Drama Studies and Philosophy and Ethics

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How to Apply

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The Drama programme offers specialised, creative arts and combined study pathways for students who wish to explore the immensity of drama as both a performance medium and an applied subject.

Drama provides you with a range of exciting modules to choose from. These explore drama from the perspectives of making theatre and performance, text study and applied theatre.

Drama is a broad based programme that allows you to identify where your place in the immense world of theatre and performance might be. It is not a vocational training course. Drama will equip you with writing, presentational, communication and collaborative skills invaluable in many professional and vocational areas.

Why study Drama?

Why study drama?

  • To prepare for careers where drama-based skills are in demand and for further studies in drama, including drama teaching
  • To make theatre and performance with others
  • To watch, think and write about drama

Course structure

Year one. You will study processes involved in taking text from page to stage. You will explore the relationship between theatre and society through the ages, examining ideas underlying dramatic texts, performance conventions and scenography. And you will attend and critique plays and other kinds of performance as well as undertake skills classes (specialised students).

Drama session

Year two. In theatre companies, inspired by your studies of key directors and companies, you will create your own work. You may also lead workshops and otherwise apply drama in community settings. And you may choose from a range of studies within Exploration modules. These studies may include musical theatre, physical theatre, stand-up comedy, American acting and so on.

Year three. You will research and write a dissertation on a drama topic of your choice and undertake a performance project (specialised students). Again, you may choose from a range of studies within specialised study modules, for instance experimental performance, staging Shakespeare and site-specific performance. 

Modules

Year one modules are:

  • From Page to Stage
  • Introduction to Theatre History
  • Contemporary Performance
  • Drama Skills
  • Musical Theatre Practice 1

Year two modules are:

  • Making Performance
  • Theatre History 2
  • Exploring Drama 1 and 2
  • Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Activism

Year three modules are:

  • Dissertation
  • Performance Project
  • Specialised Studies 1 and 2
  • Drama as Protest

Course assessment

Assessment methods include essays, dissertations and other written assignments, seminar presentations, performances, group work, and professional development portfolios.

You can choose from a wide range of offerings incorporating content ranging from theatre history to physical theatre and extending to encompass such areas as experimental theatre and site-specific performance.

The approach to teaching Drama  at Bath Spa combines academic study with practical workshop-based classes which bring theoretical ideas to life. Facilities include the purpose-built University Theatre building, which incorporates a fully equipped theatre and three studios. You’ll be taught by distinguished staff who are practising theatre and performance artists.

Drama performance 

Teaching methods

Academic study combines with practical, workshop-based sessions that help bring theoretical ideas to life.

Our purpose-built University Theatre building houses rehearsal studios and a full working theatre that stages a wide range of performances.  

Bath Spa Live, the production arm of the School of Music and Performing Arts, provides a lively milieu of performance on and off campus. There are also active links with Bath Theatre Royal and the Ustinov studio.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

Please contact our Admissions team (see above)

Entry requirements

280–320 UCAS Tariff points including A-Level Drama, Performance Studies or Theatre Studies at min grade B.

Career opportunities

Drama will equip you with writing, presentational, communication, and collaborative skills invaluable in many professional and vocational areas. Often, after undertaking a PGCE, graduates become drama or primary teachers. Following graduation, some students choose to pursue their interests further through postgraduate study in theatre-making, applied drama, acting or directing. Others use the knowledge gained to launch careers working with theatre companies or venues, or go on to find employment in the charity, media, business and government sectors. Drama graduates have gone on to work for such theatre companies as The Naturals, The Wardrobe Ensemble and The Plymouth Theatre Royal.

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

This course is concerned with pursuing and answering questions of truth, knowledge, meaning and reality and exploring crucial ethical issues facing humanity. The approach taken is global, contemporary and applied, and enables you to develop as an analytical, critical and systematic thinker.

Philosophy and Ethics is offered as a Major, Joint or Minor component of a Combined degree. If you want to combine it with Study of Religions you should take the Religions, Philosophies and Ethics specialised award.

Why study Philosophy and Ethics?

‘What I love about this course is being able to discuss and explore topical issues within philosophy and religions with an open mind. Bath Spa has a very good reputation and there is a very personal feel to it’

Philosophy and Ethics at Bath Spa is concerned with pursuing and answering the kind of questions that lie behind all academic disciplines and subjects, for example:

  • what is truth?  
  • what can one know?
  • what is ultimately real?
  • what is the meaning of life?
  • how should one live in the world?

Arguably, nothing is outside the reach of philosophical and ethical enquiry.  All human activities are inevitably shaped by particular assumptions, beliefs and values.  It is the aim of philosophy and ethics to explore the nature of those assumptions, beliefs and values.  For example: what precisely is it that shapes our understanding of mind, religion or society?  In what ways are our thoughts limited by our environment, history or language?  How should one evaluate human relationships, the past or works of art?  

By developing and practising philosophical and ethical analysis and enquiry, you can explore any area of human interest with a level clarity, coherence and rigour unrivalled by other academic disciplines and subjects.

Philosophy and Ethics at Bath Spa University has developed a distinctive identity within the national marketplace for undergraduate philosophy provision.

World Philosophies: The programme is designed to allow you to explore philosophy and ethics as a global phenomenon.  That is, in addition to teaching you about Western’ philosophical and ethical perspectives, the subject introduces you to the philosophies and ethics of the Indian subcontinent and China.  This approach challenges the Anglo-American and analytic focus of philosophy departments in the UK and undermines the assertion that ‘Philosophy speaks Greek and only Greek’.

Doing Philosophy: Rather than teaching philosophy primarily as a history of ideas, Philosophy and Ethics at Bath Spa is concerned with enabling you to develop as analytical, critical and systematic thinkers.  The programme has been constructed to foreground teaching and learning events that promote the formation of subject-specific and employment-facing thinking and practical skills.

Contemporary / Applied: The programme is aimed at exploring how philosophical and ethical analysis can be applied to a range of contemporary debates, issues and problems.  Staff research interests usefully inform teaching and learning events at this point, notably through applied projects and the teaching of such topics as the ethics of war, ecological ethics and the philosophy of gender.

Course structure

In Year 1 we offer a core module which introduces philosophical and ethical enquiry, providing you with the tools of philosophical and ethical analysis, and critically examining core concepts in epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. There is an optional module in global religions and philosophies, looking at major traditions and movements, and key thinkers.

The core module in Year 2 focuses on philosophy in Indian and Chinese traditions. Optional modules include ethics within religious and humanist traditions, on topics such as medical ethics and social justice, and philosophy, religions and the environment, on topics such ecological degradation and nonhuman rights

There is also a Special Project in which you can explore topics of your choice, engage in a placement or project relevant to employment, or take part in a summer school in another country such as Korea.

In the third year, options include a philosophical module on the meaning of human existence, encompassing such topics as absurdity and purpose, identity and mortality and a module on religion, philosophy and gender. There is also a special research project which could focus on Applied Ethics, a Dissertation which allows for in-depth concentration on a topic of your choice, or an employment related project.

 

NOTE: You will need to study another subject to study with Philosophy and Ethics.

 

 

Modules

 

 

Year 1:

  • Beyond Belief: Introduction to the Study of Religions and Spiritualities (core module);
  • Truth and Value: Introduction to Philosophical and Ethical Enquiry (core module);
  • Global Religions and Philosophies

Year 2:

  • Darshana, Dharma and Dao: Philosophy in the Indian and Chinese Traditions (core module);
  • Ethics, Religion and Humanism: Contemporary Moral Dilemmas;
  • Special Project;
  • Philosophy, Religions and the Environment

 

Year 3:

  • Dissertation;
  • Employment related placement (alternative to Dissertation);
  • Religion, Philosophy and Gender;
  • Life and Meaning;
  • Advanced Special Project;
  • Culture and Counterculture: from Orientalism to the ‘Hippy Trail’.

Course assessment

Mainly by coursework such as essays, reports, projects, presentations, on- line discussion board participation. There are also some timed elements such as critical analyses or examinations.

The approach taken to the study of Philosophy and Ethics at Bath Spa is distinctive in taking a global approach. Philosophies studied include South and East Asian philosophies as well as Western approaches. We stress ‘doing philosophy’ and developing your own abilities to argue a case and analyse appropriate evidence. We apply philosophical and ethical thinking to address contemporary concerns such as gender and sexuality, environmental ethics, war and conflict and medical ethics. There are opportunities to follow up your own interests or career plans in a variety of special projects, employment related placements and a dissertation.

We offer excellent teaching with attention to individuals, and staff are active in research and scholarship in their specialist areas. We welcome non-traditional entrants and mature students.

Teaching methods

We offer excellent teaching with attention to individuals, and staff are active in research and scholarship in their specialist areas. We welcome non-traditional entrants and mature students.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Please contact our Admissions team (see above)

Entry requirements

260–300 UCAS Tariff points.

Career opportunities

Philosophy and Ethics develops many skills valued by employers such as clarity and precision in thinking, the ability to recognise unnoticed assumptions, the expertise to present a strong case, and to see the ethical issues involved in everyday decisions. Graduate careers for which Philosophy is good preparation include: law, civil service, local government, journalism, financial institutions, management, and IT. Some of some of our students have gone on to teach Religious Education, Philosophy and/or Citizenship in secondary or primary schools, where there is a shortage of specialists. Others have gone on to further academic study.

Since 2010, employers such as Global Xchange. Ethicall, Citizens' Advice Bureau and Birmingham University have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Healthcare Assistant, Fundraiser,  Children's Home Activities Coordinator and Assistant to the Communications Director.

What students say...

Lindsay Horler, Philosophy & Ethics with Study of Religions, Year 3:

“I chose to study this particular course because I was interested in studying Eastern as well as Western philosophy, and Bath Spa is probably the only University in the UK which offers such an in-depth enquiry into Eastern philosophical thought. While studying Philosophy & Ethics with Study of Religions at Bath Spa I have not only enhanced my intellectual skills, but I have also developed as a person. By thinking critically about philosophical ideas from Anglo-American, European and global perspectives, I have been able to think critically about my own philosophical beliefs.

What I enjoy most about Bath Spa University is that I can speak to my course tutors whenever I have questions to do with my course, or anything else for that matter.”