Drama and Theatre Studies

Please note the course outlined below is the course currently being followed. The details will be changing for the next academic year (2016 onwards) and this page will be updated as soon as possible.

Specification Edexcel

Why study Drama?

The course develops practical, creative, cognitive and communication skills in almost equal measure. You will have the opportunity to acquire knowledge about all aspects of theatre both as a performer and in a production role by studying current theatre practice, theoretical approaches, texts, playwrights and live productions. AS/A Level complements a range of subjects and is useful in building confidence and team cooperation as well as improving presentation skills. A qualification in Drama would be particularly useful if pursuing a career in teaching, public services, social services, law, the media or indeed any career which involves communication and working with the public.

What will I study?

At AS Level you will initially study theatre history, traditions and styles alongside the main elements of theatre production, including design. Acting techniques are taught alongside the theory and work of several leading theatre practitioners.

Unit 1 Exploration of Drama and Theatre introduces you to the content of plays written for the theatre. You will learn how to analyse plays in a variety of ways so that you become familiar with the way written plays can be interpreted for realisation in performance.

Unit 2 Theatre Text in Performance offers you the chance to demonstrate skills in a performance environment. The knowledge and understanding gained during the study of two plays in Unit 1 can now be applied with a view to delivering a performance to an audience.

At A2 Level, for Unit 3 Exploration of Dramatic Performance this unit requires the creation of a unique and original piece of theatre. The knowledge and understanding gained in the AS units can now be applied to a created production. Students will be assessed on both the process of creation and the finished product in the form of a performance to an invited audience.

Unit 4 Theatre Text in Context is an externally examined written unit which requires the detailed study of one set play text and one prescribed historical period of theatrical development. For you are required to study and research the original performance conditions of a play written.

How will I be assessed?

At AS Level, Unit 1 (20% of A Level) is an internally assessed unit in which you explore two contrasting play texts in a practical and active way. At least one of the plays must be explored in the light of a recognised theatre practitioner. You are marked on the practical workshops and a set of Exploration Notes must be submitted. You are also required to experience a live theatre performance and submit an evaluation.

Unit 2 (30% of A Level) is an externally assessed unit. The first section requires you to perform either a monologue or duologue and submit a written concept of your interpretation. The second section requires you to create a performance of a professionally published play by a known writer.

At A2 Level, Unit 3 (20% of A Level) will be assessed on the research and development of your practical work as well as the final performance in front of an identified audience. You are also required to complete an evaluation on both the process and performance of their work. Unit 4 (30% of A Level), is an externally assessed unit that takes the form of a 2-hour-and-30-minute written paper in three sections.

Entry Requirements

An interest and enthusiasm for Drama is essential. Grade C or better in Drama GCSE.

Course expenses

There will be a number of theatre visits throughout the course. These visits are part of the course and will be the material on which critical appreciation responses are based for the written Unit 1 at AS Level and Unit 4, theatre in context unit, at A2 Level. The price per visit will range, according to venue, from £12 to £35 and it is expected that there will be at least four visits for AS and two visits for A2. We are encouraging all students to purchase a study guide, costing £15, to support the course.

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