Drama and Theatre Studies

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Exam Board


Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 5 in either English Language or English Literature.  Some experience of performing essential.


  • 60% Practical Exams
  • 40% Written Exams
About this course An introduction to Drama and theatre studies Pathways Information FAQs

What is drama and theatre studies?

You will explore what makes great theatre work: the craft of the playwright, the director’s interpretation, the work of performers, and the contribution of technical and design elements.


What will I study?

You will study two challenging and exciting set plays and practically explore three others, performing substantial extracts from each.  You will also have the opportunity to devise an original piece of theatre from a stimulus. All of your practical work will be informed by your research into the very best theatre practitioners.



40% written exam; 60% coursework.

The Drama A Level comprises three components:

Component 1 (40%) – Written Examination
You will study two set plays and analyse and evaluate the work of live theatre makers.


Component 2 (30%) – Creating Original Drama

This involves devising a piece of original theatre based on a stimulus.  You will be assessed on your ability to create and develop ideas to communicate meaning as part of the theatre making process.  You will produce an individual working notebook of up to 3000 words documenting the devising process and contribute to a final devised, group performance.  The work produced will be influenced and shaped by your study of a theatre practitioner.


Component 3 (30%) – Making Theatre

This is a scripted exam.  For this component, you will practically explore and interpret three key extracts, each from a different play.  You will formally present Extract 3 to an audience and a visiting examiner.  This work will be influenced by a second theatre practitioner.  You will also submit a 3000-word reflective report analysing and evaluating your work on all three extracts.


Trips, visits and enrichments:

  • Theatre visits to regional and West End theatres
  • College productions
  • Workshops from theatre practitioners
  • Access to Drama Online and Digital Theatre Plus


What can it lead to?

Students go on to study a range of subjects at university. Our students have gained places at prestigious drama schools before pursuing successful careers in theatre and performance. Former students have played lead roles in West End productions of Dear Evan Hansen, War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Dirty Dancing. Others have devised and directed award-winning original work at home and abroad. Drama is an excellent qualification for a wide range of professions and university courses and students have carved out successful careers in teaching, law and business.


Do you organise theatre trips?
We run several trips to the theatre per year.
Do you organise practitioners to visit the college and work with students?
We do. Recently, we welcomed an associate from international award-winning theatre company, Theatre de Complicite. We also welcome academics and associates from drama schools and universities to discuss the study of drama beyond A level.
Do students go off to become actors?
Yes, they do! One of our former students, Jack Loxton, played lead roles in War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and another, Esther Smith, currently stars in Apple TV series Trying.
Do I have to do some writing?
All drama A levels – irrespective of the exam board – require students to write in an exam context and produce coursework in continuous prose. In terms of the weighting of marks, all boards place the same emphasis on written and practical assessments. Students receive a lot of support with this aspect of the course and do remember that the written exam is at the end of two years of study, after you have built up your skills and refined your written style!
Do rehearsals take place outside of lessons?
Success in the subject relies on hard work, effort, and plenty of rehearsal. You should expect to rehearse with your group during lunch times and/or common times when working on a practical assessment. You can also expect to rehearse after college during the last few weeks of any rehearsal period leading up to a practical exam.
Can I be assessed as a designer?
You can. We allow students to be assessed on lighting and/or sound. We may allow students to design costume or set for a practical assessment if we are satisfied that students have access to appropriate materials, possess the relevant experience, and can work safely. All students can expect to work as directors, actors and designers in lessons as part of their exploration of set texts.
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