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Drama and Performance Practice

BA (Hons)

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What is Drama and Performance Practice BA (Hons)?

From classical acting to improvisation, physical theatre to contemporary digital performance, you’ll experience the full range of theatre of theatre practice on this performance focused and creative degree. Based in the purpose-built Performing Arts Centre, this course combines theory with practice in preparation for performance, incorporating sessions on:

  • stage combat
  • voice
  • Laban Movement for Actors
  • improvisation skills
  • acting for camera.

You’ll work with professionals from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC. Develop skills in acting, directing, creative collaboration, research, arts management and drama teaching.

You’ll perform regularly at professional venues such as Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, and you’ll get the opportunity to take a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. There are optional international study trips to New York and Berlin to see shows and undertake professional workshops and talks.

Study style

Your skills will be nurtured within a friendly and vibrant performance community with lecturers who have professional experience in all aspects of the theatre. They’re experienced actors and directors, bringing their extensive knowledge to exciting modules.

The modules focus on the latest developments in both Contemporary and Classical theatre and give you the chance to work with professional directors and leading theatre companies. The academic programme is supplemented by specialist workshops in areas like Commedia dell’Arte mask performance, TV Drama, and Clowning, as well as regular opportunities to access professional performances at a reduced ticket price.

Practical classes run alongside accessible and interactive lectures where you will develop skills in presentation, debate and academic writing as well as gaining an understanding of theatre’s rich history.

Get Drama and Performance Practice BA (Hons) course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

    • Because we want to offer this course to creative students with talent and potential (and because we know that exam grades don’t always tell the whole story), we invite all applicants to audition.

      Your suitability for the course is assessed and we will confirm your place after we’ve had a chance to meet you, if we feel you are a good fit. As well as unconditional offers for the right applicants, we make conditional offers based on your achieving certain grades in your A-levels or BTEC qualifications.

      Check out our Audition Guide to learn what to expect and help you prepare.

    • English and Maths Grade 4/C in GCSE (or equivalent) are normally required.

Course modules


Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
per year
Fee (international)
per year
Sep 2021 Oxstalls, Gloucester W400 £9,250 £14,700
Sep 2022 Oxstalls, Gloucester W400

Possible careers

Graduates from this course can go on to work in:

  • acting
  • teaching
  • directing
  • arts management
  • technical theatre
  • media and PR
  • production
  • film
  • TV.

Industry links

You’ll hear from visiting speakers that include professionals from the performance companies, Frantic Assembly, Motion House and Sixth Sense, BBC TV director, Sean Gleeson, Sound Artist and Opera Director, Melanie Wilson and Film Director Mark Jobst.

We have excellent links with the Royal Shakespeare Company, British Actors Equity, the BBC, The Everyman Theatre, The Wilson Gallery, The National Trust, Gloucester Cathedral, Croome Park, Hailes Abbey, Strike a Light Festival, Tewkesbury’s Roses Theatre, plus local primary and secondary schools.

Learn from leading actors and directors

Recent guests include: Mark Powell, artistic director of Sixth Sense Theatre who focused on issue-based theatre; Paul Milton, creative director at the Everyman Theatre who shared acting expertise; and Sean Gleeson, BBC director, who coached acting techniques for television and film.

Students on English Literature and Creative Writing course sitting in auditorium whilst talking to each other

Gain experience through live theatre performances

Work within theatre settings including Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre and Gloucester’s King’s Theatre, with professional directors, designers and technicians. Present site-specific productions in venues like the Wilson Art Gallery, the historic Blackfriars Priory and the National Trust’s Croome Park.

Performance students dressed up for a performance at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

Achieve a stage combat certificate

Under the tuition of Tom Jordan, fight director for film, TV and the Royal Shakespeare Company, you will build your skills for hand-to-hand and weapon combat using character and scripts to inform your process. You’ll achieve an industry-recognised British Academy Stage Combat Certificate.

Two performers acting out a swordfight in front of other performing arts students
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Drama and Dance - Value Added - Guardian University Guide 2021

Our Drama and Dance courses rank in the UK top 20 for value added, according to the Guardian University Guide 2021.

Trips and experiences

You’ll perform regularly at professional venues such as Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, and you’ll have the opportunity to take a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

There are optional international study trips to New York and Berlin to see shows and undertake professional workshops and talks. A special feature of the course is site-specific performance work where you will create theatre for historic buildings like Blackfriars Abbey in Gloucester, or at the National Trust’s Croome Court.


As part of your course you can gain valuable experience on an optional placement year.

  • Duration – 12 months, full-time (minimum 35 hours a week)
  • Location – popular destinations include the UK, USA, China and Europe
  • Visa – you may need a visa if you’re on placement abroad
  • Finance – your tuition fee is reduced for your placement year – and you can still apply for a maintenance loan and get money advice
  • Placement support – we’ll help you find a great placement and get the most out of the experience

"The lecturers have opened my mind"

“The lecturers have opened my mind to lots of different types of performance and given me the confidence to be a versatile actor.”

Bradley Sargeant, Drama & Performance Practice student

Students smiling backstage

"I’ve toured the world with the Actors Touring Company and been nominated for an Olivier Award."

“I’ve acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal National Theatre, as well as touring with my own company as artistic director and performer before becoming artistic director of the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham for 10 years. I’ve worked as an actor, director, writer, practitioner and theorist. I am passionate about drama and the process of creating work with young people and building their understanding of the theory and power of performance through practice. This is a crucial part of my delivery and ethos as a lecturer.”

Sue Colverd, Principal Lecturer in Drama, Performing Arts and Production

Lecturer talking to students under spotlights

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