BA (Hons) Drama & Theatre Arts

  • 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

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 so that both constantly inform each other
  • We're located within easy travelling distance of central London, so you'll be close to one of the largest concentrations of performance practices in Europe
  • 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
  • In the most recent National Student Survey, 97% of students said that the course is intellectually stimulating, and 97% said that they are graduating with greater confidence in their communication skills
  • 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

Modules & structure


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 an 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.

Level 4

In the first year you study the following 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

Level 5

In the second year you take two 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

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
  C&P: Modern Black British and American Drama 15 Credits
  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


This degree is assessed through a variety of performances, production processes, essays, group projects, dissertation and timed examinations.

Work placement

Level 6 students may also take an optional work placement module

Work placement Module title Credits
  Work placement 15 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.

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: ABBBC (Higher) or ABC (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, 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.

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


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


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

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills. You'll also carry out performance and production work, and will attend lab sessions.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Performance work
  • Production work
  • Independent learning
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches

Student work

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Student profiles

Gruff Theatre

"Our time at Goldsmiths gave us a place where we were encouraged to understand and break rules and, most importantly, take risks."

Tom Bostock, Holly Shuttleworth, Alistair Foylan and Phoebe Naughton met while completing their BA in Drama and Theatre Arts. They were placed together by their teacher, Cass Fleming, who they said nurtured their transition from four performers into a collective of theatre makers.

They enjoyed working together so much that they formed Gruff Theatre after graduation. "We all had very different interests, but a shared desire to explore the relationship between site and experience glued us together."

As well as staging site-specific performances, Gruff now offers workshops to others, and has worked with RIFT, Ideastrap and the Brit School. The group has performed in such diverse settings as an East End tower block and a Victorian cemetery. 


"My time at Goldsmiths gave me the practical and academic grounding I needed to take the next steps in my career and give me the confidence to follow an unusual path, which has led into a job I love."

"I arrived at university with a very narrow idea about what I thought theatre was, and how I would work in it, and left with whole new understanding of the different worlds out there. Goldsmiths taught me to push the boundaries and take risks in my work. I was constantly inspired by passionate tutors, but also by my peers as we were encouraged to challenge ourselves, our boundaries and our preconceptions.

My time at Goldsmiths gave me the practical and academic grounding I needed to take the next steps in my career and give me the confidence to follow an unusual path, which has led into a job I love. I now work at Nanzikambe Arts, a Malawian NGO using theatre as a tool for social change. My job is mainly based in Community Theatre, running a programme of weekly workshops that reach eight marginalised communities in Blantyre - we work with young women, people with disabilities, street children and prisoners. My job involves practical delivery of workshops, design of projects, training other facilitators, fundraising and administration. I am also studying for a Masters in Power, Participation and Social Change.

Recently my work has focussed on using drama as a way to open spaces for discussion, reflection and action with prisoners in Malawi. In 2012 we began a project looking at HIV in the prisons. Together with the drama group of prisoners, we devised a hard-hitting and taboo-busting performance about the realities of prison life and HIV. This performance was toured to six other prisons in Malawi – opening up debate between prisoners themselves and also between prisoners and the prison authorities."


"Goldsmiths is a really creative place, and there’s a real sense of pride in people’s achievements and having something to aspire to for future achievements."

"Since graduating from the BA in 2010 I’ve been doing drama and dance workshops with Noxon Arts, a theatre and education company. I’ve also been working independently in various creative institutions that primarily work with young teenagers and young adults with learning disabilities, including Rock Creative in Devon, and Heart n Soul in Deptford, getting a sense of how theatre changes in a completely different environment – leafy Devon compared to South East London. I’ve also done work experience in primary and secondary schools to see how theatre can be implemented within a curriculum and within a more formal structure than a workshop. All of this has helped me find where I fit in within the professional world as opposed to a formal academic learning environment, and discover where I want to take and hone the skills that I’ve got.

Doing the BA at Goldsmiths prepared me for all of this because it encourages a lot of independence, not only through the independent academic learning you carry out but also in terms of rehearsing, collaborating, and building your own contacts through the practical projects you’re given. You get confident, because you learn to ‘own’ your work and you learn to try and be original with your work as well. You’re not always relying on someone to get you to do something – you’re having to organise things yourself. The way that you learn is very similar to what you have to do beyond the course – things like learning how to source your own props, book your own venues, and collaborate with people in terms of how you find the time to do what you want to do. Goldsmiths is a really creative place, and there’s a real sense of pride in people’s achievements and having something to aspire to for future achievements."

See more profiles for this programme

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