September 2025

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

Top-up Degree, Undergraduate, September 2025

Key Details

  • W40A Course Code
  • 1 Years
  • TBC Typical UCAS Tariff
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!
  • 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.

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.

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.

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).


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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Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for 2025 entry TBC

Course Fees

Course fees for 2025 entry TBC


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 you the opportunity to build on your level 5 work placement through the more developed application of a negotiated work-based research project. You will agree with your 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 workplace. 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. 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.
  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.