Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

W440

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 reflects the diversity and excitement of the subject in the new millennium, and gives you the opportunity to study the theory and practice of theatre and performance in a range of media.

Why study BA Drama & Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll study in a dynamic department that offers you a balanced mix of theoretical and practical work - both constantly inform each other

  • We're located within easy travelling distance of central London, offering you access to the city's fantastic theatres and performance spaces

  • Many of our staff are professional theatre-makers and committed researchers, and we have strong links with theatres, companies and professional organisations

  • You'll benefit from our excellent on-campus facilities, including a 160-seat theatre, four performance studios, scenic workshops an open-access media suite and sound studio

  • From the second year you'll be supported by an extra-curricular Personal and Professional Development programme that accelerates in the third year

  • The degree provides training for working in the performing arts and creative industries; also the independent thinking and initiative, collaborative skills, and ability to conceive and develop ideas in an articulate and organised manner that will qualify you for a wide range of careers

  • Our graduates have won prestigious awards as playwrights, directors, creators of new work, and cultural leaders in the UK and internationally

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Fiona Graham.

What you'll study

Overview

Our distinctive emphasis on performance and production work alongside and informed by theoretical and critical study (and vice versa), 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 a unique approach to drama and theatre arts.

The degree programme leads you through a range of study including:

  • theatre making
  • production processes and performance
  • close analysis of performances and written texts
  • the history of theatres across a range of cultures
  • critical vocabularies for reading, writing and analysing texts as well as performances
  • physical investigation of - and reflection on - modes of performance
  • the acquisition of technical skills
  • understanding how performance affects audiences
  • theatre, studio and site-specific practice
  • understanding of theatre in terms of its social engagement
  • an ability to define and critique what falls under the broad term ‘performance’

Throughout your learning you benefit from the Library, department theatre and studio spaces, open access to the department's digital (media and sound) and scenographic workshops, supported by the department's team of professional technicians. 

The department is also part of the Erasmus Scheme and has a wide international professional network, including a new Association with LIFT.

The department's Special Project Fund supports students' own productions and workshop projects.

The degree is based on a balanced combination of modules in the theory, practice and history of drama, theatre, performance and related media. You take four modules of study a year, but any one module may include within it two or more options.

Year 1 (credit level 4)

In the first year you study the following core modules:

Year 1 core modules Module title Credits
  Analytic Vocabularies A 15 credits
  Analytic Vocabularies B 15 credits
  Introduction to Dramaturgy 15 credits
  Scenography 15 credits
  Theatre Making 1 30 credits
  Processes of Performance: Encounters with Space 15 credits
  Processes of Performance: The Ensemble 15 credits

Year 2 (credit level 5)

In the second year you take two core modules:

Year 2 core modules Module title Credits
  Theatre Making 2 30 credits
  Modernisms and Postmodernity A 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 two option modules from a wide range within the department. 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

Questions of Performance

You choose two option modules which introduce you to practitioners' theories practically and critically, through options of learning and teaching clustering around questions, methodological enquiries and issues that guide contemporary practice.

Module choices may change year to year based on staff availability and areas of research, however modules available recently include:

Module title Credits
  QoP: Character I 15 Credits
  QoP: Self 15 Credits
  QoP: Gendered Performance 15 Credits
  QoP: Emotion 15 Credits
  QoP: Voice/ Text 15 Credits
  QoP: Questions of Community 15 Credits
  QoP: Time 15 Credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

You study two core modules:

Module title Credits
  Culture and Performance: Critical Cultural Theory 15 Credits
  BA (Hons) Drama & Theatre Arts Dissertation 45 credits

You also choose modules in the following options:

Culture and Performance B

You choose one module in the Spring term which gives you the chance to apply the skills developed during Culture and Performance: Critical Cultural Theory to a particular theatrical/artistic movement. Recent option modules include:

Module title Credits
  Culture and Performance B: Art and Japan 15 Credits
  Culture and Performance B: Theatre as a Learning Medium 15 Credits
  Culture and Performance: Modern Black, British and American Drama 15 Credits
  Culture and Performance: Performing War: Representations of Conflict on the Modern Stage 15 credits

Theatre Making 3

You choose an option which gives you the opportunity to study a theatrical from in depth, and to apply your acquired knowledge and skills in a group-based project. Autumn term taught sessions develop into project planning. In the Spring term, rehearsals lead towards productions, performed outcomes and events. Genres range from text-based to devised performance and Live Art.

Options offered include:

Module title Credits
  TM3: Devised Community Performance 45 Credits
  TM3: Devised Performance 45 Credits
  TM3: Live Art/ Performance Art 45 Credits
  TM3: Text and Performance 45 Credits

 

Work placement

Level 6 students may also take an optional work placement module

Work placement Module title Credits
  Work placement 15 credits

Teaching style

This programme is taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You'll also carry out performance and production work, and will attend lab sessions.

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 - 23% scheduled learning, 77% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 17% scheduled learning, 83% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 14% scheduled learning, 83% independent learning, 3% placement learning

How you’ll be assessed

You will be assessed by a range of methods depending on your module choices. These include coursework assignments such as essays, portfolios, research statements and exams, as well as practical assignments such as practice-based presentations and oral presentations, and in your third year, a 10,000-word dissertation, and participation in a public performance festival.

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

Year 1 - 31% coursework, 13% written exam, 56% practical
Year 2 - 55% coursework, 45% practical
Year 3 - 70% coursework, 30% 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, for the 2019-20 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: ABBBC (Higher) or ABC (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.

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. Applicants with A-levels in an arts and humanities subject such as English, history, languages, philosophy and sociology are welcomed.

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, but rather the 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 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 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £9250
  • International - full-time: £16700

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 Tier 4 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

Skills

We offer you the opportunity to become an articulate, critical, independent and self-initiating member of the cultural community by developing a range of transferable skills, including the ability to:

  • 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

Careers

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 find out more about the career options open to you following graduation on our Theatre and Performance careers page.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student work

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What our students say

Peyvand Sadeghian

"Critical thinking and context that is encouraged by the course, and the general atmosphere at Goldsmiths means that I am comfortable (and seek out) to make work that is politically engaged, and I understand that art does not, and should not exist in a vacuum. It has been a pleasure to continue to cross professional paths with fellow course members as our careers have developed in different areas of the industry."

"The exposure to and opportunity to experiment with a wide range of artistic approaches, has given me the tools to join creative teams in delivering projects from research & development to performance. Critical thinking and context that is encouraged by the course and the general atmosphere at Goldsmiths means that I am comfortable (and seek out) to make work that is politically engaged, and I understand that art does not, and should not exist in a vacuum. It has been a pleasure to continue to cross professional paths with fellow course members as our careers have developed in different areas of the industry.

I have just returned from Edinburgh Fringe having collaborated as deviser and performer with Javaad Alipoor and Kirsty Housley on Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, at the Traverse Theatre, which was also the recipient of a Fringe First award."

Shona McWilliams

"The course taught me a variety of skills that I use to this day. The best thing about it was the academia backed up with praxis, so we were able to use what we learnt."

"I'm forever going on about my time at Goldsmiths to my fellow producers – when we're in production, there's always a story, a reference, or a lesson that comes up.  The course was invaluable to me, it taught me a variety of skills that I use to this day.

The best thing about the course was the academia backed up with praxis, so we were able to use what we learnt and transpose into practical skills. I loved that we were able to delve into so many different aspects of the entertainment industry – it prepared me so well for the business that I'm in. The video library alone provided me with many wonderful hours of educating myself about film, and it was there that I started breaking down the components of editing and storytelling. I got to work with some fantastic people from many different walks of life and got to study with some amazing drama tutors, including John Ginman and Maria Shevtsova. I am so blessed to have spent my time studying here.

I've just finished post-production on a music film for Mediaeval Baebes, which I directed. Our latest feature film, Break Clause, has just been released on Amazon Prime and Vimeo on Demand. My other three productions, Dragonfly, #LostDogFilm, and UK18, are also available on various VOD Channels."

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Bun-O Fujisawa

"It was a great experience to communicate with many students who have different cultural backgrounds. Now, it helps me to write multicultural stories in Japanese animations."

"It was a great experience to communicate with many students who have different cultural backgrounds. Now, it helps me to write multicultural stories in Japanese animations."

See more profiles for this programme