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Drama Studies BA (Hons)

About the course

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Drama Studies degree at De Montfort University engages with drama as a multi-dimensional subject. It combines practical and theoretical explorations of drama and a wide variety of modules. This lively curriculum gives students an opportunity to engage critically with the research and practices of drama, whether devised or scripted, informed by current scholarly thinking, historical theatrical traditions and contemporary methods of performance making. The Drama Studies course is an excellent preparation for students who wish to continue study at postgraduate level or to seek employment in a range of arts and industry related careers, and equips students with a valuable set of transferable skills in preparation for a wide variety of professional employment.

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. For example, past talks and workshops have included Punchdrunk, Frantic Assembly, and Reckless Sleepers. We also offer regular theatre trips in the UK, and you will have the opportunity for a meaningful international experience as part of your studies through #DMUglobal. Recent theatre trips abroad included, for example, a week-long visit to New York.


Key facts

UCAS course code:  W400

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

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria

  • 280 points from at least 2 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 be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 11 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 26 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.

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
  • Directing (Single Honours only)
  • Drama Performance Project (Single Honours only)

Year three modules

  • Drama Research Project (core for Single Honours)
  • Plays in Production
  • Writing for Performance
  • Live Art
  • Engaging with Creative Industries
  • Drama Production Project (Single Honours only)
  • Popular and Political Theatre
  • Education and Performing Arts
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.

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 2016.

It is likely there will be some additional costs wherever you choose to study. Here at DMU, we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist laboratories and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs, which vary from course to course. We provide full details of all course fees, but these extra costs may include general living expenses, field trips, travel for work placement opportunities, materials, additional text books and others such as supplementary printing.


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

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, Ellie Stamp, Manuel Vason, and Karina Fernandez. 
  • 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, 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; ; Directing introduces you to a variety of key modes and methodologies for approaches to directing theatre; and the Drama Performance Project (Single Honours only) invites a group of students to form an ensemble and to engage in all aspects of staging performance. 

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 Production Project (Single Honours only) invites a group of students to form an ensemble and to engage in all aspects of staging a public production; 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; Plays in Production engages you in an exploration of key areas of production in theatre and drama linked to contemporary programming; and Live Art asks you to consider performance that breaks preconceived rules and pushes at the boundaries of performance practices.

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