Drama and Performance
Create your own working theatre company
Why take this course?
Want to become an actor? Or do you see yourself behind the scenes? You’ll experience all aspects of a stage production, from lighting and sound, to costume and stage management, and of course, performing.
Whatever your aspirations, this course covers all the key practical and theoretical elements of theatre work.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Choose what direction your course takes from three specialised routes – drama, interdisciplinary practise or musical theatre
- Create your own working theatre company, with professional input from our links with local theatres
- Receive first-class performer training and get involved in productions across the country
What opportunities might it lead to?
This course equips you with the ability to tackle the challenges you may meet in a performing arts career. You’ll gain the performing techniques to succeed in the pathway that fascinates you most, as well as the confidence to succeed in the arts sector.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- arts and events management
- local and community broadcasting
The course offers a lot of opportunities for practical work and not just acting – you can learn how to produce, how to direct – so you get a full idea of all the different skills that are involved within the theatrical world.
Jade Pullman, BA (Hons) Drama and Performance student 2013
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
240-300 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. A qualification or experience in performing arts is required. Points achieved from grade 6 or above music examinations are acceptable.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £8,750 p/a*
International full-time students: £10,500 p/a*
*Please note that all fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2421
- School of Creative Arts, Film and Media
Structure & Teaching
Your first year will set you up with a broad platform of understanding of performance. You’ll also establish the basic practical skills which you’ll be able to practise through projects such as devising your own show.
Core units in this year include:
- Text and Practice
- Studying Performance
- Intensive Drama Workshop
- Devised Project
- Practical Skills
In this year you can opt to take contemporary theatre, interdisciplinary performance or a musical theatre pathway. You’ll experience a specialist introduction to your chosen area and develop the relevant skills for the route you choose through project group work and independent study.
Core units in this year include:
- Project Preparation
- Practical Performance Project
- Interdisciplinary Critical Approaches
Options to choose from depending on your chosen pathway include:
- Budgets and Projects
- Drama in Context
- Music: Practice, Performance and Research
- Musical Theatre in Context
- Musical Theatre Skills
- Professional Experience
- Student Enterprise
- Theatre Skills
In your final year, your practice becomes industry based. Gain valuable practical experience by working on local theatre projects, forming your own theatre company or doing a work placement. Also, round up your studies with a final practical project and your dissertation.
Core units in this year include:
- Applied Theatre
- Drama and Performance Dissertation
- Forming a Company
- Post-Dramatic Performance
- Studio Project
Teaching and Assessment
The greatest feature of our course is the emphasis on the practical element of performance. Over the years you’ll have numerous opportunities to perform or put on shows both at and outside the University. The theoretical side of the course is delivered via workshops, seminars, lectures and one-to-one tutorials.
How are you assessed?
Assessment takes many forms on the course enabling you to demonstrate the variety of your skills and talents. Here’s how we assess your work:
- practical productions
- dramatic writing
- video productions
- group presentations
Facilities & Features
We organise a lively programme of visiting speakers. Recent speakers on the course have included Sheila Hancock, Edward Bond, Mark Ravenhill, David Edgar, Howard Brenton, Michelene Wandor, the Fecund Theatre Company, Pete Wyer, Yvon Bonenfant, the Solent People's Theatre and the Big Brum Theatre. Overall, we aim to encourage a vibrant culture of debate and industry contact.
The Studio Theatre
Practise your performance in front of your peers in our studio theatre. Offering flexible seating accommodating an audience of up to 80 people, it acts as a fully workable theatre. We also have a number of rehearsal facilities kitted out with lighting and mirrored dance space, as well as a sound recording booth, a video editing suite and music practice rooms equipped with pianos.
The Show Committee
Our students run their own society, the Show Committee, which supports and nurtures the talent of its members in an un-assessed, extra-curricular environment. Whether your speciality is in music, sound and lighting, or performing, the Committee will welcome your skills.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Careers & Opportunities
Our course is deliberately intended to develop skills that will help you create your own working opportunities or gain employment in the theatre industry.
As well as some of the more conventional roles found in the world of theatre, some of our graduates have gone on to form events companies, find work in media and arts organisations or follow careers in teaching. Many have also pursued further courses in vocational performer training or postgraduate opportunities here at the University or elsewhere.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- theatre manager
- arts administrator
We have a very close connection with professional theatres and theatre companies in and around Portsmouth. In particular, our course regularly works with the New Theatre Royal, Groundlings Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre. You’ll get many chances to make the most out of these relationships through performing or staging productions at the theatres, finding part-time employment at the box office or front of house, or working alongside the theatre professionals to programme events, market performances or engage with outreach activities organised within the city.
You’ll find that there are numerous opportunities to perform or put on shows outside the confines of your course.
Finding a job is a competitive business, but the statistics show that 89 per cent of our 2011graduates went into employment, further study or training within six months of finishing their degrees.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
Our next open day is Wed 10 July
VISIT US! Have a look around and get a feel for what it’s like to live and study here. We’ll be on hand to talk to you about your course interests and show you all of our amazing facilities. You’ll also get to meet tutors and other students…
Application, Fees and Funding — find out more