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Drama & Theatre Studies AS & A Level at St Brendan's Sixth Form College

Course description

The A Level Drama and Theatre Studies course allows you to explore the different aspects of the subject including training in performance skills, analysis of texts and performance, practical exploration of play texts and directing. 

The course also helps to develop a large range of highly sought after transferable skills including research, analysis, presentation and communication skills, and the ability to work with others. We follow the Edexcel/Pearson specification which has a large focus on practical exploration and performance along side developing understanding of the work of director's, playwrights and practitioners.

Course content

The course is taught by specialist practitioners.  Assignments are set at regular intervals throughout the course and a very high level of student involvement is expected in all areas.  Performances are especially important and it is expected that evening and very occasional weekend rehearsals and performances will take priority over work or social commitments.

COMPONENT 1 - DEVISING 40% of the qualification

Devise and perform an original performance using one key extract from text and with the influence from a practitioner.

Submit a written/recorded portfolio analysing the process and evaluating the end result.

COMPONENT 2 - TEXT IN PERFORMANCE 20% of the qualification

Perform/design in a group performance of an extract from a play.

Perform/design monologue/duologue from a different play

COMPONENT 3 - THEATRE MAKERS IN PRACTICE 40% of the qualification

Written exam

  • Section A - Live theatre evaluation
  • Section B - Realising a performance text
  • Section C - Interpreting a performance text

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSE’s at Grades A*-C or at point 4-9 (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and will count as 1 GCSE equivalent.
  • All students are required to audition for a place on the course which will consist of a practical workshop, a written task and a performance of a 1-2 minute monologue.
  • GCSE C in Drama preferred or BTEC Merit and above



Internally marked, externally examined

40 marks for portfolio, 20 for practical process, 20 marks for final performance.


Externally examined (visiting examiner)

36 marks for group piece. 24 marks for monologue/duologue


Written exam. Externally examined

  • Sec A - 20 marks
  • Sec B - 36 marks
  • Sec C - 24 marks

Financial information

A fee of £30 is requested from each student as partial payment towards college organised trips to live theatre and workshop events. Students are expected to take part in theatre trips to London and Bristol where a charge will be made based on ticket price and cost of transport

Future opportunities

Past students of this course have gone on to exciting careers in the industry, including one who formed their own theatre company that toured performances in America, and one who gained employment as a staff director at the National Theatre.  Due to our close links with Bristol Old Vic, we have students that have gained a place on their Made in Bristol scheme which invests in young theatre makers.  A level Drama and Theatre studies is valued by universities and drama schools, and we have students who have progressed through both of these routes, including prestigious drama schools such as East 15.  In addition to this, the transferable skills developed over the duration of the course also enable students to progress into a range of other employment in the creative industries, business and teaching.

Further information

Trips to the theatre to view a range of performances are essential to the course.  In addition, visiting theatre companies regularly perform at the College.  Students will have the opportunity to take part in film and television acting workshops delivered by ITV at the college.  Students may have the opportunity to participate in exciting projects, which have recently included the National Theatre’s Connections project, and their New Views playwriting competition. 

As a part of our Performing Arts Academy, Drama and Theatre students will be able to access a range of exciting opportunities to develop their skills and experience beyond the curriculum.  These include LAMDA qualifications, singing lessons, Film and TV Acting Workshops delivered by ITV Studios, the opportunity to be involved in the National Theatre Connections Project, extra-curricular sessions where they can learn about theatre design, and our Career Ready Scheme which matches successful applicants with a professional mentor who works in the industry.  Some of these opportunities are available at a cost, but will work to supplement their experience and qualifications.  Please see the Performing Arts Academy leaflet, or page on the website for further information.

We have strong links with Bristol Old Vic, Bristol School of Performing Arts (BSPA) and many local theatre companies and professional actors.  Students benefit from regular workshops, visiting speakers and theatre trips.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Brendan's Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 24 October 2016

Key information