Gumley House School FCJ

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Drama & Theatre Studies (A Level)

Your Ticket to Extraordinary

Drama and Theatre Studies at A Level will develop your creative and critical theatre skills whilst deepening your knowledge and understanding of drama.  You will improve your communication skills through academic analysis and your creative and practical skills through performance.

CURRICULUM INFORMATION (Drama and theatre studies)

  • Entry Criteria for A Level Study:
    Ideally Grade 6 in GCSE Drama and/or English Language
  • A Level Specification: AQA


Component 1: Theatre Workshop (20%). Non-examination. Internally Assessed.

Choosing acting or design.
You will participate in the creation, development and performance of a deconstruction of an extract using the working methods of a theatre company or recognised practitioner.  You will also be required to produce a written portfolio or creative log of the process you undertook or a final performance design.

Component 2: Text in Action (40%). Non-Examination. Externally Assessed

Choosing acting or design.
You will participate in the creation, development and performance of a devised piece using the techniques of a second practitioner or company based on a theme provided by WJEC and an extract from a text in a style chosen by you based on the same theme.  You must also produce a final report, evaluation or performance design.


  • A 5 minute presentation of Design Concept (Designers Only)
  • Set Design (including props)
  • Costume design (including hair and makeup)

Component 3: Text In Performance (40%). Written Examination.

Section A:
Two questions based on the study of two set texts, one from list A and one from List B.
List A: The Trojan Women, Richard II, Hedda Gabler, Machinal, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. 
List B: Saved, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Racing Demon, Chimerica, Love and Information.

Section B:
One question based on a ten minute extract of a text.
Theatre Text in Context - you will respond to a question as a director of a set text prescribed by the exam board.  In addition to this, you will be examined on your knowledge of theatre history having viewed a professional performance.

Section C:
Learners are required to study a specified 10-15 minute extract from a third contrasting performance text:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time


The syllabus offers you a balanced and enjoyable mix of opportunities to study Drama and Theatre from performing, directing, design and technical perspectives. You will explore set plays from different eras, visit the theatre regularly and work in groups to interpret plays and devise performance pieces.


Paper 1:  Drama and Theatre
External written examination on set texts and live theatre, 40% of A Level

Paper 2:
  Creating Original Drama

Practical and written coursework, 30% of A Level

Paper 3:
  Making Theatre

Practical examination and reflective report, 30% of A Level


You can (and students do) choose to do Drama and Theatre with a wide range of other subjects.  It fits well with other creative subjects and with the humanities.  It also works well with topics that study attitudes and human behaviour, such as Philosophy & Ethics, languages, sociology and psychology.


Students move onto a plethora of destinations, including advancing their studies in Drama and English Literature, Psychology, Film and Television Production, Acting, Design for Performance, Liberal Arts, etc.


We build knowledge and train skills that enable you to be confident practitioners within the subject area

You will learn to apply the many varied and transferable skills within our subject to a wide variety of vocations, jobs and roles


Q: What is the difference between A level drama and BTEC performing arts?
A: Drama is the study of this one art form, pure and simple.  We study texts from ancient to modern times, develop skills in acting, explore different styles of theatre and learn from watching live theatre productions.  Drama is an academic A level which includes a written exam and live performance exams which are both internally and externally assessed.  We promote a love and enquiry into the subject, developing both independence and a team ethos through fun but challenging content.

Q: What is the proportion of practical to theory study in A level drama?
A: 60% of your mark will be assessed by written work, either by examination or supporting written log based on your practical work.  40% of your mark is based on your practical work.  We teach the course as practically as we can, as the written work involves exploring theoretical concepts and play texts through practical work in class.

Q: What can studying A level drama lead to?
A: Our students are attracted by both a love of performing and designing to take up the study of drama; some will have ambitions to act for a career and will audition for drama school, more will choose to study drama (and perhaps another course) at university and this can lead to careers in theatre directing, play writing, theatre design, dramatherapy, teaching and communications.  Other students will go on to study any of the broad range of subjects which the college offers at A level, having benefited greatly from the self-confidence and social skills which they developed often due to the experience of collaborating in group work and performing in their drama class.

Q: What if I haven’t studied drama at GCSE?
A: We do not require our students to have a qualification in GCSE drama (although many do), as we are confident that we can teach you the skills needed to both act and write about drama at A level.  Don’t worry if you don’t have lots of experience, it’s talent and enthusiasm that matters!

Q: Why do I have to do an audition?
A: We run an audition to check all our students’ level of ability, as we are really keen to ensure that they have the necessary skills to do well in the course.

Hear from some of our students



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