Search our site
Search our site
  • Drama and Theatre Arts BA (Hons)

Drama and Theatre Arts BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

If you want to engage with theatre and performance practically, but also want to gain an understanding of its histories and cultural contexts, this is the course for you.

You will explore how theatre is made and develop a range of practical skills, from performing and devising to playwriting and directing.

You will study a variety of topics - from ancient Greek theatre to experimental contemporary practices, from Shakespeare to cabaret performance, from clowning to contemporary black British theatre and, as you progress, you will be able to shape your own course of study according to your own interests.

The Drama and Theatre Arts BA(Hons) course emphasises production, diversity and inclusion: you'll study theatre in relation to gender, race and migration as part of a diverse student body.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time W400 2019
2020
4 years full time including foundation year W401 2019
2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2019
2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • Kingston has strong links with The Rose Theatre, the largest producing theatre in south-west London. You'll benefit from its resources and expertise and perform there. 
  • Guest speakers from the world of theatre such as voice coaches, theatre directors and actors, contribute to the course. 
  • Drama facilities include two theatres with professional lighting and sound equipment. Regular classes are scheduled at The Rose.

 

Gallery of student work

Under the Knife: Full-length, original piece created by second-year students for the module Devising in Context in response to the history of plastic surgery.

What you will study

You will explore the ways in which theatre and performance can both shape and be shaped by surrounding artistic, political and historical contexts.

As you progress, you will work on projects that draw together different strands of your learning. Across the three years of the course, you will have increasing independence in the design and delivery of these projects and you'll specialise in one or more of the following areas: playwriting, directing, devising, performing (in a variety of modes).

Each level is made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points.  Typically a student must complete 120 credits at each level.

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.

Foundation year

Year 1

Year 2

Optional Year

Year 3

Core modules

Becoming an Independent Learner

credits

This module aims to prepare you for undergraduate study and to give you the skills and knowledge related to the study of humanities, arts and social science subjects. The main areas covered will include research skills (like using a library and electronic resources), planning, note taking, building a bibliography, and avoiding plagiarism. You will also develop your communication skills, especially focusing on essay and report writing, delivering presentations and being an active participant in debates and discussions. The module will encourage you to develop the independent learning, critical analysis, and reflective skills crucial to succeeding in a degree.

Radical Imaginations

30 credits

Introducing ways in which written texts are reimagined, adapted and transformed by creative artists, including writers, theatre makers, choreographers and film directors, this module explores in both theory and practice the relationship between page and stage, word and image, and in doing so enables you to explore creative imagination at its most radical and relevant.

How and why do television dramas such as Sherlock and Elementary create dramatic interventions into established narratives? How has innovative, controversial and experimental work made by contemporary playwrights such as Caryl Churchill, debbie tucker green and Sarah Kane drawn on classic texts to challenge and alter our perceptions of the world? What does The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter's creative appropriation of various fairy tales, reveal about this genre and by extension what does Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves tell us both about Carter's stories and the tales that informed them?

Questions such as these, addressed in a series of interrelated case studies, will enable you to examine the practices and negotiations involved in work of transition and appropriation. You will develop skills in textual analysis required for writing effective argumentative essays that engage with diverse literary and cultural materials. In addition the module will harness and develop your creative skills: through a series of workshops you work on short creative writing and group performance projects that respond to the texts and contexts introduced on the module.

Being Human: History and the History of Ideas

30 credits

Throughout time, people have drawn on history and on ideas to explore, question and record the experience of being human.

This module provides an introduction to the study of that experience, in all its variety. It considers how people, events and ideas, past and present, shape our thinking about society, politics, race, gender, art, culture - and life. It enables students to learn how knowledge and awareness of the past is formed and shaped; how it changes and yet in some ways also remains the same. Students debate and reflect critically on the nature of historical knowledge and how 'history' may differ from 'the past', and they consider the ways in which contemporary cultures and societies are shaped by histories of ideas.

The module draws on a rich store of experience, knowledge and expertise relating to history, philosophy and the history of ideas. It asks students to consider how history relates to memory and how history is used, and mis-used. History is personal and also communal. It is national, international and global. How are all those histories linked? How did people in the past experience things in terms of equality and inequality, in terms of gender, sexuality and race? Why and how was that experience documented, if at all? What can we learn from it?

Artists, writers, historians, philosophers, musicians, filmmakers and journalists: all have responded to those and other questions. For this module we introduce students to a range of texts and other representations, using history and the history of ideas to explore and debate what it means to be human. 

Communication in Context and Practice

30 credits

This module introduces you to media communication and will explore a range of texts on a variety of subjects and forms, for varying audiences and purposes across a range of popular media genres and specific texts. You will look at texts from a variety of genres and forms. You will learn ways of classifying these texts and how to describe significant features using concepts from media analysis. You will demonstrate your new knowledge in an assessed presentation.

You will also explore the importance of the audience, aka the reader or listener, for effective media communication in different contexts. Through considering and critically analysing the structure, style content of articles published on websites, in newspapers and magazines you will begin to develop an understanding of how journalism is directed at specific readerships.

You will also learn the practical conventions, contexts and functions of written journalism. You will study how to: originate ideas, undertake journalistic research, interview, organise your material, write well, develop your presentation skills and adhere to house style.

Year 1 introduces approaches and ideas that are central to the study of drama and theatre and culminates in a performance project. You will develop your skills as a performer and enhance your knowledge of a variety of methods of theatre-making. You will study key approaches to interpreting performance by examining play texts and productions, and you will acquire understanding of basic principles in theatre design and explore significant phases in theatre history.

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.

The Actor and the Text

30 credits

This module compliments and extends knowledge and understanding of key concepts of performance developed in Making Theatre Happen by focusing 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 your ongoing studies.  You will 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.  You 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.  You 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 you 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.  

Culture and Performance

30 credits

The module introduces you to a range of contemporary cultural and critical perspectives on drama, and investigates the relationship between culture and performance. The major emphasis of the module is upon developing a refined understanding of how drama, theatre and performance operate in different contexts. The main features of the module are the investigation of ways in which drama expresses cultural and critical perspectives in practice, and the exploration of theories such as post-colonialism, feminism, and materialism as creative and analytical tools. The module is taught through seminar discussions and related practical workshops, supported by extra-curricular events such as theatre visits. The module is assessed formatively through the presentation of a performance essay and a supporting rationale.

Culture and Performance provides an essential platform for your understanding of drama as a discipline, and helps to deepen your understanding of what theatre is, how and why it is made, and how it makes meaning. The module provides an essential introduction to later drama modules that explore cultural and critical perspectives in more detail.

Year 2 develops your understanding and practical knowledge of theatre arts. Core modules offer practical experience of devised performance and the impact of naturalism on the work of the actor. You will study modernist directors and playwrights such as Stanislavski, Ibsen and Brecht, and you will consider the impact of these practitioners on contemporary performance practices. Optional modules allow you to focus on clowning, scriptwriting, directing, Shakespeare, and contemporary British drama.

Core modules

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.

Optional modules

Devising: Body and Technology

30 credits

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 you have gained in the Level 4 core module DA4002 Performance Vocabularies and Methods, enabling you 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. You will study and critique devised productions and engage in creative exercises which enable you to experiment with a range of methods and techniques of devising. You then explore ways in which these approaches can be utilised and adapted within community and applied contexts. You 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 your assessment, you will create a group-based devised performance. You can choose to conceive of this as aimed at a specific audience such as a specific age group or community.

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.

Shakespeare: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

30 credits

This module provides an opportunity for students to enlarge on studies in Level 4 by considering the production history of Shakespeare's plays. Three or four of the plays are studied in depth, and others used for reference. The plays are studied in a practical way, to explore their form and elicit their changing meanings in different theatrical and cultural contexts and at key historical moments. The module explores changing approaches to production since the first performances in Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre and evaluates the impact which players and directors and their methods have had on the reception of Shakespeare at different particular moments. The module seeks to pinpoint how the social/ cultural/ political concerns of any given time have been dramatised in productions of Shakespeare's plays. Changing themes are explored to see how they might have been dramatised at different times, as a means of defining what has been meant and what is meant by ‘Shakespeare'. Research tasks include the treatment of the plays in different playing contexts: on the stage, on the screen and in the workshop/ classroom.

Write Action: Introduction to Dramatic Writing

30 credits

The module introduces you to the craft of writing dramatic scripts for stage, screen and radio. Through a series of practical exercises, writing tasks and feedback you will become familiar with key principles of dramatic writing that apply across the three forms.  A refined sense of how 'conflict' and 'action' build suspense, tension, humour or pathos; of how to create characters that draw the audience's empathy; of the importance of 'subtext' and of how to harness the scenographic dimension through stage directions and settings, all contribute to the craft of a successful dramatic writer. In addition, sessions on radio and screen writing will not only introduce students to the specific conventions of these forms but also, in drawing attention to the spoken word and aural dimension (in radio) and visual story-telling (in screen), you will be sensitised to the power of the scenography as a component of dramatic craft.

The Theatre Director: crafting productions for the stage

30 credits

This module 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.

Popular Performance I: Mask and Clown

30 credits

This module 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.

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

Find out about study abroad opportunities.

Year 3 allows for both greater independence and specialisation and culminates in a major production project in which you will be able to showcase the skills acquired on the course. Alongside the production module you will undertake a focused study of avant-garde and experimental performance practices. You will also be able to choose modules that cater to your own interests. Optional modules include cabaret and stand-up comedy, applied theatre, tragedy, advanced playwriting, and performance and identity politics.

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.

After Modernism: Avant Garde Performance from the 1940s to the Present Day

30 credits

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.

Optional modules

Dissertation

30 credits

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.

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.

Renaissance Drama In Action 1567 - 1642

30 credits

This module is an option for those students taking Full Field and Half Field Drama in Level 6. It is an opportunity for students to enlarge particularly on studies in Shakespeare: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow from Level 5. Five or six key play texts are chosen from the period (including no more than one of Shakespeare's), which may include works by playwrights such as Marlowe, Middleton, Webster, Massinger, Jonson, Dekker, Heywood, Beaumont and Fletcher. The texts are studied in a practical way to reveal their context in the European Renaissance, their role in the design and development of public theatre spaces, methods of staging, their impact on acting and acting styles, reflection of contemporary politics and society and their potential as texts for performance today.

Popular Performance II: Cabaret and Variety

30 credits

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.

Special Study: Tragedy, Catastrophe, Trauma

30 credits

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.

Beyond Text: Advanced Dramatic Writing

30 credits

This module is an optional module for all Drama and Creative Writing students at Level 6 and runs throughout the academic year.  Responding to the changing status of live performance in the twenty-first century, the module explores alternatives to the mainstream 'dramatic' tradition of playwriting. It takes into consideration how cultural shifts such as the advent of new technologies and a global community are or might be reflected in contemporary writing for the stage and in media-based performance (for example audio drama and experimental film). You will encounter a selection of play-texts and performances from the historical and contemporary avant-garde which act as prompts to your creative explorations of playwriting and performance writing methods and techniques.  You are encouraged to be experimental and innovative in your own writing, and to question the role of both the theatre and the playwright.  This is a practical and creative module that may involve performance-based exercises (for example improvisation and task-based performance) as well as writing ones.

The module develops understandings and themes encountered in DA5005 The Play Today and is particularly suited to those who achieved a pass or above in DA5001 Write Action.  The module is ideal preparation for those who are considering masters level study in playwriting, as well as those looking to pursue performance-making after graduation.

Special Study: Applied Theatre

30 credits

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.

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.

Foundation year

You can choose to study a Foundation year Humanities and Arts. The Foundation year will provide you with the essential skills needed to study for an undergraduate degree.

Course combinations

You can combine the foundation year with the following subjects:

The courses are 4 years full time including foundation year.

Gallery of student work

Entry requirements

104-112 tariff points

Typical offer

104-112 UCAS points from Level 3 qualifications, including Drama/Performance Arts/Drama and Theatre Studies/English Language/Literature (i.e. A Levels, BTEC Diploma, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc).

Additional requirements

Entry onto this course does require a drama workshop/interview as part of the application process. Details are available on the course page on the University's website. A short list of selected applicants are invited for an interview. UK-based applicants will be required to attend an in-person group workshop/interview. Further details about the interview will be sent with emailed interview invitations. Applicants based outside of the UK may not be required to have an interview but will be required to submit a digital portfolio/performance video.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5

Teaching and assessment

Timetabled teaching and learning on this course includes acting technique classes and workshops, practical performances, rehearsal lectures, small group tutorials, seminars, and group work.

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

Year 1:

  • 19% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 230 hours.
  • Guided independent study: 970 hours.

Year 2:

  • Approximately 22% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 66 hours for core module and between 220 and 276 hours for optional modules.
  • Guided independent study: 234 hours for coure modules and between 858 and 970 hours for optional modules.

Year 3:

  • Approximately 11% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 66 hours for core modules and between 47 and 360 for optional modules.
  • Guided independent study: 534 hours for core modules and between 240 and 563 for optional modules.

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
  • Scheduled teaching (core modules)
  • Guided independent study (core modules)
  • Scheduled teaching (core modules)
  • Guided independent study (core modules)

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, 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
  • Coursework
  • Practical exam
  • Coursework
  • Practical exam
  • Other
  • Coursework
  • Practical exam
  • Other

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.

Course 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) Foundation year: £7,800
£9,250*
International Foundation year: £14,200
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. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

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.

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.

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.  

Each of the studios is kitted out with up-to-the-minute digital "LED" lighting systems and sound equipment. You'll receive training in how to use all the facilities.  

Importantly, your drama lecturers have offices in the Reg Bailey Building, creating a strong community link between staff and students.

Who teaches this course?

You'll study in a dynamic department staffed by talented drama teachers, playwrights, authors and actors, including Winsome Pinnock, Alfred Fagon Award winner for Best New Play of the Year in 2018 for Rockets and Blue Lights. 

We have also welcomed guest speakers like voice coach Barbara Houseman, (who's worked with Daniel Radcliffe, Kenneth Branagh and Jude Law), theatre director and founder of Two Gents Productions, Arne Pohlmeier, and actor, Tonderai Munyebvu.

After you graduate

Aspiring theatre-makers 

Some of our students have achieved international success soon after graduating. Ben Barnes, who plays Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia is our most famous alumnus. 

Our students also set up their own companies - such as Tin Horse and Urban Theory Films - often in collaboration with former classmates. 

Graduates seeking to enter the competitive world of theatre, film and television often undertake further vocational training. Our graduates have been successful in securing places to develop their skills in subjects such as acting, directing, advanced theatre-making, playwriting, and theatre production at prestigious institutions such as the Drama Centre, Drama Studio, Guildford School of Acting, the Central School of Speech and Drama and the Royal Court Young Writers Programme. 

Drama teachers and scholars 

The popularity of drama as a subject creates a demand for educators at all levels from pre-school to university. The course's attention to theory and history, as well as the opportunities it provides for practice, means that it is perfect preparation for a masters degree or teacher-training, though some students have managed to find work as drama educators without further training. 

This course is also great preparation for specialist training for careers in therapeutic and applied drama (for example drama therapy), especially if taken in combination with relevant subjects. 

Other industries 

Your degree will develop all the standard graduate skills of research, analysis, writing, reasoning and ICT. However, in addition to this, drama graduates develop a unique set of skills in team-building, communication and interpersonal skills, presentation skills, problem-solving, emotional intelligence and creativity. 

This fact is increasingly recognised in industries such as the cultural and arts development, the communication industries, advertising, and customer and public relations. Several Kingston drama graduates are also currently working in major theatres such as the National Theatre, the Bush theatre, the Rose Theatre, Kingston, the Royal Court Theatre and Almeida.

Links with business and industry

Find out how we work with industry partners.

Kingston drama and the Rose

At the heart of our drama course is a strong theatre industry link with the Rose - the largest producing theatre in south-west London. Kingston drama students benefit from the resources and expertise of a professional theatre and gain important industry awareness. Regular classes are scheduled in the Rose Studio, and occasional masterclasses on the main stage. Industry experts from the Rose also teach masterclasses on our third year Production Project module. Likewise, our students learn from artists based at the Rose through Director's Insight, company Q&As and behind-the-scenes events. Every Kingston drama student receives a complimentary ticket to all Rose Theatre productions - supporting their access to live performances.

Our relationship with the Rose reflects our commitment that Kingston drama students will continue to graduate with excellent employability. All single honours drama students have the opportunity to undertake volunteer placements at the theatre in their first year. These cover departments like marketing, development, producing, and front of house. Students can also shadow important technical production processes, and work on spring and autumn mini arts festivals at the theatre. Some graduates have even gone on to work full-time at the Rose!

The partnership between Kingston drama and the Rose revolves around a shared mission to bring theatre and the community closer together. Our undergraduates often choose to present their Independent Theatre Projects (ITP) publicly in the Studio. Students taking our Applied Theatre module can approach the Rose Youth Theatre for a placement, or to work on their shows. Many drama students perform at the Rose during IYAF - Kingston's International Youth Arts Festival - every July. The Studio acts as a forum for the community by hosting sharing and networking events, as well as research platforms covering topics like Women in Devising and Shakespeare. Kingston University's performing arts are celebrated in an end of year, main-house showcase - Kingston on Stage.

Further links with industry

Our lecturers have practical and professional experience in the theatre industry, so you'll have access to practical help and career advice from people with insider knowledge. Our teaching is informed by the latest developments on the 'theatre scene'.

You'll work with guest speakers and visiting companies on specific modules. Past guests have included:

  • actors and performers such as Peter Hall, Jude Kelly, Marcello Magni, Anna-Helene McLean and Miss Tempest Rose;
  • playwrights such as Howard Barker, Alecky Blythe, Stephen Jeffreys, Anthony Neilson, Steve Waters and Laura Wade; and
  • theatre companies such as Frantic Assembly, Third Angel, the David Glass Ensemble, Told by an Idiot, Apocryphal Theatre and Song of the Goat.

You'll also gain professional experience in the community, both through modules and our extra-curricular programme. Recent examples include:

  • students performing their own productions at Kingston's International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Camden Fringe;
  • students collaborating with local community groups to create programmes of activities and projects (part of the Applied Theatre module); and
  • students performing at the Dorich House Museum in Kingston.

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).

Undergraduate study
Site menu