Drama and English Literature BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge

September 2018

Overview

Explore different modes of performance that will develop your knowledge and practice of contemporary theatre. Discover how different societies have shaped English literature, and how English literature has shaped society. Prepare for a practical or academic career that could change the way others see the world.

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Full description

Careers

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Our BA (Hons) Drama and English Literature will help you develop many skills for your future career, including literacy, communication, creativity, self-reliance and teamwork.  You can gain practical experience as a performer or stage technician, as well as the academic understanding needed to become a teacher or director. 

Other roles in which our past students have found success include journalism, television, radio, the music industry, gallery work and arts administration.

You might also decide to carry on to a Masters course after you graduate, such as our:

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Reading Literature and Theory
    This foundational module will introduce you to an exciting range of social, cultural and political theories that can be used to further your analysis of literary texts. Selected theories might include psychoanalysis, Marxism, structuralism, feminism, postcolonialism, postmodernism or queer theory. In seminars, you will apply these theories to a variety of fiction (including extracts from plays, novels, short stories and poems). This process will enable you to develop your own reading skills in more challenging directions, as well as helping you assess the benefits of differing kinds of ‘reading’. You will attend a one-hour lecture each week, and a two-hour seminar. Part-way through the semester, you will give a group presentation, allowing you to develop your presentation and IT skills. At the end of the semester, will be an essay, where you demonstrate your critical, literary and essay-writing skills.
  • A History of English Literature, from the present to 1789
    This chronological approach to a history of English Literature reverses the usual format of starting with Beowulf and ending up at the present and instead starts with the familiar and ends with the earliest literature. Starting with texts from the period with which you are familiar, you will gradually work back through literary history to a time when no one alive today existed. Mainly using volume 2 of 'The Norton Anthology of English Literature', this module precedes the companion semester 2 module: 'A History of English Literature from Equiano to Chaucer', which works with volume one of 'The Norton Anthology of English Literature'. On this module you will study period, genre and form through a range of texts to include: the novel; the short story; the essay; poetry; drama; as well as other forms of texts including letters and graphic art. Authors will mainly be chosen from the Norton, however there will also be a few texts such as novels that you will need to buy. You will be given details of the texts well in advance of starting the course. You will be taught through a weekly one-hour lecture, followed by a two-hour seminar. Your assessment will consist of a presentation and a written essay.
  • Staging and Reception
    On this module you will focus on the staging and reception of live performance, by analysing contemporary performance events and practical explorations of a range of performance styles, staging conventions and thematic concerns. Through theory and practice you will engage with questions about how we create meaning on stage, and how these meanings are read and multiplied by an audience in the moment of reception. You will be introduced to the discipline of performance analysis, and learn to apply a semiotic reading to your interpretation of live performance. You will be assessed through a written analysis of one of a selection of theatre shows, visits to which will be scheduled early in the semester. You will then engage in a series of practical workshops exploring a range of performance elements, such as space, the body and interactivity, through experimental in-class staging of a range of source texts, which will complement those being studied in the module Performance Contexts 1A. These staging experiments will at times require you to deconstruct and reinvent these source texts with the guidance of your tutor, but you will also be expected to work independently on this material and to find your own creative solutions. The module culminates in a performance assessment, for which your group will devise an original piece inspired by our exploration of performance elements and staging conventions.
  • Performance Contexts 1A
    This module will introduce you to an understanding of the historical and cultural development of performance through exploration of a range of practical and critical material, particularly focusing on the early to mid-twentieth century. You will consider key movements and important practitioners across the field of performing arts, examining performance works within their particular historical, social, cultural and political contexts. Through engaging with selected works in weekly group seminars, you will discover a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of the performing arts, examining changes in form and conventions in performance. You will also receive study skills guidance to help you to make the transition to HE level study. You will work towards writing a 1,500-word essay and producing a 1,500-word portfolio, which will include detailed contextual research of a selected performance work.
  • Introduction to Imaginative Writing: Poetry and Plays
    This module will introduce Writing students to the techniques of writing poetry and writing for the stage. You will read a selection of poetry or scenes from a play each week, and work with the texts to understand, eg poetic form, the practicalities of writing for the stage, etc. The course will not only provide an environment for your creative writing, but teach you skills such as reading as a writer, and reflection on/evaluation of creative practice.
  • A History of English Literature from Chaucer to Equiano
    This module gives you an outline of the history of English Literature from the end of the eighteenth century to the Anglo-Saxon period. It uses a selection of texts taken from volume 1 of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, supplemented by handouts, to give you examples of different literary forms belonging to every period of English literary history prior to the Romantic movement. The juxtaposition of pieces by well-known authors such as Chaucer, Marlowe, and Milton with less familiar texts is intended to encourage reflection upon what constitutes the 'canon'. You are expected to acquire a basic knowledge of the terms used in English literary history ('Medieval', 'Tudor', 'Renaissance', 'Reformation', 'Early Modern', 'Restoration', 'Augustan', ‘NeoClassical', 'Enlightenment', 'Sensibility') and are encouraged to think critically about these terms. Your first assessment will be a close-reading exercise on a passage from Milton’s Paradise Lost, taken in class during week 7 of the semester. This will develop your close-reading skills and written communication. Your second assessment will be an open exam (90mins), demonstrating your ability to read texts from the course within their historical and cultural contexts. The assessment questions will be available to you 48 hours in advance of the exam.
  • Staging and Production
    This module will involve you in staging a directed performance. You will form a company and take on a performance and/or significant backstage role to work alongside your director in the realisation of a contemporary performance text. You will engage in a full rehearsal process, in which you will analyse and explore your chosen text within the context of your wider studies of C20th to contemporary performance and associated theories. Your rehearsal process will involve active participation in the interpreting and staging of your text, requiring you to engage with post dramatic practices such as the adaptation and deconstruction of course materials. This module requires professional discipline, including a willingness to take direction from others and to contribute ideas and work positively towards creative solutions. You will be assessed on your final performance piece in the moment of live delivery, which also reflects your contribution and participation in the creative process.
  • Performance Contexts 1B
    This module will introduce you to an understanding of the historical and cultural development of performance through exploration of a range of practical and critical material, particularly focusing on the early to mid-twentieth century. You will consider key movements and important practitioners across the field of performing arts, examining performance works within their particular historical, social, cultural and political contexts. Through engaging with selected works in weekly group seminars, you will discover a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of the performing arts, examining changes in form and conventions in performance. The materials you will study in semester two will bring you to the contemporary moment of performance work. You will work towards writing a creative piece based on the conventions and practices of the works studied alongside a critical contextualisation of your own proposed performance piece. You will submit these pieces of writing, alongside other creative materials (images, sounds, film) as an end-of-semester portfolio.

Year two, core modules

  • Making Performance
    You’ll design, direct and perform in a large-scale public performance, created from a selected source text. As a group, you must agree effective methods of decision-making, show full commitment to rehearsals and production meetings, and demonstrate a willingness to participate in all aspects of work on the production. If you're a Performing Arts student at Cambridge, you can also be assessed as a musician or singer within the rehearsal process and performance. If you take Performing Arts at University Centre Peterborough, you may be assessed on your physical theatre work. Collaborative production modules require professional conduct from all students. Your conduct will be measured on reliable attendance, punctual arrival at rehearsals, maintaining high levels of concentration within sessions and your willingness to take direction from others. You will be assessed on both the live performance and your research, as well as your attendance and contribution to the production process. This module includes content and assessment relating to the Employability component of Personal Development Planning.
  • Postcolonial Writing
    Much of the most exciting and provocative writing of the last century has emerged from regions of the world that were formerly colonised. This module offers you a selective survey of postcolonial writing and theory, using an expansive conception of what might constitute the ‘postcolonial’. It considers the socio-historical contexts behind the emergence of postcolonial studies and asks you to think critically about the institutionalisation, and challenges, of the field. You will consider issues of colonialism, decolonisation, nationalism, neo-colonialism and globalisation, along with the accompanying themes of migration, gendered/sexual politics and the role of history. A 3000-word final essay will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the module’s central concerns and your knowledge of the primary fictional texts.
  • The Body in Performance
    On this module, you'll explore the use of the body in contemporary performance and theatre practice, and the ways in which it can challenge dominant political, cultural and artistic ideologies. You'll consider how the body is subject to ideological and social forces that restrain it, and interrogate performance's potential to resist these forces. By critiquing structures of power and knowledge, you'll examine the place of the body in contemporary culture, while posing questions about the political efficacy of performance and the ethical implications of the work. This work could include live art practice, dance theatre, digital performance, activism and bio-art. Each week, you'll concentrate on a particular set of themes, developing theoretical and critical approaches to examining performance in relation to the body. In seminars, you'll look at performance texts, web material, videos, reviews, interviews and critical essays from major theorists in the field. Where possible, you'll be encouraged to attend appropriate performances, exhibitions and installations as part of the course. Your assessment will focus on your ability to articulate research findings through oral presentations, along with a final research essay at the end of the module.
  • The European Novel: Desire and Transgression
    This module will introduce you to a representative selection of some of the most memorable and significant European novels, ranging from ancient Greek prose narratives and Renaissance romances to contemporary fiction. You will compare the ways in which different writers have handled elements of the novel such as characterisation, dialogue and narrative voice, as well as consider different sub-genres of the novel, for example magic realism and the epistolary novel. Texts will be selected to complement the novels you have studied on other modules, giving you a fuller understanding of the origins of the genre, and of its wider European context. Desire was a key focus of the very first European proto-novels, and continues to be a preoccupation today. You will engage with some of the changes and continuities in fictional depictions of romantic and sexual relationships, examining the ways in which topics such as same-sex desire, elopement and adultery have been depicted. The first assessment element, a 1000 word critical analysis, will test both your close reading skills and your understanding of the contexts and conventions of the early novel. The second assessment element, a 2,000-word essay, will require you to demonstrate an understanding both of your knowledge of set texts and your grasp of key ideas that have informed the course.

Year two, optional modules

  • Performance Practitioners
    This module will introduce you to the work of key theatre practitioners. You'll examine a range of major practitioners and explore different modes and approaches to their work through both critical and practical engagement with their ideas, methodologies and creative strategies. You'll explore methodologies through a mixture of theoretical seminars and practical sessions, with the classes providing space for student-led explorations of rehearsal techniques. The practitioners covered might include, indicatively: Artaud, Brook, Meyerhold, LeCompte and Kantor. You'll be assessed through a workshop demonstration and an oral presentation at the end of the module.
  • New Media Performance
    This module will introduce you to recent innovations in contemporary theatre and performance through a practical and theoretical consideration of new technologies available to theatre-makers at the start of the 21st century. You'll examine the technological interventions that gave rise to mediatised performance as well as the new methods of its dissemination, and explore this in practice by using technologies of sound, music and video to produce a piece of mediatised performance. You'll be expected to engage with the interfaces between live performance, digital technologies, social networking sites, mass participatory sites of video performance, online arts marketing and experimental film-making. You'll be assessed through the production of a short performance piece designed for dissemination through digital technologies. You'll also learn about the production of mediatised performances that can be used as a multi-media element within live theatre practice, studying selected multi-media practitioners as you produce, react to and question the value of such technologies in performance.
  • Writing World War One: Trauma, Memory, Resistance
    As WWI is commemorated at its centenary, this module examines a range of texts to consider current understandings of WWI and its representations. You will begin the module by looking at the poems that have famously memorialised the experience of soldiers on the Western Front before widening your outlook to explore different forms of texts (including novels, autobiography, short stories and graphic novels) that present a more diverse range of wartime experiences on the ‘home front’ and ‘forbidden zone’. This will include experiences by ‘enemy’ authors, racial minority groups, the ‘insane’, women in war zones, and animals. Each two-hour seminar will have a (mini) lecture with a thematic focus. The (mini) lecture will be followed by close reading and discussion of related texts in the seminar group. These seminar discussions and close-reading exercises will help you to explore key ideas and concepts, such as the role of propaganda and the rise of anti-war writing (literatures of resistance); changing definition and realities of war through developing technologies; the politics of remembering and forgetting WWI; new understandings of WWI derived from global history, race and gender theories; the relationship of war to literary and visual modernism; the psychological realities of WWI on combatants and civilians. The module schedule will also include a half-day field trip (Imperial War Museum) which will allow you to engage with ‘real-world’ experiences of war. You will be assessed by a final 3000-word essay, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of what has been covered on the module including your knowledge of set texts and your grasp of key theories and ideas that have informed the course.
  • Design for Performance
    On this module, you'll examine the processes by which the designer and director/deviser work from a 'text' towards the physical manifestations of a performance: venue, sets, costumes, and props. You'll be introduced to a variety of research methods that can be used to investigate a text, as well as the history and theory of stage design in addition to basic techniques of design and production. Working with a set text, you'll undertake a series of group exercises to explore aspects of the design process. You'll be assessed by a portfolio that demonstrates your research into primary sources (text and visual), and annotations showing analysis, development and appraisal of design ideas, as well as a 1,000 word essay that will reflect critically on this work.
  • Myth and Medievalism
    On this module you will examine a range of medieval English literature, focusing on the late 14th century, and exploring the links between literature and a changing society. You will consider, through careful close reading, the complex relationship between text and context, considering greater realism in the representation of the Judaeo-Christian myth in the context of threats to the feudal system. You will study mystery plays, romances and religious literature alongside selected Tales by Chaucer, and the re-appropriations of myth in a case study that suggests the wider links between myth and ideology. You will examine extracts from each text in the original Middle English, though good recent translations by modern poets will also be available, allowing you to pursue the question of the inevitable re-inflection of myth in changing cultural contexts.
  • News and Feature Writing
    This intensive reading and writing module will introduce you to the techniques of print journalism, focusing on news reports and feature articles. The skills required for effective news and feature writing are a key component of writing craft in any genre of fiction or non-fiction. It's a discipline that improves the imaginative work and communicative power of those who practice it. You'll explore the significance of journalistic writing in contemporary life using examples from a range of British tabloid, broadsheet and local publications. You'll practise sourcing news reports, developing feature articles and sub-editing for style and content. In seminar workshops, you'll combine analysis of journalistic techniques with practical writing exercises, covering topics that include: researching and pitching a story; interviewing; puns and rhythm; and economical use of language. Early on, you'll produce a set of briefs that must be approved by the seminar leader, then produce copy for these briefs and, in editorial teams, giving and receiving constructive criticism.
  • Black British Writing
    This module will introduce you to a diverse range of post-war black British writing. Covering poetry, drama, performance, novels and film, it will offer a sense of the key authors and debates within this growing field. You will consider what constitutes a black British canon, and the critical and creative tensions between the deceptively straightforward terms ‘black’ and ‘British’. You will discuss issues such as the colonial legacy, migration, the burden of representation, mixed-race identities and diversity, along with the intersecting concerns of gender, sexuality and class. The module will draw on writing by activists, postcolonial theorists and thinkers from the field of cultural studies, including figures such as Claudia Jones, Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy. A 600-word discussion board contribution will give you the opportunity to test out ideas and develop skills in writing for digital formats. A 2,400 word final essay will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the module’s central concerns and your knowledge of the primary fictional texts.
  • Romantic Conflicts
    Conflict can be found in all literature. However, in the Romantic period it seems to have been the essence of the spirit of the age. Percy Shelley called the French Revolution of 1789 ‘the master theme of the epoch in which we live’, and indeed many critics and historians date the beginning of the Romantic period from then. In fact Britain was at war with France for most of this period (from 1793 to 1815) trying to undo the revolution, restore a king, and with him, the old aristocratic ruling class. Class conflict was in the air well before 1789 as William Hazlitt notes: ‘the French revolution might be described as a remote but inevitable result of the invention of the art of printing.’ What he means here is that an overwhelming public consensus had to be achieved before a revolution could occur and the only way to achieve this is through the mass dissemination of ideas – through literature. Conflict can occur in any arena: class, race, debates over animal welfare, the lecture theatre (for example the debates between Hazlitt and Coleridge) and of course in personal relationships. Therefore, the scope of this module is a large one. You will be invited to read as widely as possible in this period and not merely stick to the set texts or the subjects of lectures and seminars.
  • Special Topic 1
    On the Special Topic module, you will have the opportunity to study a topic taught by a member of staff whose particular academic interests and/or research is reflected in the area. This module will enable you to extend their knowledge and understanding of a specific subject area that you may have met earlier in your studies, and in which there is deemed to be scope for more reading, critical commentary, analysis and discussion. Alternatively, the topic may be one not found elsewhere in the existing degree provision. It could be the study of a single author, a group of connected authors, or some aspect of literary theory, for example formalist criticism or deconstruction. It might also cover a literary form or genre such as the short story; gothic literature; twentieth-century science fiction; crime fiction; or 18th Century drama. The designated topics vary from-year-to-year, and you can find out from your tutors which ones are being offered, though will be told in good time to make an informed module choice. There are no formal lectures and you will be taught in seminars, including group discussions. You will be assessed by means of a final 3000 word essay, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of what has been covered on the module, including your knowledge of set texts and your grasp of the key ideas that inform the topic.
  • Modernism and the City
    In this module you will examine literary Modernism as an artistic response to the social conditions and technological advances of modernity. You will explore the ways in which the distinctive features of Modernist writing - subjectivity, the psychological, innovations in form, style and genre - are produced by urban experience. You will study a range of canonical and non-canonical texts that 'write' the city in order to explore the centrality or urban culture to modernity and to consider the connections between cultural geography, historical context and narrative form. You will study poems, novels and manifestos dating from 1900-1940 in the contexts of some of the following: the influence of the First World War; suffrage; changes in visual art (primitivism, post-modernism); cinema and photography; the movements of Imagism, Futurism and Surrealism. Ideas of exile and expatriation underlie discussion of the cultural exchanges occurring in London, Paris and New York. The texts studied provide differing reactions to the early twentieth-century city, in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, gender, nationality and class. You will be assessed by a portfolio consisting of a 1,000-word critical review of an essay from either Modernism/Modernity or Modernist Cultures (to be approved by the Module Leader) and a 2,000-word critical essay.
  • Dialogue and Debate: More to Milton
    On this module you will study a range of key poetic and prose texts produced by canonical and non-canonical early modern authors. One of the characteristics of the literature of this period is its dialogic nature. The writers on this course lived in an age in which the religion of their immediate forebears was seen as heresy and, in many cases, they went through a school system in which students were trained to speak for and against the same proposition. It is not surprising that they were adept at seeing issues from more than one angle. Many texts offer the reader two or more perspectives on an issue, asking questions which often remain unanswered. In addition to these internal debates, texts (translations, adaptations, parodies, flytings, prequels and sequels) were also often in dialogue with each other. You will explore these issues in lectures and seminars, investigating the relationship between the set texts and their literary, cultural and historical contexts. These contexts include politics, religion, mythography, rhetoric, gender and sexuality. Upon successful completion of the module, you will have a greater understanding of Renaissance poetry and prose, as well as appropriate cultural, historical and theoretical contexts. You will be assessed through one 3000-word essay.
  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme allows you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You'll take one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. You must select a language you've never learnt before from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Year three, core modules

  • Devising Performance
    On this module, you'll explore the processes and practice of devising work for the theatre. In the first part, you'll undertake a practical exploration of the various approaches to, and the methodologies of, devising performance through workshops and exercises. You'll also be introduced to the work of various performance and theatre practitioners/companies who utilise devising in their creative process, in order to examine strategies and potentials for performance. As a group, you'll then engage in a production process, led by a member of staff, to develop, rehearse, design, market and realise a piece of devised performance to be presented to an external audience. Prior to the final performance, you'll submit an essay that critically investigates the processes of devising, with specific reference to your artistic, historical and theoretical contexts.
  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.

Year three, optional modules

  • Performance and Identity
    You'll interrogate the relationship between identity and performance and the ways in which performance might be deployed strategically in the service of specific political, ethical and cultural agendas. In the course of this, you'll consider the ways in which dramatists, companies and performers have used performance as a vehicle for expressing identity positions that are often marginalised or alienated by dominant cultural practices, such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, disabled, and marginalised class/ethnic identities. Each week you'll concentrate on a particular set of themes, examining them through selected texts, artists and companies. In seminars, you'll explore relationships between performance and identity through a mixture of performance texts, web material, videos, reviews, interviews and critical essays from major theorists in the field. You'll be assessed through a presentation of your initial findings and a final essay.
  • Contemporary Texts
    On this module, you'll focus on contemporary drama, theatre and performance produced since the 1990s. You'll explore, in practice, the potential stagings of the pieces selected, debate their original reception and assess their impact on subsequent works. You'll compare the production of authored texts and some of the techniques used by contemporary devising, dance theatre, music theatre and 'physical' theatre companies. For your assessment, you'll produce a live performance using a sequence from any work studied on the module. You'll also complete an oral presentation and an open question session based on your creative work in your performance, explaining your decisions as director and how this relates to the original staging and/or critical context of the piece chosen.
  • Principles of Music Therapy and Dramatherapy
    This module will provide you with an intensive introduction to the theory and practice of music therapy or dramatherapy, as practised by registered professionals in the UK. It will not train you to be a therapists, but equip you with knowledge of the clinical field and some introductory skills that are useful in considering music therapy or dramatherapy as a vocation. You'll attend experiential workshops that are linked to theoretical lectures, and possibly a field trip, as well as giving audio-visual presentations. Through these activities you'll be able to evaluate, develop and analyse your musical/dramatic potential and explore the application of different media to therapeutic situations. Your assessment will consist of a written essay, and musical/dramatic improvisations (as appropriate) in small groups, in which you'll actively demonstrate an understanding of the use of music/drama as a therapeutic tool.
  • Modern Science Fiction
    In this module you will study the development of modern science fiction, concentrating on major texts from the postwar period. You are expected to acquire a detailed knowledge of the history of science fiction and a critical understanding of the problems of defining it in relation to other forms of literature. You are also expected to gain an understanding of the distinctive pleasures which science fiction offers its readers. The emphasis is on science fiction as a literature of ideas. In this module you will be concerned primarily with science fiction as a literary form rather than with its manifestations in other media, but the demands of adapting science fiction to other media will be considered. You will read short stories, novels, and critical essays enabling you to develop a detailed knowledge of science fiction from the 1930s to the present day, and gain an understanding of some key science fiction tropes and sub-genres.
  • Contemporary Fiction
    In this module you will look at a range of fiction written in the last 10 years, examining formal and thematic issues and the relationships between them. You will consider narrative experimentation (the recycling of old stories and forms), the representation of history, posthumanism, globalization, technology. Since there is inevitably an absence of established critical texts on the contemporary works studied, you will consider alternative sources of critical opinion (academic journals, the internet, broadsheet and broadcast journalism); and the ways in which new novels demand and shape new criticism. Your assessment will consist of a 3000-word essay at the end of the semester.
  • Working in English and Media
    This module, with a focus on work experience, will help prepare you for targeted entry into the world of multimedia, film, television, cinema, radio, video, teaching, publishing, arts administration and related creative and cultural industries. You'll identify, negotiate and carry out a work placement, or produce a commissioned product, in a chosen area, with guidance from the relevant Course Leader and Module Leader, who will provide ongoing consultation, supervision and support in association with the University's Careers Service. You'll develop a portfolio and write a critical essay, both of which you'll submit at the end of the semester. Your portfolio should include: your CV; copies of a range of academic work (including a DVD showreel, where appropriate); evidence of extra-curricular activities; evidence of work experience. Presentation is crucial to your portfolio, and you should make use of all available multi-media when refining your work. This module will form part of your ongoing programme of Personal Development Planning.
  • Special Topic 2
    On the Special Topic module, you will have the opportunity to study a topic taught by a member of staff whose particular academic interests and/or research is reflected in the area. This module will enable you to extend their knowledge and understanding of a specific subject area that you may have met earlier in your studies, and in which there is deemed to be scope for more reading, critical commentary, analysis and discussion. Alternatively, the topic may be one not found elsewhere in the existing degree provision. It could be the study of a single author, a group of connected authors, or some aspect of literary theory, for example formalist criticism or deconstruction. It might also cover a literary form or genre such as the short story; gothic literature; twentieth-century science fiction; crime fiction; or 18th Century drama. The designated topics vary from-year-to-year, and you can find out from your tutors which ones are being offered, though will be told in good time to make an informed module choice. There are no formal lectures and you will be taught in seminars, including group discussions. You will be assessed by means of a final 3000 word essay, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of what has been covered on the module, including your knowledge of set texts and your grasp of the key ideas that inform the topic.
  • Literature and Exile: Displacement, Identity, Self
    This module will introduce you to a range of C20th and C21st literary representations of exile. To be in exile is to be banished from one’s home, to be displaced and/or estranged from one’s country, family, community, and even one’s self. Exile takes many forms: it can be literal or metaphorical; it can be enforced or self-imposed. Through close readings of novels, graphic novels, poetry, autobiography and short stories, many of which were written by authors in exile, you will explore various forms of exile writing and consider various conditions and contexts of exile, including politics, race, sexuality, gender and disability. At the start of the module, you will be introduced to a range of theories of exile; you will explore these theories each week in relation to the selected literary texts and related themes of memory, home, identity, community, nostalgia, self, and language. You will be assessed by means of a final 3,000-word essay, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of what has been covered on the module including your knowledge of the set texts and grasp of the key theories and ideas that have informed the course.
  • Romantic Idealism
    The Romantic period heralded no only the beginnings of the Modern world, but it also looked towards futures and ideals that humans have not yet obtained: slavery still exists, and yet it was banned in this period; Britain passed the first animal rights legislation in Law, but species are still disappearing and the human relationship with other animals remains uneasy. This was a period in which old ways were sometimes driven out and everything seemed up for grabs. Even time was altered. In revolutionary France the old 24-hour clock disappeared, making way for a new decimal clock with 100 minutes in the hour, 10 hours in the day, 10 days in the week and three weeks in the month. This module will help you to engage in fresh critical thinking about ideas that you might never have imagined.
  • Theorising Children's Literature
    You will take as a starting point the need to be critical about literature written for young audiences, including early years and YA fiction. You will read children’s literature primarily as literature, instead of as a contributing factor towards childhood development. This process will demand that you engage with the primary texts through literary theory, including wider theory that is not typically applied to children’s texts, such as the work of Lacan, Bakhtin, Said, Foucault, Derrida, and others. You will consider eco-criticism, animal studies, disability, race, sexuality, and gender. You will also engage with changing historical constructs of childhood and the generic fluidity of children’s and fantasy literature. Reading will be set each for you to discuss in two-hour seminars.

Assessment

You’ll show your progress on the course through a combination of essays, reports, oral presentations, and studio/public performance, as well as a major project involving practice-based research techniques.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

The School of Performance is a community of over 400 students and staff, working together in a supportive environment to create new and challenging compositions and performances. Our lecturers are research-active practitioners and recognised experts in their field, so our students always have access to the latest theories and practice, as well as invaluable career guidance.

We organise many activities to help our students prepare for the future, like concerts, theatre performances, work placements, study abroad opportunities, talks by acclaimed guest speakers, and research conferences.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

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Additional study information

Facilities

You’ll work in our two dedicated drama studios, a highly flexible black-box performance space as well as an additional rehearsal space. In Years 1 and 2, you will also have the chance to put on a production in our Mumford Theatre, which presents a range of touring professional touring companies, local community and student theatre, as well as music concerts.

Activities and events

You can take part in our many extra-curricular activities, our poetry and writing evenings, research symposia and conferences, as well as many student societies including the Creative Writing Society, the Stand-up Comedy Society, the Poetry Society and the Harry Potter Society.

Study abroad

You can apply to spend one semester in years 2 or 3 studying abroad at the Universidad de Huelva, Spain, and Valparaiso University, Indiana, USA.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)

£9,250

International students, 2017/18 (per year)

£11,700

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)

£9,250

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Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

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Interview

You will be interviewed for 15-20 minutes by one of our lecturers and will have the opportunity to ask your own questions about the course and university.

Audition

The audition will last for 10-15 minutes and you will be asked to prepare a monologue from a selection available on our auditions page. This will be a practical session, so it would be a good idea to wear clothes in which you are able to move freely.

You are invited to bring any other examples of creative or written work to the audition, or to provide links to online media.

For more guidance visit our auditions page.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

UCAS Tariff calculator - 2018 entry

Add all your qualifications to the tariff calculator and check your total score against the entry requirements for your chosen intake, which can be found above

How to use the Tariff calculator

  • Select your qualification from the drop down list provided
  • Select your grade
  • Hit "Add"
  • Repeat until all your qualifications have been added
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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online