BA (Hons) Drama (Musical Theatre) – Bath Spa University

Drama (Musical Theatre)

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) Drama (Musical Theatre)
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
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. Typical offers include A Level CCC or above, and Grade C in Drama, Theatre studies, English or related subjects accepted.

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.

BA Drama (Musical Theatre) is designed for students interested in exploring theatre and performance in its many forms. 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.

Over the three years, the musical theatre modules will develop your understanding of the history of the art form and the place of musicals within popular culture, while building your technical and interpretive skills in singing, staging, and acting through song.

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“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) consists of six modules in musical theatre (a third of your degree) alongside an exciting range of Drama modules that will equip you with the skills to perform, make, explore and analyse a wide variety of performance work.

The course enables you to develop specialised musical theatre skills and knowledge through acting, singing, staging and contextual work, while also enjoying the benefits of a more broadly-based Drama degree, preparing you for a range of career destinations in the creative industries, teaching, and allied professions.

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 at the University Theatre and local venues.

Course structure

Year one
Build the foundations. 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'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


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 at Newton Park campus.

Facilities include:


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
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

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,700
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
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

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 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 CCC including Grade C in Drama, Theatre studies, English or related subjects accepted
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 26 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
Course leader: Roy Connolly

Three year course

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