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  • Collaborate and work with like-minded people to explore the full breadth of drama in both theory and practice
  • Drama achieved 96% overall satisfaction as rated by final-year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey
  • Enjoy opportunities to act, direct and devise performance work, while studying a range of theatrical traditions and critical theory
  • Gain core skills in communication and team building valued in a variety of employment contexts including the theatre, the creative industries, education and beyond
  • Benefit from excellent working partnerships with local venues, festivals and theatre companies

Ever since the ancient Greeks took to the stage, drama has been used as a mirror, a sounding board or a radical tool to invite or require a society to confront the most pressing (and often most controversial) issues of the day. Our Drama degree allows you — as a passionate individual who cares deeply about these issues and gets a buzz from working together with like-minded people — to explore your own creative world through performance.

Drama at Winchester offers a rich combination of practical workshops and critical theory delivered by an experienced team of academics well versed in the arts of devising, directing, acting and studying theatre. We have excellent working partnerships with local venues, festivals and theatre companies. You also have the chance to acquire an impressive range of creative, critical and practical skills that will open the door to a future in the performing arts world and other graduate careers.

The course has a contemporary focus but reviews the histories and traditions of theatre and performance, often with an emphasis on text-based drama. The extent to which drama can be a tool for social change, in applied and community contexts, is explored, and you can also learn how drama can be used within the educational system to enhance learning.

In Year 1, you gain insights into the history of drama, the context in which dramatic production has taken place, take a practice-based module in the nuts and bolts of theatre-making, consider the political underpinning of texts and practices, and analyse the ways in which performances, on stage and on screen, are viewed and interpreted.

In Year 2, you extend your practical and critical skills and construct an experience of your own from a range of programme specific modules, including Controversy and Censorship, Theatre in Education, and Digital Performance.

Year 3 focuses on both an extended independent project and a group project. The latter involves creating a small company with fellow students to produce a major performance or develop an applied/educational project. You also elect a specialist option focused on staff research interests. These range from creative entrepreneurship to autobiographical performance and representations of violence on stage and screen.

Graduates have gone on to start their own theatre companies or perform in theatre. They have also found work in areas such as Theatre in Education, community drama, drama therapy, arts development, teaching and the media.


Graduates have gone on to start their own theatre companies or work as practitioners, perform in theatre, work in Theatre in Education (TIE), community drama, applied contexts and drama therapy. Many graduates go on to work in arts development, teaching and the media. Students have also gone on to a wide variety of career destinations building on their core skills in communication and team-building. The programme also provides a firm foundation for postgraduate study or further training.

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.

Suitable for Applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work Placements

Students have the opportunity to work in local venues or with graduate and associate companies. Student placements are also available in the fields of drama, theatre in education, and applied and community contexts.

Field Trips

We organise incursions and excursions to see performances. Some tickets are free. Other ticket costs are kept to a minimum. Sometimes travel costs to travel to theatre will need to be paid by the student. Cost £30.

Study Abroad

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

Study abroad (optional):

America (New York State or Virginia)

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: 288 hours
Independent learning: 912 hours

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

Teaching, learning and assessment: 288 hours
Independent learning: 876 hours
Placement: 36 hours

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

Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
Independent learning: 936 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course. 

Key features of the student experience are:

  • Student placements in the field of Drama/Theatre-in-Education and Applied/Community contexts
  • Our Open Project module which allows students to pursue a project of their choosing with staff mentoring.
  • The opportunity to undertake the University of Winchester's Research Apprenticeship Programme (WRAP) which enables students to work with academics on a genuine research project, so that they engage first-hand in cutting-edge scholarly activity and build vital transferable skills for their future.
  • Study abroad opportunities


King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester.


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% coursework
0% written exams
50% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

66% coursework
0% written exams
34% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

85% coursework
0% written exams
15% 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.

Further information

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


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 or equivalent

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
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

Visit us

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

Additional Requirements

Suitable Single Honours applicants are required to attend a workshop and group interview

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Critical Viewing 30

This module offers a study of drama and performance from different media and different traditions of theatre, performance and film-making work. Students will develop a critical vocabulary which will enable them to offer informed interpretations of both live performances and recorded media, primarily film and TV. Through acquisition of analytical skills and an introduction to aspects of relevant critical theory, students will recognise the way in which philosophy, history and ideology have influenced the development of theatrical and certain cinematic forms and conventions and develop an awareness of the way in which fluidity of context can influence text and subtext.

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. 


Politics of Performance 30

This year-long module introduces various approaches to the notion of performance; beginning with an interrogation of the very essence of what 'performance' actually is, using examples from communities, rituals, games, global spectacles and practices of everyday life. Through studying contemporary and historical examples the module becomes a discussion of performance practices and challenges in experiences of spectatorship.

The development of theatre and its relationship to political contexts and agendas will be particularly examined alongside the work of key practitioners who have sought to create theatre in non-theatre spaces, or expanded definitions of what theatre or performance space is. The idea of politics will be further interrogated by investigating the ways in which place and culture impact on the making and reception of a performance.

The module will also encourage students to examine the way that theatre specifically and culture generally has impacted on the creation of their own identity and 'worldview'. They will be invited to examine the way that personal politics are related to wider politics systems and agendas, particularly focusing on how this is subsumed or subverted in theatre.

There are two assessment points in the module, There is an essay, where students can reflect on and expand on some of the issues that they have encountered during the module. There is also a workshop/presentation that allows students to experiment in practice with some of the ideas and methods that they encountered during the module. Depending on the structure of the module in any given year either assessment may come first or last.

Theatre Histories 30

This year-long module invites students to consider the contexts in which theatre is made today and has been made in the past.

A number of texts will be explored in different contexts exploring different historical moments. The issue of the ephemerality of performance will be considered as textual and contextual materials and evidence are analysed. The key focus will be uncovering and understanding the complexity of the relationship between texts and contexts.

The module will introduce debates in theatre historiography and offer methodologies for investigating theatre and its histories. A range of texts from different moments in theatre history and will be explored with the emphasis on performance in Britain. This module will encompass a breadth of theatre history whilst allowing for detailed case study work.

There are two assessment points connected to this module:

  • An essay building from seminar presentation work
  • A practical performance

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Twentieth Century Ghosts: Theatre, Time, Identities 30

This year-long, double module will examine the various ways in which drama and performance have shifted and developed during the long twentieth century and how these shifts prepare the ground for contemporary drama and theatre. The module builds on outcomes achieved and skills developed at Level 4 in Theatre Histories and in Politics of Performance. It is a module that introduces students to various turning points in 20th century theatre history, while allowing them to explore the resonances between experimentation in theatre practice and the writings/dramaturgies of the century.

It will examine the ways in which theatre both responded to and resonated with the shifting political and cultural context of the long twentieth century (from late C19th to early C21st). We will engage with examples of theatre texts, practitioners and theorists, from the UK and elsewhere, to explore the role of theatre in people’s attempt to understand the world in which they live. Placing at the heart of the module the idea of ghosting – both as a conceptual framework that recognizes theatre’s engagement with memory, time and repetition as well as ghosts as motives that return in dramatic texts – the module offers both a history and a theoretical reading of 20th century theatre. Navigating the material thematically around notions of ‘time’ and ‘identity’, the module will engage with debates around changing concepts of theatre and performance with close reference to plays and practitioners from different movements and genres.

There are three assessment points in this module. The first one is a research essay; the second one is an in-class oral proposal/pitch of a research project, chosen by each student in consultation with a member of the teaching team. The third assignment is the independent research project, which can be either individual or group.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules

Shakespeare & Ideology 30 Credits
Production Project 30 Credits
Popular Performance 30 Credits
Theatre and Cultural Difference 30 Credits
Controversy and Censorship 30 Credits
Theatre as Cultural Action 30 Credits
Role of the Actor - Intermediate 15 Credits
Role of the Actor – Advanced 15 Credits
Theatre-in-Education and Drama-in-Education 30 Credits
Digital Performance 30 Credits
Writing for Performance 15 Credits
Puppetry and Object Manipulation 30 Credits
Physical Theatres 30 Credits
Performance Criticism 15 Credits
Open Project 30 Credits
Musical Theatre in the U.K. and U.S.A 30 Credits
Immersive Performance 30 Credits
Contemporary Cultural Heritage 30 Credits
Transcultural Practices 30 Credits

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Performance Now: Debates and Discourses 15

This module engages with current performance practices, debates and discourses relevant to the study of various subject areas (interdisciplinary and devised performance, new writing, theatre, 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.

Group Project: Theatre as Cultural Action 30

This module will enable students to draw on theatre and performance practices and/or applied drama and theatre practices introduced or explored across the first and second years of the Drama programme. The aim of the module is for students to work as a company to develop oral and visual narrative and discourse; research a context and a subject matter; identify processes of production and reception; understand cultural and aesthetic theories of intervention and participation; employ group work strategies;
initiate relevant workshop practices and structure their development; evaluate the effectiveness of process and anticipating a range of subsequent practice.

Three broad categories or models of group project are envisaged. All models will be expected to employ a range of appropriate research methods:

  • representation and/or recuperation of a second group;
  • facilitation of a second group to represent themselves;
  • intervention with a group, institution or issue.

Within the module, students will be able to select a specific project-type and will receive several weeks of input in the early stages of the module that will help to frame and generate material for their project. Work on this module is primarily student-led. Students are expected to conduct independent research, practical and theoretical, as part of the process of generating their company performance/project.

Each group will be expected to focus upon and articulate the central argument of their work. Emphasis is placed upon the development of an appropriate relationship between form and content. Students will be expected to defend their use of form whether the project involves intervention within a conventional form or an entirely experimental piece.

Extended Independent Project 30

This double module is intended to provide students 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 either 10,000 words, or 5,000 words written document and a documented PAR (Practice as Research) component to be presented in edited format on DVD, length and content to be negotiated on a project by project basis.

In making proposals for the Extended Independent Project 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. Individual supervisors will be assigned in Semester 5 and an appropriately developed research proposal will be required by supervisors in the first half of semester 5. Classes to support EIP work will be offered over the course of the module.

Optional Credits

Optional modules

Group Project 30 Credits
Performance Now: Advanced Research Practice 15 Credits
Creative Entrepreneurship and Production 15 Credits
Body Parts 15 Credits
Theatre Stories 15 Credits
Women, Autobiography and Performance 15 Credits
British Theatre 1945-2015 15 Credits
Volunteering 15 Credits

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.

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:


Core texts

Core Texts are available from the University Library; however some students prefer to purchase their own copies. Some Core Texts can be bought second hand, or as an eBook which can often reduce this cost. Cost £50-£60. 


If students undertake placements as part of their optional module choices in Years 2 & 3. They are responsible for their travel costs. Cost £50-£60. 

DBS Check

Students will need to pay for the Disclosure and Barring Service fee if they chose an optional module where they carry out work in a school or other community context. This will either be in the second or third year of study. £44 current cost of check. 


We organise incursions and excursions to see performances.  Some tickets are free. Other ticket costs are kept to a minimum.  Sometimes travel costs to travel to theatre will need to be paid by the student. Cost £30. 

Study abroad

Students have the option to study a semester abroad in the USA in their second year of study. Costs vary.

Course Specific Bursaries/ Scholarships

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 page.  

Key course details

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