BA Drama and Theatre Arts

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
W440
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2020/21:
£9,250 (Home/EU)
£18,780 (Overseas)
More detail.

Studying the practical, theoretical and technical aspects of theatre in combination, offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore and understand its relevance, considerations and practicalities.

This programme will give you an excellent grounding in all areas of performance theory and theatre making, whilst giving you the opportunity to specialise in those aspects that you are most interested in, from critical research in seminars and dissertations, to the creation of new performance in a professional context. Through this we will help you develop into a confident researcher and performer and to build a diverse and attractive professional profile. Your development will be supported by our close links with theatres and professional practitioners in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and beyond.

My favourite module for Drama would be Theatre Practice because it's more practical and we do a lot of exercises. Some of the exercises can be as random as getting a piece of paper, crumpling it up, and then trying to replicate that with our bodies, trying to really focus on how our muscles work and feeling it in our limbs.

Kathryn

Why Study this Course?

  • Well-respected department - the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham is one of the most respected and established of its kind, having celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2015. We currently rank 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2019 and are also ranked in the Top 100 for Performing Arts in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019. 
  • Outstanding employability - 94% of our graduates enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).
  • RSC collaboration - students will benefit from our exciting five-year collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), which has seen the reinstatement of the iconic studio theatre The Other Place. Our students will be able to access creative and teaching spaces at The Other Place, as well as the expertise of RSC artists and practitioners; they will also have the opportunity to attend RSC productions and events.
  • Excellent facilities - Drama is located on the picturesque Selly Oak campus, which offers extensive facilities including: a large number of studio spaces; the Orchard Learning Resources Centre, with its own well-stocked library and computer suites and our own purpose-built theatre and high-definition cinema facility in the George Cadbury Hall. We also share a site with the BBC Drama village, which offers exciting placement opportunities.
  • Local theatre - 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), as well as being within a convenient distance of Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick. To learn more about the city of Birmingham, visit our Discover Birmingham page. 

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Landmarks in Theatre and Performance
  • Performance: Theory, Practice and Critique
  • Studio Practice
  • Theatre and Performance Practice
  • Preparing Performance 
  • Engaging Performance
  • Theatre Crafts

Detailed descriptions of year 1 compulsory modules

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Theatre Lab: Devising Lab and Approaches to Text 
  • Theatre Praxis: Texts in Rehearsal 
  • Drama Study Options
  • Drama Practical Option
  • Theatre Crafts

Detailed descriptions of year 2 compulsory modules

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final year

Compulsory modules

  • Drama Extended Essay
  • Drama Practical Project
  • Drama Study Options
  • Drama Practical Options or Production Module 

Detailed descriptions of final year compulsory modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £9,250
  • Overseas: £18,780

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as home/EU for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as overseas for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB–ABB
Required subjects and grades:
Satisfactory performance at an audition or, if not resident in the UK, on a visual recording - see below for more details.
General Studies:
Not accepted.

IB Diploma:
6,6,5 to 6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus A at A-level.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level.

Please note: we will only accept BTEC qualifications in Performing Arts, Performing Arts (Acting), Performing Arts (Dance) and Performing Arts (Musical Theatre).

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Drama Admission Workshop: 

If you are successful in your application, you will be asked to attend a Drama Admission Workshop. These workshops take place on our Offer-holder Visit Days, when you will also be able to meet academic staff and students in the Department and familiarise yourself with our teaching and practice spaces.

Your offer will be conditional on your satisfactory participation in the Drama Admission Workshop, as well as achieving the grade requirements set out in your official offer confirmation. If your performance is particularly strong during your Drama Admission Workshop then you could receive a one-grade reduction, meaning that your offer becomes ABB, instead of AAB, or equivalent.

We appreciate visitng campus for the Drama Admission Workshop might not be feasible for those domiciled outside of the UK, therefore it is possible to submit a video recording of a monologue and a short performance analysis instead.

International Students

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 one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

The text itself evades meaning. One of the things that is fascinating about Godot is that it is a text that seems to fall apart as the play is produced, as the play is performed.

Dr David Pattie

University of Birmingham students are part of an academic elite and learn from world-leading experts. We will challenge you to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

You will have a diverse learning experience, including:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • independent study
  • and peer group learning, such as delivering presentations with your classmates

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) - the AWAS team will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level. You will receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, tutorials and email correspondence.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Contact hours

Although contact hours vary significantly from week to week depending on the modules that you are studying, you can expect an average of 12 hours of taught contact time per week in each year of your degree. This may include lectures, seminars, performance workshops, supervisions of practical and written work, and intensive periods of technical production support or rehearsal. Outside of these times staff are also available for individual meetings and informal supervisions.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

 

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

94% of our BA Drama and Theatre Arts students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

You will develop fantastic skills for your future career, such as presentation delivery, confidence, communication and teamwork. These are timeless skills which are useful for a wide variety of careers, not solely restricted to theatrical vocations. Our graduates can be found in roles such as:

  • Journalist
  • Corporate fundraiser
  • Copyrighter
  • Healthcare professional
  • Marketing manager
  • Teacher
  • Publisher
  • Account manager
  • Technician
  • Dramatherapist
  • Videographer
  • Lawyer

Our graduates also gain employment with well-known employers such as:

  • NHS
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • Amazon
  • Birmingham Children's Hospital
  • McCann PR
  • Macmillan Publishing
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Birmingham REP Theatre
  • Bloomsbury Publishing Group

Of course, we also have professional actors and theatre practitioners amongst our alumni community, including:

  • Tamsin Greig, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1998: Olivier-winning actor.
  • Matthew Goode, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1999: actor in British and American film and TV including The Imitation Game, WatchmenDownton Abbey and The Good Wife.
  • Phyllida Lloyd, BA English and Drama, 1979: director of plays, opera and film including Mamma Mia! on stage and screen and the recent film The Iron Lady.
  • Victoria Wood, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1974: comedian, actor, singer-songwriter, screenwriter and director.
  • Ben Shephard, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1997: television presenter currently working for Sky Sports and ITV.
  • Stuart Blackburn, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1987: current series producer of Emmerdale at ITV.
  • Pippa Evans, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 2004: comedian - arrived on the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008 and nominated for Best Newcomer.
  • Patsy Ferran, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 2011: stage actor, including playing Jim in the 2014 National Theatre production of Treasure Island and Portia in the 2015 Royal Shakespeare production of The Merchant of Venice.

Developing your career

Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

  • Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
  • Cultural Internships - our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.

There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
  • Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
  • Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.