Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

LL0W

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time

Course overview

We will be making some changes to the way our programmes will be delivered in 2021-22 to ensure we continue to respond to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. All programmes will be delivered in-person on campus with some specific sessions within each programme being delivered online in a pre-recorded format. Where necessary, changes will also be made to assessment formats.

This degree is ideal if you have a passion for using performance for social change. You will learn performance and facilitation skills, while exploring the ideas that underpin them. The degree equips you in a wide range of careers in the arts, charities, education, and beyond.

The BA Drama: Performance, Politics, and Society has been running since 2017 and is highly valued by its students, alumni, staff, theatre professionals, and external examiners. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and enthusiastically embrace our blend of practice and theory, producing their own innovative and original work. Students on the programme contribute substantially to the vibrance of the Theatre & Performance Department, as well as College life more widely.

You will be offered a grounding in the skills and understanding of theatre in socially engaged contexts. As well as working in theatres and other arts settings, you will engage with work in schools, community settings, the criminal justice system, and festivals. You will have access to unique workplace networks in inner London through the work placement option and outward-facing modules. Students often undertake both paid and voluntary opportunities to enhance their career profile. In the third year, you will develop your own independent research and produce practical projects that can be a launching pad for your future career.

Our staff are exceptionally well qualified to deliver the degree. The research, teaching, and professional profiles of staff are wide-ranging and tuned into student aspirations. 

The field of socially engaged performance

There are many ways that performance is used for change. As individual audience members, artists, participants, or students, we engage our imaginations and creativity to help us understand ourselves and the world around us. Performance is a part of our identity, sense of community and learning.

Performance fulfils many functions – including as entertainment, education, ritual, celebration, and protest. In a wider sense we also ‘perform’ every day. As sociologist Erving Goffman said: “We are all just actors trying to control and manage our public image, we act based on how others might see us.”

At a time when the politics of climate, disability, economics, gender, race, and sexuality are increasingly contended, performance has a unique role to play in creating a better, fairer future.

In all these contexts, performance has the capacity to be an agent of positive change. We have a conviction that our students can play a crucial role as the next generation creating that change.

Why study the BA Drama: Performance, Politics and Society at Goldsmiths

  • Work alongside students from all backgrounds, and learn from each other’s different perspectives.
  • Join a community – our alumni are involved as mentors and allies, our staff are friendly and accessible, and we promote a supportive and generous working culture.
  • Be an independent learner and create your own learning pathways supported by tutors.
  • Study in a democratic environment, and have a say in decision-making about course content and ways of learning.
  • Build links and partnerships with our local community in South-East London, arts organisations, and increasingly through international networks.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Danny Braverman or Ben Levitas.

What you'll study

Over the course of your degree, you will undertake practical workshops and projects that include public performance and workshop-leading. You will also attend lectures and seminars from leading artists and scholars, and undertake case studies and work experience. Assignments include presentations, performances, and portfolios as well as traditional essays.

Year 1 will introduce you to a dazzling array of ideas and practical disciplines that form the foundation for your three-year journey.

Year 2 presents more option choices as you dig deeper into particular areas of interest. You will focus particularly on developing your skills as a facilitator/workshop leader.

Year 3 emphasises your own self-defined pathway– your Major Research Project (MRP) gives you the opportunity to investigate a personal passion. The content of previous MRPs has included post-colonial education in Ivory Coast, Boris Johnson as clown, gender and drill music, trans representation in musical theatre, drag and masculinity, and the authentic voice of Romani women. These projects have included practical explorations as well as traditional dissertations – the choice is yours. At the end of your degree, you will create a public performance as part of our Year 3 showcase.

After graduation, you will still be part of the course family – graduates can apply to be associate artists and researchers, and we provide mentoring support for your career and further study.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

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

Year 1 compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Critical Dialogues A 15 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
  Critical Dialogues B 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 30 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
  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
  Elements of Theatre History: Shakespeare & Renaissance Theatre 15 credits
  Elements of Theatre History: Classical Greek Theatre 15 credits
  Elements of Theatre History: 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
  Work placement 15 credits

Teaching style

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 - 20% scheduled learning, 80% 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, and a dissertation.

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 - 50% coursework, 50% practical
  • Year 3 - 90% coursework, 10% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2018/19. 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.

Download the programme specification. 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.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
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

Additional requirements

You must be able to express a well-informed interest in theatre and performance theory and practice.

International qualifications

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.

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.

 

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £17370

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

Careers

Graduates of this programme have progressed to post-graduate teaching and masters courses, as well as paid work in drama facilitation, journalism, TV scriptwriting, and academia.

Students have also completed work experience with Actors Touring Company, Boundless Theatre, Emergency Exit Arts, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Centre, Theatre Peckham, and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

About the department

Goldsmiths Theater and Performance Department Tour

Staff

The following staff teach on this programme:

Facilities

As a student on the BA Drama: Performance, Politics and Society programme, you will have access to dedicated facilities in the Theatre and Performance Department, including the newly refurbished George Wood Theatre and six studios, as well as various workshops and teaching spaces for technical practice.  

Our diverse range of spaces is mostly in the Richard Hoggart Building on Goldsmiths’ campus. Your programme offers you a hands-on experience, allowing you to be trained in lighting, costume, set design, and stage and theatre management.