A-Level Drama and Theatre Studies

How has Theatre adapted throughout the ages? Who has been the greatest influence on modern theatre? How can Theatre bring about change?

All these questions are addressed in the Drama and Theatre Studies A Level.  This course enables students to broaden their understanding of the theoretical side of theatre, whist also honing a full range of performance skills.

‘All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players’ -  William Shakespeare

Entry requirements

Automatic entry onto Level 3 courses includes students achieving 5 x A*-C or equivalent at GCSE alongside a grade 5 or above in both English and Mathematics. Students with either English and/or Mathematics at grade 4 or below will have individual meetings to determine the most suitable pathway within sixth form. 

Marya Anna Khlestakov

Course description

Students will develop the key skills needed for performance: 

  • Identification with character
  • Use of voice, speech and sound
  • Movement and gesture – use of body and space and physical relationships
  • Listening and responding – interacting with others
  • Power to engage and hold an audience and understanding of practitioners

These skills will be showcased in a devised piece and performance from a text based around a key play.

Further to this students, will have the opportunity to study texts in relation to the following:

  • Interpreting roles on stage
  • Discussing atmosphere and staging potential
  • Reflecting on the way the play was originally performing

Exam board


Course code

  • 601/8554/5

Exam board website

Link to past papers


20% - Component 1 Practical

Internally assessed

  • A group performance from a text studied in relation to a practitioner or theatre company.
  • A creative log which demonstrates research, creation and development of ideas.

40% - Component 2 Practical

Externally assessed by visiting examiner

  • Devised piece based on theatre practitioner or company, in relation to stimulus given
  • Text piece in different style, in relation to stimulus given
  • Process and evaluation report

40% Component 3 Written Exam

  • Section A – Set Text – Staging questions based on one or two extracts from the text.
  • Section B – Set Text – Essay response, focusing on how the text could be interpreted for a contemporary audience, with analysis and evaluation of a live theatre production influencing creative decisions
  • Section C – Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Question on pre-released section of the play, analysing and evaluating how the text could be performed

Recommended Resources and Wider Reading

  • As You Like It by Shakespeare
  • Racing Demon by David Hare
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Play script) by Mark Haddon
  • Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward
  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  • Meditations on Metamorphosis by Stephen Berkoff
  • Brecht on Theatre by Bertolt Brecht
  • An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski
  • Shakespeare's Comedies: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Bart Van Es


Students who study Drama typically can go onto the following:

  • University: Many Drama and Theatre Studies students gain places at prestigious universities to study both practical and theoretical subjects.
  • Industry: Students have gone on to work for a range of leading industries in theatre, film and TV. Further Careers in Drama and Theatre Studies can include: journalism, production and publishing.

Ways to help my child succeed

Ensure your child accesses all the theatre trips organised by the Drama department throughout the year.  Discuss theatre and provide opportunities to widen your child’s experience of different productions.  Finally, ensure your son or daughter takes every opportunity to become involved in productions in and outside of school.

Useful Websites

  • https://twitter.com/@drama_AHS
  • https://www.york.ac.uk/tftv/
  • http://www.yorkshakespeareproject.org/ysp/
  • https://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/
  • http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/grand-opera-house-york/


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