BA (Hons) Drama: Performance, Politics and Society

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Theatre and Performance
Rajha Shakiry

Course overview

This degree explores the practice of theatre and performance in community and educational settings, for social, political and personal change.

You'll reflect on the relationship between arts and activism, particularly in the fields of politics, international relations and sociology. The department has exceptional links with industry, providing you with opportunities to engage with theatre and performance in various settings including social care, prisons and community centres working with diverse groups such as young people or refugees. 

Our industry links represent some of the most innovative and influential performance practices in the world including:

  • Producing theatres - the Young Vic and Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • Participatory organisations - Spare Tyre Theatre and Cardboard Citizens
  • Arts centres - The Albany and Ovalhouse
  • Touring theatre companies - Graeae and Talawa

This course is in the spirit of Goldsmiths and reflects our identity as a radical, political, cutting-edge, international, interdisciplinary, creative and critical home of the arts and humanities in the heart of London. 

You will be taught by an exemplary team of Goldsmiths artists and academics who not only teach and mentor you, but also lead their own creative projects and continue to publish their own academic work, too.

Student work 

Goldsmiths Theatre and Performance BA students were involved in the campaign to save Lewisham A&E as part of their final practical project, for which they got a first class mark in 2013.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Osita Okagbue

Modules & structure

Level 4

In your first year you will take the following core modules:

Module title Credits
  Analytic Vocabularies 30 credits
  Introduction to Dramaturgy 15 credits
  Processes of Performance: The Ensemble 15 credits
  Scenography 15 credits
  Theatre Making 1 30 credits
  The Politics of Play, Plays and Playing 15 credits
  Radical Performance Vocabularies 15 credits

Level 5

In your second year you will study:

Module title Credits
  Modernisms and Postmodernity A 15 credits
  Questions of Performance 15 credits
  Contexts of Practice 15 credits
  Creativity and Culture A: Contexts 15 credits
  Creativity and Culture B: Crafts 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:

Module title Credits
  Postcolonial Theatre 15 credits
  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
  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 one 15 credit module. Options are likely to change from year to year depending on staff interests, but modules offered recently include:

Module title Credits
  Elements of Theatre History: American Theatre in the Mid-20th Century 15 credits
  Shakespeare & Renaissance Theatre 15 credits
  Elements of Theatre History: Classical Greek Theatre 15 credits
  ETH: Theatre of Revival and Revolt: 20th Century Ireland 15 credits
  Elements of Theatre History: Russian Theatre 15 Credits
  Elements of Theatre History: Spanish & Catalan Theatre 15 Credits
  Elements of Theatre History: African Theatre 15 credits
  Elements of Theatre History: British Alternative Theatre History 15 credits
  ETH: Polish Theatre 15 Credits
  Elements of Theatre History: Francophone Theatres from Africa, the Caribbean and Canada 15 credits

Level 6

In your third year you will study:

Module title Credits
  Culture and Performance: Critical Cultural Theory 15 Credits
  Culture and Performance B: Options 15 Credits
  Theatre Making 3 45 credits
  Major Research Project: Drama 45 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 the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

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.

Read more about our general entrance requirements

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including distinctions/merits in subject specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher), BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 77%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A2 B2

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 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

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 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

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 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 and comedy but rather the opportunity to engage in a broad creative and critical study, exploring the possibilities of comedy 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. We're ranked 22nd in the world for performing arts.*

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.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Skills & careers

The BA Performance, Politics and Society course will educate and develop you as a critically thinking, creatively articulate, politically informed, socially engaged artist in contemporary theatre and performance. 

The programme supports students to actively engage with a range of community, social and educational workplaces beyond primarily performance contexts. This offers a broader understanding of the place that performance holds in society and opens up a range of future employment possibilities.

This degree also offers an excellent foundation for further academic study, particularly in areas of applied theatre, theatre sociology and art and politics. It provides specific skills in drama and theatre facilitation, as well as creative practice. In addition, it will develop your aptitude for critical engagement with key theoretical questions about society, culture and politics. By integrating academic skills into the core curriculum, you will complete the degree with excellent oral and written communication, group interaction and management, IT skills and more. 

Most importantly, the degree exposes students to professional practice through work placements, international study opportunities and expertise from visiting practitioners. This will allow you to graduate with a portfolio of skills that are directly relevant to future employers.  

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

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.

Related content links

University statistics for this course