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Drama and theatre studies courses

Picture yourself on stage or front of camera performing, or behind the scenes designing or directing? If you're considering a degree in drama or theatre studies, you'll first need to decide on the type of course you prefer. Some combine studying the history of theatre and reading and analysing plays with performance skills, while others are much more practical and performance-focused - think acting, musical theatre, costume design and stage management skills in set design, lighting and sound. If you're choosing a performance-based course, expect to attend an audition to showcase those theatrical talents.

Studying drama and theatre studies at university

Example course modules

  • Playwriting
  • Devising and physical theatre
  • Acting for stage
  • Postdramatic performance: composed theatre
  • Theatre skills
  • Drama in context
  • Theatre making: scenography and technology
  • New Shakespeares
  • Performance: from ritual to spectacle
  • Stage and screen productions

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 71%
    Male : 29%
  • Mature : 19%
    School leaver : 81%
  • Full-time : 99%
    Part-time : 1%

What students say about drama and theatre studies

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

Useful to have

  • English
  • Drama/ theatre studies
  • English literature and language

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
Drama is a very popular degree subject – in 2012, over 5,800 degrees were awarded to UK graduates. With so many graduates around, jobs in acting are very sought-after and often gained through personal contacts, so be prepared to practise your people skills. But there are lots of roles in the arts for drama graduates, in direction, production, design, journalism and PR. The skills taught by drama courses can be useful elsewhere – a lot of the economy can use people who can perform and present in front of others, and so drama graduates can be found in teaching, management, advertising, project and events organisation and community work. Be aware that freelancing and self-employment is common, as are what is termed 'portfolio careers' – having several part-time jobs or commissions at once – over one in ten drama graduates last year had more than one job on the go at once after six months.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Artistic, literary and media occupations

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Arts administrator
  • Actor
  • Theatre director

Other real-life job examples

  • Events manager
  • Community worker
  • Stage manager

What employers like about this subject

A degree in drama or theatre studies will help you to develop a number of subject-specific skills including performance training; theories of drama and the use of technology in the performing arts and arts management. Transferable skills you can gain from studying drama and theatre studies include communication and presentation skills, team-working, self-motivation, research and critical thinking. Drama and theatre studies graduates get jobs with a range of employers including theatres and arts organisations, broadcasters, schools, colleges and universities, welfare organisations and advertising agencies.