BA/BA (Hons) Drama and Performance

What is drama and performance?

From the investigation of the many processes involved in creating and staging plays to the exploration of key performance practices, Drama and Performance offers a theoretical and practical learning approach to the craft of theatre, its techniques and historical context. Its focus is on developing graduates with embodied knowledge which can be applied in both professional and academic environments.

About the Course

Through a progressive historical and theoretical underpinning of creative processes and practical work, this course provides a unique opportunity to experiment with a diverse range of working practices, preparing the ground and offering the tools for a successful career path in the performing arts. Our cross disciplinary and collaborative teaching approach aims at challenging conventional assumptions of learning experiences and outcomes within performing arts studies.

Our philosophy is to encourage critical thinking and creative prowess through interaction and dialogue between core practice, historical genealogies and current theoretical frameworks, which support the development of text-based as well as devised performance practices.

Collaborations and exchange with the other performing arts courses enables students who study on the Drama and Performance course to gain a deeper understanding of how diverse creative strategies can be integrated in the process of producing original work.

On graduation, students will have acquired a rounded experience of how live performance functions, and of the many ways in which drama can be understood and made relevant to contemporary audiences. The course provides a wide-ranging knowledge of the subject area and opens up a broad spectrum of diverse career paths.

The first two years offer the opportunities to work in collaborative, creative experimental workshops, in which students will work to find solutions to the creative staging and performance of classic and contemporary genres and texts. Bringing a range of interests and skills (eg acting, directing, dramaturgy, scenography and playwriting), students will share their different perspectives and insights. Classes will also cover theatre history and theory which will inform the decisions students make in their creative work. Years Three and Four will involve the study of core modules and a series of options (which may vary from year to year) to focus interests in specific areas. Year Four will see the completion of a personal final project, which can be performance based or a written dissertation.

Course Structure

You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules, as outlined, each year.

Entry Requirements

Scottish Higher: BBBCC

A Level: BBB

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H3 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 30 points

Required Subjects: English and/or Drama preferred at Higher/A Level or equivalent. English required and Maths preferred at S/Int2/N5/GCSE level.

Mature/Access: Access to Humanities /Arts/ Social Sciences considered. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and /or experience.

Advanced Entry:

Year 2

  • HNC/D: relevant HN programmes will be considered with B/CB in the graded units
  • Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher
  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects

Advanced entry candidates meeting the entry criteria will be required to attend an interview as part of the selection process.

International: IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5.


Year One

Introduction to Studying Drama and Performance/ Text and Performance 1 and 2/ The Origins of Theatre/ Play and Performance/ Performance and Production Practices

Year Two

Theatre of Ideas and the Stage/ Space, Performance and The Spectator/ Theory, Drama and Audiences/ Practitioner Researchers/ British Theatre Since 1945/ Collaborations in Performance and Production

Year Three

Performance project/ Contemporary Scottish Theatre in Debate/ Critical Theory, Performance and Text/ Independent research project/ Arts Funding in its Policy Context/ plus two options from: Arts Journalism 1/ Playwriting 1/ Contemporary Performance 1/ Community Theatre 1/ Experiential Learning / plus media options

Year Four

Creative Entrepreneurship/ Professional Practice and Development/ Honours project/ Plus two options from: Arts Journalism 2/ Arts Management/ Contemporary Performance 2/ Community Theatre 2 / Playwriting 2/ Page to Stage/ plus media options

NB The modules listed here are correct at time of the printing of our Undergraduate Prospectus 2018 (Feb 2017) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2018. Please check the website for any updates.


You may use your studies as a basis for professional practice within theatre and allied industries, using the specialisms as a stepping stone to: playwriting; directing; producing; screen industries; further training in acting; theatre in/within the community; contemporary performance practice; arts journalism; professions requiring skills in communication and creativity; drama teaching; and postgraduate study.

Quick Facts

  • With a plethora of festivals, theatre companies, dance companies, museums and orchestras in and around Edinburgh, the Festival City, and throughout Scotland, work-based learning and networking opportunities are plentiful.
  • Electives in Years Three and Four allow you to focus your interests to suit your own career aspirations.

Learning and Teaching

Each 20 credit module has a notional 200 hours of learning achieved through class contact time in lectures, seminars and workshops, directed learning and independent study. A student usually takes six modules each year.

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'

Study Abroad

It is possible to study for a period of time at a university overseas.

Please Note:
The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Special Information for EU Applicants: The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2017/8 and 2018/9 academic years will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website.


Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
W490 BA/DrP

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