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Undergraduate Course

Drama and Theatre BA (Hons)

Create unique theatre experiences that represent the world around you. Make work that speaks about the issues that matter to you.

Black and white image of student acting, on floor with arms over head

Explore traditional and contemporary forms of drama and theatre on this practice-led course. You will reimagine and celebrate pieces of theatre as you play and experiment with a range of forms and techniques. Study the history of 20th and 21st century drama and performance to give you a context to your practical work.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – W400
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 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 why York St John is The One

Course overview

We want you to make the kind of performances you want to see in the world. You will write, direct and perform. Select the modules that match your passions and become an expert in your chosen field. We will help you to find your own unique voice and style.

With an emphasis on contemporary performance, you will be encouraged to respond to social and political events that you feel passionate about. Your performances will help you, and your audience, understand our rapidly changing world.

You will gain excellent experience of working independently and alongside other students across the course. You will be taught by experts who are practising artists themselves. We will encourage you to immerse yourself in exciting opportunities including:

  • Performing in our end of year outdoor performance
  • A field trip to Europe
  • Establishing your own theatre company
  • Working with established theatre companies
  • Working with visiting artists.

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.
  • 3 compulsory modules 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 module

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 module

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 module

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 module

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

Compulsory module

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 module

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.

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 module

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 module

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 module

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

Compulsory module

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 module

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 module

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 module

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 module

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 module

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

Optional module

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 module

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 module

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 module

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:

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

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 module

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 module

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 module

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.

The focus of our teaching is on you, as a theatre maker who can create work that contributes to society. You will learn through:

  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Lectures
  • Field trips
  • Technical demonstrations
  • Visiting guest artists

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 have the opportunity to perform in our professional theatre in the heart of York.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Dance and Theatre

You will develop a unique portfolio of skills based on your passion and aspiration. Your tutors will help to build your contacts and practice within your chosen area of drama and theatre.

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

  • Actor
  • Broadcast presenter
  • Dramatherapist
  • Film or TV runner
  • Theatre director
  • Theatre stage manager.

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

    96 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 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 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 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 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. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

ASPIRE CARD

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