Browser does not support script.

Undergraduate Course

Drama and Dance BA (Hons)

Combine your passion for drama and dance by immersing yourself in the world of contemporary performance.

Outdoor performance on campus

Powerful performances happen when drama and dance come together. You will explore the use of voice, movement, acting, choreography and physical theatre. Learn how to perform and produce work at a professional standard in the industry you love.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – W4W5
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover Acting, Dance and Theatre at York St John University

Course overview

Draw on the best of both worlds by working across Drama and Dance. You will have the opportunity to explore all aspects of performance. Through our flexible module options you have the chance to build a course that works for you.

Through daily studio practice you will develop your dance and drama skills through:

  • Creating choreography
  • Devising theatre images
  • Researching performance history and practice.

As you progress through the course you will specialise in the areas that interest you most. The areas you may chose to focus on include:

  • Working more independently
  • Forming an ensemble
  • Creating a piece of dance theatre that engages with a socially important issue
  • Engaging with organisations outside of the university.

You will be supported by theatre-makers and choreographers with a strong reputation in their field. Your tutors will work closely with you to make sure the course prepares you for the career you would like to pursue.

You will have the opportunity to work with visiting industry professionals from solo artists to community specialists. Take party in field trips to European cities to participate in workshops and performances which will enhance your research.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are studying full time or part time. 

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study: 

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1.
  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory

Take part in practical exercises to develop your understanding of acting techniques and training. You will draw on the methods outlined by practitioners such as Stanislavski and Chekhov and contemporary techniques used by companies including the Wooster Group and Forced Entertainment. You will consider the contested nature of the actor and actor training in the 21st century.

Credits: 20

Compulsory

Learn what it means to work with your peers to create original ideas and bring them to life. You will work from a dramatic text to inspire your ideas as a collaborative group. You will experience for yourself what it is like to share ideas and work together with other performers. This module will give you a whole new perspective on performance.

 

Credits: 20

Compulsory

Learn the valuable skill of planning, leading and evaluating workshops. You will have the opportunity to participate, observe and lead dance and drama workshops on campus with other students on your course. Topics that you cover will include:

  • Principles of effective facilitation
  • Structuring a workshop
  • Ethical and political issues related to facilitation.

This work will not only prepare you for years 2 and 3 but for your career as a professional dance or theatre practitioner.

Credits: 20

Compulsory

Contemplate the significance of performance and what it means to you. You will be mindful of how these interpretations are rooted in our history and culture, and how they have influenced society today. You will study key movements, ideas and practices in 20th and 21st century performance, theatre and dance with topics including:

  • The Space and Place in Performance: from Robert Wilson to the immersive performance of Punchdrunk
  • The Body: Movement, Gesture and Voice
  • Ritual and Play.

Credits: 20

Compulsory

Work together with your peers on a devised performance using a political ‘text’ as inspiration. This could be a photograph, painting, written document or even a costume. You will develop a range of creative, compositional and performance strategies to help you understand the complex political times we live in.

Credits: 20

Optional

Study how movement is an essential part of performance by considering perspectives including movement as an expression of emotion and energy. Through participating in regular workshops you will practice dance technique, somatic practices and movement invention methods. You will learn about the intelligence of the body and develop an understanding of how movement communicates in dance and theatre making.

Credits: 20

Optional

On this module we will introduce you to the relationship between writing and performance. You will study theatrical language for both the page and performance space so you develop the skills you need to become a successful practitioner. Explore the works of the anti-naturalist movement from the Dada and Surrealist periods so you experience a range of modernist and postmodernist movements. You will learn how language can be a great tool to imagine and embody your own ideas.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will address the social responsibilities of artists and theatre makers. You will engage in both academic research and practical workshops to explore the theory and practice of using theatre for social change. You will also study influential theatre practitioners who have explicitly focused their work on social change, including Joan Littlewood, Brecht and Augusto Boal. Through a series of Theatre Laboratory workshops, micro lectures and peer to peer performance lectures, you will investigate the societal responsibly of the theatre practitioner, and the powerful social impact these practices can have.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 4 compulsory modules across semesters 1 and 2
  • 2 optional modules across semesters 1 and 2

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory

This is the first of 2 modules that will introduce you to different politically engaged performance practices from the 20th and 21st centuries. Lectures will chart key events in modernist and postmodern performance.

 

Credits: 20

Compulsory

Take what you have learnt in Politically Engaged Practice 1 and deepen your understanding of performance as political. On this module you will explore the relationship between arts practice and political activism. Consider your own art as a form of political activism and explore the potential affect of art as politics.

Credits: 20

Compulsory

We will introduce you to Physical Theatre as a genre used by many contemporary performance companies. You will start by examining the history of the genre and go on to explore a range of techniques used by Physical Theatre practitioners. Dance and drama students work together on this module, so you can share knowledge and broaden your skills.



Credits: 20

Compulsory

On this module you will learn about the growing trend of taking dance and theatre out of traditional spaces and into unusual sites and public spaces. You will explore what happens when the moving body engages with site, place and environment through a range of personal practice and critical investigation.

 

Credits: 20

Optional

There is a current demand on dance professionals to use a range of styles and techniques to re-imagine and re-create dances in new contexts. You will deconstruct and experiment with the style of a chosen influential choreographer such as Jerome Bell, William Forsythe or Pina Bausch. Through dance classes and workshops you will develop a range of technical and performance skills as well as the ability to critically evaluate dance repertoire.

Credits: 20

Optional

On this module you will explore how, as an actor, you can also direct your own short film production for the screen. You will have the opportunity to both act in a film while also engaging with your own artistic vision for the production. Taught workshop practices will guide you through the practical and technical aspects of acting for camera and making short film sequences. You will also work on interpreting screenplay and how to grasp the language of a writer’s material. You will become the performer and the visionary.

Credits: 20

Optional

The re-emergence of the vignette, a short or one act play, has encouraged new formats for performance in independent theatres across the UK as they grow in popularity. This module provides you with the opportunity to specialise in a training method called The View Points which is a contemporary method for actor training which encourages you to work spontaneously and intuitively. You will participate in weekly workshops where you will explore contrasting forms and styles of performing Vignettes.

Credits: 20

Optional

Through a series of workshops you will examine key practitioners in the practice of witnessing. You will develop an understanding of the societal responsibility of the artist when representing lived and non-lived experiences. Continue to develop your understanding of collaboration and it’s relationship with cultural and social practices.

Credits: 20

Optional

On this module we will introduce you to key autobiographical performers and help you to develop a practical understanding of autobiographical performance. We want you to learn to create autobiographical work that not only tells stories about yourself but uses the details of your life to explore universal issue.

Credits: 20

Optional

On this module you will get to develop and facilitate workshop and performance activities for children and young people. Deliver these activities in both formal and informal youth settings and gain valuable experience for your future. You will explore Drama in Education techniques and develop the creative skills for workshop design and project planning.

Credits: 20

Optional

This module will allow you to explore a range of practices and theories relating to ‘social performance’. You will work on a community project engaging with people in the criminal justice system, older people, those with dementia and people who use mental health services. You will look at many theories, from Dramatherapy and Arts and Health to community dance, facilitation skills and more.

Credits: 20

Optional

This module gives you the skills and understanding needed to create performances that explore theatre as a way to address political and social issues. Explore and examine existing play texts and performance practices that have encouraged political or social change. You will investigate key practitioners to develop your understanding of social responsibility and the impact of yourself as a theatre maker.

Credits: 20

Optional

Explore how the works of Samuel Beckett have influenced theatre writers and key practitioners of contemporary theatre. Your workshops will be experimental and will allow you to interpret the material as a method of finding your own strategies of creative writing. After engaging the works of Beckett and other 20th and 21st Century playwrights, you will write your own creative material and go on to develop ways to stage and perform this material.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are a third year student, you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1, including a dissertation module
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 2
  • A compulsory Independent Practice and Portfolio module across semester 1 and 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory

This is your chance to conduct independent critical research on an area that interests you. You can choose an element of your performance practice to focus on and explore it through analysis, theory and reflection. A dissertation tutor will be assigned who will support you through this module and who will meet with you regularly to discuss your progress.

Credits: 20

Compulsory

This module gives you the chance to operate as a theatre or dance company with your peers. As you work together you will develop your collaborative skills and expand your ability to create original performance work. The project you undertake within your company can be decided by you and your company and can be negotiated with your module tutors.

Credits: 20

Compulsory

Continuing from your previous Contemporary Performance Practice module, you will continue to develop the work you created with your ensemble. You will continue to work with the same group and the content of this module will respond to support your creative collaboration. In addition to your performance, assessment of this module will include producing promotional materials appropriate for a professional theatre company.

Credits: 60

Compulsory

As you enter your final year, you will develop your independence as a practitioner and create original work. Engage with key professional infrastructures in dance, theatre and performance industries as you draw on your experiences from previous modules and prepare for employment beyond university. You will take part in exploratory sessions where you will gather ideas, possible collaborations and eventually, proposals for independent work. You will then conduct research related to your proposal and develop an independent and original piece of creative performance.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages. You will learn through our varied approaches to teaching, including through physical, visual and community-based perspectives.

Assessment

We are committed to authentic and relevant assessment methods. This is so your work will reflect what you will go on to do in further study or your professional career. You will be assessed through:

  • Group and solo live performances
  • Workshops
  • Reflective documents
  • Reports, articles and essays
  • Performance lectures
  • Placements.

Throughout this course there are plenty of opportunities to gain professional experience through work placements. There are optional modules where you will be able to attend work placements with guest artists and our community partners.

Professional Skills

Building your CV and gaining valuable experience and technique is central to the course. There will be frequent opportunities for you to assist with your tutor's professional practice or research. You will also have the opportunity to publish your own written work in our publication, Theatre Pages, which is distributed across the UK. We also encourage and support festival and competition entry and have professional technicians who can support you with this. You will showcase all of your skills in your final projects. You will have the opportunity to perform in our professional 200 seat theatre venue in the heart of York.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Drama and Dance

This degree gives you the opportunity to develop a set of skills which are highly valuable to employers, including team work, the ability to collaborate, contextual awareness and the ability to meet deadlines.

This degree could be the first step toward your career as an:

  • Actor
  • Community arts worker
  • Dancer
  • Dramatherapist
  • Music therapist
  • Theatre director.

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2022 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk

Course highlights

More to explore

Student writing in notebook at table

Join us in 2022

Two female students smiling in York

What makes us different

Get in touch

Cookie Settings