Drama (Musical Theatre)

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

  • UCAS codes: Institution B20, Course W401 or W403 (with professional placement year)
  • Drama handbook

Key facts

BA (Hons) Drama
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: W401 or W403
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Pursue your passion for musical theatre while enjoying the benefits of a more broadly based drama degree.

  • Develop your performance skills, knowledge and understanding of both Drama and Musical Theatre.
  • Learn to experiment, critically reflect and innovate in your work.
  • Prepare for a career in a range of employment contexts including theatre, creative industries and education.

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 range of professional contexts.

This course will allow you to develop your performance skills in singing, acting and staging, while evolving an understanding of the history of the art form and the place of musicals within popular culture.

It will give you a strong grounding in the traditions and debates that inform contemporary performance while also providing you with the tools to perform, interpret and create a wide range of work.

“One of the best elements about Drama at Bath Spa is the large range of module choices. From musical theatre to scriptwriting to education, this course allows you to tailor your studies to exactly what you are interested in within the world of drama and theatre.”

Lacey Ruttley, Drama graduate

What you'll learn


BA Drama (Musical Theatre) offers students the opportunity to develop practical skills in acting, singing, devising, staging and playwriting, as well as critical skills in understanding a range of works and the ideas that underpin them.

You'll engage with key ideas and movements in theatre history through the study of plays, musicals, practitioners and genres that have helped to shape contemporary theatre and performance. and through our three-fold focus on skills development, exploration and performance.

You'll explore approaches to performance making including writing, directing and performing. Performance opportunities include workshop presentations in campus performance studios, workshops and performances in schools, and public performances in the University Theatre and local venues.

Course structure

Year one
Build the foundations. In studying Drama, you’ll take modules in theatre history, approaches to working with dramatic texts, contemporary performance and theatre skills. Musical Theatre studies will see you taking foundation modules in musical theatre history and musical theatre skills, with a strong focus on vocal performance and working with music.

Year two
Apply your skills. Core Drama modules focus on approaches to creating your own original work, while a range of optional modules will allow you to explore your particular areas of interest such as physical theatre, writing for performance, applied theatre and theatre production. Musical Theatre workshop modules will explore different types of musical theatre with a focus on acting, vocal interpretation, dramaturgy and staging.

Year three
Specialise. You’ll research an area of drama or performance of your own choice for your dissertation, as well as selecting areas of study from a range of specialist modules such as Performance Projects, Staging Gender, Modern American Drama, Staging Shakespeare, Docu-drama, Media and Performance, Devising and Site-Specific Performance. The practical work of Musical Theatre will culminate in a formal showcase, while the contextual work will finish with an exploration of the place of musicals within popular culture.

How will I be assessed?

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

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

How will I be taught?

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


Work placements, industry links and internships

As a Drama student, you’ll benefit from our partnerships with local performance venues, schools and community groups as well as 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.

Recent visiting professionals include:

  • 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
  • Local professional theatre companies - The Misfits, Travelling Light Theatre Company, Up In Arms Theatre Company.


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

Many of our graduates pursue careers in the creative industries and teaching. Others use it as the basis for specialised postgraduate study - either academic or vocational training.

Recent graduates have won places at Central School of Speech and Drama, Yale Theatre School, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Guildford School of Acting and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Professional placement year


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.


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

You'll benefit from use of teaching and rehearsal facilities on the Newton Park campus and also from use of Burdall's Yard, a specialised and atmospheric performance venue in the City Centre that is particularly well suited to less conventional or more intimate cabaret, theatre or comedy performances.

Facilities include:


UK and EU students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

UK and EU students full time - with 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.

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,900
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We are looking for students who are motivated learners and reliable collaborators with an interest in exploring Drama in its many forms, both practically and in terms of the ideas that underpin approaches to theatre making. Musical Theatre students should have good fundamental performance and musical skills (pitch, rhythm, melody) and an active interest in building their skills and knowledge, both in the classroom and through independent study.

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 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.

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

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

The interview process will focus primarily on your:

  • Vocal skills
  • 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.

Get ahead

A general familiarity with a range of musicals from different periods will be an asset, as will singing experience and basic experience of working with sheet music. Recommended reading includes:

  • Deer, J. and Dal Vera, R. (2010). Acting in Musical Theatre. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Harvard, Paul (2013) Acting Through Song. London: Nick Hern Books.
  • Taylor, Millie (2008) Singing for Musicals: A Practical Guide. Crowood Press.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Roy Connolly
Email: r.connolly@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk