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Drama & Theatre Studies A-Level at Polam Hall School

Course description

An exciting and thought provoking course in which you can develop skills in performance and/or technical design. There are options to focus on costume design, mask design, set design lighting and sound design, as well as the traditional performance choice.

If you choose this subject you can: analyse live performances, deconstruct dramatic texts and create original theatre; investigate and experiment with the work of famous innovators and practitioners in the theatre; explore your own dramatic and technical creativity and cultivate craftsmanship while developing your own work.

The exam structure is ideal for practical learners, with plenty of opportunities for applied learning and a practical assessment format.

Course content

AS Level (1st year of study)

Unit 1 – “Exploration of Drama and Theatre”

Students will learn how to analyse plays in a variety of ways so that they become familiar with the way written plays can be interpreted for realisation in performance. This will include the practical study of 2 plays, the practical exploration of a Drama practitioner and an evaluation of a play seen. Assessment will take the form practical workshop, with a portfolio of evidence compiled by the student. (Internally assessed practical exam, 20% of the full A level)

Unit 2 – “Theatre Text in Performance”

Students work in their chosen area of performance or design, creating a practical presentation of a play accompanied by a written concept of their work.

A2 Level (2nd year of study)

Unit 3 – “Exploration of Dramatic Performance”

This unit requires the creation of a unique and original piece of theatre. The knowledge and understanding gained in the AS units can now be applied to a created production. Students will be assessed on both the process of creation and the finished product in the form of a performance to an invited audience. There are options to follow pathways in both performance and design, researching, developing, shaping and refining ideas. (Internally assessed practical exam, 20% of the full A level)

Unit 4 – “Theatre Text in Context”

Students will study a classic British theatre masterpiece. They will develop and shape their ideas for a proposed production of the play from the perspective of a director. Students will see a live production and evaluate the performance or design elements of the production in a final written examination. Annotated texts and personal notes are permitted in this exam.


Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for Advanced Level study is 6 A* - C grades. Students’ GCSEs must include Mathematics and English at least at Grade C. 4/3 subjects at AS level are usually studied in the first year.



Externally assessed practical exam, 30% of the full A level


Externally assessed written exam, 30% of the full A level

Future opportunities

The course enables students to gain an entry qualification for many higher education courses, not only in Drama and Theatre Studies, but also in a host of other subjects. A Level Theatre Studies is accepted as part of the entrance qualifications for a wealth of courses at universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Polam Hall School directly.

Last updated date: 22 April 2015
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