BA/BA (Hons) Drama

From the investigation of the many processes involved in creating and staging plays to the exploration of key performance practices, this course offers a theoretical and practical learning approach to the craft of theatre, its techniques and historical context.

This course encompasses every area of drama and performance and enables students to latterly tailor modules to their particular interest. Modules teach performers, stage-managers, technical, directors and everything in-between the skills necessary to advance in that field.


Why QMU?

  • 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.
  • Module options in Years Three and Four allow you to focus your interests to suit your own career aspirations.
  • This course offers placement and study abroad options.


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 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. We aim 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 Drama and Performance students 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 first two years offer the opportunity 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.

In Years Three and Four, you will study core modules plus optional modules allowing you to focus interests in specific areas. In Year Four, you will complete a personal final project, which can be performance based or a written dissertation.



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 each year as outlined.


Teaching, learning and assessment

The information on teaching, learning and assessment for entry in 2019 is not yet available, but will be accessible from here. 
The information below is for entry in 2018 and will give you an idea of what to expect.

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


Year One modules

  • 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 modules

  • 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 modules

  • 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: Playwriting 1/ Contemporary Performance 1/ Community Theatre 1/ Experiential Learning/ plus film and media options

Year Four modules

  • Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Professional Practice and Development
  • Honours project
  • plus two options from: The Only Way is Ethics — Art Participation and Ethics/ Contemporary Performance 2/ Community Theatre 2 / Playwriting 2/ Page to Stage/ plus film and media options

The modules listed here are correct at time of print (Feb 2018) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2019 following the next revalidation. Please check the website for any updates.



There is the opportunity to complete a placement in the Community Theatre option modules in Years Three and Four. Students will source a placement host with support from QMU staff. Placements are normally located close to the Edinburgh area. Placement structure will vary depending on what the host can offer. For example, you may be able to spend a full week on placement or you may be able to do one day a week over several weeks.

The Experiential Learning module in Years Three and Four also includes a placement for one day a week in an appropriate local organisation. Students will source a placement host with support from QMU staff.


Exchange opportunities*

In Year Three, you have the opportunity to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/.

*subject to availability


The course provides a wide-ranging knowledge of the subject area and opens up a broad spectrum of diverse career paths. 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; professions requiring skills in communication and creativity; drama teaching; and postgraduate study.


Entry Requirements

Scottish Higher: BBBCC

A Level: BBB

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H3 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 30 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

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: See related Access courses. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and /or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC/ HND: HNC/ HND in related subject with B/CB in the graded unit
  • Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher
  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects

 For details of related HNC and HND courses, see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications


Associate student places


Professional registration/ accreditation


Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

 Special Information for EU Applicants The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year 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 2019
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

A Student Story - more at foot of page

Veera Leitinen - BA (Hons) Drama and Performance "My advice for other students - be ready to take responsible of your own learning and studies, and be ready to work a lot in groups as there will be large number of group assessments. You have to be motivated to do self study to get the best out the experience. Also, take part in societies and other opportunities as these will make your experiences even better. Find the things you are interested and pursue them!" Read my story...