BA (Hons) Drama and English Literature – Bath Spa University

Drama and English Literature

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Drama and English Literature
School/s
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts, School of Humanities
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: QW3L or SE90
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

Explore your creative identity with our Drama degree.

  • Pursue your passions. Choose to specialise, broaden your skills-base or combine Drama with another subject you love.
  • Experiment, reflect and innovate. Learn by making, producing, performing, directing and collaborating.
  • Graduate with a host of skills valued in a range of industries, from theatre to media to education.

Due to Covid-19, we have made some changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year: we have blended high-quality virtual engagement with in-person teaching on campus when possible. Blended learning will continue to some extent in the 2021-22 academic year and we will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. If you’re planning on joining us in September 2021 we will communicate with you about specific details of how your course is taught nearer the time.


Studying Drama at Bath Spa gives you the performance, critical and creative skills you need to launch yourself into a variety of exciting careers.

You'll explore your creative identity through core and optional modules in areas of practice such as play production, performing, writing and directing, and topics such as Shakespeare, musical theatre, physical theatre, applied theatre and media and performance.

Among many of the options open to you will be acting, directing, education, theatre production, arts administration, or arts therapies; you could also choose to progress to further study, for example in as Directing, Creative Producing, Performing ShakespeareClassical Acting, Creative Writing and Scriptwriting

“The Drama department has been excellent in supporting us and offering advice and support when needed. The course was a springboard into the professional world of Drama.”

Simon Crispin, third year Drama student

What you'll learn

Overview

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
  • 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
  • New plays written by students
  • New and existing works devised, directed and performed by students.

Course structure

Year one
Build the foundations. You’ll gain skills in working with play texts as part of a theatrical ensemble, performing and directing, theatre production and performance; these will underpin your work in years two and three. 

Year two
Apply your skills. You’ll work with local practitioners, collaborate with local venues and learn from visiting professional companies and artists. You'll also have the opportunity to apply yourself in a variety of performance projects. Our focus is allowing you to create original work, while you explore your particular areas of interest such as physical theatre, applied theatre, musical theatre and theatre production.

Year three
Develop your specialisms. Increasingly, you'll define and manage your own work, and carry out research into an area of drama or performance of your choice. You may explore topics such as performance, staging gender, modern American drama, staging Shakespeare, musical theatre, theatre for social change, media and performance, and devising. There's also the opportunity to collaborate with staff on projects relating to their areas of expertise. 

How will I be assessed?

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.

How will I be taught?

You'll be taught through a range of activities including lectures, workshops, seminars, skills classes, rehearsals, tutorials, work placements and theatre visits.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Investigating Theatre and Performance
  • Contemporary Theatre
  • Building the Ensemble
  • Musical Theatre History
  • Theatre Project
  • Introduction to Theatre Production
  • Performance Practices
  • Musical Theatre Skills

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Making Performance 1
  • Acting and Directing
  • Applied Theatre
  • Creative Production Skills
  • Theatre and Education
  • Writing for Performance 1
  • Shakespeare and His Contemporaries
  • Musical Theatre Workshop
  • Performance Explorations
  • Making Performance 2
  • Performance and Media 1
  • Writing for Performance 2
  • Musical Theatre Workshop 2
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Performance and Media 2
  • Theatre and Social Engagement
  • Staging Gender
  • Musical Theatre Project
  • Writing and Directing for Performance 1
  • Performance Project
  • Performance Research Lab
  • Staging Shakespeare
  • Drama Independent Study
  • Production Project – Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  • Writing and Directing for Performance 2
  • Musicals as Popular Culture
  • Creative Enterprise Project 1
  • Creative Enterprise Project 2

Opportunities

Work placements, industry links and internships

You’ll benefit from visits from industry professionals. Previous visitors have covered a range of specialisms including: playwriting, directing, acting, television production, theatre in education, and children’s theatre. We also have partnerships with local venues, local schools and local community groups.

You'll also get the chance to take part in Dramafest – a festival of performance that's devised and run entirely by students. This event typifies our way of teaching, which is to enable you to experience a wealth of roles and approaches so that you can find your passions and choose to specialise in them if you wish. 

Drama students create the material for Dramafest, then perform and produce it. They design and construct the sets. They take on roles in stage management, publicity, and health and safety. In doing this, they gain transferable skills such as project management, collaboration and teamwork, that they can use in a range of careers.

Dramafest will be a chance for you to discover your strengths and define your own roles within a project; an invaluable skill in the workplace. Find out more about opportunities within the Drama department on our interest area page.

Careers

We equip you with creative, collaborative, writing, presentational and communication skills that are useful 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 study Master's degrees 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. Some of our Drama graduatesare now:

  • Founder of an award-winning theatre company
  • Executive Director of a theatre school
  • Principal of an Academy of Performing Arts
  • Dramatherapist and Tutor.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

“Because of the staff and resources at Bath Spa University, I feel confident that I will reach my potential.”

Ashley McGinty, third year Drama student

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll benefit from use of teaching and rehearsal facilities at the Newton Park campus.

Facilities used by BA Drama include:

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.

UK students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,720
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for dynamic individuals with an interest in exploring a wide range of drama and performance forms. You’ll typically have CCC or above at  A-Level including a C grade, or above, in Drama, Performing Arts or English.

On your application form you should refer to:

  • Your experience, skills and interests
  • Performance work, plays or the books that have influenced your thinking
  • Shows in which you have performed
  • Why you think Drama at Bath Spa is the right course for you.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - grades BCC-CCC including a Grade C in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts preferred.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject, or evidence of experience in Performing Arts.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required in addition to evidence of involvement in drama or performing arts.
  • 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) together with evidence of involvement in drama and performing arts.

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.

Course enquiries
For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Suitable applicants will be invited to audition at our Newton Park campus between December and March.

The interview process will focus primarily on your:

  • Group skills
  • Aptitude for taking part in workshop activities
  • Spontaneity and creativity
  • Interest in drama practices.

More information will be sent via email on invitation to audition. We do not charge an audition fee.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

Course leader: Roy Connolly
Email: r.connolly@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course
With placement year

Moved by words? Use them to make a difference with our English Literature degree.

  • Combine professional skills and opportunities with subject knowledge in an innovative English Literature course.
  • Develop practical and professional skills. Apply both to contemporary challenges, issues and debates.
  • Explore the next stage in your career. Our graduates have gone on to work with leading employers.

Due to Covid-19, we have made some changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year: we have blended high-quality virtual engagement with in-person teaching on campus when possible. Blended learning will continue to some extent in the 2021-22 academic year and we will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. If you’re planning on joining us in September 2021 we will communicate with you about specific details of how your course is taught nearer the time.


Literature is diverse. Every text we pick up gives us a different perspective on the world.

Our innovative English Literature degree has been designed to enable you to acquire specialised subject knowledge while developing practical and professional skills that you can apply to contemporary challenges, issues and debates.

Our English Literature course will introduce you to an incredible range of literary worlds. From classic texts to new and unfamiliar writing, we’ll ask you to think differently about what ‘literature’ can be and to explore original ways of reading and analysing it. We’ll also ask you to place your reading in wider contexts, and to draw on other disciplines to deepen your understanding and sharpen your insights.

We have expertise in a wide range of periods, literary genres and approaches to the study of words and writing; and our teaching staff share a commitment to excellent teaching and to offering you the best possible experience during your time with us.

Develop practical and professional skills

Historical background, philosophical concepts and political debate will all contribute to your ability to read widely and well, and to approach your English Literature degree with confidence and complementary skills.

This approach will help you develop the vital skills of analysis, communication and collaboration that employers look for in English Literature graduates – skills that will open up a diverse range of possible careers. To maximise your potential, we’ll also support you in learning to manage projects, work with your peers and our external partners, evaluate options and respond to a brief.

Explore the next stage in your career

Publishing, PR, teaching and journalism are popular paths, and our English Literature graduates have gone on to work with leading employers including New Scientist, Oxford University Press, Marie Curie, Bristol Museums and Barclays Bank.

What you'll learn

Overview

We combine the academic study of literature with skill-based modules to create a practical, applied English Literature degree. You’ll learn how to analyse a wide range of texts, and how to pitch an idea for a literary festival, compile digital teaching resources for schools, or produce an online edition of a historical text. In this, you’ll be applying your knowledge and your skills in practical, professional ways, in preparation for the next stage in your career.

Course structure

Year one
Introductions and foundations: develop your skills in the reading and analysis of selected texts, combined with a broad curriculum which allows you to ask questions, challenge your own assumptions, and interrogate evidence, data and opinions.

Year two
Practical, applied, relevant: this year combines the academic study of your chosen topics with the acquisition of professional skills and the application of your knowledge and understanding to a defined problem or idea.

Year three
Achievement, consolidation, creativity: your final project in the third year brings all this together. You’ll identify and develop your own proposal and put it into practice. This might be an extended piece of academic writing, but it might also be an exhibition, community project, or the creation of digital resources.

How will I be assessed?

Most modules use essays with other forms of coursework such as journals, portfolios and short critical pieces, projects and dissertations, or special assignments such as seminar presentations, collaborative magazines, and web-based essays. Some modules include seen and unseen exams. Second and final year grades contribute towards your final degree award.

How will I be taught?

English modules are taught via seminars, lectures, individual tutorials, and IT workshops.

Opportunities

Study abroad

All English students have the opportunity to apply for an Erasmus placement which allows them to study for one or more terms in their second or third year of study. We also have links with partner institutions in the USA and Australia.

Fieldwork

We're keen to bring literature to life, and the course features optional modules that include potential fieldwork opportunites in London, Oxford, Berlin, Krakow and Auschwitz, among others. Our students have also won places on summer schools in Beijing and Monterrey.

Careers

We believe strongly in employability, and have made it a core part of our curriculum. You’ll have access to our renowned digital facilities, as well as to our Bath Spa Careers team who'll help you forge a fulfilling future.

Many of our graduates pursue careers in publishing or teaching. Organisations including NewScientist, Trinity College Library, DigitalBox and Cengage Learning EMEA have employed our graduates. Graduate professions include:

  • Editorial Assistant
  • Publishing Outreach Executive
  • Content Writer
  • Campaigns Officer

Some graduates choose to progress onto postgraduate study.

Competitions and awards

There are annual prizes for the best overall performance in both core modules in years one and two, and a very special prize for the best final year English Project.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The English Literature programme is based at Newton Park campus.

You'll have access to excellent facilities such as our:

Resources

We have a wide range of high-quality online resources to complement the books and journals you have access to in our Library, as well as digital publishing facilities, historical and modern printing presses, and industry-standard broadcast media facilities.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.

UK students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,720
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for students who share our passion for literature in all its forms. You should be inquisitive and willing to challenge yourself, to question shared assumptions, and want to collaborate with others in exploring the ideas and worlds that the written word opens up to us.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - grades BCC-CCC including a Grade C in English or a related subject.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required with a minimum of Grade 6 in English at Higher Level.
  • 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).

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.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Get ahead

We recommend that you read as much literature as possible! It’s a good idea to read books from various historical periods and literary genres – and think about the differences you notice between them. You’ll find Studying English Literature (Continuum Press, 2010) by Ashley Chantler to be a good guide.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

Course leader: Dr. Richard Stamp
Email: r.stamp@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course
With placement year

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk