Drama & Dance BA (Hons)

Studying Drama and Dance will teach you the skills to become a professional performer, teacher or creative practitioner in the 21st century where drama and dance skills often work together. If you are interested in performing at the intersection of drama and dance, with the freedom to move between both disciplines, then York St John University is the place for you.

This exciting programme allows you to choose your own path through the degree by selecting specific modules tailored to your interests. You will be taught by respected academics, theatre makers and choreographers who have industry experience. Through professional placements you will develop working relationships with drama and dance companies and organisations before you graduate.

 

UCAS course code
W4W5
Location
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
Duration
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Study Abroad
Yes - see our study abroad web pages for more information
Start date
September 2019
School
Performance & Media Production

Course overview

BA Honours in Drama & Dance combines drama with dance and presents opportunities to study the productive spaces between these two distinct art forms, like Physical Theatre. York St John University offers a thriving community of performers, choreographers, theatre makers and dance artists who are passionate about making innovative and relevant work for the 21st Century. As well as studying acting, physical theatre, and voice, you will be offered specialist dance technique and study choreography in a range of contexts from popular culture to site specific work.

This degree course has a range of exciting module options which means you can choose a route through the course that best suits your interests. We are excited to offer this collaborative degree that bridges the space between drama, theatre and dance practice.

Follow us on Twitter: @ysjtheatre

 

93% of Graduates from our Dance & Drama courses are in employment or further study.

DLHE 2017

Course structure

 

Overview

Studying Drama & Dance is an immersive experience where you will not only be working in taught sessions but also performing in the work of other students, taking opportunities outside of teaching time and being a part of the strong community of theatre makers and creative people at York St John University. During the course you can specialise in devising your own work, creating solo and ensemble productions and developing socially engaged dance theatre.

Level 1

Compulsory modules include:

  • Performance Histories 1: This module is a lecture based module that looks at recent histories of drama, theatre and dance and charts key events in modernist and postmodern performance. (20 Credits)
  • Performance Histories 2: Performance Histories 2 picks up the legacies and lineages from modernism and considers the postmodern and post-dramatic turn in contemporary performance.  (20 Credits)
  • Ensemble: Dramatic Texts: You will make an ensemble performance in small groups (between 15 -20 students) of a 20th Century European playwright. You will learn how to respond to the text and work collaboratively to generate a version of the play. (20 Credits)
  • Ensemble: Visual Texts: Building on the learning in ‘Ensemble: Dramatic Texts’ here we ask you to devise a group production that responds to a visual stimulus. This module culminates with a large scale production where the ensemble generates the content and builds the set, getting involved in every aspect of theatre production. (20 Credits)
  • Acting:  In this module, students will engage in rigorous workshop practice that actively engages in the understanding of acting techniques and training. This module will offer a practical introduction to mainstream Western European acting. (20 Credits)
  • Workshop Practice: You will learn what constitutes a successful workshop and develop tools for facilitating and reflecting on the ethics, politics and practical experiences of workshop practice. (10 Credits)

Optional modules include:

  • Writing and Theatre: Here we experiment with new modes of writing for performance and consider the relationship between writing and performing. Workshops explore spoken word, dramatic monologues, sound poetry, and theatre readings for audiences. (10 Credits)
  • Dance in Popular Culture: This module aims to create a new dance performance that identifies with dance in current popular culture, example may include Music Videos, Musical Theatre, and Reality TV and Dance. (10 Credits)

 

Level 2

Compulsory modules include:

  • Politically Engaged Practice 1: This lecture based module raises questions surrounding the politics of performance and the performance of politics and includes considerations of politics and power, feminism and identity politics, and politics and disability in theatre, dance and performance. (20 credits)
  • Politically Engaged Practice 2: This is a lecture based module and involves the exploration of politics in performance, students devise interventions and make short videos as well as submitting an essay. (20 credits)
  • Physical Theatres: Students will explore a range of techniques utilised by physical theatre practitioners that draw upon the combined skills used in dance and drama practice. Students will be encouraged to share skills across their specialised subjects allowing for a broadening of skills (e.g. voice for dancers or choreography for actors etc.) whilst placing physical expressiveness and the body at the centre of their investigations. (20 credits)
  • Choreography Site Environment: This module invites students to consider how choreography and composition can be effected by and negotiated with ideas of space and environments, both found and designed. (20 credits)

These modules are optional and students can choose two per semester.

  • Drama and Digital Media: This module considers the transformational impact of digital culture on aspects of performance making, acting, moving, composition, (interactive) spectatorship and community life. You are given the opportunity to make performances that engage and experiment with interactive technology and digital performance practices. (20 credits)
  • Performance in Social Context: The module considers the transformational impact of digital culture on aspects of performance making, acting, moving, composition, (interactive) spectatorship, community life, and individual expression of selfhood. (20 credits)
  • Auto/Biography Performance: The aim of this module is to facilitate students with a historical and practical understanding of autobiographical performance, to understand lived experience as a site of narrative authority and to create autobiographical work which not only tells stories about oneself but also uses the details of one’s own life to illuminate or explore something more universal. (20 credits)
  • Artist as Witness: Through workshops students will examine key contemporary practitioners in the practice of witnessing and develop an understanding of the societal responsibility of the artist by investigating notions of lived and non-lived experiences (self & other) to generate an ensemble performance. (20 credits)
  • Children & Young People: In this module students will engage in performance and workshop activity for children and young people, in formal and informal youth settings. This is a thriving area: Drama in Education (DIE), Theatre in Education (TIE), Youth Arts and Children’s Theatre and Community Dance practices will be explored. (20 credits)
  • Funny Bones: This practical module considers the use of the body in comedy performance within a range of practices from clowning to slapstick, silent films to large scale choreographed routines. (20 credits)

Level 3

Compulsory modules include: 

  • Independent Project: This module invites you to develop your own independent project where you will construct and present a performance in your chosen specialism. Previous projects have included full scale productions, directing plays, solo performances, a cabaret, installations, site-specific performance situations. (40 credits)
  • Contemporary Performance Practice 1: Form a company: In CPP you will form your own theatre company and produce and tour your work locally. (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Performance Practice 2: Commission: In this module your performance company is commissioned to make a work responding to particular themes or environments and produces live work that is fiercely about what performance means today. (20 credits)
  • Dissertation Project: Your dissertation project is usually theoretically linked to your Independent Project and is the opportunity to critically engage with the history and philosophy of theatre, drama and dance on a topic of your own choice. (20 credits)
  • Professional Portfolio: This module brings together your portfolio of work from your three years of study and prepare this material to form a portfolio that facilitates your transition from student to professional theatre maker, performer, facilitator. (20 credits)

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

  • Performing House - Our own touring venue for theatre and dance companies to bring new performances direct to York St John University Campus. This means you are able to see professional live work on campus and meet the performers, and its Free!
  • Core Field Trips – Each year group has at least one field trip. Recently these include a three-day site-specific devised course in a castle in Northumberland, a four-day trip to Krakow in Poland and a three-day visit to London.
  • Drifting East – An opportunity to present your work at the East Riding Theatre in Beverley. This happens twice yearly for Second and Third Year students and is a unique platform to showcase your work to a public audience in Yorkshire’s newest theatre.
  • Student Internships – As well as teaching you the drama and dance staff are all engaged with their own projects that include touring work nationally and internationally, writing for publications, organising conferences and developing long-term projects with a range of partner institutions. Within these projects there are often opportunities for students to support and learn as an intern. In the past this has included students being assistant directors, tour manager, performers, lighting designers, stage managers, event organisers and collaborators on professional external projects.
  • Graduate Prize – Each year a graduating student or student company has the chance to receive the York St John Graduate prize which gives you the space, time and support to develop a final year piece of work to show in a professional theatre venue. This means that in less than six months after graduating you will perform your work live for public audience.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Teaching & Assessment

Delivery

  • Drama & Dance is mainly taught in studio spaces with a tutor leading workshops and rehearsing material. Each year of the programme contains set modules and in Year Two you have the ability to choose a specific module (one per semester) that align to your interests. In Year Three you are assigned mentors and supervisors who guide your own independent work and so offers you the opportunity for you to lead your own projects supported by members of staff.
  • Each module runs on the same day each week throughout the semester, so that you study one subject on each day. This mode of delivery is very popular in student feedback.

Contact hours

  • Your contact hours may vary depending on the specific modules you are taking but practical classes are between three and five hours long and theory modules (one per semester in Year One and Year Two) are two hours and are usually broken into a lecture followed by a seminar.
  • Due to the content of some modules your contact time varies because you are on work placements, for example delivering workshops in schools, and so the taught session time differs accordingly.
  • In Year Three you are much more independent but throughout the degree you have the ability to book and reserve studio space so you can rehearse and create performance. We have designed the course and timetable to enable you to work in a concentrated and supported way with plenty of studio space available for your own practical development.

Self-study time

  • Outside of taught sessions, you will be expected to undertake further reading around the subjects you are studying and complete written assignments that include essays and written reflections from workshop sessions. Our ILS facilities are excellent and include an extensive collection of books, video material and journals for your research and development.

Staffing

  • Our staff team have incredible amounts of experience and knowledge on the subject. Many are active practitioners who make and present performance internationally. Our staff also contribute to the publication of books and journals on the subject of drama, theatre, dance and performance. All our staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.
  • We also have two dedicated theatre technicians who facilitate our studio and theatre spaces and deliver workshops on stage design, theatrical lighting, scenography and sound.
  • Staff profiles

 

Assessment methods

  • Assessments in Drama & Theatre are weighted 70% practical and 30% written.
  • Practical assessments take the form of live performances for audiences, private performances for student-peers, workshop presentations, on-location workshop delivery and written presentations.
  • Written assessments take the form of Essays of between 1000 – 2500 words in length. Catalogue documents which are reflective books that explain your process of making work, student blogs, collections of writings for performance, and a dissertation project in Year Three (5000 words in length).

Entry requirements

Qualifications

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

88-104 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your tariff points.

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate a knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example involvement in both devised and text-based (script) work, creating new performance pieces, and/or engagement with contemporary theatre.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include:

  • Experience performing or working in theatre and performance settings
  • Engaging in theatre in a wider social context e.g. therapeutic or educational settings
  • Experience of working in theatre in local communities and schools
  • Working collaboratively with others on theatre based projects
  • Going to live performances
  • Demonstrating an interest in other arts subjects e.g. dance or music
  • Doing voluntary work

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

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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 will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

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

 

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

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