School of Humanities and Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Practice with Foundation

Are you passionate about theatre but you wonder if you’re the type of person who goes to university? Perhaps you don’t have 32-48 UCAS points or other qualifications. Our four-year BA may be perfect for you. In your first year, you’ll explore a wide range of performance practices which will offer you a solid base for your BA degree. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive and professional environment, and the confidence to know how to use it.

Through collaborative provision with Theatre Royal Plymouth and its practitioners in the South West, we offer the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice plus unrivalled access to professional opportunities. On successful completion of your first year, you’ll join the BA (Hons) community for 3 lively years of discipline-specific study and inter-disciplinary enquiry giving you the chance to find your unique voice as a theatre practitioner.

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Join Plymouth Conservatoire

This programme is delivered through Plymouth Conservatoire - a unique partnership between the University and Theatre Royal Plymouth, providing training and professional experience that will set talented students apart in today’s arts and creative industries.

Plymouth Conservatoire

£500 Performing Arts Foundation Bursary

We in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts like to reward those applicants who show a significant commitment to studying with us.

Therefore all applicants holding a valid offer for the BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance with Foundation will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 which will be automatically deducted from their tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2019.

Progression routes

From this course, you can progress onto:

It’s not too late to apply for September 2019

If you haven’t applied to the University of Plymouth for September 2019 entry, prior to the UCAS deadline, there may still be vacancies on your chosen course.

It’s not too late to apply

Key features

  • This course is an integrated part of a performing arts degree at the University of Plymouth.
  • The foundation year is an integral part of the extended degree. Completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification its own right but will provide access to Year 1 of your degree.

Course details

  • Year 0 (Foundation Year)
  • In your first year, you’ll explore a wide range of performance practices which will offer you a solid base for your BA degree. You’ll acquire a toolkit of skills in a supportive and professional environment, and the confidence to know how to use it.

    Core modules
    • PLYCO001 Introduction to the Study of Performance

      In this module, students learn both written, theoretical and conceptual skills that will support them in a BA Performing Arts degree. The module will provide an overview of key historical shifts in theatre, dance and performance practices and will examine the way in which they have influenced contemporary performance making.

    • PLYCO002 Introduction to Performance Training

      This year-long module, foster the development of vocal and movement skills and techniques necessary for the successful creation of contemporary performance. Through regular workshop study, students will embark on a creative exploration of the physical and mental processes embedded in core traditions of actor, dance and drama training.

    • PLYCO003 Introduction to Performance Making Processes 1

      This module will introduce a range of theatre devising, dance making and performance making methods to develop students' understanding about the relationship between process and performance. Students will be required to research relevant processes and practices of theatre and dance through ensemble and small group performance work.

    • PLYCO004 Introduction to Performance Making Processes 2

      This modules will continue the study of a range of theatre devising, dance making and performance making methods aiming to further the students' understanding about the relationship between process and performance. Students will explore and research in more depth relevant processes and practices of theatre and dance through ensemble and small group performance work.

    • PLYCO005 Introduction to Performance Analysis

      In this module, students learn the art of theatre and dance analysis and enhance their writing skills. Students are required to attend professional productions and will apply their analytical skills to write critical analyses of these productions. This module allows the students to strengthen their skills as a writer and grow their understanding of performance production through the audience's eye.

  • Year 1
  • In your second year, you’ll focus on developing the tools to both examine and create performance. You’ll concentrate on the performer-audience relationship, improvisation, play, and the use of space and the body. You will acquire core performance skills including voice, movement and working with text. Your practical sessions will be supported by seminars and lectures in performance language and theory, while you explore different approaches to performer training.

    Core modules
    • DRAMA421 Devising Toolkit 1: Improvisation and Creativity

      The module identifies and explores the dynamics between the key elements of performance through the medium of improvisation, fundamental to all forms of 'live' theatre and performance. The module places the study of theatre and performance within a contemporary context by exploring the discourse of and tension between naturalism and non-naturalism in 20th century performance theory and practice.

    • DRAMA422 Theatre Making and Collaborative Processes

      Launching the first year of the Theatre & Performance programme, this module will offer an intensive learning experience designed to explore the specific of studying a practically driven subject at degree level. Through the development of a range of critical and analytical skills, the student will be introduced to material that will encourage them to reflect upon their role as an embodied learner.

    • DRAMA424 The Body in Performance

      This module positions all performance practice as the product of its own specific cultural setting. Aiming to resist a Western-centric approach, the module explores performances from different cultures whilst providing a context and awareness of the key issues and debates surrounding intercultural/cross-cultural theory and practice. It problematises the issues of theatre, culture and ideology: the politics and problems of cultural contact and exchange.

    • DRAMA430 Performance Spaces and Environments

      The module identifies the dynamics between the key elements of performance within the context of the devising and generation of 'live' theatre practices. The module places the study of theatre and performance within a contemporary context by exploring the discourse of and tension between naturalism and non-naturalism in 20th century performance theory and practice.

    • PLYCO423 20th Century Performance Practices

      This module comprises both a lecture and a workshop series that surveys the key elements of dance, theatre and performance, including the terminology and discourses that help to develop a critically engaged practice. It includes an introduction to contemporary and historical theories and debates, while offering students an introduction to appropriate modes of study, research, devising and workshop skills.

    • PLYCO425 Devising Toolkit 2: Ensemble Practice

      This module will focus on developing the skills necessary to work in a successful ensemble context, exploring the practice and examines the creative processes involved in the crafting and devising of performance work. Through workshop study, a creative understanding of the physical and mental processes necessary in theatrical presentation will be established.

  • Year 2
  • In your third year, you’ll explore a diverse range of performance practices working intensively with a professional theatre company. Within these practices you’ll focus on structure, style, form, context and cultural significance. You will advance your creative practice in performance workshops, master classes and intensive study with a range of expert academics. You’ll also get the chance to direct and lead your own creative project.

    Core modules
    • DRAMA526 Performance Skills

      This module will enhance the development of a number of performance skills (such as the use of the voice and the exploration of specific movement techniques) necessary for the successful creation of contemporary performance. Through workshop study, students will embark in a creative exploration of physical and mental processes engaging thus with the notion of Performer Training as a systematic and rigorous process.

    • PLYCO501 Performance Making

      This module explores practically the work of major practitioners and introduces key theories that have impacted upon contemporary theatre making. Through practice and contextual study, stu-dents will explore the implications of ideological, cultural and social codes for contemporary per-formance makers. This study will culminate in the production of a performance exploring the work of a chosen practitioner, or generic style.

    • PLYCO522 Theatre Residency

      This module addresses collaborative and interdisciplinary practice. It is a practical and studio-based module that emphasises the development and presentation of student-led work and collaboration across year groups.

    • PLYCO523 Performance Practices

      This module encourages students to find their creative voice through the exploration and application of a specific performance practice. Students will develop and practically interrogate the skills and understandings that establish specific forms of contemporary performance practice as both skilled activities and culturally significant artistic statements.

  • Year 4
  • In your final year, you’ll focus on your own areas of interest. You’ll develop advanced performance practice and prepare for your final degree showcase. You will also work closely with your supervisor in group seminars and practical tutorials to produce a research project that is completed as either a written dissertation or a practical performance piece. A strong focus on employability and professional development will prepare you for a variety of theatre and performance-related careers.

    Core modules
    • PLYCO610 Performance Research

      Students will plan and conduct a research enquiry relevant to the application, practice and study of performance (including acting, dance, theatre, live art, and cross-form practices). Through lectures, workshops and tutorial guidance, students develop appropriate ways of collecting, analysing, documenting and organising material to present and evidence their research process and findings. Projects can be articulated in one of three ways; lecture demo, practice as research or dissertation.

    • PLYCO613 Main Stage Production

      Working in self -selected groups students will identify significant aspects of contemporary performance practice to inform their own creative process. Students will explore the implications of this research for their own practice in order to produce a performance work with a contemporary resonance.

    Optional modules
    • DRAMA601 Advanced Performance Training

      The module fosters deep understanding and practical knowledge of a form/approach to performance training. Through expert-lead practice, students will experiment with techniques, strategies and approaches to training that will help them to develop and deepen their understanding of skills germane to a specific style.

    • DRAMA614 Cultural Embodiment

      Students will pursue research into a topic of contemporary relevance to performance theorists and/or practitioners that consolidates aesthetic, social, historical and cultural products. This approach recognises the interdependency of related disciplines and also the role of theatre and performance processes in the production of culture in its widest sense.

    • PLYCO616 Professional Placement and Practice

      In this module students will be asked to identify a specific professional working relationship, for example mentor/project/ liaison or context, to work in. This initiative should reflect the students' personal development planning aims and needs and support their career ambitions and life long learning.

    • PLYCO617 Applied Practices: Community, Education and Wellbeing

      This module offers students access to community-based professionals and work-based experiences within the realm of the student's employability. Through seminars and independent practice, the student will take an initiative in directing their future endeavours regarding employability within the field.

    • PLYCO618 Festival Practices

      This module will support students' entry into the wide field of the creative industries through the careful planning and execution of a professional quality performance product. Working in small companies, students will be expected to define their particular area of interest. In dialogue with supervising tutors, students will negotiate their role within the company, and articulate how their contribution will lead towards the development of performance material commensurate to professional practice.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU To be confirmed £9,250
International To be confirmed £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

£500 Humanities Foundation Bursary

We in the School of Humanities and Performing Arts like to reward those applicants who show a significant commitment to studying with us.

Therefore all applicants holding a valid offer for the BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance with Foundation will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 which will be automatically deducted from their tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2019.

How to apply

If you are interested in this course, then please contact Dr Alex Cahill, Programme Lead for BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance: alex.cahill@plymouth.ac.uk

Welcome to Plymouth Conservatoire

Experts from the University of Plymouth and Theatre Royal Plymouth work together to give you training and professional experience that will set you apart in today’s arts and creative industries.

Get the very best, up-to-date industry expertise, research and teaching practice as well as unrivalled access to professional opportunities.

Watch our film about Plymouth Conservatoire.

Welcome to your own purpose built theatre:

The House

The University of Plymouth committed £7 million to building The House, a purpose built theatre on campus – and now the teaching home to Plymouth Conservatoire. 

A state-of-the art building, built to the very highest technical and sustainable specification, this award winning facility is a fully-accessible building with a 200-seater auditorium, a studio theatre and rehearsal spaces.

Come in to The House


<p>The House stage</p>
The House stage
<p>The House stage viewed from above</p>
The House stage from above
<p>The House studio</p>
The House studio
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 307</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 307
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 306</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 306
<p>Roland Levinsky Building room 308</p>
Roland Levinsky Building room 308

Any questions?

Please contact Dr Alex Cahill, Programme Lead for BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance :alex.cahill@plymouth.ac.uk

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