September 2021

Drama, Theatre and Applied Performance Top-Up Degree BA (Hons)

Top-up Degree, September 2021

Key Details

  • W40A Course Code
  • 1 Years
Drama, Theatre and Applied Performance


Top Up Drama at Newman offers you opportunities to:

  • take part in a major production, performed at a professional venue such as the REP Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre or The Crescent Theatre
  • develop your understanding and expertise in the field of Applied Drama in Educational, Healthcare & Wellbeing contexts and environments.
  • work on either a practical or written dissertation in which you can explore whatever excites and intrigues you most!

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 can choose between a traditional written dissertation and a practical dissertation.
  • Students receive specialist training from professionals with particular expertise.
  • 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.

What does the course cover?

In Semester 1 you will choose whether to do a practical or a written dissertation, and begin work on it, guided by your individual supervisor.  You will also take two modules covering different aspects of Applied Drama.

In Semester 2 you will complete your dissertation project and take part in a Final Major Production, rehearsed at Newman and then performed at a local theatre venue.

How will I be assessed?

The course offers a 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.

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Join us in September

We have been voted 1st in Birmingham for Student Satisfaction (NSS 2020) and 3rd in the UK for Student Support (WhatUni Awards 2020).

A friendly, student centred community, that focuses on each and every students’ academic development and achievement.​

We welcome applications throughout the year up until September enrolment.

Start Your Newman Journey Today

Entry Requirements

All applicants will need to have 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 in a relevant Foundation Degree or HND.

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

International Students
Newman University is not licenced 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 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

Total Course Fee for Top-Up Degree

UK students: £9,250 *

* 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).


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

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

  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.

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