This qualification emphasises practical creativity alongside research and theoretical understanding. Students will be introduced to a wide range of theatrical styles and contexts as they explore plays practically, devise and perform scripts and develop their skills as a performer, designer and director.
Unit 1: Drama and Theatre
The study of two set plays from different genres and periods and evaluation of live theatre.
Unit 2: Creating Original Drama
The performance of a group devised play, exploring the methods of a prescribed practitioner.
Unit 3: Making Theatre
The practical exploration of three extracts, each taken from a different play, the third extract to be performed in the style of a prescribed practitioner.
Unit 1: Written exam (3 hours: 3 Questions). Marked by AQA – 40%
Unit 2: Practical Coursework – Working notebook (40 marks), Devised performance (20 marks). Marked by teacher and moderated by AQA – 30%
Unit 3: Practical Coursework – Reflective report on the performance of three extracts (20 marks), Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks). Marked by AQA – 30%
Examining Board – AQA.
Special Entry Requirements
Students need not necessarily have studied Drama to GCSE level, but for those who have, grade 4 / C or above is required. A real interest and commitment to seeing and taking part in Theatre is essential. In addition, standard A level entry requirements apply.
Career and Progression Opportunities
This course inspires students to become independent thinkers with the skills they need to go on to higher education, whether that is to study a course in drama and theatre or another subject. Students will develop skills essential not just for drama but applicable to a wide range of higher education subjects and the workplace; such as collaborative, analytical and research skills. Students will grow in confidence and maturity as they successfully realise their own ideas, learn to evaluate objectively and develop a sound appreciation of the influences that cultural and social contexts can have on theatrical works.
The two practical units require students to work intensively in a group and to take part in independent rehearsals at the end of the College day. Students are also required to write extended reflective reports during the process of working on their practical exams. These will need to be submitted in draft form to the teacher for advice and assessment, to ensure students attain their full potential.
Students learn through experience, seeing theatre and making theatre for themselves. They will work independently with others and on their own to create original pieces and to explore existing scripts and the ideas of prescribed practitioners. In so doing they will develop in confidence and as performers, designers and directors. Collaboration will be at the heart of their learning with occasional lectures, workshops from theatre professionals and student presentations. All parts of the course are supported by handouts and guides.
A highly popular and valuable part of the course is the programme of trips we arrange to see a variety of live theatre performances. These trips are compulsory for the written exam (Unit 1) and are likely to take place in the evening.
Transport costs for theatre trips are subsidised by the College, but students are expected to pay for the cost of tickets and some travel. There are likely to be between four and six trips during the two year course.
Links to External Organisations
Students will have the opportunity to meet and work with theatre professionals as well as trainers from universities and drama schools.
Complementary Subjects or Enrichment Courses
Students are able to build a programme of study which spans a range of varied and complimentary A level subjects at the College. Students are particularly encouraged to take part in additional performance enrichment opportunities to enable them to extend their knowledge and understanding of theatre and to polish their skills in readiness for the demands of A level practical exams.
Higher education institutions value and respect the skills this qualification gives students. The AQA specification was developed in collaboration with universities, incorporating the approach they take with drama and theatre undergraduates into the A level qualification, so that students will be really well prepared for the demands of university and beyond.
This information is correct for September 2019 entry.