Drama with Creative Writing BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

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Florence Maclennan

Flo talks about her time at University

About the course

This course offers you the opportunity to study a contemporary drama curriculum with great breadth and depth, alongside Creative Writing.

The wide range of production activity means you can constantly be involved in staff and student-led performances.You'll also have the opportunity to work with internationally renowned theatre companies, which in recent years have included Slung Low, IOU Productions and Northern Broadsides, and practitioners such as Professor Sir Patrick Stewart, John Britton, Andrew Morrish and Nicolás Núñez who have previously visited the department.

We are focused on helping you to develop your own individual creativity and to understand how to use that to produce intelligent, thoughtful and innovative work. If you have a set of principles and approaches to work that you believe in and understand, then we'll support you in using these through your creative development, both practically and intellectually. Our innovative approach will let you develop as you need to, to fulfil your own potential.

Your Creative Writing module tutors are all published and performed writers and recognised as leading researchers in their fields of expertise. 86.9% of their work submitted for the last Research Assessment Exercise was rated ‘world leading' or ‘internationally significant'. They will encourage and help you to develop your writing across a whole range of creative media: theatre, film, television and radio; fiction; poetry; life-writing and other non-fiction categories.

In the National Student Satisfaction Survey 2016, Drama scored 93% for overall student satisfaction. and English scored 92%, ranking us the best in Yorkshire.

See what current Drama student Flo has to say about her course.

See what current English Literature student Sarah has to say about her course.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

4 years inc. placement

Course type:

Full Time

Course content

Year 1


Core modules:

Creative Devising

You’ll have the opportunity to experience a range of workshops in creative and performance practices which are intended to develop your ability to create performance material collaboratively and from a range of starting points other than traditional play scripts. Assessment takes the form of one or more practical projects and a written report or portfolio.


Models and Theories of Performance Practice 1A

What is performance? How do we read performances? What place do performance and theatre have within the broader culture? This module is designed to introduce you to a range of important analytical and theoretical perspectives used in the interpretation of performance. The module aims to help you to be able to critically analyse a variety of theatrical and performance practices, and their relationship to different cultural, economic, historical and political contexts. A weekly workshop/lecture/seminar will introduce you to the theories that will underpin the rest of your studies. The assessment of this module is based entirely on coursework consisting of written and presentational assignments.


Where appropriate, it may be possible for the asterisked modules above to be substituted by one of the options below:

Models and Theories of Performance Practice 1B

This weekly workshop/lecture/seminar introduces you to a range of historical performance practices from the late-Victorian period to the present. The seminars are designed to encourage you to probe and debate the issues raised with reference to texts taken from a range of cultures and periods. Each week you will be asked to examine theatrical play texts and performances in historical context using theories of performance. You will have the opportunity to gain insight into how conceptions of character and plot converge and/or diverge over time and explore how social, political, and artistic ideas have affected theatre over time. The assessment of this module is based entirely on coursework consisting of written and presentational assignments.

Text into Performance

You’ll have the opportunity to explore the ways in which a play script can form the basis for a live theatre production through working together as a company to stage a short text. Questions of character, structure, meaning and dramaturgy can be explored through the challenge of staging the work. Assessment takes the form of the practical project and a written report or portfolio.

English Literature

Core module:

The ABC of Creative Writing

This module introduces you to the principle craft techniques and methods in producing creative work in specified forms and conventions. You'll be given stimulus material for writing, be encouraged to participate in creative group work and to develop skills in re-writing. The workshops and seminars will include wide reading, discussion of established forms and conventions in the writing of poems and short fiction, and also work with stimulus material. The assessments for this module are entirely coursework assessments.

Writing and Thinking Creatively

This module aims to clarify the principles of good writing and to encourage you to reflect upon and improve you own abilities. It will also cover a variety of related academic skills. Topics covered in the module include: phrasing for clear meaning; building sentences that work; selecting an appropriate tone and register; structuring paragraphs logically; developing your style; organising ideas; planning a first draft; revising and editing; proofreading.

Year 2


Core modules:

Models and Theories of Performance Practice 2a

This module focuses on the analytical study of contemporary performance practices. Through a series of workshops, lectures and seminars, you will be encouraged to use particular critical concepts to analyse and critique the work of a range of innovative theatre practitioners, including companies, directors, writers and performers. The assessment of this module is based entirely on coursework consisting of written and presentational assignments. Practitioners previously studied include Marina Abramović Forced Entertainment, Nicola Canavan, Ariane Mnouchkine, Tim Crouch, IOU Theatre, Mojisola Adebayo, Orlan, Split Britches, Augusto Boal and the Wooster Group.

Models and Theories of Performance Practice 2b

This module concentrates on the uses of theatre. You will have the opportunity to explore new practical and theoretical material including a range of Applied Theatre practice and ideology, introduced through lecture-workshops. You’ll then be encouraged to go on to develop researched case studies of contemporary practitioners and practices, concentrating on the uses of Drama, Theatre and Performance. You are encouraged to develop knowledge of practitioners and practices that sit outside of mainstream theatre and performance culture. The assessment of this module is based entirely on coursework consisting of written and presentational assignments.

Plus, choose one from a list which may include-

Theatre and Performance Making

You’ll be asked to choose from a range of production projects, each offering the opportunity to specialise in a different aspect of theatre, drama or performance. Each project will culminate in a live public production or equivalent event; for example, a performance of an existing playtext, or a devised physical theatre piece or a series of theatre-in-education workshops delivered in schools. Assessment takes the form of the practical project and a written report or portfolio.

Specialist Practice

You’ll be asked to choose to undertake a training project in one of a range of theatre skill areas, such as directing, performing, writing for performance, technical theatre, or workshop facilitation. A programme of training will help to prepare you to undertake an independent project which demonstrates your skills and understandings. The assessment of this module is based entirely on a skills presentation and a practical project.

English Literature

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include-

Writing Short Stories

This module explores the key aspects of writing short fiction. It will help you to experiment with form and expression in story writing and to be constructively critical of your work. You'll be introduced to a number of types of short story and encouraged to develop your own story ideas. You'll be encouraged to read widely in the short story form. The module covers such areas as narrative modes, characterisation, innovative ways of building plot organically, dialogue and creative editing skills.

The Art of Poetry

You will develop knowledge, understanding and expertise in the art and craft of poetry by studying a representative range of contemporary, modern and pre-Twentieth century poetry. You will discover how formal, technical and stylistic elements are used in different contexts to enable, effect and complement intention, theme and content. You will apply this knowledge by writing in a variety of forms and deploying a range of techniques, your practice being informed by the exemplars you have studied. You will demonstrate theoretical as well as practical learning by critically commenting on your own and others’ work in the light of your study of poetry, technique and form.

Year 3


Core module:

Critical Context: Perspectives on Contemporary Drama, Theatre and Performance

This is a lecture and seminar series which presents you with a range of critical perspectives on examples of contemporary drama, theatre and performance. You’ll be encouraged to develop research in two areas of interest and assessment is based on coursework.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include-

Practice and Research 3

This module takes the form of a Working Party research process in which you’ll have the opportunity to individually research a particular focussed topic and then collectively design and deliver your research in a group panel session within a student organised conference. Research methodologies can include practice-as-research – using studio-based or fieldwork explorations. You’ll be asked to present the results of the research in a group symposium, and will be assessed entirely on the writing of an abstract, a research summary or provocation, and on your contribution to the curatorship of the symposium.

Plus, choose one from a list which may include-

Process and Performance Project

The aim of this module is to allow you to engage in depth with a single staff directed process and performance. You will be expected to feed into your work the most relevant areas of skill and knowledge which you have gained elsewhere on your course. In preparing and rehearsing for one or more performances, you will be expected to practise, to extend, to contextualise and to develop the physical, creative, intellectual and practical skills necessary. Assessment takes the form of an individual contribution to a final performance event or other presentation and an individual portfolio.

Practice Analysis: Final Year Project

The Final Year Project is an opportunity to demonstrate practical skills in a significant theatre or performance role. Building on skills developed through earlier study, you will be able to negotiate a practical project that may focus on performing, directing, applied theatre practice, writing or technical and production skills. With input from a supervisor, you will then be asked to work largely independently to deliver the agreed project. Many of the practical projects appear in the Department’s annual Festival. Research and critical reflection on the practice is also developed in the module, which is assessed through a creative practical presentation and a written portfolio.

Critical Context: Dissertation

In this module, you’ll be asked to carry out an extended piece of independent research, and write a 7,000 word thesis. In keeping with traditional academic practice, you’ll then be asked to defend the thesis in an oral examination. The thesis and oral form the assessment for this module.

English Literature

Core modules:

Creative Writing Project

This module aims to support you in the production of a portfolio of original work in a category to be negotiated with the tutor. The production of a self-reflective commentary on the creative process is integral to the project. You'll be asked to provide a project proposal outlining the content of your project. Regular tutorials will be available to help you manage your time and offer constructive feedback to help with rewriting and drafting of creative work. It is recognised that a single piece of creative work may not be appropriate for all students, so a portfolio may contain a mixture of poetry and prose or other kinds of creative writing.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include-

Experiments in Narrative

This module is intended to explore the boundaries of genre: the hazy area between fiction and non-fiction; innovative practice that brings poetry and fiction together; writing that incorporates text and image; hypertext and new media writing and writing that situates itself in relation to other art forms. Through study of exemplary texts, you'll have the opportunity to explore a variety of experimental narrative possibilities which you could consider applying to your own writing practice. In term one, discussion in workshops of exemplary material will help provide you with ideas for development in term two. You'll be asked to produce a portfolio of work to demonstrate different approaches to innovative writing. A self-reflective commentary on intentions and the creative process will also be requested to accompany the portfolio.

Liberating Poetic Chaos

W.B. Yeats once commented to Ezra Pound that the work of a ‘minor poet’ failed to engage because it ‘lacked chaos’. By this Yeats seems to have meant that the poet, although technically competent, had failed to develop an utterance that was an authentic expression of his inner life and being. Liberating Poetic Chaos aims to enhance your poetic practice by enabling you to encounter this affective dimension of creativity that Yeats alludes to — and to consciously deploy the fruits of that encounter in your own poetic work. Informed by case studies of exemplary texts and poets, you will identify and explore the conjunction of objective and subjective factors in your own life which combine to form your unique ‘chaos’ — the source of your creativity. In doing so, you will take the first steps on the road to finding your own distinctive voice — and developing vision and ambition in your work. You will undertake a range of analytical and writing activities and write a portfolio of poems that constitutes a distinctive expression of your developing chaos.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


Each year our first year students work with a professional theatre company which develops a project exclusively with our students for a three week residency at the University, culminating in a performance on the University campus.

The ERASMUS+ exchange provides an optional short term (12 or 24 weeks) opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner universities where you join in classes and receive credits towards your degree at the same time. We have partnerships with universities in Athens, Ghent, Granada, Hanover, Paris and the USA.

Career opportunities

Whilst this is a new course and therefore no graduate statistics for this specific course are available, 92-95% of graduates from courses in these subject areas go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers Survey).

Drama graduates have gone on to work in the performing arts, in television, touring theatre, and running their own performance companies. English graduates have gone on to work in fields such as publishing, broadcasting, teaching, writing, advertising, management, politics and local government. A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield graduates in recent years include BBC drama productions, ITV, Channel 4, BBC 6 Music, Royal National Theatre, The Old Vic, Lawrence Batley Theatre and Point Blank Theatre Company*. *Source: Linked In.

Teaching and assessment

20.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops etc. You'll experience practical workshops and performance projects in the three theatre/studio spaces, lectures and seminars, and one-to-one tutorials with specialist staff. Assessment of your work includes essays, research based practical presentations, creative practical working processes, performance, scripts and plays, and a dissertation. You submit work for assessment at intervals throughout the year.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


Housed in a converted Victorian church building, Drama at Huddersfield provides modern and inspiring facilities. The Milton Building has two large performance studios which are architecturally spectacular and supremely flexible; most of the other seminar and rehearsal rooms have stained glass windows, high ceilings and curious gargoyles, providing a stimulating and creative working environment.

Our work in this inspirational setting is supported by technical staff and contemporary technical facilities such as 3D design equipment, video editing, projection and other multi-media performance facilities, computerised lighting and sound equipment. Studios One and Two are both used primarily as in-house teaching and performance spaces, where you'll have the opportunity to practise, watch and critique your own and other students' work. In addition, Studio One is a touring venue, hosting work by contemporary companies whose work can be studied as part of the curriculum. We have close links with Huddersfield's Lawrence Batley Theatre and have previously used their three performance spaces for our own public productions.

From January 2017, Creative Writing modules will be taught in our new Oastler Building, a new £27.5m investment that will provide state-of-the-art teaching facilities for our students.

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the tuition fee for UK and EU students at the University of Huddersfield will be £9,250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

If you decide to apply for a course that includes a work placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required to enable you to undertake that placement in settings with children (e.g. within a School). Should the organisation you are going to be working in require one to be undertaken, the School will support you to apply for a check. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.

You may be interested in studying: Drama, Dance and Performance (MA by Research)


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0)1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.5 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

How to apply

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry.

Drama research focuses on practical explorations and developing innovative ways of teaching and training. Our academic staff and postgraduate researchers conduct research around areas of actor training, psycho-physicality, ensemble, creativity and improvisation. Other areas of interest include performance magic, theatre and learning disability, new writing forms and contemporary political theatre. There are currently two research groups in Drama: the Centre for Psychophysical Performance Research and the Magic Research Group.

For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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