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Drama, Theatre and Acting
UCAS code: W401
Start dates: September 2023 / September 2024
Full time: 3 years
Part time: 6 years
Department(s): School of English and Modern Languages
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.
Why Oxford Brookes University?
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.
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.
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.
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
- performance projects
- technical skills work
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.
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:
- political theatre
- polyvocal performance.
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:
- stage presence
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.
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
- 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.
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:
- social class.
You’ll emerge with a firsthand understanding of how performance pieces reflect the changing social and cultural values of their era.
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 & 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;
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.
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.
Dissertation in Drama, Theatre & 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 that 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
- higher education
- 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.
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.
UCAS Tariff Points: 104
A Level: BCC
IB Points: 29
UCAS Tariff Points: 88
A Level: CCD
IB Points: 27
Specific entry requirements
English language requirements
Pathways courses for international and EU students
If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.
If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.
English requirements for visas
If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.
Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.
Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.
Terms and Conditions of Enrolment
When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.
International qualifications and equivalences
How to apply
Full time international applicants can also apply through UCAS
Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
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. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.
Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.
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.
|Additional costs||Amount (£)|
You may choose to purchase books to support your studies. Many books on our reading lists are available via the Library, or can be purchased secondhand.
It’s your responsibility to cover print / binding costs where coursework submission is required. Please note that a lot of the coursework is now submitted online.
Accommodation fees in Brookes Letting (most do not include bills)
|£94-265 per week|
Accommodation fees in university halls (bills included, excluding laundry costs)
|£122-180 per week|
Graduation costs include tickets, gowning and photography. Gowns are not compulsory but typically students do hire robes, starting at £41.
Students are responsible for their own travel to and from university for classes. BrookesBus travel is subsidised for full-time undergraduate students that are on a course with a fee of £9,250 or more, or living in an Oxford Brookes hall of residence. There is an administration fee for the production of a BrookesKey.
Funding your studies
Financial support and scholarships
Featured funding opportunities available for this course.
All financial support and scholarships
Information from Discover Uni
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.