Theatre and Creative Writing BA
- Special Features
- Course Content
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
Why Study Theatre and Creative Writing at Brunel?
The School of Arts has a long and successful tradition of offering joint programmes of study. The BA Theatre and Creative Writing (Honours) degree provides a rich and exciting combination where you will draw upon the expertise and experience of both the Theatre and the Creative Writing teaching teams.
In order to see the full range of possibilities for this joint honours degree, you will need to check out the information provided on this page as well as the Creative Writing BA Programme pages.
As a student on the BA Theatre and Creative Writing (Honours) at Brunel University, you will become part of an energetic, dynamic and creative community of students, artists and academics. Our programme has been designed for students who aspire to work in today’s diverse theatre industry. The BA Theatre is highly practice focused and you will learn core skills in theatre making and performance while at the same time studying historical, theoretical and critical perspectives. Our teaching team of practitioners and artists are specialists in the fields of theatre, performance and live art, and you will taught in our purpose built Antonin Artaud Performance Centre, which houses a fully equipped main house and studio theatre, as well as a large suite of rehearsal and recording studios. You will be part of Brunel’s vibrant and creative School of Arts, as well as our friendly and welcoming campus community, which is an exciting and stimulating place to live and work. BA Theatre takes full advantage of our proximity to London’s international creative culture and theatre events.
Find out about the Creative Writing side of this joint honours degree.
Check out the videos below to learn more about what it’s like to study BA Theatre at Brunel’s School of Arts.
To prepare you for a future in the theatre and creative industries, writing, education, further study and research or many other career paths, the joint honours BA Theatre and Creative Writing at Brunel will provide you with opportunities to develop:
- Specific creative skills including: Acting, Applied Theatre, Devising, Digital Performance, Directing and Playwriting;
- A range of creative written styles including travel writing, journalism, comedy screenwriting, short stories and the contemporary novel;
- Skills in critical thinking, as well as knowledge and understanding of the concepts and models used in the practice and study of theatre; theoretical debates arising from theatre as a live event; and current issues around the creative importance of theatre production;
- Knowledge and understanding of writing as a profession and the specifics of the industry, through the guidance of experienced staff and practising writers of international standing;
- Opportunities for work experience and placements;
- Skills for life and work including leadership, independent thinking, working with a team, research and presentation skills.
Thinking of applying?
Please click through the other tabs on this page to find out more about the programme, and click ‘How to Apply’ to apply now.
For more information, contact our Admissions Tutor:
Dr Broderick Chow
+44 (0)1895 265493
- The expertise and commitment of the teaching team
- Experienced support in finding and undertaking a final year work placement appropriate to your career aspirations
- A close working relationship with your academic advisor and fellow students in weekly seminar group discussions. This regular contact builds a strong bond between student and tutor and enhances the BA Theatre community within the School of Arts
- Established links with the industry through individual team members and as a result of the nature of the core teaching and the long established work placement module.
- Perspectives (Theatre)
- Introduction to Writing Fiction
- Introduction to Writing Drama
- Histories 1: Pre-20th Century (Theatre)
- Ensemble Production (Theatre)
- Thinking About Literature (Creative Writing)
- Approaches to Dramatic Text (Creative Writing)
- Approaches to Poetry and Prose (Creative Writing)
- Acting: Essential Skills
- Applied Drama Practice: An Introduction
- Devising: Filling the Empty Space (Theatre)
- Digital Performance 1
- Directing: Contexts, Theories, Practices (Theatre)
- Playwriting 1
- Perspectives 2 (Theatre)
- Writing the Short Story
- Histories 2: 20th Century to present day (Theatre)
- Acting: Beyond Naturalism
- Applied Drama Project
- Bodies and Performance (Theatre)
- Devising: Dramaturgy and Adaptation
- Digital Performance 2
- Directing 2
- Musical Theatre
- Writing 2: Experiments in Language for Performance (Theatre)
- Writing Contemporary Poetry
- Writing Journalism
- Writing the Journey
You may undertake a written dissertation in either Theatre or Film & TV.
- Written Dissertation
- Perspectives 3: Battling with Ideas (Theatre)
- Drama Placement and Professional Development
- The Canon Reloaded (Theatre)
- Experiential Theatre and Embodied Practice
- New Theatre Writing
- Summer Production
- Analysis of Work Experience
- Writing Modern Fiction
- Writing Comedy
- Writing Modern Drama
- Creative Writing and the Creative Industries
A strong emphasis of the programme design is on learning through Academic Advisor (personal tutor) supported seminar discussion and on a range of smaller group activities (12-15 students) in order to facilitate communication and collaboration. This encourages you to practise and gain increased competence and confidence in interpersonal, oral communication and analytical skills.
A wide variety of topics and learning situations are encountered across the programme. Analytical, critical and academic writing skills are developed largely by means of written coursework assignments and tutor feedback on these as well as through discussion and feedback in seminars. In addition, individual tutorials are offered to all students who wish to have further feedback on practical or written work.
Time management and decision making is learnt through the experience of meeting pre-notified coursework, practical performance and other deadlines. Group creative work allows you to develop problem solving and team skills (listening, collaboration, negotiation and decision making). Presentations provide you with opportunities to develop communication skills. Lectures and seminars develop your knowledge base while requiring you to analyse and synthesise the material you are exposed to both verbally and in written form.
Each student will work closely with their Academic Advisor/personal tutor at Level 1. The tutor at this level will be responsible for up to 10 students who s/he will meet on a weekly basis. This will be the forum for the discussion of the material covered in Perspectives, which each week will focus on a particular theme, concept or issue pertinent to the study of theatre. You will also experience the following teaching environments: lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, workshops, practical classes, rehearsals, screenings and theatre visits.
At Level 2 you will expand your skill set to embrace a number of the disciplinary strands in greater depth. Teaching will include the following environments depending on which modules you choose; lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, masterclasses, practical classes, theatre visits, project visits. Depending on your choice of modular blocks, at Level 3 you will experience the aforementioned learning environments plus work placement, touring, public debate, public performance.
A range of practical assessment methods will be used to test levels of skill in each of the six strands: Devising, Directing, Acting, Applied Theatre, Writing and Digital Performance all share emphasis on approaching a task or problem via a process of individual/group research, analysis and interpretation. All written submissions require clear, well evidenced argumentation.
All assessment tasks on the programme call upon a degree of research, creative thought, imagination and independence of mind. As you advance through the levels the assessment tasks increase in length, focus and intensity, so that by Level 3 you are extensively tested through longer and more complex assignments and through the mounting of larger scale practical work and/or through the presentation of work in public settings.
Practice based classes and projects require you to actively engage with creative processes while at the same time keeping a critical and analytical perspective on the work that you do. Lectures, seminars and tutorials require you to explore and critique a range of theories and to relate these to examples of practice. Individual tutorials and feedback on both practical work and written coursework provides important guidance and discussion of particular assessment tasks.
Brunel graduates enjoy an excellent employment record, and there will be a strong focus throughout your study on the development of your employability skills.
By Graduation, in addition to the specific set of theatre based creative techniques and skills you have developed, you will also have direct experience and knowledge of:
- planning and managing creative projects from scratch to delivery in front of an audience
- managing a production budget
- liaising with external organisations
- using initiative
- designing for specific audiences and working in the community
You will also have considerable experience of:
- working and negotiating as part of a team
- working independently to deadlines
- researching, analysing, synthesising materials
- presenting ideas both in oral and written form
The University’s Placement and Careers Centre is available for drop-ins, where you can obtain advice and information on a range of career opportunities.
We supplement this service by offering creative industries focused events and through our level 3 Placement and Professional Development module.
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) surveyThese statistics relate to graduates who studied Modern Drama Studies as well as those who combined Drama with English and Film and Television Studies. Drama graduates fall broadly into two groups – those who wish to work in media and performing arts professions and those who use their degree as a route into careers unrelated to the subject studied. Around 60% of graduate positions are open to graduates from all disciplines.
In 2010/11, six months after graduating:
- 71.9% of graduates with a first degree were in employment
- 7.8% were in full-time further study
- 9.4% were combining work and study
Potential graduate destinations include:
- creative positions within the theatre industry
- management and administrative positions within the creative industries as a whole
- community based careers in applied drama practice
- educational work either in schools or in the growing number of education departments attached to theatres.
- Postgraduate study
Past students have gone on to work as: theatre producers, actors, directors, performers, playwrights, stand up comedians, casting agents, event managers, arts administrators, community theatre officers for local councils, drama teachers, researchers, animateurs, public relations, drama therapists and academics.
As you can see, there are a wide number of theatre related work opportunities for which this programme would be an excellent first degree.
The subject team also has well established links with theatre venues and companies in London and the UK and you will be able to draw on these relationships in order to undertake your work placement at level 3.
The sandwich placement option is not available on this course, but a career focussed work experience module is offered - DR3604 Placement and Professional Development:
The subject team has well established links with theatre venues and companies in London and the UK to help you find the right work experience placement for you. As well as gaining valuable experience of a professional environment you will be given opportunities to plan your future and gain the tools necessary to feel confident when applying for jobs and internships. We work closely with Brunel’s award winning Placement and Careers Service to provide guidance and feedback on your aspirations as well as providing support with:
- covering letters
- interview technique
- audition technique
- presentation skills
- website building
Here are some recent examples of work placements our students have undertaken:
- Puppeteer for a freelance puppet company including overseas tour
- Administrator and script reader at the Finborough Theatre
- Assistant stage management at the Unicorn Theatre
- Assisting in the management and running of classes for Stagecoach
- Arts management for Icarus Theatre Company
- Teaching assistant in Drama classes at Uxbridge College
UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £6,750 part-time
International students: £12,000 full-time
We are introducing over 700 scholarships for 2013, meaning that one in five applicants who join Brunel next year will receive financial support from the University. See our fees and funding page for full details
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Requirements for 2013 Entry
- GCE A-level Typical offer ABB, including Grade B in Theatre Studies, Drama or Performing Arts and Grade B in English. Applicants who have already achieved at least BBB at A-level and have Personal Statements showing a strong interest in the course and transferable skills will also be considered. Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants within this range.
- Irish Leaving Certificate AABBB, including English and Theatre related subject.
- Scottish Advanced Highers ABB, including English and Theatre related subject.
- Advanced Diploma Progression Diploma grade A in Creative and Media, including A-level English or Theatre Studies/Drama/Performing Arts at grade B for Additional and Specialist Learning.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*DD in a related subject (Applicants without A-level English will be required to submit a written sample of work on request)
- IBDP 33 points, including Higher Level 5 in English and Theatre.
- Access Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2 with Merits in all units. All English units must be Distinctions at level 3 and must provide a sample of creative writing.
Applicants with relevant theatre experience may also be considered.
For all of the above, 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above are also required, to include English and Maths (please note that these must have been gained by the time you submit your UCAS application).
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- TOEFL Paper test: 580 (TWE 4)
- TOEFL Internet test: 92 (R18, L17, S20, W17)
- Pearson: 59 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT 65% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.