A-level Drama and Theatre Studies is an exciting course with a practical focus which challenges students to develop knowledge and understanding of theatre performance, design, directing, analysis and evaluation, as well as transferable skills of empathy, team work, problem-solving and presentation. Over the course students create their own work, perform and design play texts and visit professional theatres to evaluate the work of others as well as studying the work of influential theatre practitioners.
COMPONENT 1 - DEVISING 40% of the qualification
Working in groups, you will create your own piece of theatre with a play text as stimulus and influenced by the study of a theatre practitioner. Designer and performer roles are available for this component which is done in conjunction with the creation of a written portfolio.
COMPONENT 2 - TEXT IN PERFORMANCE 20% of the qualification
Perform in / design for a group performance of an extract from a play.
Perform in / design for a monologue / duologue from a different play.
COMPONENT 3 - THEATRE MAKERS IN PRACTICE 40% of the qualification
Section A - Live theatre evaluation
Section B - Realising a performance text
Section C - Interpreting a performance text
The course is taught by experienced specialist practitioners. Assignments are set at regular intervals throughout the course and a very high level of student involvement is expected in all areas. Performances are especially important, and it is expected that evening rehearsals and performances will take priority over work or social commitments.
Trips to the theatre are arranged regularly and are an essential element of the course. In addition, visiting theatre companies perform at the college and regular practitioner workshops are available. Students have the opportunity to take part in film and television acting workshops delivered by West Acting Workshop / ITV at the college. Students may have the opportunity to participate in exciting projects, which have recently included the National Theatre’s Connections project, and ‘Behind Closed Doors’.
Students discussing their work with a professional playwright and director
Method of Assessment
COMPONENT 1 - 80 MARKS
Internally marked, externally examined
40 marks for portfolio, 20 for practical process, 20 marks for final performance.
COMPONENT 2 - 60 MARKS
Externally examined (visiting examiner)
36 marks for group piece. 24 marks for monologue/duologue
COMPONENT 3 - 80 MARKS
Written exam. Externally examined
Section A - 20 marks
Section B - 36 marks
Section C - 24 marks
Classes are taught in the college theatre, where performances also take place. This is equipped with a full technical rig of lighting and sound equipment to enhance performances. The Performing Arts Academy has its own dedicated technician available to aid students with design.
The minimum entry requirement is five GCSE’s at Grade 4 or above or the equivalent from four subject areas including English; any practical experience of theatre, technical or performance based would also be an advantage.
You will be required to audition for a place on the course which will consist of a practical workshop and the preparation of of a 1-2 minute monologue.
Past students of this course have gone on to study a range of subjects at university, and A level Drama and Theatre is valued by both universities and drama schools. We have students who have progressed through both of these routes, including prestigious drama schools such as East 15. In addition to this, the transferable skills developed over the duration of the course also enable students to progress into a range of employment in the creative industries, business and education.
National Theatre Connections Project 2017, The Snow Dragons
Students are expected to take part in theatre trips to various theatres where a charge will be made based on ticket price and cost of transport. We endeavour to keep the cost of these trips as low as possible.
Partnerships and links
We have links with Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Bristol School of Performing Arts (BSPA), Screenology Film School and many local theatre companies and professional actors. Students benefit from regular workshops, visiting speakers and theatre trips.
Performing Arts Academy
As a part of our Performing Arts Academy, you will be able to access a range of exciting opportunities to develop their skills and experience beyond the curriculum. These include LAMDA qualifications, singing lessons, Film and TV Acting Workshops delivered by ITV Studios, the opportunity to be involved in the National Theatre Connections Project, extra-curricular sessions where they can learn about theatre design, and our Career Ready Scheme which matches successful applicants with a professional mentor who works in the industry. Some of these opportunities are available at a cost, but will work to supplement their experience and qualifications. Please see the Performing Arts Academy leaflet, or page on the website for further information.