BA (Hons) English & Drama/Drama & English

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: ABB
    IB: 33 points including three HL subjects
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    English and Comparative Literature, Theatre and Performance

Course overview

This degree combines the study of literatures in English with the study of theatre and performance. It brings insights from a range of perspectives to develop your analytical and imaginative skills.

Why study BA English & Drama/Drama & English at Goldsmiths?

  • We offer a creative and innovative learning environment in which to study English and Drama
  • Many of our staff are professional theatre-makers, and we have strong links with theatres, companies and professional organisations
  • You'll develop an awareness of literary-historical contexts and of relationships between theatrical texts and other literary genres
  • You'll also enhance your critical understanding of the rhetorical and performative aspects of literary texts by developing your awareness of performance practices
  • You'll have the chance to examine Western and non-Western theatre
  • The degree includes some practical experience with producing theatre but is primarily a text-based course designed to develop your understanding of performance studies rather than your creative practice
  • As a student at Goldsmiths you'll be close to one of the largest concentrations of performance practice in Europe
  • You'll benefit from our excellent on-campus facilities, including a 160-seat theatre and three performance studios
  • Both departments are large enough to provide a wide range of modules, but small enough to let you get to know other students and staff

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Frank Krause

Modules & structure


The degree leads to a BA (Hons) in English & Drama or Drama & English. You study a range of literatures in English, including modules focusing on pre-1800 literature. You study theatre and other performance media and cover aspects of theatre history, performance theory, dramaturgy and approaches to production.

In the first year, for example, this will include some practical experience of producing theatre in the Drama Production: English & Drama Summer Projects, directed by professional practitioners. In the third year, you will take a two-term module in Dramaturgy, analysing texts and live performances, and adapting work from other media for the stage.

The Department of Theatre and Performance's distinctive emphasis on performance and production work in conjunction with theoretical and critical study, 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 performance for the Joint Honours student. Students benefit from open access to the Department of Theatre and Performance's digital and scenographic workshops, supported by professional technicians during practical work exercises. Joint Honours students can also apply to the Student Special Projects Fund for extra-curricular project work.

Your pathway through the degree

The programme can be studied through two pathways: Drama or English. These pathways diverge at the end of the second year. You choose the pathway of the final year by the end of the autumn term of the second year, although you will be asked to give a provisional indication of your choice when enrolling.

  Drama English
First year modules (120 credits)

Analytic Vocabularies
(30 credits)

Theatre Making: Process & Performance
(15 credits)

Drama Production: Summer Projects
(15 credits

Explorations in Literature
(30 credits) 

Introduction to Literature of the Victorian Period
(15 credits) 

Introduction to Poetry 
(15 credits)

Second year modules (120 credits)

Elements of Theatre History 
(30 credits) 

And either: 

Modernisms & Postmodernity A & B
(30 credits)


Questions of Performance 
(30 credits)

Modules to make up a total of 60 credits from the recommended list
Third year modules (120 credits)

Drama 'Pathway'

From Drama:

(30 credits)
Culture & Performance: Critical Theory
(15 credits)
Culture & Performance: Options
(15 credits)

From English:

Module/modules worth 30 credits
An interdisciplinary dissertation

English 'Pathway':

From English: 

Modules to make up 60 credits

From Drama:

(30 credits)

An interdisciplinary dissertation

Level 4

English modules

Module title Credits
  Explorations in Literature 30 credits
  Introduction to Poetry 15 credits
  Introduction to Literature of the Victorian Period 15 credits

Drama modules

Module title Credits
  Analytic Vocabularies A 15 credits
  Analytic Vocabularies B 15 credits
  Questions of Dramaturgy/ Scenography 30 credits

You also take:

Drama Production: Summer Projects
This module runs in the summer term. You will be able to explore your critical skills in a performance practice context, focusing on design, stage management and direction.

Level 5

English modules

You choose modules to the value of 60 credits from the recommended list. Modules may vary from year to year, but recent modules have included:

Module title Credits
  Drama and Transgression: From Prometheus to Faust 30 credits
  Inventing the Nation: American Literature in the mid-19th Century 30 credits
  Literature of the English Renaissance 30 credits
  Literature of the Later Middle Ages: Society and the Individual 30 credits
  Moderns 30 credits
  Old English 30 credits
  Post-Victorian English Literature 30 credits
  Restoration and 18th-Century Literature 30 credits
  Sensibility and Romanticism: Revolutions in Writing and Society 30 credits
  Shakespeare 30 credits
  Varieties of English 30 credits

Drama modules

Module title Credits
  Elements of Theatre History 30 credits
  Modernisms and Postmodernity A 15 credits
  Modernisms and Postmodernity B: Options 15 credits

Level 6 – English Pathway

You take an interdisciplinary dissertation – a pass in this is compulsory for the award of the degree.

English modules

You choose modules to the value of 60 credits from the recommended list. Modules may vary from year to year, but recent modules have included:

Module title Credits
  Caribbean Women Writers 30 credits
  Creating the Text 30 credits
  Decadence 30 credits
  The Emergence of Modern America: American Literature 1890–1940 30 credits
  Approaches to Language and the Media 15 credits
  Modern American Fiction 30 credits
  Modern Poetry 30 credits
  Modernism & Drama (1880-1930) 30 credits
  The Art of the Novel 30 credits
  Oedipus: Myths, Tragedies and Theories 30 credits
  Postcolonial Literatures in English 30 credits
  Studies in Literature and Film 30 credits

Drama module

You take: 


Level 6 - Drama Pathway

You take an interdisciplinary dissertation – a pass in this is compulsory for the award of the degree. 

English modules

You choose modules to the value of 30 credits from the recommended list. Modules may vary from year to year, but recent modules have included:

Module title Credits
  Caribbean Women Writers 30 credits
  Creating the Text 30 credits
  Decadence 30 credits
  The Emergence of Modern America: American Literature 1890–1940 30 credits
  Approaches to Language and the Media 15 credits
  Modern American Fiction 30 credits
  Modern Poetry 30 credits
  Modernism & Drama (1880-1930) 30 credits
  The Art of the Novel 30 credits
  Oedipus: Myths, Tragedies and Theories 30 credits
  Postcolonial Literatures in English 30 credits
  Studies in Literature and Film 30 credits

Drama modules

Module title Credits
  Culture and Performance: Critical Cultural Theory 15 Credits
  Culture and Performance B: Options 15 Credits

You also take: 



Examination, coursework portfolios, long essays, projects, presentations, production plans, dissertation. The dissertation must be passed for the degree to be awarded.

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.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects

Grade A in A-level English Literature (or Language and Literature) is required; A-level General Studies is not accepted.

Equivalent qualifications
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%, preferably including English
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.

Selection process

The Department of Theatre and Performance 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 an 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 creative, critical and inquisitive qualities when we select candidates for a place.

Read more about our general entrance requirements


English at Goldsmiths is ranked:
18th in the UK for the quality of our research**
In the world’s top 150 universities for English language and literature***

English and Comparative Literature

Cervantes. Bukowski. Dostoevsky. Self. From classical literature and linguistics, to creative writing and contemporary fiction, we take a critical and creative approach to the discipline.

As a department we’re interested in a field of enquiry that extends from Old English to 21st-century literatures in English, French, Spanish and Italian. So you can study texts and films across a variety of periods and genres.

We’re engaged

We have a dedicated Writers’ Centre that encourages new writing and stimulates debate about all forms of literature. And we award the annual Goldsmiths Prize (for “fiction at its most novel”), which brings critically acclaimed writers like Ali Smith and Eimear McBride to campus.

We’re nurturing

We may be one of the largest departments at Goldsmiths but that doesn’t mean you won’t get personal support. Learn from our approachable team of academic staff and become part of the student-run English Society.

We’re vibrant

As one of the first departments in the UK to offer creative writing, you’ll be part of a hub of literary excellence – our graduates have gone on to win prestigious awards from the Orange Prize for Fiction to the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.

Find out more about the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by subject 2015

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.

Diverse subjects

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.

Distinguished staff

Teaching staff include distinguished researchers and professional theatre-makers.

Industry links

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.

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 may also take production courses that will develop your critical skills in performance practice.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning you haves, 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 that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Production classes
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Skills & careers


This degree will enable you to become articulate, critical, independent and self-initiating by developing a range of transferable skills, including the ability to:

  • develop analytical skills and proficiency in assessing evidence
  • 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

These skills are attractive to a variety of employers, and apply to many different career paths.


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 read more about career options after you graduate on our English and Drama careers pages.

You may choose undertake further specialist training to work as a teacher or arts therapist, or go on to higher level academic study.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student profiles


"Goldsmiths in three words? Vibrant, energetic and diverse"
"The course was great, but I enjoyed the extra-curricular activities too. The Drama department even funded me to put on a play! I love New Cross and South East London, there's so much around here, and I especially love Greenwich, Brockley and Peckham. 
I'd advise new students to get involved in what you can, including the Library and all the other facilities
What am I going to do now I've graduated? Make some money!"


"I chose Goldsmiths because of its important reputation in the field of art and humanities."

"Studying at Goldsmiths has been an amazing experience. As one of the few London universities which offer my course, I chose Goldsmiths because of its important reputation in the field of art and humanities.

I thoroughly enjoy studying English and Drama and the wide variety of modules to choose from. The lecturers are helpful and vastly experienced and the students come from all different backgrounds. I have been able to grow as a person through my experiences at Goldsmiths and the people that I have met here have helped me learn more about myself and given me ideas about what I want to do in the future."


"Tutors in both departments are incredibly passionate about their chosen fields."

"I chose to study at Goldsmiths because of its reputation as a creative, forward-thinking College. The courses I took as part of my degree in English and Drama were flexible enough for me to get a solid foundation in both subjects and, in my second and third years, to focus on particular areas that especially interested me. Tutors in both departments are incredibly passionate about their chosen fields and because Goldsmiths is a research institution students benefit hugely from being in such a cutting-edge learning environment. Tutors are always happy to give advice on both academic and non-academic matters.

Goldsmiths has the feel of a small community. There are many activities, events, sports and societies to get involved in within the College and the wider local area. The mix of students is rich: including a high number of mature and international students, and reflects the attraction of Goldsmiths as a place to study.

After finishing my undergraduate degree I joined the programme, and after graduating four of us from the MA started Green Shoes Arts, a community arts project based in Barking and Dagenham committed to providing children and young people with creative opportunities that are positive, challenging, inspiring and fun. We now run four youth theatre programmes and a dance company, with members ranging between 5 and 19 years old. 

Goldsmiths provided a hugely creative and supportive environment in which to develop as an artist and facilitator. As an established practitioner the MA programme gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own practice, develop new ideas and extend my skills. I met a wide range of practitioners on the MA, a lot of whom I continue to work alongside."

See more profiles for this programme

Fees & funding

Related content links

University statistics for this course