Exam Board – OCR

Qualification – A Level H459

Entry requirements – 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4, including a grade 5 or above in GCSE Drama or the BTEC Level 2 equivalent, plus a grade 5 in English

Course specification

Drama and theatre studies is an exciting and highly practical subject that offers you a unique opportunity to develop key skills in creativity, communication and cognitive analysis. You will explore a wide range of performance styles, play texts, practitioners and production elements, whilst also developing your skills in performance and design. If you have a passion for creating theatre, performing and/or the inner workings of theatre, then this is certainly the right course for you.

“I love the focus on practical work, it helps me to better understand the theory and meaning behind it.”

– Student

Drama lessons at Tuxford are referred to as ‘workshops’ and are highly practical. The drama  department at Tuxford strives to provide students with a wide variety of enrichment opportunities, including an annual residential (London or New York), a wide range of theatre trips throughout the year and an extensive extra-curricular programme designed to further develop skills in performance and technical theatre.

Unit 1 – practitioners in practice

You will practically explore the theories of two renowned theatre practitioners – Brecht and Artaud. You will then work collaboratively to devise a piece of original theatre inspired by a stimulus. Your work must also be influenced by the two studied theatre practitioners.

Unit 2 – analysing characters

You will study two contrasting texts – Hamlet and Black Watch. You will practically explore common themes between the two plays, characterisation and appropriate dramatic devices. As well as gaining an understanding of the text as a whole, you will focus your efforts on four specific extracts. You will also analyse a piece of professional live theatre, with a focus on style/genre, dramatic intentions and the use of semiotics (production values).

Unit 3 – exploring and performing texts

This scripted performance unit allows you to stage a large extract from a contemporary play. During this unit you will deepen your understanding of the acting process whilst developing a well-crafted character. You will be responsible for making key decisions surrounding staging, style and dramatic devices.

Unit 4 – deconstructing texts for performance

You will study a full scale play text, focusing on characters, structure, themes and the social, cultural, historical and political context. The exploration of the text will be both practical and research based. The work of an established theatre practitioner will be studied alongside the text.

What doors does this open up for me?

Russell Group universities recently concluded that drama is a ‘sensible choice’ for those wishing to take an essay-based subject at university – the focus on open-ended questioning and analysis provides many useful transferable skills. Drama can lead to careers in media, performing arts, journalism, social work, drama therapy, youth work, teaching and the design industry. Drama also compliments subjects such as English, media and history.

Learning journey

Our learning journeys can be used to understand each subject in more detail.