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Theatre and Performance Studies (BA) (Full-Time, 2021 Entry)

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Bachelor of Arts (BA)

3 years full-time

Start Date
27 September 2021

Department of Study
Theatre and Performance Studies, School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures

Location of Study
University of Warwick

Page last updated
Please note this page has been updated (16.06.2020)

Warwick is ranked 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2021 for Drama, Dance and Cinematics. Our Theatre and Performance Studies course has a reputation for nurturing generations of new talent. That’s because you’ll be engaging with, watching and producing theatre from the moment that you arrive here, both on the course and beyond it.

Course overview

Theatre and Performance Studies at Warwick takes pride in its national and international reputation for research and teaching excellence. As a student, you will be taught by world-leading scholars, industry professionals and artists who are as passionate about the power of theatre and performance as you are. You’ll explore how drama, theatre and performance are used to share stories, to laugh, to feel, to understand more deeply, and to change things.

You’ll have the ability to curate your own distinctive degree, on a course that’s designed to empower you. The foundational first-year consists of four core modules which balance theory and practice. The second and third years are defined by optionality with the opportunity to select from a wide range of modules designed by our diverse team of specialist staff.

Our teaching grows out of the cutting-edge research of our staff, with areas of expertise including:

  • Applied and community theatres
  • Theatre for social change
  • Theatre history
  • Shakespeare in performance
  • Renaissance festivals
  • Street arts and performance in public spaces
  • Popular, political and avant-garde theatres
  • Forms of writing, directing and dramaturgy
  • Theatre and national identities
  • Contemporary British, Irish, European, and North American theatres
  • Theatre in the African context
  • Post-colonial and intercultural theatre and performance
  • Theatre and representations of mental health
  • Performing gender and sexuality
  • Performance and cities
  • Theatre production in digital environments and film

You’ll join a Department that fosters a strong sense of community and will work with your peers to continually design, make, discuss and debate theatre and performance. Staff will see, understand and develop you as an individual, helping you to create a pathway through the course to achieve your ambitions.

Beyond the course, you’ll be encouraged to see work and get involved at Warwick Arts Centre, one of the largest multi-artform venues in the UK, and join one of the many award-winning performance-based student societies. We believe that it is the unique combination of our course, with the practical experience in the creation and production of work within student societies, and the professional environment that Warwick Arts Centre has to offer, which makes our graduates so successful. With a diverse range of careers in the creative and cultural sectors and beyond, our extended family of alumni are testimony to the fact that the sky is your limit with a Theatre and Performance Studies degree from Warwick.

Course structure

The first year of your Theatre and Performance Studies degree consists of four core modules: two that are practice-based and two that are theory-centred. These modules will develop your understanding of the important relationship between theory and practice and will introduce key concepts for a diverse range of performance-making possibilities.

In your second year there’s one core module, and in your final-year you must choose from one of two optional core modules. You can select to do a traditional research project, which ends with the submission of a ten-thousand word written dissertation. Or, you can do a practice-based research project, which will culminate in the public presentation of a piece of practical work.

Beyond these core modules, you’re empowered to tailor your degree to suit you, by selecting whichever optional modules you’d like to take. This means that everyone’s experience of the course is unique. If you thrive in the studio, then you can select more practice-based modules, or if you have a future career path in mind, you can specialise by selecting the modules which best-fit your plans.

You are also able to select optional modules outside of our department, meaning that you don’t have to give up on other areas of interest. We also offer several joint-honours courses with Theatre Studies taught alongside English Literature or a modern language, and you can study Theatre and Performance alongside Global Sustainable Development.

How will I learn?

Our teaching is delivered via studio-based explorations, small-group seminars and interactive lectures, supplemented by theatre visits, field trips, guest lectures and workshops with visiting academics, artists and companies.

Our teaching is research-inspired, striking a balance between providing a broad understanding of the discipline and giving you access to the distinct specialisms of our academic staff.

You’ll be taught by a range of practitioners including:

•Anna Harpin: Co-Artistic Director of Idiot Child theatre company

•Saul Hewish: one of the UK’s leading artists working to create theatre for and with those in the judicial system

•Caroline Griffin: a freelance specialist in audience development and arts marketing Susan Haedicke: a dramaturg who has worked in the UK, Poland and the USA

Contact hours

As you’re encouraged to curate your own path through the degree, contact hours will vary depending on the modules you’ve selected. As a guide, our seminar-based modules normally involve two contact hours per week while modules with a strong practical component are normally four contact hours per week. You’ll also need to allocate time for independent study: rehearsing, doing group work, seeing performances, and preparing assessed work.

In your first year, a typical week may look like this:


Your Toolkit module (3 hours)

- Theatre and Performance in Context Lecture (1.5 hours)

- Theatre and Performance in Context Seminar (1.5 hours)


- Contemporary Performance Practices Studio-Based Workshop (6 hours)


- Performance Analysis Lecture (1.5 Hours)

- Performance Analysis Seminar (1.5 Hours)


- From Text to Performance Studio-Based Workshop (6 hours)


- Independent Study

Class size

What makes Theatre and Performance Studies at Warwick particularly special is the ethos and culture of the Department. Each year we aim for a cohort size of around 35 students. This allows each year-group to work as a cohesive ensemble throughout their three years, enabling them to confidently share ideas, debate and experiment. Our boutique nature also means that we have an excellent staff to student ratio, allowing staff to have a close investment in you, your work and your aspirations.

Throughout the degree class sizes will vary depending on the nature of the module and whether students are split into groups. Typically, you’ll be in groups of 10-24 in a class.

How will I be assessed?

During your degree you’ll be assessed through a variety of methods, including practical projects, creative logbooks, portfolios, essays and individual or group presentations. All of our assessments place an emphasis on real-life outputs. For example, you’ll produce a marketing campaign for a piece of theatre for the Audience Development and Marketing module, or you’ll create a piece of theatre and an accompanying workshop for offenders to take into a prison environment for the Community Theatre module. Throughout your degree you’ll receive regular feedback on your work which will be integral to your development.

Study abroad

As part of your degree you have the option to do an intercalated year studying with one of our partner institutions overseas. These partners include the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia in Canada; Monash University in Australia; and a number of Universities in Europe, including in Amsterdam, Helsinki, Lisbon, Ljubljana, and Dublin.

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.

Work experience

Employability is embedded in Warwick’s Theatre and Performance Studies degree allowing you to think about your future from an early stage. You’ll encounter performers, directors, playwrights and arts administrators from the industry throughout your degree in seminars and practical workshops. The optional Theatre and the Creative Industries module brings professionals and experts into the classroom on a weekly basis to discuss the principles and practices for areas such as:

- Running an arts venue

- Programming and commissioning work

- Setting up and running your own theatre company

- Making touring arrangements

- Identifying funding opportunities.

A placement or internship is also offered as part of the course. In recent years these have been hosted by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, The Space (Isle of Dogs, London), Rosie Kay Dance Company, Fierce Festival (for live art), Talking Birds (Coventry), Trestle (Mask Theatre, St Albans), Collide Theatre Company (London), Birmingham REP and elsewhere.

Alongside their degree, many of our students gain valuable industry experience at Warwick Arts Centre, working in a wide range of roles including Youth Theatre Leaders, Performance Stewards, or as interns for the Marketing and Programming Teams. Students also regularly produce shows at Warwick Arts Centre as part of their activity in student societies, meaning that they are working in a professional arts venue from the get-go.

General entry requirements

A level:

  • ABB


  • 34


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

Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

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.

International Students

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.

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.

Taking a gap year

Applications for deferred entry welcomed.


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.

Year One

Theatre and Performance in Context

This module considers what theatre and performance can tell us about our histories, cultures, societies and identities. You’ll watch, read and study a range of theatre and performance from across historical, cultural and geographical borders, in order to see how it not only reflects society, but also seeks to change and shape it. The module is split into four blocks, considering theatre and gender, race, sexuality and class. This module will help you to hone 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.

Performance Analysis

As part of this module you’ll be exposed to theatre and performance in a wide variety of forms. You’ll learn about theories and approaches to performance analysis and will develop your own methods to produce critical responses to artistic work. You’ll complete the module with an understanding of all of the tools that you might need to ‘read’, respond and write about theatre and performance.

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.

Year Two


Part practical and part theoretical, this module works to explore the intersections between Theatre and Performance Studies and other disciplines. You’ll ask how we do interdisciplinary research and how findings can be shared with audiences through practice. Lecturers draw on their own current research projects as material to teach the module, so its content changes each year. We begin by considering these intersections through lecture-seminars, via discussion and some practice. We then shift into innovative practice-based work that culminates in a practical realisation of a specific issue or enquiry in which performance intersects with another discipline.

Year Three

In your final-year you must choose from one of two optional core modules:

Research Project

On this pathway you’ll carry out independent research into an area of theatre and performance studies that you’re passionate about and will write an extended dissertation on your findings. Throughout the research and writing process you’ll 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’ll present your research as an academic poster and at a departmental undergraduate conference during the year.

Practice-based Research Project

On this pathway you’ll 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 production’s costume design. You’ll 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’ll write a critical reflection on your creation process and performance.

Examples of optional modules/options for current students:

  • Acting in Character
  • Approaches to Theatre History and Historiography
  • Contemporary European Theatre
  • Mad, Bad Sad: Madness and Cultural Representation
  • Performing Gender and Sexuality
  • Theatre and National Identities
  • Theatre and the Creative Industries
  • Theatre in the African Context
  • Theatre in the Community
  • You, the Performer
  • Video-Making
  • Writing for Theatre and Performance

Take a look at our full list of modules .

Tuition fees

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 or study abroad will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.

Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship 2021

We believe there should be no barrier to talent. That's why we are committed to offering a scholarship that makes it easier for gifted, ambitious international learners to pursue their academic interests at one of the UK's most prestigious universities. This new scheme will offer international fee-paying students 250 tuition fee discounts ranging from full fees to awards of £13,000 to £2,000 for the full duration of your Undergraduate degree course.

Find out more about the Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship 2021

Your career

We’re exceptionally proud of our extended family of alumni and the diverse career paths that they have taken after their degree. Of course, many of our alumni go on to work in the arts, media and creative industries in a wide variety of roles, from actors, producers and playwrights, to directors, theatre managers and casting agents.

Warwick also has a reputation for nurturing some of the most cutting-edge new theatre companies in the UK. In 2015 The Guardian’s Andrew Haydon asked ‘What is it about Warwick?’, as our graduate companies caused a storm at the Edinburgh Festival. Successful graduate theatre companies include Breach, Kill the Beast, Dumbshow, Barrel Organ, Walrus, Fat Git and Fell Swoop. A number of these are reunited annually at Warwick Arts Centre’s Emerge festival, which celebrates the work of our recent alumni.

A degree in Theatre and Performance Studies will equip you with a range of transferable skills, including: advanced literary and communication skills; the ability to present persuasive, coherent written and oral arguments; excellent team working and people skills; problem-solving and project management skills; and confidence in public settings. These are all qualities that are highly valued in the creative industries and in the public and private sectors alike. Our alumni have gone on to work in other sectors such as marketing, journalism, Law, the Civil Service, education, the charity sector and beyond. A degree in Theatre and Performance Studies does not close any doors for your future career.

Recent graduates work within the sector for:

  • The National Theatre
  • YouTube
  • Sadler’s Wells
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Free Radio
  • Royal Court Theatre
  • The Globe
  • Ambassador Theatre Group
  • BBC
  • Sheffield Theatres

Recent graduates work beyond the sector for:

  • Accenture
  • Michael Page International
  • Reed Recruitment
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Bank of America
  • MODE
  • The Metropolitan Police
  • English Heritage
  • Emma Bridgewater

Alumni from Theatre and Performance Studies are employed in the following roles:

  • Actor
  • Senior Producer
  • Head of Programme
  • Press Manager
  • Stage Manager
  • Head of Drama
  • Applied Theatre Practitioner
  • Dramatherapist
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Presenter
  • Publishing Assistant
  • Head of Development
  • Screenwriter
  • Theatre Publicist
  • Theatre Reviewer

Helping you find the right career

Theatre and Performance Studies has a dedicated professionally-qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you in shaping your career during your time at university. They will be able to offer impartial advice and guidance, as well as running a series of specialised workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples include:

  • Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
  • Careers in Radio, Film and Television
  • A DIY Guide to Setting Up and Running a Theatre Company

Hear from some of our alumni and their reflections on their time at Warwick


"“The department has such a friendly and supportive network of staff and students who all contribute to a warm and homely working environment. I’ve always enjoyed the modules that I’ve chosen and the flexibility of topics available to study. Every seminar has been fascinating, and our work was guided and encouraged by the enthusiasm of our lecturers”.


BA Theatre and Performance Studies


BA Theatre and Performance Studies


BA Theatre and Performance Studies

Vishal, current student

"A haven to express myself in"

"Not many universities have facilities like we have at Warwick Arts Centre, which forms a vital part of a drama student’s experience at Warwick. I’ve already become part of the Creative Learning Team, leading one of the youth theatre groups.

The Arts Centre has widened my knowledge about what opportunities may be available to me in the future and has become a haven to express myself in."


BA Theatre and Performance Studies

“Having a variety of theoretical and practical modules has hugely expanded my understanding of theatre and performance. The optionality is helpful as you get to hone in on different areas of the course that really interest you. You’re able to tailor your degree to suit you, your interests and how you like to study and be assessed.”

Caitlin Tracey

BA Theatre and Performance Studies Student

“As someone who didn’t have a clear career path in mind when I started University, Theatre & Performance Studies has been a blessing. Not only have I come to realise where I’d like to end up professionally, but I’ve gained invaluable transferable skills and have become confident in my abilities as a researcher, writer, public speaker and so much more.”

Harriet Simons

BA Theatre and Performance Studies Student

About the information on this page

This information is applicable for 2021 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.