Drama Studies and Geography

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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

Expand your understanding of the relationship between people and places.

  • Friendly, supportive team of lecturers, who are excellent teachers and active researchers
  • Specialisms include river and coastal processes, poverty and development, environmental hazards, sustainability and climate change, culture and identities, geotechnologies and more
  • Field trips currently include residential trips to Barcelona, the Lake District and Northern India

Our students consistently rate the course very highly, with over 90% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey every year for the past three years.

 

Why study Geography?

Geography is about places and people. It is about understanding why 'here' differs from 'there', how people's lives vary in these different places, and how our own lives are dependent on people and places, near and far.

An ability to link environmental processes and social and spatial behaviours is a defining feature of geographical practice. As a result, Geography is clearly important in understanding today’s pressing global and local issues from climate change to sustainable development.

Studying Geography at Bath Spa University, you’ll learn geographical concepts, theories and knowledge, while gaining skills that can improve your career prospects. Geography graduates are valued by employers for this unique combination.

Course structure

We take an integrated approach to Geography; you’ll gain an understanding of both the human and physical aspects of the subject. However, a key feature of our course is that you can specialise more in the physical or human side as your interests, abilities and career plans evolve.

You’ll graduate with a range of skills that are highly valued by employers. These include scientific techniques and computer skills, as well as people skills like communication, team-work and critical thinking.

Modules

  • Year 1
    The first year of this course introduces you to the exciting world of Geography at university. You’ll acquire foundational geographical knowledge, understanding and skills. You’ll get a taste of a variety of geographies, and there are plenty of opportunities to do fieldwork, visiting local places such as the Mendip, Somerset Levels and Bristol.

    Topics you’ll study include:
    • examining contemporary geographical issues
    • learning about unfamiliar physical environments and different societies and cultures
    • exploring key issues such as development and sustainability
    • how to use the technologies, methods, techniques and equipment that geographers need to use.
  • Year 2
    This year you start to specialise in your geographical interests. Greater emphasis is placed on research methods; you’ll learn a wide range of useful geographical methods and techniques, both in the classroom and in fieldwork settings where you’ll apply your growing mastery of your subject to real-world problems and issues. We also give you the chance to engage with the Royal Geographical Society and other professional bodies as we begin to help you map out potential career paths.

    Optional topics include:
    • climate change
    • geomorphology
    • river management
    • environmental hazards
    • exciting new geotechnologies
    • urban geographies of global cities
    • work placement or volunteering overseas
    • field trip to India
  • Year 3
    This year you’ll further specialise your geographical interests. You’ll develop your skills as an independent scholar by undertaking primary research that will enable you to demonstrate the theoretical and practical aspects of your geographical interests. Alternatively, you can undertake an extended work placement with a relevant research report. There’s a huge variety in choice in what you do for a dissertation and throughout the study you’ll benefit from one-to-one tuition and expert guidance.

    The rest of the third year is made up of more specialised topics, including:
    • climatology
    • coastal management
    • development and disasters
    • identities and inequalities in society
    • globalisation
    • environmental justice
    • field trip to Lake District or Barcelona
    • community placement

Course assessment

You’ll experience a variety of different assessment methods throughout your degree. These include essays, project reports, presentations, posters, video clips, fieldcraft assessments, reflective items, time-constrained tests and examinations. These will give you a rich and diverse skills learning experience, be of real benefit in the search for a good career, and be useful in your professional activities.

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 Australia, Finland and the USA.

Field trips

'Field trip opportunities have been brilliant and a really valuable experience' – Geography graduate, 2015

We’re committed to giving you a relevant, interesting and useful degree; fieldwork is integral to this. There are various field days during modules, as well as residential fieldwork options in the UK and overseas in Years 2 and 3.

You’ll visit places and landscapes such as Avebury, Mendip, the Somerset Levels, the Welsh National History Museum, the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. Residential trips currently go to Spain, the Lake District and Northern India. Please note that you’ll have to make a financial contribution towards some of these residential study visits.

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities to undertake work placements in your second and third year – this is an excellent way to gain experience in the workplace.

Guest speakers from industry contribute to the learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will help you make those all-important career decisions when you graduate.

Competitions/awards

There are prizes awarded each year in recognition of excellence in the core modules. This culminates with the Geography Project of the Year Award, for the best dissertation.

Teaching methods

Good teaching is important to us; our graduates highly rate the quality of teaching on the course. In our friendly department you’ll benefit from small classes, specialist expertise, and up-to-date technologies, including ArcGIS, GPS survey instruments, campus river gauging and digital ‘met’ stations.

Our rural site is a superb natural laboratory where you’ll learn a range of scientific techniques including field sampling and the use of laboratory instruments for sediment and water analysis. You’ll experience lectures and workshop or seminar-based teaching, with small groups to enable discussion about specific topics.

Teaching quality excellence

We are proud of the quality of our teaching in Geography at Bath Spa. During your degree you will taught by experienced, specialist staff, who undertake research in their specific areas of expertise, as well as into the learning and teaching of different aspects of geography.

Subject tutors regularly attend Professional Development Workshops that inform curriculum development and we regularly attend academic and commercial conferences. We subscribe to industry societies and their journals, such as the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG), the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), the Development Studies Association (DSA), Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc), American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), the British Cartographic Society (BCS), GIS Professional, GIM International.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Want to know more about studying Geography at Bath Spa? We have Open Days and Visit Days throughout the year. If you can't make any of those, we are also happy to arrange individual visits for you to have a look around at the facilities and ask any questions you may have. You can get in touch using the contact details adjacent. We hope to see you here soon!

Please contact Dr David Simm, Subject Leader for Geography: d.simm@bathspa.ac.uk

Have a look at our related courses:

BSc Global Development and Sustainability

BA Geography (Human)

BSc Geography (Physical)

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 preferred with Grade C in Geography, Sociology Economics or Science
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required.
  • 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).

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

Our graduates possess a diverse range of skills, knowledge and expertise, suitable for many careers and occupations. This is due to the great appeal of your geographical skill-set to employers. Environmental bodies, utilities, planning, police and armed forces, retail and financial services, heritage management, local government and school teaching are typical destinations. Many geography graduates are hooked on the subject and undertake further study, including doctoral research here in the department.

The opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree is an excellent way of gaining some experience in the workplace, while guest speakers from industry contribute to your learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will stand you in good stead for making those all-important career decisions when you move into the world of work.

Since 2010, employers such as Geomatics Group, At-Bristol, Discover Battle, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre and The Ministry of Defence have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including  Assistant Geomatics Surveyor, Renewables Developer, Business Analyst, Oceaneer and Press Officer.

What students say...

 We take the views of our students very seriously, and evaluations of each module are undertaken each year, incorporating feedback from all students. You will also have the opportunity to represent your peers at committee and board meetings that meet regularly to discuss the shape and evolution of your course.

Tim Johns, Geography, graduated July 2012:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my course at Bath Spa University and would recommend it to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the environmental industry. Academically, the course was fantastic and offered the opportunity to learn a diverse range of skills that would equip anyone with the necessary attributes to enter the world of work, or pursue postgraduate studies. At Bath Spa my learning was not just restricted to the classroom; I had the opportunity to undertake a live Dissertation project working in conjunction with the Environment Agency. This was an invaluable experience giving me the opportunity to work with industry professionals. My advice to those starting their studies would be to take full advantage of the facilities Bath Spa has to offer, including the excellent support from staff and tutors. Just remember from the offset… you have to work hard to play hard and all things are achievable no matter what!”

Please look at the video clips to see what our students have said about studying Geography at Bath Spa University.

Read about the activities and achievements of our students and staff in our annual Geography Newsletter: