Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code


Entry requirements

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


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 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

What you'll study


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 - 25% scheduled learning, 75% independent learning
  • Year 3 - 11% scheduled learning, 89% 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 - 35% coursework, 13% written exam, 52% practical
  • Year 2 - 44% coursework, 13% written exam, 43% practical
  • Year 3 - 75% coursework, 25% 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
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

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.

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.

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

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.



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

Student work

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What our students say


Emma studied at Trinity College Dublin as part of the Erasmus programme.

"Having the opportunity to attend such a prestigious university made me realise that the world really is our oyster. I enjoyed collaborating with incredibly talented students at Trinity and fully took advantage of the facilities at the university to experiment more with my work. It made me appreciate Goldsmiths more and when I returned I became far more active within the theatre scene at Goldsmiths and around London.

The exchange allowed me to work on devising performance, showing it to the whole year, and achieving the highest mark. This was an incredible experience and made me realise that we are capable of so much if given the right tools. I would advise any other student not to miss out on this incredible chance. It may seem like a lot of stress with juggling the dissertation and projects, but it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity and will make you thrive in so many ways."

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."

See more profiles for this programme