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COURSE OVERVIEW

  • Master the traits of well-built comedy: how to develop your own comedic voice, characters, structure and timing
  • Learn from internationally-renowned arts professionals and entrepreneurs
  • Perform in state-of-the-art studio, rehearsal and performance spaces
  • Study a unique and challenging degree where you quite literally have a good laugh

Artisanal puppeteer and circus unicyclist are a far cry from your average office based careers. They require passion, risk-taking and a degree of comedic panache. They also offer a glimpse of the rich variety of roles in the performing arts industry.

And, as a student in Comedy: Performance and Production at Winchester, you will be inspired to find your own role in the arts world through studying comic traditions, from Shakespeare to stand-up, devising performance sketches and learning practical production skills such as rigging lights and capturing sound and video.

Our dynamic and exciting degree has its fingertips on the pulse of today’s comedy. It focuses predominantly on the practical face of the comedy industry, embracing digital performance and the latest techniques. Our aim is to help you become a highly-skilled, creative and confident comedian and producer.

To help you achieve your goals, we have excellently equipped studio, rehearsal and performance spaces. The Performing Arts Studios are six bespoke spaces offering the latest technology for student productions. You work in groups to create original comedy performances and sketches, from ensemble acts to stand-up, improvisation, clowning and physical comedy.

We want you to experience real-world working productions, so you won’t be confined to campus. The Department of Performing Arts has built strong relationships with local venues including The Point in Eastleigh and the Theatre Royal Winchester, where student performances are often produced. You also attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, while staff and student productions take place throughout the year, some touring the country.

You are taught by our team of internationally-renowned comedians and artistic producers, actors, writers, directors, musicians and entrepreneurs, some of whom have worked on creative masterpieces such as Monty Python’s Life of Brian. We also bring in visiting professionals who give practical workshops and talks.

Over three years you explore the exciting variety of comedy forms, such as musical theatre and cabaret, and study the fascinating history and theory of comedy.

In Year 1, you study comic traditions, histories and contexts and learn to write for comedy.

Year 2 explores the creative development of dramaturgy, stand-up and other popular performance. You select three optional modules such as Digital Performance, Puppetry and Object Manipulation, and Immersive Performance. Naturally, plenty of time is reserved for performing a range of popular comedic forms, including clowning, commedia dell’arte and circus.

In Year 3, you work on a collaborative project, a creative production, complete a professional internship, and an in-depth study into a form of comedy that you are passionate about.

Comedy students go into a range of careers. Many become independent comedians or set up their own companies. Some audition for postgraduate training in drama schools, go into teacher training or find careers in the creative industries and businesses, where they are in demand for their left-field thinking skills.

Careers

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.

94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey).

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

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.

Study abroad

Our BA (Hons) Comedy and Performance Production course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA).

For more information see our Study Abroad section.

Learning and teaching

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.

Location

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

Assessment

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 can be found by attending an Open Day 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% coursework
0% written exams
50% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

22% coursework
0% written exams
78% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

96% coursework
0% written exams
4% practical exams

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

Feedback

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.

Further information

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

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

2018 Entry: 96-112 points

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

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

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Year 1: Level 4

Semester 1 Credits

Comic Traditions 30

This module explores the notion of carnival and applies it to a practical and theoretical consideration of comic texts from Greek comedy to the late Nineteenth Century. Examples may include: Aristophanes, Plautus, Shakespeare, Moliere, Restoration Comedy, Oscar Wilde. The perspective of carnival is used to explore tensions in different historical periods between dominant and ‘lower’ cultures and classes, as expressed through comedy.

Writing for Comedy 30

This module will examine different forms of writing for comedy through a mixture of tutor input, seminars and student-led work. There will be a study of comedy writing through existing texts and writing exercises; and there will be a conscious focus on contemporary comedy writing. The module will also contain screenings of existing comic performances (film and television), online media and listening to broadcast comedy. Alongside this students will study key theories of comedy writing. Students will develop an understanding of the approaches of various writers, and of the particular needs of this genre.

Making 30

This module takes students on a year-long journey that introduces them to the process of making Performance in the current artistic environment. Building on understandings of performance creation and composition developed at pre-University level, students will be guided, largely through practical workshops accompanied by appropriate critical and practitioner readings, through exercises and formative tasks in inventing new work that take them into the realm of the unknown and that help them expand their capacity to create unique and original creative material for their academic age and experience. This module is a university-level primer in creative and compositional technique for the ensemble group and will engage students in a range of strategies for making work, and will require extensive in-class showings and critical feedback sessions in preparation for the assessment.

Histories and Contexts 30

The module will be presented as a series of lectures introducing performance practitioners, concepts and their contexts, exploring how the history of ideas informed – and was informed by – social and cultural developments across cultures and art forms.

It will encourage the students to study its historical, cultural, social and political contexts through case study of key practitioners. It will actively question performance in all its manifestations and encourage students to build on their personal experience. By studying performance as ‘living history’ and placing the study firmly within these specific contexts, the students will be able to reference and manipulate the information to inform their own future creative work.

Semester 2 Credits

Writing for Comedy 30

This module will examine different forms of writing for comedy through a mixture of tutor input, seminars and student-led work. There will be a study of comedy writing through existing texts and writing exercises; and there will be a conscious focus on contemporary comedy writing. The module will also contain screenings of existing comic performances (film and television), online media and listening to broadcast comedy. Alongside this students will study key theories of comedy writing. Students will develop an understanding of the approaches of various writers, and of the particular needs of this genre.

Comic Traditions 30

This module explores the notion of carnival and applies it to a practical and theoretical consideration of comic texts from Greek comedy to the late Nineteenth Century. Examples may include: Aristophanes, Plautus, Shakespeare, Moliere, Restoration Comedy, Oscar Wilde. The perspective of carnival is used to explore tensions in different historical periods between dominant and ‘lower’ cultures and classes, as expressed through comedy.

Making 30

This module takes students on a year-long journey that introduces them to the process of making Performance in the current artistic environment. Building on understandings of performance creation and composition developed at pre-University level, students will be guided, largely through practical workshops accompanied by appropriate critical and practitioner readings, through exercises and formative tasks in inventing new work that take them into the realm of the unknown and that help them expand their capacity to create unique and original creative material for their academic age and experience. This module is a university-level primer in creative and compositional technique for the ensemble group and will engage students in a range of strategies for making work, and will require extensive in-class showings and critical feedback sessions in preparation for the assessment.

Histories and Contexts 30

The module will be presented as a series of lectures introducing performance practitioners, concepts and their contexts, exploring how the history of ideas informed – and was informed by – social and cultural developments across cultures and art forms.

It will encourage the students to study its historical, cultural, social and political contexts through case study of key practitioners. It will actively question performance in all its manifestations and encourage students to build on their personal experience. By studying performance as ‘living history’ and placing the study firmly within these specific contexts, the students will be able to reference and manipulate the information to inform their own future creative work.

Year 2: Level 5

Modules Credits

Stand Up 30

This module explores the techniques and practices of the professional stand-up comedian. Students will learn how to create an individual comic persona for performance, as well as reflecting upon and analysing a range of current stand-up styles. In the first half of the module students will undertake practical sessions enabling them to discover their individual stand-up style as well as a range of methods for creating material from devising to writing. In the second half of the module students will present scratch showings of their work in class to develop and refine their act towards the performance of a longer piece for a public audience in a professional venue  - The Railway (Winchester), The Art House (Southampton), The Comedy Club (Petersfield)).

Popular Performance 30

This module seeks to develop students’ awareness of the broad range of work that can be termed popular performance which extends beyond the genre of comedy. The focus will be predominantly on the theatrical traditions, which might include Circus and Clowning, Music Hall/Variety, Pantomime, Sketch-based comedy, Musical Theatre, Puppetry, but it may also examine Street Theatre. It may also include reference to the development of these traditions in the media. It attempts to provide a history and context for the study of these theatre styles, and to discover recurring themes and approaches in the construction of audience performer relationships. Students will study a small number of practices through discussion and practical experimentation.

Dramaturgy: Analysis and Creative Development 30

This module introduces students to a number of different critical and reflective methodologies in viewing and analysing and for creating texts and performance work. Thus the module develops students’ ability to discuss, analyse and structure content, both in terms of being viewers and critics as well as being makers of performance. It seeks to develop students’ reflective and analytical approach in order that they can engage with performance making as a process of investigation, reflection and exploration. It introduces students to the dramaturgical questions involved in developing a concept and proposal for performance.

The module introduces students to a range of approaches and maps the development from classical dramaturgy and narrative structures to the ‘new’ dramaturgies and compositional approaches found in contemporary cross-disciplinary performance practices.

This module will be undertaken as a series of presentations, seminar discussions and workshops leading to a presentation of analysis of text, film or performance (semester 1). The presentation should reflect a grasp of critical analysis and contextual awareness. The presentation can be a live presentation or written submission.

In semester two the module culminates in a presentation of performance concept (semester 2). The presentation should demonstrate and reflect a rigorous exploration of source material (an idea, theme, text, concept, etc.), and it should give a vivid sense of the project and should be underpinned by research and reflect a conceptual grasp and practical understanding. The presentation can be a live presentation or written submission.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules

Digital Performance – 15 Credits
Puppetry and Object Manipulation – 15 Credits
Physical Theatres – 15 Credits
Open Project – 15 Credits
Musical Theatre in the UK and USA – 15 Credits
Immersive Performance – 15 Credits
Contemporary Cultural Heritage – 15 Credits
Transcultural Practices – 15 Credits
Advanced Writing for Comedy – 15 Credits
Volunteering – 15 Credits

Year 3: Level 6

Modules Credits

Internship 30

This module facilitates the engagement of students with the world of work post-graduation. The module asks students to approach specific artists, companies, agencies, venues, production houses, media outlets, promoters, festival organisers, or other appropriate organisations to negotiate an internship that helps them explore a real-world work interest that has arisen in relation to the curriculum followed in the BA programme so far. In so doing, students develop skills in real-world self-presentation; in negotiation; in understanding the expectations of employers, collectives, agencies, production companies or venues with regards to employment; and to explore specific roles and career goals in the general realm of Performing Arts in order to critically evaluate their own development needs and to understand the ladders of experience they wish to begin to climb in order to ‘make’ their ideal career(s) happen.

Collaborative Project 30

This module explores project facilitation and implementation with specific focus on collaboration and process analysis. On this module students will shape, facilitate, organise and implement their own project, or participation in a project. This project can be within the university or within a professional context. The criterion for their project is that they are involved in a collaborative structure and process that involves team work, dialogue and negotiation. The aim is that students see themselves and their work and practice within a larger context, and that they develop an understanding of process. This will enable students to place and record their own practice, and that of others, in a wider and current context.

The collaborative project itself can be interpreted in different ways and ‘collaborative’ can be defined according to the specific project. For example the project can take the form of volunteering, or students can work with a member of staff or research student on a project, either as research assistant or other, or they can be involved in a performance project. They can also choose to direct or to devise a performance, however they will not be assessed on the performance. Delivery would be through supervision, discussion seminars as well as staff presentations on collaborations, process analysis and self-evaluation.

Creative Entrepreneurship and Production 15

Arts practitioners need to be aware of how their work is produced on a practical level, how to create productive and sustainable relationships with creative producers, how to become creative entrepreneurs and producers themselves, and to develop wide ranging skills associated with this function such as writing bids, funding applications and business plans. They may want to embrace the profession of creative producer as part of defining themselves as practitioners and to understand the problems associated with the tasks at a practical and artistic level.

The module will look at the function of the creative producer and entrepreneur both practically and critically, seeing the student as both creators and stakeholders within the wider infrastructure of creative production. They will present and defend a project to a panel. They will also apply their knowledge to negotiating their own collaborative projects.

Performance Now: Debates and Discourses 15

This module engages with current comedy practices, debates and discourses relevant to the study of various subject areas (interdisciplinary and devised performance, new writing, dance and vocal work). It thus places performance in a contemporary interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary context acknowledging the wider cultural and political dimensions which inform the diversity of performance practice and theory today.

The precise content of the module will depend on the issues of the day and students will be encouraged to bring in issues that have particular relevance to them.

Extended Independent Study: Portfolio 30

You will choose either the Extended Independent Study: Dissertation module, or the Extended Independent Study: Portfolio.

This module allows students the opportunity to negotiate the content of an individual portfolio of devised practical or written work. By arrangement the student may also undertake work-based learning. The module is supported by a compulsory series of debates about contemporary issues in Comedy to which students will contribute. The debates may inform content, structure, subject or methodology of the individual practice. Performance skills alone are insufficient to pass this module.

Extended Independent Study: Dissertation 30

You will choose either the Extended Independent Study: Dissertation module, or the Extended Independent Study: Portfolio.

It is intended to provide students who select this model for their Extended Independent Study with the opportunity to plan and implement an individual piece of research. Students will be required to submit a research proposal for consideration before moving to supervised learning. The outcomes of this individual research project will be a written document of 8,000 – 10,000 words,

In making proposals for the dissertation students will be required to demonstrate:

a) A clear rationale for the proposal
b) An understanding of the context
c) An ability to formulate relevant key questions
d) Ability to identify appropriate research methodologies
e) Emerging primary and secondary sources

Students will make their initial proposals during Semester 4.

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 www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees 

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK and EU students. 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. 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.

Full-time £9,250 p/a

Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)

UK/EU 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 £77.08 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 £6,938

International Students

Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)

International 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 £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.

 

ADDITIONAL COSTS

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:

Optional

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.

SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS

We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

UCAS code
W470
Duration
3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
Typical offer
96-112 points
Location
King Alfred or West Downs, Winchester