BA Art History & Visual Culture and Drama with Study Abroad

UCAS codeWW24
Duration4 Years
Typical offerAAA-AAB; IB: 36-34
  • Drama
  • Art History and Visual Culture
Location Streatham (Exeter)


This programme provides an excellent grounding in the main themes and methods of Art History & Visual Culture while developing your critical, imaginative and practical engagement with the social, historical and cultural contexts of theatre.

In Art History & Visual Culture, you will learn how to interpret works of art (including architecture and design) as well as images, objects and practices in order to understand contemporary and past societies.

Your first year will consist of four core modules, two in each discipline. This will give you a solid foundation in the skills, methods and principles involved in both subjects. During your second and third years you will be able to follow your interests through a wide range of optional modules with the opportunity to undertake a relevant fieldwork and placement module. You can choose to study art and material culture in ancient societies; look in detail at the way art history works; or focus on visual culture within a specific society or time period right up to the modern day. You will have the opportunity to take part in field trips to collections in London and elsewhere, including an intensive study trip to immerse yourself in the art, architecture and visual culture of a specific location in Europe. In Drama you will develop your study of key theoretical approaches: analysing contemporary performance and the place of performance within culture, as well as undertaking an in-depth independent study in your final year of a chosen area of theatre and performance. This will give you a chance to explore a passion of yours in real depth, with guidance from an academic supervisor.

Drama modules are taught by staff with expertise in theatre, drama and performance theory from the classical era to the present, and in practice fields including directing, contemporary performance, music and theatre, actor training, applied and socially engaged theatre, dramaturgy, creative industries management, cultural theory and theatre history and technical theatre crafts.

Our lecturers in Art History & Visual Culture are at the cutting edge of art, historical and visual culture research. Key members of staff specialise in the history of art and architecture, from the Renaissance to the present, the history, theory and practice of museums and collections, aspects of performance, installation, photography and video arts, and visual culture from antiquity to the present day.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The BA Art History & Visual Culture and Drama with Study Abroad degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are usually worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year: 60 credits from Drama and 60 credits from Visual Culture.

Depending on your programme, you can take up to 30 credits per year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons. For this programme, level 1 modules are compulsory.

Current students - please note that modules lists for module choice are on the Student Intranet.

Year 1

The first year comprises of two core modules from Drama, and two compulsory and an optional module from Art History and Visual Culture. Modules at this stage will offer a solid grounding in both subject areas, providing critical tools and knowledge which will be built on in the following years.

Year 2

In your second year you will build from the learning and skills developed in your first year through a range of option choices. In Drama you will take a core module, which will extend and deepen your critical and theoretical vocabulary of theatre.

You will also take one core module in Art History and Visual Culture, that will introduce you to current issues in visual culture and the links between past and contemporary works, and critical perspectives.

Year 3

Students will spend the third year of their studies in a partner university. The year abroad comprises 120 credits and assessment is based on the credits gained at the partner institution.

Year 4

In the final year you will choose between one of two core dissertation modules. If the dissertation is studied in Visual Culture, 60 credits must be chosen from optional Drama modules; if the dissertation is studied in Drama, 60 credits should be chosen from optional Visual Culture modules.

Full module descriptions

For full module descriptions please visit the Drama website and Art History and Visual Culture website.

Entry requirements 2017

Typical offer

AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34


We try to see as many applicants as possible before making an offer, and normally interview applicants who may be offering alternative qualifications. A large proportion of applicants are invited to attend two days of workshops and an interview. A short interview with an individual member of staff is combined with staff-led and separate student-led studio sessions. Working and talking with each other and with present students are important features of this experience. This involves an overnight stay in Exeter.

Programmes with Study Abroad

Entry for programmes ‘with Study Abroad’ is offered on the basis that you will spend your time abroad at an institution where the teaching and examining is delivered in English. However, we also have partners that teach in French, Spanish and German. Should you wish to study at one of these institutions you will need to take modules through the Foreign Language Centre up to ‘Advanced’ standard in the appropriate language. In order to reach this standard before the year abroad, students usually need to have entered the University with the equivalent of a good GCSE or AS level (or higher) in that language.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

You will be taught by internationally respected research-active staff. We use a wide variety of techniques and approaches to help you learn and get the most out of your degree.

The Drama side of the programme involves teaching mainly through studio sessions, which means that you will practise the subject at the same time as you learn about it. Practical class sizes are limited to around 20. At the start of the programme the emphasis is on group collaborative work which becomes the basis for development of your individual interests and skills later on. Other activities include seminar presentations, independent research projects and public and restricted audience performances; and lectures where appropriate.

We’re committed to enhancing and developing your key personal and transferable skills. You’ll develop a range of professional skills, for example, time management and team-working. You’ll gain valuable critical, analytical and communication skills. Technical skills will include accurate note taking from presentations, research and IT skills and you’ll also learn a wide range of Drama-specific skills appropriate to your module choices.

Art History and Visual Culture modules are taught through a range of seminars, lectures, workshops and group sessions, web-based learning, along with relevant work ‘in the field’ at galleries and museums, and closer to home on campus, through our art galleries and collections on site.

You will develop expertise in curation through one of Britain’s largest public collections of books, prints, artefacts and ephemera relating to the history and prehistory of cinema and the versatile facilities provided by the Forum – our brand new development at the heart of Streatham Campus which combines student services with catering and retail outlets – along with works of art and flexible multimedia spaces.

Total contact time usually amounts to around 10 hours in the first year, 8 hours in the second year and 6 hours in the final year. You’ll have a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies and a student mentor during the first year.


You will be assessed in all years through a variety of assessment methods. Assessment in Visual culture is through a mixture of methods that includes essays, examinations and group presentation work. Assessment in Drama includes continuous assessment, essay, performance and portfolio, or viva interview. Most work is assessed as coursework through studio practice, seminar and essay and there are currently no formal examinations for Drama modules

Study abroad

Studying for your degree at Exeter offers you the exciting possibility of spending up to one year abroad. You could learn a new language and experience different cultures, become more self-confident and widen your circle of friends. This year over 700 Exeter students are currently studying at one of our partner universities, located in more than 40 countries around the world. You could also get the chance to specialise in areas that are not available at Exeter, and when it comes to a career, your skills and knowledge of another country will prove invaluable to many employers.

The opportunity is available to study for one semester at an overseas partner institution at the beginning of your third year.

In the second year of the programme we offer a core module, Art History & Visual Culture Field Study, which involves an intensive study trip abroad to immerse our students in the art, architecture and visual culture of a specific location in Europe. This year our study abroad trip took place in Florence Italy*.

* Field course destination subject to change.


Drama graduates from the University of Exeter benefit from a degree which is internationally recognised. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market; 6 months after graduation 97%* of our Drama graduates are in work and/or further study.

Graduating from the University of Exeter with a degree in Drama will put you in a great position to succeed in a range of different careers. Should you want to progress into careers in the Arts sector, a degree in Drama will give you with both the theoretical and practical skills which you will need to succeed. Our recent graduates have gone on to work for companies such as the English National Opera, Spa Theatre Company and the BBC, with job titles such as:

  • Assistant Producer
  • Casting Director
  • Freelance Director 

Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:

  • MA Theatre Practice
  • Applied Theatre
  • PGCE English secondary
  • MA Acting
  • MA Acting for Stage, Screen and Radio

Studying in Drama will also equip you with valuable skills for graduate-level work in other sectors. Alongside your performance skills, you will learn to critically engage with the social, historical and cultural contexts surrounding theatre. Through studio-based work, you will become a highly capable communicator who will be able to adapt to individual and team work scenarios. Our recent Drama graduates have since secured jobs for companies such as Hearst, Universal Records, and Think Jam. Others have pursued careers in:

  • Public Relations
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Higher Education
  • Teaching 

Career Zone

The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complimentary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you.  

*First–degree University of Exeter graduates of Drama. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.

Find out more about careers in Drama and Art History and Visual Culture‌

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Phone: +44 (0)1392 722427

Website: Visit the Drama website