Video: Undergraduate study in Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham
Duration: 5:14 mins
Why study Drama and Theatre Arts?
I've always been interested in Drama. I've done it since I was quite small. I looked at all the courses and this one was the one that had a good ratio of practical to written.
I quite want to act and I thought I wasn't quite ready for Drama school. I needed some time to feel out what I wanted to do, get a general sense of where I wanted to go and uni was kind of the place for me because there's so much opportunity to do lots of stuff and get involved in different aspects of drama and of all kinds of subjects.
Just because it was so beautiful. When I came here when I was looking round, the red brick and you've got the clock tower and Aston Webb and I think I just came here and was like 'Yes, yes, absolutely!'
Obviously I applied to different places but I just remember looking round Birmingham on open day with the school and just going 'I really like the feel of the uni'. I know it's a well-respected uni.
I had auditions and I think it was for me the best middle ground between the strength of the course and the environment because Birmingham's got some sort of nightlife and there's stuff going on. Part of why I wanted to be at university is to get a general, to live for a bit.
Selly Oak is brilliant because a lot of the other universities I looked round, the student accommodation was spread all over the place. What's really great about Birmingham is once you're in second year, third year, all your friends are in this really small space. You can go and see your friends, they're all around you, there's loads of pubs and restaurants.
My inbox is constantly filled with different things that have been forwarded on to the staff here saying 'Are any of the students interested in this?'. We're also encouraged to see a lot of theatre, so that would be in the centre of Birmingham or even Warwick, Warwick Arts Centre is not too far down the road.
Strengths of the programme
It's really nice that you can tailor your course to your own interests. I study a module in dark comedy which is quite a specific module with quite a specific genre which I'd never have really thought of doing but because it was an option I did that and I love it. I think it's really good that they've got these specific things that you can do like epic theatre or dark comedy.
The facilities here are really good as well, the studios and things. We've got access to practitioners who have a lot of experience.
I think that's the really good thing when you get to university. The teachers really know their subject and they're passionate about it.
There's good people here in every element as well as in the technical side as well, all those lot are great. There's a level of respect which is immediate.
The Birmingham University drama extracurricular stuff is above and beyond so many other universities. There's about 6 societies all doing different types of plays. You can direct, you can produce, you can do comedy and musical theatre.
Would you recommend the course?
Definitely, yeah, no doubt about it. I think it gives you a range of different modules, practical and theoretical.
I think Drama is a really good course, really good fun. It's academic but you also get to meet lots of people. I think it is a really good course.
What's next for you?
We have the BBC Drama Village over the road and there's a chance for second and third years to apply there to do a summer internship. We've got the Birmingham Rep. We've got all the theatres in Birmingham.
I was uncertain about what I wanted to do, whether I just wanted to go straight to drama school. Having had this time now, it's given me a chance to step back and take a look at all the drama schools. Meanwhile, I'm still developing my acting here. I've got more time to prepare speeches, understand what the different schools are. I'll be more mature too. Ultimately it's drama school after this for a further three years but I don't think I would have got there or got the most out of it if I hadn't gone through this.
I think it's a very transferable course. I don't think you do Drama, you have to be an actress. There's so much of working with people and learning how to get on with a group of people and compromising your opinions and presentation. I think there's so many things which are relevant to so many different employments. Drama is more about getting a grounding of skills like working with people and then you can go off and do anything you want.