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Theatre and English BA

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Study mode

3-year full-time; 4 year thick sandwich; 4.5-6-year part-time

UCAS code

WQ43, WQ41 with placement year

Start date


Study location

Brunel University London campus

Entry criteria

BBB (A-level)

Placement Offered This course has a placement year option


 Theatre at Brunel, is Top 5 in London and English is ranked 8th in UK – Guardian University Guide 2018

We regularly host online webinars to give you the chance to find out more about our courses and what studying at Brunel is like. For a playback of our recent Theatre webinar, click here.

Brunel University London’s impact on the future wages of its graduates is among the best in the country compared to other universities, according to a new analysis of government data by The Economist (2017).

About the course

English at Brunel, ranked 8th in UK – Guardian University Guide 2018

Brunel University London has an established and successful tradition of offering joint programmes of study. The BA Theatre and English 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, please check out the information provided on this page as well as the English BA and Theatre BA programme pages.

As a student on the BA Theatre and English at Brunel University London, you will become part of a 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 and English is highly practice focused and you will develop 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 be 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 become 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 in.

BA Theatre and English takes full advantage of our proximity to London’s international creative culture and theatre events.


To prepare you for a future in the theatre and creative industries including writing, education, further study and research and many other career paths, the Joint Honours BA Theatre and English at Brunel will provide you with opportunities to develop:

  • Acting, Directing, Applied Drama, Physical Theatre, Digital Performance, Musical Theatre 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 contexts 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 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.



Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)

Course content

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.

Level 1


  • Perspectives 1 (Theatre)
  • Ensemble Production (Theatre)
  • Reading Resilience (English)
  • World Literature, World Literacies (English)


  • 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

Level 2


  • Perspectives 2 (Theatre)


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 English you can choose from:

  • Nineteenth Century Novel
  • Shakespeare Text and Performance
  • Modernism
  • Romanticism and Revolution
  • The Women’s Movement: 20th Century Writing and Contemporary Writing
  • Post-Colonial Writing
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • Genre Fiction

Level 3


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

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


  • Perspectives 3: Battling with Ideas
  • Professional Experience and Development
  • The Canon Re-loaded
  • Advanced Physical Theatre
  • New Writing: Page to Stage
  • Psychogeography
  • Advanced Musical Theatre


  • The Muslim World in Early Modern English Literature
  • Writing Ireland

  • Modern and Contemporary Lesbian Literature
  • Post War and Late 20th Century Literature 1945-2001
  • The Long Novel
  • Postcolonial Perspectives
  • Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Jane Austen
  • The Creative Industries
  • Violence
  • Pyschogeography

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.


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 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 within the community.

You will have considerable experience of:

  • working and negotiating as part of a team
  • working independently to deadline
  • 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.

Careers and your future

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 in English, Theatre and Arts Management.

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 and English 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 the right work placement at Level 3.

Work placements

The sandwich placement option is not available on this course, but a career focused work experience module is also offered - DR3604 Placement and Professional Development.

As well as gaining valuable experience in 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 provide 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 an 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 2019/20

  • GCE A-level BBB including grade B in English Literature or English Language and Literature combined.

  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDM in Art and Design, Creative Media Production, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Music and Music Technology, Performing Arts, Production Arts or Travel and Tourism AND A-level English at grade B. (Applicants without A-level English will be required to submit a written sample of work on request).

  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in Art and Design, Creative Media Production, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Music and Music Technology, Performing Arts, Production Arts or Travel and Tourism AND an A-Level in English Literature or English Language and Literature combined at grade B.

  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in any subject, with A-Levels grades BB including English Literature or English Language and Literature combined.

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points including 5 in Higher Level 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 writing on request.

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 for Theatre before a formal offer is made.

A minimum of five GCSEs are required, including English Language grade C or grade 4. GCSE Mathematics grade C or grade 4 is also normally 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)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.

We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.

Teaching and learning

A unique feature of the Theatre and English BA 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 knowledge 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 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 will allow you to actively engage with the creative process 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 English also helps you acquire ssential work and life skills. Time management and decision making are developed through the experience of delivering coursework, practical performance and meeting deadlines. Group 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. Teaching will include the following environments depending on which modules you choose: lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, masterclasses, practical classes, theatre visits, project visits.

At Level 3 you will experience the aforementioned learning environments plus industry experience, touring, public debate and public performance.

Assessment and feedback

The Theatre and English 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 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 and literature.

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.

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 increased amount of practical work and/or through the presentation of work in public settings.

Special features

  • The expertise and commitment of the Theatre and English teaching team.
  • Small class sizes for all practical work in Theatre.
  • 15+ contact hours per week at Level 1 in Theatre.
  • 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 English 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’ led by Theatre staff members to prepare you before you go on industry experience appropriate to your career aspirations with support throughout the process.
  • Established links with the theatre and creative industries.

Facts and figures

The English department at Brunel University London is one of the best in the UK. We were ranked 8th in UK (Guardian University Guide 2018)

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019/20 entry

UK/EU students: £9,250 full-time; £6,935 part-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £15,400 full-time

Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per year and may be subject to an annual increase. Home/EU undergraduate student fees are regulated and are currently capped at £9,250 per year; any changes will be subject to changes in government policy. International fees will increase annually, by no more than 5% or RPI (Retail Price Index), whichever is the greater.

There is a range of financial support available to help you fund your studies. Find out about undergraduate student funding options.