Drama, Theatre and Acting

BA (Hons)

UCAS code: W401

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 6 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Education, Humanities and Languages

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Do you have a passion for theatre and drama? Do you want to be part of something transformative? Are you ready to explore how the arts can change lives? This exciting hybrid course combines conservatoire-style performance and acting with rigorous academic study. Whatever your educational journey so far, this is a course for people with a passion for theatre.

Our modules cover both theory and practice, so you’ll experience acting, performing, and directing alongside your discussions and written work. You’ll explore how dramatists have tackled political and social issues and responded to historical events, and learn essential skills in acting, staging and directing. You’ll also dive into topics from dramatic forms to practical staging.

You'll enhance these skills on your professional placement, learning how to apply your knowledge to the workplace. Wherever you go and whatever you choose to do after your time with us, we’ll equip you to make a difference to the world around you.

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Drama, Theatre and Acting, BA Hons degree course students performing on stage at Oxford Brookes University

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Excellent reputation

    Our course is ranked 1st in the UK for research and 2nd for teaching (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings, 2019).

  • Professional Teaching Space

    Experience being taught in the Old Fire Station, a professional theatre in the heart of Oxford.

  • Work placement module

    Grow your skill set by experiencing the world of work. You’ll think about how your performance and production skills can apply in a professional environment.

  • Explore your interests

    Whether you have dreams of acting in Renaissance tragedies or reviewing and analysing modern British theatre, there are a wide range of topics you can study.

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

  • Study abroad

    Immerse yourself in  a new place and new tastes. Step out of your comfort zone and experience what it’s like living and learning in a different country.  

Course details

Course structure

Drama, Theatre and Acting at Oxford Brookes will provide you with a solid grounding in theatre history, performance skills, and technical production. In your first year, you’ll learn the basics of acting and physical theatre as well as the methods of theatre practitioners such as Stanislavsky and Brecht. You’ll be exposed to a diverse mix of plays, genres, cultural contexts and discover how anywhere can be a theatre. You’ll also develop a good understanding of the history and changing styles of Western theatre.

In year 2, you’ll start to shape your modules around your interests. You’ll explore British theatre and Renaissance tragedies and comedies. And you will go on a work placement to explore how your creative and analytical skills apply in a professional environment.

For your advanced performance project in year 3, you’ll apply the theoretical and practical skills you will have gained on the course to researching, rehearsing, producing, and staging a show.

Female Drama, Theatre and Acting, BA Hons degree course student performing a scene at Oxford Brookes University

Learning and teaching

Your learning will take place in the classroom, our on-campus Drama Studio and in a working theatre. Some of your on-stage and technical modules will take place at The Old Fire Station, an arts centre in the heart of Oxford. In this environment, you’ll get to grips with the workings of a real theatre - developing crucial knowledge and experience.

The Old Fire Station works in partnership with Crisis, together aiming to end homelessness in Oxford. And you’ll have opportunities to get involved with the theatre’s work.

Back on campus, you’ll explore dramatic works and theory in a seminar environment. Classes are small and supportive - and you’ll get to know your course mates and tutors well.


You’ll be assessed through a mix of written and practical assignments - including

  • essays
  • performance projects
  • technical skills work
  • presentations

Your assessments will help you build the strong communication and collaboration skills that employers expect. Your coursework will also strengthen your critical thinking skills - helping you to thoughtfully stage scripts and confidently create original shows.

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Acting Toolkit

    In this module you’ll examine the fundamental theories and practices in actor training. You’ll learn about methods developed by pioneers like Stanislavsky and Brecht. And you’ll explore twenty first century approaches and techniques as well. You’ll be exposed to a diverse mix of plays, which tell stories and create characters in different ways. You’ll also begin to develop your own acting skills. And you’ll have a chance to critically evaluate your own performance, and those of your peers.

  • Page to Stage

    In this module you’ll master the process of delivering a performance - from the initial reading right through to the final performance. You’ll learn how to carry out research. You’ll explore the creative processes that underpin theatre productions. You’ll build your understanding of different genres, acting styles, cultural contexts and performance spaces. And you’ll develop your spatial awareness and understanding of movement on stage.

  • Theatre Styles and Contexts

    Explore how theatre has evolved - and how theatre-makers have innovated over time. You’ll examine how theatre buildings and spaces are used - and how they’ve changed. You’ll consider how technical theatre has developed. And you’ll analyse how acting styles and character development have evolved. You’ll also be introduced to a range of theatrical forms - like:

    • naturalism
    • political theatre
    • melodrama
    • polyvocal performance.

Optional modules

Physical Theatre

In this module you’ll examine physical theatre - from its historical beginnings right through to the rise of the director and 21st century actor training. Your weekly workshops will introduce you to the key principles of training the body. And you’ll learn about practices like:

  • posture
  • balance
  • energy
  • relaxation
  • stage presence
  • improvisation.

Introduction to Technical Theatre

Develop hands-on technical theatre skills - from sound and lighting techniques, to stage management. You’ll learn how to create a basic sound design. You’ll master basic lighting design and programming. And you’ll discover how to stage manage a show.

Creative Writing 1: Voice and Craft in Poetry and Prose

In this module, you’ll enhance your power and ability as a creative writer. You’ll attend workshops where you’ll learn through reading, writing, discussion and feedback. You’ll practise your own writing, explore the interplay of creativity and craft, and analyse how you work as a writer. You’ll join other students in exploring key approaches in poetry and prose, through:

  • practical writing exercises
  • discussing each-other’s work
  • critically analysing the work of published writers
  • exploring key writing practices.

You’ll produce a portfolio of original creative writing, as well as a study of the aims and processes of your creative work. You’ll develop excellent writing habits, and the ability to reflect on your own writing practices. You’ll also understand the literary and cultural context of your own writing.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • British Theatre: 1950 to the present

    In this module you’ll study major pieces of British theatre from a socio-political context. You’ll consider the changing social and cultural values in Britain - from the post-war period right through to the present day. You’ll read key texts in modern British theatre. And you’ll consider the changing theatrical responses to concepts like:

    • theatre censorship
    • state funding
    • feminist, queer and alternative theatres.
  • Professional Skills Placement

    Get firsthand work experience in the creative industries in a semester-long placement. You’ll undertake an internship in the creative sector, where you’ll put skills into action. You could be placed in areas like:

    • theatre spaces and theatre companies
    • publishing 
    • museums & galleries
    • educational contexts.

    We'll work with you to arrange your placement. And you’ll emerge with credible experience in the creative industries to add to your CV. You’ll also refine the skills you’ve gained on the course in a professional setting - like influencing, group collaboration, presenting and more. 


Optional modules

Modern British Theatre in Performance

In this module you’ll examine and perform important pieces in modern British theatre. In practical, hands-on workshops, you’ll explore the important and evolving socio-political issues reflected in each piece - like:

  • race
  • sexuality
  • gender
  • nationality
  • social class.

You’ll emerge with a firsthand understanding of how performance pieces reflect the changing social and cultural values of their era.


Devising Theatre

Build your creative skills in a workshop environment - where you’ll create new performance pieces each week. This module will help you master the process of creating performances. You’ll develop your physical performance skills. And you’ll build your confidence in improvisation.

Sights, Sounds and Scenes: Technical Theatre Project

This module aims to help you apply the skills from the introductory Technical Theatre module in Level 4, to provide technical support from performance creation to final staging of the performance of other students’ work in Modern British Theatre in Performance.

Renaissance Tragedy and Comedy

This module will aim to introduce you to tragedy and comedy through a range of dramatic writings from the Renaissance period. In particular, you will analyse through performance the generic boundaries and rules of tragedy and comedy, exploring the ways in which Renaissance theatre appropriated and redefined genre. The practical element of the module will develop awareness of genre in performance, the limitations and opportunities afforded by different performance spaces, and methods of engaging with spectators.

Perspectives in Directing

You will learn how to read plays and analyse scenes from a director’s creative viewpoint by exploring the approaches of a selection of directors from the early twentieth century to present day, engaging with a range of plays from classical texts to new writing. You will have opportunities to try out a range of strategies and exercises that professional theatre directors use throughout the rehearsal process. You will also build an awareness of how visual and aural elements of theatre design (set, lighting, sound, costume, props, use of space) contribute to an audience’s experience of a theatre production. By looking at Modernist, Postmodern, and Postdramatic theories of theatre and performance, you will see how new dramatic forms impact on approaches to directing, acting, and staging and consider the ways in which earlier plays can take on new life through the application of innovative directorial approaches. 

Creative Writing 2: Exploring Genre, Form and Style

You will be encouraged to write within a style that suits your expressive talent and will be taught using a range of material in prose and poetry. You and your fellow student writers will help one another to find out what’s important to you as writers, and how best to articulate it. Through a combination of group discussion, critical analysis, in-class writing exercises and small-group activities you will work on each of these elements;

  • Technique 
  • Process 
  • Reflection.

Independent Study

This module provides an opportunity for you to pursue your own interests, by either further exploring a topic already covered within the course, or to explore an area of academic study not currently covered by the curriculum.

International Year Abroad

Optional modules

International Year Abroad

This is your opportunity to work or study in another country, so you can experience a different culture from the UK. You’ll be able to apply and test your knowledge and skills in new contexts that will significantly develop your employability profile.

Choosing this module will allow you to exhibit the development of self-management and working or studying in unfamiliar contexts, alongside practising cross-cultural communication and interpersonal skills.

You will receive support and guidance to help you find a place in an available partner university, or to find a work placement for your international year abroad. This international year abroad module lasts for one academic year and is taken after the conclusion of your second year of study, once you’ve completed all your level 5 studies. Your international year abroad is not credit-bearing.

The opportunity can be approached in 2 different ways. Please see your options below: 

Study in a non UK University Option

You can attend a non-UK higher education institution for a full academic year. You’ll be able to choose modules in your own subject or in a subject you consider would benefit your overall course of study. You may choose to deepen your knowledge of your degree subject or enhance it by developing complementary skills.

By studying in an international university you’ll progress your interpersonal skills through cross-cultural communication with fellow students and tutors, building lasting relationships. Also you’ll further develop your study skills as you focus on your selected areas of interest to you - while developing and progressing an international study experience that will add significance to your CV.

Work-based Learning Option

Undertake a work placement or work-related project based on your interests and existing skills. You will create an initial learning contract that shows clearly how your proposed placement or project will link with your academic and/or professional aims.

This pathway helps you to have full control over what your work-related learning looks like. You will advance your skills in a practical setting, gain first-hand experience in a work environment, and begin to create your professional network. Also, taking initiative of your learning in such a way will mean that you will stand out when you apply for jobs after graduation.

Final Year

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Performance Project

    You will be given the opportunity to apply the practical, theatrical and theoretical skills and knowledge you’ve gained throughout the course. You will work in groups on self-directed research and rehearsal with supervision to produce and stage your own show. Emphasis will be placed on producing a coherent performance supported by appropriate theatrical methodologies.

Optional modules

Dissertation in Drama, Theatre and Acting

This module will allow you to undertake a lengthy piece of self-guided research, giving you the opportunity to receive individual tuition in areas related to the research interest of the programme’s academic staff. You will be encouraged to make connections between praxis, materials and ideas encountered on earlier modules enabling you to develop an informed, critical, and historical overview of the subjects of drama, theatre, acting and performance.

Research in Action I

You will be introduced to areas of the lecturing teams’ research specialisms, so that you can engage at a sophisticated level with research and/or practice. You'll evaluate it in relation to a body of primary texts, the contexts of original production and subsequent re-production/performance. You'll take control of your own learning - tailored to the specialised options.

Options include, but are not limited to:

Staging Riots, Resistance, and Power: explore how power, revolution and repression are written, refuted and revised through drama. Delve into the interplay between theatre, history, memory, and imagination. You’ll create an original piece of theatre based on research.

Performing Identities: representation and the politics of identity: You’ll explore the performance of identities and the performance of identity politics on the contemporary stage. You’ll explore three key aspects: feminist theatres, LGBTQ performance and black British and American work.


Research in Action II

This module will introduce you to areas of the lecturing teams’ research specialisms, so that you can engage with research and/or practice. You will evaluate it in relation to a body of primary texts, the contexts of original production and subsequent re-production/performance. You'll take control of your own learning - tailored to the specialised options.

Options include, but are not limited to:

Spectacular Origins: Theatre, Madness and the Mind: you’ll explore aspects of theatre, madness and the mind. You’ll engage with ideas from medicine and you’ll investigate, through practice, the historical and theoretical links between madness, the mind, science and performance.

Experiments in Space: Geography and Environments: you’ll examine the potentials of site-specific and site-sensitive performances. You’ll also consider how staging texts in non-conventional sites and found places can open up new nuances and you’ll look at places and how they can be a creative stimulus for new work.


Creative Writing 3: Towards Professionalism and Publication

This module will advance your skills in writing a longer piece of writing and also builds your understanding of how a book works as a whole. Specifically, the module aims to enable you to: 

  • Focus your creative writing practice towards work of publishable standard
  • Engage with the challenges of writing book-length texts with regard to structure, balance and pace
  • Create, analyse and edit your work critically and insightfully, with an awareness of its potential market and genre
  • Review, reflect on and develop your individual writing practices and habits
  • Expand your reading, with a focus on considering and discussing whole published works
  • Create for your final submission a piece or collection of writing which achieves a professional standard in form, content and presentation.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


Our aim is for you to become an engaged and responsible citizen who believes that the arts can positively change the world. Many of our graduates go into jobs within theatre and the arts, while others enter other sectors of the economy. These include:

  • PR, marketing and communications
  • NGOs and charities
  • research
  • teaching
  • higher education
  • publishing
  • media and journalism.

Previous students have taken up jobs with organisations such as the Duckegg Theatre, the British Museum, Hestia Charity and the UK Civil Service.

Our Staff

Ms Abi Lawrence

I have previously worked in the UK theatre industry as a lighting and sound operator, lighting designer, and as a stage manager.

Read more about Abi

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400


Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.