Drama Studies and Education Studies

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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

A dynamic course for those interested in all aspects of education.

  • Flexible routes through the course – focus teaching, international education or youth and community work.
  • Wide range of opportunities to gain expertise and experience including placements.
  • Our Institute for Education is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

“This experience really helped me consider what I wanted to do – I knew I wanted to help educate children, but I hadn't considered many of the aspects that have been presented to me in the past two years.”
– Megan Hinton, Education Studies student

Why study Education Studies?

We prepare you to work with learners of all ages within the education sector and beyond. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills to work in educational and training advisory roles in a range of organisations including businesses, local authorities, non-government organisations, charities, museums, art galleries and libraries.

We believe that education is about change and we hope that you are coming into it to be an active participant. We also want you to be a thoughtful and informed citizen who knows about the world and the society in which you live.

Course structure

You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the diversity of learners and the complexities of the learning process;
  • debates about the curriculum and its content;
  • the development of schooling, teaching and education policy in the UK and internationally;
  • the wider economic, political and socio-cultural contexts of education
  • research methods used in education; and
  • the impact of inequalities in gender, race, class and disability.

In addition to this you’ll gain skills that will make you attractive to employers. You’ll learn to present your ideas confidently in a variety of forms, use ICT for various professional purposes and work collaboratively.

Modules

  • Year 1
    We’ll teach you the basic principles of education. You’ll gain an understanding of how we most effectively think and learn.
    In addition you can tailor your studies to your interests in areas such as primary teaching; early childhood studies, childhood narratives; philosophy for children and international education.

  • Year 2
    The focus on year two is on a placement in an educational setting. You’ll complete assignments around your experiences. This leads towards a piece of research in an area negotiated by you.
    Current optional modules include: understanding classrooms; learning through drama; literacy learning; and supporting learners with additional needs.

  • Year 3
    You’ll write a dissertation, balancing independent work with one-to-one support. We’ll give you flexibility in what you do and how you go about it. You can choose to go into an educational setting and carry out research or undertake library-based study.
    Optional modules include: teaching and professionalism; learning and mathematics; supporting a dyslexic learner; and creativity, ICT and learning.

  • Integrated MA
    If you’re interested in this course, and like the idea of combining undergraduate and postgraduate study, we offer an integrated MA option. You’ll follow the structure of the Education Studies course in your first two years, before advancing to master’s level study in your final years.

Course assessment

You’ll be assessed through coursework. There are no exams.

Assessments could include essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. We’ll provide you with regular feedback on how well you are doing and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding.

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world, by taking advantage of our Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes.

Some of our students complete educational placements as part of our international education modules. In your first year, you’ll have the opportunity to study in Spain; in year two you can study in Zambia; and in your final year you can travel to Nepal. Alternatively you can arrange your own international placement.

Teaching methods

Teaching is through a mix of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials. Seminars are usually more informal than lectures – they are opportunities for you to discuss, ask questions and get involved in activities and debates. In year one your minimum timetabled time will be 12 hours per week.

You’ll be taught by experienced and respected university staff. In years two and three they’ll introduce you to their specialisms and research interests, through a range of optional modules. You’ll also benefit from visiting speakers – these include headteachers, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.

You can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment, from cameras to laptops.

Teaching quality excellence

22/24 in a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) assessment.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

Please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

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-CCC accepted.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points with evidence of an interest in Education.
  • 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 an interest in Education.

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.

Career opportunities

Education Studies will provide the basis for you to work with learners of all ages in different settings and contexts. You may choose to work in educational and training advisory roles in a range of organisations including local community , youth clubs, businesses, local authorities, non-government organisations and charities, museums, art galleries and libraries.

As well as going on to study for the PGCE our graduates have been recruited by Nottingham Trent International College, Explore Learning, the NHS and many schools and Local Authorities working in Educational roles such as tutors, trainers and Higher Level Teaching Assistants.

You’ll also be able to apply for PGCE courses in teacher training – but if you know at this stage that you want to be a teacher you should consider our primary or secondary teaching pathway.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Placements occur in each year of the programme. In year two there is a compulsory placement for all students of Education Studies in an educational setting or school.

Optional modules provide further placement opportunities for you to work with young people both locally and internationally. The Institute for Education Partnership Office will arrange each placement for you. We try to ensure you are located within a reasonable distance from where you live; however, you should normally expect to travel using your own or public transport.

Previous students have also worked with charities, youth centres, and third-sector organisations as well as schools and early years settings.

What students say...

Student Profile: Kia Prescott, International Education

“The course has made me question all of my opinions I held before. Studying International Education has given me a better knowledge of geography, countries, cultures, global issues, politics and world history, all of which has given me a wider base and has helped in all my modules. This year there is a study trip to Zambia for students on the international module, and it will be the perfect opportunity to gain first-hand experience of education abroad.

Although the majority on the course want to be teachers it is understood that there are some who don’t, and this is catered for. I have a great interest in other countries and cultures, and I have not completely decided if I want to teach abroad yet – but Bath Spa are enabling me to keep my options open.”