Module descriptions for Drama

  • As courses are reviewed regularly the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

  • Approaches to Performance (double) (compulsory)
    This module provides you with an essential introduction to a range of theatrical skills and forms. It examines key performance skills and techniques including the performer's use of voice and movement. The module will explore theatrical forms and critical approaches to performance including naturalism, political theatre, melodrama and polyvocal performance. It will also introduce students to forms of reflective practice and theory.

    Texts in Performance (double) (recommended)
    Complementing ‘Approaches to Performance’, this module introduces the issues and debates in reading and performing dramatic texts. We will discuss a range of works covering a broad spectrum of drama, focussing on three distinct theatrical movements drawn from -1590s, 1690s, 1790s, 1890s and 1990s. We will examine the theatrical practice and dramatic writing of each historical period in detail paying particular attentions to such issues as the questions of textual genre, acting styles and performance spaces. The practical element of the module will develop your spatial awareness of staged moments and a sense of the historical specificity of performance.

    Creative Writing
    This module aims to give students an overall introduction to the elements of craft necessary to write poetry and fiction. It aims to give a chance to students to develop a creative voice through the study, analysis and use of key techniques employed by poetry, short story and essay writers. As part of the writing workshop experience students will become accustomed to sharing work with the rest of their group and receiving regular feedback on exercises completed in class. These workshop exercises will allow students to establish guidelines for constructive participation and encourage co-operation and self-reflection.  

    Theatre and Theory - Modern and Post-modern (double) (compulsory)
    This key theoretical module will introduce you to influential modern practitioners of theatre and theories, analysing a selection of theoretical writings from Modernism to the present day. We will consider the historical, economic and cultural conditions of theatre production in the European and global context during the twentieth century. A key aim of the course is to develop a historical understanding of theoretical debates in the evolution of twentieth-century theatre.

    Renaissance Tragedy and Comedy (double)
    This is an opportunity to study genre through a range of dramatic writings from the early Henrician court to the closure of the theatres in 1642. In particular, we will analyse through practical investigation 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 course will develop awareness of the historical context of the genre.

    British Theatre 1950 - Present (double)
    This module focuses on a selection of the major developments in British theatre writing and practice from 1950 to the present day. It will give you a chance to explore modern and contemporary British theatre in the context of critical and socio-political debates on the era. You will also explore the history of public funding of theatre institutions in post-war Britain.

    Work Placement in Drama
    You will have the opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge gained in your studies in drama through a work placement. We can help organise placements with a variety of organisations with links or interests in drama, theatre and/ or the arts more widely, for example, with Pegasus Theatre or local schools. You will be required to evaluate and reflect critically upon your experiences in the workplace.

    Final Production (double) (compulsory for honours degree)
    In the Final Production module you will have the opportunity to apply the theatrical and theoretical skill and knowledge developed during your degree in a dramatic production. You will be required to plan, devise and participate in a group production based on a self-selected text or theme. You might additionally choose to focus on a specialisation such as lighting, costume, set, sound or direction as well as performance.

    People, Plays and Places
    (double honours module)
    Focussing on Early Modern dramatic texts, you will have the opportunity to carry out detailed critical research, centred on writers, venues and contextual theatrical issues. You will explore theatrical and aesthetic challenges for scholars and theatre practitioners working in the period.

    Spectacular Origins: Theatre, Medicine and Science
    (double honours module) 
    This predominantly practice-based module offers you an opportunity to explore aspects of theatre through the depiction of medicine and science or to engage with ideas from medicine and science in relation to dramatic and theatrical representation. Its central aim is to interrogate through practice the historical and theoretical links between science and performance.

    Interdisciplinary Dissertation (double honours module)
    In your final year you have the opportunity to use your accumulated knowledge of drama and theory to undertake a piece of self-guided research with individual supervision. You will be encouraged to draw on materials and ideas encountered on earlier modules and to develop an informed, critical and historical overview of the subject of drama in combination with another subject, such English, Film, or History, for example. Your output will include critical writing as well as the option to present performance material or presentations, as agreed with your dissertation supervisors.