Drama & Theatre BA (Hons)

Studying Drama & Theatre will involve your mind and body. This exciting and wide-ranging programme allows you to choose your own path through the degree by selecting specific modules tailored to your own interests. You will become a theatre specialist, an expert in the field and an artistic practitioner. You will be taught by respected and experienced practitioners and academics, alongside a wide-range of visiting artists and companies.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2018 - 2019: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,500 per annum
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 2018

Course overview

Drama & Theatre at York St John University is creative, contemporary and outward facing. Our taught practice-led course offers you an opportunity to engage in a rich and diverse range of contemporary performance practices. During the course you will specialise in devising, writing for performance and socially engaged theatre. Supported by our excellent studio facilities and expert staff team you will work both independently and in ensemble, learning the craft of drama practice in the 21st century.

If you have an interest in the world we live in and want to seek that understanding through the vehicle of theatre, then this is the place for you.

John Merrylees - Subject Director, Dance & Drama

Course structure


Studying Drama & Theatre 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.

Level 1

Craft, Context and Creativity

In your first year you will develop key crafts in contemporary drama and theatre (including acting, writing, devising and workshop practices). You will learn to work creatively in groups and gain an understanding of how contemporary practice sits within historical contexts.

Level 2

Application and Specialism

In your second year you will deepen your skills through increasing specialism, developing expertise in your own areas of interest. You will apply these skills to drama, theatre and performance making in a range of contexts and considering its relationship to the world around you.

Level 3

Independence and Industry

In your final year you will work as both an independent artist and as a member of a performance company, developing work from research and development to actualisation. You will be supported in positioning yourself and your portfolio of skills as you prepare to for your chosen career.

Teaching & Assessment

The programme is designed so you, the student, can work, create and study alongside the tutors in enquiry based learning, and take charge of developing the individual direction of your learning This will take place through the creation of live works for public consumption, field trips, meeting and working with various ‘community’ groups and creating documents. Alongside the doing and making of theatre you will also be required to engage with critical and philosophical theory, reading what at times may at first glance appear to be complex and difficult texts. You will be required to think and analyse these texts in order to deepen your own learning and bring this understanding to bear on the creation of drama processes, theatre images and experiences.

The complementary combination of practice and theory enriches the learning experience allowing skills and knowledge introduced in year one to evolve throughout the duration of the programme. This will be delivered through:

  • Develop your skills as a drama workshop practitioner, a key skill in Drama: Education & Community, whether working with adult communities or working with young people in formal and informal settings to running a rehearsal with professional actors.
  • Acting (voice and movement techniques) normally assessed through an extended duet from a pre-existing play text and taught in collaboration with York Theatre Royal.
  • Working as an ensemble in bringing a dramatic text to performance, this has recently included Hamlet by William Shakespeare and the Birthday Party by Harold Pinter. This work will conclude with an ensemble performance of the chosen text.
  • Practice as an ensemble in devising a large outdoor piece of drama & theatre for the opening of the faculty of arts create festival at the end of the academic year.
  • Engage in writing for theatre which will allow you to find your ‘voice’ as a writer across many modes (monologues, dialogues, plays, spoken word). Within this module you will perform in a venue in the city of York as part of a ‘soirée’ and also produce a ‘zine of your writings.

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.

Learning support

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

Entry requirements


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.

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.

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

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2016 / 17

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2018 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 2016 / 17

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2018 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,500 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

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876922.