Skip to content Accessibility statement
Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses 2024/25>Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance (BA)

BA (Hons) Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance

Explore the creative connections between playwrights, directors and performers

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

Undergraduate Open Days

Book your place for our Open Days on 22 and 23 June and 6 and 7 September.

Book your place

in the UK for Drama, Dance, and Cinematics

Complete University Guide 2024

Theatre is one of our most ancient and enduring forms of art. From the Ancient Greeks to today, theatre’s unique engagement with the audience and ever-changing liveness make it the most exciting way to reflect society, challenge our preconceptions and entertain us night after night. Our BA draws the key roles of director, performer and playwright together. You'll develop in-depth knowledge of theatre practice, and the skills to succeed in any area of the industry.

Distinguished visiting speakers

We have a wide range of industry connections and regularly have visiting speakers and masterclasses.

Course content

Throughout the degree course, we emphasise a close connection between theatre practice and its histories, theories, politics and ethics. You’ll develop keen critical analysis skills alongside your practical work in acting, directing, playwriting, and design, and explore a broad range of plays and productions covering theatre’s many pasts and presents. As you progress, you will hone your skills through increasingly ambitious production and research projects, gaining the experience and expertise needed to fulfil your potential in the theatre industry and beyond.

You will be taught by a unique team of theatre academics and practitioners. Many are leading researchers in theatre practice, history and theory, and have worked as professional writers, actors, directors and designers.

We have close industry connections with many leading figures from the world of theatre, film, and television who share their knowledge and experiences through a series of masterclasses.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:


There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

Your first year will be an all-round introduction to the theatre environment, giving you a broad base from which you can choose to specialise as you move through the course, while supporting you as you make the transition to independent, university-level study. Practical modules in acting, directing, and design take a hands-on approach from the start. At the same time, you will begin to develop analytical and writing skills, exploring a variety of play scripts through the historical period right up to the present day, and you will learn how to transform a good idea into a truly memorable script.

You will be introduced to the process of moving from script to performance and the challenges involved in imagining and extrapolating performances from plays from contrasting periods and styles. We are passionate about engaging with ways in which politics inflect all theatre and performance, including our relationship to it as theatre-makers and spectators. You'll study dramaturgy, and look at ways in which plays are shaped by historical, cultural and material circumstances, and explore the issues involved in producing plays on the modern stage. Your modules introduce workshop practice and some key practitioners, as well as some fundamental vocal and physical skills. Additionally, you'll begin to develop some key skills in analysing performance as an audience member.

You'll begin to explore the challenges of characterisation in plays from different periods, and of ensemble work. You'll learn and experiment with key directorial preparation and rehearsal techniques, alongside design, enhancing your practical skills in a collaborative environment. You'll develop core playwriting skills, especially in creating characters, crafting dialogue, plotting a scene, and imagining dramatically effective stage visuals. 

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study three option modules.

In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

Core modules

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Interpret how scripts are, and historically have been, translated into a range of performance events by critical evaluation of a range of scripted drama.
  • Combine independent research skills, practical exploration and experiment in successfully undertaking ambitious research projects.
  • Apply the practical and organisational skills necessary to effectively contribute as writers, directors and performers in realising the production of a successful performance from a challenging script.
  • Actively reflect the organisational, practical and technical skills that they have gained from working with theatre professionals, academic tutors and through work experience opportunities, so as to improve and develop their own theatre practice and enhance their employability for future careers.
  • Write and develop practical work with creativity and with flair, both independently and within teams, to respond to challenges and to communicate their ideas with clarity and focus to a range of audiences.             
  • Effectively employ a set of transferable skills (such as presentation, leadership, project management, and research skills) that will allow them to work across a range of media (theatre, television and film) and within a variety of roles.

Seamless collective learning

We are part of the School of Arts and Creative Technologies. The School continues our commitment to the integration of theory, creative practice and collaborative learning.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

Theatre trips

We are ideally placed to take advantage of some of the country's best theatres, in York, Manchester, Sheffield, Scarborough, Hull, Leeds and more. As a student of theatre we want you to become familiar with as much and as wide a range of theatre as possible. We run regular trips to local and regional theatres, some connected directly to a module and others of wider interest, and encourage you to make your own way to see more. The majority of organised trips are optional, but you should budget for at least one theatre trip a term.

Extra materials

The Theatre Design and Production module may require you to purchase some basic crafting and drawing equipment and materials for the design workshops and final portfolio.

Research trips

Some projects - such as the Political Theatre Project, and final Independent projects - may require limited travel to conduct interviews and consult external libraries and archives. These trips are at your discretion.


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Our Future Voices Scholarship programme provides a package of financial and industry support to welcome talented UK undergraduates from Black, Asian, Gypsy, Traveller and ethnically diverse backgrounds to our creative community.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Our course emphasises the constant interplay of practical and academic theatre skills. You will explore theatre through hands-on seminars and workshops, interactive lectures, independent rehearsals, and library-based study. Alongside the vibrant tutor-led and student-led content, masterclasses from visiting professionals will enhance and expand on various aspects of your learning.

Penelope Wilton Masterclass

Masterclasses, delivered by high profile theatre directors, actors, and playwrights, run throughout the academic year. These invaluable sessions give you the opportunity to ask question about everything from career opportunities to ideas and inspiration.

Recent visitors have included the actors Penelope Wilton and Sam West; director Sean Holmes; producer Jenny Topper; and the writers Simon Stephens, Nick Payne, Alan Ayckbourn and Laura Wade.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures2 hours per week
Seminars2 hours per week
Workshops4-11 hours per week
Film Screening2 hours per week
Independent rehearsals2-4 hours per week

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.


You'll have access to exceptional facilities in our bespoke £30 media complex, including:

  • A professional scenic stage theatre
  • A black box theatre and sound stage with a lighting grid and gantry as well as a two-wall cyclorama for live action and visual effects film shoots
  • Multiple rehearsal and workshop spaces
  • Production equipment
  • Post-production suites

Teaching location

You will be based in the School of Arts and Creative Technologies on Campus East.

Most of your contact hours will be in Theatre, Film, Television, and Interactive Media with some additional teaching on Campus East and Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

We embrace a range of assessment methods, in order to best reflect each individual module and the course as a whole. Every core module involves a written component of assessment, and many will also assess your practical work as an individual or in a group. During your studies with us, you may find yourself preparing essays of various lengths (from short reflective pieces to the final year dissertation project), portfolios or logs documenting practice, seminar presentations and oral examinations.

The Dutch Courtesan
Simon Stephens Writing Workshop

Careers and skills

Our approach to learning has been designed to provide wide ranging knowledge and skills that will set you up for a career in the world of theatre. Many of our graduates move on to work as writers, directors and performers in the industry, while others have taken up roles in the film and television industries and the wider arts world. For more information on our graduates take a look at the graduate achievement page. Our track record speaks for itself.

Career opportunities

  • Writer
  • Director
  • Performer
  • Drama therapist
  • Literary manager
  • Art journalist
  • Theatre/film/television production roles
  • Teacher
  • Academic researcher
  • Arts administrator.

Transferable skills

  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Critical analysis
  • Research skills
  • Presentation skills
  • An ability to act on constructive criticism.

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels


You don't need to have an A Level in Theatre or Drama.

Access to Higher Education Diploma 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall
International Baccalaureate 35 points
T levels We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Scottish Highers - AABBB

Advanced Highers - not required for entry

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Applications must be made through UCAS. We look for applicants who can demonstrate a real passion for theatre, through your studies, extra-curricular activities and wider reading. We don’t require you to have taken a Theatre or Performing Arts course at college, and welcome students studying a mix of subjects and/or qualifications.

UK students may be asked to attend an interview in the department, for which you will need to bring one piece of analytical writing (normally an essay from your recent studies). We will also look at up to one piece of creative writing. There is no audition process, although we may offer a practical workshop as a taster of the kind of work you might expect to do on the course.

International students unable to travel to York may be asked to interview via Skype.

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Professor Benjamin Poore and Dr Louise LePage

Learn more

School of Arts and Creative Technologies

Discover York


We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.

Student life

Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.

The city

Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.

Meet us

Find out more about York. Chat to staff and students and take the tour, on campus or online.