BA Drama

UCAS codeW400
Duration3 Years
Typical offerAAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
Location Streatham (Exeter)


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. 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.

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.

Programme variations

My programme is fantastic! I love the balance between studio and seminar time, because even though I want to be an actress, I feel that learning about the history and theory of theatre will help me become a more knowledgeable performer.

Carmen Paddock, BA Drama student.

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 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.

Year 1

The first year comprises of four core modules. In the first half of the year you will study a studio-based 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.

Year 2

In your second year you will study two core modules where you will look at play texts in their historical and cultural context, the transition from page to stage, and you will 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.

You can integrate work experience into your degree in the module HUM2000 Humanities in the Workplace.

Year 3

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

Typical offer



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

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:

Contextual offers

At the University of Exeter we are committed to the idea that all students who have the potential to benefit from higher education have the opportunity to do so. We believe that fair access to higher education is a fundamental enabler for social mobility, improving life opportunities and outcomes for individual students, while benefiting the economy and society as a whole.

Educational context can affect your grades, and we take this into account in order to recognise your potential. If you meet certain criteria, we may make you a lower offer than our typical entry requirements. Find out more about contextual offers.

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

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.

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, as well as subject-specific skills.


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.

Research-inspired teaching

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.

Other opportunities

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.

Academic support

You will have access to an academic 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.

Taking modules outside your course

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 widen your intellectual horizons. If you achieve at least 60 credits in a language via our Foreign Language Centre you may be able to have the words ‘with proficiency in’ and the language added to your degree title.

Digital Humanities Lab

As Digital Humanities is increasingly important in all areas of humanities research, we have invested £1.2 million in a state-of-the-art lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artefacts. The Digital Humanities Lab allows you to use cutting edge equipment to find out more about our cultural heritage and creative past and share your discoveries with your peers. In the space, you will have the opportunity to curate digital exhibitions, carry out 2D and 3D digitisation, create professional quality video/audio recordings, and participate in exciting research projects that utilise data in innovative new ways.


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 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. The assessments in the second 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
  • 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.  

‌Find out more about careers in Drama

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

WebEnquire online


0300 555 60 60 (UK callers)

+44 (0) 1392 723044 (EU/International callers)

Website: Visit the Drama website