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Drama and Philosophy BA

UCAS code WV45
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Drama and Theatre »
Politics and International Relations »

This Joint Honours degree combines the study of Drama and Theatre in equal measure with the study of Philosophy.

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.

At Royal Holloway we have a unique approach to Philosophy that looks beyond the narrow confines of the Anglo-American analytic or the European tradition of philosophy focus on both traditions, their relationship and connections between them. The result has been the creation of a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative programme that brings together academic staff from departments across the university.

With the opportunity to examine (amongst other things) the mind and consciousness, aesthetics and morals, the self and others, the range of subjects available to Philosophy students at Royal Holloway guarantees that there will be something on offer that really engages you during your time with us. 

Core modules

Year 1

Drama and Theatre: 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.

Drama and Theatre: 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.

Philosophy: Introduction to Modern Philosophy

The ‘new philosophy’ of the seventeenth century set the modern philosophical agenda by asking fundamental questions concerning knowledge and understanding and the relation between science and other human endeavours, which became central to the European Enlightenment. This module aims to familiarise you with the work of some of the most ground breaking philosophers of the period, such René Descartes and John Locke, and explores how later philosophers such as Gottfried Leibniz and David Hume took up and expanded their ideas.

Philosophy: Epistemology and Metaphysics

This module aims to introduce you to some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. You will look at logical questions relating to the structure of arguments, epistemological questions about the sources and limits of knowledge, and metaphysical questions exploring the relationship between minds and bodies and the possibility of human freedom.

Philosophy: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

This module aims both to inform you about ancient philosophical ideas and to introduce you to the ways in which philosophical arguments are presented and analysed. It will provide you with a brief survey of the principal ancient philosophers, from the Presocratics to Aristotle, as well as allowing you to analyse in more depth selected texts on the topic of courage, including Plato’s ‘Laches’.

Year 2

Drama and Theatre: 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.

Drama and Theatre: 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.

Philosophy: Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - From Kant to Hegel

This module introduces you to aspects of key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, which form the foundation of the major debates in both European, and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will explore major issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, and different approaches to these issues, which will be central to the rest of your philosophical and other studies in the humanities and social sciences.

Philosophy: Mind and World

This module examines some of the major metaphysical and epistemological problems that arise when attempting to understand how the mind and language interact with and in the world. It centres on attempts to conceptualise, solve, or avoid mind-body related problems in the analytic tradition and aims to contrast these with phenomenological and existential investigations of related problems.

Year 3

All modules are optional

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

Philosophy: Introduction to Logic

This module aims to introduce you to the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic: sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. As well as showing you how to present and analyse arguments formally, you will look at the implications and uses of logical analysis by considering Bertrand Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions, before discussing the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.

Philosophy: Mind and Conciousness

What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind inside the brain? Are we any more than highly sophisticated computers? What is consciousness? This module aims to introduce these and related questions, which are central to modern philosophical debates about the nature of mind and consciousness.

Philosophy: Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals

This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of many of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. These include questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, the different ways we might understand our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art. The module presents you with approaches from the history of philosophy, from the Anglo-American tradition, and from recent European philosophy.

Year 2

Classics: The Dialogues of Plato

Classics: Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 1

Classics: The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy

Politics and International Relations: Contemporary Political Theory

Philosophy: The Critique of Idealism

Philosophy: Philosophy and the Arts

Philosophy: Philosophy of Psychology

Philosophy: Practical Ethics

Philosophy: The Varieties of Scepticism

Philosophy: The Philosophy of Religion

Year 3

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

Drama and Theatre: Love, Gender and Sexuality on Stage and Screen

Drama and Theatre: Race Relations in Theatre, Film and Television

Drama and Theatre: Shakespeare

Drama and Theatre: National and Folk Dance at the Boundaries

Drama and Theatre: Applied theatre

Drama and Theatre: European Playwriting

Drama and Theatre: Intercultural Performance Training

Drama and Theatre: Modern European Directors

Drama and Theatre: Musical Theatre

Drama and Theatre: Performing Celebrity

Drama and Theatre: Final Year Project - Special Study

Politics and International Relations: Radical Political Theory

Politics and International Relations: The Politics of Toleration

Politics and International Relations: Social Justice - From Theory to Practice

Politics and International Relations: Issues in Democratic Theory

Classics: Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 2

Classics: The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2

Philosophy: Modern European Philosophy 1 - Husserl to Heidegger

Philosophy: Modern European Philosophy 2 - Critical Theory and Hermeneutics

Philosophy: Modern French Philosophy

Philosophy: The Philosophy of Psychology

Philosophy: The Philosophy of Religion

Philosophy: Practical Ethics

Philosophy: Recovering Reality

Philosophy: The Varieties of Scepticism

Philosophy: Dissertation

The dissertation presents you with the opportunity to demonstrate your skills as an independent learner by embarking upon a substantial (8,000 to 10,000 words) piece of written work. You will be guided by a dissertation supervisor, but will choose your own topic, approach, and philosophical sources. It allows you to demonstrate all of the skills you have learned throughout your studies, and marks the culmination of your undergraduate studies in Philosophy.

Each year you will take two course units in each subject.

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units at the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory, while others are elective, thereby offering flexibility and some choice.

You'll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminar/workshops, and for Drama, presentation of your research and practical experimentation, with or without written texts.  IT applications are used to explore many aspects of the subject, and we support your capability in this area through an Information Technology Skills course. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. Academic staff hold regular drop-in consultation sessions with students and, when you start with us, you will be assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.

Assessment methods match the course content. For most course units, you will be assessed on pieces of work, usually an essay, or assignment such as a seminar presentation or a performance.  You will sometimes be assessed as part of a group. The Philosophy part of the degree operates examinations, though Drama does not.

You will also take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This course does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year.

All undergraduate degree courses at Royal Holloway are based on the course unit system. This system provides an effective and flexible approach to study, while ensuring that our degrees have a coherent and developmental structure.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

AAB-ABB

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken
Required/preferred subjects

Preferred: Drama, Theatre Studies, English Language and Literature, English Literature, History, Government & Politics, Law, Economics, Philosophy, RE, Sociology, geography, Psychology

Required: At least five GCSEs graded A*- C including English and Maths

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in relevant subject area

BTEC National Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction in relevant subject, plus an A2 grade B

BTEC National Extended Certificate

Distinction in relevant subject, plus A2 grades B, B

Welsh Baccalaureate

A non-subject specified A Level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

Scottish Advanced Highers

AB plus Higher Level requirements

Scottish Highers

AABBB plus Advanced Higher Level requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 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 in relevant subject. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is only acceptable if the you have had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements

IELTS 6.5 overal 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.

Our graduates go into a wide variety of careers, as well as further academic study. Many go into acting, stage management, broadcasting (including at the BBC), arts administration, journalism, teaching, health, marketing, and PR. Lots of our graduates also start their own performing arts companies.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 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. 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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