facebook BA (Hons) Drama (Writing for Performance) – Bath Spa University

Drama (Writing for Performance)

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) Drama (Writing for Performance)
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: W402 or W405
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.

Develop your skills in dramatic writing while studying Drama.

  • Pursue a specialised path in writing for performance alongside established core Drama modules.
  • Learn the principles of playwriting and develop your dramatic writing skills in a variety of genres and contexts.
  • Develop work in collaboration with other artists, actors and directors, and alongside select companies.

Drama at Bath Spa is founded on collaboration, creativity and contemporary professional practice. Now, you can pursue your passion for performance writing on this specialist course, which is underpinned by an established Drama programme.

You'll learn the rules and techniques of playwriting, developing your writing skills and voice through a variety of different approaches and in relation to a variety of genres and dramaturgical contexts.

At the same time, you'll have the opportunity to explore a wide range of complementary topics including performance and media, Shakespeare, musical theatre and theatre and politics, that will provide a strong understanding of Drama and its place in the world today.

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What you'll learn


Through a series of progressive modules, you'll learn the principles of playwriting within a variety of genres and contexts. Core modules will give you a grounding in key knowledge and skills, and you'll select the remainder of your studies from a range of topics, allowing you to create a programme of study that suits your dramatic passions and ambitions.

During your studies, you’ll be encouraged to collaborate with local companies, venues and educational and cultural institutions. You’ll be given the opportunity to work with industry professionals, writers, actors, directors and theatre practitioners from across the many fields of theatre and performance.

On graduating, you'll be equipped with writing, presentational, communication and collaborative skills that are valued in many professional and vocational areas.

Course structure

Year one
In your first year, you'll become familiar with contemporary theatre writing, theory and practices through play text study modules and our Page to Stage module. 

Year two
You'll focus on developing your individuality, ideas, process and voice, exploring notions of character, plot, action, dialogue, structure, theme, style and dramatic device through reading, discussion and practical work. You'll study a selection of playwrights, practitioners, genres and dramaturgical contexts in order to understand how these elements can be effectively applied in practice. You'll gain an understanding of the key elements of writing for live performance and other contexts, and undertake a series of writing exercises culminating in the creation of two short plays.

Year three
The third year sees a shift in emphasis to the wider dramaturgical issues intrinsic to the creative process. You'll be given the opportunity to collaborate on developing a piece of new writing. Building on the industry model of the director-writer partnership, you'll work with other artists (directors, actors, designers) to explore and gain appreciation of the collaborative process in shaping a new play or performance text. 
You'll also be given opportunities to develop work in accordance with “commissions” from select companies. 

How will I be assessed?

We use various creative writing exercises as assessment tasks across the programme, culminating in a series of pieces of dramatic writing. Assessment is also based on your contribution to classes and workshops, and through your role in the collaborative process.

How will I be taught?

Seminar discussions and practical workshops build on the ideas introduced through lectures and critical readings, giving you an opportunity to explore your writing and develop your works-in-progress.

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
  • Applied Theatre
  • Theatre and Education
  • Creative Production Skills
  • Writing for Performance 1
  • Shakespeare and His Contemporaries
  • Musical Theatre Workshop
  • Performance Explorations
  • Acting and Directing
  • Making Performance
  • 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
  • Modern American Drama
  • Musicals as Popular Culture
  • Creative Enterprise Project 1


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. We also have partnerships with local venues, schools and community groups.

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.

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 (Writing for Performance) 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 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.

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.

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