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Course Code: NFATS011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

"All the world's a stage" as Shakespeare famously wrote, and this exciting course gives you the chance to become one of it's future major players.

You'll explore both practical and theoretical aspects of Drama, reading, analysing and acting from a range of recognised texts. You will develop your own skills through improvisation and appropriate theatrical techniques, utilising skills developed from a range of practitioners.

During practical lessons you will take part in a range of workshops, discussion and research activities presenting, performing and communicating your ideas. 

Theory classes will engage with the set texts and live performances we have seen. This will involve analysis and discussion, answering past essay questions in preparation for the examinations. You will be expected to take responsibility for your practical group performance, as well as acting you can also be involved in staging, lighting and sound.

In addition to examples of your creative work, you will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices. This should ideally include English Language and maths as well as a creative subject, however we actively encourage interested learners to apply and attend an informal interview to allow us to find out more about you, your career aspirations, predicted grades and creative ability.

Assessment is comprised of two examinations and two practical performances at the end of two years of study.

Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) 60%: Practitioners in Practice (Practical performance)

  • Devise a piece of theatre utilising the work of two recognised practitioners in your performance.
  • Complete a portfolio and written report to evidence the devising process and understanding of the two practitioners.

This will be assessed in the first year of study.

Exploring and Performing Texts (Practical performance)

  • Study one performance text in its entirety and collaboratively perform part of the text.
  • Explain your artistic intentions as an actor.

This will be assessed in the second year of study by a visiting examiner.

Exam 1: Analysing performance (2 hour 15 minute written exam)

  • Section A: We will study two texts from the theme: Heroes and Villains focusing on Shakespeare’s Othello and Nick Dear’s Frankenstein. Practical exploration of the opening 10 minutes of each play and three additional scenes from across each text drawing on acting, design and directing.
  • Section B: We will study three live performances; you will analyse and evaluate one performance.

This will be assessed at the end of the course.

Exam 2: Deconstructing Texts for Performance (1 hour 45 minute written exam)

  • You will study the creative possibilities of staging Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street from a director’s perspective.

This will be assessed at the end of the course.

Progression to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

If you wish to find out more you can contact Natalie Weatherer, Subject Leader, by emailing:

Studying Drama helps you develop presentation skills and understand the mechanics of group choreography and communication. Most importantly, it will give you the confidence you'd need to stand up in front of an audience and project a message, a skill which is invaluable in all career choices. When you have gained your A Level in Drama & Theatre you can use it to progress into Higher Education. Previous students have been accepted at top theatre schools including The Guildhall, University of Glasgow, Italia Conti and LIPA.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group, please contact Charlotte Robertson on 01782 254141 or email

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


pass rate


achieved A*-B in 2023


What else do I need to know?

The course will require you to see various live theatre performances in London, Liverpool, Manchester and at local theatre institutions including The New Vic and Regent Theatre. Visits to see contemporary theatre productions have included Kneehigh’s Dead Dog in a Suitcase, Frantic Assembly’s Things I Know To Be True/ Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night Time, Robin Hood and Marion, West Side Story, and Woman in Black.

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here