BA single honours or in combination with another subject Drama 2018/19

Year of entry

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We now have planning permission to build a new £12m arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students. We expect our new arts building to open on the main campus in September 2018, with building work starting this summer.

Find out more about these specialist facilities in our video.

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You will be part of a focused and intensive exploration of drama as a practical and academic discipline.

Through an exciting programme of drama productions, lectures, seminars, theatre visits, practical workshops, and masterclasses with practicing professionals you will explore areas including:

  • acting
  • directing
  • applied drama
  • stage management
  • contemporary theatre making

Drama offers you a range of opportunities to develop as a contemporary theatre practitioner with the practical, managerial, directorial, creative, and intellectual abilities required to undertake work in the contemporary world of drama. This can be as a skilled, confident performer, as a theatre director, as an educator and facilitator, or as an academic practitioner.

An exciting feature of the Drama degree course is its focus on international theatre practices which gives you the opportunity to explore and experience theatre and performance from a range of historical and cultural perspectives.

Students on this programme are also eligible to apply to study for a self-funded year in North America as part of their degree.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

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This course offers you an exploration of drama as a practical and academic discipline, gaining valuable experience and skills in acting, directing, stage management, applied drama, and contemporary theatre making. You will develop these skills through drama productions, lectures/seminars, theatre visits, practical workshops, and masterclasses with practicing professionals. The course draws on the extensive experience of our team of academics and practitioners to provide you with the opportunity to develop a range of practical and academic skills in international theatre and performance practice, and you will benefit from industry links through residencies, masterclasses, professional performances and partnerships.

Students of Drama are eligible to apply to study for a year in North America as part of their degree.

This course usually appeals to students wishing to pursue a career in acting, directing, stage management and applied drama/drama in education, or to those interested in postgraduate study, or in pursuing a career in other areas of the creative arts industry and related fields.

Other information

Students on this course benefit from trips, workshops and opportunities to work with professional companies.

Core modules

Year 1

Introduction to Text in Performance

The module will focus on text analysis, practical methodologies, and rehearsal techniques of practitioners such as Konstantin Stanislavski and Cicely Berry.

Perspectives on Performance

The first part of the module will be dedicated to the theory of performance studies taking Richard Schechner’s seminal text as the core work; you will apply its central concepts to examples ranging from canonical dramatic text to everyday life. The second part will focus on exploring ways of reading text and performance with reference to theories relating to space (Pavis, Balme) and the framing of performance (Goffman), and to semiotics and reception theory (Esslin and Bennett).

Introduction to Stagecraft

This module will serve as an engaging and primarily practical way of introducing fundamental design concepts for theatre that traditionally fall under the banner of stagecraft.

The Actor and The Ensemble

The module will concentrate on a variety of means by which an actor can develop and expand his/her skills through a study of techniques focused on improvisation and composition such as Viewpoints.

Theatres of the World

This module will be focusing on: different understandings of theatre practice across cultures; intercultural theatres; a historical understanding of theatre traditions that have changed the history of world theatre; the changing roles of the director and actor in Western theatre practice in the twentieth-century.

Interdisciplinary Devising 

This module focuses on interdisciplinary working and the devising processes.

Year 2

Perspectives 2

You will explore the politics of identity through feminist theory and psychoanalysis and then reception theory and postmodern performances, placing the emphasis on issues of space and the body.

Contemporary Performance Practice

The module will enable you to appreciate the responsibilities of a director in the production process, as well as the evolving nature of the role. You will explore various techniques and approaches for directing a performance.

Optional modules

There is a range of option modules to choose from in Terms 1 and 2 likely to include:

African and European Theatre

The module will be drawing on a range of plays and practitioners from 20th and 21st century theatre traditions as developed in continental Europe and Africa. The chosen case studies will cover selected countries from each continent’s different geographical regions (e.g. France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Uganda, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa).

Stage Management 1a and 1b

This module is designed to introduce you to the concepts and processes relating to stage-managing live performance events. You will explore the very specific roles relating to managing performance for large-scale events together with examples of how those roles conflate to a more all-encompassing single management role for small performance companies.

The Actor and Verse

You will gain awareness of techniques that will help you to analyse and perform verse in order to meet the demands of heightened style. The range of texts chosen for study will further develop your understanding of the relationship between the text and its performance and your ability to respond to specific textual and performative conventions.

The Actor and the Object

You will gain awareness of techniques that will help you to explore and perform a piece of stylised dramatic text and meet the demands of stylised characterisation. Voice and movement sessions will focus on voice and body as tools with which to perform stylised emotions and characterisation, while developing your awareness of kinesics, vocalics, and verbal aspects of communication.

Approaches to Applied Performance

The module will primarily focus on the application of drama techniques for intervention in educational settings and/or with young audiences. The first weeks will be dedicated to the study and practical exploration of relevant theories and methodologies from applied theatre practice and arts management, covering a range of contexts including Theatre in Education (TIE) and Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA).

Interdisciplinary module - Arts and Politics:

You examine the incorporation of political agendas into theatre, music, and dance

Interdisciplinary module - Arts and the Individual

This modulke considers key influences from individual artists and practitioners across the arts

Year 3

Practice as Research or Dissertation

You can choose to engage more practically or in the written form as you explore an area of interest in greater depth.

Professional Practice

The module aims to prepare you for professional roles in the theatre and related industries. It aims to provide the environment for you to develop practical knowledge and understanding of the principles of professional practice that operates in the discipline, as well as some of the opportunities that are available to you within the profession.

Optional modules

There is a range of option modules to choose from, likely to include:

British Theatre

The module will be focusing on the study of post-war and contemporary theatre examples by an array of British playwrights such as John Osborne, Harold Pinter, Sarah Kane, Debbie Tucker Green, Martin Crimp and theatre companies such as Stan’s Cafe and Joint Stock. It will be covering a range of theoretical approaches and themes including identity politics and stylistic innovation.

The Actor and the Production

This module will engage you in the creative and collaborative process of staging and performing a dramatic text for a public audience. Throughout an intensive actor-training period, you will re-explore key acting techniques, and engage with selected contemporary texts that are recognised as posing the greatest challenges for the actor.

Stage Management 2

You will focus on company stage management and the logistics of stage management in a professional context. Emphasis will be placed on professional development and employability, and you will build a portfolio of practical experience to evidence engagement with the professional process.

Post-Dramatic Devising

The module will primarily focus on post-dramatic techniques of characterisation and storytelling including the use of persona, autobiographical performance, collage and adaptation. It will be drawing on existing practice by theatre collectives and practitioners such as The Wooster Group, Stan’s Cafe, Reckless Sleepers, Bobby Baker and Forced Entertainment.

Practicing Applied Performance

The module will primarily focus on broadening your understanding of applied performance by introducing you to the broad area of practice, such as the application of performance in the context of heritage, healthcare, social inclusion, environment, and management. In the first weeks, you will explore theories and practices related to applied performance within these contexts as well as their social, political, ethical and environmental implications.

Interdisciplinary module: Community Arts Project

You will work as interdisciplinary teams and create a community based arts project, sharing and applying skills, knowledge and understanding of arts to the context and the practicalities of project development, management and delivering a project.

Interdisciplinary module: Multimedia Performance

This module is designed to explore the rapidly emerging and diversifying field of multimedia performance and interactive performance installation. Multimedia performance embraces a new technology as means of extending both the self and place.

We equip our graduates to tackle challenging roles in a wide range of professions including acting, directing, stage management, applied drama, as well as pursuing postgraduate study in drama or a related field. Students who take the applied drama options will also be equipped to work as drama practitioners in educational and community settings. Our graduates will also possess a range of transferable skills gained on the course which are highly valued and sought after for work in fields other than drama and the arts.


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,500
Full-time - year abroad £1,385 N/A
Part-time * £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2018/19 only. Please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Additional travel cost only (as tickets paid for) for trips using local theatres if part of a module or an enrichment activity. Travel is paid for by the School of Music and Performing Arts if using a theatre/going to an exhibition/event beyond the local area and the trip is part of a compulsory activity.
DBS / Health Checks If students have the opportunity for a commissioned project where a DBS check is needed then they would have to pay for this themselves. There is a charge for this of £52.
Clothing / Kit A basic dance kit for those students taking the dance strand at cost to student.
Learning Materials If students want costumes and props for performance work then these are paid for by students.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the course

Each taught module has a standard 50 hours of student contact. This will typically be composed of lecture/seminar work or practical work. You will also be expected to engage in 150 hours of self-directed study per taught module.

You will be taught in classes, workshops, lectures, seminars and tutorials, which include a percentage of weekly directed learning. In addition to this, you will be expected to undertake your own learning, class preparation, reading, practice, and assignment work.

Academic input

There are four full-time contracted members of staff involved in this course, along with a number of associate staff.

Dr Angela Pickard, the Subject Lead, is a Principal Lecturer and has extensive experience as a performer (dancer), choreographer, manager and academic. She has published work on storytelling, role play and educational drama techniques.

All staff on this course have industry experience as performers, community practitioners and in academia in Higher Education.

Students are assessed through a range of assignments incorporating a variety of modes such as presentation/performance, essays and reflections.

We now have planning permission to build a new £12m arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students.

We expect our new arts building to open on the main campus in September 2018, with building work starting this summer.

Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new arts building has to offer.

You will enjoy the use of a performance studio theatre with full lighting rigs and tech. room and a ‘concert’ hall. We work with a number of professionals for masterclasses and workshops and have partnerships with two local theatres – The Marlowe and Gulbenkian – giving you access to free tickets to a number of performances.

We work with industry stakeholders aligned to the continued development of our teaching programme and research and consultancy work, including artists from Bread and Goose Theatre Company, Reckless Sleepers and Propeller Theatre Company. We also have links with The Marlowe Theatre and an Artistic Researcher Helen Paris working with us.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Email: courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • W402 Drama

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2018

Entry requirements



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Last edited: 29/06/2018 10:40:00