drama and performance girl singing
UCAS Code
W491
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019, September 2020

Overview

Always dreamed of becoming an actor, treading the boards and wowing audiences with your impressive performances? Or do you want to write, direct and produce your own shows?

Whatever area of performing arts excites you, give your ambition the limelight on this BA (Hons) Drama and Performance degree course.

You’ll study the past, present and future of theatre while developing performance skills. You’ll learn techniques from professionals and get plenty of opportunities to create and exhibit your own dramas. By completing this degree course, you’ll be one-to-watch in the drama and performance world, with plenty of links to influential people in the industry.

92% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

What you'll experience

On this Drama and Performance degree course, you'll:

  • Study and practice in brand new facilities, kitted out with studios, lighting rigs, and video and music suites
  • Studying contemporary approaches from the likes of Growski and Berkoff
  • Examine the past to explore how it’s shaping the future of theatre
  • Build your drama skills, with workshops, projects and opportunities to develop your performances
  • Get professional input from local theatres as you create your own theatre company
  • Demonstrate everything you’ve learned in a performance project and dissertation
  • Get insight from guest speakers – recent speakers have included Sheila Hancock, Edward Bond, Mark Ravenhill, David Edgar, Howard Brenton, Michelene Wandor, Pete Wyer and Yvon Bonenfant

Careers and opportunities

What jobs can you do with a Drama and Performance degree?

On this course, you’ll develop the skills to create your own working opportunities or get employment in roles such as:

  • actor
  • producer
  • playwright
  • theatre manager
  • arts administrator

Previous graduates have formed their own event companies, found work in media and arts organisations or gone into teaching.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. You can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

The course has enabled me to discover what style of theatre I enjoy most, and has allowed me to collaborate with other students, participating not just in theatre, but film and voice acting too.

Megan Le Grice, BA (Hons) Drama and Performance

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Drama and Performance degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Core modules
  • Milestones
  • Text and Practice
  • Theatre, Drama and Performance Histories
  • Intensive Drama Workshop
  • Devised Project
  • Practical Skills
Optional modules

There are no optional units in this year.

Core modules
  • Critical Approaches to Theatre
  • Drama in Context
  • Performance Laboratory
  • Theatre Skills
Optional modules
  • British Musical Theatre: Unsung Legacies
  • Immersive and Micro Performance
  • Professional Experience
  • Puppetry and Object Theatre
  • Student Enterprise
  • Voice Studies

On this course, you can do an optional work placement between your second and third years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules
  • Applied Theatre
  • Drama and Performance Dissertation
  • Forming a Company
  • Post-Dramatic Performance
  • Studio Project
Optional modules

There are no optional modules in this year.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do a year-long paid placement year in the industry. This lets you put your knowledge and skills to work, while developing links in the industry.

Previous students have taken placement years at theatres such as the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth.

Interested in running your own business on your placement year instead? You can start up and run your own company for a year as an alternative to a work-based placement. You'll work alone or with fellow students to build and launch a successful venture.

Whatever you decide to do in your placement year, you'll get support and mentoring throughout.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work and performing experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your CV.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • seminars
  • lectures
  • one-to-one tutorials

There's an emphasis on the practical element of performance. You’ll have many opportunities to perform or put on shows both at and outside of university.

Teaching staff profiles

Dr Erika Hughes, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer

Erika has worked extensively around the world as a director, on stages in Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Pakistan.

Her research focuses on the intersection of memory, history, and performance, and she has published on topics including Holocaust Theatre, Applied Theatre, and performance with people who have experienced military conflict.

Dr Matt Smith, Senior Lecturer

Matt is an experienced director and theatre creator, with a particular interest in applied theatre and puppetry – both of which have been a core element of his teaching since he joined the University in September 2009.

For many years, Matt has used puppetry in unusual settings – both as applied theatre and as a means to explore social change.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • practical productions
  • dramatic writing
  • essays
  • video productions
  • group presentations
  • examinations
  • dissertation/project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 8% by written exams, 48% by practical exams and 44% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 47% by practical exams and 53% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 37% by practical exams and 63% by coursework

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Drama and Performance degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Selection process
  • Applicants will be invited to a workshop.

Qualifications or experience
  • 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Selection process
  • Applicants will be invited to a workshop.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You may need to buy items such as DVDs and MiniDV tapes to use on practical units, which cost approximately £20– £30.

You’ll also need to cover:

  • the material costs for individual project work, which usually costs £50–£100
  • the costs for performance work and other practice based units, which are normally in the region of £50–£100

Apply

How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – W491
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can register and start your application from 21 May 2019 and submit it from 5 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

When you apply, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – W491
  • our institution code – P80

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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