Why choose this subject?

A-level Drama and theatre inspires students to become independent theatre makers with the skills they need to go to higher education, whether that is to study a course in drama or another subject. Students will gain an inspiring experience of A-level Drama and Theatre; the course emphasises practical creativity alongside research and theoretical understanding.

Students learn through experience, seeing theatre and making theatre for themselves. Students are introduced to a wide range of theatrical styles and context as they explore plays practically, devise and work on performances.

Students choose to develop as a:

  • performer
  • designer (lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets)
  • director
  • combination of these

Whichever option they choose, students will gain many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons.

How will this subject be delivered?

The subject content for A-level Drama and Theatre is divided into three components:

Drama and Theatre

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre.
  • Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B.
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers.

Creating original drama

  • Process of creating devised drama.
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director).

Making theatre

  • Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts each taken from a different play.
  • Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to extract 3. Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director).
  • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts.

How is it assessed?

Drama and theatre:

  • Written exam: 3 hours
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Creating original drama:

  • Working notebook (40 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 30% of A-level

Making theatre:

  • Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks)
  • Reflective report (20 marks)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 30% of A-level

Subject specific entry requirements

Five grades 5-9 including maths and English. Merit/grade 6 or above in one or more of the following BTEC/GCSE subjects: music, dance or drama.


Higher education institutions (HEIs) value and respect the skills drama and theatre qualifications give students. Students will be well prepared for the demands of university and beyond.

Students of drama and theatre develop skills that are not just essential for drama but applicable to a wide range of higher education subjects and in the workplace. This specification refines students’ collaborative skills, their analytical thinking and their approach to research. Students grow in confidence and maturity as they successfully realise their own ideas. They learn to evaluate objectively and develop a sound appreciation of the influences that cultural and social contexts can have on decision making. Whatever the future holds, students of A-level Drama and Theatre emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills preparing them for their next steps.

Additional costs relating to this course

There may be additional costs with this course such as contributions towards the cost of trips, specialised uniform/footwear etc.

Level: A LEVEL

Board: AQA