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Drama with English BA (Hons)

Overview

The world is your stage

Please note: this course is currently subject to validation.

This course allows you to study a range of drama techniques and practice as well as providing a distinctive underpinning in English literature, giving you a wide range of employment possibilities on your graduation from the degree.

We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2019.

This exciting course will provide you with a unique opportunity to develop your drama techniques and performance skills combined with the critical study of English literature. You will work with a range of industry trained academics and professional partners who will help you gain practical skills, along with the critical and theoretical ability needed to prepare you for all the opportunities of the SE1 cultural quarter and beyond.

Why study Drama with English at LSBU?

Top 2 amongst London competitors for overall satisfaction and teaching in Drama (National Student Survey 2018).

LSBU Student Theatre Company: You'll take part in a full season of theatre working exclusively with theatre professionals including directors, performers and theatre companies.
Creative partnership with Frantic Assembly: Known for their high-octane, physical theatre productions Frantic Assembly will deliver workshops and residencies, and share their expertise with you.
The Edric Theatre is a dedicated performance and rehearsal space with a 90-seat capacity, plus a 30-seat studio and backstage facilities.
Take full advantage of the proximity to London's theatres by attending professional workshops, gaining temporary employment and answering casting calls.
Top 5 in London for graduate prospects in English (Sunday Times 2019).
Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 years
Start Date
September
Location
Southwark Campus

Case studies

Modules

Year 1

  • Theatre workshop
    In this module you will take part in a diverse series of practical and fun workshops exploring key dramaturgical concepts, perspectives, tools and general performance skills. You will develop trust, play and confidence that will guide you through the next three years of your degree. This module is a practical introduction to fundamental theatre-making concepts and performance skills. 
    The study area of each workshop will be developed by looking at existing performances; you will examine the structural and essential features that constitute a theatrical experience. Different members of the Drama teaching team will lead each session allowing you to meet the diverse set of staff leading you through your degree.
  • Acting a role

    This module will introduce you to the Stanislavski system of training the actor and enable you to develop your vocal and stagecraft skills in rehearsal and performance.  You will investigate the artistic processes involved in creating a role to the standards of the professional rehearsal room.  You will also learn about the historical evolution of naturalism and realism and engage actively and creatively in the process of building a role.

    You will develop the ability to interpret a text from the point of view of an actor, equipping you with the skills needed to work to professional standards, introducing you to the working practices of the professional actor.

  • Performance lab
    The emphasis of this module will be live performance, the performer’s body and the relationship you have with the audience. In the first part of this module you will be introduced to work created upon the form of ritual, play, games and performance in everyday life. You will then be guided into performance art and body art through a brief historical overview of the field.  

    This module will enable you to analyse the relationship between the body in everyday life and the body in performance, and develop an understanding of the relationship between the audience and the space.

  • The practice of literary criticism
    What are the key skills required to study English literature at undergraduate level? How are literary texts approached at undergraduate level, and what is meant by ‘literary criticism’? This first year, first semester module takes an interactive approach to the study of literature and aims to enhance your academic writing. Through a detailed study of a range of literary fiction, you develop skills in critical reading and analysis, academic writing and oral presentation. The module also introduces you to the skills required to research academic sources and introduces you to all aspects of our library services, including online sites and resources. Assessment by coursework: one 1,200-word essay (40%), oral presentation (20%), and once 1,200-word essay (40%).

Plus one option from:

  • Acting the text
    This module is offered as an option if you are interested in further developing the work encountered in Acting a role by exploring characterisation techniques used by professional actors. In groups, you will develop a workshop performance of a contemporary play and apply the characterization techniques learnt on the module.

    Alongside the practical work, you will work on critical reflections in the form of a rehearsal script and notebook. You will experience the performer’s journey from their first encounter with a script, through the various stages of rehearsal to a work-shopped formal performance

  • Movement for actors
    Through the combined study of technique and its application to practice, students will develop an informed understanding of the many different contemporary approaches to movement in theatre and performance. The module will build awareness of the importance of physical training in order to create the physical score of a text and fully embody a character, as well as build confidence in the students’ understanding of the expressive potential of the body in performance.
    This module will focus on the development the actor’s movement and expressive physicality through technique classes designed to improve strength, coordination and flexibility. The work encountered will enhance your awareness of physical and gestural approaches to characterization in preparation from Collaborative Production and Artistic Residency in Year 2.

And one option from:

  • Drama in society
    Why do we go to the theatre? Or do we go at all? This module deflects the notion of theatre as a safe, elitist form of entertainment and explores a range of dramatic literature with the power to affect people’s lives and act as a medium to fight oppression. The module explores a wide range of recent dramatic literature produced across four continents that challenge dominant ideas within society. The module uses a variety of texts that reflect the different cultural contexts they sprang out of. You study the work of Wole Soyinka, Athol Fugard, Arial Dorfman, Caryl Churchill, August Wilson and Thomson Highway. We explore concepts such as postcolonial, feminist and performance theory, and the relationship between the stage and political struggle. Assessment: One 1,500-word essay (50%), and one 2-hour unseen exam (50%).
  • Narrative and culture
    Narratives shape our understanding of the world and the society and culture in which we live. Our opinions on important political and social issues such as human rights, equality, war, and injustice are influenced by narrative point of view. This module introduces the critical study of narrative and forms of prose narration, including non-fiction prose writing. Building on the core skills covered in semester one, it provides the appropriate critical skills and vocabulary with which to analyse different forms of prose narrative, introducing a range of texts from different historical periods, traditions, and genres. It also develops key skills in the areas of academic presentation and essay writing. Assessment by coursework:  two 1,500-word critical essays (50% each).

Year 2

  • Critical frameworks
    This module will encourage you to theorise the practice you encounter in the ‘professional season’ semester.  You will engage in a series of lectures and seminars designed to develop critical thinking and reflection on the work you engaged in for the intensive practical modules.  
  • Company in residence - delivered by Frantic Assembly
    In this module, you will gain practical experience working intensively with a professional physical theatre company. Working from contemporary issues, you will explore risk-based physical work, expressive staging and ensemble movement to create a new piece of physical theatre.  The current partner delivering this module is Frantic Assembly Theatre, although this is subject to change.

    You will gain confidence as a performer and develop a more expressive and dynamic stage presence. You will develop physical skills and techniques that can be applied to devising your own work.

  • Collaborative production
    The module runs as part of the ‘professional season’ where you will be a member of the company and, working exclusively with industry professionals, undertake a series of live briefs.  You will be expected to demonstrate your ability to work to the highest standards of personal and professional discipline and to work collaboratively to stage a full-length production of a selected text or texts. This module is designed to reflect the way in which a production might be mounted in the theatre industry.  

    There are three pathways through the module: performance, design and technical theatre. The module will give you detailed understanding of how the industry works in practice and give you the confidence of independent theatre makers, with an understanding of industry practice.

  • Theatre and audience
    In this module you will investigate different forms of interactive theatre to gain an understanding of the practical and ethical aspects of engaging an audience directly in performance. You will learn approaches to making and performing participatory work and develop an understanding of the ethical implications of participation. You will be introduced to a range of different interactive forms including socially engaged work and community projects and skills including improvisation, reading an audience and dealing with challenging participants.
  • Writing for performance
    Writing for performance focuses on the craft of dramatic writing, with an emphasis on writing for stage. You will develop an original idea through to an outline, then to a completed short (15 minute) play. Through reading play texts, watching plays in performance, visiting different London stages, and reading about theory, you learn to watch theatre critically and develop your own creative practice. The course is practice-based, including writing workshops and writing exercises in every class. At the end of the module you will see your work read by professional actors. Assessment: One act play of 30 minutes duration (75%); and a 2,500-word reflective essay (25%).

Plus one option from

  • Literature into film
    The debate on cinematic adaptations of literary works has been dominated by questions of fidelity to the source text. Why do we prioritise the literary originals over their film versions? Everybody has a favourite novel that was made into a disappointing film that failed to have the richness of the written text or failed to capture the “spirit” of the original. In this module we will examine why adaptations have been seen, both by critics and audiences, as inferior to the original texts. Using a range of literary and filmic periods and genres, we will be examining notions that adaptations are subsidiary and derivative and focusing on the ways in which written and visual texts share a background in narrative theory. We will explore how novels by James M. Cain, Joseph Conrad, William Burroughs, Thomas Hardy, Michael Ondaatje and Cormac McCarthy have been adapted through the lens of American film noir, radical, experimental and metatextual adaptation, and Heritage cinema. We will learn how to apply narrative and film theory, as well as theorizing the relationship between the written and the visual.  Assessment by coursework: One 3,000-word essay, (75%); and a Group Presentation (25%).
  • Tragedy to the English Renaissance
    Athens in the fifth century BC and London in the sixteenth century saw explosions of cultural energy and drama was the central medium for expressing the ideas thrown up by it. This module explores how the dramatic form of tragedy was used both to control and subvert the people within their respective societies. Using Aristotle, Boal and Nietzche along with contemporary critics such as Nnacy Sorkin Rabinowitz and Kurt Fosso, we will unpack the dramatic texts of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and identify the key components of tragedy and its importance in moulding Ancient Greek society and indeed our own. We will compare this approach with English Renaissance dramatists’ desire to subvert traditional notions of religion and the state in an effort to reveal the morally chaotic world of Jacobean England as represented in the revenge tragedy of Webster, Tourner, Middleton and Rowley. Assessment: One 2,500-word essay (50%); and one 2-hour unseen exam (50%).

And one option from:

  • Body and performance
    This is a workshop-based module that offers you the opportunity to improve on physical performance skills learn in Movement for actors and Physical theatres and to deepen knowledge and understanding of body-centered practice. Practical work will be supported by short discussions, readings and lectures that explore theoretical material. You will gain experience in training exercises that can be used when leading or developing your own workshops and training programs.
  • Text and performance
    Text and performance is design as the culmination of two year’s work on performance technique and skills. It will offer you the opportunity to perform and produce a text which can form part of a show-reel and be recognised on a professional CV for those preparing for work in the industry.  You will apply all the skills you have learnt up to this point to an independent realization of a text in performance. In groups, you will identify a text and adapt it for performance – engaging with the directorial and dramaturgical processes as well as developing you acting and performance skills.

Year 3

  • Research project
    This module will allow you to undertake detailed research into a specific area of theatre history, theory or practice. You will select you’re an area for in depth study and be assigned a tutor who will help you plan, research and structure your work. The aim is for you to produce a coherent argument extended that integrates independent thinking and research, providing a foundation for further academic study and research in this area.
  • Creative strategies
    In this module, you will draw on their previous learning, as well as module specific knowledge, to plan and create a collaborative piece of work in which your own practice can be identified and developed. With a focus on the current arts environment this module will begin to prepare you for your professional career. As future theatre makers, you will have the confidence, knowledge and practical experience necessary to begin developing work and looking for funding.

And either

One option from:

  • Shakespeare, text and performance
    This module immerses you in the world of Shakespeare and the Early Modern Period. Using a wide range of his texts, we explore how his use of language elevated him beyond his contemporaries and gave him canonical status in contemporary society. Shakespeare’s range and development as a dramatist will be conveyed by moving from his early to late period, and by exploring examples of comedy, history and tragedy. We will consider the work of Shakespeare in the context of the politics, religion, social conditions of his own time and ours. We will be studying the text through a lens provided by distinct critical approaches to English Renaissance drama. Emphasis will be put on the impact of performers, directors, legislators and critics on the reception and production of Shakespeare’s work at different key points; as well as examining key productions of Shakespeare’s texts on stage and on film. Assessment: one 3,000-word essay (60%) and one 2-hour unseen exam (40%).
  • Classical acting
    This module is a culmination of the acting-focused strand of modules spread throughout the course. You will have the opportunity to explore and develop your technique while working with classical verse drama. You will explore a variety of techniques, exercises and approaches to this challenging material and consolidate previous learning relation to scene work and monologues.

    The module will take the form of a series of workshops and rehearsals leading to a performance using the professional rehearsal room as a model.  You will gain insight into, and experience of, rehearsal practice in the industry as well as essential performance skills.

And one option from

  • Film adaptation
    From Hollywood blockbusters to art house cinema, film is increasingly powered by adaptation. This module introduces key concepts and approaches to adapting literary work for the screen. Working to an industry standard brief, you produce your own screen adaptation from source texts such as novels, memoirs and theatre plays. The module examines the issues and challenges related to the transfer of structure, plot, character and dialogue to the screen, as well as the adapted screenplay’s commercial and conceptual relationship to the literary work. The module includes a film festival field trip. Assessment: one 1,500-word treatment for a film adaptation of an existing literary work (10%), a 20-page script for the adaptation (65%), and a 2,500-word critical reflection on the process of adaptation (25%).
  • Acting for screen
    If you are interested in acting on the screen, this module will allow you to learn specific skills and investigate the processes involved in creating a role from a screenplay. Industry TV and film scripts will be used and you will learn the differing techniques required for soap, sitcom and dramatic screen acting; as well as specific skills such as “hitting your mark”, master shots and POVs. The sessions will include script preparation, filming and feedback on recorded scenes.

Or

  • Applied theatre
    If you are interested in a range of different applied theatre application, this module will introduce you to the specific concerns of community theatre, theatre in prisons, and theatre-in-education. You will be introduced to the working practices of the professional theatre education practitioner and the pathways that can be taken to gain this type of work. You will have the opportunity to work on creating your own piece of applied theatre, sharing it with a relevant audience at the end of the semester. You will gain knowledge and experience in a variety of workshop leading techniques and interactive theatrical and educational methods that can be used in your own work.

Plus one option from

  • Independent performance project
    You will produce a coherent and critically informed final piece of work that demonstrates in-depth knowledge and understanding of relevant issues and debates within the subject you have chosen. The performance will demonstrate a high level of confidence and technique and will fully engage artistic and creative processes.  

    This module will give you an opportunity to articulate your own independent artistic practice as a performer, writer, director, artists and theatre makers. It will provide you with the resources and guidance needed to realise your own creative work in production and prepare you for entry into the professional theatre industry and beyond by demonstrating your creative and technical confidence in making and performing work.

  • Independent practice as research 
    In this module you'll develop and present an advanced research project. You'll be working on creating a 6000-8000 word practice as research dissertation, on a topic of your choice. The project will involve a small practical element – which could be a practical workshop/exploration/presentation/panel discussion, which is then critically framed in the context of a written theoretical paper. You'll work independently under the supervision of a tutor.
  • Dissertation
    The final year dissertation module will give you the opportunity to conduct original research in a specific theory, topic or method encountered on the course or a relevant field of interest. You will manage your own learning under the guidance of an academic supervisor, with introductory lectures offering general advice and guidance on research methods and approaches to the dissertation. Organisation and structure will be decided in consultation with a supervisor, and by the end of the module you will have designed an academic Dissertation that is appropriate to your field of study.

Employability

Working with professional theatre makers during your course means that you leave us with a strong network of professional contacts and an understanding of what it takes to begin to make your own way in a competitive industry.

You’ll have gained a holistic experience of theatre productions, with skills in everything from acting technique and directing to marketing, publicity and events management. You can be confident that you’re ready for your next career step.

Performing as you study will equip you for a career in acting, live art performance, directing, stage management, lighting, sound design or production. You could also use the course as a platform for teaching, arts management or research.

We know that commercial experience really makes a difference on a CV. That’s why you’ll have the opportunity to get acting and voice over work with South Bank Collective – LSBU's registered commercial creative agency.

Track record in employment

Our graduates have an excellent track record securing jobs in the creative and cultural industries as well as collaborating in setting up flourishing companies of their own. They go on to be involved in all aspects of the sector, including content creation, production, management, education, policy and distribution. Some of our graduates are working on feature dramas and in post production for leading UK production companies.

Our impressive graduate employment track record includes the following companies within the sector:

Dance, music and the performing arts

AEG Live, ArtsAdmin, Battersea Arts Centre, British Youth Opera, Donmar Warehouse , English National Opera, Geneva Dance Company, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra Vienna, Kali Theatre company, Live Art Development Agency, Mariinsky Theatre St Petersburg , Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, Musicians Benevolent Fund, RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), Ninja Tune, Riffi Theatre, Rose Theatre Kingston,  Roundhouse, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall , Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sadler's Wells and Universal Music.

Museums and galleries

Bankside Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Foundling Museum, Gasworks Gallery, Modern Art Oxford, Museum of London, Museum of Garden History, National Gallery , National Portrait Gallery.

Art Museum and Tate not-for-profit organisations, charities and local government

Childline, The Children's Society,  Energy Saving Trust, Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital , London Borough of Hackney, London Borough of Lewisham, Wood Family Trust.

Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

Placements

Facilities

  • Edric Theatre

    Edric Theatre

    A dedicated performance and rehearsal space with a 90-seat capacity that can be set up in numerous configurations. The main auditorium, 30-seat studio and backstage facilities are used by drama, performance and technical theatre students. Facilities are available for commercial hire.

  • Borough Road Gallery

    Borough Road Gallery

    The gallery is a home for visual art and a unique part of the University's heritage. Opened in 2012, the Borough Road Gallery contains valuable and significant works of Post War British Art in a public collection, produced by the celebrated artist and teacher David Bomberg (1890-1957).

  • Arts, music and cultural events in London

    Arts, music and cultural events in London

    The University couldn't be better located being only a 10-15 minute walk from the Southbank Centre, National Theatre, BFI IMAX, Tate Modern, Royal Festival Hall, The Old Vic Theatre, The Young Vic and therefore the best of London's plays, performances, exhibitions and screenings.

Teaching and learning

Your lecturers are leading practitioners in their fields, so everything we do is industry relevant. Inspiring guest speakers from renowned arts organisations and theatre companies will give you further industry insight and build your professional connections.

Personal, year and group tutoring

As an undergraduate Arts and Creative Industries student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first three weeks at LSBU.  The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.

Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University.

Your tutor should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.

You will have appointments with your tutor regularly throughout your course.  Sessions will be a mix of group and one-to-one sessions.  You can contact your tutor for additional meetings or support by email or in class.

Entry requirements

  • A Level BBC including at least one specialist subject such as Drama, Theatre or Performing Arts or;
  • BTEC National Diploma DMM in a specialist performing arts subject or;
  • Access to HE qualifications with 15 Distinctions 30 Merits in a specialist performing arts subject or;
  • Equivalent Level 3 qualifications in a relevant subject such as Drama, Theatre or Performing Arts worth 112 UCAS points
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above)
  • We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.


    All students must also complete a successful audition to be considered for this course.

How to apply

International students

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 years
Start date
September
Application code
WQ43
Application method

For full-time courses, please send your applications through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using our code L75. UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK.

For part-time courses, you can apply directly to the University.

For more details on how to apply (full-time and part-time) see our how to apply page.

Accommodation

Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.

Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.

Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.

Finance

You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

Fees and funding

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a home, EU or international student for fee-paying purposes by reading the UKCISA regulations.

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

Scholarships

We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.

Case studies

Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

Prepare to start

Applicant events

After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.

Welcome Week

Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Welcome Week pages.

 
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Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0800 923 8888

Get in touch

Course Enquiries - EU/International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

Get in touch
 
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