School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Drama with Foundation

UCAS tariff 32 - 48
UCAS course code W404
Institution code P60
Duration

4 years

(+ optional placement)
Course type

Full-time

Study location Plymouth

Take centre stage with a degree in drama at Plymouth, where you’ll work with experts from the University, the renowned Theatre Royal Plymouth and the wider industry. Plymouth itself will become your stage as you put together your own productions across the city. Immerse yourself in how things work both on and off stage. Learn by doing, taking on the challenge of staging a full-length play – from bidding for funding to the final performance in the University’s award-winning theatre.

Drama with Foundation

Careers with this subject

Benefit from a diverse and broad-spectrum programme, equipping you with a breadth of theatre-making expertise and transferable skills.
As a graduate you can pursue careers in performance and arts industries, as well as in teaching, research, arts management and administration.

Key features

  • Benefits of a foundation year. If you don’t quite hit the tariff for UCAS points for our 3-year course, our foundation year will provide you with a solid base of skills and experience to progress from.
  • Integrated part of a performing arts degree at Plymouth. Completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification its own right but will provide access to Year 1 of your degree.
  • Facilities. Rehearse and train in a world-class and fully accessible award-winning theatre and studio space – The House. Access all areas of theatre with our dedicated Tech team.
  • Placements. Access to our dedicated Placements Officer and Theatre Royal Plymouth's professionals, placements, internships and volunteering opportunities. 154 placements this year for directors, producers, practitioners and performers including with paid placements with Jermyn Street Theatre (West End), Kneehigh and at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
  • Talks, master classes and workshops. Advance your creative practice with visiting companies and internationally recognised performance artists; in the past these have included Action Hero, Low Profile, John Nettles, Wildworks, Lone Twin, Earthfall and Robert Lyons.
  • Free theatre visits scheme. Enrich your experience with the opportunity to attend shows and performances by well-known practitioners and companies.
  • Free key texts. Benefit from free texts provided in your first year.
  • Your degree will be taught by passionate people with experience from a wide range of academic and industry backgrounds who are driving real change in their fields.
This course is an integrated part of the BA (Hons) Drama degree at the University of Plymouth. Successful completion of your foundation year (Year 0) will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right but provides progression onto Year 1 of BA (Hons) Drama, or one of the following degree courses:

Course details

  • Foundation year

  • Explore a wide range of performance practices which will offer you a solid base for your BA degree in Drama. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive and professional environment, and the confidence to know how to use it.

    Core modules

    • Introduction to Performance Training (THPF3001)

      This module fosters the development of vocal and movement skills and the application of performance techniques necessary for the successful creation of contemporary performance. Through regular workshop study, students will embark on a creative and practical exploration of the physical and mental processes embedded in core traditions of actor, dance, drama and musical theatre training.

    • Introduction to Individual Performance Project (THPF3002)

      Students will undertake, with supervision, an individual project related to their study of performance and research into the social, cultural, historical and political context of a chosen play text and its original performance. As part of the module, students will gain research and time management skills that will support their successful progression through their degree programme.

    • Introduction to Performance Studies (THPF3003)

      The module will provide an overview of key historical shifts in theatre, dance and performance practices and will examine the way in which they have influenced contemporary performance making. In this module, students learn written, theoretical, analytical and conceptual skills that will support them in their Performing Arts degree.

    • Introduction to Performance Making (THPF3004)

      This module introduces a range of theatre, dance and performance making methods to develop students’ understanding of the relationship between process and performance. Students will be required to research relevant processes and practices through ensemble performance work. Through regular workshops, students will embark on a creative exploration of the physical, vocal and mental processes embedded in actor, dance and drama training.

  • Year 1

  • Learn foundational skills and concepts about theatre and performance, and apply these in studio spaces and practical tasks. Learn how to examine and evaluate performance, and how to raise the standard of your own performance work.

    Core modules

    • Self and Character (ACT4004)

      This module is all about preparing actors to work in a profession with certain innate dangers to personal mental and physical health. The process of adopting a character and enacting a role can mean that actors have to negotiate some very personal feelings and experiences. Giving students tools to do this is in a healthy and sustainable way is what this module is all about. This module will include 2, 2 hour talks that introduce our School and programme level employability related opportunities and support, including details of the optional placement year.

    • Devising Toolkit 1: Improvisation and Creativity (DRA4001)

      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.

    • The Body in Performance (PER4001)

      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.

    • Devising Toolkit 2: Ensemble Practice (PER4002)

      This module will focus on developing the skills necessary to work in a successful ensemble context, exploring the practice and examining 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 performance presentation will be established.

    • Theatre Criticism (PER4003)

      The module is all about going to the theatre to see exciting new work, analysing the performances and their critical reception, and then writing your own theatre reviews for a range of platforms and publications. You will read and evaluate professional critics' writing on significant productions from theatre history and assess and decode the cultural politics at play in theatre's public and critical reception.

    • Theatre Making and Collaborative Practice (DRA4003)

      This module will explore how group collaboration can enable theatre makers to co-create contexts for their performances. Through the development of critical and creative methods of close reading, students will analyse dramatic texts and collaborate to construct the physical environments of their performance and the characterisations that drive dramatic action.

  • Year 2

  • Work intensively with theatre companies in residence and experiment with your chosen styles and genres of performance-making. Make and perform work in theatre spaces and in alternative performance sites.
    For students entering Level 4 of their programme in academic year 2024/25 optional non-credit rated modules SSC500 and SSC600 will not be available in 25/26 and 26/27 respectively.

    Core modules

    • Performance Skills (PER5001)

      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 on a creative exploration of physical and mental processes engaging thus with the notion of Performer Training as a systematic and rigorous process.

    • Performance Practices (PER5002)

      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.

    • Theatre Residency (PER5005)

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

    • Performance Making (PER5007)

      This module explores practically the work of major practitioners and introduces key theories that have impacted upon contemporary performance making. Through practice and contextual study, students will explore the implications of ideological, cultural and social codes for contemporary performance makers.

    Optional modules

    • Stage 2 Professional Development, Placement Preparation and Identifying Opportunities (SSC500)

      This module is for students in the School of Society and Culture who are interested in undertaking an optional placement in the third year of their programme. It supports students in their search, application, and preparation for the placement, including developing interview techniques and effective application materials (e.g. CVs , portfolios, and cover letters).

    • Harm in the 21st Century (CRM5003MX)

      This module explores the global challenges of harmful behaviours and activities in contemporary society by considering specific areas of concern for criminologists. By drawing on real-world examples in everyday life, the module examines how social problems and issues have arisen due to processes of globalisation that have changed the social, political and economic landscape of the 21st century.

    • Crime, Harm and Culture (CRM5009MX)

      The module aims to provide students with a critical appreciation of harm and crime by exploring relevant issues from film, television, music, fiction literature and art. By applying a criminological lens to different forms of popular culture, students will be able to examine a variety of media forms in terms of its content and its contemporary political, social and economic context using different theories and concepts.

    • Gothic Fictions: Villains, Virgins and Vampires (ENG5002MX)

      This module looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels to trace the variety and scope of literary contributions to the Gothic. It begins by discussing the origins of the Gothic novel, then moves to the heyday of the genre in the revolutionary 1790s, on to authors writing in the early and mid-nineteenth century, through to the decadence of the 1890s.

    • ‘Hurt Minds’: Madness and Mental Illness in Literature (ENG5013MX)

      This module considers changing attitudes towards, and a variety of theories of, the mind, examining how different cultures have understood ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ mental states. It will look at how the experience and treatment of mental illness has been represented in fiction. The mind is at its most fascinating when it behaves outside of expected social norms. By considering a variety of literary texts over several centuries, this module explores shifts in the definition, understanding, evaluation, and management of exceptional mental states.

    • Writing Genre Fiction (ENG5017MX)

      This module takes students into in-depth engagement with prose fiction writing in various genres, with possibilities including fantasy, science-fiction, period/historical, young adult fiction, horror, comedy, romance, crime, and thriller. The module is taught through lecture, seminars, and workshops where students are asked to submit and feedback to peers and tutors on a regular basis.

    • Law in Context: Commerce and Intellectual Property (LAW5019MX)

      This module focuses on the work of commercial lawyers in practice in helping businesses to trade. It analyses a range of contractual agreements dealing with the manufacture, sale, supply and distribution of goods, assets and services in general and intellectual property in particular.

    • Politics Beyond Parliaments (PIR5013MX)

      This module analyses the role of civil society and the public sphere in democratic governance and in democratization from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

    • Voter Behaviour and Effective Election Campaigning (PIR5014MX)

      This module undertakes an advanced examination of contemporary trends and developments in theories of electoral behaviour globally; then more specifically the relationship between electoral rules, electoral systems and election outcomes; the evolution of campaign techniques, and the role, mechanics, and accuracy of opinion polls in modern electoral politics. These global understandings are applied directly to the case of British politics.

  • Optional placement year

  • Undertake an optional placement year where you can build a number of key employability skills. Put theory onto practice, get a taste for your chosen career and expand upon your professional network.
    For students entering Level 4 of their programme in academic year 2024/25 optional non-credit rated modules SSC500 and SSC600 will not be available in 25/26 and 26/27 respectively.

    Core modules

    • School of Society and Culture Placement Year (SSC600)

      Students have the opportunity to gain work experience that will set them apart in the job market when they graduate by undertaking an optional flexible placement year. The placement must be a minimum of 24-weeks (which can be split between a maximum of two different placement providers) and up to a maximum of 48-weeks over the course of the academic year. The placement is flexible and can be undertaken virtually, part or full time and either paid or voluntary. This year allows them to apply and hone the knowledge and skills acquired from the previous years of their programme in the real world.

  • Final year

  • Cultivate your specialist skills and get ready to enter the industry. Make work for festivals, learn applied performance-making techniques and develop research skills by exploring your chosen areas of interest and practice.

    Core modules

    • Advanced Skills in Dramaturgy, Composition and Performance (DRA6001)

      Working in self-selected groups students will choose an out of copyright play as their source material to generate a performance outcome. The module will advance students' performance and dramaturgical skills and support the development of original performance material suitable to the constraints and parameters of the group's chosen venue.

    • Performance Research (PER6001)

      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.

    • Professional Placement and Practice (PER6003)

      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.

    • Festival Practices (PER6004)

      This module will support students’ entry into the wide field of the creative industries through the planning and development of a professional quality performance product, commensurate to professional practice. Working solo or in small companies, students will engage with mentoring and feedback processes and locate their practice within the context of the contemporary performance practice and Festival platforms.

    Optional modules

    • Advanced Short Story Workshop (ENG6003)

      In this module we will examine a range of contemporary short story writing and relevant theory as a way for students to learn how to compose their own short fiction. Class time will be divided between discussion of short fiction and theory, writing exercises and peer workshops of student work. The workshops will be substantially informed by staff research 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 Drama with Foundation programme specification 7226

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.

Personalise your degree

Many of our degrees have a wide range of optional modules that allow you to follow your interests and play to your strengths.
You could graduate with one of the following personalised course title combinations:
Drama with Acting

Modules

  • Acting for Audio: Radio, Podcast, Voiceover (ACT5002MX)

    This module trains students to work professionally in mediatised/recorded settings. Students learn techniques appropriate to the preparation and performance of non-theatrical formats (such as audio drama) through text-based analysis, narrative and dramatic theory and genre-specific acting techniques.

  • Site Specific Performance (PER5003MX)

    Outdoor, off-campus, real-world performance-making informed by research-led seminar-based explorations of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories. This module gives students the opportunity to study independently and work together to open up for themselves a whole new way of seeing the world as a site for theatre.

  • Auditions and Showreels (ACT6002MX)

    Focused on employment in the theatre industry after graduation, this module is all about auditioning practices and techniques, self-taping, casting calls, character break-downs, working with your ‘pages’ and pulling together your showreel.

Drama with Music

Modules

  • Psychology of Music (MUS5003MX)

    This module introduces students to concepts in psychoacoustics, psychology and music therapy within a musical context. Students will critically engage with related topics through a series of lectures and workshops, which place theory within musical and creative practice.

  • Recording Sound and Music (MUS5006MX)

    Students will learn how to combine their technical recording abilities with their creative skills in music production. They will be introduced to a variety of recording contexts from a practical and theoretical perspective.

  • Music in the Community (MUS6003MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical applications of music to encourage and expand their understanding of the ‘real-life’ uses of musical skills. A series of lectures will cover the concepts and skills required to carry out music work, before students apply these in practical situations.

Drama with Computing

Modules

  • Physical Computing: Creative and Interactive Systems (AMT5006MX)

    Physical computing is all about designing and creating objects that use a range of sensors, actuators, and software to interact with the world around them. Students will learn to develop their own systems using programming environments, electronic components, and microcontroller boards. Most of the module will be organised around practical, hands-on design-and-build exercises.

  • Programming in Python (AMT5005MX)

    This module introduces computer programming in the python language. Learners will gain experience in the core theory and practice of computer programming and will learn core programming concepts from the ground up. Sessions will equip students with program implementation methodologies along with design and problem-solving techniques.

  • Data Science Ethics (AMT6004MX)

    This module introduces allows student a hands-on experience in data science and the ethical considerations associated with our digital footprint. Learners will gain experience in writing code to clean, analyse and interrogate large dataset, understanding what meanings can be revealed from these datasets. Students will also investigate the ethical implications, assumptions and biases that are present in these techniques.

  • Play and Games for Performance (PER5008MX)

    This module will introduce students to practical methods for designing games and play structures for participatory performances that invite audiences to become actively involved in the work. In addition to learning new tools for designing and facilitating play, students will be prompted to consider playfulness from a theoretical perspective, recognising the connection between the play of mimesis and theatrical performance.

  • Psychology of Music (MUS5003MX)

    This module introduces students to concepts in psychoacoustics, psychology and music therapy within a musical context. Students will critically engage with related topics through a series of lectures and workshops, which place theory within musical and creative practice.

  • Recording Sound and Music (MUS5006MX)

    Students will learn how to combine their technical recording abilities with their creative skills in music production. They will be introduced to a variety of recording contexts from a practical and theoretical perspective.

Drama with Musical Theatre

Modules

  • Choreography Repertory (MTH6004MX)

    Students learn, rehearse and perform dance repertory to a high standard. To support students’ ability to execute the choreography effectively a continued engagement with dance technique and its relationship to creative and performance skills is incorporated. Students will gain an understanding of their role as a contributing interpreter of this repertory and how to make this work their own.

  • Dance Technique (DAN5001MX)

    Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop participation and leading skills, as well as learning how to give, receive and use critical feedback.

  • Acting through Song (MTH5001MX)

    Acting through song involves ‘telling the story’ and ‘selling the story’, as well as performance skills in characterisation and specific vocal expertise. Working from a range of scores and lyrics, students experiment with different approach to acting through song in a supportive salon environment, with tutor and peer feedback throughout.

  • Dancing for Camera (DAN5002MX)

    Taught by experienced practitioners, students learn to compose and perform dance for camera and to develop and edit material to produce high quality ‘screendance’. Screendance as a hybrid and interdisciplinary form will enable students to develop new ways to innovate and create choreography in the site-specificity of media space.

  • Applied Dance (DAN6001MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through co-taught seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups, applying community dance practice and performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

Drama with Dance

Modules

  • Applied Dance (DAN6001MX)

    This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences with a meaningful employability focus. Through co-taught seminars and independent practice students learn the skills to work with and for community groups, applying community dance practice and performance-making as a means to address real-world problems and social issues.

  • Dance Technique (DAN5001MX)

    Students will develop their technical dance skills and ability to apply a range of dynamic qualities and spatial properties in performance. The module will develop students’ understanding of dance as a cultural discourse and foster awareness and appreciation of other cultural dance forms. Students will engage with workshop participation and leading skills, as well as learning how to give, receive and use critical feedback.

  • Dancing for Camera (DAN5002MX)

    Taught by experienced practitioners, students learn to compose and perform dance for camera and to develop and edit material to produce high quality ‘screendance’. Screendance as a hybrid and interdisciplinary form will enable students to develop new ways to innovate and create choreography in the site-specificity of media space.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

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
PPP
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. 
T levels
Pass in any subject.
GCSE
Mathematics and English Language grade C.
Equivalent qualifications may be considered, please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.  
Interview
We do not ask for audition material to be provided for our BA (Hons) Drama course. If you have been invited to attend interview you will need to select a suitable time using the booking link sent to you.
The interview process focuses on whom you are and what you hope to gain from studying drama at Plymouth.
Interviews will be conducted by a member of our staff, and will last approx. 30 minutes. We are interested in hearing about:
  • Your interests.
  • What excites you most about theatre.
  • What you hope to learn and experience while at Plymouth.
  • Where you envision yourself after graduation.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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. More information about fees and funding.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

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

Additional costs

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

Tuition fees for optional placement years

The fee for all undergraduate students completing any part of their placement year in the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,850.
The fee for all undergraduate students completing their whole placement year outside the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,385.
Learn more about placement year tuition fees

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 admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
Student performance

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 is the Artisitc Director of Beyond Face Theatre Company

Insight: Site-Specific Performance module

This module gives students the opportunity to open up a whole new way of seeing the world as a site for theatre. Outdoor, off-campus, real-world performance-making, informed by research-led seminar-based explorations of an exciting and diverse range of performative case studies and influential theories. 
Friends walking on the Tinside Lido together on a sunny day.

The House

Take centre stage at The House, our cutting-edge theatre right on campus that allows you to hone your craft in world-class facilities. As a performance venue, The House attracts some of the best national and international theatre companies to the city, providing you with opportunities to build professional networks as you study.  

Steel Wire Tension Grid above the stage at the House
Audio Console
Rehearsal
Rehearsal space with a lighting rig at the House
Performance

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