Drama Degrees

Want to be the next big stage star? Can you cry at will? If so, you might want to study a drama degree at university.

But before you rush into this and start quoting Shakespeare to your mum while she’s trying to watch Strictly Come Dancing, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this type of degree, including your career options (aside from Hollywood).

About Drama

A drama degree gives you the opportunity to tap into and act out a huge range of situations and emotions. It gives you a solid understanding of the dramatic arts, including the practical, historical and theoretical aspects, places you in a range of settings and contexts, and involves you in a professional and creative atmosphere. As part of your course you will also get the opportunity to act in plays hosted by your university.

You can study a drama degree alone, or take it as part of a joint honours degree with another subject, such as English Literature. Many drama degrees also give you the chance to study a foreign language, and in this sense will equip you with academic opportunities the likes of which a drama school may not be able to.

The course lasts for three years when studied full-time and up-to six years if taken part-time.

Topics Covered

The exact topics covered in a drama degree will vary according to the university and their particular program. But key themes tend to run throughout such a course, and these might include:

  • Performance Texts
  • Creative and dramatic theatre-making
  • Performance in relation to culture
  • Performance histories

Whichever themes you study, all will combine both theoretical and practical aspects, and you will learn how these aspects inform and affect the other.

During your first year of study, you will be introduced to the ideas that are central to drama, before your understanding of the key themes will be developed in year two. In the third year, you will get the chance to specialise and work on a major production.

Modules you may study include:

  • Culture and performance
  • The actor and the text
  • Staging histories
  • Modernism and the stage
  • Introduction to dramatic writing

You will also be required to complete a dissertation in your final year.

Entry Requirements

To be considered for a single honours, you need between 112 - 128 UCAS points. The same number of points is generally enough to be considered of a joint honours, but it is dependent on the combination. For example, if you want to study creative writing alongside drama, you will need 32 points at A-level in English Language, Literature or a related subject.

Grades that will be considered if you studied a BTEC are DDM in a relevant subject.

Career Prospects

A drama degree teaches you a mixture of disciplines, and if you choose to combine it with another subject, there will be numerous career options open to you upon graduation.

Popular jobs directly related to a drama degree are:

  • Actor
  • Dancer
  • Theatre Director
  • Community Arts Worker
  • Dancer
  • Theatre Stage Manager

During your course, it is advised that you supplement your degree and creative knowledge by applying for roles in plays in your local area, as this will enhance your resume in time for when you graduate. If you choose not to go straight into the field of drama, other jobs you might want to consider include:

  • Arts Administrator
  • TV Presenter
  • Teacher