Theatre and English BA

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

Why Study Theatre and English at Brunel?

NSSEnglish at Brunel ranked 4th in the UK by the 2013 Student Satisfaction Survey

The School of Arts has a long and successful tradition of offering joint programmes of study. The BA Theatre and English (Honours) degree provides a rich and exciting combination where you will draw upon the expertise and experience of both the Theatre and the English 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 English BA Programme pages.

As a student on the BA Theatre and English (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 English 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 English at Brunel will provide you with opportunities to develop:

  • Specific creative skills including: Acting, Applied Theatre, Devising, Digital Performance, Directing and Playwriting;
  • The ability to read texts in increasingly complex and diverse ways, and to explore literature by looking at its structures and forms as well as the varying contexs in which it is produced and read;
  • 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;
  • Specialisms in a wide range of literature according to your own particular tastes and interests, be they in contemporary poetry, drama, fiction, literatures of the past or literatures form cultures remote from your own;
  • 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

Related Courses

Course Content

Typical Modules

Level 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Perspectives (Theatre)
  • Thinking About Literature
  • Approaches to Poetry and Prose
  • Approaches to Dramatic Text
  • Histories 1: Pre-20th Century (Theatre)
  • Ensemble Production (Theatre)

Options include:

  • Acting: Essential Skills
  • Applied Drama Practice: An Introduction
  • Devising: Filling the Empty Space (Theatre)
  • Digital Performance 1
  • Directing: Contexts, Theories, Practices (Theatre)
  • Playwriting 1

Level 2

Compulsory modules:

  • Perspectives 2 (Theatre)
  • Histories 2: 20th Century to present day (Theatre)

Options include:

  • 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)
  • Nineteenth Century Novel
  • Shakespeare Text and Performance
  • Modernism
  • Romanticism and Revolution
  • The Women’s Movement and 20th Century Writing
  • Post-Colonial Writing

Level 3

You will undertake a substantial practical or written dissertation project in your final year: 

  • Final production (practical)
  • Written Dissertation (in either subject)

Options include:

  • Perspectives 3: Battling with Ideas (Theatre)
  • Placement and Professional Development (compulsory for Single Hons)
  • The Canon Reloaded
  • Performance and Embodiment
  • Advanced Musical Theatre (by audition)
  • Writing Modern Fiction
  • Writing Comedy
  • Writing Modern Drama
  • Post-War and Late 20th Century Literature
  • Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Single Author Study
  • Post-Millenial British Fiction
  • Critical Perspectives: Historical Perspectives
  • Writing Ireland
  • Modern and Contemporary Lesbian Literature
  • Erotic Bodies: Gender, Sexuality and Modern Writing
  • A Sinking Island?: British Poetry After Modernism and Postmodernism
  • The African-American Novel
  • 20th Century Socio-Political Drama
  • Moving Modernisms

Special Features

  • The expertise and commitment of the teaching team
  • Small class sizes for practical work
  • 12 contact hours per week at level 1
  • 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 ten. This regular contact builds a strong bond between student and tutor and enhances the BA Theatre community within the School of Arts
  • The opportunity to study four skills areas at entry level and then select one area for specialist study in your final year
  • A two-day Placement and Professional Development ‘boot camp’ to prepare you before you go on placement as well as experienced support in finding and undertaking a final year work placement appropriate to your career aspirations
  • 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

Facts and Figures

The English department at Brunel University is one of the best in the UK for student satisfaction. We were ranked 4th in the 2013 Student Satisfaction Survey.

Teaching and Learning

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 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, 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 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) 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

Read more about graduate destinations for this subject area

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, animateurs, arts administrators, community theatre officers for local councils, drama teachers, researchers, 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:

  • CVs
  • applications
  • 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.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2014/15 entry

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 AAB –ABB. Typical offer AAB, including Grade B in Theatre Studies, Drama or Performing Arts and Grade B in English.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*D*D in a related subject (Applicants without A-level English 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, Theatre Studies, Drama or Performing Arts at grade A.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-Levels grade AA including English and Theatre Studies, Drama or Performing Arts.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 35 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, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. All English units must be Distinctions at level 3. Relevant Access course must be in English or Theatre related subject.

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 within our grade range 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.

Page last updated: Tuesday 14 January 2014