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Drama and Film Cultures BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

Drama and Film Cultures is an integrated course covers the histories, practices and contexts of theatre, performance and film, and explores theoretical approaches to both in an interdisciplinary context.

It explores theatre, performance and film as part of a dynamic matrix of cultural influences in relation to politics, the visual arts, popular and avant-garde cultural practices. You'll consider the ways in which all three can both shape and be shaped by their surrounding artistic and political contexts, and engage with a range of theoretical ideas about representation and spectatorship, identity and difference, art and ideology, and the body in representation.

The degree fosters creativity and problem-solving skills, and integrates professional practice into its modules through a variety of forms of assessment. It trains you in practical, writing and critical skills that are highly desirable to employers, and supports you throughout to gain confidence as independent learners.

You will be encouraged to develop a range of skills to articulate your ideas through performance and in written, oral and visual form across a variety of formats, allowing you to develop yourself for a career in the creative industries.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time WP34 Clearing 2019
2020
Location Penrhyn Road and Kingston School of Art at Knights Park

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • You'll be prepared for employment in the creative industries. You'll build a portfolio of work that demonstrates skills relevant to performance, scholarship, journalism, advertising and online content.
  • You'll be involved in the creation of a full-scale theatre production, using group working and performance skills.
  • You'll learn from industry specialists in fields such as theatre and film journalism, playwriting, festival management and archiving.

What you will study

The Drama and Film Cultures course covers the histories, practices and contexts of theatre, performance and film, and explores theoretical approaches to both in an interdisciplinary context. You'll also have chance to learn from industry specialists in theatre and film journalism, playwriting, festival management and archiving, and to develop your own portfolio of written work throughout the degree.

Modules

Students take four year-long, 30 credit modules, two in each of the subject areas of drama and film. Typically, a student must complete 120 credits at each level

Year 1

Year 2

Optional year

Final year

In Year 1 you will begin to develop your practical skills through engagement with a range of performance methodologies and vocabularies. You will also be introduced to key issues and approaches for the study of theatre and film within the wider context of visual culture.

You will begin thinking critically about the relationships between both art forms and their audiences and you will acquire habits of study, self-reflection and revision necessary to the successful creative industries professional.

Core modules

Staging Histories

30 credits

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 DA4002 Making Theatre Happen and is supported by a small group tutorial system. The module introduces students to significant approaches and research methods associated with the study of theatre history. The course will draw on students' previous and current studies of performance texts and styles to investigate how we make theatre history, what evidence we draw upon, and what implications these histories have for our current performance making  In the first part of the module students will increase their knowledge and understanding by investigating key periods in Western theatre history including the English renaissance, the popular Victorian stage, modernism and the post-war theatre of the absurd.  In a series of tutor led seminar/workshops, the students will consider the historical contexts that gave rise to changing conceptions of dramatic character, dialogue and action. Particular attention will be given to the material conditions in which theatre artists worked and the relationship between the theatre and the culture at large in any given period. In the latter part of the module students will apply their knowledge and research skills in a student-led, staff-supervised project utilising skills acquired in DA4002 Making Theatre Happen.

Performance Vocabularies and Methods

30 credits

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.

Authorship and Active Audiences

30 credits

This module asks where the real meaning of popular stories lies - with the original author, or with the audience's interpretation. It begins by exploring theories of authorship in literature, and traces the development of these ideas through the film studies of the 1950s and 1960s to concepts of the ‘showrunner' in contemporary television. It then surveys the ways in which screen audiences have been studied, from World War Two propaganda to present-day work on fan videos and fan edits, mash-ups and tributes.

The Body and the Moving Image

30 credits

This module will explore the many and complex ways that the human body has been fundamental to the history of the moving image. Drawing on a range of examples from early photography through 1920s fashion, slapstick, Hollywood stardom, the musical, costume design and the CGI actor, the module takes students through the history of the body on screen, and encourages them to think critically about its representation in terms of gender, race and ability.

In your second year, you will develop a more sophisticated and focused understanding of your subject areas and the synergies between them. You'll study four modules across the year, experiencing a variety of learning and assessment methods.

You will have the opportunity to explore the relationship between theory and practice, and deepen your understanding of dramatic narrative from practical and theoretical perspectives, including the perspective of the actor.

Core modules

The Play Today

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for full field drama students. It focuses on new writing and its pre-eminent place in contemporary British theatre culture. Building on skills and knowledge gained in The Actor and the Text and Staging Histories, the module is designed to allow students both to study key plays in depth and also to develop an understanding of the historical conditions that led to the primacy of the 'new play' in British theatre of the post war period. Taking the establishment of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court in the mid-fifties as a starting point, students will study key plays and playwrights in the process acquiring an accurate overview of the styles of writing that have been most acclaimed, influential and/or controversial in recent decades. Particular attention will be paid to British playwriting in the 1990s and the origins, impact and aesthetics of the In-Yer-Face school. Students will also consider the impact of cultural and institutional policies, such as the establishment of the Arts Council and the young writer's programmes at various subsidised theatres - the Royal Court, Soho Theatre - in shaping contemporary drama, its forms and principal preoccupations.

An Actor Prepares

30 credits

This module 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. It provides an opportunity to explore in detail the key facets of Modernism, as it manifested in theatre and especially in relation on how it impacted on the role of the actor. 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 it. Scenes from key plays are explored in detail and appropriate processes used to realise them in performance. The second part of the module explores the gravitation away from Naturalism towards the ‘Anti-Realist' modes of the early twentieth century Avant-Garde, including on Symbolism, Surrealism, Expressionism and Epic theatre. 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 the work of the actor today will be examined.

Representation and the Visual

30 credits

This module will strengthen and enhance students' understanding of visual representation and its aesthetic, social and cultural power through close, detailed analysis of key examples drawn from cinema and other art forms. We explore film as a signifying system which uses images and sound to create complex and richly suggestive meanings that shape our understanding of the world.

Writing about Film

30 credits

Students will have the opportunity to work with a series of guest professionals from the film cultures industry, including festival programmers, reviewers, scriptwriters and journalists, to develop their own portfolio and shape their future career aspirations.

You have the option to take an additional year to study abroad.

The final year is a 'capstone year' during which you will complete a major self-designed research project and be involved in the creation of a full-scale theatre production. You will use the practical, critical and analytical skills developed across years one and two, to design a research a project that reflects your own interests, and you will use group working and performance skills in your final production.

Other modules will help you to manage your research and introduce you to further ideas and ways of working that may influence your career choices. Research is key throughout the third year, both in the modules delivered and in the increasing focus on your extensive, independent study.

Core modules

Drama Production Projects

30 credits

This is a core requirement for full field Drama students and an option for students taking Drama as a major field. It enables students to develop ideas and research 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 a 'pitch' they make and the feedback received at the end of Teaching Block One. 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.

Special study: Staging the Nation Identity Politics in Contemporary Drama

30 credits

Building on knowledge and skills acquired in Level 5, this module is designed to provide students with in depth knowledge and understanding of key trends in British theatre and performance in the twenty-first century. In particular the module allows students to develop critical awareness of how current discourses in identity politics - class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and nation - have been figured in and through performance in contemporary Britain. The module considers how, theatre companies, dramatists and theatre makers have responded, and continue to respond, to the social, political and economic pressures that problematise the very idea of Britain and Britishness in the twenty first century.

Power and the Image

30 credits

The module explores the relationship between politics and the image, from a range of critical approaches including post-colonialism, post-modernism, and post-humanism. We look at a range of films that run counter to dominant discourses in relation to race, gender, sexuality and the body, including mainstream and European cinema, science fiction and neo-noir.

Special Topics in Film Cultures

30 credits

This module is research-led and changes year on year in response to changes in the industry and the research environment. Students will be able to create a range of responses to the module in their assignments, including the production of media artefacts accompanied by critical commentary.

 

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

112 tariff points

If you want to join us in 2019 through Clearing, please call us on 0800 0483 334 (or +44 020 8328 1149 if you are calling from outside the UK) and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable hotliners who will be able to provide information on available courses and will guide you through your options.

Please note the tariff information below is for 2020 entry only.

Typical offer

112 UCAS points from Level 3 qualifications, including Drama and Theatre Studies/English Language/Literature/Performing and Production Arts (i.e. A Levels, BTEC Diploma, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc).

Additional requirements

Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no element below 5.5

Teaching and assessment

You'll have opportunities to develop professional and outward-facing writing, performing and presenting styles, as well as practical work for creative expression. Equally, you can critically engage with drama and film through not only traditional written essays, but also through video and performance essays format that are at the cutting edge of contemporary drama and film studies.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Year 1: 23%
  • Year 2: 22%
  • Year 3: 19%

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios and dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose.

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework
  • Practical
Year 2
  • Coursework
  • Practical
Year 3
  • Coursework
  • Practical

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

What's it like to study drama at Kingston University?

Facilities

You will be part of our drama community, studying in our fully equipped drama space, the Reg Bailey building, and at Kingston's Rose Theatre where you will have the opportunity to perform.  

In the Reg Bailey building, there are two flexible black box studios, and three rehearsal rooms on-site, with further rehearsal space in an adjacent building.  

Practical classes are taught in the Rose Theatre Studio, which is dedicated to your use. All our studio spaces are fitted out as working venues, and provide excellent spaces for you to perform their work.  

The campus at Penrhyn Road, where Film is taught, is a hive of activity, housing the main student restaurant, the learning resources centre (LRC), and a host of teaching rooms and lecture theatres. 

At the heart of the campus is the John Galsworthy building, a six-storey complex that brings together lecture theatres, flexible teaching space and information technology suites around a landscaped courtyard.

Fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2019/20): £14,200
Year 2 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 3 (2021/22): £15,000
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free WIFI is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

For this course you will be 

  • involved in processes of making, as means of exploration, experimentation, and understanding your practice, by using a diverse range of media and materials
  • required to purchase your own copy of books, for required reading
  • required to produce physical artefacts for assessment 
  • able to participate in optional study visits and/or field trips

However, over and above this you may incur extra costs associated with your studies, which you will need to plan for. 

In order to help you budget, the information below indicates what activities and materials are not covered by your tuition fees 

  • personal laptops and other personal devices 
  • personal copies of books 
  • optional study visits and field trips (and any associated visa costs)
  • printing costs
  • your own chosen materials and equipment
  • costs of participating at external events, exhibitions, performances etc.

The costs vary every year and with every student, according to the intentions for the type of work they wish to make. Attainment at assessment is not dependent upon the costs of materials chosen.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 2 (2021/22): £15,000
Year 3 (2022/23): £15,450

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

After you graduate

Kingston's drama and film cultures graduates work in the creative industries as actors, writers, directors, stand-up comedians, outreach workers, technicians, producers and events managers. In addition to pursuing careers in theatre, they also work in journalism, advertising and marketing, arts management, new media, education, community arts, the public relations industry, business, and therapeutic fields. A number of graduates go on to postgraduate study in theatre, and media or to teacher training.

Students receive training in key critical skills, independent thinking, group work and presentations which are widely sought after by graduate employers. The degree provides students with experience of and insights into various roles across the creative industries and helps them develop their profile in preparation for entering the world of work.

Links with business and industry

The geographic context of Drama and Film Cultures is an important part of its identity. Modules make use of London's resources, and exploit the different learning environments of theatres, galleries, fringe venues, museums, media and creative institutions, public squares and historic buildings for independent learning.

Key partnerships

British Film Institute (BFI)

The BFI comprises the BFI Southbank, one of the world's leading repertory cinemas, the BFI Reuben Library, which is the UK's largest film and TV related reference library, and the BFI National Archive, a repository of almost 130 years of film and television history.

As former BFI employees and programme collaborators, the teaching team have close connections to this most significant cultural body for the preservations, promotion and study of film culture.

The Rose Theatre

You'll share in a vibrant programme of extra-curricular activities, including workshops, talks, theatre productions and screenings, with plentiful opportunities for you to consolidate learning and enhance employability by organising film and theatre projects, at venues like the Rose Theatre Studio in Kingston, and at outside venues.

You'll regularly take work to the International Youth Arts Festival and the Camden Fringe Festival, where we traditionally focus on the production of new undergraduate plays.

We have a close relationship with Kingston's Rose Theatre, where many students and graduates have performed in productions both in the Rose Studio, and on the Main Stage at the end of every year, when we collaborate with Dance and Music to produce "Kingston on Stage", a showcase and celebration of the most interesting work produced throughout the year by students.

Institute of Contemporary Arts

You'll also benefit from the University being an Associate and Affiliate partner with the ICA, an internationally renowned London institution.

In addition to participating in seminars and events that we organise at the ICA, the partnership offers our students free membership and the opportunity to become a Kingston/ICA intern.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

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