Drama & Theatre Studies
A Level

Awarding Body: AQA

Course Description

Drama is a very well-established academic subject involving strong practical and theoretical components. The course provides excellent evidence of your skills in English, communication and group work.

Grade 4 or above in GCSE Drama if taken or Merit in Performing Arts Level 2 vocational course. Significant extra-curricular performance experience would also be accepted.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

You will start by investigating the four key practitioners who have shaped modern theatre – Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud and Brook, looking at their practical and theoretical ideas about theatre. In preparation for the written exam, you will see live professional theatre performances which will support your theoretical understanding of performance styles and study two set texts focusing on how an actor, director or designer would bring each play to life on stage. Your practical acting skills will be assessed via two performance components: one focusing on performing extracts from three different plays, and the other being a group devised piece.

You will develop a high level of interpersonal and communication skills as you work with others to create and refine practical performance work over the two year course. Understanding of the ideas of the key theatre practitioners and an ability to analyse play texts are also central components of the course.

60% Practical Examination / 40% Written Examination

There are three elements to the assessment of this course, which are the following:

  • Component 1: A written paper in June of second year. This includes two questions on set texts and a question based on a live performance you have seen
  • Component 2: A group devised performance and written coursework assignment completed in November of second year
  • Component 3: A performance of three extracts from different scripted plays – a monologue, a duologue and a group play – to a visiting examiner.

A core part of this course is attending the theatre – this is in preparation for the ‘live theatre performance’ element of the written paper and in order to widen your understanding and experience of performance. Drama also links well with many of the College’s E6 Programme activities, including Rock Challenge, teaching placements and work experience.

The course could be the first step towards a career as an actor, with admission to a drama school or a university to study a degree in a performance subject being a potential next step. Past students have taken up careers in the media, marketing, HR, teaching and customer service at management entry level.

The dates for the course components are as follows:

  • Component 1: A written paper in June of second year
  • Component 2: A group-devised performance in November of second year
  • Component 3: A duologue performance in May of first year – a monologue performance in October of second year – and a group play performance in April of second year.