September 2025

Drama, Theatre and Applied Performance BA (Hons)

Honours Degree, September 2025

Key Details

  • W400 Course Code
  • 3-4.5* Years
  • TBC 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.

We continue to accept applications for September 2023. Applications to join us in 2024 can be submitted on UCAS from this September.

 

  • 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

Entry requirements for 2025 entry TBC

Course Fees

Course fees for 2025 entry TBC

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.  One of the key features of the Drama programme at Newman is the Production strand which aims to develop your skills in professional environments.  During this module you will work with your tutor/director and professional lighting, costume and sound designers to produce and stage a public performance of a play on campus.  This module will develop your ability to use relevant theatrical methodologies to analyse text and develop character and work as team in the creation of performance. The first part of the assessment will cover the performance, considering your contribution to the rehearsal process and therefore attendance at rehearsals is mandatory on this module. The module is practically based, but also encourages you to be reflective on your own practice. Note: Owing to its nature in the event of failing the practical aspect of the module it is not possible to complete a resit, rather students will need to retake the module in its next iteration.
  2. This module will develop your ability to think critically. It introduces you to the notion of critical theory and considers how a range of critical frames can be employed in reading, writing, performance and reflection, including feminism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, postmodernism and intersectionality.  The module will use current issue-based topics to develop your critical thinking. It will link these topics to a range of contemporary texts, practices and communication strategies, drawing from fiction and non-fiction, oral, media, film and performance-based sources.
  3. This module aims to introduce 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 your 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 and music in performance. You will examine the use of sound in historical and contemporary practice in a range of performance disciplines such as theatre, avant-garde music theatre, Musical Theatre, music, Live Art and Performance Art examining performance in traditional and non-traditional settings.
  4. You will take responsibility for researching a field (or ‘topic’) relevant to your degree studies in this module. As part of the module, you will learn research and library skills such as how to undertake literature reviews, create annotated bibliographies, use others’ work to build arguments alongside your own, and academic referencing. You will also explore some of the ethical issues that relate to research and practice in your studies. You will learn techniques for working successfully in a group.
  1. Through a series of lecture-seminars and practical workshops you will examine some of the key developments in the history of theatre and performance from Ancient Greece to the present day. Overall, this module aims to deepen your understanding of theatre history, its relationship to performance conventions and traditions, and its influence on contemporary practices. It encourages critical analysis and cultural awareness, allowing you to explore the historical context of dramatic forms and their implications for performance.
  2. In this module, you will explore the impact of technology on the Arts and Humanities. For example, you may critically reflect on the future of the author, book, performance or live arts event, examine how text, images, embodied action, audio and video are represented in digital environments, and interrogate the threats to the Arts and Humanities posed by a current focus on STEM subjects. You will explore the opportunities for creativity, transformation and reinvention that arise from digital technologies, as well as the potential for diversity, accessibility and inclusion. In practical terms, you will start to build on your current digital skills and practices, explore ways of using digital technologies to develop and support your own learning.
  3. During this module you will work with your tutor/director and professional lighting, costume and sound designers to produce and stage a single piece or a number of short pieces of theatre (normally from the 20th or 21st century). Examples may include a play script, a devised piece of performance, a piece of community drama, a Theatre in Education production, a site-specific piece or a piece of live art. The performance will take place off-campus in a relevant professional environment. You will examine the work of key practitioners in relation to the chosen piece of theatre including writers, directors, and or/or designers as appropriate.  The first part of the assessment will cover the performance, considering your contribution to the rehearsal process and therefore attendance at rehearsals is mandatory on this module. Note: Owing to the nature of the assessment in the event of failing this module it is not possible to resit this module, rather students will need to retake the module in its next iteration.
  1. In this module, drawing on your previous experience, you will have the opportunity to develop and undertake a sustained piece of work in an area of your choosing. Examples might include  a  small-scale theatrical performance, a short film or a text-based study or work based-research project. This serves as a culminating piece of work, drawing on all of your studies. Whatever you choose to do, your project should show a grounding in current research and establish clear lines of original enquiry. At the beginning of the module a series of workshops will help you revise and develop the skills you will need to complete your project successfully. You will also be supported by an individual supervisor in one-to-one tutorials.
  2. This module will be focused on Applied Drama/Theatre, its contexts, audiences and participants. You will examine a range of approaches for example Community Drama, Theatre in Education (TiE), and Theatre in Health and Wellbeing. Through practical sessions you will examine the theory and practice of the genre to gain an understanding of the pedagogical, interactive, artistic, cultural, ethical and socio-political principles of the genre through practical workshops and devising sessions. In negotiation with your tutor, you will work in a group to devise a piece of Applied Theatre.
  3. This module is the third and final Production module in the Drama programme.  It will further develop your ability to use theories explored throughout the course regarding acting and directing, analysing text and developing character. It utilises a range of theatrical methodologies, as appropriate to the chosen play , and will involve the production of that play.  The module is practically based, but you are expected to  reflect on your own practice, through the rehearsal period and in performance, to be reflected in their portfolio. The Final Production Project, together with the dissertation options, enable students to bring together all they have learned and complete their degree in a challenging and satisfying manner. Note: Owing to the nature of the assessment in the event of failing this module it is not possible to resit this module, rather students will need to retake the module in its next iteration.