BA (Hons)Intermediate award(s): CertHE, DipHE
Course overviewBA (Hons) Drama provides you with an understanding of the histories, practices, contexts and theories of drama, theatre and performance. This is balanced and supported by practical explorations, the acquisition of a range of performance techniques and the creation of live performance events. An engagement with the processes and practices of theatre-making is an important and integral part of our curriculum, and develops you as confident, versatile and exciting practitioners.
To support this, we offer a stimulating environment for drama students. Our outstanding facilities include two dedicated drama studios, complete with a flexible black-box performance space, an additional rehearsal space, and our Mumford Theatre, a full-size venue for professional touring companies.
BA (Hons) Drama graduate
“Drama at Anglia Ruskin University changed my life. I'd always had a passion for performance and theatre, but during my 3 years on the Cambridge campus I truly felt that it was my calling. The course takes you on a journey that explores so many aspects of Drama you feel reinvigorated at every turn. It allows students to follow their own paths, to find their passions within this journey and chase them like there's no tomorrow.
The incredible content, the brilliant minds of others on your course and the never-faltering enthusiasm of the lecturers are driving forces, and I would thoroughly recommend it as a life-changing experience that will stay with you forever.”
You will have the opportunity to develop technical and production skills, with specialist staff training you and supporting this work. This practical exploration is balanced with screenings, seminars and tutorials that encourage critical engagement with experiential learning. Our department regularly stages theatrical works, involving you in both on and off-stage roles. In recent years these have included staging works by a wide range of playwrights, from William Shakespeare to Caryl Churchill, Howard Barker and Sarah Kane. You will devise performance works, some of which have previously been staged at The Junction and Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge, both professional performance venues.
Additional course informationThe majority of modules on our drama course have a particular emphasis on 20th century and contemporary theatre practice, although you can opt to study Shakespeare in your second year. Courses may include, for example, modules such as Performance Practitioners, Contemporary Texts and Devising Performance, in which we explore texts and practices from the 20th century onwards, through both theoretical study and practical workshops.
Our course employs a wide variety of learning and teaching methods and strategies in order to accommodate the wide range of activities undertaken. Modules are taught through group seminars and workshops, which involve you in detailed textual and critical analysis and practical explorations. This work is balanced between tutor-led, student-led and self-directed study, and complemented by resource-based learning, including library study and attendance at performances, galleries and installations.
Year one core modules
This module aims to provide you with an introductory understanding of the development of Western performance, engaging in an examination of both practice and critical material. Through a consideration of significant moments, key movements and practitioners in the history of Western performance, you will be encouraged to question the nature and function of performance, theatre and music and consider their interdisciplinarity. Within this context, you will be introduced to a range of performance texts as examples for a practical exploration. The historical investigation of key movements and practitioners will be approached with an emphasis on performance processes rather than end product. You will be introduced to a variety of working methodologies and practices from the historical trajectory of Western performance, addressing their political, cultural and socioeconomic significance. Through relating theoretical and practical approaches, the module will seek to examine changes in form and conventions in performance practices.
Performance Skills - Introduction
Digital Performance will introduce you to the creative use of technology in performance. You will engage with multidisciplinary performance and explore the distinctions between making live and recorded performance. This will involve the acquisition of skills in relation to a number of the traditional technical aspects of theatre (lighting, sound, stage management) as well as newer technologies (video making, use of live feeds, Internet performance, using software packages). You will work in groups on small creative projects, developing a short performance using a mixture of live and recorded effects. You will be encouraged to draw on their own experience as spectators to inform the creative decisions made on this module.
In this module, you will be part of a studio-based collaborative live performance, based on a selected text or combination of texts, which often involves our active deconstruction or reinvention of the piece to be performed. The notion of 'text' might include play-text, music theatre text, other devised performance works and live or recorded music too. We will analyse our text's significant actions and meanings, and explore the variety of ways in which these could be made manifest in performance. Lighting and sound designs will be developed for the performance and documented for use by back-stage technicians. You will be encouraged to explore the possibilities for effective set design in the studio and to make use of available resources for costume design. Throughout rehearsals, we will investigate ideas of postmodern performance in practice and consider how the production of such work might differ from traditional techniques in theatre-making.
Year two core modules
- Twentieth-Century Drama
- Making Performance
- Performance Practitioners
- The Body in Performance
Year three core modules
- Devising Performance
- Major Project
Year one optional modules
- Anglia Language Programme
- Directing Skills
Year two optional modules
- Anglia Language Programme
- Performance Laboratory
- Performance Writing
- New Media Performance
- Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama
- Design for Performance
Year three optional modules
- Anglia Language Programme
- Art, Music and Performance
- Contemporary Texts
- Enterprise in the Creative Arts
- Performance and Identity
- Principles of Dramatherapy
- Special Subject
AssessmentAssessment is carried out via a very broad mix of methods, including essays, reports, critical reflections, presentations, studio and public performances, and a major project, which may include practical work.
The integration of practice and theory extends to the forms of assessment that our students encounter. Practice-based research includes exploring a range of rehearsal techniques and strategies for making performance, training workshops, text-based performances, devising, the interrogation of techniques in directing, dramaturgy and performance skills, and the use of interdisciplinary techniques and vocabularies.
Special featuresOur drama degree offers a distinctive and creative integration of practice and theory, as well as vocational experience. Teaching is provided by first-class, research-active staff who are recognised, nationally and internationally, as experts in their field and who are often professional practitioners.
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, set up to monitor the quality of research in UK universities, 80% of our department's work was judged to be of international standard, with 20% judged to be either 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading'.
BA (Hons) Drama (Full-time)
“I chose to study BA (Hons) Drama at Anglia Ruskin University as this course appeared to be the most diverse and interesting in drama and I have really enjoyed modules such as Performance Practitioners and Special Subject, which require a high level of independent study. I would recommend this course to others as you don't only develop practical sills but you are also able to support your work theoretically through your writing.
The BA (Hons) Drama course has links with The Junction in Cambridge and performance artists all over the country. The Mumford Theatre is a professional theatre on the University campus and you get the opportunity to perform on stage in Year 2, which is a great experience. The Drama studios at Anglia Ruskin are all brilliant facilities.
My course involved a work placement module in the third year, which helps you gain experience in the workplace. I believe that this gave me extensive understanding of my job and the confidence to use the skills I have in the workplace. I hope to study for a PGCE in Drama in the future and I hope this will lead into teaching. This course has already given me the opportunity to work in a couple of schools to help me gain experience.”
Our campus libraries offer a wide range of publications and a variety of study facilities, including open-access computers, areas for quiet or group study and bookable rooms. We also have an extensive Digital Library providing on and off-site access to e-books, e-journals and databases.
We endeavour to make our libraries as accessible as possible for all our students. During semester time, they open 24 hours a day from Monday to Thursday, until midnight on Friday and Saturday and for 12 hours on Sunday.
Our open access computer facilities provide free access to the Internet, email, messaging services and the full Microsoft Office suite. A high speed wireless service is also available in all key areas on campus. If you are away from campus or a distant learner, our student desktop and its many applications can be accessed remotely using the Internet. Your personal student email account provides free document storage, calendar facilities and social networking opportunities.
Throughout your studies you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), providing course notes, reading materials and multi-media content to support your learning, while our e:Vision system gives you instant access to your academic record and your timetable.
Course leaderDr Sue Wilson
Work placementsWork placement opportunities are available via the third-year Enterprise in the Creative Arts module, which encompasses such areas as education, artist management, marketing, and events management.
Links with industry and professional recognitionWe have fostered close links with The Junction, an arts venue in Cambridge, where you can see a variety of theatre and music performance works. Visiting artists and performers are invited to give master-classes and workshops across our courses. We also offer a number of internships with local theatre companies, which all students can apply for in order to gain direct experience of running a professional company.
Associated careersIt is widely recognised that the varied disciplines of drama - analysis, performance, devising/composing, collaborative work, presentation - as well as its opportunities for nurturing artistic expression, provide a strong platform of transferable skills for many walks of life. The versatility that our drama degree fosters, makes our students extremely attractive to employers. Our former students currently enjoy highly successful careers as performers, theatre technicians, directors, drama teachers and arts administrators.
Modules with a strong vocational focus are an important feature of our curriculum. In particular, Enterprise in the Creative Arts encourages you to acquire and reflect on vocational experience gained through self-organised work placement projects.
Research shows that the study of the creative and performing arts to an enhanced level provides the ideal training for any position requiring quick thinking, self-reliance, imagination, teamwork and the ability to organise both yourself and others.
|Alternative qualifications accepted:||
We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.
How to apply
UK & EU applicants
If you're interested in finding out more, call us on 01245 68 68 68 or submit an enquiry.
Available startsSeptember, January
Fees & funding
Open Day3 December (Cambridge)
Undergraduate Open Day
Advice & supportEmployability
- Through the Lens into the film industry
- Graduate case study: Charley McDougall
- Fall in Love with Theatre
FacultyArts, Law & Social Sciences
DepartmentMusic and Performing Arts
Contact usUK and EU applicants:
- Call 01245 493131
- Complete enquiry form
- Call +44 (0)1223 698609
- Complete enquiry form