Complete University Guide 2023
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. This undergraduate degree draws the key roles of director, performer and playwright together, in order to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of theatre practice, and the skills you’ll need to succeed in any area of the industry.
We have a wide range of industry connections and regularly have visiting speakers and masterclasses.
Bringing together world-leading researchers, dynamic teachers and industry professionals.
York has given me the chance to explore aspects of theatre in a supportive and professional atmosphere. With the wide range of opportunities, engaging staff and resources, there’s no limit to what you can do in making theatre, on and off stage, theoretically and practically.Audun, Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance
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 and playwriting, 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.
Our teaching takes place in a contemporary and dynamic environment, purpose-built for the study of theatre. The department’s theatre spaces, production facilities, rehearsal rooms and workshops are some of the best the UK higher education sector has to offer. 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.
There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
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 and directing take a hands-on approach from the start. At the same time, you will begin to develop analytical and writing skills, exploring play scripts from ancient Greece to the present day, and learning 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. Your modules also introduce workshop practice and some key practitioners, and train you in 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, enhancing your practical skills in a collaborative environment. 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. You'll develop core playwriting skills, especially in creating characters, crafting dialogue, plotting a scene, and imagining dramatically effective stage visuals.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module 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:
You will also study three option modules.
In previous years, options have covered topics such as:
The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.
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.
|UK (home)||International and EU|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2023/24 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||2 hours per week|
|Seminars||2 hours per week|
|Workshops||4-11 hours per week|
|Film Screening||2 hours per week|
|Independent rehearsals||2-4 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 term time. 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.
Your base will be one of the best theatre production facilities in any UK university. Our facilities include a 200-seat thrust-stage theatre, a 110-seat black box theatre, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, workshop space and production areas.
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.
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 campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
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.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17. Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.
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.
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.|
|International foundation programme||Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|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.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS (Academic and Indicator)||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, with a minimum of 169 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 International ESOL||B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component|
|PTE Academic/PTE Academic Online||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.
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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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