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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Undergraduate > Drama and Creative Writing
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Drama and Creative Writing BA

UCAS code WW48
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Drama and Theatre »
English »

By combining the study of Creative Writing with Drama, you'll gain a deeper understanding of how theatre performance and creative writing interact - whether you specialise as a playwright, or choose to take the the poetry or fiction options in creative writing.

Choosing to study Drama at Royal Holloway will put you at the centre of one of the largest and most influential Drama and Theatre departments in the world. You'll create performances, analyse texts, and bring a range of critical ideas to bear on both.  On this course the text and the body, thinking and doing, work together. There's no barrier between theory and practice: theory helps you understand and make the most of practice, while practice sheds light on theory. By moving between the two, you'll find your place as an informed theatre-maker, and by studying a variety of practices, by yourself and with others, you'll get knowledge of the industry as a whole, and learn how your interests could fit into the bigger picture.

We are top-rated for teaching and research, with a campus community recognised for its creativity (rated 14th in the world, and 6th in the UK, for Performing Arts in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016). Our staff cover a huge range of theatre and performance studies, but we're particularly strong in contemporary British theatre, international and intercultural performance, theatre history, dance and physical theatre, and contemporary performance practices.

Studying Creative Writing at one of the UK's most dynamic English departments will challenge you to develop your own critical faculties. Learning to write creatively, you'll develop your own writing practice.

Course units are taught by nationally and internationally known scholars, authors, playwrights and poets who are specialists in their fields who write ground-breaking books, talk or write in the national media and appear at literary festivals around the world.

  • Find your voice as a writer and develop writing techniques.
  • Learn how to create, criticise and shape an artistic work: a valuable life skill with uses beyond writing poetry, plays or novels.  From journalism and website creation to advertising and academic publishing – you'll be able to use the skills you pick up in character, voice, ambiguity, style and cultural context.
  • Join the ranks of our creative writers who have gone on to national recognition, taught by high-profile authors and poets including Jo Shapcott, Douglas Cowie and Ben Markovits.
  • You'll have access to 11 Bedford Square, Royal Holloway’s campus in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, a hub for creative work.

Core modules

Year 1

The core modules in Drama and Theatre are:

Theatre and Performance Making

You will encounter a range of creative methods for work-shopping practice, and produce a 20-minute performance as a response to one company.

Theatre and Culture

This module looks at the ways in which theatre reflects, intervenes and questions the culture around it. It will expand your horizons and introduce you to a range of unfamiliar practices.

Creative Writing: Introduction to Creative Writing

This module is designed to introduce you to the problems and challenges of writing creatively generally and to the specific problems and challenges connected to writing in specific genres: fiction, drama and poetry. In the first term you will look at all three genres as part of a general introduction, while beginning to focus on fiction – and the short story – towards the end of term. The second term is split into two five-week sessions, one on poetry and one on drama. 

Creative Writing: Why Write?

This course introduces you to a range of historical perspectives on the function, forms, and value of creative writing. You will investigate the genesis of particular genres such as the short story, the novel and the manifesto, and will have an opportunity to work to the templates and prescriptions set out by these historical thinkers, as a means both to understand their demands and to investigate the relationships between historical genres and the contemporary writer. The course aims to encourage you to interrogate your own assumptions about creative writing and think critically about the relationship between creative writing and society.

Year 2

The core modules in Drama and Theatre are:

Theatre and Performance Making 2

You will choose an option that enables you to focus on a particular creative skill, such as acting for camera, dance, playwriting, physical theatre, site-based performance or scenography.

Theatre and Culture 2

You will choose an option that enables you to consider the ways in which theatre and culture reflect and resist each other within a particular context, including feminism, popular theatre, theatre for young audiences, dancing bodies and global culture.

Year 3

Creative Writing: Creative Writing Special Focus

The Creative Writing Special Focus concentrates on a particular mode of writing, genre, theme, issue or idea. Each focus draws on an individual staff area of interest and expertise, with the focus changing each term. You will take one particular focus in the Autumn term and one in the Spring and will be encouraged to make creative work in relation to the focus, and to develop your writing practice in relation to wider contexts relevant to the contemporary writer. This will make an important connection between the creative ambitions of the module and writing beyond the University.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Optional modules in Drama and Theatre include:

Theatre and Text 2

 

Theatre and Ideas 2

 

Creative Writing: Playwriting

Creative Writing: Fiction

Creative Writing: Poetry

Year 3

Optional modules in Drama and Theatre include:

Methods and Processes

 

Culture and Creativity

 

Asylum Seekers in the 21st Century - Theatre, Film and Activism

 

Love, Gender and Sexuality on Stage and Screen

 

Race Relations in Theatre, Film and Television

 

Shakespeare

 

National and Folk Dance at the Boundaries

 

Modern European Directors

 

Research Seminar - Naturalist Theatre and Its Audiences

 

Research Seminar - Black British Playwriting

 

Research Seminar - Theatre & Globalization

 

The Birth of Experimental Theatre

 

A Violent Act - Women, Performance and Historiography

 

Contemporary British Theatre - Politics and Philosophy

 

Spectacle and Politics in International Performance

 

Race Relations in Theatre, Film and Television

 

Medicine and the Body in Performance

 

Final Year Project - Dissertation

 

Final Year Project - Group Performance

 

Final Year Project - Special Study

 

Creative Writing: Playwriting 2

Creative Writing: Fiction 2

Creative Writing: Poetry 2

Each year, you'll take two modules in each subject. Drama explores a whole range of dramatic and theatrical forms, conventions, periods, traditions and activities. You'll learn how to get intellectual ideas across in presentations and through performance. You'll also learn to work well in teams. In your first year, a foundation course, you'll get a grounding in contemporary theatremaking and critical theories. In your second and final years, you'll study alongside single honours students, taking half of your modules in Drama.

In your first year of Creative Writing, you'll take two introductory modules, before going on in your second year to specialise in two literary forms. In your final year, you'll wrap up by taking one of those forms to honours level.

The course has a flexible structure: students take twelve course units, four per year. Some are compulsory, and others you can choose. In your second and third years, you'll make up the marks that count for your final degree award. You'll also take a study skills course during your first year, to equip you with writing skills to make your degree count. This course won't count towards your final degree, but you'll need to take it to pass on to second year.

You'll be assessed through examinations, essays, seminar presentations, practical assignments and creative portfolios. In Drama modules, you'll often be assessed as part of a group.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

AAB-ABB

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • your Creative Writing portfolio submission
  • the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
Required/preferred subjects

Required: A Level Grade A in English Literature or English Language & Literature OR Drama and Theatre Studies and at least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English

You will be required to submit a Creative Writing portfolio

Preferred subjects: Drama, Theatre Studies, English Literature, English Language & Literature

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including 6 in Higher Level English with a minimum of 32 points overall
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in relevant subject area, plus A Level Grade A in English Literature, English Literature & Language or Drama & Theatre Studies
BTEC National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction in relevant subject, plus A Level Grade A in English Literature, English Literature & Language or Drama & Theatre Studies
BTEC National Extended Certificate

Distinction in relevant subject, plus A Level Grade A in English Literature, English Literature & Language or Drama & Theatre Studies and one further A Level Grade B

Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.
Scottish Advanced Highers AB at Advanced Higher Level including English grade A, plus Higher Level requirements
Scottish Highers AABBB at Higher Level, plus Advanced Higher Level requirements
Irish Leaving Certificate H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including English grade H2 at Higher Level
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit with distinctions in all level 3 English units. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is only acceptable if you have had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

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English language
requirements
 IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore. For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

There are plenty of performance opportunities to get stuck into while you're here, and they'll stand you in good stead when you graduate. You'll be familiar and confident in performance situations (skills which are vital for leading meetings and make you viable for visible leadership roles). You'll come off as credible and composed. You'll also walk away with considerable experience of technical, intellectual, imaginative, and practical skills, valued by most employers. Aside from these performance skills, you'll also get skills in research and project management from the academic side of the course. 


Our industry links mean you'll be able to pursue work experience with theatres and creative arts agencies. Recent graduates in the Department of Drama & Theatre have gone into careers in acting, writing, broadcasting (including at the BBC), literary agency, arts management, sound design, marketing/PR, teaching and community theatre work, as well as postgraduate study in different fields. Lots of our graduates also start their own performing arts companies. Find out more about what our graduates are doing now.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs with studying this course greater than £50 per item. It is a requirement to purchase a pair of safety boots in the first year, for which a range of cost options are available. Ticket costs for mandatory theatre trips are capped at £10.

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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