Theatre and Performance Studies (BA) - Course full
Taught by experienced lecturers and practitioners from many countries, BA Theatre and Performance Studies offers an opportunity to engage creatively and critically with a variety of contemporary artistic, social and political issues from across the globe.
Please note, we have made a change to the entry requirements for this course. It is therefore very important that you check this page for the latest information before you apply and prior to accepting an offer.
Theatre and Performance at Warwick will enable you to develop yourself as a thinker, maker and doer. You’ll engage with theatre-making processes and performance practices, and make your own work in response. You’ll examine aesthetic, social and political issues in creative and critical ways. You’ll have opportunities to progress through placement and industry partnerships, in festival settings, and through individually supervised academic study. Our teaching involves leading experts in theatre and performance studies and contemporary theatre/performance production, with a mix of core staff, specialist tutors and visiting practitioners and companies.
We take a wide-ranging approach, recognising that theatre and performance occur not only in traditional theatre buildings, but also in cities, on streets, in rituals and across media, and within spaces that are real, virtual and imagined. You’ll enjoy flexibility in your module choices, including practice-based, interdisciplinary and international perspectives – and wider connections with (for example) Creative Writing, Education, Law and Politics.
Outside your studies, Warwick’s vibrant student drama scene gives you opportunities to get involved with many different kinds of production through our various theatre/performance student societies, with projects at Warwick Arts Centre (a core partner of the Department), the National Student Drama Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival.
Find out more information about this course in the Theatre and Performances Studies brochure.
Enabling you to follow your passion in the Arts, we are awarding Scholarships of £1,000 to home/UK students who achieve AAA or above, or equivalent qualifications if you start your course in 2020 and you have applied through UCAS, adjustment or clearing.
The first year consists of four modules which provide you with core practical, critical and writing skills and subject knowledge. Your second and third years offer various practice- and seminar-based modules, with freedom to choose options to match your interests. In your third year, you will complete a creative practice project or a 10,000-word research dissertation.
We also offer several joint-honours courses where Theatre Studies are taught alongside English Literature or a modern language, and you can study Theatre & Performance alongside Global Sustainable Development.
Our teaching is delivered via lectures, small-group seminars, studio-based workshops and practical projects, supplemented by theatre visits, field trips, guest lectures and workshops with practitioners. Our students are assessed through practical projects, creative logbooks, essays, individual and group presentations, and exams, and receive regular feedback on their work as an integral part of teaching and learning.
Contact hours vary from student to student as we encourage you to follow modules that best suit your interests and abilities. As a guide, our seminar-based modules normally involve 2 contact hours per week and modules with a strong practical component are normally 4 contact hours per week, with additional time spent preparing and (where appropriate) working with colleagues.
Class sizes vary depending on the nature of the module and whether students are split into groups. Typically, you will be in groups of 10-24 in a class.
As a whole, around 30% of the course is assessed by coursework, around 30% by summative performances and practice-based outcomes, and around 40% by summative essays and examination, but this depends on which modules you take. The second and third year count 50% each towards your final mark.
All students have the option of spending a year at a University in continental Europe under the Erasmus scheme, between the 2nd and 3rd year. We have partnerships with the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and Monash University in Australia and students are able to apply to spend their 2nd year at one of these partner institutions. We support student mobility through study abroad programmes. The Study Abroad Team based in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities, and the Department’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.
We include workshops by visiting practitioners and arts organisations, and have internship arrangements with a number of companies and organisations. We have recently engaged with Dash Arts, Flatpack Festival, Motionhouse, Institute of Theatre Consultants, Kampala International Theatre Festival, Royal Navy Theatre Association, Teatr Biuro Podróży, Voluntary Arts, Coventry 2021 UK City of Culture Bid, Warwick Creative Exchange, Centre for Dance Research at Coventry University.
A level: ABB
BTEC: We welcome applications from students taking BTEC qualifications, either alone or in combination with A levels. Our typical BTEC offers are as follows:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate plus 2 A-Levels: D plus AB
BTEC Level 3 National Diploma plus 1 A-Level: DD plus A
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: D*DD
Interviews: Applicants are typically invited to attend Applicant Days. Applicants not living in the UK will be offered one-to-one Skype discussions in place of this.
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
- We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
Contemporary Performance Practices
In a series of tutor-led workshops, you will be introduced to an array of contemporary performance practices, such as site-specific performance, devising, clowning, performance art, physical theatre, improvisation, and various forms of multimedia performance. You will explore these through the study of a range of leading practitioners and theatre companies, which may include Spymonkey, Jacques Lecoq, Pina Bausch, Frantic Assembly, Mark Ravenhill, Akram Khan and Gob Squad. The module will conclude with presentations of your own devised work influenced by the various approaches investigated during the module.
Theatre and Performance in Context
This module introduces key concepts in theatre and performance studies, uncovering what theatre and performance can tell us about our cultures, societies and identities. These understandings are applied to case studies from around the world, which include ‘canonical’ events and alternative practices, both from within theatres and beyond them. The module hones your academic writing, research and presentation skills, which will serve you throughout your degree.
From Text to Performance
Through practical exploration of a number of selected plays and texts, in this module you will investigate the process of taking material from page to stage or performance, and the relationship between theory and practice. You will have the opportunity to experiment practically with realising multiple texts in performance, considering aspects such as staging, genre, narrative structure, performance strategies, dramaturgical thinking and directorial conceptualization, as well as the changing role and function of the audience.
As part of this module you will experience a variety of productions at some of the most significant performance venues in our region, including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Belgrade Theatre, the Birmingham REP and Warwick Arts Centre. You will develop the basic strategies, methodologies and tools of analysis that you need to ‘read’, respond and write about theatre and performance.
In your second -year there is one core module, Inter-Performance, and in your final-year you must choose from one of two optional core modules.
Part practical and part theoretical, this module works with colleagues from a number of departments across the institution to identify the intersections between Theatre and Performance Studies and other disciplines, including Law, Philosophy, Politics, Global Sustainable Development, Life Sciences and Computer Science. In the first term, these intersections are explored through lectures, seminars and discussion. This is followed by a term of innovative practice-based work which culminates in a practical realisation of a specific issue or enquiry in which performance intersects with a non-arts discipline.
Independent Research Option
On this pathway you will carry out independent research into an area of theatre and performance studies that you are passionate about and will write an extended dissertation on your findings. Throughout the research and writing process you will be supported by structured class activities and regular one-to-one supervision meetings with a member of the academic team. To aid the development of your work, you will present your research as an academic poster and at a departmental undergraduate conference during the course of the year.
On this pathway you will develop practical work that is grounded in research. This may take a range of forms, including (but not limited to) live theatre, participatory workshops, an installation, a video, a written play, a space or a costume design. You will be supported through in-class workshops, supervision meetings, and work-in-progress showings. Your final work will be showcased as part of the Department’s Verge Festival at Warwick Arts Centre, after which you will write a critical reflection on your creation process and performance.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
Applied Theatre, Approaches to Theatre History & Historiography, Audience Development & Marketing, Audio-Visual Avant-Gardes, Contemporary European Theatre, Dramaturgy, Immersive Practices, Intercultural Performance Practices, Love: Performance, Theory & Criticism, Mad, Bad, and Sad: Madness and Cultural Representation, Performing Gender & Sexuality, Placement: Creative Arts and the Cultural Industries, Post-War British Theatre and Social Abjection, Sound Walks, South African Theatre, Theatre and National Identities, Theatre and the Creative Industries, Theatre in the African Context, Theatre in the Community, Twentieth Century Irish Theatre, You, Me, and Everyone We Know: Identity and Performance, You, the Performer: Presence and Affect, Wired: Video-Making and Writing for Theatre & Performance.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to roles such as: actors, entertainers and presenters; arts officers, producers and directors; authors, writers and translators; business sales executives; human resources and industrial relations officers; marketing associate professional; planning, process and production technicians; researchers; sales administrators; secondary education teaching professionals and set designers.
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who works within Student Careers and Skills to help you as an individual. Additionally your Senior Careers Consultant offers impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events, tailored to our department, throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Careers workshop for Theatre and Performance Studies Students
- Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
- Careers in Radio Film and Television
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- A history and DIY Guide to setting up and running a Theatre Company
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
"Warwick taught me how to be resilient."
"Studying at a well-known campus university was important to me. I wanted a university that had a strong reputation, not just in my area of interest but more broadly and I wasn’t disappointed. The lecturers were always enthusiastic and the faculty had a real drive for ensuring we discovered our potential. Through Warwick I gained valuable experiences and skills such as; the discipline of study, coping financially on my own and learning to live with other people. All of these experiences taught me how to be resilient, to listen and understand other points of view and manage myself under pressure."
Lizzy Geremia - Workplace Transformation and Communications Lead
Studied 'Theatre Studies and Dramatic Arts' - Graduated 1997
'I was sold by the quality of Warwick'
I was sold by the quality of the campus at Warwick and the opportunities it provided. My course crossed over a variety of subjects and this helped me discover what I had a passion for. The main skills I learnt revolved around research and presenting, both which I use in my current job role.
With my performance background, I have confidence in presenting to large groups and holding an audience’s attention. In my final year, I devised a performance piece as part of a team and this involved idea generation, planning and execution. In any line of work these skills are essential to getting things done.
Michael Kennedy-Gill - Regional Business Development Manager
'Theatre and Performance Studies' - Graduated 2005
Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Theatre and Performance Studies
3 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
What our students say...
Straight from the students themselves.