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Drama Studies BA (Hons)

About the course

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Drama Studies explores the research and practices of drama, informed by current scholarly thinking, historical traditions and contemporary methods. This lively curriculum gives you an opportunity to engage critically with the research and practices of drama, whether devised or scripted, informed by current scholarly thinking, historical traditions and contemporary methods. You will study a mixture of classroom and studio-based modules and choose your own pathway through years two and three. 


Reasons why you should study Drama Studies at DMU

  • DMU is nationally recognised as a higher education Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts and is one of the most creative universities in the UK, according to Which? University guide

  • Drama Studies at DMU has a 90 per cent satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2013

  • Our graduates are very employable, with 97 per cent in work or study six months’ after graduation

  • DMU is a key creative and educational partner with Leicester’s £68 million Curve Theatre where you can take part in internships, placements and professional productions. 

  • Extensive performance opportunities, including Exit Souls: The Drama Festival which showcases students’ best work to a public audience each year

You can take part in talks and workshops run by actors, practitioners, directors and theatre companies such as Simon Vincenzi, Gob Squad and Reckless Sleepers. We also offer regular theatre trips in the UK and abroad, including a recent week-long visit to New York|.

You will also have the opportunity for a meaningful international experience as part of your studies through #DMUglobal|.


Key facts

UCAS course code:  W400

Duration:  Three years full-time, six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria

  • Normally 280 points with a minimum of 180 points from 2 full A levels or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or Literature at grade C or above. 

We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs, including English at grade C or above.

Audition/Interview required: Yes

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition|, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

You will learn through practical workshops, classroom-based activities, lectures and seminars. Practical workshops usually run for three hours, classroom activities for two hours, and lectures and seminars for one hour. 

You will be assessed in a wide variety of ways that develop your writing skills as well as your skills in communication, presentation, independent practice and group work. Different modules require different modes of assessment, which include portfolios, reflective commentaries, research essays, independent and group performance, seminar presentations or a combination of these. Discussion and feedback from tutors is a vital part of the assessment process and many modules include formative assessment opportunities, especially in year one.

Course modules

Year one modules|

  • Acting, Scripting, Directing: A Practical Introduction to Drama
  • Texts and Stages
  • A Contextual Introduction to Performance (Single Honours)
  • Making Performance (Single Honours)

Year two modules|

  • Drama and Theory (core)
  • Naturalism and Anti-naturalism
  • Shakespeare in Performance
  • Devising
  • Carnival and the Carnivalesque
  • Contemporary Theatre in Britain

Year three modules|

  • Drama Research Project (core for Single Honours)
  • Key Practitioners and Dramatists
  • Writing for Performance
  • Live Art
  • Engaging with Creative Industries
  • Narrative and Performance
  • Drama Performance Project (Single Honours only)
  • Popular and Political Theatre
  • Independent Performance Practice
Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Academic expertise

Our staff are experienced lecturers, researchers and practitioners with expertise in a number of different fields, including: Shakespeare in performance, popular theatre, language and performance, 20th-century modernist drama, 20th-century women playwrights, performer training, performance and documentation, theatre and translation, postcolonial performance, performance and the body, gender and performance, live art and contemporary performance practice.

Visiting lecturers, actors, practitioners, directors and theatre companies further enhance your learning. We are dedicated to the student experience more widely, and run extra and co-curricular activities and events throughout the year.

Industry links and professional accreditation

Collaborative partnerships

DMU and Curve Theatre have a cultural partnership| which gives you the opportunity to be involved in professional practice in a variety of ways. 

An annual collaborative production allows Drama Studies students from all years to participate in professional productions, working with in-house directors, lighting designers and producers on a week of public performances. . Recent productions include: 

Review of Mother Clap's Molly House
'This production is a result of the very strong links that have been forged between Leicester's Curve and De Montfort University which allows drama students to experience their learned craft in a professional theatre before a paying audience. An obviously very talented cast of actors, singers and dancers bring this tale to life on the Studio's brilliantly designed set. Special mention has to go to Victoria Tye, mature beyond her years, Alan Foster, a fine comic actor in the making, and Adam Gough. Although it is unfair to pick out any of the cast as they all performed beyond expectations.' - Paul Towers, Western Park Gazette


Curve offers a programme of internships. Students are assigned to particular productions and work with the director and production team in a range of activities, including workshop facilitation. In addition to developing skills, these internships give you enviable access to professional working environments. Some of our students gain part-time employment at the theatre as a student, and go on to full-time employment with Curve.

Other opportunities

We also host circuit|, an annual performance platform for professional artists in the East Midlands, which showcases new contemporary performance and live art, bringing together practitioners, programmers and audiences to see new performance and to network with established and newly emerging artists in the region and beyond. 

Graduate careers

Graduates in Drama Studies have strengths in critical analysis, reflection and research, and possess excellent oral and written communication skills. You will develop the ability to collaborate, devise, organise and self-manage projects and evaluate their outcomes, and will be able to deal confidently with public performance. These qualities mean that you will be well-prepared for careers in a range of areas. You could pursue postgraduate studies and teaching careers in primary, secondary and further education. 

A group of recent graduates have formed a theatre company. You could create your own professional practice, develop stand-up acts, adopt roles in various aspects of media and technical theatre production or work with theatres and community arts organisations around the country adding to the rich theatre scene here in the East Midlands.

Fees and funding

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees: £11,750 per year

Learn more about fees and funding information 2015|, including our #DMUglobal High Flyers Award|.


We offer some of the finest facilities in the sector to support studies in Drama. The Performing Arts Centre for Excellence (PACE) building provides four studios and rehearsal spaces designed specifically for performance-based learning activities. Further studios are located in the Campus Centre. You will be able to book rehearsal space and equipment to support your work.

Discover more about our facilities in the Performance Arts Centre of Excellence building

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com|

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form|
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Performance opportunities

You will have the opportunity to perform as part of our partnership with Curve Theatre.

We celebrate the creativity of our students in an annual showcase event, Exit Souls: The Drama Festival|, which forms part of DMU’s Festival of Creativity . 

There is an exciting range of work by students from all years including devised work, extracts from plays, outdoor performance, short films, intermedial performance, living sculptures and other live art performances.

You also have the opportunity to engage in performance and develop professional practices through:

  • Visiting speakers and artists. Past visitors have included Simon Vincenzi, Phillip Zarrilli, Gob Squad, Reckless Sleepers, Bobby Baker, Franko B, Max Stafford-Clark (Out of Joint) and Stella Feehily, Zoo Indigo, Janet Suzman, Michael Billington, Josie Long, Daniel Byte and Aleksandar Saša Dundjerović. 
  • Direct links with Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival. You are encouraged to get involved with and to attend the Drama Studies annual ‘Playing for Laughs’ event which invites academics, scholars and practitioners of comedy to get together and share ideas relating to comedy in performance.
  • Working with local theatres such as The Y and The Little Theatre.
  • Work placements. You can undertake placements as part of Engaging with Creative Industries in year 3. Past placements have included work shadowing and teaching assistant roles in local schools; technical, stage management and assistant directing roles at Curve; volunteering at Leicester’s The Spark Children’s Arts Festival; working for Big Talk Productions and E4 shadowing the producer of Youngers.

Course details

You choose your own pathways through years two and three, with a variety of strands that link modules, including text-based or non text-based performance, traditional or contemporary practices, theoretical or practical understanding, historical or emerging practices, and different spaces, places and cultures.  

Year one

Year one| is a wide-ranging practical and theoretical introduction to drama and performance. Modules explore key performance-based practices and dramatic genres from a variety of times and cultures. Single Honours students are introduced to a range of 20th and 21st-century avant-garde and experimental performance as well as performer-training, alongside a study of key ideas and ways of thinking about and making drama and performance. 

Year two

In year two|, Drama and Theory, a core module for all students, provides a guide to ideas about language, gender, the body and audience. Optional performance-based modules include: Naturalism and Anti-Naturalism which explores key dramatic practices from the 19th century through to the present; Devising, which explores a variety of methodologies for creating solo and group performance work; Shakespeare in Performance, which combines textual and performative study of classic texts in contemporary contexts; Carnival and the Carnivalesque, which studies a range of popular performance traditions; and Contemporary Theatre in Britain, which surveys a range of current text-based theatre. 

Year three

Year three| offers you increased independence in your studies and the opportunity to focus more closely on your own interests. The Drama Research Project (core for Single Honours students) is an extended independent study; Engaging with Creative Industries enables you to develop professional skills alongside a study into a particular working environment; the Drama Performance Project (Single Honours only) invites a group of students to form an ensemble and to engage in all aspects of staging a public production; Narrative in Performance asks you to consider ways in which stories are told in performance; in Popular and Political Theatre you study both text-based and non-text-based popular performances that invite audiences into political discourse; Writing for Performance engages you in a variety of approaches to writing for and about the theatre; Key Practitioners and Dramatists engages you in an exploration of leading figures in theatre and drama linked to contemporary programming; Live Art asks you to consider performance that breaks preconceived rules and pushes at the boundaries of performance practices; and Independent Performance Practice invites you to engage in making your own work informed by contemporary thinking and emerging professional practices.

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