Theatre and Creative Writing BA
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About the course
Creative Writing at Brunel, ranked 11th in UK – Guardian League Tables, May 2016
Brunel University London has a long and successful tradition of offering joint programmes of study. The BA Theatre and Creative Writing (Honours) degree is an engaging and exciting combination providing you with the expertise and experience of both the Theatre and the Creative Writing teaching teams.
As a student on the BA Theatre and Creative Writing (Honours) at Brunel University London 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 while also incorporating their knowledge and passion for Creative Writing into their future career.
The BA Theatre and Creative Writing is highly practice focused and you will develop core skills in theatre making and performance in our fully equipped main house and studio theatre while at the same time studying historical, theoretical and critical perspectives.
You will become part of Brunel’s vibrant and creative Department of Arts and Humanities, and join our friendly and welcoming campus community, which is an exciting and stimulating place to live and work in.
BA Theatre and Creative Writing takes full advantage of our proximity to London’s international creative culture and theatre events.
Find out more about the Creative Writing side of this Joint Honours degree.
The course will prepare you for a future in the theatre and creative industries, writing, education, further study and research as well as 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, airecting, applied drama, physical theatre, digital performance, musical theatre and playwriting.
- A range of creative written styles including 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:
Royona Mitra (Admissions Tutor for Theatre):
+44 (0)1895 274000
Frazer Lee (Admissions Tutor for Creative Writing):
+44 (0)1895 267248
The BA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
Introduction to Writing Fiction
Introduction to Writing Drama
Acting: Essential Skills
Applied Drama Practice: An Introduction
Digital Performance 1
Directing 1: Contexts, Theories and Practices
Musical Theatre 1
Physical Theatre 1: Between Dance and Theatre
Introduction to Writing Poetry
In Theatre you can choose from:
Acting: Beyond Naturalism
Directing 2: Contexts, Theories and Practices
Writing 2: Experiments in Language for Performance
Applied Drama: Project
Physical Theatre 2: Performance and Embodiment
Digital Performance 2
Musical Theatre: Histories, Practices and Theories
Performance as Research: Second Year Production Module
In Creative Writing you can choose from:
Writing Contemporary Poetry
Writing the Short Story
Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Creative Writing Special Project
Perspectives 3: Battling with Ideas
Professional Experience and Development
The Canon Re-loaded
Advanced Physical Theatre 3
New Writing: Page to Stage
Advanced Musical Theatre
Writing Modern Fiction
Writing Modern Drama
Writing Poetry for Performance
The Creative Industries
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
- The expertise and commitment of the teaching team.
- Small class sizes for all practical work.
- 15+ contact hours per week at Level 1.
- 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 and Creative Writing 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.
- We believe that the best teachers of writing are writers and Creative Writing at Brunel is taught by successful, published writers, many of whom have international reputations.
- Our teachers have published over 100 books between them, won many awards and honours and written for every national newspaper and magazine in the country.
Teaching and Assessment
A unique feature of the BA Theatre and Creative Writing course design is learning with the help of a personal tutor, supported seminar discussions and small group teaching in order to facilitate communication and collaboration. This system will help you increase your competence and confidence in interpersonal and 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 compulsory module of the programme. Each week focuses on a particular theme, concept or issue pertinent to the study of theatre. A wide variety of contemporary and historical topics will be encountered.
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.
The BA Theatre and Creative Writing helps you develop essential work and life skills. Time management and decision making are developed through the experience of delivering coursework, practical performance and meeting deadlines. Group creative work allows you to improve your problem solving and team skills by listening, collaborating, negotiating and decision making. Presentations provide you with opportunities to develop communication skills. Lectures and seminars will require 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. Depending on your chosen modules you will attend: lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, masterclasses, practical classes, theatre visits, project visits. At Level 3 you will experience the aforementioned learning environments relevant to your area of specialism plus industry experience, touring, public debate and public performance.
The Theatre and Creative Writing BA is assessed through practical performance (in-class and public), creative writing tasks, coursework, presentation, creative portfolios, and essays.
Using a range of practical assessment methods you will be tested on 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 develop your ability to support your arguments with evidence and critical vocabularies for the study of theatre.
Individual tutorials and detailed written feedback on both practical work and written coursework will be provided. All assessment tasks aim to develop your research skills, creative and analytical thought, imagination and independence of mind.
The length, focus and intensity of the assessment tasks increase with the levels so that by Level 3 you are extensively tested through longer and more complex assignments and through the increased amount of practical work and/or through the presentation of work in public settings.
Brunel graduates enjoy an excellent employment record due to the strong focus throughout their study on the development of 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 and synthesising materials
- presenting ideas both in oral and written form.
The university’s Professional Development 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.
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 the right work placement for you at Level 3.
The sandwich placement option is not available on this course, but a career focused work experience module is offered - Professional Experience and 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 necessary confidence when applying for jobs and internships.
We work closely with Brunel’s award winning Professional Development Centre 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 manager at the Unicorn Theatre
- assistant in the management and running of classes for Stagecoach
- arts manager 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
Entry Criteria 2017/18
- GCE A-level BBB including grade B in English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature combined or Creative Writing.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject, plus A-level English at grade B. (Applicants without A-level English or Creative Writing will be required to submit a written sample of work on request).
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject, with an A-Level in English Literature, English Language and Literature combined or Creative Writing at grade B.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in any subject, with A-Levels grades BB including English Literature, English Language and Literature combined or Creative Writing.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points, including Higher Level 5 in English.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merits in all units. All applicants must provide a sample of creative writing.
Applicants with relevant theatre experience may also be considered.
All applicants are required to attend a group audition workshop as part of the selection process before a formal offer is made.
5 GCSEs to include Maths at Grade C and English Language at 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 GCSEs.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English. Find out more information about English course and test options.