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Drama and Theatre Studies A Level at St Paul's Catholic School

Course description

This AS and A Level deliberately focuses on working with plays and builds on previous knowledge of improvisation skills and applying physical actions to a text. You will study plays from the point of view of a director, designer, performer and informed audience member.

A View from the Bridge and Our Country’s Good are currently the plays being explored in Unit 1 and you will be marked on your ability to use practical Drama techniques to consider character, plot and themes. This practical work is reinforced by written Exploration Notes to be completed under controlled conditions.

Unit 2 requires you to showcase your acting ability in live performances to be assessed by an outside examiner.

In Unit 3, students alternate between the roles of playwright, performer, designer and director and apply their knowledge of different theatre forms and structures to the creation of their own work. So this is where you put your knowledge into practice!

Unit 4 consists of the study of the Greek Comedy, Lysistrata and a Shakespeare play; these will be written about from a director’s viewpoint in the final exam.

Course content

See above.

Entry requirements

5 A*-C grades at GCSE or their equivalent. These should include Drama at grade C or above and, ideally should include English or English Literature, as literary skills are required in addition to practical ability.

A student who has not gained a GCSE in Drama may be considered by means of an acting audition, or other appropriate experience such as participation in school productions at Key Stage 4. A love of performing and improvising on the stage, in front of an audience is essential.


AS Unit 1: 20% Practical workshop lessons (similar to GCSE). 20% Written coursework, including a review of a live production.

Unit 2: 60% Performance (or design) to an external examiner and a public Performance.

A2 Unit 3: 30% The process of devising and/or adapting a play within a group. 10% Performance of the above in front of a public audience.

Unit 4: 40% Written examination on how you would direct a classic play. 20% Analysis of the performance and direction of a Shakespeare play seen in performance.

Future opportunities

It is beneficial for anyone wanting to build on presentation and confidence in the working world and links very well with other creative and analytical subjects. It is useful for careers involving public speaking, media and performing arts e.g. Actor, Lawyer, Drama Therapist, Marketing Director.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Paul's Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 10 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years