Drama at QMUL provides you with the knowledge base and practical foundation to enable you to explore your performance interests from contemporary live art to historical drama.
Our one-of-a-kind programme asks you to venture out of the studio and seminar room to see performance work in and outside of theatres. You’ll also be asked to investigate a wide range of related cultural practices and questions. How does a performance’s place in a city or community make a difference to how we understand it?
How might the arts be used to explore and contribute to social justice? What happens when we think about tourism, or political protest, or sport as performance? Why might a culture want to perform aspects of its past? Through making performance and through asking questions like these, you will become an independent critic and artist, gaining valuable skills and ideas for a future in the creative industries.
During your degree, you will explore historical and contemporary performance modes through a combination of practice and theory. You will develop the skills to articulate and argue a position through writing, and you will use your own performance work as a way of exploring questions about the world we live in.
Why study Drama at Queen Mary?
- Our location – We offer you the opportunity to study drama in the cultural heart of London, one of the world’s greatest performance cities and home to many of Europe’s creative industries.
- Industry links – We have well-established links with key national institutions such as Shakespeare’s Globe, Barbican, and Live Art Development Agency, as well as arts and community organisations in London’s East End.
- Performance-makers as well as lecturers – You will work with active practitioners and arts professionals. As well as enhancing your studies, these links will increase your networking and work placement opportunities.
- Lecturers who change the field – You will be studying alongside academics who are leaders in their field. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), we were ranked first of all the UK’s Drama and related departments for the quality of our research. Our staff use their own theoretical and practical research to inform their teaching and help you think in original ways.
- Choice – Not everyone is interested in the same types of performance culture. Our diverse faculty offers a wide range of modules so you can pursue the areas that intrigue and engage you.
We aim to develop graduates who are scholar-artists, who excel in the world of ideas as well as on stage and in the studio. Your teaching will be active and dynamic, involving collaborative work with other students, while remaining focused on individual development. Teaching happens in small seminars, workshops, small lectures and tutorials. Some modules will also include field trips, visits to performances, and workshop activities outside QMUL (such as visits to local schools or arts organisations). These may sometimes be free; others will incur costs for students, including travel within London and the purchasing of tickets to shows and exhibitions (often at a group discount rate).
Assessment includes written and practical assignments, which might feature lecture-demonstrations, essays, critical reviews, funding applications and performances.
As drama frequently involves working with others, some assessment is based around group work.
For full information about life in the School and the programmes we offer, please see the School of English and Drama Website.
You can choose to apply for a four-year version of this degree with a full year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each programme may vary).
While there are no extra tuition fees associated with these placements abroad, you will need to cover the cost of your transport to your destination and your living expenses, including accommodation.
Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL.
This list gives some general guidance on which modules you will study during your degree, although these may vary from year to year. Visit our website to read fuller descriptions of these modules.
- Making Theatre (DRA116)
- Interventions (DRA120)
- Popular Theatre and Performance (DRA119)
- Cultural Histories of Theatre (DRA115)
- London/Culture/Performance (DRA114)
- Practices (DRA117)
- Performance Texts in Practice (DRA118)
From 2017 we are introducing the QMUL Model to all our degrees. In your first year, you’ll meet the requirements of the QMUL Model through the compulsory module London/Culture/Performance. In your second and final year, you’ll be able to choose modules from the School of English and Drama, and, depending on your degree programme, the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, and elsewhere at Queen Mary. These modules will provide you with opportunities to develop skills related to networking, interdisciplinarity, global perspectives, and entrepreneurship. For further information on this initiative please visit QMUL Model.
Second and Final Year
Compulsory modules (Year 2):
- Cultural Politics and Performance (DRA259)
- Group Practical Project (DRA242)
- London/Archives/Documentation (DRA265)
Compulsory modules (Final Year):
In your final year you take at least one research project. You can choose from:
- Written Research Project (DRA329)
- Practice-Based Research Project (DRA344)
- Performance Company Research Project (DRA353)
You also take the compulsory but unassessed module Livelihoods (DRA346).
What you study in the rest of your degree is up to you. After consultation with your advisor, you will design a programme of study for yourself by choosing from a list of optional modules. This programme of study will include a mixture of practice-based and seminar-based modules.
See our website for a full list of modules that may be on offer.
General Admissions Entry Requirements
English Language Proficiency
All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.
Vocational and Other Qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application for individual advice.
If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.
We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.
European and International Applicants
Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.
Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (email@example.com) is happy to advise you further.
For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
See our information and guidance on how to apply.
Learning and teaching
Drama teaching happens in small seminars, workshops, small lectures, field work, tutorials and some workshop activities outside Queen Mary (for example, in local schools). You will do group work and work independently. Theory and practice are integrated across the curriculum so that in seminars you will also do some practice-based learning and in workshops you will also discuss critical reading. As well as working with Drama staff, you will also have the opportunity to work with experts and theatre professionals from outside the College. You can expect to be in taught classes eight hours per week but also to do additional unsupervised practice in dedicated studio time four hours per week. You will sometimes dedicate additional time to preparing performance work and extra studio space is bookable for you to do this. You will also be responsible for preparing assigned reading, doing independent research and attending theatre and other cultural events across London as well as preparing work for assessment.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Assessment includes written and practical assignments, which might include lecture-demonstrations, essays, critical reviews, funding applications and performances. As Drama frequently involves working with others, so some assessment is based around group work. However, we always try to find means of assessment that suit the subject matter being studied. We offer a wide range of practical and seminar-based module options, as well as required core modules, including, in the final year, either a written research project or an independent practical project. Drama modules involve a high level of commitment to the collective work done in practical classes and with other students outside of usual working hours.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Graduates from Queen Mary’s BA Drama course go on to work in a wide variety of roles in a range of sectors including the arts, publishing, the media, charity and education.
The national 2015 destination survey confirmed that 95 per cent of our full-time, UK-domiciled graduates from the School of English and Drama were in employment or study six months after graduation, with 80 per cent of this group already working or studying at graduate level.
The broad range of skills gained through undergraduate courses in the School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into careers such as:
- Events Manager, National Theatre
- Freelance TV Producer
- Puppeteer, Shakespeare’s Globe
- Cultural Programming Assistant, Mothership Group
- Visiting Director/Workshop Co-ordinator, Ilkhom Theatre
- General Manager, Odeon
- Runner, BBC
- Freelance Theatre Practitioner
- Junior Sales Executive, The FDM Group
- Subject Specialist, Pearson
- MA and PhD students at QMUL
Drama students can build work experience via the department’s student run Queen Mary Theatre Company or with one of Queen Mary’s creative agencies such as People’s Palace Projects. Drama students also work with for QMSU media (which produces QMTV, The Print newspaper, and CUB Magazine from the Students’ Union).
Throughout the course, students also have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 90 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. Recent events include an Experience Journalism workshop run by News Associates, Experience Teaching with TeachFirst, Careers in Law for non-law students and Start Up Stand up for those aspiring to start their own social enterprise or business.
Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from Student Journalist to Library Assistant and from Society President to School Mentor. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.
Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers and Enterprise Centre pages.
Name: Edie Edmundson
Studied: BA Drama
Currently: Since graduating in 2015, Edie has worked as a Puppeteer performing at Shakespeare's Globe, Little Angel Theatre and Puppet Theatre Barge.
What was your favourite thing about studying at QMUL?
Studying Drama at QMUL really opened my eyes to a wide range of live art and performance I would not have come across otherwise.
The work we studied and also the incredible work created by students as part of the course really broadened my horizons when it came to my options post-uni. I think my favourite thing about QMUL in general probably has to be the location… the East End has so many great venues and interesting things
going on. And coming from a small town in Devon, the chance to meet people from all over the world was brilliant.
How did QMUL prepare you for the world of work?
The course encouraged me to interrogate art and performanceand place it in a wider context in a way I had never done before – something I think is very useful for anyone considering a career in the arts! I loved working with the visiting artists, performing in Queen Mary festivals and doing work placements while I was on the course.