What is this subject about?
Ever wondered what it would be like to be a director, performer, designer, playwright or
Our course inspires students to become independent theatre makers. You will learn
through experience and understand theatre from the different perspectives above, as well
as taking ownership over creating meaning for an audience.
Undertaking this course will encourage you to develop not only performance skills but a
range of transferable and valuable skills for a variety of subjects at higher education and
also for employment. Teamwork, problem solving and learning to think independently are
just some of these.
A full commitment to both written and practical elements is needed to maximise success.
What will I study over the two years?
Component 1: Drama and Theatre (written exam)
The written exam is designed to allow you to
demonstrate your creativity and imagination as you
interpret the set texts and explain how you would
stage an extract drawing upon the historical context.
You will study these from the perspective of a director
and performer. For set text 2 you will also cover
design. As a class you will explore the set texts
through practical workshops and stage scenes to
bring the world of the play to life. You will practice
exam essays throughout the course.
Set Text 1: Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, set in 19th
Set Text 2: Our Country’s Good by Timberlake
Wertenbaker, set in 18th Century.
Theatre Review: You will see a range of productions to
evaluate and write analytical reviews.
Component 2: Creating original drama (devised)
You have the opportunity to be a playwright and devise
a piece of original theatre as a group. You will take
responsibility for the research, writing, directing, set
design and acting. This will be created in the style of a
practitioner, such as Kneehigh. You will be assessed
on your final piece. Alongside your practical, you will
complete the Working Notebook coursework, which
explains your creative process, influences and
evaluation of your piece and individual performance.
Component 3: Making theatre (scripted work)
You will workshop and perform three extracts from
different published plays. You will explore and apply
the techniques and style of a selected practitioner,
such as Max Stafford-Clark or Katie Mitchell. Your
performance of your third extract will be assessed by
a visiting examiner. The Reflective Report
coursework covers all three scripted extracts
explored over the two years and is an analysis of yourresearch, skill development and evaluation of your performance.
How is the course assessed?
Assessment is through practical work (30%), written coursework (30%) and a written examination (40%). There is a strong emphasis on written assessment and invention/ creative thinking making it a notable step up from GCSE.
What skills will I need and develop on this course?
You will be encouraged to engage with a wide range of different kinds of theatre, developing skills of independent research, observation, critical analysis and personal reflection, as well as developing your creativity, imagination and practical skills, in both performance and essay writing.
What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?
Whilst this course does not guarantee a career in the
theatre, many students do go on to study Drama or
Theatre at university. It also provides a good analytical
A Level which would support other subjects for
university entry. Students who have studied A Level
Drama and Theatre have gone on to study a wide
variety of subjects at university including Law,
English, History and Psychology. Our students go on
to a range of careers including: working in the
theatre, film, media industries, teaching and journalism.
What are the formal entry requirements
for this course?
Aside from the general entry criteria that the College
requires, you will also need a minimum of:
• Grade 4 in GCSE English Language
• Grade 4 in English Literature
• Grade 4 in GCSE Drama (significant acting
experience is essential if GCSE Drama has not been
You will also be required to attend evening theatre
trips and have a willingness to use private study time to rehearse with others.
Subject combination advice
Subject combination advice:
Drama and Theatre is a subject that by its nature requires students to consider individual, moral, ethical, historical, social, cultural and contemporary issues. Therefore, Drama and Theatre combines well with any humanities subject, for example History, English, Politics and Sociology. It also combines well with Psychology, Film Studies and Media Studies. However, we usually advise against students combining Drama and Theatre with BTEC Extended Certificate in Performing Arts as they are closely related in terms of the skill set and rehearsal demands.
What is the difference between Drama and Theatre Studies and BTEC Performing Arts?
Drama and Theatre A Level is in some ways similar to
English Literature, but with theatre texts and a focus
on your creative staging ideas as a director or a
performer. We work predominantly in a naturalistic
acting style although there are opportunities to
include song, movement or dance in the Devising unit.
Whereas, the Performing Arts BTEC course involves
music, dance and acting, more like a Musical Theatre
pathway. Drama and Theatre is a creative course
which also includes critical analysis and essay writing
therefore provides a strong A Level for entry to Higher
Education. BTEC Performing Arts focuses on
rehearsal and performance to train students for entry
to Higher Education on a course which is aimed at a
career in the industry. Drama and Theatre is assessed
by 30% acting, 30% coursework and 40% written
exam. Whereas, Performing Arts is assessed through
100% coursework. Drama and Theatre is not just an acting course, you also learn about design and directing as well as reviewing professiuonal productions.