatre of the Absurd, then moves on to explore the variety of ways in which late 20th and early 21st century avant garde practice has  responded to and challenged thinking about theatre and performance. Postmodern cultural theory and Hans Thies Lehman's notion of the 'postdramatic', provide the context for studies of a range of performance practices which might include the experimental approaches to textual interpretation of companies such as the Wooster Group, site-specific and autobiographical performance, and live art. The module mixes practice with theory, allowing students to apply the principles underpinning work by significant innovators to their own creative practice.

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    • Applied Theatre is a placement-learning module, which investigates the process of making drama and theatre in communities and non-traditional performance spaces, both practically and critically.

      The main emphasis of the module is on developing the practical skills and contextual understanding needed to facilitate theatre processes and/or performances in partnership with a local community group or organisation. The main feature of the module in Semester One is a structured experimentation with a range of applied theatre techniques, which are read against important critical questions. This part of the module is taught through seminars and practical workshops, exploring case studies, key concepts and techniques, critical questions, ethics, aesthetics, and project design. In Semester Two, the main feature of the module is the delivery of a practical drama, theatre or performance project, of a significant scale, and taking place in partnership with a chosen constituency within the local community. This part of the module is made up of independent, student-led research and practice. The student project is supervised practically through placement visits by Drama staff, ongoing creative laboratories, as well as by the submission of research, project design and planning materials. The module is assessed formatively through presentations in class of practice and research, and summatively through the delivery of the placement project, reflective writing, and, where necessary, an end of project viva.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

*Subject to validation

We have robust internal approval procedures to ensure that our programmes of study are of the highest quality and will offer our students the best academic experience.  Our approval process is called validation.  Where a course is described as 'subject to validation' this means that the course is in development and the details are in the process of being finalised by the University. Whilst courses on our website with the status of 'subject  to validation' are approved by Kingston University, validation is not guaranteed. Should the course not go ahead you will be informed by the University and assistance will be provided to those who have been offered a place to find a suitable alternative course either at Kingston University or another provider.

Please note that students who require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK will not be issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for courses that have a Subject to Validation status.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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