You study contemporary performance practice and theatres of the past in an outstanding department. You develop the skills, knowledge and creative vision needed for a career in professional theatre, other creative and media industries or related fields such as education, publishing and beyond. Come to Kent if you want to shape the theatre and world of the future.
Drama and Theatre at Kent is based in the School of Arts, a creative and academic hub for students in drama, film, media studies and art history. Together we occupy the award-winning Jarman building, which houses outstanding drama and teaching facilities. We have our own industry standard studios and a 120-seat theatre. As part of an inclusive and creative community you will benefit from working and studying alongside staff and students who are passionate about their subject.
As a Drama and Theatre student at Kent, you work alongside world-leading academics with a wide range of specialisms in areas such as contemporary performance, European theatre, theatre history and Shakespeare, comedy, and community-based theatre. You are taught by academics who are theatre professionals with real and current industry experience in theatre design, acting, directing, stage management, dance, stand-up comedy, and arts funding. In addition, you learn from our professional technical team, which includes a workshop manager and three technicians.
Your Drama and Theatre degree at Kent is as rigorous and challenging as any subject in the Humanities, but as well as developing your critical and analytical writing abilities, our programme allows you to build practical skills that are transferable to any industry, not just theatre. At Kent you cultivate the skills in creativity, performance, project management, leadership, communication and teamwork that give our graduates outstanding and proven employment prospects.
Our degree programme
At Kent we challenge the distinction between practical and theoretical study, which means that many of our modules include both written and performed assessments.
Currently, in your first year you learn a variety of performance skills, technical theatre disciplines, how to work creatively and safely on and behind the stage, all the while being introduced to key ideas, practitioners and theatre histories.
In your second year you begin to shape your own degree with an impressive range of modules to choose from. For example, you might be able to focus on European theatre, acting, costume and fashion, physical theatre, Shakespeare, avant-garde theatre or popular performance.
In your final year you complete an independent or creative project, and can choose specialist modules from a wide variety which may include playwriting, performance, applied theatre, stand-up comedy or arts funding, or else develop further the areas studied in your second year. The year ends with a programmed festival of student work in the summer term.
You graduate from Kent with an understanding of theatre in all its forms and the creative competence to succeed in a future career in the arts or beyond.
Year of professional experience
It is possible to spend a year on placement gaining valuable workplace experience and increasing your professional contacts. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.
We offer the option to study abroad for a term or a year at one of our partner institutions in Europe, the USA or South Africa. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.
Drama and Theatre students benefit from some of the best rehearsal, teaching, study and performance facilities in the UK, including:
- industry standard Jarman studios with heated semi-sprung floors, lighting rigs and a spacious control box housing the latest equipment
- the 120-seat Aphra Theatre
- the Lumley studio
- a fully equipped construction workshop
- a sound studio
- the 340-seat Gulbenkian Theatre, which offers industry placements on campus, as well as a year-round visiting professional programme of theatre
- the University’s Templeman Library, which is renowned for its drama and theatre manuscripts, including collections of playbills, prints, programmes and other theatre ephemera
- Digital Theatre Plus, which provides full-length films of British theatre productions, in addition to interviews with the cast and the creative and production teams.
There are a whole range of student-run societies. In previous years, students have had the opportunity to join:
- T24 Drama – produces and puts on six shows a term
- Musical Theatre – produces musicals and musical showcase
- Circus – a collective of artists and creative characters
- Glee – a choir for people who love to sing
- Costume for Stage and Screen – design and sew costumes
- Music Society – orchestras, chorus, concert and big bands
- Sports Societies – over 45 to choose from and extensive facilities.
The School of Arts organises special events that you are welcome to attend. These may include:
- guest workshops and talks by professionals from the world of theatre
- conferences and exhibitions.
The School of Arts has developed links with some of the major players in the industry:
- Bobby Baker
- C&T theatre
- Gulbenkian Theatre
- Little Bulb Theatre
- Marlowe Theatre
- Thomas Ostermeier
- Oily Cart
- Reckless Sleepers
- Shakespeare’s Globe.
Drama at Kent was ranked 13th for research quality and 19th overall in The Complete University Guide 2018.
For graduate prospects, Drama at Kent was ranked 8th in The Guardian University Guide 2018. Drama and Theatre at Kent was ranked 3rd in the UK for the percentage of students who found professional jobs or further study within six months of graduation in 2016 (DLHE).
Teaching Excellence Framework
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
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 ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
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DR338 - Making Performance 1
This is a module about the implications of Peter Brook's idea that anything can be seen as 'an act of theatre’. Students will be invited to see beyond their own default assumptions about theatre, and introduced to a diverse range of methods of devising their own performances. In practical workshops, they will learn about professional practice, warming up, performance skills, and collaborative group work; and will explore the possibilities of creating performance from a range of starting points, including (for example), space, body, voice, text, or character. This practical exploration will sit alongside an introduction to related aspects of history and theory. In seminars, students will be introduced to such concepts as theatre spaces, traditional play texts, non-traditional theatre texts, historical approaches to characterisation (e.g. Stanislavski, Mike Leigh), physical approaches to acting (e.g. Grotowski, Lecoq), and the different models for engaging an audience (e.g. Brecht, Boal). The experience will be enhanced by 4 ‘Theatre Forums’ within which students experience a short piece of performance by Theatre Companies/Performers who have emerged from the department, followed by an ‘open discussion forum, situating the work within the world of performance, and the influence that their university learning had in relation to their current practice. Students will be assessed by a short in-class performance and an essay. This module (together with Making Performance 2) will offer a solid foundation for all modules in years two and three which involve creative performance work.Read more
DR339 - Making Performance 2
Like Making Performance 1, this module is about the implications of Peter Brook's idea that anything can be seen as 'an act of theatre'. Students will be further encouraged to see beyond their own default assumptions about theatre, and introduced to an expanded range of methods of devising their own performances. In practical workshops, they will learn more about warming up, performance skills, and collaborative group work; and will explore the possibilities of creating performance from a further range of starting points, including (for example), improvisation, music, audience, personality, and aural and visual stimuli. Workshops will be longer than in Making Performance 1, to allow for a more developed engagement. Not only will this allow more time for discussion of the assigned reading, but it will also allow students to start engaging with technical aspects of theatre-making. Students will be encouraged to develop their own ideas about theatre and performance through a series of lectures in which different Drama lecturers talk to the students about their ideas of what theatre is and could be, and how these ideas have been shaped by their encounters with theatre as audience members, theatre makers, and academics. This module (together with Making Performance 1) will offer a solid foundation for all modules in years two and three which involve creative performance work.Read more
DR340 - Introduction to Mask
The aim of this course is to give students an understanding of a variety of practices, theory and historical context of mask in performance. By learning about different mask practices the students will develop a sense of the function and potential of mask in performance and performer training, as well as develop their own performance skills through the medium of mask
The module will be taught across twelve weeks and will be split evenly between history/theory and practice.
Practical classes will include instruction in diverse practical approaches to improvisation, mask work, rehearsal technique and supervised rehearsals. Students will be invited to explore beyond their assumptions and performance experience and will be introduced to the idea of play and risk as key components of the rehearsal process. Students will be introduced to a range of mask and associated techniques (e.g. neutral/noble mask, character mask, commedia). Sessions will start with appropriate physical and vocal warm-ups. Students are expected to take responsibility for their physical readiness to participate in all classes (and to ensure that they bring to their teacher's attention any circumstances that may prevent their full and active involvement in the work). Regular opportunities to present work and demonstrate understanding are built into the structure of the class. They will also reflect and feedback on the work of their peers.
Lecture/screening sessions will feature presentations, interactive lectures, screenings and opportunities for discussion. These sessions will focus on developing an awareness of key practitioners, theories of mask, and historical, cultural and theatrical contexts of mask work.Read more
DR345 - Puppet and Object Theatre
This module offers a creative exploration of puppetry and object theatre. It includes scenic elements and staging. Elements used typically include puppets, objects, visible/'invisible’ puppeteers and set, light, projection, motion and sound. Screenings/seminars provide theoretical perspectives while practical workshops deliver making skills and explore making performance. Students will explore and discover the uses and dynamics of the different elements, developing the skills as makers, performers, puppeteers, manipulators, musicians and/or technicians.Read more
DR346 - Popular Performance: Pubs, Clubs and Citizenship
This module will introduce first year students to ideas of theatre and performance as sites of citizenship, through exploration of contemporary, popular forms such as music gigs, performance poetry and comedy. Students will learn to identify and analyse key features and techniques present in popular performance forms, and to relate performances to their commercial, cultural and political contexts. This will include understanding of how 'DIY'/commercialist principles of production shape the work, and discourses that position performances as fun/difficult, legitimate/illegitimate and as high/low culture. They will explore how popular performances interact with the politics of government, identity and taste, and will be introduced to key concepts and debates on the usefulness of popular entertainment in shaping citizenship and public opinion. Students will be encouraged to reflect upon the forms of popular culture which they themselves enjoy, exploring the extent to which these shape their own attitudes and behaviours, and will create pop-up performances which demonstrate this awareness. By the end of the module, students will have acquired a foundational understanding of: popular performance as a genre; performance as reflection of its cultural and political contexts; the extent to which performances implicate their creators and audiences as citizens.Read more
DR347 - Ancient Greek Theatre
The module introduces students to historical theatre traditions that are remote from present stage conventions. It offers a study of some of the key ancient Greek plays and a detailed exploration of the societal conditions and theatrical realities of 5th century BCE, allowing for an understanding of theatre as an artistic product of a particular historical context and culture. Modern stage adaptations of Greek drama will also be considered, taking account of issues regarding historical and cultural transposition. As comparative foil, the module will also discuss non-European 'classical' traditions such as Japanese Noh theatre, and the Indian theatre tradition based on the Natyasastra.Read more
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DR549 - Acting
The course will introduce basic skills related to the craft of acting, predominantly within naturalist and realist idioms. This acting course will provide a core practical introduction to mainstream acting techniques descended from the teachings of Stanislavski and his heirs, as well as providing an introduction to contrasting practice and theories from other significant practitioners.
The course will introduce students through practical means, to basic terms and concepts in mainstream rehearsal-room practice. The students will develop a practical and usable understanding of a contemporary approach to the Stanislavskian system. Students will explore approaches concerning the use of detailed textual analysis when preparing a naturalistic role for performance and concepts to be introduced will include text analysis and uniting, actions and activities, objectives, obstacles, stakes, and given circumstances. On some level, this course will allow the student to explore varied and contradicting ideas from the world of actor training.
All of these concepts will be explored in practice through a combination of physical and text exercises, improvisation and close textual analysis. Students will be encouraged to adopt a critical overview of the work and to evaluate for themselves, both via class discussion and through reflective analysis on paper, the strengths and weaknesses of the techniques to which they are introduced.Read more
DR594 - Popular Performance
Students' learning will be organised around research-based performance projects. These will be
based on detailed examinations of particular popular performance genres (for example, variety theatre, slapstick, cabaret, pantomime, radio comedy). Initially, students develop relevant performance skills, which might include, for example, addressing an audience, developing a stage persona, dance, singing, and/or simple acrobatics. In addition to this, they will be set weekly research tasks relevant to the particular genre they are studying. These tasks will lead towards a research essay, which will typically relate to the piece they go on to perform in the final assessed show. They will work independently on devising and rehearsing material related to both the research and the skills acquired in workshops, testing this material in front of an audience made up of other students on the module in their weekly all student practical session. Subsequently, they will develop their material to create a show in the style of the assigned popular performance genre, which will be performed to a public audience.Read more
DR612 - Shakespeare's Theatre
This module engages with the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as texts for performance; approached through a variety of critical, theoretical and practical methods. It considers the theatrical, cultural and historical conditions that produced and shaped them; examines the role played by the drama in a violent, volatile and rapidly-changing society; investigates and applies the principles of early modern playing spaces and performance practices, and considers the variety of ways in which these works have been encountered and reinvented in the modern period.Read more
DR667 - Site Specific Performance
This module will introduce students to the emergence and development of 'site specific' performance through the 20th Century and into the 21st Century, interrogating what has progressively become a generic label applied to a range of theatre/performance forms which embrace ‘site’ however tenuous this relationship might be. The module explores the context in which ‘site’ becomes the determining feature in the creation of artistic and theatrical works in the mid-20th Century, specifically considering the development of site/land art, installation art, celebratory community theatre and the subsequent influence of this work on the emergence of ‘site specific’ performance and current practice. The module will introduce students to a range of practitioners who explore the ‘site’ of performance from a number of perspectives, and the theoretical contexts in which these approaches might be considered.Read more
DR674 - Media and Performance Art
This module addresses the influence of the early avant-garde on later experimental performance forms such as performance art and multimedia performance. It examines the impact of new technologies on performance and representation throughout the last century, and explores the relationship between media culture and theatre practice. Key modernist and postmodernist practitioners are discussed as the module traces the evolution of multimedia theatre and performance art. Students analyse how time, space and bodies manifest within a diversity of contemporary media art and performance art, and focus is placed on the nature of audience engagement. The module also considers questions concerning the live and mediated aspects of performance, and explores concepts such as 'liveness', ‘the body’, ‘intermediality’, ‘posthumanism’ ‘public space’ and ‘participation’.Read more
ART522 - Disability and the Arts
This module will look at disability in the arts, covering theatre, film and visual art. The students will engage with the historical representation of disability within the arts and the way in which disability scholars have critically engaged with it. The students will also look at arts institutions (i.e. theatres, cinemas and galleries) and the disabling barriers within those institutions that prevent the full participation of people with impairments in the arts. This will culminate in an 'accessibility review', whereby the students analyse the adjustments made by arts institutions for people with impairments and the extent to which they are effective. Finally, the students will engage with examples of contemporary disabled artists whose impairments informs the aesthetic qualities of their work.Read more
DR663 - Physical Theatre 1
This module studies different approaches to physical training for performance. It covers examples from around the world, though developments in Europe during the twentieth century provide a focus for the module. The module is oriented towards training for 'physical theatre' – a term which emerged at the end of the twentieth century and refers to a shift away from script, playwright and linear narrative. As such naturalism and the work of Stanislavski do not fall within the remit of this module.
Students will gain valuable practical experience of physical training in weekly workshops where they will explore the fundamental principles of training the body. Indicative areas include:
• Posture, centre, balance, energy, space, tension, relaxation, sound within the body.
• Precision and clarity in movement
• Presence, spontaneity and improvisation
The module makes elementary investigations into the relationship between training and performance composition, an aspect which will be further explored in Physical Theatre 2.
Practice will be contextualised by historical and theoretical reading that explores the landscape from which the term 'Physical Theatre' emerged in the twentieth century. Key historical figures include: Jacques Copeau, Antonin Artaud, Edward Gordon Craig, Jerzy Grotowski, Eugenio Barba, and Jacques Lecoq, among others. Grotowski's term 'Poor Theatre’ is a crucial starting point for the module, and we explore how a performer might be prepared for a performance style that focuses so fully on the performer’s body in space, and the demands that come with that style. Eugenio Barba’s ideas about ‘pre-expressivity’ and the study of performer training across different cultures and disciplines are also important.Read more
DR684 - Introduction to Musical Theatre Dance
Students will explore the historical and cultural contexts through which the genre of musical theatre dance developed. Learning will be organised around detailed examinations of particular periods of musical theatre dance including its interface with popular dance forms in the 1920s and the emergence of variety and Vaudeville theatre; the integration of Latin, Indian and African influences through the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s; the standardization of jazz in the 1970s; and the influences of ballet, cabaret, and burlesque theatre across the century's period styles. Weekly workshop sessions will include a comprehensive isolation-based musical theatre/jazz warm-up, followed by movement studies focused in specific periods and the learning of a section of musical theatre dance repertory. In addition, students will view filmed musicals and other performances from specific periods and present critical analyses of these in small groups during seminar classes. Attendance at three live musical performances will also be required. These tasks will lead towards a research essay focused on a period, artist, or musical of the students’ choice.Read more
DR685 - Theatre and Adaptation
Recent theatrical productions as diverse in form as experimental performance, new writing, musicals and live art have shown a recurring fascination with adapting existing works by other artists, writers, filmmakers and stage practitioners. The transition of an existing source or stimulus to the stage – be it film, book, play, artwork, or other performance – is not a smooth one. It implies negotiations of numerous kinds, such as interlingual and intercultural, but also ideological, ethical, aesthetic and political. Drawing on the work of contemporary international theatre-makers, this module will explore specific approaches to stage adaptation, study adaptation methodologies and develop an understanding of the implications of adaptation. Through seminar discussions, practical and creative work, the module will prompt a reflection on performance's near-obsessive desire to return, rewrite and repeat, establishing a dialogue across languages and cultural identities.
During lectures, students will study several adaptation projects and strategies, which will form the basis for an essay. During seminars, students will experiment with a source of their choice and produce a simple, tech-light group performance based on this source, for which they need to be able to rehearse in the classroom, without any technical assistance. The presentation of the group performance will be followed by a reflective essay on the chosen source and its afterlife, an analysis of the group’s performance, and any other supporting material. The students are expected to keep their performance time and tech to a minimum, and will not be provided with technical support or extra rehearsal space for this module.Read more
DR687 - Sex, Gender and Performance: Beyond the Binary
This module addresses issues that are central to performance studies and to contemporary social and political debates through its focus on the representation and performance of sex, gender and identity. The module explores these ideas in relation to a diverse range of trans-historical performance examples.
Students will explore changing concepts of gender and sexuality and will consider how performance and performers have engaged with these social changes by examining both contemporary and historical case studies. The module explores questions of self, authenticity, performing difference and identities in transition. Students will interrogate performance using a range of theoretical approaches drawn from gender and sexuality studies in dialogue with practical experimentation. Drawing on this knowledge, students will have the opportunity to develop contemporary performance inspired and shaped by the models of practice which they have encountered. Issues of risk and ethics will be core concerns as students develop understanding of how sex, gender and identity can create a performance aestheticRead more
Year in industry
Your placement year takes place between your second and final year. It is a great opportunity to gain workplace experience, increase your professional contacts and acquire new skills, and is a valuable addition to your CV.
You can take your placement year in the UK or abroad with a wide range of employers in areas including the arts, education and cultural heritage. While you are responsible for finding your placement, we offer support and guidance through the application process.
Tuition fees for the placement year are greatly reduced and employers may offer expenses or a salary.
The placement year is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not count towards your final degree classification.
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a term or year abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements including achieving a merit at Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the term or year abroad.
The term or year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.
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ART500 - Independent Project
The module gives School of Arts students across a range undergraduate programmes the opportunity to undertake a written independent research project at stage 3.
Students who wish to take the module must approach a permanent academic member of staff with a proposal, typically in advance of module registration, during the Spring term of the previous year. Students pick a research topic of their choice; however, students are only allowed to register for the module with the permission of a staff member who has agreed to supervise the project, and who has the expertise to do so. Potential supervisors must also ensure before they agree to supervise a project that the resources required to complete the project will be available to the student, and that adequate supervisory support will be available to the student throughout their study on the module.
Students will be supported in the preparation and submission of their work by their supervisor, although a central expectation of the module is that students will take increasing responsibility for their learning, consistent with expectations of Level 6 study.Read more
DR678 - Creative Project
The module will offer students the chance to work on an independent creative project of their own devising, which will be a culmination of practical elements of their degree programme. Performance, workshop, design, stagecraft, producing or other creative skills encountered in earlier modules will be developed, extended and explored in autonomous work, which will be supported by regular group supervision sessions. Projects will also involve research which will contextualise the practical elements.
Supervision will take place in timetabled teaching slots, in which students involved in several projects will be supervised together. Practical outcomes might take the form of performances, workshops or public interventions.Read more
DR683 - Theatre and Ideas
This module will ask students to critically engage with fundamental questions about theatre, such as 'what is performance?', 'who decides what a performance means?', 'why do we care about the fates of fictional characters?', 'why do we enjoy watching tragic events on stage?', 'what ethical questions does performance raise?', 'can performance be a kind of philosophy?'. After writing an essay focussing on one of these questions, the class will then turn its attention to a specific performance text and the various conceptual and philosophical questions that arise from it. Once they have engaged with a range of theoretical perspectives on the text the course will culminate in an assessed presentation where the students propose a production which engages with these issues.Read more
DR664 - Physical Theatre II
The module explores ‘physical theatre’ as a complex and rich term which describes works focusing on the primacy of the body in performance rather than text or character. It will focus on how Physical Theatre practitioners have deployed compositional techniques, and the principals that underlie such work. It differs from Physical Theatre 1 in focussing less on training for performance and much more on composition and different possibilities of structuring Physical Performance, using space, sound, movement, rhythm and the body.
Students will conduct in-depth investigations into the relationship between training and performance and devising techniques and compositional approaches through weekly practical workshops.Read more
ART501 - Arts Internship
Students will engage in a work-based situation of their choice. The student will be responsible for finding the work-based situation, though support from the School and CES will be available. The internship should bear relevance to their subject of study or a career they expect to pursue upon graduation. The total of 300 hours will be divided as required for purposes of preparation, attendance of work placement and reflection/completion of required assessment.Read more
ART508 - Transgressive Women
Films in certain genres, such as the Western, action film and martial arts film, are often gendered masculine, their powerful, active and typically violent male protagonists seen as representing masculinity. There is, however, also a long tradition of transgressive female protagonists in "male" genres, and this module investigates such characters. In addition to giving an overview of various types of transgressive female protagonists, the module explores in depth one or a few type(s) of transgressive female protagonist depending on the convenor's research interests. Case studies may include American action film, martial arts film, Blaxploitation/exploitation film, rape-revenge film, Western, crime film/television, film noir and horror in film and television. For example, in the action film the female protagonist’s display of power and strength may be seen as masculine, but she is often also portrayed with stereotypically feminine traits such as beauty and a sexy appearance. The female protagonist is thus often perceived as standing between the masculine and the feminine. Among the many questions triggered by transgressive female protagonists, this module might explore whether this character can and should be perceived as feminist or merely as exploitative, and how and why such protagonists may appeal to a female audience in particular.Read more
ART520 - Psychology of the Arts
This interdisciplinary course will examine historical and current theoretical ideas and research on the ways in which art is created and perceived. Artforms that will be considered include visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, popular art), performing arts (dance and theater), music, and film. Readings will interface with subdisciplines of psychology such as perception, psychoaesthetics, neurophysiology, social psychology, and studies of emotion. Principal areas of focus will include aesthetics, arts-experimental design, perception of art, meaning in art, the psychology of the creative process, social and cultural issues, and the ramifications of arts-sciences research. The primary focus will be on Western art forms, though other world art traditions and aesthetics will be discussed. Assessment methods will test understanding through a summary and critical reflection on a selected text and the proposal, research, and design and oral presentation of a potential interdisciplinary research project.Read more
ART526 - Arts Funding and Policy: Making it Happen
This module will look at arts funding policy and public funding structures for the arts, including the formation of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and the Arts Council and its various models of operation since 1947 through to the present. This will serve to place productions from across the arts within the context of who makes policy and how it is formed, while acting as an introduction to arts funding and the application and measurement process. Students will gain an understanding of the structure of central, regional and local government in as much as they affect the arts. Trust and Foundations that support and nurture the arts are also explored in the context of how these can supplement and develop productions. Sponsorship and commercial involvement is looked at in the ways that this can be integrated into the package.Read more
DR676 - Introduction to Stand Up
This module will introduce students to practical and theoretical aspects of stand-up comedy. Initially, they will analyse the work of individual comedians, exploring such issues as comic theory, traditions of stand-up, and historical context. Later, they will work on creating their own short stand-up acts, generating original material and developing key performance skills such as developing persona, working an audience, improvisation, and characterisation.Read more
DR619 - Playwriting I: For Beginners
Through weekly lectures, seminars and practical workshop sessions, the course will allow students to write scenes and experience the results and effects of their playwriting as performed by others. In the context of on-going discussions about the practice and characteristics of playwriting students will develop an understanding of the importance of revision and development of evolving work as mediated by the constructive criticism of group and convenor response.Read more
DR636 - The Shakespeare Effect
This module engages with Shakespeare by considering its unique resilience as a body of plays, focus of cultural mythology, and source of inspiration within modern theatrical culture. As well as surveying the Shakespeare work of major practitioners (The RSC, National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe), the module will involve at least two theatre visits, as well as hands-on engagement with performance-making, performance reconstruction, and historical research.Read more
DR648 - Applied Theatre
This module introduces the applied theatre form, and considers the historical and social context in which the form developed. It offers students the opportunity to both understand and apply workshop techniques, planning, facilitation and management of projects within an Applied Theatre context. Practical work is based on a theoretical understanding and grounding in the historical and social contexts of Applied Theatre. The module will be structured in 2 distinctive parts:
The first introduces and considers the historical development of applied theatre, current debates, methodologies and case studies within the field. This stage of the module will include a range of lectures, seminar discussions, and exploratory/task based workshops.The second stage will focus on developing associated practical skills to include project planning, management, workshop and facilitation skills.Read more
DR659 - Acting Shakespeare
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the specific acting challenges presented by the classical texts of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and to facilitate, through practice, an in depth examination of proven analytical and practical approaches to these challenges. Instruction in the analysis of language structure and verse forms, verse structure, style, metre, imagery and language texture forms a key component to this course.
Through a classical repertoire, the student will be taught a systematic analysis of verse structure which, they will learn, is an integral part of an actor's development. This work on unambiguous structural matters will enable the student actor to articulate experience in time, avoiding the risk of leaving performance at the level of the pursuit of feeling and expression. Focus will also be placed on how this analysis can direct the performer, facilitating discovery in both action and character.
The course will also create an awareness of the vocal, physical and emotional demands placed on the performer when working with these plays and through practice, promote knowledge of how the actor’s instrument can meet these demands.
The module will run in two parts, the first part focusing on the demands of the verse monologue and its performing challenges, culminating in a solo performance assessment. The second part will explore performance text analysis when working with group scenes and how this analysis can direct the performer. The course will close with assessed practical scene performances taken from classical texts accompanied by a written scene analysis for later submission.Read more
DR610 - Performing Lives: Theory & Practice of Autobiographical Theatre
This module explores critical and creative approaches to working with real lives in performance. You will examine how auto/biographical and documentary material is used and manipulated to construct identity in and through performance. You will question the concept of the 'true story' and explore the ethics and practicalities of using the personal in performance. You will also work creatively to produce a practical project on auto/biographical theatre. In this module you will work with a range of dramatic material and forms, studying, for example, play texts, performance art, verbatim and documentary theatre. You will also engage with a range of theoretical approaches and perspectives.Read more
Teaching and assessment
We are renowned for our innovative teaching and assessment methods, which include modules that allow you to:
- perform in a variety of styles and settings
- create exhibitions or work in the community
- write your own stand-up routine or produce a variety show
- attend a variety of theatre shows and write reviews
- discover how the arts industry works
- learn how to watch performances and read texts critically
- learn about theatre from different times and cultures
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our graduates have developed careers as:
- literary managers
- 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
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.
We run the Kent Arts Network (KAN), which connects students, staff, alumni and friends from the creative industries. It gives you the chance to discover possible career paths and establish connections with current professionals.
The University’s Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:
- apply for jobs
- write a good CV
- perform well in interviews.
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.
For graduate prospects, Drama at Kent was ranked 8th in The Guardian University Guide 2018. Drama and Theatre at Kent was ranked 3rd in the UK for the percentage of students who found professional jobs or further study within six months of graduation in 2016 (DLHE).
According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £16,600.
I was never planning to do stand-up until I performed comedy at a student show. Instantly, it felt natural.Alex Smith Drama and Theatre BA
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
New GCSE grades
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
|Qualification||Typical offer/minimum requirement|
|Access to HE Diploma||
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
|BTEC Level 5 HND||
Distinction, Distinction, Merit
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
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.
34 points overall or 16 points at HL
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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
For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385.
Fees for Year Abroad
UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
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
General additional costs
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.