School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Practice

Take centre stage - break the boundaries in a vibrant and creative environment that encourages interdisciplinary and multimedia approaches to performance. Become a skilled practitioner with a focus on physical performance, confident use of your voice, collaboration and critical awareness. You’ll develop a spirit of curiosity that extends beyond the traditional, embracing alternative approaches to performance making. Professional development throughout will open up exciting career possibilities.

We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2018 return showing 100% of students found our staff are good at explaining things. 100% found the course intellectually stimulating, and all of our student respondents expressed overall satisfaction with the course.*

Thumb conservatorire 640x640

Join Plymouth Conservatoire

This programme is delivered through Plymouth Conservatoire - a unique partnership between the University and Theatre Royal Plymouth, providing training and professional experience that will set talented students apart in today’s arts and creative industries.

Plymouth Conservatoire

Conservatoire Academic Excellence Bursary

This £1,000 bursary is awarded in recognition of outstanding academic achievement to all first year students enrolling in 2019 who achieve 144 UCAS tariff points or above.

Apply through Clearing for September 2019

Clearing is the last opportunity to achieve a place this September.

If you are yet to apply to the University of Plymouth you can pre-register for Clearing to receive priority treatment on results day.

Apply through Clearing

Key features

  • Teaching may be delivered solely at University of Plymouth campus or a combination of specialist spaces at the University and the rehearsal and educational spaces at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • In the 2018 National Student Survey 100 per cent of students agreed that staff have made the subject interesting and 100 per cent agreed that they have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities, or rooms when needed. According to the 2018 DLHE survey, 100 per cent of students were in work/study six months after finishing the course*.
  • Be among the first to experience our stunning, new, purpose-built performing arts facility, The House.
  • Develop a strong career portfolio with work-based learning and professional development opportunities that will boost your skills and expertise, and enhance your employability.
  • Benefit from the breadth of the course which explores different aspects of theatre and performance, embracing contemporary, alternative, interdisciplinary and multimedia approaches. You can also try your hand at devising your own performances - work with professional practitioners and explore your own style.
  • Advance your creative practice with talks, master classes and workshops with visiting companies and internationally recognised performers; in the past these have included Action Hero, Low Profile, John Nettles, Wildworks, Lone Twin, Earthfall and Robert Lyons.
  • Perform with our graduate touring company that visits schools and colleges across the country, mentoring young people.
  • Enrich your experience at Plymouth with the opportunity to attend shows and performances by well-known practitioners and companies, both locally and in London, or study overseas with our exchange programme.
  • Benefit from free texts provided in year one, intensive residency with a visiting company in year two (past residencies have included Gecko, Analogue Theatre Company and Liz Aggiss), and a production budget available for your final degree performance.
  • Build up your studio practice time with intensive teaching delivery and production rehearsals, giving you the same experience you’d gain with a professional theatre company.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll focus on developing the tools to both examine and create performance. You’ll concentrate on the performer-audience relationship, improvisation, play, and the use of space and the body. You will acquire core performance skills including voice, movement and working with text. Your practical sessions will be supported by seminars and lectures in performance language and theory, while you explore different approaches to performer training.

    Core modules
    • DRAMA421 Devising Toolkit 1: Improvisation and Creativity

      The module identifies and explores the dynamics between the key elements of performance through the medium of improvisation, fundamental to all forms of 'live' theatre and performance. The module places the study of theatre and performance within a contemporary context by exploring the discourse of and tension between naturalism and non-naturalism in 20th century performance theory and practice.

    • DRAMA422 Theatre Making and Collaborative Processes

      Launching the first year of the Theatre & Performance programme, this module will offer an intensive learning experience designed to explore the specific of studying a practically driven subject at degree level. Through the development of a range of critical and analytical skills, the student will be introduced to material that will encourage them to reflect upon their role as an embodied learner.

    • DRAMA424 The Body in Performance

      This module positions all performance practice as the product of its own specific cultural setting. Aiming to resist a Western-centric approach, the module explores performances from different cultures whilst providing a context and awareness of the key issues and debates surrounding intercultural/cross-cultural theory and practice. It problematises the issues of theatre, culture and ideology: the politics and problems of cultural contact and exchange.

    • DRAMA430 Performance Spaces and Environments

      The module identifies the dynamics between the key elements of performance within the context of the devising and generation of 'live' theatre practices. The module places the study of theatre and performance within a contemporary context by exploring the discourse of and tension between naturalism and non-naturalism in 20th century performance theory and practice.

    • PLYCO423 20th Century Performance Practices

      This module comprises both a lecture and a workshop series that surveys the key elements of dance, theatre and performance, including the terminology and discourses that help to develop a critically engaged practice. It includes an introduction to contemporary and historical theories and debates, while offering students an introduction to appropriate modes of study, research, devising and workshop skills.

    • PLYCO425 Devising Toolkit 2: Ensemble Practice

      This module will focus on developing the skills necessary to work in a successful ensemble context, exploring the practice and examines the creative processes involved in the crafting and devising of performance work. Through workshop study, a creative understanding of the physical and mental processes necessary in theatrical presentation will be established.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll explore a diverse range of performance practices working intensively with a professional theatre company. Within these practices you’ll focus on structure, style, form, context and cultural significance. You will advance your creative practice in performance workshops, master classes and intensive study with a range of expert academics. You’ll also get the chance to direct and lead your own creative project.

    Core modules
    • DRAMA526 Performance Skills

      This module will enhance the development of a number of performance skills (such as the use of the voice and the exploration of specific movement techniques) necessary for the successful creation of contemporary performance. Through workshop study, students will embark in a creative exploration of physical and mental processes engaging thus with the notion of Performer Training as a systematic and rigorous process.

    • PLYCO501 Performance Making

      This module explores practically the work of major practitioners and introduces key theories that have impacted upon contemporary theatre making. Through practice and contextual study, stu-dents will explore the implications of ideological, cultural and social codes for contemporary per-formance makers. This study will culminate in the production of a performance exploring the work of a chosen practitioner, or generic style.

    • PLYCO522 Theatre Residency

      This module addresses collaborative and interdisciplinary practice. It is a practical and studio-based module that emphasises the development and presentation of student-led work and collaboration across year groups.

    • PLYCO523 Performance Practices

      This module encourages students to find their creative voice through the exploration and application of a specific performance practice. Students will develop and practically interrogate the skills and understandings that establish specific forms of contemporary performance practice as both skilled activities and culturally significant artistic statements.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll focus on your own areas of interest. You’ll develop advanced performance practice and prepare for your final degree showcase. You will also work closely with your supervisor in group seminars and practical tutorials to produce a research project that is completed as either a written dissertation or a practical performance piece. A strong focus on employability and professional development will prepare you for a variety of theatre and performance-related careers.

    Core modules
    • PLYCO610 Performance Research

      Students will plan and conduct a research enquiry relevant to the application, practice and study of performance (including acting, dance, theatre, live art, and cross-form practices). Through lectures, workshops and tutorial guidance, students develop appropriate ways of collecting, analysing, documenting and organising material to present and evidence their research process and findings. Projects can be articulated in one of three ways; lecture demo, practice as research or dissertation.

    • PLYCO613 Main Stage Production

      Working in self -selected groups students will identify significant aspects of contemporary performance practice to inform their own creative process. Students will explore the implications of this research for their own practice in order to produce a performance work with a contemporary resonance.

    Optional modules
    • DRAMA601 Advanced Performance Training

      The module fosters deep understanding and practical knowledge of a form/approach to performance training. Through expert-lead practice, students will experiment with techniques, strategies and approaches to training that will help them to develop and deepen their understanding of skills germane to a specific style.

    • DRAMA614 Cultural Embodiment

      Students will pursue research into a topic of contemporary relevance to performance theorists and/or practitioners that consolidates aesthetic, social, historical and cultural products. This approach recognises the interdependency of related disciplines and also the role of theatre and performance processes in the production of culture in its widest sense.

    • PLYCO616 Professional Placement and Practice

      In this module students will be asked to identify a specific professional working relationship, for example mentor/project/ liaison or context, to work in. This initiative should reflect the students' personal development planning aims and needs and support their career ambitions and life long learning.

    • PLYCO617 Applied Practices: Community, Education and Wellbeing

      This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences within the realm of the student's employability. Through seminars and independent practice, the student will take an initiative in directing their future endeavours regarding employability within the field.

    • PLYCO618 Festival Practices

      This module will support students' entry into the wide field of the creative industries through the careful planning and execution of a professional quality performance product. Working in small companies, students will be expected to define their particular area of interest. In dialogue with supervising tutors, students will negotiate their role within the company, and articulate how their contribution will lead towards the development of performance material commensurate to professional practice.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Drama and Theatre Practice Programme Specification 2019 20 6736

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104

A level
A minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted

International Baccalaureate
26 points. If overseas and not studying English within IB, must have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all other elements. As a standard, all applicants are required to interview before an offer is made.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably performing arts, humanities or combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

GCSE
Mathematics and English Language grade C.

English language requirements.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.


An audition workshop is a requirement for entry onto this course.

Find out more about how to prepare for your audition

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU To be confirmed £9,250
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Conservatoire Academic Excellence Bursary

This £1,000 bursary is awarded in recognition of outstanding academic achievement to all first year students enrolling in 2019 who achieve 144 UCAS tariff points or above. The bursary takes the form of a cash payment and will be paid in three instalments over the year.

Eligible students can only receive one bursary in any given academic year. Should you qualify for two or more, you will only be entitled to receive whichever has the highest value.

Find out more

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts and Humanities additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Welcome to Plymouth Conservatoire

Get the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice as well as unrivalled access to professional opportunities.


Training: Physical Techniques

See our Advanced Performer Training module in action with Dr Victor Ladron de Guevara, Lecturer in Theatre and Performance.


Welcome to your own purpose built theatre:

The House

The University of Plymouth committed £7 million to building The House, a purpose built theatre on campus – and now the teaching home to Plymouth Conservatoire. 

A state-of-the art building, built to the very highest technical and sustainable specification, this award winning facility is a fully-accessible building with a 200-seater auditorium, a studio theatre and rehearsal spaces.

Come in to The House


<p>The House stage</p>
The House stage
<p>The House stage viewed from above</p>
The House stage from above
<p>The House studio</p>
The House studio
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 307</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 307
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 306</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 306
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 308</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 308

Student voice, Alix Harris

"Challenging intellectually and physically, the course opens your eyes to new ways of thinking and viewing theatre. It not only shapes you as a theatre maker but as a person. Thanks to this course I am now working in a profession that I love."

Alix works at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth.

Visit the Barbican Theatre website

People

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.

The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.