The Drama and Theatre Arts programme incorporates a variety of modules, many of which integrate theory and practice. In your first year you will be given a foundation in the core study and practical aspects of the programme, which will form the basis of your studies throughout the rest of your degree. To help you through the transition from school to university, the course covers the fundamental aspects of the study and practice of drama. You will work on various aspects of the study of theatre and performance and be encouraged to develop your skills in performance and textual analysis and essay writing. You will also be introduced to the major library and electronic resources relevant to university-level study.
Here you will build on the foundation work of the first year and also have opportunities to develop a wide range of practical specialisms and undertake study options. Practical modules are taught by core staff and visiting professional practitioners. Study modules are taught by academic staff who are researching and publishing in that particular field of inquiry.
In your third year the one compulsory module is either an extended essay in drama or a practical project in drama, both involving independent research. Your research and practice are supported by workshops, as well as one-to-one supervision meetings with your appointed supervisor.
For your other modules you select from a menu of practical and study options. As one of your major practical options, you can choose to take part in one of a series of public performances. These productions are directed by experienced members of staff or visiting professional directors and are supported by our full-time production staff and theatre crafts students. They can range from contemporary or historical texts, to devised, site-specific pieces, and theatre in education productions.
Why study this course
The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham is one of the most respected of its kind, consistently rated highly in the UK teaching and research rankings. We currently rank 1st overall in the Guardian University League Table for Drama. You will find we offer exciting opportunities, first-class facilities and a commitment to excellence in teaching. Study here and you will have the privilege of learning from visiting professional practitioners and academics at the forefront of research internationally, from ancient Greek drama and Shakespeare to new writing and contemporary performance, always with a consideration of theatre in relation to its specific cultural context and audiences.
The research resources available to students include the substantial holdings of the university library which houses the Noël Coward Collection, as well as the collections in the Library of Birmingham, including its world ranking Shakespeare collection. In nearby Stratford, you will also find the University's Shakespeare Institute and the Shakespeare Centre - the latter holding the RSC's archives as well as exceptional holdings in other performance-related material.
At Birmingham, you will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you are a fully supported and active learner. Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that is highly sought after by employers in today's intellectual and creative industries. The courses are also very flexible, allowing you to specialise more and more as you progress.
We have a Drama-dedicated site on the Selly Oak campus. It is home to the Drama Building (SOVAC) which has high quality studio and rehearsal spaces. Drama students have easy access to the Orchard Learning and Resources Centre that includes Library and seminar/lecture rooms. There are also plenty of study spaces available. The George Cadbury Hall, our theatre on the Selly Oak campus, is where performances for the course are staged, with adaptable performance space and professional standard facilities. This campus is close to student accommodation in Selly Oak.
The BBC Drama Village, where Doctors is filmed, is located on the same site as our Department and provides excellent opportunities for to work closely with the BBC. We are currently in discussions with the Royal Shakespeare Company about an exciting new collaboration that will bring a range of benefits to students starting in 2015.
Birmingham is an ideal place to study Drama as it has one of the highest concentrations of live theatre in the country. It is home to many theatres ranging from the Birmingham Hippodrome and the Birmingham Rep to the mac (Midlands Arts Centre) and the Old Joint Stock (which is a pub and a theatre).
The Guild (our Students' Union) has seven different drama and theatre student societies including Article 19 theatre (who stage innovative productions of 'classical' drama), Comedy Footnotes (for those interested in stand up comedy), Guild Musical Theatre Group, Infinity Stage Company (who are charity based and get involved in volunteer work), Three Bugs Fringe Group (dedicated to alternative theatre and take performances to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and Watch This (who produce original and experimental plays).
Open day talk
Dr Adam Ledger delivers the June 2013 undergraduate open day talk.
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: AAB–ABB
Required subjects and grades: A level Drama or Theatre Studies is desirable but not essential. If taken, it will be requested at grade B.
General Studies: not accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 34–36 points
Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements
Audition: If you are successful in your application, you will be asked to attend an audition, on a day when you can also meet academic staff and students in the department and familiarise yourselves with our teaching and practice spaces. Those domiciled outside of the UK will be required to demonstrate a satisfactory standard of performance evidenced by a visual recording, for example a DVD, that you will need to send to the Admissions Tutor. A choice of monologues for this performance will be provided to overseas applicants once your application has been received.
We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
Joint Honours combinations
You can study Drama as part of a Joint Honours degree with English; within this programme you can specialise either in English Literature or English Language.
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