|UCAS code||Typical offer||Length|
|W440||AAB (See full entry requirements)||3 years full-time|
This exciting degree explores writing, directing and performance in the theatre through a combination of textual/historical analysis, practical training, and production experience in state-of-the-art facilities.
This is a theatre-based degree, which is centred on the exploration of the creative collaborations and negotiations between writers, directors, and actors.
In Year 1, you will be introduced to a wide range of key practical and analytical skills which will equip you throughout the degree programme. You will develop the skills needed to read scripts with an alertness to their stage potential, you will work practically in the rehearsal room to develop strategies and techniques as both actors and directors, and you will begin to make experiments in scriptwriting. As you progress through this training and through the degree, you will make increasingly ambitious use of the superb theatres, rehearsal rooms, and workshop spaces in the Theatre, Film and Television building.
In Year 2, you will develop these skills and apply them to a range of different areas. Modules include Comedy (from Shakespeare’s time to ours), Political Theatres, and Performance Styles and Traditions. You also have the option to explore Theatre Design and Production, or to continue to hone your playwriting skills.
Year 3 builds on the rich array of skills you will have acquired through the course. You will have the opportunity to work on an ambituious group production on our main stage. On this project, all areas of theatre-making, from design to publicity, acting to stage management, are the responsibility of the group, so you get a chance to specialise in a particular area. In the spring and summer term, you will write a dissertation on a subject of your choosing, and either write a play or work as an actor or director on a short play.
Throughout the course you receive detailed feedback on your progress. In its early stages special attention is paid to helping you adjust to the challenges and opportunities of university study. At each stage of the degree, the analytical and historical work you undertake is designed to inform and shape your performance experiments and practice, and vice versa. Accordingly, written assessments are intermingled with practical ones throughout the course.
We also believe it is important to facilitate dialogue between students and leading figures from theatre, film, and television. We have therefore developed a vigorous professional visitor programme which runs throughout the academic year, and which brings a rich array of prestigious visitors (including York graduates) to the department for masterclasses. Observing high-profile, in-demand, professional theatre directors, actors, and playwrights at work, and being able to question them about career routes, ideas, and opportunities, is an invaluable addition to the learning experience. Recent visitors have included first-rank actors like Penelope Wilton and Sam West; directors like Max Stafford-Clark (the Department’s Visiting Professor of Theatre) and Sean Holmes; producers like Jenny Topper; and writers like Simon Stephens, Nick Payne, Alan Ayckbourn and Laura Wade.
You will be performing for audiences of students, staff, and later the wider public, throughout the three years, and will be assessed on both your written and practical work at each stage of the degree. We are therefore looking for student who are interested in both written research and reflection, and practical experimentation as an actor and director.
Across the three terms in the first year you will learn:
In Year 2, you will take modules on Comedy, in which you will look in detail at comedy from Ancient Greece to the immediately contemporary; Political Theatres, which examines the work of people who have used theatre to make a political intervention, and how you might make political theatre; and Performance Styles and Traditions, which looks at a particular tradition (such as site-specific work or feminist theatres). You also have the option to explore Theatre Design and Production, or to continue to hone your playwriting skills.
In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to work on an ambituious group production on our main stage. On this project, all areas of theatre-making, from design to publicity, acting to stage management, are the responsibility of the group, so you get a chance to specialise in a particular area. You will also study either Current Trends in Theatre, or Directing for Theatre, Film and Television. In the spring and summer term, you will write a dissertation on a subject of your choosing, and either write a play or work as an actor or director on a short play.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
The characteristic teaching methods on the BA in Writing, Directing and Performance include:
Lectures:usually an hour in duration but sometimes two.
Seminars: groups of 12-20 students, under the direction of one or more tutors, working together on previously arranged topics.
Workshops and Practicals: hands-on sessions typically lasting between one and four hours depending on the nature of the session. These include movement classes and rehearsals.
Tutorials: one-to-one consultations with your module tutor - for example, feedback sessions on written assignments in Year 1, and on planning sessions for your Research Projects in Year 3.
Masterclasses: We think it's very important that you should have the opportunity to listen to the views of, engage in dialogue with, and observe the work of theatre, film and TV professionals who have achieved distinction in their careers. Regular masterclasses provide you with this opportunity.
VLE: The department uses the university's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE); as well as posting information, schedules and lecture notes, there are forums where students can discuss any topics or issues that have arisen.
We set you assessments for three reasons:
Across the three years of the BA programme you will be asked to produce several different kinds of written and practical assignments for assessments. The analytical writing required on the course ranges in scale from short essays, to portfolio and record-book submissions (for instance, logs of practical exercises), to a possible 10,000-word essay for the Independent Research Project. Practical work is often created in groups, and is assessed using clear marking criteria provided to you when the assignment details are made available, mainly by observation of the finished work.
Some of our graduates have gone on to careers as writers, directors or performers; but others have favoured different choices, including arts journalism, teaching, drama therapy, literary management, publishing, stage management, theatre/film/television production, academic research and arts administration.
Some have moved into fields not directly connected to theatre, film or television. The core emphasis of this programme on studying and experiencing the complex collaborative work processes characteristic of all three of these media generates a professional flexibility and responsiveness to the input of others which makes our graduates attractive prospects to a range of potential employers. To see where our graduates get jobs, see our Graduate Achievements page.
This BA equips students with high-calibre research and practical skills. Our dual strategy is unique and the result of detailed negotiations with industry professionals and academic researchers operating at the top levels. It is a highly innovative and competitive course, allowing students to analyse and experiment with processes from writing and commissioning, acting and directing, right through to the finished product and its reception. Visiting professionals have frequently told us that students on our courses are very privileged. We think we’re privileged to teach you – come and make the future with us!
All applications to undergraduate degree courses at York must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). (Link to UG Admissions pages http://www.york.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/applying/)
You may be asked to attend an interview in the department, for which you will need to bring along two pieces of analytical writing.
The ideal students for this programme will combine intellectual ambition and historical curiosity with an eagerness to gain stretching experience of creative practice in theatre, film and television. We will be looking for a combination of strong analytical ability and a capacity to work cooperatively, ambitiously and productively with others, plus experience in a related field of activity. We are not assuming that this experience will be of a professional nature. Involvement in amateur theatre or film-making would, for instance, be apt; and that involvement could be in stage management or design, for example, as relevantly as in acting, directing or writing.
We don't accept Critical Thinking or General Studies A-levels as part of the AAB requirement.
We will sometimes accept students with lower grades who show passion and talent for the subject.
It is not necessary to have A Level Theatre Studies to apply for the BA; extra-curricular interests and experience will be taken into account when considering the application as a whole.
We look for a good standard at GCSE or equivalent, across a range of high quality subjects. Note that it is not necessary to have GCSE Theatre Studies to apply for the BA.
Obtain Diploma with 35 points overall
AAAAB at Higher level
BTEC National Diploma: DDD
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: DDD
80% overall average
Cambridge Pre-U: D3, D3, M2
Access to HE: Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 30 credits achieved from units awarded Distinction and 9 awarded Merit or higher
Other qualifications are accepted by the University: please contact Undergraduate Admissions for more information.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally asked to provide evidence of English language ability. Exceptions may be made where an applicant’s other qualifications provide sufficient evidence of ability to use English in an academic setting at degree level.
One of the following:
We welcome applications from mature students.
Contact our Admissions Tutor Dr Ollie Jones if you've got any questions. If you can, please use email for inquiries in the first instance:
University Open Days
All students considering study at the University of York are invited to attend a full University Open Day.
More about York