A group of student performing a play



This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Film and Journalism
City Campus
Three years full-time
Full-time; Part-time
Programme leader:
Dr Amanda Penlington
Key fact:
Choose from a wide selection of modules to focus on areas of theatre making that you're passionate about such as writing, directing, devising physical theatre and acting.

Page last updated 5 September 2019


Why study drama?

Increasingly, independent professional theatre is about making your own work.

A contemporary company needs to write, devise, direct, tech, and perform original theatre. Individuals may excel in one of these areas, but they also need a good working knowledge of everything else.

It's all about sharing skills and working as a group to create exciting live performances.

Why UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Drama is perfect for those who love theatre making and appreciate a challenge.

Work closely with our supportive theatre community to share ideas and work collectively on productions.

Develop your talent on a path of discovery through every facet of theatre. Choose from a wide selection of modules to become a theatre maker with a wealth of experience, abilities and creativity.

Focus on the areas of expertise you're passionate about such as writing, directing, devising physical theatre, and acting. Specialise in directing, technical theatre or writing and graduate with the degree title Drama with Creative Writing, Drama with Technical Theatre (subject to validation) or Drama with Theatre Directing (subject to validation).

You'll have a wealth of opportunities to develop personally and gain real-world experience. We work closely with the local theatre network and support you to form your own theatre company, producing your own extra-curricular work and making the most of our rehearsal and performance space.

As a writer, director, technician, and/or performer, you'll write, devise and produce original performances for your assessed final year projects, which will then be featured in our end of year public Degree Show. Specialist masterclasses led by staff and industry professionals will give you the chance to develop specific skills in areas such as puppetry, auditioning and stage combat.

City Campus is a creative powerhouse that spans the city of Bristol and is made up of Bower Ashton, Spike Island, Arnolfini and Watershed.

Drama uses specialist spaces at the Arnolfini and theatre facilities at Bower Ashton Studios.

Shaping the course towards the areas of theatre making you're most interested in, through your modules and assessments, you'll emerge as a confident and creative drama professional, one also equipped with soft skills such as collaboration, networking and organisation, and ready to thrive in the real world.

Where can it take me?

Graduate ready for a career in theatre, television, film or education.

You may also choose to progress to further study with one of the country's prestigious theatre schools such as the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Accreditations and partnerships:



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

  • Introduction to Actor Training
  • Introduction to Physical Theatre
  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • Introduction to Performance Texts and Contexts.

Year two

You will study four optional modules* from:

  • Acting for Stage
  • Devising Physical Theatre
  • Playwriting
  • New Shakespeares
  • Inventing Modernism.

Final year

You will study:

  • Final Year Project.

Plus three optional modules* from:

  • The Creative Writing Project
  • Acting for Screen
  • Avant-Garde Theatre
  • Contemporary British and American Drama.

*The combination will depend on your chosen course pathway.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

Learning and Teaching

Our staff come from a variety of theatre backgrounds around the world. We're committed to your personal development, and offer a unique curriculum with a variety of teaching methods.

There aren't any lectures or written exams - you'll be taught through three-hour workshops.

In your final year, you'll attend workshops dedicated to helping you put together applications and the audition process.

Develop your professional and creative practice, with practice-led teaching, access to leading facilities and plenty of professional input. 

Craft your research skills, working with academics and practitioners helping to shape new thinking in the field.

Develop enterprise skills, exploring different audiences and contexts for your work and building a compelling portfolio to take to employers.

In Year three, you can choose to either devise and produce a final year show, or work on a more traditional-style dissertation.

Your portfolio will be shaped towards the aspect of theatre you want to progress in, whether that's a showreel for acting, a portfolio for writing or a CV for directorial work.

Find out about our academic staff and their areas of expertise.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year

Get involved

The Drama Society is open to all students. It stages three or four shows a year, including a traditional pantomime and a large-scale summer production. The latter has previously travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

You'll get to audition for high-profile events such as the New Performance Festival at the Arnolfini.

Regular workshops by industry professionals offer valuable insights on everything from auditioning technique and acting Shakespeare, to puppetry and stage combat.

Apply for support through our Graduate Development Programme to access advice and scratch performance space, to keep your theatre company going after graduation.


The way your work will be assessed depends on which modules you choose.

You can be assessed through live and filmed performances, portfolios of writing, written reflections, presentations and essays. Every performance will be double or triple marked.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year



You'll have a wealth of opportunities to develop personally and gain real-world experience through our strong links with Bristol theatres.

Formal placements aren't part of the course but we encourage you to find your own extra-curricular work and provide open access to rehearsal and performance space.

Study facilities

BA(Hons) Drama is based at our City Campus in the heart of Bristol.

City Campus at Arnolfini offers studio and teaching spaces and technical facilities on Bristol's harbourside, as well as access to the ground floor auditorium for performance workshops.

You'll also use the resources available at other City Campus sites. This includes Bower Ashton Studios, which has a working theatre and houses the main library dedicated to the creative and cultural industries, as well as a number of student support services.

A mix of traditional and hands-on learning environments helps you quickly take on essential knowledge and skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

Tailoring what and how you study, you can shape the course towards the area of drama you want to move into.

Our graduates go onto careers in theatre, television, film, arts management, education and business (including marketing).

Some take postgraduate courses at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (BOVTS), the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

See also:

The Guardian - what to do with a degree in drama studies


There is currently no published fee data for this course.

Supplementary fee information

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
  • Relevant subjects: English, Theatre Studies, Arts and Social Science.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: No specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.
  • All applicants will also require:

  • GCSE subjects: Grade C/4 in English Literature or Language, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.

We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.

Entry requirements

International applicants

For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages. If you are applying to study at UWE Bristol and require additional support to meet our English language requirements, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

Selection process

Applicants will be required to attend an interview.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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