Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) – 2017 entry

The lecturers are knowledgeable and very keen to see you succeed outside of the University, as well as in your studies.

What you'll study

You will explore the ideas and practices that inform current drama, theatre and performance making, both nationally and internationally. Considering a breadth of performance practices, from the mainstream to the contemporary, will enrich your knowledge and understanding.

Through performance, analysis and debate, you will engage directly with the specialisms that shape this changing field.

Programme overview

The Theatre and Performance degree offers experience and knowledge of one of the oldest and most significant forms of human expression.

You will investigate dramatic literature and practices of theatre and performance from historical, contemporary, critical, aesthetic and experiential perspectives, and consider the connections between theatre texts and cultures.

You will work with specialists in theory and practice, both those at Surrey and also invited guest directors and teachers.

Your studies will be grounded in artistic enquiry, theatre history, culture and performance analysis, and will be informed by research, practice and reflection.

Through a series of academic, practical and professional approaches, our programme provides an enviable experience of both making and reflecting on the significance of theatre, performance and drama today.

As part of our emphasis on preparing you for employment and a career, we encourage you to take an optional Professional Training placement with a partner organisation related to the theatre industry.

Theatre and Performance at Surrey complements the University’s long-established reputation for drama, dance and music.

You will be joining a thriving performing arts community, covering a wide range of creative subjects within the School of Arts, which provides excellent studio facilities on the University campus including the Ivy Arts Centre and Guildford School of Acting (GSA) studios.

We will encourage you to engage actively in both written and practical work, and to explore the rich cultural histories of the locations in which we work. Our Theatre and Performance degree provides you with a firm foundation in the study and practice of theatre and helps you to meet the demands of the creative and cultural industries.

Each of the three years in the programme takes a different thematic focus.

In Years 2 and 3, you will be able to take selected modules from other subjects to make up your programme, which may include modules from Dance, Film, Digital Media Arts, English Literature or specially designed cross-disciplinary modules.

Read about the experience of Theatre and Performance student Andy Plom

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, emphasis is placed on performing bodies and theatre and performance texts. Key concepts and a foundation of core knowledge, practices and methods are introduced.

As part of the practical pathway, you will look at strategies to develop character, while in theoretical modules you will explore the different ways in which text and the body have been understood at key points in the history of theatre.

We will also introduce you to foundational elements of theatre production and design.

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

The thematic emphasis in Year 2 is on space and place in performance, and on less textually centred approaches to stage craft, with introductions to a range of theories and methods to encourage and guide effective performance analysis and critical thinking.

In practice-led modules you will explore devising for performance, taking the metaphor of the laboratory to focus your practice, as well as autobiographical performance. The professional pathway focuses on the theory, craft and core skills involved in theatre production.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

During this year, you will be supported in gaining valuable experience in degree-related professions such as marketing, education, outreach, audience development, community work, media or arts administration.

A University supervisor and a workplace mentor will guide you through an original work programme in an industry context.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3, the thematic focus settles on theatre and performance audiences, as well as the contexts that support and develop theatre and performance production.

Different kinds of audience engagement are explored (spectatorship, participation and immersion) and research is considered not only as an integral part of analysing theatre and performance, but of making, producing and programming it as well.

Collaborative, practice-led initiatives are complemented by an individual dissertation project, which can involve a practical element.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placements

Unusually for a Theatre and Performance degree, we offer you the option of a Professional Training placement, giving you valuable experience in a theatre-related organisation.

A pioneer in integrated professional training, the University has operated the placement scheme for the last 40 years and employers have been impressed by the maturity and professionalism of those who have undertaken it.

In Theatre and Performance, we have established good connections with employers, both locally and internationally but are always keen to help students identify placements with companies that are of particular interest to them individually students.


Theatre and Performance is taught through a combination of practical classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials. Through practical modules, you establish a professional approach to performance creation.

Academic sessions develop informed thinking about theatre in a shared space that values both individual contribution and peer reflection.

You are encouraged to own your individual learning experience while at Surrey and to become familiar with building and sustaining peer networks.

Learning is fully supported by the University’s e-learning environment, and you will be able to develop skills in using academic software and become familiar with the ways in which new technologies can support work and learning.


You will be encouraged to articulate your ideas through a range of forms and to understand key aspects of these forms, whether in practical performance, essays or presentations.

Assessment methods include:

  • Performance workshops
  • Performance analysis
  • Essays
  • Book reviews
  • Critical reflections
  • Documentation practices
  • Manifestos
  • Portfolios
  • Presentations
  • Viva voce
  • Dissertation

As a modular programme, Theatre and Performance enables you to monitor your progress throughout the degree.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 2 per cent personal tutorial/small group teaching
  • 15 per cent medium group teaching
  • 1 per cent large group teaching
  • 82 per cent studying and revising in your own time


Our programmes are well resourced in terms of practical spaces and library holdings. The University campus houses the state-of-the-art Ivy Arts Centre with its main theatre and studios, and a separate performance studio for audiences of 120.

Studio classes, rehearsals and workshops are run in spaces across the campus, including the purpose-built studios in the GSA building.

You will be encouraged to locate taught modules in the context of wider performance and arts practice. There are live theatre and arts events on and off campus and several student societies engaged in staging theatre and performance.

In Guildford, the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and GLive show new and canonical works, and the town is also home to an established book festival and a host of local galleries, libraries and archives.

With London only half an hour away, there is a wealth of arts and culture to explore, with theatre trips and regular reference to recent productions forming an important part of the life of the programme.

Global opportunities

In order to add an international element to your University of Surrey experience, you might decide to spend one or two semesters overseas doing a Professional Training placement abroad or studying at one our partner universities.

In previous years, students have studied at:

  • La Trobe University, Melbourne (Australia)
  • Monash University, Melbourne (Australia)
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane (Australia)
  • University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Victoria University, Wellington (New Zealand)
  • North Texas University (USA)
  • North Carolina State University (USA)
  • University of Central Florida (USA)
  • Brock University, Ontario (Canada)

Discover where our global opportunities can take you.

Career opportunities

During your time on the Theatre and Performance programme, you will have a personal tutor who will monitor progress and offer advice and guidance. You will identify an individual career path and establish a plan that will support your career aspirations.

Teaching on the programme is informed by professional practices, to support your work on the degree and to prepare you for life on the Professional Training placement and in a career after university.

Graduate prospects

Our Theatre and Performance degree will equip you with skills, knowledge and experience that are valuable for a range of careers in such areas as:

  • Performance and contemporary theatre practice
  • Arts administration and management
  • Technical production
  • Education and community arts
  • Events management
  • Cultural policy
  • Media and creative arts

Throughout your degree, you will secure goals and competencies that will help you to prepare for a specific career path.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit - QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent-74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points required

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB-Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)

Grade A at A-level in an arts, humanities or social science subject.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades. Suitable candidates may be invited for an audition and/or interview.

During their visit to the University, candidates will be able to find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BA (Hons) 3 Years W440 View KIS data set
BA (Hons) 4 years W441 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

Major/minor Courses

What does it mean to study a course as a major or minor?

A Major/Minor degree lets you build in-depth knowledge of one subject (your Major) while also studying another topic (your Minor). At Surrey, your Major/Minor degree also includes an integrative module that allows you to develop a unique understanding of how your two chosen subjects relate to each other.

The type and title of the degree conferred upon you will reflect your Major subject while acknowledging your Minor. For example, you could receive BA (Hons) English Literature with Psychology, BSc (Hons) Politics with Creative Writing, BMus (Hons) Music with Digital Media Arts, etc.

What are the pros and cons of studying a Major/Minor course?

A Major/Minor degree gives you the opportunity to build a much broader base of knowledge than a traditional single-subject degree, but without sacrificing the opportunity to acquire real expertise in a particular field. You will come into contact with students, academics and ideas from two disciplines rather than one.

There are a small number of careers that require graduate membership of a chartered institute, for which an accredited single-honours degree may be necessary, or which require particular postgraduate or doctoral qualifications that may only be gained after completing an undergraduate degree in a specific, single-honours subject. However, for the overwhelming majority of career paths this is not the case and in most cases there are conversion courses or equivalency allowances should you later decide you wish to follow a career with these requirements. Please speak to a careers advisor for further clarification.

What would studying a Major/Minor course mean for my job prospects?

Modern employers rarely demand a specific degree relevant to their field or sector, instead preferring culturally aware people who can place their knowledge in a wider context, who have used their time as a student to develop personally and intellectually as well as academically, and who leave university with impressive professional workplace experience already under their belt.

Because of this, it is the graduates who have combined academic achievement with the development of critical skills, who have acquired the capacity for independent learning across a range of subjects and who are comfortable dealing with a wide variety of colleagues and clients who will find themselves in greater and greater demand.

How will my time be split on a Major/Minor programme?

As you'd expect, the majority of your degree modules, exams, coursework and assessment marks will come from your Major subject. As a guideline, we would expect you to spend around 70% of your time studying for your Major, with the remaining 30% dedicated to your Minor. However, our Major/Minor framework allows you to choose from a flexible range of optional modules, so the actual balance will depend on your own preferences and requirements.

Remember also that Surrey Major/Minor degrees include our unique integrative modules, which bring you together with your fellow students to reflect on how your Major and Minor subjects complement each other.

See all Major/Minor courses

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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