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Course information

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

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
  Scenography 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:

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

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 45 credits
  Major Research Project: Drama 45 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 - 22% scheduled learning, 78% 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 - 40% coursework, 13% written exam, 47% practical
  • Year 3 - 90% coursework, 10% practical

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.

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

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

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 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.

Additional Requirements

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

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

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

Additional costs

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.

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