Drama BA (Hons)

UCAS code W400

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About this course 2019/20

BA (Hons) Drama allows you to fully experience different aspects of theatre arts. The course includes a range of optional specialist pathways which lead to the following awards:

All pathways are led by award winning industry experts who will support you to acquire the necessary skills for professional work whether as an actor, performer, writer, facilitator or community-engaged theatre maker.

The strength and depth of our partnerships with world leading professional arts organisations is what makes studying Performing Arts at Northumbria University so special. The opportunities presented are unique; whether it’s professionally touring work to schools; acting with top regional theatre company Northern Stage; performing at an International theatre festival; or having your script read by professional actors at one of the most outstanding new writing theatres in the world, you’ll get access to the best that industry can offer.

While working across our excellent campus facilities you will be part of a thriving community developing specialist knowledge about theatre and performance and a rich set of creative, critical and reflective skills suited to your future profession.  We encourage students to be makers in whatever form they are working.  The course provides an opportunity for you to shine as an individual in a community and to learn from others while creating artistic work of the highest quality.

99% of students agree that staff are good at explaining things (Unistats, 2016)

BA Drama at Northumbria University, Newcastle from Northumbria University on Vimeo.

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At interview/ audition, you will have the opportunity to choose a specialism. All the pathways offered under this framework are well suited for you if you enjoy learning practically, want to develop specialist drama skills and are passionate about becoming a thoughtful, sensitive theatre maker.

Specialist Pathways

BA (Hons) Drama (Acting and Performance)

Are you a strong communicator with a desire to act and perform and have the drive to succeed? Alongside a rigorous acting skills programme you’ll have the opportunity to develop yourself as an actor and performer through a range of exciting and challenging practical projects ranging from classical theatre to contemporary performance, which prepare you for working in a range of performance contexts on graduation.

For more information on this specialism click here.


BA (Hons) Drama (Applied Theatre)

If you are passionate about inspiring others and are keen to take your acting skills into educational and community settings, this is the ideal pathway for you. You will work with professional partners and experience real life learning environments, giving you a head start in future employment. 

For more information on this specialism click here.


BA (Hons) Drama (Scriptwriting)

This pathway allows you to combine your two passions; scriptwriting and performing.  You will develop diverse forms of writing for performance, whether in film, television, theatre or elsewhere.  You are encouraged to immerse yourself in the cultural community, to find your independent voice and you will create a professional portfolio of work to serve as a bridge into employment.

For more information on this specialism click here.

Learn from the best

You will learn from award-winning, research active academic staff that bring a wealth of professional experience from the world of Drama to Northumbria. From successful playwrights and theatre directors to professional dancers and performers, you will be taught by industry experts, developing the essential skills you need to succeed in your future career from inspiring, exciting and innovative staff.

From the beginning of your first year, staff research expertise will inform your curriculum.  Through diverse and innovative guidance and methods, they will introduce you to exciting ways of working, communicating and performing.

Caption: Course Leader: Steve Gilroy caption: Meet the team

Teaching and Assessment

Practical learning is at the heart of this course, enabling you to take part in real life tasks that will develop your employability skills. Through stimulating workshops, lectures, seminars, and projects and performances you will be encouraged to independently and collaboratively work, think and perform. You will be introduced to drama theory which will help you to reflect critically on your practice in order to effectively move forward in your work. High quality technology such as filming and recording equipment will be available for you to use in the process of making and producing your practice.

You will be assessed through summative and formative assessments throughout the three years.

Learning Environment

This course is underpinned by an active engagement with technology. From the start of the course, you will be asked to begin to compile an electronic portfolio of your work and progress on the Pebble+ application, and will act as a personal resource which you can build throughout your time studying at Northumbria.  You will be encouraged to blog, to collate sample work such as scripts and show reels, which will enhance your professional standing when you graduate.

You will learn in dedicated studio spaces using our range of professional facilities including access to professional exhibition spaces, an onsite theatre and high quality equipment including portable sound and lighting rigs. 

Caption: Drama FacilitiesCaption: Student Profilescaption: University Library 

Research-rich Learning

With the opportunity to collaborate with regional, national and international industry professionals, you will learn from the very best in the business. With experienced academic staff known all over the world, you will be taught in areas such as performance research, physical theatre, political cabaret and scriptwriting.

Immersed in a practical learning environment, designed to encourage curiosity and promote skills acquisition, you will be supported in your development as an independent learner and thinker.  In the first year your work will be tutor-led and will introduce you to methods of working and researching to support your developing practice.  The second year allows you to develop more independence in research and project development, and in the third year you will research, develop and deliver a substantial independent project in your chosen field.

Your research will centre around your own interests and can be directed towards developing performances, participatory projects, scripts or academic research.

Caption: Department Research

Give your career an edge

This course is not just the study of Drama but an introduction to the cultural community of practice in the North East Region. Through practical engagement and professional experience with the subject, you will have the chance to collaborate with our prestigious cultural collaborators and partners such as Northern Stage and Live Theatre who will share their practice and enhance your understanding of employability.

With this course, you will benefit from engaging with our professional connections and partnerships. Receiving skills training, work experience, professional opportunities delivered by industry professionals, you will be immersed in our community of practice, working with regional, national, and international organisations that will develop your skills and provide you with experience favoured by employers.

Caption: Northern StageCaption: Live Theatre PartnershipCaption: Gateshead International Festival of Theatre

Your Future

By the end of this course, you will feel secure in the knowledge, skills and competences you have developed, enabling you to approach the world of employment with self-assurance, confidence and a realistic sense of your own level of achievement.

Many students have gone to a variety of further study opportunities including Northumbria’s own MA Theatre and Performance, as well as at RADA, the Royal Court Theatre and a variety of other MA programmes.

Drama (Acting and Performance)

Northumbria has an excellent track record of producing highly skilled employable Performing Arts graduates and from this course you can go on to pursue successful careers as performers, directors, choreographers, musicians, teachers, community artists, drama, dance and music therapists and arts development officers.

Drama (Applied Theatre)

With the practical skills and knowledge needed for a successful future in the industry, you will be equipped to pursue careers as performers, directors, enablers, facilitators, drama workers, drama therapists, teachers and lecturers.

Drama (Scriptwriting)

You will be equipped with the skills to operate as self-employed practising writers working within the cultural industries. Graduates from this course have gone on to successful careers in professional theatre, theatre in education, the broadcast media, the education sector and the heritage industry. 

Caption: Alumni: Amy GoldingCaption: Alumni: Riley JonesCaption: Alumni: Ali Pritchard

Course info

UCAS Code W400

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location Squires Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 

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Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy