BA English and Drama with Employment Experience / Employment Experience Abroad
|UCAS code||WQ36 / WQ37|
|Typical offer||AAA–AAB; IB: 36–34; BTEC: DDD|
This course brings together two internationally-renowned centres of excellence to offer a challenging, yet hugely rewarding course for any student wishing to pursue a career in the Arts. In English, you will explore over 1,500 years of the written word, examining 18th century texts, rethinking the works of Shakespeare and analysing contemporary authors who have been instrumental in defining the modernist literary movement. In Drama, a course that has been running at Exeter for over 50 years, you will discover the practices of acting, scriptwriting, voice, applied theatre, live art, digital theatre crafts, music theatre, puppetry, dance and intercultural performance training. By combining these two disciplines, you enjoy almost limitless opportunities to create a programme of learning that focuses on areas you are most passionate about.
When it comes to university league tables, Exeter is the third best institution in the country to study Drama and the fifth best university to study English as noted in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. Our world-class faculty staff are actively engaged in a diverse range of research projects and we are 4th in the UK for research power in English. Utilising a combination of effective learning techniques such as seminars, studio sessions, collaborative group work, lectures, web-based learning and workshops, our expert academic staff will guide you through your studies to help you make the most of your time at university.
As a student at one of the top 100 universities in the world to study English, you will gain access to our Special Collections and Digital Humanities Lab as well as the unique Bill Douglas Cinema. You will also benefit from the recent £3.7 million investment in industry-standard drama facilities, with up-to-the-minute production equipment for video, sound and scenography design with a dedicated technical team to provide support. Not to mention Exeter’s thriving drama society and the University’s 460-seat Northcott Theatre on campus, which produces and curates a vibrant programme of work for students to enjoy and get involved in. From a vibrant city centre location with coast and countryside on your doorstep, you will evolve to become a confident independent researcher with a defined creative style.
Studying English and Drama at university gives you a range of skills sought after by many employers in the Arts sector and beyond. Our recent graduates are working with award-winning institutions such as ITV, English Heritage and Amnesty International in areas such as education, arts management publishing, journalism, marketing, finance and events. We’re proud to say that 95% of our graduates are in employment or further study six month after graduation.
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 English and Drama degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
You’ll study four core modules which will give you a solid foundation in the skills, methods and principles involved in English and Drama: Beginnings: English Literature before 1800; Acting and Not Acting: the Dialectics of Performance; Theoretical Interpretations: Practitioners; and Shakespeare. You will also take a studio-based module designed specifically for our English and Drama students, Research, Text, and Performance, in which you will engage theoretically and practically with a particular area of research and particular texts, and develop your own group performance from that exploration.
The core module, Performance and Interpretation, develops our interpretations of the complex and contested idea of performance drawing on current staff research expertise. Other optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.
Students will spend the third year of their studies carrying out a graduate-level work placement or placements, either in the UK or abroad.
In the final year of your degree you will have the opportunity to focus your studies on particular areas of individual interest.
You will take four modules from a wide range of options in both English and Drama. In addition you will write a Dissertation in the areas of either English or Creative Writing or Drama, giving you a chance to explore a passion of yours in real depth, with guidance from an academic supervisor.
If the dissertation is in English or Creative Writing, two optional Drama modules (i.e. 60 credits in total) should be taken.
If the dissertation is in Drama, two optional English modules (i.e. 60 credits in total) should be taken. However your final year must be equally weighted between English and Drama.
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions from previous years, please visit our Humanities student website.
Entry requirements 2020
AAA–AAB; IB: 36–34; BTEC: DDD
GCE AL English Literature grade A; IB English HL6.
A level applicants may offer either GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature.
BTEC applicants require an additional GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature grade A.
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 a day-long workshop and an interview. A short interview with an individual member of staff is combined with staff-led and separate student-led studio sessions along with a chance to explore our facilities. Working and talking with each other and with present students are important features of this experience. The day runs from midday to 6pm.
Additional selection criteria
We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.
In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.
*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.
International students should check details of our English language requirements
If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.
International Foundation programmes
Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:
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
The nature of learning at university involves considerable self-guided study and research. In English, you will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and small group tutorials, led by internationally respected academics at the forefront of research. You will be encouraged to take the initiative by organising your own study groups, taking advantage of online and traditional learning resources, and managing your personal workload and time. Most of your work will be done in group and self-directed study: reading or viewing module material, writing essays or preparing for your seminar presentations. We encourage you to present your work because it involves you actively in the teaching and learning process, and develops important transferable skills such as good verbal and visual communication and effective interaction with other people. You will also develop a range of professional skills, such as time management and team working, plus valuable critical, analytical and communication skills.
In Drama, we teach through studio sessions, which means you will practise the subject as you learn. At the start of the programme, the emphasis is on group collaborative work which becomes the basis for the development of your individual interests and skills later on. Practical class sizes are limited to around 20. Each week you will have, on average, six to nine scheduled hours per module and will need to allow for additional hours of private study per module. As well as attending sessions and writing essays and assignments, you will be expected to deliver presentations and lead workshops. We encourage presentation work because it involves you actively in the teaching and learning process as well as developing important life skills such as good verbal and visual communication and effective interaction with other people. We are committed to enhancing and developing your key personal and transferable skills. You will develop a range of professional skills, for example, time management and team-working. You will gain valuable critical, analytical and communication skills. Technical skills will include accurate note taking from presentations, research and IT skills and you will also learn a wide range of Drama-specific skills appropriate to your module choices.
In your first year, you will receive a minimum of 10 hours of contact with academic staff per week. You will also be expected to attend other activities such as study groups, workshop activities, practical classes and film screenings. Your total workload should average about 40 hours per week during term time.
Drama is based on two sites on the Streatham Campus. All of the practical spaces we use are reserved solely for Drama students, giving us a high degree of flexibility. Our facilities include two digital media suites and upgraded technical facilities. We have six studios fully equipped for stage lighting and sound, 10 other studios and seminar rooms, two sound studios, a video and multimedia studio, state-of-the-art computer facilities for lighting and sound design, costume and props stores and workshops for set construction, costume and prop-making.
We are actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including the increasing use of interactive computerbased approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where you can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as discussion forums. You will also have access to online subscription databases and websites, such as Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), MLA FirstSearch and JSTOR. Technical skills will include accurate notetaking from presentations, research and IT skills. You’ll also learn subject-specific skills, such as constructive self-criticism. Film, audio and other media We use a range of film, video, audio and other media to aid study of printed texts and other forms of cultural production. The Streatham Campus is home to the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, which contains an enormous collection relating to the history of film and visual media and an online virtual exhibition. Our libraries have extensive audio visual collections as well as the Chris Brooks collection, which contains over 10,000 works of primary and secondary source Victorian material.
We provide an exciting range of special lectures and seminars on both campuses by visiting academics and renowned writers, actors and film directors. In addition to your academic work, the student-run English Society organises book and poetry readings, film screenings and social events, providing an opportunity to meet students who share a love of literature, culture and the arts. Students from the English department are always active on the University student newspapers, radio and TV station and in the University’s drama groups. Research-inspired teaching We believe that every student benefits from being part of a culture that is inspired by research and where modules are taught by experts who contribute to the latest developments in their field. This is particularly important in the final year of your studies, where modules will give you the most up-to-date research ideas and debates in the discipline. The work of our academic staff is of the highest quality with English ranked 4th in the UK for research power in English*.
The Term Three Festival is a fringe-style experience, providing Drama students with exciting opportunities to showcase additional self-directed, non-assessed work. Students produce their own performances, take part in workshops, receive technical and practical training, participate in careers and employability sessions and watch over 50 brand new performances as part of the event. All students have the option to get involved with the Drama Society and a number of student-run theatre companies supported by the Students’ Guild.
You will have access to a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
In English, you will be assessed in a variety of ways but primarily through exams and coursework. Coursework includes essays, a dissertation and presentation work. The ratio of formal exam to coursework is on average 40 : 60. Your first year doesn’t count towards your final degree classification, but you do have to pass it in order to progress. In Drama, there are no written exams, but assessment of each module varies and may include continuous assessment, essay, performance and portfolio or viva interview. In order to be eligible for ‘with Employment Experience’ programmes, you will need to attain an average of 60% or more in your first year. The assessments in the second year, year abroad (if applicable) and final year will contribute to your final degree classification.
English graduates from the University of Exeter benefit from a degree which is internationally recognised and compete very successfully in the employment market.
Graduating with a degree in English will put you in a great position to succeed in a range of different careers. Oral and written communication is at the heart of our programme and you will learn to present your ideas in a range of formats. You will also develop strong research and analytical skills and the ability to problem solve and make informed decisions. Through a balance of independent study and teamwork you will learn to manage your time and workload effectively.
Our students have progressed to a broad range of work sectors including education, arts management, publishing, journalism, marketing, finance and events management, working for companies such as:
Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:
MA Cultural Heritage Management
MA English Literary Studies
PGCE English primary
MA Magazine Journalism
Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Skills
The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary 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.
Employment experience in the UK or abroad
Spending up to a year carrying out a graduate-level work placement or placements as part of your degree programme is an invaluable opportunity. This unlocks a world of experience that allows you to develop essential employability and interpersonal skills that relate to your degree and future career. You will take full responsibility for finding and organising your placement (either in the UK or abroad), with preparation, support and approval from the University. This is a great way to demonstrate to employers your adaptability, cultural awareness, independence and resourcefulness.