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Drama, Theatre and Acting

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code

W401

Start dates

September 2022

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 6 years

UCAS Tariff Points

104

Overview

BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre and Acting is an exciting hybrid course that combines the conservatoire-style study of acting and performance with the academic study of post-Renaissance drama as text.

You'll learn through an exciting and eclectic mix of theoretical and practical modules, and examine contemporary pieces that deal with political and social issues like:

  • LGBT rights 
  • race 
  • mental health
  • social unrest and more. 

With its strong employability focus, the course prepares you for many careers in theatre and the arts. You will be partly taught at the Old Fire Station, a professional theatre in the centre of Oxford. This enables you to develop hands-on, practice-based skills in all aspects of theatre production both on and off the stage. You'll also take a compulsory work placement module and gain employment skills, including:

  • communication
  • self-presentation
  • interpersonal skills.

You'll emerge with valuable insight into the theatre arts industry, along with the practical skills and confidence to start your career. 
 

students-in-forum

How to apply

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.

For more information about how we are supporting applicants impacted by Covid-19, please see our information for applicants page.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

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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.

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.

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.

Credit transfer

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.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

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.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

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, if any, are detailed below.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

You’ll learn through a blend of acting, directing, performance, discussion, reading and writing. You’ll learn in a working theatre, developing performance and production skills that are directly relevant to a career in theatre arts. 

You’ll also examine theatrical movements and conventions - considering elements like:

  • dramatic form
  • practical staging
  • key historical events
  • political issues

In your first year, you’ll explore acting and performance, including physical theatre. You’ll study dramatic works and theatre practitioners. And you’ll be able to learn about technical theatre as well. 

In your second year, you’ll start shaping your degree around your interests. You might explore directing or devising, or build specialist technical theatre skills. You’ll explore modern British theatre, as well as Renaissance tragedies and comedies. And you’ll take up a work placement in the creative industries or related sectors. 

In your final year, you’ll specialise. You’ll carry out an advanced performance project. And you’ll be able to research an area of theatre you’re passionate about.

 

Female student performing a scene

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 & 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.

Year 3

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 & 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 consolidate and develop your writing competencies acquired in the Creative Writing modules at Levels 4 and 5. 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.

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.

 

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

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 Abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Oxford Brookes. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate

Career prospects

This course will prepare you for a career in theatre either on or off-stage. You’ll graduate with confident performance skills. You'll have strong capabilities in theatre production - like operating light and sound, and working in different performance spaces. You’ll have an understanding of arts administration. And you’ll have experience working alongside professional theatre technicians.

You’ll also develop highly transferable skills that are sought by employers. You'll be an expert communicator, strong collaborator and you'll be able to solve problems. This means you’ll be well-prepared to step into persuasive industries - like PR, marketing and digital media. 

And your compulsory work placement will build up your CV. You’ll graduate with relevant creative arts experience - in competitive fields like publishing, media, heritage and arts education.

 

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.

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.