Our industry-standard facilities include three large workshop studios, a flexible black box theatre and a fully equipped professional theatre space seating 144. In these spaces you explore and develop the skills and expertise equipping you for a future in the arts and creative industries.
You benefit from the department’s close relationships with key local and regional arts organisations giving you the opportunity to enhance your practice in public. Our links with the profession are also reflected in our teaching staff, guest lecturers and opportunities for work placements.
All our modules incorporate an exciting blend of practical work and academic study enabling you to develop your critical understanding alongside your performative skills. Some of the many areas you can study are traditional text-based theatre, acting, comedy, puppetry, participatory and community performance, innovative contemporary performance, and gender and identity in performance.
Our degree programme
At Kent we challenge the distinction between practical and theoretical study, which means that many of our modules include both written and performed assessments.
First-year modules develop your key skills and core knowledge, and introduce you to a wide range of theatre practices. You take two compulsory modules focusing on approaches to making performance; single honours students choose a further two modules.
In your second year you choose four modules from a range covering areas such as acting, popular performance, Shakespeare’s theatre, musical theatre dance, theatre history, disability and the arts, and physical theatre.
In your final year you choose three modules from a selection, covering areas such as participatory and community arts, stand-up comedy, performing lives, performing classical texts, physical theatre, playwriting, theatre and journalism, and arts funding and policy. You then either take a module in which you produce an original production in small companies, or you complete an independent written project.
You graduate from Kent with an understanding of theatre in all its forms and the creative competence to succeed in a future career in the arts or beyond.
Year of professional experience
It is possible to spend a year on placement gaining valuable
workplace experience and increasing your professional contacts. You
don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain
Single honours and three-year joint honours students can apply to spend a year or a term abroad studying at a university in a range of locations around the world.
Drama and Theatre students benefit from some of the best rehearsal, teaching, study and performance facilities in the UK, including:
industry standard Jarman studios with heated semi-sprung floors, lighting rigs and a spacious control box housing the latest equipment the 120-seat Aphra Theatre the Lumley studio a fully equipped construction workshop a sound studio the 340-seat Gulbenkian Theatre, which offers industry placements on campus, as well as a year-round visiting professional programme of theatre the University’s Templeman Library, which is renowned for its drama and theatre manuscripts, including collections of playbills, prints, programmes and other theatre ephemera Digital Theatre Plus, which provides full-length films of British theatre productions, in addition to interviews with the cast and the creative and production teams.
There are a whole range of student-run societies. In previous years, students have had the opportunity to join:
T24 Drama – produces and puts on six shows a termMusical Theatre – produces musicals and musical showcaseCircus – a collective of artists and creative characters Glee – a choir for people who love to sing Costume for Stage and Screen – design and sew costumesMusic Society – orchestras, chorus, concert and big bandsSports Societies – over 45 to choose from and extensive facilities.
The School of Arts organises special events that you are welcome to attend. These may include:
guest workshops and talks by professionals from the world of theatresymposia seminars conferences and exhibitions.
The School of Arts has developed links with some of the major players in the industry:
Bobby Baker C&T theatre Gulbenkian Theatre Little Bulb Theatre Marlowe Theatre Thomas OstermeierOily Cart Reckless Sleepers Shakespeare’s Globe.
Teaching is through workshops, seminars, lectures and practical projects. Most Drama and Theatre modules are continuously assessed on the basis of coursework, projects and presentations, performances, essays and dissertations.
Knowledge and understanding
You develop knowledge and understanding of:
- key practitioners, practices and theorists of performance, including writers, critics, directors, actors, artists, designers and producers
- historical and contemporary contexts of the production and reception of performance
- the relationship of performance to its material, cultural and historical context.
- histories, forms and traditions of performance and theoretical explanations of their impact
- traditional and contemporary critical perspectives that inform the academic study of performance
- the interplay between theory and practice
- the processes by which performance is created, realised and managed including: the reading of written text and other source material; processes of rehearsal; writing and dramaturgy; devising, directing, design, stage and technical management and producing
- the impact of theatre and performance within a range of social, educational and community contexts
- the reading, analysis, documenting and interpreting of performance
- the role of the audience; the performance and production skills necessary to communicate with audiences.
You develop intellectual skills in how to:
- read, understand and engage analytically with a range of texts, performances and other source material
- research, evaluate and productively apply information from a number of sources (written, visual, aural) in order to develop and present a coherent understanding of the theory and practice of performance
- critique performance events and processes
- undertake and manage extended independent and creative research
- understand processes of creativity and deploy and critique these in your own work
- record, document and analyse processes of making performance
- understand and apply appropriate interdisciplinary practices, concepts and skills
- present coherent arguments verbally and in writing
- understand the relationship of performance to a range of critical, historical and cultural frameworks for its production and reception.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- reading and evaluating scripts, performance texts and other theatre documents from a range of critical and practical perspectives
- envisioning the performance possibilities of a play text, script and other textual or documentary sources
- realising performances derived from a range of starting points (for example, a script; a theoretical position; documentary material; a specific location) and using a range of techniques, structures and working methods to develop those performances
- engaging and collaborating in production and performance
- engaging with current debates on theatre arts, productions, cultural policy and funding
- practising creative, physical and vocal skills for practice-based work, including appropriate warm-up exercises and techniques
- using technical apparatus and associated resources necessary to realise the demands of production in live and recorded performance safely, efficiently and effectively
- documenting performance processes and events
- engaging in research, whether independent, group or practice-based
- considering theories of spectatorship, developing an awareness of the audience or client group for performance, and an ability to respond and adapt to it through flexible means.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- working collaboratively with others utilising a variety of team structures and working methods, understanding group dynamics and handling interpersonal issues
- developing and pursuing creative projects within specified resource constraints (for example, time, space and/or budget), therefore, developing problem-solving skills
- managing workloads to meet deadlines and sustaining focus for extended periods working on independent creative projects, developing autonomy and self-management
- using information retrieval skills to gather and critically evaluate material
- applying critical and creative skills in diverse forms of discourse and media
- identifying health and safety issues and undertake risk assessments.
- negotiating effectively with a variety of agencies (inside and outside the programme), developing interpersonal skills
- effectively and professionally communicating coherent arguments and propositions in a variety of media, verbally and in writing
- undertaking basic design, engineering, construction, and technical work
- demonstrating numeracy using scale, simple equations, simple geometry, basic arithmetic, data collection, presentation and analysis
- reflecting on your own learning and progress, identifying strategies for development, exploring strengths and weaknesses and developing autonomy in learning and continuous professional development.
This programme aims to:
- provide a stimulating environment which encourages and assists you to achieve your creative and intellectual potential
- produce independent, motivated graduates who are equipped to meet the needs of, and to contribute creatively to, the theatre and associated media and professions
- develop critical judgement and personal organisation skills to enable you to respond positively to the challenges of further study, training or employment in relevant career destinations
- enhance the learning experience through a range of teaching and assessment methods that reflect and respond to the values and diversity inherent in drama and theatre studies
- provide teaching that is informed by research and current developments in the pedagogy of drama and theatre as well as theatre practice and the arts
- provide a broad grounding in the subject in the early stages of study, becoming increasingly specialist in the later stages
- provide you with creative competence and understanding that is grounded in (and prepares for) professional practice
- offer you the opportunity to apply to undertake a term or year abroad or a year’s placement in industry.