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Drama Studies BA (Hons)

About the course

Book your place on our next open day - Saturday 10 January 2015|

The Drama Studies degree at De Montfort University engages with drama as a multi-dimensional subject and combines practical and theoretical explorations of drama in a wide variety of modules. 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. The course is excellent preparation for you to continue study at postgraduate level or to seek employment in a range of arts and industry related careers. It will equip with a valuable set of transferable skills in preparation for a wide variety of careers.


Reasons why you should study Drama Studies at DMU

  • DMU is nationally recognised as a higher education Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts. 

  • Drama Studies has been ranked highly for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey.

  • 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.

  • The programme offers you the ability to choose your own pathway through years 2 and 3, and to develop your own learning strategies and personal interests in preparation for life beyond university.

  • You are invited to take part in talks and workshops run by actors, practitioners, directors and theatre companies. (Past visits include Simon Vincenzi, Gob Squad, Reckless Sleepers, Bobby Baker, Franko B, and Zoo Indigo.)

  • Exit Souls: The Drama Festival provides an opportunity for students to showcase the best of the year’s work to a public audience.

  • We have regular trips to local, regional and national theatres include Leicester’s Curve Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham’s REP, the Liverpool Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the National Theatre. 

  • Other trips have included New York, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin.


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

Students are taught 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. 

Students can be assessed in a wide variety of forms that develop skills in writing as well as skills in communication, presentation, independent practice and group work. Different modules require different modes of assessment, which includes portfolios, reflective commentaries, research essays, independent and group performance, seminar presentations, or combinations of these. Discussion and feedback from tutors is a vital part of the assessment process and many of the 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 student 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

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

The annual collaborative production allows Drama Studies students from across all years of the programme to participate in professional productions, working with in-house directors, lighting designers and producers, that results in 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


You will be able to take part in internships in a variety of roles, and get involved with the theatre’s Young Company and Community Productions. Recently students have been cast in leading and supporting roles in an adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials (2009), Oliver! (2012), Shakespeare’s The Tempest, The Dreaming and Sweeney Todd (2013). 

A programme of internships is also offered by Curve. Students are assigned to particular productions and work with the director and the 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 are successful in gaining part-time employment at the theatre during their studies, and have gone 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, and brings together practitioners, programmers and audiences to provide the opportunity to see new performance and to network with established and newly emerging artists in the region and beyond. 

Graduate careers

Alongside strengths in critical analysis, reflection and researching, graduates in Drama Studies 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 in a variety of ways. These qualities mean that strong opportunities exist for graduates of Drama Studies in diverse areas of employment. You could pursue postgraduate studies and teaching careers in primary, secondary and further education. You could also go on to create your own professional practice, work in theatre companies|, develop stand-up acts, adopt roles in various aspects of media and technical theatre production, and work with theatres and community arts organisations around the country.

Fees and funding

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees: £11,250 per year

Learn more about fees and funding information 2015|


DMU offers some of the finest facilities in the sector to support studies in Drama. The Performing Arts Centre for Excellence Building (PACE)| 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 creative responses to the curriculum.

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

Drama Studies students have opportunities to perform as part of the partnership with Curve.

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|. Audiences are treated to an exciting range of work from across all years including, devised work, extracts from plays, outdoor performance, short films, intermedial performance, living sculptures and other Live Art performances.

You are further invited to engage in performance and to 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

In year one|, modules provide wide-ranging practical and theoretical introductions to the study of drama and performance. Modules explore key performance-based practices and initiate degree-level study of dramatic genres from a variety of times and cultures. Single Honours students are introduced to a range of twentieth and twenty-first 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|, you will develop the skills gained in the year one. Drama and Theory, a core module for all students, provides a guide to ideas about topics such as 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 a 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 their studies and the opportunity to focus more closely upon your interests: the Drama Research Project (core for single honours students) is an extended independent study; Engaging with Creative Industries enables students 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 students to consider ways in which stories are told in performance; Popular and Political Theatre invites students to study both text-based and non text-based popular performances that invite audiences into political discourse; Writing for Performance engages students in a variety of approaches to writing for and about the theatre; Key Practitioners and Dramatists engages students in an exploration of leading figures in theatre and drama linked to contemporary programming; Live Art asks students to consider performance that breaks preconceived rules and pushes at the boundaries of performance practices; and Independent Performance Practice invites students to engage in making their own work informed by contemporary thinking and emerging professional practices.


You can speak to our Drama Studies staff directly via our @DMUDrama | Twitter account.

DMU Performance Arts|

You can also follow us| on Twitter and YouTube.

Featured Gallery

Exit Souls 2014 |

Exit Souls 2013 |

Student Work

Student work - video |

Facilities: PACE in Action |


Year one modules |

Year two modules |

Year three modules |

Festival of Creativity

Exit Souls: The Drama Festival 2014 |

Exit Souls: The Drama Festival 2014 |


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