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BA (Hons) Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance

University of York
Program overview
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Start dates
September 2022

September 2023

September 2024

About this program

BA (Hons) Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance

Theatre is one of our most ancient and enduring forms of art. From the Ancient Greeks to today, theatre’s unique engagement with the audience and ever-changing liveness make it the most exciting way to reflect society, challenge our preconceptions and entertain us night after night. This undergraduate degree draws the key roles of director, performer and playwright together, in order to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of theatre practice, and the skills you’ll need to succeed in any area of the industry.

Admission requirements

  • A levels: AAB
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma: 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
  • BTEC National Extended Diploma: DDD
  • Cambridge Pre-U: D3, D3, M2
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 points

Additional requirements

We also require GCSE Mathematics at grade 5 (B). We do not accept adult numeracy in lieu of GCSE Maths.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
  • GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language): Grade C
  • C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency: 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE III: Merit in all components
  • Duolingo: 110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component
  • LanguageCert International ESOL SELT: B2 Communicator High Pass with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component

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Program content

Year 1

Term 1

Term 1 modules introduce you to the process of moving from script to performance and the challenges involved in imagining and extrapolating performances from plays from contrasting periods and styles. Your modules also introduce workshop practice and some key practitioners, and train you in fundamental vocal and physical skills. Additionally, you'll begin to develop some key skills in analysing performance as an audience member.

  • Introduction to Play Analysis
  • Introduction to Performance

Terms 2 and 3

In Terms 2 and 3 you'll extend the performance training started in the first term. You'll begin to explore the challenges of characterisation in plays from different periods, and of ensemble work. You'll learn and experiment with key directorial preparation and rehearsal techniques, enhancing your practical skills in a collaborative environment. You'll study dramaturgy, and look at ways in which plays are shaped by historical, cultural and material circumstances, and explore the issues involved in producing plays on the modern stage. You'll develop core playwriting skills, especially in creating characters, crafting dialogue, plotting a scene, and imagining dramatically effective stage visuals.

  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Dramaturgy
  • Scriptwriting

Year 2

Term 1

In Term 1 you'll develop your practical and analytical skills through the exploration of a particular performance style as it developed across time. Past years have explored feminist theatre, site-specific practices, physical theatre, monologue plays and wit comedy. You'll choose one of two option modules, where you can cover a wide range of design and production processes, including set, costume, lighting and sound design, producing and marketing, supplemented with a range of industry professionals, or continue to progress with scriptwriting, applying those skills to larger narrative structures.


  • Performance Styles and Traditions


One of the following 20-credit modules:

  • Theatre Design and Production
  • Scriptwriting 2

In Terms 2 and 3 you'll explore the transformation of a major comic tradition, farce, from Ancient Rome to The IT Crowd. You'll examine the ways in which political issues have been expressed through theatre in the 20th and 21st centuries, and grapple with the philosophical and ideological ideas behind political theatre. You'll develop your research skills in preparation for your final year dissertation, and you'll research a political event or theme and stage a political play from scratch.

Term 2

  • Comedy: Genres and Sub-Genres
  • Political Theatres

Term 3

  • Political Theatre Project
  • Research Skills

Year 3

Term 1

You'll prepare a full public production of a major work from before 1900, giving you a chance to deploy the full range of practical and analytical skills that you have developed on the course. You have the option to choose a shared module which encourages dialogue and sharing practice. Or you can develop your skills in researching, writing and presenting on the most recent developments in theatre. This includes new writing (processes of script development, new writing initiatives), new practices (such as rehearsal techniques, devising processes, and technological interventions) and new contexts (such as the development of new audiences, theatre spaces, funding models, artistic policies and employment practices).


  • Theatre Production Project


One of the following 10-credit modules:

  • Directing for Theatre, Film and Television
  • Current Trends in Theatre: New Writing, New Practices, New Contexts

Terms 2 and 3

You'll have the chance to research and write on a topic of your choice. You can develop a full play script, or work in a small group to prepare and perform a play or section of a play of your choice.


  • Independent Dissertation Project


One of the following 40-credit modules:

  • Independent Group Production Project
  • Independent Playwriting Project


  • UK (home) fees: £9,250 per year
  • International and EU fees: £18,350 per year


Transferable skills

  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Critical analysis
  • Research skills
  • Presentation skills
  • An ability to act on constructive criticism.

Career paths

  • Writer
  • Director
  • Performer
  • Drama therapist
  • Literary manager
  • Art journalist
  • Theatre/film/television production roles
  • Teacher
  • Academic researcher
  • Arts administrator.

About this institute

University of York

Founded on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all, the University of York opened in 1963 with just 230 students. Since then we have become one of the world's leading universities, carving out a reputation as an academic powerhouse...

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Contact info

University of York

YO10 5DD York
United Kingdom


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