A Level Theatre Studies

A Level Theatre Studies

Staff, Teaching & Learning

Code: 60183020/5210

The Drama and Theatre Studies A Level provides academic rigour through both practical exploration as well as theoretical study. The course is highly regarded by many universities as it builds the skills of academic analysis in both verbal presentation and written forms: in a recent survey of Russell Group University Law departments, the Drama A Level featured prominently as a facilitating subject in the three top universities. The research also suggested that students wishing to study essay based subjects at university are more successful when using drama as a facilitating subject.

The course promotes four core academic and practical skills:

  • Performance/Design/Directing skills; including presentations skills
  • Performance analysis skills
  • Literary analysis skills
  • Comparative analysis skills

Lessons are a mixture of practical drama work, play/text reading and analysis as well as theoretical presentations. The lesson objectives are always explored through practical, discussion and written forms to aid overall comprehension of the set texts, performances and theatrical periods. This allows the candidates involved to work as actors, technicians, designers, directors and audience members as they explore the world of drama at advanced level.

Students will be given many performance opportunities throughout the course, which will build their performance skills and understanding. There will be regular theatre and research trips, both locally in Manchester and to London.


Unit 1 Exploration of Drama and Theatre (AS 40%, A2 20%)

  • Internally assessed, externally moderated
  • May Deadline
  • The study of two contrasting plays through recorded practical work and essay styled 'exploration notes'
  • An essay evaluating a Live Performance

Unit 2 Theatre Text in Performance (AS 60%, A2 30%)

  • Externally assessed, visiting examiner
  • February - May assessment window
  • Within this unit, the Candidates prepare two practical pieces, which are examined by a visiting practical examiner:
  • A monologue or duologue
  • A performance of a professionally published playwright's work

Unit 3 Exploration of Dramatic Performance (A2 40%, Overall 20%)

  • Internally assessed, externally moderated
  • May deadline
  • A unit based in devising techniques where candidates create a 'unique and original piece of theatre' and support their recorded final performance with individually written 'Research and Development Portfolios'

Unit 4 Theatre Text in Context (A2 60%, Overall 30%)

  • Externally assessed, written exam 2hours 30 minutes
  • June examination
  • The study of one set text, one period of theatrical development (e.g. the Elizabethans, the Restoration) and one modern performance
  • The examination has three sections:
  1. Explore the set text from a director's point of view
  2. A further question exploring the set text from the director's point of view
  3. Evaluates the modern performance by comparing it to the period of theatrical development studied

Set texts: THAT FACE by Polly Stenham, Antigone By Sophocles in translation by Don Taylor

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