BA Drama with Employment Experience / Employment Experience Abroad
|UCAS code||W402 / W403|
|Typical offer||AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM|
Having been named as the third best institution in the country to study Drama in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, the University of Exeter is a fantastic choice for those wishing to pursue a career in the arts. Our internationally-renowned drama course has been running for over 50 years and today, offers students access to the top resources for studying drama at university. Following a recent £3.7 million investment in industry-standard drama facilities, we have up-to-the-minute production equipment for video, sound and scenography design with a dedicated technical team to provide support. With the help of expert academic staff, who hold a range of performance based and specialist skills, you will discover your own style and creativity. You will explore areas such as acting, scriptwriting, voice, applied theatre, live art, digital theatre crafts, music theatre, puppetry, dance and intercultural performance training.
The course is structured with a 50/50 split of theoretical and practical study to give you a well-rounded education with opportunities to specialise in areas such as directing, contemporary arts, musical theatre, and technical theatre crafts. Through practical work, you will build a solid foundation of performance-based skills that use public performance and community-based activities to reinforce your learning. Studio-based work equips you with essential communications and organisational skills, whilst in-depth study and analysis of theatrical texts broaden your critical understanding. Exeter has a thriving Drama Society who organise a fringe-style festival each year for students to showcase self-directed work. Here you can take advantage of workshops, receive practical training, participate in careers and employability sessions, as well as watch over 50 new performances. The University of Exeter is also home to the Northcott Theatre, the city’s flagship 460-seat professional theatre venue that produces and curates a vibrant programme of work for students to enjoy and get involved in.
Looking beyond the South West of England, the Employment Experience and Employment Experience Abroad programme will help to broaden your studies. You will spend your third year with an employer, within a sector of your choice. A work placement will dramatically boost your confidence, enhance your CV and develop graduate level skills and competencies that employers are looking for. If working abroad, you may have also gained knowledge of another language, ideal if you wish to embark upon an international career path.
Studying Drama at university gives you a range of skills that are beneficial for a career in the Arts sector and beyond. Our recent graduates are working with award-winning institutions such as the BBC and National Theatre, and pursuing careers in areas such as production, multi-media design, copywriting, PR and teaching. 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 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.
The first year comprises of four core modules. In the first half of the year you will study a studio-based module and a seminar-based module, which is aimed at introducing you to theatre studies and performance analysis as disciplines of drama.
In the second term your practical work will focus on a performance-orientated module rooted in research through practice and the remaining module will introduce a selection of modern and contemporary practitioners in their context.
In your second year you study two core modules, Staging the Text in the first term and Performance and Interpretation in the second. You will look at play texts in their historical and cultural context and the transition from page to stage and extend and deepen your critical and theoretical vocabulary of theatre. You will also choose one practise and one research option from a range of modules.
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 your final year you can specialise in practical options such as interpretative acting, directing, vocal practice and applied drama. Your degree culminates in the Practical Essay, a piece of original performance that you will create with a small group of fellow students for an audience beyond the University, and Theatre Praxis, an in-depth independent study of a chosen area of theatre and performance.
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions from previous years, please visit our Humanities student website.
Entry requirements 2020
AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
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.
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
We teach mainly 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. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time. 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.
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.
Teaching that is inspired by research ensures lectures are up-to-date and relevant; you will benefit from access to the latest thinking, equipment and resources. All staff teach second and third year options which are linked to their own interests, including areas such as theories of actor training, non-western performance, 20th and 21st century theatre practitioners, site-specific performance, applied performance, gender and performance, theatre history, music theatre, arts management and the politics of culture.
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.
All students have 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.
Assessment of each module varies and may include continuous assessment, essay, performance and portfolio or viva interview. In the first year, most work is assessed continuously through studio practice, seminars and essays. There are currently no written exams for Drama Single Honours Drama students, however Combined Honours students should refer to the relevant subject’s entry for their other subjects. You are required to pass your first year in order to progress, but these results do not count towards your final degree classification. In order to be eligible for ‘with Employment Experience Abroad’ programmes, you will need to attain an average of 60% or more in your first year. The assessments in the second year, placement year and final year will contribute to your final degree classification.
Drama graduates from the University of Exeter benefit from a degree which is internationally recognised. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market.
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
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.
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.