BA (Hons) Comedy: Performance and Production

Comedy: Performance and Production at Winchester develops students' knowledge, skills and experience in the field of comedy within the performing arts, across a broad spectrum of media and contexts.

BA (Hons) Comedy: Performance and Production at University of Winchester

UCAS code: W470

Entry Requirements*

Typical offer: 

2018 Entry: 96-112 points

*UCAS has changed the way they calculate the tariff for courses starting in September 2017. Find out more about the new tariff.

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

Degree duration: 

3 years full-time; 6 years part-time

International Baccalaureate: 

25 points

If English is not your first language: 

Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing

Selection process:

Suitable applicants are required to attend an interview

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

2018 Entry Full-time £9,500** p/a
Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £79.17 and a 15 credit module is £1,187. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £7,125.

Total Cost: £28,500** (3 years)

International Students

2018 Entry Full-time £11,900** p/a
Total Cost: £35,700** (3 years) 

2018 fees are subject to approval by the University of Winchester Board of Governors.

For further details click here

Additional costs: 


  • Core texts: Multiple copies of core texts are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however due to limited availability students are recommended to purchase a copy for their own use. It is possible for students to buy second-hand copies. Cost £50. 
  • Live Performances: Students will be encouraged to attend live performance whenever they are able, to develop their understanding of Comedy performance.  Costs and travel expenses will need to be covered by the student. Cost £50.
  • Travel: Students may have the opportunity to perform at festivals and platforms in the region throughout their degree. Costs for travel and expenses will need to be covered by the student. Cost £50. 
  • Open Project Module: Students who choose the optional modules 'Open Project' (Level 5) and 'Internship' (Level 6), will be expected to pay for their own travel costs and other expenses should they incur them. Cost £50. 

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Other Information

Study abroad (optional):


Work Experience

In previous years, students have had the opportunity to attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August with staff and students from across the Department of Performing Arts.


Taught elements of the course take place on the King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World


The University has close links with the Theatre Royal Winchester and The Point, Eastleigh, among others.


Staff and student productions take place throughout the year, some touring the country.


This programme brings together staff expertise from such disciplines as drama, performing arts, street arts, creative writing and media production.

Student Satisfaction:

This is a new course and so there is currently no subject specific data on student satisfaction from graduates, nor any employability statistics. The data supplied has been drawn from wider subject areas. In addition, information on learning, teaching and assessment for parts of the course, which have not yet been taught, is estimated.

Pre-approved for a Masters:

University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.

Terms and Conditions 

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here

**Indicative Fees for 2018/19 Home and EU students are £9,500 per year. Whilst the inflationary fee increases in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Minister, they are still subject to formal parliamentary approval and the approval of The University of Winchester Board of Governors. International fees are still subject to approval from the University of Winchester Board of Governors.

If you are starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,500. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £28,500 (Home and EU), £35,700 (International). However, please be aware that this may change. Our fees will be reviewed annually before the academic year begins and in-line with Parliament's approval of inflationary increases or decreases to fees for institutions with high quality teaching. 

Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. You can find out more here.

If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future so make sure you know what is on offer to support you. 

Comedy: Performance and Production at Winchester offers a highly practical, dynamic and exciting programme which has its fingertips on the pulse of today's comedy.

The programme explores the exciting variety of comedy forms - from Shakespeare to stand-up, from clowning to comedy writing, and includes studying the history and theory of comedy. You focus on both group and solo comedy and study a broad range of comedy genres. To help you reach your goals, we have state-of-the-art studio, rehearsal and performance spaces and visiting professionals give practical workshops and talks.

Techniques and strategies are developed for a range of comedy practice including solo and ensemble performances, stand-up, improvisation, clowning and physical comedy. You work in groups to create original comedy performances and sketches, and develop your own characters within them. The performance or recording and editing of work for audiences constitute the practical elements of the course.

In Year 1, you are introduced to a full range of practical performance skills and knowledge of the history and context of comedy. You spend more than half your time creating group and solo performances, and the rest of the time discussing and writing about comedy from an analytical and historical perspective.

In Year 2, you study a number of different critical and reflective methodologies in viewing, analysing and creating comedy. You create a stand-up performance and experiment with a range of popular forms of comedy - for example, variety, clowning, commedia dell'arte and circus. You can choose from a range of optional modules designed to encourage you to develop and pursue your own interests within the broad field of comedy.

The final part of Year 3 entails the Extended Independent Study which you can present as a performance, a dissertation of 8,000-10,000 words, or a shorter dissertation with a practical performance.


The University offers excellent facilities for both performance and rehearsal. The Performing Arts Studios provide six bespoke spaces and offer the latest technology for student productions. The Studios are located on the King Alfred Campus close to the Performance Gymnasium and other facilities in the Bowers Building.

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Histories and Contexts
  • Making
  • Comic Traditions
  • Writing for Comedy

Year 2

Core modules:

  • Dramaturgy: Analysis and Creative Development
  • Popular Performance
  • Stand-up

Optional modules:

  • Digital Performance
  • Puppetry and Object Manipulation
  • Physical Theatres
  • Open Project
  • Musical Theatre in the UK and USA
  • Immersive Performance
  • Contemporary Cultural Heritage
  • Transcultural Practices
  • Advanced Writing for Comedy
  • Volunteering

Year 3

Core modules:

  • Extended Independent Study (Dissertation or Portfolio)
  • Performance Now: Debates and Discourses
  • Creative Entrepreneurship and Production
  • Collaborative Project
  • Internship

For further information about modules, please view the course leaflet (see right hand side).

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above. 

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market. 

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 240 hours
  • Independent learning: 960 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 288 hours
  • Independent learning: 912 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 84 hours
  • Independent learning: 588 hours
  • Placement: 528 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course. 

Key features of the student experience are performance modules and assessment, professional internships, workshops from international professional Artists, and the chance to work with staff on their own performance projects and research activities.

Programme Leader

Dr Richard Cuming is a performer, director, deviser and teacher whose specialism is in physical and visual performance and the synthesis of different forms, including clown and popular performance.

Teaching team

Stephen Hall is an actor, writer and director, as well as a consultant to the creative and cultural industries. His teaching and research is focused on popular forms of theatre and performance.

Janet Lee is a physical theatre performer and puppeteer whose specialist areas are Physical and Visual Theatre. She has directed for and performed with Strange Arrangements for the past 10 years as well as collaborating with Australian puppetry company Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

John Lee is Artistic Director of Fuse Performance and a consultant to companies such as Kneehigh Theatre Company. He has toured in over 35 countries as a performer and street artist with the British Council and is Co-founder of the first Circus School in Britain.

Bernard McKenna has been a comedy scriptwriter, producer and actor for TV and film. He co-wrote with Monty Python's Graham Chapman and played several parts in Monty Python's Life of Brian. He has written hundreds of half hour comedies and has also produced three TV series. He co-wrote and appeared in several of John Cleese's comedy training films. He has recently finished writing a 'seriously funny' feature length screenplay.

Steve Solloway is a flautist and composer. His specialist academic interests are in soundscape, music improvisation and composition.

Dr Olu Taiwo teaches both dance and performance in a virtual setting and has a background in Fine Art. He is an actor, dancer and drummer.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures library



Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

  • 50 per cent coursework
  • 0 per cent written exams
  • 50 per cent practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

  • 22 per cent coursework
  • 0 per cent written exams
  • 78 per cent practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

  • 96 per cent coursework
  • 0 per cent written exams
  • 4 per cent practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Graduates become performers, directors, producers, comedy writers, teachers or workshop leaders. A number of graduates have set up their own comedy-based theatre/ performance companies, while others have entered careers in the creative industries and business.

For more information about graduate employment visit - From Freshers to Future - what will yours be?


The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

While DLHE provides accurate information about first destinations, this data needs to be viewed with some degree of care. Six months after leaving university is often a time of much uncertainty and change for leavers; many will be unsure of their long-term career plans and may take a temporary job or time out. The destinations of graduates only six months out of university do not necessarily reflect longer term career success and are therefore a crude measure of employability. Therefore, DLHE data should be viewed as merely a 'snapshot' of one particular year's experiences at a specific point in time.

At the University of Winchester, we are committed to ensuring all our students gain employability skills to enable you to enter graduate level jobs and pursue the profession of your choice, for more information please read the Employability Statement.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
UK and EU Students:Send us a message

International Students

International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to or call +44 (0)1962 827023

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