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Drama & Theatre Studies A Level *Fees Payable* at Birkdale School

Course description

This is an A Level which comprises practical work, set plays, the study of theatre practitioners and work on live theatre productions. It requires a willingness to work as part of a team, good communication skills and an ability to think creatively. It is a challenging and demanding discipline both intellectually and artistically. Drama and Theatre is an academic subject


Entry requirements

Academically, it is expected that students entering Birkdale’s Sixth Form will have achieved a minimum of 5 passes (A* to C/ 9 to 5) at GCSE, with at least 4 at grade B/grade 6 or higher; we would expect B/6 or higher GCSE grades in those subjects being studied to A level. A grade 6 is required to study A Level English and Mathematics, although a grade 7 is preferred in Mathematics. Prospective Further Mathematicians should achieve a grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics although a grade 8 is preferred. However, at Birkdale we look beyond the academic and would wish applicants to become fully involved in the life of the school, offering their skills and abilities in one or more of a number of areas (e.g. drama, sport, music, clubs and societies, etc).



Content and Assessment Overview


Component 1: Devising (40 %) (Internally assessed)


Students devise an original performance piece using one key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli. They must produce a written portfolio of between 2500-3000 words and the devised performance/ design realisation.


Creating a devised performance, includes:

  • exploring an extract from a text in light of a practitioner

  • using this exploration to create ideas for a devised piece

  • working collaboratively to develop these ideas

  • analysing and evaluating the development process and your contribution to it

  • analysing and evaluating your performance

  • recording this process in a portfolio


Component 2: Text in Performance (20%) (Externally assessed by visiting examiner)


Students present a group performance/ design realisation of one key extract from a performance text and a monologue or duologue performance from a key extract from a different performance text.


Taking part in two extract performances from two different texts, one a monologue or duologue and the other a group piece, includes:

  • developing performance and/or design skills

  • understanding the context of the extracts within the text

  • articulating your intention for the character you are performing or the design you have created

  • communicating your intention through performance


Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (40%) (Externally assessed)


Students will sit a 2 hour 30 minute exam. This will ask students to evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen, explain how they would realise an extract from a performance text they have studied and produce an extended answer on another performance text they have studied.


Practical exploration of a set text, including:

  • understanding of style, genre, structure, form

  • interpretation of characters

  • consideration of staging, including lighting, set and sound

  • consideration of costume and make up

  • understanding of social, historical and cultural context

  • how meaning is communicated to an audience.


Re-imagining of a set text for a contemporary audience in light of a practitioner, including:

  • exploring the work of a practitioner and considering how that would affect their re-imagined production

  • interpretation of characters and understanding of style, genre, structure, form

  • consideration of staging, including lighting, set and sound and costume

  • understanding of social, historical and cultural context

  • how meaning is communicated to an audience.


Analysing and evaluating a piece of live theatre, including:

  • watching a piece of live theatre

  • producing notes to document their response to it.


Assessment Method

  • Coursework; one per year
  • Internal and external assessment of performance
  • Written examination in June of Upper Sixth


Financial information

Please note that Birkdale is a fee-paying independent school. Further information regarding fees can be found on our website

Future opportunities



Further information

Links to other subjects:

English Language/Literature, Art, Music, Classics, Design and Technology, History, Religious Education.


Links to HE courses:

Drama, Theatre and Performance, Law, Journalism, Commerce, Social Sciences, Communication/Personnel, Cultural Studies.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 26 October 2017

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