This degree reflects the diversity and excitement of the subject in the new millennium, and gives you the opportunity to study the theory and practice of theatre and performance in a range of media.
Why study BA Drama & Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths?
- You'll study in a dynamic department that offers you a balanced mix of theoretical and practical work so that both constantly inform each other
- We're located within easy travelling distance of central London, so you'll be close to one of the largest concentrations of performance practices in Europe
- Many of our staff are professional theatre-makers and committed researchers, and we have strong links with theatres, companies and professional organisations
- You'll benefit from our excellent on-campus facilities, including a 160-seat theatre, four performance studios, scenic workshops an open-access media suite and sound studio
- In the most recent National Student Survey, 97% of students said that the course is intellectually stimulating, and 97% said that they are graduating with greater confidence in their communication skills
- From the second year you'll be supported by an extra-curricular Personal and Professional Development programme that accelerates in the third year
- The degree provides training for working in the performing arts and creative industries; also the independent thinking and initiative, collaborative skills, and ability to conceive and develop ideas in an articulate and organised manner that will qualify you for a wide range of careers
- Our graduates have won prestigious awards as playwrights, directors, creators of new work, and cultural leaders in the UK and internationally
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Fiona Graham
Modules & structure
Our distinctive emphasis on performance and production work alongside and informed by theoretical and critical study (and vice versa), the stimulating atmosphere created by staff with diverse research expertise, and our location in the heart of London's performance culture, mean that we offer an unique approach to drama and theatre arts.
The degree programme leads you through a range of study including:
- theatre making
- production processes and performance
- close analysis of performances and written texts
- the history of theatres across a range of cultures
- critical vocabularies for reading, writing and analysing texts as well as performances
- physical investigation of - and reflection on - modes of performance
- the acquisition of technical skills
- understanding how performance affects audiences
- theatre, studio and site-specific practice
- understanding of theatre in terms of its social engagement
- an ability to define and critique what falls under the broad term ‘performance’
Throughout your learning you benefit from the Library, department theatre and studio spaces, open access to the department's digital (media and sound) and scenographic workshops, supported by the department's team of professional technicians.
The department is also part of the Erasmus Scheme and has a wide international professional network, including a new Association with LIFT.
The department's Special Project Fund supports students' own productions and workshop projects.
The degree is based on a balanced combination of modules in the theory, practice and history of drama, theatre, performance and related media. You take four modules of study a year, but any one module may include within it two or more options.
In the first year you study four core modules:
|Analytic Vocabularies A||15 credits|
|Analytic Vocabularies B||15 credits|
|Introduction to Dramaturgy||15 credits|
|Theatre Making 1||30 credits|
|The Body, Space and Spectator||30 credits|
In the second year you take two core modules:
|Theatre Making 2||30 credits|
|Modernisms and Postmodernity A||15 credits|
You also choose modules from the following options:
Modernisms and Postmodernity B
You choose one option module from a range available within the Department. The modules on offer may differ from year to year as they reflect staff interests, but modules recently offered include:
|MOPO B: Postcolonial Theatre||15 Credits|
|MOPO B: Theatre and the Artistic Avant-Garde||15 Credits|
|Women, Feminism & Playwrighting||15 Credits|
|Samuel Beckett: Performance, Writing and Philosophy||15 Credits|
|Bertolt Brecht and Political Theatre||15 Credits|
|Modernisms and Postmodernity B: Activism and the Theatrical Avant Garde||15 credits|
|Modernisms and Postmodernity B: Postmodern Gender, Identity, and Queer Theory||15 credits|
Elements of Theatre History
The aim here is to develop an understanding of the relationship between a work and its historical - social, cultural, intellectual - context. You choose two option modules from a wide range within the department. Options are likely to change from year to year depending on staff interests, but modules offered recently include:
|ETH: American Theatre in the Mid 20th Century||15 Credits|
|Shakespeare & Renaissance Theatre||15 Credits|
|ETH: Classical Greek Theatre||15 Credits|
|ETH: Theatre of Revival and Revolt: 20th Century Ireland||15 Credits|
|ETH: Russian Theatre||15 Credits|
|ETH: Spanish & Catalan Theatre||15 Credits|
|ETH: African Theatre||15 Credits|
|Elements of Theatre History: British Alternative Theatre History||15 credits|
Questions of Performance
You choose two option modules which introduce you to practitioners' theories practically and critically, through options of learning and teaching clustering around questions, methodological enquiries and issues that guide contemporary practice.
Module choices may change year to year based on staff availability and areas of research, however modules available recently include:
|QoP: Character I||15 Credits|
|QoP: Self||15 Credits|
|QoP: Gendered Performance||15 Credits|
|QoP: Emotion||15 Credits|
|QoP: Voice/ Text||15 Credits|
|QoP: Questions of Community||15 Credits|
|QoP: Time||15 Credits|
You study two core modules:
|Culture and Performance: Critical Cultural Theory||15 Credits|
|BA (Hons) Drama & Theatre Arts Dissertation||45 credits|
You also choose modules in the following options:
Culture and Performance B
You choose one module in the Spring term which gives you the chance to apply the skills developed during Culture and Performance: Critical Cultural Theory to a particular theatrical/artistic movement. Recent option modules include:
|C&P: Art and Japan||15 Credits|
|C&P: Theatre as a Learning Medium||15 Credits|
|C&P: Modern Black British and American Drama||15 Credits|
Theatre Making 3
You choose an option which gives you the opportunity to study a theatrical from in depth, and to apply your acquired knowledge and skills in a group-based project. Autumn term taught sessions develop into project planning. In the Spring term, rehearsals lead towards productions, performed outcomes and events. Genres range from text-based to devised performance and Live Art.
Options offered include:
|TM3: Devised Community Performance||45 Credits|
|TM3: Devised Performance||45 Credits|
|TM3: Live Art/ Performance Art||45 Credits|
|TM3: Text and Performance||45 Credits|
This degree is assessed through a variety of performances, production processes, essays, group projects, dissertation and timed examinations.
Level 6 students may also take an optional work placement module
|Work placement||Module title||Credits|
|Work placement||15 credits|
Credits and levels of learning
An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.
Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects
Applicants with A-levels in arts and humanities subjects such as English, history, languages, philosophy and sociology are welcomed. While drama and theatre studies would be an advantage, this is not necessarily essential as we are also interested in those with other subjects or complementary experience.
You must be able to express a well-informed interest in theatre and performance theory and practice. Please note that we do not normally accept applications for deferred entry.
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: ABBBC (Higher), ABC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 77%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A2 B1
If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
The Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths does not offer applicants auditions, although some – but not all – candidates will be invited for interview.
The degree doesn't aim to provide a vocational training in acting, but rather the opportunity to engage in a broad creative and critical study, exploring the possibilities of theatre making in a wide historical and cultural context to provide transferable skills for a richly diverse array of career choices. This is why we're not looking for performing skills alone but for a range of intellectual, creative, critical and inquisitive qualities when we select candidates for a place.
Read more about our general entrance requirements.
The Department of Theatre and Performance offers a vibrant interdisciplinary learning environment, supported by distinguished staff and outstanding facilities.
Theatre and Performance
Study in a department that fuses theory and practice, where you can study diverse subjects, and benefit from our industry links.
Theory and practice
We balance academic study with creative and technical practice, so you’ll explore hands-on theatre making while developing your knowledge of theatre history and culture.
We cover diverse subjects from classical texts and new writing to contemporary writing and performance, and from physical and applied theatres to multimedia/live art.
Teaching staff include distinguished researchers and professional theatre-makers.
We have international networks in the industry, with regular visits from professionals, and links with associate organisations in London including:
Our excellent facilities include a 160-seat theatre, four performance studios, new scenic workshops, sound studio, and open-access media lab. All supported by an outstanding team of technicians and scenic designers.
Find out more about the Department of Theatre and Performance.
Skills & careers
We offer you the opportunity to become an articulate, critical, independent and self-initiating member of the cultural community by developing a range of transferable skills, including the ability to:
- work practically as an individual and in groups
- analyse personal practice in relation to theoretical models
- research and present complex information
- present ideas and analysis in a variety of formats
- document and record ideas and information
- take responsibility for your own ideas and respond creatively to the ideas of others
- work to a deadline
- share work responsibly
- communicate and write clearly
- practise self-discipline
When you graduate you might, like many of our students, go on to work in the theatre or related media, in publishing, administration, programming, project management, development work, marketing and publicity, management or technical production. You can find out more about the career options open to you following graduation on our Theatre and Performance careers page.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Learning & teaching
On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills. You'll also carry out performance and production work, and will attend lab sessions.
But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.
This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers.
Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:
- Performance work
- Production work
- Independent learning
Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.
Fees & funding
Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.
The Department provides budgets to students for all of the practical work and productions. You’ll occasionally need to buy tickets to see shows, which will cost approximately £20-£40 a year.
Find out more about applying.