September 2023

Drama, Theatre and Applied Performance BA (Hons)

Honours Degree, September 2023

Key Details

  • W400 Course Code
  • 3-4.5* Years
  • 96 Typical UCAS Tariff
Drama play

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 strands:

  • 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 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 as education, 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.

  • 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. In recent years, Drama students have taken placements at the Birmingham Rep, Birmingham Hippodrome and Midland Actors Theatre, amongst others.

 

 

 

During the course you will work practically through a wide range of dramatic structures covering both improvisational and scripted work and take part in three major productions. You will explore how Drama began, with the tragedies and comedies of the Ancient Greeks, devise your own work and examine how Applied Drama can be used in a variety of settings.

The course focuses on how Drama has developed over the past 150 years, including examining approaches to Music and Theatre,  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.

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.

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.

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).

Entertainment

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!

Location

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.

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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.

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.

September 2023 Direct Application Link

September 2023 Direct Application Link (part-time)

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

The full-time course fee for September 2023 is £9,250.

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, 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. 

 

Modules

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 module will initially focus on selected Naturalist/Realist, Formalist/Epic, and Cruelty/Absurd drama, to introduce students to Modernist drama. It will then introduce students to the challenges of the postmodern, when the notion of performance is no longer constrained by the theatre building. Students read and workshop selected plays and performance practices from the 1890s to the present. Where possible the module will include a field trip to a relevant local production.
  2. This module will introduce students to the basic concepts, terminology, and politics of exploring identity in cultural texts. Through studying excerpts from popular critical commentaries on theories of gender, sexuality, race, disability, and class, students will develop skills in textual and cultural analysis, establishing an introductory critical vocabulary that will be developed and refined in subsequent levels of the programme. Students will acquire knowledge of the history of cultural representations of identities and explore the extent to which these discourses are revisited and redressed in contemporary popular texts (fiction, film, television, music video, drama etc.) The first part of the module focuses on applying accessible critical commentaries on feminism, queer studies, postcolonialism, disability studies, and Marxism to popular cultural case studies. Formative feedback opportunities on writing reviews and annotated bibliographies will be offered as part of the seminar workshop teaching sessions.
  3. Music and Theatre have deep historical connections and this module aims to introduce and explore this diverse symbiotic relationship.  Students will examine the history and practices of a range of performance disciplines, such as Peking Opera, Noh Theatre, Elizabethan Masque, Opera, American Musical Theatre, the film musical, avant garde Music Theatre, and Performance Art.
  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 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.
  6. One of the key features of the Drama programme at Newman is the Production strand. 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 for example those of Stanislavski.  
  1. 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.  
  2. One of the key features of the Drama programme at Newman is the Production strand. 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 for example those of Stanislavski.  
  3. This module will initially focus on selected Naturalist/Realist, Formalist/Epic, and Cruelty/Absurd drama, to introduce students to Modernist drama. It will then introduce students to the challenges of the postmodern, when the notion of performance is no longer constrained by the theatre building. Students read and workshop selected plays and performance practices from the 1890s to the present. Where possible the module will include a field trip to a relevant local production.
  4. This module will introduce students to the basic concepts, terminology, and politics of exploring identity in cultural texts. Through studying excerpts from popular critical commentaries on theories of gender, sexuality, race, disability, and class, students will develop skills in textual and cultural analysis, establishing an introductory critical vocabulary that will be developed and refined in subsequent levels of the programme. Students will acquire knowledge of the history of cultural representations of identities and explore the extent to which these discourses are revisited and redressed in contemporary popular texts (fiction, film, television, music video, drama etc.) The first part of the module focuses on applying accessible critical commentaries on feminism, queer studies, postcolonialism, disability studies, and Marxism to popular cultural case studies. Formative feedback opportunities on writing reviews and annotated bibliographies will be offered as part of the seminar workshop teaching sessions.
  5. Music and Theatre have deep historical connections and this module aims to introduce and explore this diverse symbiotic relationship.  Students will examine the history and practices of a range of performance disciplines, such as Peking Opera, Noh Theatre, Elizabethan Masque, Opera, American Musical Theatre, the film musical, avant garde Music Theatre, and Performance Art.
  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 focus on developing the students’ understanding of dramatic structure and their experience of the creative process in writing a piece of original theatre.  The teaching sessions will be a combination of the study of key theoretical ideas, dramatic structure, and creative writing linked to playwriting, with the close examination of how different playwrights have structured their work.  There will be a mixture of practical and written work.  Towards the end of the module students will be increasingly encouraged to bring in examples of their own works-in-progress and work on them with the group, for example in rehearsed readings and / or by students directing their own work, with the aim of then redrafting before the final submission.  The assessment is of a script plus a supporting account detailing and analysing the thinking behind the script.
  5. One of the key features of the Drama programme at Newman is the Production strand. 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 for example those of Stanislavski.