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Drama and Theatre Studies - A Level at City of Oxford College

Course description

Develop your understanding of theatre and improve your ability to perform with this practical course, A-level Drama. It gives you the chance to work closely in groups and take part in performances of both scripted plays and your own devised work. This is a subject for anyone who is interested in analysing drama texts, theatre design or performance.

You develop the skills necessary for further academic study, such as strong report writing, essay writing and study skills, including presentation skills. 

You improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. You will benefit from individual support, including clear advice about higher education and careers.

Course content

Analyse drama texts, theatre design and performance. Work in groups and take a practical approach to learning. 

You follow the AQA specification.

First year (AS)
• Unit 1: Live Theatre Production Scene and Prescribed Play. This is assessed by an exam with two questions; one is based on a set text studied in class and the other a response to a live theatre performance. In preparation for this the group attends several theatre performances and assesses them in class.
• Unit 2: Presentation of an Extract from a Play. A practical performance that will be prepared in class. The assessment includes students’ preparatory work and supporting notes.

Second year (A2)
• Unit 3: Further Prescribed Plays including pre-Twentieth Century. This exam assesses 2 further set plays studied in class.
• Unit 4: Presentation of Devised Drama. This is a group performance of a devised piece of drama. The assessment includes students’ preparatory work and supporting notes.

You learn in a variety of ways, typically through discussion, group work, independent study, traditional essays, reading and research tasks. There is a balance of challenge and support. You play an active part in your learning and there is a strong focus on your individual learning needs. 

Classes take place over four days a week between 9am and 5pm. We expect our students to be fully committed to their studies and attend all timetabled sessions. In addition, you have the opportunity to attend trips and visits according to the needs of individual subjects. There are many enrichment opportunities, enabling you to extend your learning beyond the bounds of your chosen subjects.

Entry requirements

6 x C grades at GCSE including English.


Formal assessment is through examinations and, in some subjects, through coursework. The examination periods are in May/June. There are a range of regular assignments, essays and class based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step. Individual learning targets are set each term and you receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets.

Future opportunities

The majority of the learners on the programme progress on to higher education in the form of drama, theatre studies, performing arts and production courses. These can be at university or drama school. A-level drama and theatre studies is also acceptable for a whole range of degree subjects at all types of universities within a range of other academic subjects at A-level.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact City of Oxford College directly.

Last updated date: 19 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September


  • More information
      • From Ring Road: use EITHER Banbury Road or Woodstock Road to city centre. At traffic lights, end of St. Giles (Map 1), turn right into Beaumont Street and follow signs to the rail station. At the second set of traffic lights, i.e. at the bottom of Park End Street, turn left into Oxpens Road (ice rink). The College is ¼ mile on the left.
      • From South (Newbury) A34: Turn off A34 to Southern bypass and make for Cowley. At next roundabout, turn left to city centre (park and ride on left). Follow Abingdon Road to end, form left towards ice rink and parks. The College is opposite the ice rink.
      • From A423 (Henley/Reading): Join ring road at (Sainsburys) and turn left to next roundabout and right to city centre and ice rink.
      • From East (London): M40/A40 At end of A40 turn left at roundabout signed Cowley. Continue on the ring road, (4 roundabouts) to Abingdon Road, city centre and ice rink.
      • From the train station: the campus is 10 minutes walk from the station.