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: 

2017 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 (including 6.0 in academic 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

2017 Entry Full-time £9,250** 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 £77 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. 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 £6,939.
Total Cost: £27,750** (3 years) 

International Students

2017 Entry Full-time £11,600** p/a
Total Cost: £34,800** (3 years)

For further details click here

Additional costs: 

Additional costs per year of approximately £100 to cover trips, books and materials.

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):



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 2017/18 Home and EU students are £9,250 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.

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 is targeted at students who are:

  • Passionate about creating, writing and performing comedy
  • Creative, risk-taking and ready to learn through facing challenges
  • Excited about discovering the potential of comedy

The programme explores the exciting variety of comedy forms - from Shakespeare to stand-up, from clowning to creative writing, and includes studying the history and theory of comedy. Students focus on both group and solo comedy and study a broad range of comedy genres. To help students reach their goals, we have state-of-the-art studio, rehearsal and performance spaces.

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

In Year 1, students are introduced to a full range of practical performance skills and knowledge of the history and context of comedy. Students spend more than half their 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, students study a number of different critical and reflective methodologies in viewing, analysing and creating comedy. Students then focus on a module in which they create a stand-up performance. The third core module is about experimenting with a range of popular forms of comedy - for example, variety, clowning, commedia dell'arte, circus. Students are then given the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules. This wide range of options is designed so that comedy students are encouraged to develop and pursue their own particular interests within the broad field of comedy.

In Year 3, students explore a number of debates around issues in comedy and performance practice in the Performance Now: Debates and Practices module and have the opportunity to develop organisational, CV writing and business planning skills in Cultural Entrepreneurship and Production. Students then spend the majority of the year taking two other modules - to take part in a collaborative comedy performance or to take a professional internship.

Finally, all students undertake the Extended Independent Study - an independent study on a topic which students are passionate about. Comedy students may negotiate to present it as a performance, although students may also opt to present it as a dissertation of 8,000-10,000 words, or as shorter dissertation with a practical performance.

Students on the programme have the opportunity to create, produce, think about, discuss and critique a wide range of professional performances and comedy events. To support this we bring in visiting professionals to give practical workshops and talks. The programme has built strong relationships with local venues including The Point in Eastleigh and the Theatre Royal Winchester. Increasingly, student performances are produced at these venues. Students also have the opportunity to attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August with staff and students from across the Department of Performing Arts.


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

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

Year 2

  • 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
  • Volunteering

Year 3

  • 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

Students receive around 12 hours of contact time per week which includes practical workshops, lectures, seminars and individual tutorials. From the beginning of the programme the student is the creator of their own comedy work. Whilst the course is focussed on practice there are theory modules in which students are introduced to comedians and companies working in the field of comedy.

In addition, students must organise their own studying and find time for solo and group rehearsals, performances and reading. Throughout the three years of study, students gradually become independent learners, choosing to study the areas of comedy which interest them most.

The University aims to develop students as 'confident learners' by enabling them to acquire the knowledge and skills to excel in their studies and to be transferable to further studies or within the field of employment. Staff and students form a community of learners who, together and independently, seek to generate and exchange knowledge. Over the duration of their programme, students develop independent and critical learning, building confidence and expertise progressively through independent and collaborative research, problem solving, and analysis with the support of staff. Students take responsibility for their own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available. In addition to the formally scheduled contact time (i.e. lectures, seminars etc), students are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the programme team, personal tutors and the wide range of services available to students within the University.

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



Students study a combination of practice and theory through practical classes and workshops, lectures, seminars and tutorials. Individual and group performances are assessed as well as written work. Written work takes the form of essays, portfolios of work, websites and journals. Much of the written work is posted directly online.

The University is committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to students on their academic progress and achievement, enabling them to reflect on their progress and plan their academic and skills development effectively. Students are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from their course tutors and lecturers.

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.

Students 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 where they are in demand for their creative thinking and confidence in public speaking.

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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