Drama and Theatre Studies

A Level
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Nicola Kingsley

What is A Level Drama and Theatre Studies?

Drama and Theatre Studies is a practical, intellectual and artistic subject. You will be expected to explore the structural elements of theatre from the page to the stage. In order to be successful and enjoy this subject, you will need to have a keen interest in the history of drama and study the practitioners, theatrical forms and conventions that make theatre such a compelling and exciting subject. You must be able to analyse and critically deconstruct the work you study, create and witness. It is recommended that students have achieved a C in GCSE Drama and English.

Is Drama suitable for me?

Current Drama students have stated that they find A Level drama exciting and challenging with an excellent mix of both practical and theory work. Students find the productions they work on in both years highly rewarding. Also, if a student clearly has design skills, these can be evaluated and considered for concentrated study when productions take place.

You must be prepared to put in the extra time that is required, outside of class, for rehearsals when in productions. There is a large workload so you need to be very organised and have an extremely dedicated and conscientious approach in order to be successful in both your practical and written work.

How will I learn?

Lessons are a healthy combination of practical learning supported by the necessary academic theory needed to understand the work being studied. Learning takes place through the following: practical workshops, researching background material on a playwright, written research (social/cultural/historical), rehearsal of a production, participating in improvisation, devised work and class discussion. These methods increase understanding of the subject and provide more detail and substance to the students work.

The style of homework varies according to the unit of exam work. Research, essay writing and rehearsals are all integral to the course. 4 to 5 hours of private study per week are expected in addition to timetabled lessons. This can, at times, all be taken up with external rehearsals.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Devising (*Component Code: 9DR0/01) 

Coursework - 40% of the qualification - 80 marks

Content Overview 

  • Devise an original performance piece. 

Assessment Overview 

1)  A Portfolio (60 marks, 40 marks assessing AO1 and 20 marks assessing AO4) 

2)  The devised performance/design realisation (20 marks, assessing AO2).  

Component 2: Text in Performance (*Component Code: 9DR0/02)

Coursework - 20% of the qualification - 60 marks

Content Overview 

  • A group performance/design realisation of one key extract from a performance text. (worth 36 marks)
  • A monologue or duologue performance/design realisation from one key extract from a performance text (worth 24 marks)

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (*Paper Code: 9DR0/03)

Written examination - 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of the qualification - 80 marks

Content Overview 

  • Section A - Live theatre evaluation
  • Section B - Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text
  • Section C - Interpreting a Performance Text 


The course can lead you to studying drama at university, drama school or a Performing Arts course at the end of your A Level. Many students go on to study Drama and Theatre Studies/Performing Arts at a higher level and progress to working in theatre, television, film and video. It has also proved invaluable in the journalistic, teaching and legal professions.

When students study Drama and Theatre Studies at A Level it invests the individual with invaluable skills in articulating thoughts, exploring ideas, sharpening communication skills and providing the ability to work within a group situation both in a practical and academic setting.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. We would normally expect you to have studied GCSE Drama or participated in a range of performances.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery, computer disks and calculators (where appropriate).

Essential: £60 for textbooks.

Desirable: you will be expected to attend many theatre trips as part of the course. The cost of any trips and workshops can exceed £100.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Course Code