Drama and English

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

If you have a passion for theatre, performance and literature, then the BA in Drama and English offered by the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies and the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University is the course for you. Combining practice and theory, you will explore culture, performance and society through the interpretation and staging of dramatic text. Let your imagination run free as you examine the ways in which literary culture has engaged with and shaped society in the past, and how it continues to do so today. You will also experiment with writing and understand its ability to transform the world in which we live.

Throughout the course, you will have the chance to participate in a variety of performances and productions, the star of the show being our School Shakespeare Project, where you will develop, rehearse and stage a performance and educational workshop for a public audience of upper primary or secondary schoolchildren.

This exciting course is taught by experts from the world of Drama and English Literature, many of whom are active authors and playwrights within their respective industries. On completion of the BA Drama and English at Aberystwyth University, you will graduate with the specialist knowledge and transferable skills that will gain you access to careers that range from work in Theatre and Performing Arts to the world of Advertising or New Media.

Course Overview

Why study Drama and English at Aberystwyth University?

  • You will join two vibrant and diverse departments where drama, theatre, literature and performance collide to offer a suite of creative modules and opportunities.
  • The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies and the Department of English and Creative Writing will give you access to a flourishing creative scene that has a long and successful history of nurturing aspiring new talent, such as Sharon MaGuire who directed the two Bridget Jones films, and the BAFTA-nominated games writer and designer David Towsey.
  • You will explore the role, function and use of dramatic text in theatrical performance and the relationship between Drama, Theatre and English Literature.
  • You will develop your ability to critically analyse and creatively interpret text for performance.
  • You will experiment with writing and develop practical theatre-making skills, as well as gain an understanding of the social, historical and political context of theatre.
  • You will have access to superb facilities and resources for practical work and will play a key role in some exciting performance and production projects during the course, including the School Shakespeare Project.
  • You will benefit from our connections with key industry partners and our unique collaborative relationship with Aberystwyth Arts Centre, one of the largest arts centres in Wales.
  • You will be immersed in a supportive and vibrant community of creative and critical thinkers, industry experts, and published authors.

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.

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Modules September start - 2024

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.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Studio Theatre Project TP11120 20
Theatre in Context 1 TP11020 20
Theatre in Context 2 TP11320 20
Ancestral Voices EN10220 20
Critical Practice EN11320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Body, Voice, Expression. TP10220 20
Body, Voice, Perception TP10120 20
Contemporary Writing EN10520 20
Greek and Roman Epic and Drama CL10120 20
Literature And The Sea WL11420 20
Re-imagining Nineteenth-Century Literature WL10120 20
Writing Continuing TV Drama FM17320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Literary Theory: Debates and Dialogues EN20120 20
Theatre Production Project TP24940 40


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Classical Drama and Myth CL20320 20
Shakespeare in Performance TP23220 20
Shaping Plots WR21720 20
Theatre and Contemporary Society TP20820 20
Writing Women for the Public Stage, 1670-1780 EN28720 20
Acting: Process and Performance TP21220 20
Directors' Theatre TP21820 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


What opportunities are there for me?

Our degree in Drama and English will prepare you for further study or a career in a range of sectors, including:

  • theatre and performing arts
  • publishing, marketing and PR
  • broadcasting
  • journalism
  • advertising
  • publishing
  • aducation
  • the civil service
  • business
  • finance
  • new media.

What will I get from my degree?

You will develop a range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • critical assessment
  • effective communication
  • independent thinking and problem-solving
  • teamwork, to create group performances
  • working well under pressure and meeting deadlines, from learning lines and producing live work
  • creative/critical thinking skills, to interpret scripts and bring them to life
  • presentation and verbal communication, through frequent performing
  • written communication skills, through producing academic work and possibly scripts
  • quick thinking and improvisation skills, to ensure live performances and assessments run smoothly
  • self-motivation, to rehearse and continuously develop performance
  • negotiation and conflict management skills, to create a shared concept within groups.

What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying?

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

In your first year you will:

  • explore the major periods of theatre history focusing on contemporary theatre and its pre-20th century historical contexts
  • develop key analytical concepts of drama, character, the body, space and time
  • examine the analysis of live theatre/performance events
  • explore the emergence of new performance practices and influences
  • develop an understanding of critical practice through the study of four literary texts across a range of genres, historical periods and philosophical issues
  • develop core practical skills in theatre-making and take part in a studio theatre project
  • broaden your knowledge of pre-18th century literature and examine the particular challenges that these texts pose for the modern reader
  • explore the familiar Shakespeare play, ‘Othello’, from a variety of different historical and theoretical perspectives
  • analyse a group of poems spanning the 16th to the 19th century
  • study a group of early 18th century texts about women’s experiences.

You will also choose from a list of optional modules that includes ‘Writing Continuing TV Drama’ and ‘Literature and the Sea’.

In your second year you will:

  • examine ways of looking at a literary text and explore the underlying assumptions
  • understand how to use, develop and challenge theory through the study of specific literary examples
  • take part in a theatre production project involving the development, rehearsal and staging of a performance event for a public audience.

You will also choose from a list of optional modules that includes ‘Acting: Process and Performance’, ‘Theatre and Contemporary Society’ and ‘Shaping Plots’.

In your third year you will:

  • work on the ‘School Shakespeare Project’ in which you will create a 60 to 90-minute Shakespeare production involving developing, rehearsing and staging a performance event and accompanying educational workshop for a public audience of upper primary or secondary schoolchildren
  • opt for two out of three modules that can work alongside the School Shakespeare Project: write your own play, a dissertation, or undertake a piece of independent research (one in Semester 1 and the other in Semester 2)
  • choose from a list of optional modules that includes ‘Playwriting’, ‘Theatre, Gender and Sexuality’ and ‘Haunting Texts’ (in Semester 2).

How will I be taught?

You will engage with a wide variety of learning and teaching activities which balance direct instruction, collaborative and independent study, practical work, and active questioning and debate with peers and tutors.

Scheduled activities will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, practical sessions, rehearsals, performances, problem-based learning workshops, and one-to-one supervision.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through:

  • written and performed essays
  • critical and creative portfolios
  • practical and written examinations
  • collaborative presentation and performance tasks
  • practical productions.

Further information:

Transferable skills are embedded in the whole range of learning and teaching activities and are an explicit part of core teaching during the first year.

Assessment tasks encourage you to pay close attention to texts, practices and performances, to pursue original thought, to question accepted opinions and to develop your creativity.

Independent and collaborative study will require extensive use of libraries and digital resources, workshop spaces and technical equipment, and structured online learning resources. Scheduled learning and guided study are enhanced by sessions outside the classroom including (but not limited to) performances, field trips, visiting speakers, reading groups, and film screenings.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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