IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
3 years full-time
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.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Osita Okagbue
What you'll study
Year 1 (credit level 4)
In your first year you will take the following core modules:
|Year 1 core modules||Module title||Credits|
|Analytic Vocabularies||30 credits|
|Introduction to Dramaturgy||15 credits|
|Processes of Performance: The Ensemble||15 credits|
|Theatre Making 1||30 credits|
|The Politics of Play, Plays and Playing||15 credits|
|Radical Performance Vocabularies||15 credits|
Year 2 (credit level 5)
In your second year you will study:
|Year 2 modules||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:
|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:
|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|
Year 3 (credit level 6)
In your third year you will study:
|Year 3 modules||Module title||Credits|
|Culture and Performance: Critical Cultural Theory||15 Credits|
|Culture and Performance B: Options||15 Credits|
|Theatre Making 3: Laboratory and Projects||15 credits + 30 credits|
|Major Research Project: Drama||45 credits|
This programme is taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops.
You’ll be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.
The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 20% scheduled learning, 80% independent learning
- Year 2 - 28% scheduled learning, 72% independent learning
- Year 3 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
How you’ll be assessed
You’ll be assessed through a variety of performances, production processes, essays, group projects, dissertation and timed examinations.
The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 44% coursework, 56% practical
- Year 2 - 52% coursework, 48% practical
- Year 3 - 90% coursework, 10% practical
*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2017/18. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.
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.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
We accept the following qualifications:
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
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
You must be able to express a well-informed interest in theatre and performance theory and practice.
We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. 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 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.
Fees & funding
Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.
The Department of Theatre and Performance provides students with budgets for all practice-based exercises, which students manage as part of their learning. Students also receive free printed readers for most lecture seminar classes. On this basis, there is no essential additional cost to students on our programmes.
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.