Art and Drama Studies

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How to Apply

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Be dynamic and combine two arts subjects for a broad experience of creative practice.

  • Study and combine two areas of creative practice
  • Taught by staff who are practising artists and researchers
  • Excellent workshops and technical support

Why study Art?

Art is studied as a subject within the Creative Arts course, so you’ll select another subject to study alongside it. The way subjects interact varies, so the shape of the course depends on the subject you combine with Art. For example, if you decide to combine Art and Creative Writing the subject may function differently than if you study Art and Dance.

You’ll choose one of the following subjects to study alongside Art:

Course structure

You can study and practice in a wide range of disciplines from painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, video, performance and drawing. As the course progresses you’ll find the emphasis is placed on you; you’ll pursue your own areas of interest, with support from specialist academic and technical staff.

Your first year concentrates on developing your practical skills and thinking. Through practical projects and lectures on art theory and history you’ll gain new knowledge and hands-on experience.

In years two and three we’ll encourage you to develop your individual areas of practice and contextual research through weekly group seminars, critiques, lectures and individual tutorials.

Modules

  • Year 1
    Attend practical project led workshops and historical and contextual studies lectures, complemented by optional modules in print and photography.

  • Year 2
    Undertake self directed studio practice in your chosen area.

  • Year 3
    Complete self directed studio practice, working towards your degree show exhibition.

Course assessment

You’ll be assessed by practical portfolio submissions or exhibitions of coursework, supported by research/context folders. At various stages of the course you’ll be required to give presentations, curate exhibitions and work collaboratively.

As part of your historical and contextual studies programme, you’ll be required to demonstrate your understanding and research through short written tasks and group presentations.

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Norway, Germany, Japan, Australia and the USA


Field trips

You’ll have opportunities to participate in regular field trips across all the Creative Arts course modules. As a department we run at least four London study trips per year. We also organise international study visits to places like Berlin, Paris, New York and Venice (please note that you’ll have to pay for some study visits).


Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities for you to undertake work placements as part of the wider Creative Arts professional practice programme. Past Art students have worked with artists such as Gavin Turk and Martin Creed.
List of current alumni careers


Competitions/awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in competitions such as the Porthleven Prize and the Gane Trust Travel Grant among many others. Our students have been nominated for, and won, awards such as the Threadneedle Prize, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize and the Royal West of England student drawing prize.

Each year we offer three prizes to our second and third year students:

  • The ‘Beyond the Studio’ Student Prize for Entrepreneurship in Art
  • The Outstanding Art Student Prize
  • The Excellence in the Creative Arts and Contemporary Arts Practice Development Prize

Teaching methods

You’ll be taught by staff who are practising artists and researchers through technical demonstrations, individual tutorials, group critiques, lectures and seminars. Teaching takes place in workshops (year 1) and individual studio spaces (years 2 and 3).

You’ll benefit from a programme of visiting speakers who’ll talk about their own practice and their experience working as contemporary ceramicists, curators, designers, makers and publishers within the creative industries.

Application method

Full-time applications are through UCAS.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Your portfolio is an important part of the application process, it gives us an insight into who you are as a practicing artist. You’ll need to show us a range of finished pieces of work. We also ask that you include a wide variety of supporting work in your portfolio (preparatory work, sketchbooks and research). We advise that you do not simply pick your favourite pieces but consult tutors, friends and family to ensure the work you include showcases your talent. If the work is too large to bring – photograph it.

Research contemporary artists, visit exhibitions and be prepared to discuss them.

Use a sketchbook to draw, collect found or photographed images and make notes – look carefully at things, reflect on things you encounter.

Course enquiries

For more information please contact Martin Thomas on m.thomas2@bathspa.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

We’re looking for creative and committed individuals who are curious, reflective and interested in their subject areas. You should be able to take risks and have an open mind. We value the ability to think critically and reflectively just as much as we value the ability to create.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - A Level grades BCC including Grade B in Art & Design or related subjects preferred. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit. Merit (MMM) in a related subject in addition to other qualifications or evidence of experience in Art.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points will be required in addition to evidence of further experience in Art & Design.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher). Any selection procedure/further requirements will also apply. Access courses accepted in addition to evidence of further experience in Art & Design.
  • Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) - Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) Merit Grade is preferred in combination with the qualifications listed above. Applicants will be considered without this.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Applicants will be invited to interview at our Sion Hill Campus and will be required to bring high quality portfolio. More details will be supplied to applicants who meet the entry criteria for the course.

Career opportunities

Typical career opportunities include gallery administration, media, community-based art work, art administration, teaching or self-employment in the creative industries.

List of current alumni careers

Graduate careers include:

  • self employment as practising artists and makers;
  • curatorship;
  • gallery administration;
  • teaching;
  • art administration; and
  • community based art work.

90% of students go on to work and/or study in the Art subject area.

Discover your place in the world of Drama at Bath Spa University.

  • Gain skills valued in a variety of employment contexts including the theatre, the creative industries and education.
  • Experiment, critically reflect and innovate in your work
  • Develop high standards of professionalism when working with others

"The variety given in the second and third year of drama studies really helped me to create a course that I could take ownership of. The knowledge and support from all lecturers and fellow students encouraged me to develop both the skills I already had and those I gained during my time at Bath Spa. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in Drama."
– 2012 Drama Graduate Natasha Cook

Why study Drama?

Drama at Bath Spa provides you with a range of exciting modules to choose from that equip you with the skills to make, explore and analyse theatre and performance work in a diverse array of contexts.

This Drama programme is for passionate individuals interested in exploring drama, theatre and performance in its many forms. It will give you a strong grounding in the ideas, traditions and (sometimes heated!) debates that inform contemporary drama practices, while providing you with the tools to analyse, interpret and create a wide range of performance work. Through our core and optional modules you will encounter areas of practice such as play production, performing, writing, directing, and topics such as Shakespeare, musical theatre, physical theatre, comedy and media and performance.

Course structure

You’ll study plays, practitioners and genres that have been particularly influential in shaping contemporary theatre and performance. We give you the opportunity to explore:

  • Theatre practitioners;
  • Playwrights;
  • Performance making;
  • Theatre history; and
  • Writing, directing and performing.

The course also includes a focus on:

  • plays and musical theatre productions in the University Theatre;
  • theatre in education performances and workshops in local schools;
  • stand-up comedy performances in local venues;
  • new plays written by students; and
  • new and existing works devised, directed and performed by students.

Drama session

Modules

  • Year 1
    Build the foundations. You’ll undertake modules in theatre history, approaches to working with dramatic texts, contemporary performance and theatre skills. These will be taught through a mixture of practical workshops, seminars, lectures and rehearsals.

  • Year 2
    Apply your skills. You’ll have the opportunity to apply yourself in a variety of performance projects. The core modules focus on allowing you to create your own original work, while a range of optional modules allow you to explore your particular areas of interest such as physical theatre, comedy, applied theatre, musical theatre and theatre production.
  • Year 3
    Develop your specialisms. You’ll carry out research into an area of drama or performance of your own choice on our Dissertation module (optional for Joint Honours) as well as selecting areas of study from a range of specialist modules such as: Performance Projects; Staging Gender; Modern American Drama; Staging Shakespeare; Musical Theatre; Docu-drama; Media and Performance; and Devising and Site-Specific Performance.

Course assessment

We use a variety of assessment tasks across the programme, including:

  • Public performance
  • Playwriting
  • In-class performance of devised or published work
  • Oral presentations
  • Performance of backstage / technical roles
  • Critical reflection
  • Working as part of an ensemble
  • Script analysis
  • Devising
  • Individual and group research projects

Work placements, industry links and internships

You’ll benefit from visits from industry professionals. Previous visitors cover a range of specialisms including: playwriting, directing, acting, television production, theatre in education, and children’s theatre.

In 2015 and 2016 visiting professionals and practitioners included:

  • Baz Taylor – television director (Bergerac, Eastenders, Shine on Harvey Moon, Lovejoy)
  • Neil D’Souza - actor and writer
  • Kylie Walsh – Paper Birds Theatre Company
  • Mark Wilson – Natural Theatre Company
  • Geese Theatre Company – internationally renowned applied theatre company
  • And local professional theatre companies – the Misfits; Travelling Light Theatre Company; Up In Arms Theatre Company.

We also have partnerships with local venues; local schools; and the local community groups. 

Teaching methods

Our teaching is done through a range of activities including lectures, workshops, seminars, skills classes, rehearsals, tutorials, work placements and theatre visits.

Drama performance

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

Please contact our Admissions team (see above)

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC including Grade B in Drama, Theatre studies, English or related subjects accepted.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points required in addition to evidence of additional qualifications or experience in Acting, Drama or Theatre Studies.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) accepted in addition to evidence of additional qualifications or experience in Acting, Drama or Theatre Studies

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Suitable applicants will be invited to audition at our Newton Park campus between December and March. The interview process will focus primarily on the following: 1. Your group skills 2. Your aptitude for taking part in workshop activities 3. Your spontaneity and creativity 4. Your interest in drama practices More information will be sent via email on invitation to audition.

Career opportunities

We equip you with creative, collaborative, writing, presentational, and communication skills that are invaluable in many professional and vocational areas.

Some graduates choose to pursue postgraduate study, especially in teaching, or vocational training. Recent graduates have gone on to MAs at Central School of Speech and Drama, Yale Theatre School and the Royal Academy of Music.

Other graduates launch careers in the creative industries, including working with theatre and media companies.

Graduate successes include:

  • Kerry Lovell – a founding member of award winning Bristol based company The Wardrobe Ensemble who just performed their new show 1972: The Future of Sex to rave reviews in Edinburgh. The Company has recently performed at the National Theatre Shed and the Soho Theatre
  • Alex Duarte-Davies – production and directing assistant at The Egg (Theatre Royal Bath)
  • Kristina Penton and Michael Elledge – founders of Tzedakah Theatre, a theatre company that uses immersive performance to engage with issues of human trafficking
  • Lucy Payne – principal of Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts in Bath
  • Christine Northey - Dramatherapist and Tutor.

What students say...

"Drama at Bath Spa provided me a world of knowledge, confidence and new friends. The diverse nature of the course acted as platform for countless ways to express myself and to learn from my tutors and peers."

2012 Drama Graduate Katy Muir

"I absolutely loved my time at Bath Spa on the Drama course. I made so many friends and had so much fun…the highlight for me was getting the chance to direct a full scale production. Also, the staff are friendly and approachable. I was very sad to leave."

2012 Drama Graduate Lucy Plant

"The variety given in the second and third year of drama studies really helped me to create a course that I could take ownership of. The knowledge and support from all lecturers and fellow students encouraged me to develop both the skills I already had and those I gained during my time at Bath Spa. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in Drama."

2012 Drama Graduate Natasha Cook

"Bath Spa has got it right with this course, as it offers a comprehensive exploration of a wide range of theatrical styles and genres. The knowledge and expertise that Drama allows you to develop makes you stand out in the jobs market."

2012 Drama Graduate Luke Davies

Drama student