Drama and Performance BA (Hons)

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 2018, September 2019

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.

What you'll experience

On this 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

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.

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.

Careers and opportunities

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.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.
Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2018 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,200 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

​What you'll study

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

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

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

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

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Critical Approaches to Theatre
  • Drama in Context
  • Performance Laboratory
  • Theatre Skills

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • British Musical Theatre: Unsung Legacies
  • Immersive and Micro Performance
  • Professional Experience
  • Puppetry and Object Theatre
  • Student Enterprise
  • Voice Studies

Core units in this year include:

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

There are no optional units 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 units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

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

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.

How you'll spend your time

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

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There's no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 78% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 20% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 80% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 15% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 85% studying independently

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 units 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
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    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.

    Apply

    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. 

    How to apply

    Want to start this course this year?

    There are still a few places available. To discuss your options and secure your place, give us a call on (+44) 23-9284-8090 or ask us to call you back.

    Want to start this course in 2019?

    To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

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

    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.

    Contact information
    • Admissions
    • +44 (0) 23 9284 5566

    Get in touch

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    Drama music and performing arts
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