Theatre and Performance Design / Drama and Theatre

BA Theatre and Performance Design / Drama and Theatre Code 234W Attend an Open Day Attend an Open Day

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

If you are looking for a radical and innovative approach to design and technical theatre in the context of theatre and performance, then our Joint Honours Theatre Design and Performance / Drama and Theatre degree is for you. Supported by internationally-recognised staff with a wide range of expertise, you will look beyond the established boundaries of set, costume, lighting and sound design and take a total view of performance events. This degree is designed to empower you to develop your skills and capacities as a designer and theatre-maker, actively exploring what drama, theatre and performance can be now and in the future. Across the three years of the degree you will engage you in a process of investigation and questioning that extends your critical and creative capacities and builds your practical skills. You will encounter and explore a wide range of contemporary theatre and design practices, from playhouse theatre to performance installation, from scripted drama to site-specific performance and from Shakespeare to experiments in new media.

Course Overview

Why study Theatre and Performance Design / Drama and Theatre at Aberystwyth?

  • This course will enable you to explore a radical and innovative approach to theatre and performance design.
  • You will be taught and mentored by a team of internationally known designers and experts. 
  • We are a vibrant and creative department where drama and theatre, film and media, and scenography and theatre design collide.
  • All students benefit from our complementary learning experiences where theory and practice are designed to feed into each other.
  • As a department, students benefit from our connections with key industry partners, such as National Theatre Wales, Music Theatre Wales, Quarantine Theatre Company, and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. These creative partners provide an excellent opportunity to network and liaise with those in the industry before graduation. 
  • Students in the department have access to our superb facilities and resources for practical work: three rehearsal studios, each with flexible technical facilities; 2 large professionally-equipped studios with digital lighting rigs controlled via ETC Congo and Strand Lighting consoles, Yamaha and Soundcraft PAs, Sanyo AV systems and Strand lighting and two NXAMP; and costume and wardrobe facilities.
  • On our campus and situated next door to the Arts Centre is one of the largest Arts Centres in Wales, which regularly presents national and international theatre and dance work.
  • Aberystwyth University’s is known for having a large number of clubs and societies, so be assured that your time will be occupied with your studies and taking part in your chosen club / society's activities. The University has a large and energetic drama society, come and say hello during a visit to Aberystwyth. 
  • If you're looking for an experience beyond Aberystwyth, all students will have the opportunity to take part in a study or work placement abroad. Find out where your adventure could take you!
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.

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
Design Skills TP11820 20
Theatre Technologies TP19820 20
Theatre and Performance Design in Context TP10020 20
Theatre in Context 1 TP11020 20
Theatre in Context 2 TP11320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Site-Specific Performance Project TP11420 20
Studio Theatre Project TP11120 20
Body, Voice, Expression. TP10220 20
Body, Voice, Perception TP10120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Principles of Scenography TP22320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Acting for Camera TP25920 20
Acting: Process and Performance TP21220 20
Devised Performance Project TP21620 20
Directors' Theatre TP21820 20
New Media Performance TP23820 20
Scenographic Composition TP22520 20
Scenography Production Project TP24740 40
Shakespeare in Performance TP23220 20
Theatre Design Project TP22620 20
Theatre Production Project TP24940 40


Module Name Module Code Credit Value


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Contemporary Drama TP30020 20
Musical Theatre Dramaturgies TP39020 20
Performance and Architecture TP33420 20
Performance and Disability TP30320 20
Place, Space and Landscape TP32820 20
Advanced Scenographic Project TP35940 40
Advanced Studio Practice (scenography) TP31240 40
Ensemble Performance Project TP35520 20
Independent Research Project TP36040 40
Playwriting TP33340 40

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


What can I do with a Theatre Design and Performance / Drama and Theatre degree?

Many of our students have been successful in obtaining employment in these fields:

  • set, costume and lighting design
  • production design and art direction
  • acting and performing
  • directing
  • stage management
  • script writing
  • teaching and education
  • arts administration
  • marketing
  • management and project co-ordination
  • marketing and public relations.

What skills do I gain from this degree?

Students on this degree gain the following valuable skills that are sought after by employers. These include the ability to:

  • gather, assimilate and interpret intellectual and aesthetic material independently and critically
  • structure and communicate ideas efficiently and creatively through oral, written, visual and performative means to a range of audiences
  • apply creative, imaginative and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations;
  • work effectively in group settings to develop, rehearse and produce live events;
  • 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.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In your first year you will discover:

  • contemporary approaches to studio-based and site-based theatre-making and scenographic design
  • key scenographic concepts, methodologies and approaches
  • key historical moments, practices and methods in drama and theatre
  • the analysis of drama, theatre and performance
  • the function of design within the theatrical event.

 In your second year, you will explore:

  • the four primary scenographic elements of space, light, sound and body
  • contemporary theatre-making through practical, historical and theoretical approaches
  • theories and practices of scenographic exploration
  • tools and methods for scenographic composition
  • optional modules which currently include acting techniques for stage and screen, Directors' theatre and European drama, Shakespeare in performance, new media performance, and full-scale theatre production.

 In your final year, you will have the opportunity:

  • to create advanced independent creative work that prepares you for professional practice
  • to undertake a major research project and engage in advanced theoretical study
  • to write your own play script
  • to study specialist modules that currently include Space, Place and Landscape; Performance, Politics and Protest; Theatre, Gender and Sexuality; Performance and Architecture; and Contemporary British and Irish drama.

 How will I be taught?

  • You will be taught through practical workshops, small-group seminars, lectures, production projects and group based project work.
  • Our teaching is frequently mixed-mode, interrogating theory through practical investigation and practice through the lens of various theoretical perspectives.
  • You will be assessed through performance projects, formal and performed essays, written and practical examinations, critical and creative portfolios, practical productions, seminar presentations and group activities.
  • 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 are free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

Student Testimonials

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

Since graduating I have been living in London. I have worked for the multi award winning musical Wicked! at the Apollo Theatre, where I am both a Costume Assistant and Dresser. Aside from my work on Wicked! I freelance further as a Costume Assistant on a variety of theatre productions including The Railway Children (Waterloo Station) working closely with designers and costume supervisors to realise their work on stage. The flexibility and structure of the Scenography and Theatre Design degree combined with the expertise of the tutors means that not only do you feel you are getting a hand crafted, meaningful degree, but a course that teaches the skills and methodology you need to work in the industry. Aberystwyth University is an infectious place to study (and play!) with amazing staff, inspiring surroundings, endless opportunities and friends for life. I would certainly recommend it.

Ed Parry

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:
75%-65% overall

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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