Your first term
There’s plenty to take in during your first term at university and we provide a range of events during induction week before teaching starts, where you’ll get the chance to mix with staff and other students in the department. You’ll meet your personal tutor, who will guide you through the opportunities and challenges of university study and put you in touch with the many sources of student advice and support. You’ll find out how to make the most of the extensive collection of books, DVDs and online resources available to you via the Library. Visits to performances, exhibitions and other cultural events will be integral to your studies, with nothing extra to pay. There are regular events, career development activities and workshop/seminar sessions by visiting artists and scholars, hosted by the Centre for Performance & Creative Exchange, the main forum for our lively research culture and the base for over 40 artists and researchers following our MA/MRes and MPhil/PhD courses.
You will be introduced to a wide range of performance histories and practices, as well as devising and performing your own work. If you’re a single honours Drama student, you’ll take all the following modules (combined honours students usually take Thinking Through Theatre and Stages and Staging).
In Thinking Through Theatre, you’ll take the making of theatre backs to its basics, through practical investigations of the theatrical image, movement, objects and materials, sound and language, leading to a group performance for public presentation in May.
In Stages and Staging, you’ll explore seminal plays and their performance in different periods, understanding the dynamic relationships between dramatic form and historical context.
In Engaging Performance you’ll study ways in which performance shapes culture beyond the arts, from religious and secular ritual to political speechmaking, from sporting spectacle to behavior in everyday life. In the Spring term we look at innovative forms of performance that seek to connect art with social change – and you’ll create your own practical project in response to these investigations.
In Contemporary Professional Practices you’ll meet actors, writers, directors, producers, independent performance artists, arts administrators, venue managers and educators – and hear how their working lives have taken shape. You’ll learn about the remarkable diversity of employment possibilities open to drama graduates and about what you can do during your studies to shape your aspirations and career prospects.
Your second and third years give you the chance to focus your interests through a choice of a range of modules that span a variety of topics and performance practices. Options include the chance to take part in creating a full-length production, explore stage design and scenography or digital media, study the history of comedy, investigate experimental approaches to devising and directing or examine performance practice from a feminist perspective. You’ll find yourself taking on an increasing amount of independent practical work and learning through an exciting variety of teaching styles and assessment forms.
At this level, individual modules are informed by current staff research – and so you’ll be learning alongside some of the leading experts in their fields. New modules are introduced on a regular basis and you can expect to engage with ideas and approaches at the cutting edge of the performing arts, from animal/cyborg performance to post-colonial theatre, from the staging of failure to performance in the age of hip-hop. As well as having the chance to work with established professional theatre companies on the Work Placement module, you’ll be taking on the challenges of extended independent study: writing a play or a dissertation or creating a practice-as-research project that mixes genres and media – making work that you can use as springboard for your next move after graduation.