BA Drama and Theatre Studies / History

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

Aberystwyth University offers a wide range of Joint Honours schemes that allow you to study two subjects that best suit your interests. In choosing to study Joint Honours Drama and Theatre Studies / History at Aberystwyth University you’ll immerse yourself in a rigorous and challenging discipline combining both practical and theoretical elements. In Drama and Theatre Studies you will look through and beyond historic and established forms to explore what drama, theatre and performance can be now and in the future. In History you will encounter a broad range of historical periods, and gain an understanding of how and why the world has evolved the way it has. Across the degree you’ll have the opportunity to encounter a wide range of critical and creative forms and practices and develop your capacity as an independent theatre-maker, thinker and scholar while equipping you for research and analysis in many contexts. The intellectual, practical and transferable skills acquired whilst studying Drama and Theatre Studies / History will prepare you for a variety of careers in the creative arts and the public sphere more broadly.

Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of History (NSS 2016)
92% student satisfaction for our Drama and Theatre Studies degree scheme (NSS 2016)

Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies: 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of Film and Television Studies who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Department of History and Welsh: 95% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of History and Welsh History who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Overview

The Drama and Theatre Studies / History degree is your opportunity to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary drama, theatre and performance as sites of study, thought and creative practice and will allow you to place the past in perspective and to equip yourself with the analytical skills of interpretation, analysis and communication that are so vital in everyday life. Through a combination of theoretical and practical explorations you will critically examine and engage with a wide range of performative and historical practices.

Why study BA Drama and Theatre Studies / History at Aberystwyth?

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is one of the most significant Departments of its kind, with a reputation at local, national and international levels. We offer an integrated scheme of study, combining creative and critical approaches to the discipline through innovative practical work and challenging scholarly enquiry. We also offer an extremely broad range of specialisms, ranging from site-specific and located theatre and performance to contemporary European theatre, British and Irish drama, documentary theatre, performance art, new media performance, politics, aesthetics, philosophy and ethics.

Many of our lecturers are leading professional designers, theatre-makers and active researchers, working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, and you will benefit from being taught the latest theories and techniques. Departmental staff have active working relationships with a range of companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre Wales, Music Theatre Wales, Quarantine, Imitating the Dog and the Magdalena Project, an international network of women in contemporary theatre.

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is the highest rated Arts and Humanities Department in Wales, according to the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 60% of research submitted being rated world-leading.

We offer excellent facilities for practical work, including rehearsal studios and well-equipped studio theatre spaces, where you can undertake projects and productions at a variety of scales. We also make use of the unique geographic resources of Aberystwyth – its landscape, language, history – to explore the challenges posed by working in different places and situations, developing an understanding of how theatre and performance always emerge from, and relate to, specific contexts. The Aberystwyth Arts Centre, one of the largest campus arts centres in the UK, is situated on the main campus, and is a popular venue where you can enjoy performances of all kinds. The Department has close links with the Arts Centre, collaborating to produce an annual Theatre Passport of subsidised work specifically for students.

We are enthusiastically committed to the European Erasmus+ exchange scheme and have a one-year North American Exchange scheme, run in conjunction with the Universities of Pittsburgh, Kansas, Vancouver, Alabama, Washington State and a number of other North American institutions.

History has been taught at Aberystwyth since the foundation of the University in 1872, making the Department of History and Welsh History the oldest History department in Wales and one of the foremost in Britain. Despite our heritage we continue to innovate to ensure that you get the best History degree you possibly can.

The interests of our lecturers span the period from antiquity to the modern world, so we can provide you with a broad range of political, social, economic and cultural history modules from all periods and several continents. All our lecturers are active researchers who publish their work, and you will benefit from being taught the latest historical theories and techniques.

In addition to a fine University library, as a History student at Aberystwyth you will enjoy full membership of the National Library of Wales. One of only five copyright libraries in the United Kingdom, with over six million books, maps, prints and manuscripts, it is situated within a five-minute walk of the Department. You will find this especially valuable when studying your special subject and writing your dissertation in your third year. Through our close association with the National Library we are also able to offer you exciting work placement opportunities there.

You will find a very friendly and welcoming community in the Department of History and Welsh History, and the lively History Society organises a programme of guest lectures, visits to places of interest and social events throughout the year.

Both departments also offer a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the department.

Our Staff

All academic staff at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies are research active and/or involved in Knowledge Transfer projects and have either relevant academic qualifications at doctoral level or equivalent professional experience and expertise.

Department of History and Welsh History lecturers are all qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) Joint Honours Drama and Theatre Studies students (other than Senography and Theatre Design/Drama and Theatre Studies W432) must take the following modules:

Semester 1

Studying Theatre 1 TP11020

Semester 2

Studying Theatre 2 TP11320

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) The following modules are compulsory

Year 1 Options Year One students - ALL History and Welsh History joint honours students MUST take the Department's Part One core module (through medium of English or Welsh):

Semester 1

Cyflwyno Hanes HA12120

Introduction To History HY12120

Year 1 Options Year One students - History and Welsh History joint honours students must take a further 40 credits worth of modules in the History & Welsh History department:

Semester 1

Concwest, Uno A Hunaniaeth Yng Nghymru 1250-1800 HC11120

Cymru A'r Byd: Cysylltiadau A Dylanwadau 1860 - 2000 HC11520

Stuart England: War, Political Crisis And Social Change 1629-1714 HY11920

Russia Since 1900 HY12020

Nationalism, Totalitarianism And Democratization: Czechoslov HY12220

Soldiers, Saints & Serfs: England, 1042-1154 HY14320

Conquest, Union And Identity In Wales 1250-1800 WH11120

Semester 2

Y Dirwasgiad Mawr: Hanes Cymharol America A Phrydain HA10620

Argyfwng, Gwrthryfel A Ffydd Yn Ewrop C.1000-1540 HA10820

Oes Y Fictoriaid HA13820

Age Of Magna Carta-england And Its Neighbours C1180-c1280 HY12520

Three Queens And Their Subjects HY12720

Britain And The First World War HY13220

Modernity And The Making Of Asia HY15220

From Revolution To World War: Wales 1789-1914 WH11620

Year 1 Options Joint Honours Drama and Theatre Studies students (other than Senography and Theatre Design/Drama and Theatre Studies W432) must take one of the following modules:

Semester 1

Making Theatre 1: Studio Project TP11120

Semester 2

Making Theatre 2: Site Project TP11420

Year 2 Options Year Two students MUST TAKE the History and Welsh History Year2 CORE module in semester one (in either English or Welsh):

Semester 1

Llunio Hanes HA30120

Making History HY30120

Year 2 Options Joint Honours Drama and Theatre students must take at least 40 credits and may take up to 80 credits of TP modules in their 2nd year:

Semester 1

Modern European Drama TP20320

Acting TP21220

Directing And Dramaturgy TP21820

Designing TP22620

Shakespeare In Contemporary Performance TP23220

Performance Writing TP32720

Semester 2

Theatre And Contemporary Society TP20420

Contemporary European Theatre TP21020

New Media Performance TP33820

Production Project TP34940

Year 2 Options Year Two students MUST TAKE one 20-credit SURVEY module in Dept. History & Welsh History in Semester One:

Semester 1

Concro'r Byd: Tŵf A Chwymp Ymerodraethau Prydain A Ffrainc HA31820

The Challenge To Christendom HY31020

Early Modernity In Europe HY31120

War & Society In History HY31620

Year 2 Options Year Two students should choose one 20-credit SKILLS module in Dept. History & Welsh History in semester two:

Semester 2

Gwrando Ar Hanes: Y Mudiad Hawliau Sifil Yn America HA34720

Investigating Georgian And Victorian Landscapes HY32720

History As Myth-making: The 'myth Of The Blitz' HY33420

Germans And Nazism Since 1933: Reading Public Opinion Surveys, Diaries And Memoirs HY33520

Image Wars In Southeast Asia: Studying 20th Century Propaganda HY33720

Journalism And The Writing Of History HY33920

Medieval Chronicles: Historical Writing In The British Isles 540-1300 HY34020

History In Cartoons: Studying Georgian Satirical Prints HY34320

Seals In Their Context In Medieval England And Wales HY34420

Exploring Nineteenth-century Exhibitions HY34620

Year 2 Options OR Year Two students should choose one 20-credit OPTION module in Dept. History & Welsh History in either semester one or semester two:

Semester 1

Gwrthdaro A Chydfodolaeth: Cymru O’r Normaniaid Hyd Glyndŵr HC32220

Oes Yr Ymerodraeth: Prydain Ac Iwerddon, 1850-1914 HC34320

East & West In The Age Of Crusades, C. 1070 - C. 1290 HY35120

Politics And Society In Twentieth-century Britain HY37620

Science, Religion And Magic HY38620

Germany Since 1945 HY39620

The Atlantic World, 1492-1825 HY39720

Rhyfel Algeria 1952-1964 IE20420

An Age Of Empire: Britain And Ireland, 1850-1914 WH34320

Semester 2

Trosedd, Terfysg A Moesoldeb Yng Nghymru 1750-1850 HC33420

The British Isles And The ‘english Revolution’ HY35720

From Black Death To Great Fire: The British Town 1349-1700 HY36120

War, Famine And Plague: England In The Fourteenth Century HY36720

Expansion, Intervention And Influence: The United States As A Continental Power HY39120

Culture, Society And The Victorians HY39320

The Soviet Union And The World, 1917-1991 HY39520

Crime, Riot And Morality In Wales 1750-1850 WH33420

Civil War And Revolution In Stuart Wales, 1603-1714 WH36220

Final Year Options Joint Honours Drama and Theatre students must take at least 20 credits from the following modules:

Semester 1

Contemporary British And Irish Drama TP30820

Place, Space And Landscape TP32820

Documentary Theatre TP33520

Semester 2

Theatre, Gender And Sexuality TP33120

Performance And Architecture TP33420

Performance, Politics And Protest TP35220

Final Year Options Final Year students MUST TAKE one 20-credit SURVEY module in Dept. History & Welsh History in Semester One:

Semester 1

Concro'r Byd: Tŵf A Chwymp Ymerodraethau Prydain A Ffrainc HA31820

The Challenge To Christendom HY31020

Early Modernity In Europe HY31120

War & Society In History HY31620

Final Year Options Joint Honours Drama and Theatre students may, subject to the demands of their other scheme, take their remaining credits from the following modules:

Semester 1

Playwriting TP34600

Ensemble Project TP35520

Creative Entrepreneurship TP35700

Independent Research Project TP36000

Semester 2

Applied Theatre Project TP34240

Playwriting TP34640

Solo Production Project TP35120

Creative Entrepreneurship TP35740

Independent Research Project TP36040

Final Year Options Final Year students should choose 20-40 credits worth of OPTIONAL modules in the Department of History and Welsh History in either semester one or semester two:

Semester 1

Gwrthdaro A Chydfodolaeth: Cymru O’r Normaniaid Hyd Glyndŵr HC32220

Oes Yr Ymerodraeth: Prydain Ac Iwerddon, 1850-1914 HC34320

East & West In The Age Of Crusades, C. 1070 - C. 1290 HY35120

Politics And Society In Twentieth-century Britain HY37620

Science, Religion And Magic HY38620

Germany Since 1945 HY39620

The Atlantic World, 1492-1825 HY39720

Rhyfel Algeria 1952-1964 IE20420

An Age Of Empire: Britain And Ireland, 1850-1914 WH34320

Semester 2

Trosedd, Terfysg A Moesoldeb Yng Nghymru 1750-1850 HC33420

The British Isles And The ‘english Revolution’ HY35720

From Black Death To Great Fire: The British Town 1349-1700 HY36120

War, Famine And Plague: England In The Fourteenth Century HY36720

Expansion, Intervention And Influence: The United States As A Continental Power HY39120

Culture, Society And The Victorians HY39320

The Soviet Union And The World, 1917-1991 HY39520

Crime, Riot And Morality In Wales 1750-1850 WH33420

Civil War And Revolution In Stuart Wales, 1603-1714 WH36220

Employability

Whether you have clear plans for your graduate career or are open to the wide range of opportunities an Aberystwyth degree offers, we will enable you to develop the skills employers value so highly. The Drama and Theatre Studies / History degree provides a balance between critical academic approaches and practical experience and a trajectory of increasingly independent work to develop the skills you need to pursue career opportunities in the creative arts and beyond. History is a subject that can lead into a wide range of careers. Graduates from the Department of History & Welsh History have found work as teachers, lawyers, archivists, publishers, politicians and civil servants, and also in the media, big business, the armed forces, and as entrepreneurs. This is because History is a subject that equips you with the skills to discover, analyse and interpret information, and to present your findings in a clear and convincing manner – as well as providing insights into humanity throughout the ages. Many students from Drama and Theatre Studies have gone on to work as actors, performers, directors, and designers, either directly, through association with co-operative and professional companies, or after further postgraduate study. Many graduates have also found employment in a variety of different areas including teaching, administration, marketing, management, and public relations. Furthermore, the degree will help you to begin developing your own ideas into realisable projects, equipping you as a cultural entrepreneur.

Transferable Skills

In addition to subject specific skills and knowledge, studying for a degree in Drama and Theatre Studies / History degree will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include the ability to:
• apply creative, imaginative and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations
• research, evaluate and organise information
• structure and communicate ideas effectively in a variety of situations and using a variety of means
• work independently and with others
• effectively organise your time and deploy your skills
• listen to and make use of critical advice
• be self-motivated and self-disciplined
• use a range of information technology skills and resources
• be entrepreneurial in developing cultural projects

You will be able to gather, assimilate and interpret intellectual and aesthetic material independently and critically, deploying creative and imaginative skills developed through the realisation of individual and group practical and research projects. You will also have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently and creatively through oral, written, visual and performative means to a range of audiences, evaluating and organising information, working effectively with others and working within time frames with specific resources and to specific deadlines.

Year in Employment scheme (YES)

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The Drama and Theatre Studies / History degree offers a distinctive and well-developed approach to the disciplines of Drama, Theatre, Performance and History. It has been carefully designed to ensure an integrated academic experience that will enrich and inform the development of your critical and creative skills and a comprehensive understanding of historical methods and periods.

In your first year you will take a number of introductory modules that develop your skills in making, thinking and studying, examining key historical moments in theatre, as well as practices and methods. If you have studied History before, the first year will set your previous historical studies in a wider context; if you have not taken History at A level, it will serve as an ideal introduction to the subject. You will identify new concepts and historical skills, new methods and periods, and some of the most exciting recent historical works. You will also be able to choose other modules from a wide selection reflecting a broad chronological and thematic range, so you can study the topics that appeal most to your own personal interests.

Your second year provides you with a closer look at contemporary theatre-making through both practical, historical and theoretical approaches, building your capacity as theatre-makers, thinkers and scholars. In History, you will take a module on historical method, which examines the way in which the meaning, methods and writing of history have changed over time. You can also choose from an extensive list of modules designed to broaden your knowledge, give you an insight into the historian’s craft and focus more closely on different topics and periods. In Drama and Theatre Studies you can select from a series of modules which explore the development of modern European theatre, Shakespeare in contemporary performance, theatre and contemporary society as well as new media performance and performance writing. You can select from a series of practical modules which explore acting, directing, devising and designing. You can also choose to develop these through involvement in full-scale production work.

The third year offers you the opportunity to create independent creative work, undertake a major research project and engage in advanced theoretical study. In History, as well as choosing a number of modules from a wide range, you select a special subject which enables you to study a specific historical topic in depth and allows an extensive use of original sources, deploying the critical research skills of a practising historian. In Drama and Theatre Studies you can select from modules that test and extend your skills in making group and solo production projects, support you in creating an Applied Theatre project, develop entrepreneurial skills in producing and curating cultural events or write your own playscript. Specialist optional modules in the third year enable you to engage with staff research specialisms in place, space and landscape, performance philosophy, performance and politics, theatre, gender and sexuality, documentary theatre and contemporary British drama. In the third year you have the opportunity to demonstrate your achievement as an emergent maker, thinker and researcher, preparing to enter the worlds of employment, entrepreneurship and postgraduate study.                                                                                                     

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through practical workshops, small-group seminars, and lectures. In smaller group settings teaching is frequently mixed-mode, interrogating theory through practical investigation and practices through the lens of various theoretical perspectives. This diversity of activity is an essential part of our teaching and learning philosophy, and creates a uniquely exciting and productive learning environment.

You will be assessed through formal and performed essays, written and practical examinations, critical and creative portfolios, practical productions, seminar presentations and group activities. As you progress through the degree we place increasing emphasis on developing your independence and self-management, allowing you to take responsibility for your own learning.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree scheme, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

The wide range of module choices paired with the wide variety of drama societies means we can easily be prepared for any area of drama and theatre practice. The academic and practical elements are brilliant, allowing us to either focus on one or the other and/or ground ourselves in the theory in order to better our practical exploration. The staff are always friendly and enthusiastic, always encouraging us to do more and explore further. Jemma Rowlston

Studying History at Aberystwyth has been brilliant. The ability to pick modules and cater to my tastes has allowed me to pursue what I want. If I want to study Russia I can. Alongside this the great teaching staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge who provide excellent teaching. I can approach them very easily and they are willing to give me the time and support I need. I also feel able to ask for help with essays and advice on what to read and research. Reading is key as a historian and both the Hugh Owen Library and the National Library of Wales is a great resource for getting books. In my two years of studying history I have not once regretted my choice, and going into my third year I cannot wait. Connor Lambert

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