Drama and Theatre - BA (Hons)

Become one of the next generation of makers, thinkers and influences in the theatrical world with our exceptional teaching and industry links.

Overview

Our dynamic arts community is made up of students, graduates, academics, professional practitioners, and a team of technical specialists, so you are in the ideal environment to explore and develop your own distinctive style and creativity.

Why study Drama and Theatre at Kent?

  • Discover your specialism: from physical theatre to puppetry, stand-up comedy to community arts, we blend practical work with academic study, enabling you to develop your critical understanding alongside performative skills.
  • Access fantastic facilities: our Drama spaces include three large rehearsal studios, our scenic workshop space for set and props, a flexible black box theatre and a fully equipped professional theatre space seating 144.
  • Gain Industry Experience: Kent has strong links with arts organisations and theatres locally and regionally to enhance your practice in public. Our professional links are also reflected in our teaching staff, guest lecturers and opportunities for work placements.
  • Explore special resources: Our library houses over 150 archival collections of international interest, including historical theatre and performance material from pantomime, melodrama and variety, as well as the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive.
  • Get career ready: Our students can apply for the Graduate Theatre Company Scheme, which funds drama project work for 18 months after they finish their studies with us.

What you'll learn

At Kent we challenge the distinction between practical and theoretical study, which means that many of our modules include both written and performed assessments. We offer a broad range of options which enable you to shape your degree around your own areas of interest.

First-year modules develop your key skills and core knowledge, and introduce you to a wide range of theatre practices. In your second year you choose four modules from a range covering areas such as acting, physical theatre, popular performance, Shakespeare’s theatre, musical theatre dance, theatre and adaptation, gender and performance, and disability and the arts.

In your final year you choose three modules from a selection, covering areas such as acting Shakespeare, physical theatre, stand-up comedy, participatory and community arts, verbatim and documentary theatre, and theatre and ideas. You then either take a module in which you produce an original production in small companies, or you complete an independent written project.

See the modules you'll study

Do you have a passion for Film or Literature? We have three joint-honours options available: BA (Hons) Drama and Comparative Literature, BA (Hons) Drama and English Literature or BA (Hons) Drama and Film.

What our students say

" The variety of modules and the ability to learn new things was astounding. Kent allowed me to grow into the person I am. I loved learning from quality teachers on fantastic courses. I got to demonstrate my intelligence in my own voice"

- Matt Hoss, graduate and professional stand-up comedian

“When I visited, I was impressed with the School of Arts’ building, it was modern and the facilities were really good. I could see that the teachers were passionate about their subject.”

– Eva Tritschler, current Drama student

Featured video

Watch to find out why you should study at Kent.

It's great to create work with people from different places, or who have different views to yours.

Aleksandar Angelov - Drama and Theatre BA

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve DDM in a suitable subject.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

Applicants for the BA in Drama and Theatre will be invited to a practical workshop and informal group interview, either in person or online. This is designed to allow us to get to know you better, and for you to ensure that all your questions about the course are answered. Those who attend the workshop and receive a conditional offer will receive a one-grade reduction from the published offer level, meaning that your offer would be BBC rather than BBB, or equivalent.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/in industry)

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £16400
  • International full-time £21900

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.

Additional costs

The following course-related costs are included in your tuition fees:

  • Props and costumes for practice/performance pieces/student work
  • Tickets [excluding travel costs] for compulsory theatre trips

The following course-related costs are not included in your tuition fees:

  • Optional textbooks (approx. £50 in stage 1; £50 in stage 2; £50 in stage 3)
  • Optional trips/theatre tickets (around £45 per year, based on 2-3 theatre trips per year) and travel costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is through workshops, seminars, lectures and practical projects. Most Drama and Theatre modules are continuously assessed on the basis of coursework, projects  and presentations, performances, essays and dissertations. 

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide a stimulating environment which encourages and assists you to achieve your creative and intellectual potential
  • produce independent, motivated graduates who are equipped to meet the needs of, and to contribute creatively to, the theatre and associated media and professions
  • develop critical judgement and personal organisation skills to enable you to respond positively to the challenges of further study, training or employment in relevant career destinations
  • enhance the learning experience through a range of teaching and assessment methods that reflect and respond to the values and diversity inherent in drama and theatre studies
  • provide teaching that is informed by research and current developments in the pedagogy of drama and theatre as well as theatre practice and the arts
  • provide a broad grounding in the subject in the early stages of study, becoming increasingly specialist in the later stages
  • provide you with creative competence and understanding that is grounded in (and prepares for) professional practice
  • offer you the opportunity to apply to undertake a term or year abroad or a year’s placement in industry.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • key practitioners, practices and theorists of performance, including writers, critics, directors, actors, artists, designers and producers
  • historical and contemporary contexts of the production and reception of performance
  • the relationship of performance to its material, cultural and historical context.
  • histories, forms and traditions of performance and theoretical explanations of their impact
  • traditional and contemporary critical perspectives that inform the academic study of performance
  • the interplay between theory and practice
  • the processes by which performance is created, realised and managed including: the reading of written text and other source material; processes of rehearsal; writing and dramaturgy; devising, directing, design, stage and technical management and producing
  • the impact of theatre and performance within a range of social, educational and community contexts
  • the reading, analysis, documenting and interpreting of performance
  • the role of the audience; the performance and production skills necessary to communicate with audiences.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in how to:

  • read, understand and engage analytically with a range of texts, performances and other source material
  • research, evaluate and productively apply information from a number of sources (written, visual, aural) in order to develop and present a coherent understanding of the theory and practice of performance
  • critique performance events and processes
  • undertake and manage extended independent and creative research
  • understand processes of creativity and deploy and critique these in your own work
  • record, document and analyse processes of making performance
  • understand and apply appropriate interdisciplinary practices, concepts and skills
  • present coherent arguments verbally and in writing
  • understand the relationship of performance to a range of critical, historical and cultural frameworks for its production and reception.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • reading and evaluating scripts, performance texts and other theatre documents from a range of critical and practical perspectives
  • envisioning the performance possibilities of a play text, script and other textual or documentary sources
  • realising performances derived from a range of starting points (for example, a script; a theoretical position; documentary material; a specific location) and using a range of techniques, structures and working methods to develop those performances
  • engaging and collaborating in production and performance
  • engaging with current debates on theatre arts, productions, cultural policy and funding
  • practising creative, physical and vocal skills for practice-based work, including appropriate warm-up exercises and techniques
  • using technical apparatus and associated resources necessary to realise the demands of production in live and recorded performance safely, efficiently and effectively
  • documenting performance processes and events
  • engaging in research, whether independent, group or practice-based
  • considering theories of spectatorship, developing an awareness of the audience or client group for performance, and an ability to respond and adapt to it through flexible means.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • working collaboratively with others utilising a variety of team structures and working methods, understanding group dynamics and handling interpersonal issues
  • developing and pursuing creative projects within specified resource constraints (for example, time, space and/or budget), therefore, developing problem-solving skills
  • managing workloads to meet deadlines and sustaining focus for extended periods working on independent creative projects, developing autonomy and self-management
  • using information retrieval skills to gather and critically evaluate material
  • applying critical and creative skills in diverse forms of discourse and media
  • identifying health and safety issues and undertake risk assessments.  
  • negotiating effectively with a variety of agencies (inside and outside the programme), developing interpersonal skills
  • effectively and professionally communicating coherent arguments and propositions in a variety of media, verbally and in writing
  • undertaking basic design, engineering, construction, and technical work
  • demonstrating numeracy using scale, simple equations, simple geometry, basic arithmetic, data collection, presentation and analysis
  • reflecting on your own learning and progress, identifying strategies for development, exploring strengths and weaknesses and developing autonomy in learning and continuous professional development.

Independent rankings

Drama and Cinematics at Kent scored 89% overall and was ranked 7th for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2023.

88% of Drama students who completed the National Student Survey 2022 were satisfied with the opportunities to work with others on their course.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have developed careers as:

  • journalists
  • authors
  • literary managers
  • directors
  • performers
  • scriptwriters for television
  • stand-up comedians
  • casting agents
  • event managers
  • arts administrators
  • community theatre officers for local councils
  • drama teachers.

Some have gone on to work for major players in the West End and for theatre companies. These include:

  • Mark Rubinstein
  • Sonia Friedman
  • Bill Kenwright
  • DV8
  • Complicite.

We also support past students to set up companies and remain in Kent with the Graduate Theatre Scheme. Successful professional companies who started with us include:

  • Little Bulb Theatre
  • The Pantaloons
  • The Noise Next Door
  • Three Half Pints (stars of Spot Bots).

Our graduates include:

  • Lyn Gardner, theatre critic (The Guardian)
  • Alan Davies
  • Claire Marshall of Forced Entertainment
  • Charlotte Knight, literary agent
  • Russell Bolam, director (Bristol Old Vic, Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • Matthew Gordon, theatre producer (Associate Producer, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd)
  • Kevin Walsh (Operations Director at Graeae theatre company)
  • Louise Arnold, novelist
  • Jimmy McGhie and Tiernan Douieb, comedians
  • Matt Evans, scriptwriter (EastEnders, Law & Order, New Tricks)
  • Adam Brace, playwright
  • Julian Woolford, director (Head of Postgraduate Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting).

Help finding a job

The School of Arts works hard to maintain strong links with professionals throughout the industry, as well as with major players such as:

  • Gulbenkian Theatre
  • Marlowe Theatre
  • Shakespeare’s Globe.

The University’s Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

Alongside specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Drama and Theatre - BA (Hons)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.

Find out more about how to apply

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

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T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

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T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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