September 2021

Drama, Theatre and Applied Performance BA (Hons)

Honours Degree, September 2021

Key Details

  • W400 Course Code
  • 3-4.5* Years
  • 96 Typical UCAS Tariff
Drama, Theatre and Applied Performance


Drama at Newman is a richly diverse programme with prepares students for using their drama knowledge
and skills in a professional theatre environment and the wider community. The course has four main

  • a Drama strand which traces the development of the art form from Greek Drama to Postmodern plays
    and develops students’ critical thinking;
  • a theatre performance element in which students take part in major sound and performance
    productions that usually take place in professional venues such as the Midlands Arts Centre, The Crescent
    Theatre and The Blue Orange Theatre;
  • a strand devoted to applied performance in contexts such education, healthcare and wellbeing in
    which students learn skills as community actors and artists-in-residence;
  • a work placement strand in year 2 in which all students have the opportunity to apply theory to
    practice, develop networks and clarify on career decisions. All students have the opportunity to conduct a
    final year dissertation and they can choose from three types: a traditional written dissertation, a practical
    performance-based dissertation and a work placement-based dissertation. Students with an interest in
    helping the community through the arts join the Community & Applied Drama laboratory (CADLab) to
    expand their learning experience in education and healthcare through creative, extra-curricular projects.

Why study this course?

  • Drama at Newman offers students the opportunity to learn in a way which dissolves the traditional distinctions between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. Students work on their feet, actively exploring and applying a range of dramatic ideas and approaches, then pausing at key moments to reflect upon what (and how) they are learning.
  • All students have opportunities to take part in productions
  • Students can learn about and participate in a range of Applied drama approaches.
  • Students receive specialist training from professionals with particular expertise.
  • Students can choose between a traditional written dissertation and a practical dissertation.
  • Students can develop their critical thinking skills and deepen their knowledge and understanding of Drama as an art form exploring what it is to be human.
  • Our performance facilities ensure students devise, rehearse and perform in an appropriate environment.

This course is for students who enjoy drama and want to understand more about how the art form has developed over time and is used in various ways to reflect and explore some of the most important questions in society today. Visit the SCUDD website to learn about Drama graduates’ career prospects and the wide-ranging benefits of a Drama degree. You can also watch a video on the importance of a drama degree in the working world.

Find out about our Drama Studio

One of the main attractions for students on this course is the close personal attention you receive from tutors. As classes and workshops are held in small groups, the tutors can observe your development and help you to improve your skills an individual basis. The lecturers have experience of both the academic and theoretical sides of drama and its practice. In addition, Newman has excellent links with a wide variety of people currently working in the industry, who advise students and know what is required to be successful in the theatre. For example, the internationally renowned playwright Edward Bond has previously given workshops and lectures to students and Newman students presented the British premier of his play Born.

This course is one of the few drama degrees in the UK which is vocation centred. Modules offered include the history of drama. Live theatre is seen as a vital aspect of the course and the whole department will when possible make a visit to the theatre at least once a term. There is a large element of practical work such as workshops, and work experience to help you define your career plans and gain vital work experience in the theatre. There is also the opportunity to be involved in applied drama projects in schools, hospitals and community venues as part of Newman’s Community & Applied Drama Lab (CAD Lab). In recent years, Drama students have taken placements at the Birmingham Rep, Birmingham Hippodrome and Midland Actors Theatre, amongst others.


What does the course cover?

During your first year of study you will work practically through a wide range of dramatic structures covering both improvisational and scripted work, and take part in your first major production. You will explore how Drama began, with the tragedies and comedies of the Ancient Greeks, and you will also be introduced to how Applied Drama can be used.

In the second year you build on and develop all that you began in year one, with a second major production, more work on Applied Drama, and an exploration of how Drama has developed over the past 150 years, through the turbulence of the Modernist era through to the violence and shock of present day Postmodern theatre.

In the final year you can choose whether to do a practical or written dissertation, take part in your Final Production, and decide how you would wish to use Drama as you begin to set out on your own path.

How will I be assessed?

The course offers variety of assessment to suit the experience of the module studied, and will range from presentations, productions and written work, essays, reviews and log books.

What careers could I consider?

This degree, because of its practical nature, offers you a wide variety of career possibilities. You could become an actor, director, or writer; working in theatre in education, community theatre or mainstream theatre. You could also become a teacher or youth worker, or undertake further study of drama at postgraduate level. In addition, you will acquire a range of skills including developing ideas and constructing arguments, and the capacity to present them in appropriate ways which will be useful in a number of careers outside of drama.

Studying and living in Birmingham

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).


Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!


Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

Ask Us a Question

Clearing 2021

Are you looking to join us here at Newman University this September? We are welcoming applications throughout the Summer.

Our friendly and supportive admissions team are here to help you secure your place at University.

Apply Now

Entry Requirements

September 2021 Entry Requirements

You must achieve at least 96 UCAS points including a minimum of CC at A level or equivalent (e.g. MM at BTEC Diploma; MPP at BTEC Extended Diploma) towards the total tariff.

Access Students can achieve the requirements with the following combination of Distinction, Merit and/ or Pass grades at level 3 achieved from a completed Access course. 96 UCAS Points: D21-M3-P21; D18-M9-P18; D15-M15-P15; D12-M21-P12; D9-M27-P9; D6-M33-P6; D3-M39-P3; D0-M45-P0.

Five GCSEs at grade 4 (or C) or above (or recognised equivalents), including English Language, are also required.

All applicants will be invited to prepare a short audition piece.

For applicants who are unsure that they will achieve the above UCAS tariff, Newman University offers Drama, Theatre and Applied Performance (with Foundation Year) which enables such applicants to access a university degree via a four year route. Upon successful completion of their foundation year, students will progress to Year 1 of a named degree. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, students wishing to follow particular named routes with additional entry requirements, will need to meet these requirements before they make the transition from their foundation year to year 1.

International Students
The University is not licensed by the UK Government to sponsor migrant students under the Student route and is therefore unable to accept applications from international students at present.

Applying Direct Option

You can apply direct to Newman University for the full-time route for this course if you have not previously applied to Newman University through UCAS and you are not applying to any other universities.

Simply click on this Direct Application link to do this.

N.B. will need to enter ‘New User’ account details when first accessing this portal.

If you have any questions regarding entry onto this course please contact our friendly and helpful admissions team via our Admissions Enquiry Form

Course Fees

Fees per academic year:
Full-time UK students: £9,250 *
Part-time UK students: £5,300*

* Fees shown are for 2021/22 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

Additional Costs

Students will be expected to contribute towards the cost of theatre trips, recent trips have cost £5 each.

Find out more about the other additional costs associated with our undergraduate degrees. 



Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes of Module Changes page.

*As a part-time undergraduate student, you choose how many modules to study each year (up to a maximum of 6). To qualify for a student tuition fee loan you will need to choose at least 4 modules. A normal 3-year degree will take 4.5 years (if you take 4 modules per year) up to a maximum of 8 years to complete. You will be taught alongside full-time undergraduate students.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students


  1. This ‘Introduction to Drama’ module will explore the essential dramatic tropes of Comedy and Tragedy from the Ancient Greek and British Early Modern periods. Students will read selected plays from the two periods and explore traditional methods of staging them, to understand how the spoken text and performing body can combine to elicit the power of the tragic or comic response from an audience. The module will normally include a field trip to the theatre.
  2. This module will develop students’ ability to use theories acquired regarding acting and directing, technical aspects of signing in theatre, analysing text and developing character. It will involve the production of a play, or part of a play, normally (but not exclusively) in the realist tradition.  The module is practically-based, but also encourages students to be reflective about their own practice. It utilises a range of theatrical methodologies, but draws particularly on the ideas of Stanislavski.
  3. This module will be focused on Applied Drama/Theatre practitioner skills such as, for example, Augusto Boal’s ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ participatory work and Forum Theatre (FT). You will undertake classroom both theoretical and practical sessions (lectures and workshops) to understand the theoretical perspectives on practice and to develop your skills as an Applied Drama practitioner with understanding of the actor/facilitator role. You will take part in FT games for actors and non-actors, body exercises, group work, and interactive theatre techniques. You will be assessed on a reflection to your learning through the sessions in order to take responsibility for participating, understanding and demonstrating progress of your skills. You will be encouraged to review your development and discuss Applied Drama/Theatre practice.
  4. This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and self-management skills to make informed choices in preparing for work placement and the transition to employment or further study on graduation.  Learners will be provided with the opportunities to develop awareness of the workplace, identify different career and study options, recognise and articulate their own experience, accomplishments and talents and plan and implement career management strategies for the short and long term.
  5. This module will be focused on Applied Drama/Theatre, its contexts and audiences. You will undertake classroom both theoretical and practical sessions (lectures and workshops) to understand the theoretical and practical perspectives of Applied Drama/Theatre with understanding of the pedagogical, interactive, artistic, cultural, ethical and socio-political principles of the genre. You will learn the aims and objectives; where possible in practice or watch DVDs; and apply some of the methods and techniques for yourselves. You will be assessed on your analysis of an existent Applied Drama/Theatre project for a particular audience.
  6. This module aims to provide an introduction to the diverse ways in which sound both informs and is integral to contemporary theatrical practice. It will examine a range of techniques for the production of sound in and for performance through practical workshops underpinned by theoretical and historical contextualisation leading up to the presentation of students own group devised performances.  Although the module will focus on Contemporary practice it will provide historical context through the examination of the history of sound in theatrical performance and will also examine the influence of cinema and the use of music and sound in a theatrical setting. The module will examine the use of sound in contemporary practice in a range of performance disciplines including theatre, music, Live Art, Performance Art, and sonic art examining performance in traditional and non-traditional settings. Students will be introduced to a variety of approaches such as the use of voice - both in the interpretation of text and as a sound producer, the creation of music and sound to accompany and enhance a theatrical performance, and the role increasingly played by new technologies. Students will be introduced to the work of a range of practitioners.  These may include such theatre practitioners as Samuel Beckett, Robert Wilson and the Wooster Group; film-makers such as Jaques Tati and Stanley Kubrik; Artists concerned with sound and performance such as those involved with the Fluxus movement and musicians and musical groups whose work incorporates non-traditional approaches to sound and performance such as John Cage, Christian Wolff, and Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra.
  1. This module follows on from DRU411, at Level 4, which explores Ancient Greek and Early Modern Tragedy and Comedy. It will focus on changes to comic and tragic tropes in selected Naturalist/Realist, Formalist/Epic, and Cruelty/Absurd plays, to bring students into the era of Post-structuralism. Digital literacy and scholarship methods will be embedded in this module in preparation for Dissertation and higher study. The module will normally include at least one field trip to the theatre.
  2. This year-long module offers learners the opportunity to apply and explore knowledge within a work-based context, through the mode of work place learning. The placement supervisor in the work place will negotiate the focus for the learner’s role on placement, with the learner. Students complete 100 hours in the work setting. The learner will reflect critically on different dimensions of the work place setting. This module provides an opportunity for students wishing to attain National Professional recognition with the Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA) to complete an AMTLA project. The module will also provide the opportunity for those students interested in going on to the PGCE programme to gain support and guidance with the PGCE application process.  
  3. This module will normally involve students working together or in groups on the production of a single play or a number of short plays. Students may also devise an original play or individual scenes either collectively or in smaller groups, and direct their work under the tutor’s supervision. The first part of the assessment will cover the performance, taking into account the students’ contribution to the rehearsal process. The efficacy of the performance or production aspects will be given equal weight on a qualitative, not quantitative basis to ensure that having a big acting part does not mean automatic high marks. The written aspect of the assessment is designed to help students to be focussed and critical rather than descriptive of process, encouraging an assessment of theory in practice which is appropriate at level 5. While students will work independently in student directed time, the lecturer will be observing/ advising/ directing as needed throughout the process.
  4. This module follows on from DRU411, at Level 4, which explores Ancient Greek and Early Modern Tragedy and Comedy, and ‘Modern Drama’ in Semester 1 of Level 5, which focusses on Modernist changes to Dramatic form. Postmodern Drama will explore the impact of post structuralism on drama; the violent ‘In-Yer-Face’ British Plays of the 1990s; Hans Thies Lehmann’s ‘aesthetic of un-decidability’ which characterises ‘post-dramatic’ performance; the fragmented relationship between the spoken text and performing body in the Postmodern era.  Digital literacy and scholarship methods will be embedded in this module in preparation for Dissertation and higher study. The module will normally include at least one field trip to the theatre.
  5. This module will be focused on Community Theatre, its practical and critical understanding of the role, purpose and effectiveness of various theatre projects in the community. The module will, for example, focus on the process of devising and creating an example of community theatre for a particular community audience based on a topic. In the teaching sessions, the students will be introduced to the current practice of community theatre in the UK, and will work on case studies from particular groups of people, when possible, to produce originally devised representations of authentic life stories.
  6. This applied drama module helps students consolidate their learning and consider how they might like to use their knowledge professionally when they graduate. The module is timed at the end of level 5, and designed to feed into either a workplace, or a practice as research dissertation. It also introduces students to the school experience they need when applying for PGCEs or other routes into teaching. The module is taught practically. Students explore key aspects of the drama-in-education practice of Dorothy Heathcote and others, in which doing and thinking come together as learners encounter their curriculum through role. Students learn how to structure role-play safely for children so that the boundary between fiction and real life, so clearly delineated by stage and auditorium in the theatre building, is not lost in the classroom. They read and use theories of learning to help them analyse the lessons in which they participate, as well as the work of leading experts in the field. The module will normally include a field trip.
  1. The dissertation provides an opportunity for a sustained and focused study on a particular area of Drama, Theatre and Applied Performance.  By the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of concepts, theories and methodologies.  The dissertation must reflect critical reading and independent research.  Wherever possible, and appropriate, the writing should relate theoretical studies to applied methodologies, and/or practice. The written work should establish clear lines of original enquiry in independent research.  Academic conventions are essential – elegant and lucid writing desirable.
  2. In this module students, drawing on their previous experience, will have the opportunity to develop a small-scale theatrical performance that engages with the ideas and practice of relevant theatre practitioners. This may be either a performance of an existing theatrical text or an original piece of work devised by the student.   Performances may take the form of a solo piece but may also involve collaboration with other performers.   Students, whether working on group or solo productions, will take directorial responsibility for all aspects of the production including issues relating to performance and technical, scenographic and administrative requirements. Students will be expected to work independently in the planning, researching and rehearsal processes but will be allocated a member of staff who will supervise the process. Students will be expected to keep documentary evidence of their process, as well as undertaking independent research, which will form the basis of an accompanying reflective logbook
  3. This module offers students the opportunity to build on their level 5 work placement through the more developed application of a negotiated work-based research project. Students will agree with their placement tutor and workplace mentor a brief for a project which addresses a need within the organisation. Learners should complete a minimum of 100 hours in the work place. It is in the spirit of this module that wherever possible, the focus will be on social or community / sustainable development.
  4. This module will normally introduce students to a practical and critical understanding of the role, purpose and effectiveness of Applied Theatre in Health & Wellbeing. This module focuses on giving a theoretical and practical knowledge background for using various methods of designing and introducing Applied Theatre projects. The students will address health & wellbeing issues through theatre projects in educational, health & wellbeing contexts including approaches such as Theatre in Health Education, Theatre in Hospitals, Theatre in Prisons etc. Using this knowledge, the module equips and encourages students to employ these skills to bid for funding in Arts and Community Organisations, with awareness of career opportunities for the artist in healthcare.
  5. The module will focus on developing the students’ understanding of dramatic structure, their use of basic devising techniques, and their experience of the creative process in devising and / or writing a piece of original theatre.  The teaching sessions will be a combination of the study of dramatic structure, creative writing linked to playwriting, and the development of the student’s own dramatizations.
  6. This module will introduce students to a practical and critical understanding of the role, purpose and effectiveness of Dramatherapy. In the teaching sessions, the theory of Drama Therapy with a curative aim will be introduced and explored through workshops, readings and discussions, focusing on approaches on this field, core processes and techniques including embodiment, projection and role; use of mask and ritual; psychodrama and aspects of the client/therapist relationship.
  7. This module will be focused on Theatre-in-Education (TiE), a form of educational theatre that falls in the taxonomy of Applied Drama/Theatre. The students will learn, for example, the history, theoretical development, and research methodologies of TIE; investigate how TIE relates to both theatrical (alternative and political theatre) and educational contexts (teaching and learning); its aims and objectives; where possible observe it in practice or watch DVDs; apply its techniques and methods for themselves, and reflect critically on their learning. Special focus will be given on the devising process, the performance and the evaluation of both. The module will, for example, focus on the process of devising and creating an example of TiE programme for a particular school population, the pedagogy and ethics of participatory dramas. In the teaching sessions, the students will experience some methods and techniques in practice with a focus on developing exercises to explore themes. They will create fictional scenarios for participatory TiE dramas as operating in ‘aesthetic space’ (Boal), a condition where actors and spectators are both conscious of the distinction between fictive and real (metaxis).
  8. On this double module a historical period or theatrical style or practitioner studied on the course is selected, and students research, realise and reflect on their work. The module has the practical implementation of theory as its focus, and students are encouraged to in turn reflect on the adequacy of theory as a result of the practical work. The module will give students scope to use and extend their expertise in any area covered by the course.