Theatre and Creative Writing BA
- Course Content
- Special Features
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
English & Creative Writing at Brunel, ranked 6th in UK – Guardian League Tables, June 2014
Why Study Theatre and Creative Writing at Brunel?
Brunel University 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 (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 Department of Arts and Humanities, 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, Directing, Applied Drama, Physical Theatre, Digital Performance, Musical Theatre 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 career-focused work experience;
- Skills for life and work including leadership, independent thinking, working with a team, research and presentation skills;
- Creative thinking and solutions focused on the realities of the fast growing UK Creative Economy.
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 Tutors:
Dr Broderick Chow (Admissions Tutor for Theatre):
+44 (0)1895 265493
Bernardine Evaristo (Admissions Tutor for Creative Writing):
+44 (0)1895 267248
- Perspectives: Performance Analysis
- Ensemble Production
- Introduction to Writing Fiction
- Introduction to Writing Drama
Plus two from the following Theatre creative skills modules:
- Acting: Essential Skills
- Applied Drama Practice: an Introduction
- Digital Performance 1
- Directing 1: Contexts, Theories and Practices
- Playwriting 1
- Musical Theatre 1
- Physical Theatre 1: Between Dance and Theatre
And one of the following Creative Writing option modules:
- Thinking About Literature
- Approaches to Dramatic Text
- Approaches to Poetry and Prose
- Perspectives 2
- Writing the Short Story
Plus two of the following Theatre creative skills modules:
- Acting: Beyond Naturalism
- Directing 2: Contexts, Theories and Practices
- Writing 2: Experiments in Language for Performance
- Applied Drama Practice: Project
- Physical Theatre 2: Performance and Embodiment
- Digital Performance 2
- Musical Theatre
- Performance as Research
And two of the following Creative Writing option modules:
- Writing Contemporary Poetry
- Writing Journalism
- Writing the Journey
Level 3 Core
You will undertake a substantial practical or written dissertation project in your final year:
- Final Production (practical)
- Written Dissertation
Plus four of the following, creating a 50% balance between Theatre and Creative Writing:
- Perspectives 3: Battling with Ideas
- Professional Experience and Development
- The Canon Reloaded
- Advanced Physical Theatre
- New Writing: Page to Stage
- Advanced Musical Theatre
- Writing Modern Fiction
- Writing Comedy
- Writing Modern Drama
- Creative Writing and the Creative Industries
- The expertise and commitment of the teaching team
- Small class sizes for all practical work
- 15+ contact hours per week at level 1
- Funded trips to see professional theatre in London with your entire year group and course tutors.
- A unique learning experience through the tutorial system where you develop a close working relationship with your Personal Tutor and fellow students in a weekly seminar group of no more than eight. This regular contact builds a strong bond between student and tutor and enhances the BA Theatre community within the Department of Arts and Humanities
- The opportunity to study six skills areas at entry level and then select one or two areas for specialist study in your final year
- A two-day Professional Experience and Development ‘boot camp’ to prepare you before you go on industry experience appropriate to your career aspirations with support throughout the process
- Established links with the theatre industry
A unique feature of the Theatre BA course design is learning through personal tutor supported seminar discussion and small group teaching in order to facilitate communication and collaboration. Through this system gain increased competence and confidence in interpersonal, oral communication, analytical skills, and university level study skills.
Each student works closely with their Academic Advisor/personal tutor at Level 1 and 2. The tutor is responsible for 8-10 students who s/he will meet on a weekly basis. In these seminars, you will discuss the material covered in Perspectives – the core module of the programme. Each week focuses on a particular theme, concept or issue pertinent to the study of theatre. A wide variety of topics are encountered both contemporary and historical.
Small group teaching in practical work is key to our seven creative skills strands: Acting, Directing, Applied Drama, Physical Theatre, Digital Performance, Musical Theatre and Playwriting. In these modules you will learn through workshops, rehearsals, practical classes, and discussions of the theories applicable to these techniques and skills. You will also experience the following teaching environments: lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, workshops, practical classes, rehearsals, screenings and theatre visits.
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.
Studying theatre also helps you develop skills for work and life. Time management and decision making is learnt through the experience of delivering 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.
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 area of specialism, at Level 3 you will experience the aforementioned learning environments plus industry experience, touring, public debate and public performance.
The Theatre BA is assessed through a number of methods appropriate to a number of learning styles, such as practical performance (in-class and public), coursework, presentation, creative portfolios, and short written examination.
A range of practical assessment methods will be used to test levels of skill in each of the seven strands: Physical Theatre, Directing, Acting, Applied Theatre, Writing, Musical Theatre and Digital Performance. In addition to practical and performance assessment, our creative skills modules all share emphasis on approaching a task or problem via individual/group research, analysis and interpretation and may also include written coursework that will enable you to learn to support your arguments with evidence and develop critical vocabularies for the study of theatre.
Individual tutorials and detailed written feedback on both practical work and written coursework provides important guidance. All assessment tasks aim to develop your research skills, creative and analytical 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.
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) survey
These 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 2011/12, six months after graduating:
- 80.4% of graduates with a first degree were in employment
- 2.2% were in full-time further study
- 6.5% 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
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £6,750 part-time ; £1,000 placement year
International students: £13,000 full-time
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Requirements for 2014 Entry
- GCE A-level ABB – BBB. Typical offer ABB, including Grade B in Theatre Studies, Drama or Performing Arts and Grade B in English or Creative Writing.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*DD in a related subject (Applicants without A-level English or Creative Writing will be required to submit a written sample of work on request)
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma D*D in a related subject with an A-Level in English or Creative Writing at grade A.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-Levels grade AA including English or Creative Writing.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 33 points, including Higher Level 5 in English and Theatre.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma 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.
GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSE’s.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country is not listed here please contact Admissions
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- TOEFL Paper test: 580 (TWE 4) PBT
- TOEFL Internet test: 92 IBT (R18, L17, S20, W17)
- Pearson: 58 (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.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.