We use cookies on this site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Close this message Find out more

Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Undergraduate > Drama and Theatre Studies
More in this section Drama & Theatre

Drama and Theatre Studies BA

UCAS code W440
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
3 years full time
Department Drama and Theatre »


Choosing to study Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway will put you at the centre of one of the largest and most influential Drama and Theatre departments in the world.  Here, you'll grapple with the big questions: about ourselves and our cultures, about how we make meaning and tell stories, and about ourselves in relation to other cultures, other times, and other forms of storytelling.

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.

You'll be taught in incredible performance spaces you won't find anywhere else, each perfectly enhancing our teaching and research strengths:

  • the state of the art Caryl Churchill Theatre for exploring issues around contemporary theatre
  • a converted ‘found space’ 19th century Boilerhouse studio, a stunning backdrop for movement work
  • The only permanent Noh stage outside of Japan, which is reflective of our unrivalled international outlook.

Our location means that you'll be able to experience the cultural life of London, with its theatres, productions and practitioners just a short train ride away, but base yourself in the close, stimulating community and safe environment that only a campus university can offer.

Our links with industry professionals and companies are unsurpassed and we enourage you to experience the incredible theatre, productions and practitioners of London, such as London's West End and South Bank. 

Our campus environment and community gives you the space to experiment with your own ideas alongside fellow drama students and other top rated arts departments, such Media Arts and Music. We're justifiably proud of our creative campus, with a wide range of performance societies on campus including the Drama Department’s own Student Workshop.

Core modules

Year 1

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 Text

This module provides you with enhanced skills in reading, performing and creating theatre from text.

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.

Theatre and Ideas

This module shows how other disciplines like philosophy, physics, politics and sociology can inform theatre and how the theatre can be a forum for creatively interrogating those disciplines.

Year 2

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 Text 2

Building upon your first year work, you will choose an option that focuses on a particular period or genre that interests you. These might include Black and Asian theatre, Greek tragedy, Shakespeare, or staging the real.

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 or global culture.

Theatre and Ideas 2

You will choose an option that further develops the dialogue between theatre and other disciplines by exploring key ideas to theatre practice. You might choose to explore casting, cultural heritage, ecology, gender, or money.

Year 3

Final Year Project - Group Performance

You will develop a project for public performance in a form, mode and style that builds on understanding and expertise previously acquired on the degree and you will be advised and supported by staff for this. You will present your work at a ‘Finalist Festival’.

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

Only core modules are taken

Year 3

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


National and Folk Dance at the Boundaries

Applied Theatre

European Playwriting

Intercultural Performance Training

Modern European Directors

Musical Theatre

Performing Celebrity

Final Year Project - Dissertation

Final Year Project - Special Study

You will be an active partner in your learning process. Our most important teaching tool is the seminar/workshop, a two to three hour class with a maximum of 20 students consisting of discussion, 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.

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.

Assessment methods match the course content. For most course units, you will be assessed on two pieces of work, one of which is usually an essay, while the other might be an assignment such as a seminar presentation or a performance. Practical assignments include model box set designs, lighting designs, acting, directing and stage management tasks, physical theatre and movement presentations, or work with schools and other community groups. You will sometimes be assessed as part of a group. We do not operate formal timed examinations.

Typical offers

Typical offers


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 and English A levels
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 a relevant subject
BTEC National Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject, plus one A level grade B

BTEC National Extended Certificate Distinction in a elevant subject, plus A levels 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 at Advanced Higher Level plus Higher requirements
Scottish Highers AABBB at Higher Level , plus Advanced Higher 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 a relevant subject. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is acceptable if you have had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
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.

Graduates from the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance go into a wide variety of careers, as well as further academic study. Many go into performance, 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 meeting and networking, 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 whole host of other skills in research and project management.  Find out more about what our graduates are doing now.

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work for:

  • Lyceum Youth Theatre, Edinburgh
  • The Salmon Youth Centre, London
  • Youth Music Theatre UK
  • Canterbury Institute for the Performing Arts
  • Block Stop Game makers
  • Lazarus Theatre Company
  • Next Stage Theatre Company
  • Imperium Management Talent Agency
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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.

Back to course search results


Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback