Drama and Theatre Studies

Key Facts

Code W400
  • Typical A-level offer


  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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What is theatre? What has theatre been? What could theatre be now and in the future? In choosing to study the Drama and Theatre Studies degree at Aberystwyth University you’ll immerse yourself in a rigorous and challenging discipline combining both practical and theoretical elements. You will look through and beyond historic and established forms to explore what drama, theatre and performance can be now and in the future. 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. The intellectual, practical and transferable skills acquired whilst studying Drama and Theatre Studies will prepare you for a variety of careers in the creative arts and beyond.

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)

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Employability
  • Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Student Views


The Drama and Theatre Studies degree is your opportunity to develop skills as a maker and thinker of contemporary drama, theatre and performance. You will gain an understanding of each of these inter-related forms as a site of study, thought and creative practice. Through a combination of theoretical and practical explorations you will critically examine and engage with a wide range of contemporary practices, from scripted drama to site-specific performance and from documentary theatre to experiments in new media performance.

Why study Drama and Theatre Studies 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 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. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment, the department was placed 6th in the UK for research power rating!

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.

The Department also offers 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.

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) Single Honours Drama and Theatre Studies Students must take all the following modules:

Semester 1

Studying Theatre 1 TP11020

Semester 2

Studying Theatre 2 TP11320

Year 1 Options Single Honours Drama and Theatre Studies Students must take one of the following modules and may take both:

Semester 1

Making Theatre 1: Studio Project TP11120

Semester 2

Making Theatre 2: Site Project TP11420

Year 1 Options Single Honours Drama and Theatre Studies Students may take their remaining credits from the following modules or choose from options outside their degree scheme:

Semester 1

Thinking Theatre 1: Key Theatre Practices TP11220

Semester 2

Thinking Theatre 2: Analysing Performance TP11520

Year 2 Options Single Honours Drama and Theatre Studies students must choose at least 20 credits from Group A in each semester:

Semester 1

Modern European Drama TP20320
Shakespeare In Contemporary Performance TP23220
Performance Writing TP32720

Semester 2

Theatre And Contemporary Society TP20420
Contemporary European Theatre TP21020
New Media Performance TP33820

Year 2 Options Single Honours Drama and Theatre Studies students must choose at last 20 credits from Group B:

Semester 1

Acting TP21220

Directing And Dramaturgy TP21820

Designing TP22620

Semester 2

Production Project TP34940

Year 3 Options Single Honours Drama and Theatre Studies students must take at least 40 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

Year 3 Options Students must take at least 20 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


The Drama and Theatre Studies 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. Many students 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 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

What will I learn?

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

To study theatre at Aberystwyth is to ask the questions ‘What is theatre?’, ‘What has theatre been?’ and ‘What could theatre be now and in the future?’ To answer these questions, in your first year you will take a number of introductory modules that develop your skills in making, thinking and studying, examining some key historical moments, practices and methods.

In the second year you will take a closer look at contemporary theatre-making through practical, historical and theoretical approaches, building your capacity as theatre-makers, thinkers and scholars. 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. 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

Drama & Theatre Studies at Aberystwyth University is dynamic, challenging, engaging and exciting. It offers students a broad range of practical modules which take place in a controlled and encouraging environment. The facilities of the Parry Williams building are second to none and offer a chance to perform a range of theatrical concepts. The course offers theoretical modules which are also engaging and offer a deeper insight into the world around us and society's relationship with the arts. The most rewarding aspect of the academic modules is that you can transfer the skills learned from study to practical work. The theory work often enhances the skills on a practical level. Working together between practical and theoretical modules the course offers students many useful skills.

Daniel Andrew Radbourne

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

Entry Requirements

A Levels BBC-BBB

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
28-30 points overall

European Baccalaureate:
65-70% overall

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