A Level Drama & Theatre

Course description

This is an A Level which comprises practical work, set plays, the study of theatre practitioners and work on live productions seen. It requires a willingness to work as part of a team, communication skills and the ability for individuals to think independently. It is a challenging and demanding discipline both intellectually and artistically.


Pupils should have attained at least an A grade in GCSE Drama, preferably an A*.  Those who have not studied Drama for GCSE should have extra-curricular performance experience and an A grade in GCSE English.  Performing in front of an audience is a central component, alongside strong written evaluative skills and a genuine passion for theatre in a wide range of forms.   The subject is ideal for those who are creative, experimental, logical and collaborative.

Key subject aims

The aims of the Advanced Edexcel GCE in Drama and Theatre are to encourage students to:

Develop their interest and enjoyment in Drama and Theatre both as participants and as informed members of an audience, fostering an enthusiasm for and critical appreciation of the subject.

Develop understanding and appreciation of the significance of social, cultural and historical influences on the development of Drama and Theatre.

Experience a range of opportunities to develop a variety of dramatic and theatrical skills, enabling them to grow creatively and imaginatively in both devised and scripted work.

Integrate theory and practice through their understanding of critical concepts and the discriminating use of specialist terminology.

Content and Assessment Overview

Unit 1: Devising (40 %) (Internally assessed)

Students devise an original piece of theatre using one key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli. They must produce a written portfolio of between 2,500 – 3,000 words and the devised performance or design realisation.

Unit 2: Text in Performance (20%) (Externally assessed by visiting examiner)

Students present a group performance or a design realisation of one key extract from a performance text and a monologue or duologue performance from a key extract from a different performance text.

Unit 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (40%) (Externally assessed)

Students will sit a 2 hour 30 minute writte exam paper. This will ask students to evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen, explain how they would realise an extract from a performance text they have studied (“Page to Stage:  Realising Performance Text)) and produce an extended answer on another performance text they have studied (“Interpreting a Performance Text”).

Assessment Method

Coursework; one per year

Internal and External assessment of performance

Examination in June of Upper Sixth

Potential careers

Drama prepares pupils for a world that is increasingly team orientated and allows them to explore emotions, to acquire tolerance and to develop the empathy to inhabit the characters they play. Drama promotes divergent and critical thinking, as well as honing skills in team building, decision-making, problem solving and leadership.

Drama & Theatre is most directly useful for those aiming to pursue a career in theatre making or other performing arts.  There is a close connection with English Literature, as the course hinges on the study of dramatic literature.  The performance elements of Drama & Theatre can afford appreciable growth in presentation skills and public speaking.  It is also a useful subject for anyone considering a career that might involve public speaking or presenting. Drama can provide an excellent foundation for a degree in English due to the level of textual analysis required.  Moreover, the challenges presented by the study of contemporary theatre have broad application across a range of fields of study and careers.

Contact for further information

Jo Brayton, Director of Drama: jmpb@wellingtoncollege.org.uk

Also, you can visit Edexcel’s website for the new specification