Performing Arts



Unit 1: Exploration of Drama and Theatre

Students will explore two contrasting play texts through practical workshops, in order to understand the plays from the perspectives of performer, director and designer. Assessment is based on a combination of practical and written work. The written elements include: a set of “exploration notes” based on the two plays (3000 words); a live theatre review (1000 words).

Unit 2: Theatre Text in Performance

This unit involves two types of performance to a visiting examiner: either a monologue or a duologue from a published play, and a piece of writing explaining their interpretation of the piece; a piece of scripted theatre, from a known published play, lasting 30-45 minutes. This performance is as part of a small ensemble of 3-9 students.

Unit 3: Exploration of Dramatic Performance

In this unit, students will work in a group of 3-6 people to devise an original piece of theatre lasting 15-30 minutes. Students will be assessed on the research and development of their work as well as the final performance. Students are also required to provide written documentation, and complete a written evaluation, of 3500 words, of both the process and performance.

Unit 4: Theatre Text in Context

This unit is assessed by a 2.5 hour written exam, split into 3 sections. In preparation for Sections A and B, students will study “Woyzeck” and for section C, students will study a historical time period in theatre History, namely 1500-1600 AD, and watch a live contemporary performance of a Shakespeare play.


Unit 1: (40% AS; 20% A Level) – Internally assessed and externally moderated practical and written coursework

Unit 2: (60% AS; 30% A Level) – Externally assessed performance and supporting notes

Unit 3: (40% AS; 20% A Level) – Internally assessed and externally moderated performance and supporting written coursework

Unit 4: (60% AS; 30% A Level) – Externally assessed written exam

Examination Board – Edexcel


The course is suitable for any student with a love and passion for theatre and drama. While a GCSE or BTEC in Drama is preferable and certainly advantageous, there are students who would be capable of quickly gaining the necessary skills through the course. This is particularly true of those who have actively participated in theatre activities outside of school, or in school productions. A Level Drama offers an opportunity for practical and often enjoyable study of serious theme material and issues. The course will develop outstanding skills in team working, independence, leadership and building confidence.


The course is a traditional A Level favoured by many of the top universities. The study is largely practically based, learning is always achieved through doing, but the content and material is highly challenging and engaging. Written work, although academically demanding, is based on the students’ own creative and stylistic decisions. This has traditionally enabled students from all abilities to achieve the highest grades in Drama.


This is a fun yet rigorous course which demands the highest levels of commitment from candidates. Students will be required to balance practical group work with sophisticated written work which makes up 60% of the final grade. As a result, the qualification is highly regarded by universities and future employers. Previous students have gone on to pursue careers in theatre, media, advertising, social work, teaching, sales and other careers which necessitate effective communication and creative skills. Although Drama is not a specified A Level subject for some of the top universities, recent research has shown that a proportionately high number of students at top universities had studied Drama at A level. This was particularly true for Law degrees!