Please note, this course is not currently accepting applications for September 2023 entry.
- Collaborate and work with like-minded people to explore the full breadth of drama in both theory and practice
- 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 Ways of Seeing, Ways of Working and Applied Processes.
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.
The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021, HESA.
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
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.
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.
Our BA (Hons) Drama 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 and the wide range of services available to you within the University.
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.
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: 276 hours
Independent learning: 912 hours
Placement: 12 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 288 hours
Independent learning: 912 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
Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.
All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.
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)*:
0% written exams
83% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
0% written exams
68% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
0% written exams
57% 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.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures
2023 Entry: 96-112 UCAS tariff points
Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:
- A-Levels: CCC-BBC from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. CCC is comparable to BCD in terms of tariff points)
- BTEC/CTEC: MMM-DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications
- International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4
- T Level: Pass (C or above on the core) in a T Level
In addition to the above, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.
In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:
- GCSEs in Mathematics and English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further.
If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:
- IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry)
- We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT.
If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on the UCAS website which may be of interest.
Applicants to this course are expected to attend an interview at the University. Our Admissions Team will be in contact with further information about the format of the interview on receipt of your application.
Applicants from outside the UK can be interviewed via Skype if preferred.
Course Enquiries and Applications
Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message
International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to International@winchester.ac.uk or call
+44 (0) 1962 827023
Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.
Suitable Single Honours applicants are required to attend a workshop and group interview
Year 1 (Level 4)
This 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.
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.
|Devising Production Project||30|
This initial production module is designed to enable students to collaborate on a staff-led practice project leading to small group performances. Students will collaborate primarily as performers (though other roles may be negotiated within a given project) and will be introduced to current models of devising, particularly drawing on different forms of improvisation to create and shape the final performance assessment. Sessions on this module will be primarily in the form of workshops and rehearsals and students will engage with both critical enquiry and forms of performer training which can enable the production’s realisation through performance/staging. Emphasis will be on a collaborative mode of working. This module sits at the centre of the work in this Semester and will make connections and draw on the teaching in the students’ other modules.
|Text Production Project||30|
This text-based production module is designed to enable students to perform in a staff-led practice project leading to small group performances. Students will work primarily as performers (though other roles may be negotiated within a given project) and will be introduced to a range of ways of working with a selected text in order to create and shape the final performance assessment. Sessions on this module will be primarily in the form of workshops and rehearsals and students will engage with both critical enquiry and forms of performer training which can enable the production’s realisation through performance/staging. The chosen text will be considered in its historical and cultural context and students will be introduced to current adaptations and productions of the text. Both collaborative and individual modes of working will be used throughout the module. This module sits at the centre of the work in this Semester and will make connections and draw on the teaching in the students’ other modules.
This year long module will run alongside the Devising Production Project and Text Production Project and give students a grounding in devising and performance skills appropriate to those modules and live performance generally. The module will focus attention on the components to be utilised in creating and refining live performance. It will introduce students to the skills of physical, vocal and spatial improvisation as method of generating performance and as a tool for exploring written text. Students will examine the relationship between play and discipline as a key component in creativity. Though the module will complement the production projects it will also stand as an independent strand leading to its own performance assessment outcome.
This module focuses on the skills of the performance analysis, and the roles of audience, scholar and critic. Students are introduced to different modes of performance analysis. These modes include but are not confined to writing by the journalist critic, by the rapporteur of an event, academic paper, or extended article for a specific audience or publication. Students will then be asked to compile a series of critical responses on selected performances seen over the course of the module. Students are expected to compare, contrast and contextualise the performances. The responses form a single essay submission.
This module offers a study of drama, theatre and Performance ‘texts’ in different manifestations and different theatrical traditions. Students will learn to offer informed interpretations of drama presented and mediated in different ways. Whilst acquiring analytical skills and the vocabulary to articulate their analysis students will recognise the ways in which ideological constructs influence the making and reception of texts and an awareness of the ways in which fluidity of context can influence text and subtext.
Year 2 (Level 5)
|Ways of Seeing||15|
This module introduces students to a number of different critical and reflective methodologies in viewing and analysing and for creating texts and performance work. 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.
|Ways of Working||15|
This module covers the main processes involved in designing a research project in the field of performing arts. Students will be introduced to key theories and approaches to independent research and a range of possible projects including written and performance research. Students will be supported in the formulation of research questions and the positioning of their research in terms of relevant contexts. The aim is to develop a project proposal that has an appropriate scope, focus and methodological approach. The ethical implications and risk assessment requirements (where appropriate) for project work will be considered.
This module will focus on different workshop/facilitation/rehearsal practices and how they may be adapted for different needs and outcomes. The module at one level allows the students to become skilled in the basic areas of workshop facilitation, (inclusion, maintaining interest, transition of games and exercises into theatre making). Alongside this they will be invited and expected to sharpen an ability to be creative and critical in the same moment and pass on their critical and creative reflection to the group with which they are working. This module will consider how the outcomes of facilitation-based practice can be varied and broadly interpreted from working to a given end to allowing the product to be defined by the process. It may include theatre and education, site specific work, protest, street theatre and community work.
This module builds on the students understanding and ability to ‘apply’ their skills to making theatre as reflective, interventionist, and relating to specific audiences or communities. They will be invited to consider Drama, Theatre and Performance as a means of challenge, celebration, and empowerment. Building on their knowledge and experience of workshop techniques, as well as their own performance making techniques this module will allow the students to engage practically and theoretically with the notion of Drama, Theatre and Performance in its widest definitions.
Research will be undertaken into an audience/community/context identified by the students or already established. Students will create theatre for and/or with that context responding to its concerns and needs. The objective may be process based or product based depending on the context of the project; Similarly, the work may be predominantly workshop led or may be driven by the need for a performance outcome.
|Theatre & …||15|
This module explores specific aspects of drama, theatre and performance thematically. Drawing inspiration from the Palgrave Macmillan Theatre & (2009-2019 ongoing) series as a starting point. Themes featured in the series are wide-ranging and include such subjects as Theatre & Violence, Theatre & Feminism, Theatre & Inter-culturalism, Theatre & Sexuality, Theatre & Museums, Theatre & Race, Theatre & Prisons, Theatre & Empire, Theatre & the Digital, Theatre & Environment, for example. The module is designed for staff specialist research and practice to be delivered in a focussed delivery.
The module invites students to engage with a range of topics connected to staff research specialisms and practice research interests.
Artist(s) Specialism - 15 credits
Year 3 (Level 6)
|Extended Independent Study||30|
This module is intended to provide students with the opportunity to plan and implement an individual piece of research/practice research. Students will be required to submit a formative research proposal for consideration before moving to supervised learning. The outcomes of this individual research project will be a either a written document of 8,000 – 10,000 words, or a 4,000-5,000 word written document combined with a practice research outcome, or a practice research output (e.g. performance; series of workshops; play-text; performative presentation) with a negotiated artistic statement. By arrangement the student may also undertake work-based learning. The module is supported by a series of lectures covering theoretical and practice research methodologies in drama, theatre and performance. Performance skills alone are insufficient to pass this module.
|Company Production Project||60|
Company Production Project is a student led theatre-making project to be conceived and made in groups of varying sizes. Students form a theatre company and will define the nature of their investigation and/or interpretation within general guidelines, and take responsibility for negotiating its development within the group. Guided classes in a given year might cover devising strategies, participatory and applied approaches, processes of editing, embedding voice-work in your process, group dynamics, addressing the form/content relationship in project development. Staff will teach into the projects as appropriate to support the student’s choices during the first semester, and support and supervise for the duration of the remainder. Students participate in regular work-showings as part of their project development, and peer feedback is encouraged as part of that process. Students will be assessed for their choice and management of the project in relation to its objectives.
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.
Performance Now Advanced - 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 www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.
Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.
2023 Course Tuition Fees
|UK / Channel Islands /|
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland
|Optional Sandwich Year*||£1,385||£1,440|
|Total with Sandwich Year||£29,135||£45,540|
If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2023, 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 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.
UK 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 £6,935.
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 £122.50 and a 15 credit module is £1,837.
* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year. To find out whether this course offers a sandwich year, please contact the programme leader for further information.
**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.
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 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. Indicative costs are £50-£60.
If students undertake placements as part of their optional module choices in Years 2 & 3. They are responsible for their travel costs. Indicative costs are £50-£60.
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. Indicative cost is £30.
Students have the option to study a semester abroad in the USA in their second year of study. Indicative costs for flights is £900-£1,200.
Disclosure and Barring Service
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check may be required if you undertake a placement, volunteering, research or other course related activity where you will have contact with children or vulnerable adults. The requirement for a DBS check will be confirmed by staff as part of the process to approve your placement, research or other activity. The indicative cost is £40.
Printing and Binding
The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.
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
- On campus, Winchester