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Drama and Theatre Studies A Level at Sandwell College

Course description

How does an actor play and breathe life into his role? How does a director give life to the ideas in the play? How do you interpret a plain script into a stunning visual performance? If you’d like to learn how to do all of the above and more, this A Level is for you. You will be shown the wonderful diversity in theatre and will learn to analyse, interpret and create imaginative, stylish and effective theatre, while increasingly becoming a competent theatre practitioner. You will explore both the practical and theoretical aspects of Drama and Theatre Studies, including theatre text in performance, theatre text in context and dramatic performance.

Course content

The course demands practical, creative and communication skills in almost equal measure. You will extend your ability to create drama and theatre, either in a performing or production role. You will also be required to write about drama and to develop your powers of analysis to become an informed critic. The course will involve taking part in drama productions, as well as studying plays and playwrights.

You will have the opportunity to take part in theatre visits and workshops by visiting professionals. You will also have opportunities to perform in the state-of-the-art drama facilities at the college including our new theatre.

Entry requirements

All students studying for A Level would be expected to have five GCSEs A*-C including GCSE English Language at C or above. GCSE Drama, Dance or Expressive Arts would be an obvious advantage. All applicants would need to pass an audition.

Students would need to achieve a D at AS in order to progress to A2.


The AS year is essentially about taking a play from the page to performance.

You will begin by exploring two contrasting plays and learning about one recognised theatre practitioner. The approach is mostly practical with a high level of analysis. Through written and practical coursework assessment, you will demonstrate your understanding, practical skills and ideas. We will also visit the theatre to review plays, and here you will learn to critique all aspects of the production.

At the beginning of the A2 year, you will embark on an exciting project where you will draw on all of your experience, research and ideas to develop an original piece of theatre. You will be assessed on your rehearsal process, your performance and on a detailed written evaluation.

For your written exam, you have the wonderful opportunity to explore a play from the point of view of a director. You will develop your own production ideas. Within the bounds of relevance, you are free to be as imaginative and daring as you wish. You will also write a critique of an historic play you have seen, drawing comparisons with the play’s original performance context.

Future opportunities

The majority of A Level students go on to university. Some students study a combined degree in English and Drama. Other students choose specialist degrees in Performing Arts/Creative Arts, or go on to accredited Drama schools for intensive practical training.

There is an increased awareness in Universities and in the general workplace of the many positive attributes a Drama and Theatre Studies qualification has, not only in the industry itself, but in terms of the many transferable skills this qualification offers. Some students go on to teach English and Drama. Some become performers or technical practitioners themselves and some even set up their own theatre companies. Others simply use the skills and qualities they have learnt and developed on the course to help them progress along another career path.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sandwell College directly.

Last updated date: 01 June 2016

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