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A Level Drama And Theatre Studies

If you have an avid interest in any aspect of drama or theatre, you will be attracted to this challenging A level! You will learn to analyse, interpret and create imaginative, stylish and effective theatre, whilst increasingly becoming a competent theatre practitioner. The communication and inter-personal skills acquired through drama are becoming more and more sought after by employers and the skills you will build working in groups are transferable to any industry. You might also decide to develop a career in the Theatre Industry or join the Teaching Profession with this subject. While this A level is academic, it is essentially practical and offers a unique approach to learning. It is an active and creative course which aims to nurture your enthusiasm for and interest in theatre, both as an audience member and as a participant. As the name of this A level suggests, two subjects join to form an excellent and challenging course. Drama explores the practical side of performance and students will learn to develop their own performance skills, growing in confidence and improving their own communication skills. Theatre Studies allows the students to investigate the theoretical side of performance and theatre, which greatly enhances the students' research and analytical abilities. Drama and Theatre Studies complements a general A level programme.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics. You must also complete an audition.

Course Content

AS level – Year 1 (2 units)

The AS is studied in the first year and forms 50% of the assessment weighting of the full A level. AS can be taken as a stand-alone specification or as part of the full A level course. The assessment of the AS is divided into two units.

Unit 1 20% Practical performance – Performance workshop.

For this unit candidates will act in a group in a performance from a set text and a devised piece. They will work on the ideas of two practitioners. The unit is internally marked and externally moderated.

Unit 2 30% Written paper (2 hour paper)

Open text exam – Text in Performance

Candidates will answer three questions:

– One pre-1900 text from a prescribed list.

– One post-1900 text from a prescribed list.

– Live theatre review.

The unit is externally marked.

A level (the above plus a further 2 units)

Unit 3 30% Practical performance – Performance on a set theme

Candidates will be expected to work in response to a theme set by

The exam board and prepare two performances. The performance will include:

– scenes / extracts from a published text

– a piece devised by the group.

An evaluation of performance work for both pieces will be required.

The unit is externally marked.

Unit 4 20% Written paper (2_ hour paper) – Text in Context

1. Two set texts from a prescribed list: one pre-1900 and one post 1900. This is an ‘open text’ examination – candidates will be asked to discuss the play as a whole, including the following aspects:

– theatrical context

– performance history

– theatrical challenges of text in terms of acting

– theatrical challenges in terms of production skills

– personal reaction to the text

2. Directorial analysis of an unseen text. There will be four sections to the paper:

– ground plan

– design/costume

– lighting/sound

– movement

The unit is externally marked.

How will I be taught?

The course is taught by specialist practitioners through lectures, group discussion, note taking, practical work, essay writing, private study and presentations.

Practical work will include: text exploration, workshops, performance, text based and devised work, analysis and direction.

How will I be assessed?

Assignments are set at regular intervals throughout the course. Written work is assessed through essays, note taking and tests/examination. Practical work is assessed through observation, peer group, individual self-assessment, staff assessment and examination and moderation.

Will I need any extra equipment?

No, but please note that theatre visits are a compulsory part of the course and you will need to budget for the cost of theatre tickets. The average cost of ticket and return transport to London is £35. Local trips are cheaper.

What qualifications will I get?

Upon successful completion of both the AS and A2, you will be awarded an A level.

What will it allow me to do in the future?

Most students following this AS/A2 level course go onto degree programmes. Some students go on to specialist related training or into employment.

Course Information

You must be prepared to see as much live theatre as possible. Commitment and enthusiasm are essential and the practical elements of the course will require all AS/A2 Drama and Theatre Studies students to make time available outside normal College hours. A very high level of student involvement is expected in all areas.

Students, aged over 19 on the 1 September of the year the course commences will be required to pay tuition and assessment fees. If you are in receipt of an income based benefit please ask about financial assistance, which may be available.

This course no longer attracts government funding subsidy for students aged 24 or above on the start date of this course. The agreed minimum fee per subject (AS or A2) is £724. To help pay for these fees you may be entitled to the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan.

Please contact Customer Services on 0800 056 0511 or email customerservices@southdowns.ac.uk for further information.

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