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Drama and Theatre Studies AS/A2 at King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon

Course description

It is important that students are interested in gaining a greater understanding of how theatre and plays work and that you are keen to be involved in performances. A B grade in GCSE English or English Literature is a minimum requirement for studying this course. Drama GCSE is not necessary.

About the Course

The course provides an opportunity to study plays from the point of view of a director, designer, performer and critic. The qualification is designed to enable students to acquire a knowledge and understanding of the language of drama and theatre as well as to develop their performing and analytical skills.

The course is designed to provide a balance across a range of learning activities. The course combines the activities of exploring plays, creating theatre, the performing of plays, the analysis of theatre and the critical evaluation of all of these elements.

The full Advanced GCE in Drama and Theatres Studies aims to extend the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired in the AS units by enabling students to apply what they have learned in their own creative work. In devising theatre, students alternate roles between being playwright, performer, designer and director and apply their knowledge of different theatre forms and structures gained from AS to the creation of their own work. In performing theatre, students are required to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding within the structure of a director’s interpretation of a play and to operate at a highly intellectual level as well as at a highly skilled practical level. The aim of the full Advanced GCE is to enable students to operate more autonomously and with confidence within a drama and theatre context.

In the role of director, students are given the opportunity to determine their own interpretation of a play. As informed critics they are expected to make independent judgements in their analysis of the way other directors, designers and performers have applied their craft to the production of a play.

Why choose to study Drama and Theatre Studies at K.E.S.?

K.E.S. has a reputation for excellence in Drama. The school has strong links with many professional theatre companies such as The Royal Shakespeare Company ensuring that students experience a rich and varied programme of study in Drama and Theatre. The Drama Department’s production history has long been admired for the range and quality of the work both in terms of performance skill and technical exprtise and the course will involve participation in these Drama productions. Furthermore, with many fantastic local theatre’s, some of which are just on our doorstep, students will be provided with many opportunities to attend live theatrical performances. In addition students will be given the opportunity to work with many professional theatre companies who have links with the School.

How will the course be taught?

The course has strong practical orientation, combined with written coursework and more theoretical study. Students need to be prepared for working in small and large groups in a co-operative manner, learning how to negotiate, share ideas and arrive at informed decisions. Students are encouraged to express personal opinions and engage in lively and challenging debates. Students will be expected to develop skills of self-discipline and organisation, as they have to produce student generated work, engage in research and attend rehearsals in their own time.

How is the course organised and assessed?


Unit 1 Exploration of Drama and Theatre

This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated

(40% of AS mark and 20% of A2 mark)

Unit 2 Text in Performance

This unit is an externally examined performance of a monologue/duologue

and a group performance

(60% of AS mark and 30% of A2 mark)


Unit 3 Exploration of Dramatic Performance

This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated

(40% of A2 mark 20% of total GCE mark)

Unit 4 Text in Context I

This unit is an externally examined written paper – 2 hours

(60% of A2 mark 30% of total GCE mark)

What next?

This is an exciting and challenging course leading to a variety of courses in higher education at degree level. Students completing the course successfully will have a thorough understanding of drama and theatre, highly toned analytical and creative skills and an ability to communicate effectively with others.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon directly.

Last updated date: 01 October 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 52 - 104 Weeks