Drama and Theatre at Kent is based in the School of Arts, a creative and academic hub for students in drama, film, media studies and art history. Together we occupy the award-winning Jarman building, which houses outstanding drama and teaching facilities. We have our own industry-standard studios and a 120-seat theatre. As part of an inclusive and creative community, you will benefit from working and studying alongside staff and students who are passionate about their subject.
As a Drama and Theatre student at Kent, you work alongside world-leading academics with a wide range of specialisms in areas such as contemporary performance, European theatre, theatre history and Shakespeare, comedy, and community-based theatre. You are taught by academics who are theatre professionals with real and current industry experience in theatre design, acting, directing, stage management, dance, stand-up comedy, and arts funding. In addition, you learn from our professional technical team, which includes a workshop manager and three technicians.
Your Drama and Theatre degree at Kent is as rigorous and challenging as any subject in the Humanities, but as well as developing your critical and analytical writing abilities, our programme allows you to build practical skills that are transferable to any industry, not just theatre. At Kent, you cultivate the skills in creativity, performance, project management, leadership, communication and teamwork that give our graduates outstanding and proven employment prospects.
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.
Currently, in your first year, you learn a variety of performance skills, technical theatre disciplines, how to work creatively and safely on and behind the stage, all the while being introduced to key ideas, practitioners and theatre histories.
In your second year, you begin to shape your own degree with an impressive range of modules to choose from. For example, you might be able to focus on European theatre, acting, costume and fashion, physical theatre, Shakespeare, avant-garde theatre or popular performance.
In your final year, you complete an independent or creative project and can choose specialist modules from a wide variety which may include playwriting, performance, applied theatre, stand-up comedy or arts funding, or else develop further the areas studied in your second year. The year ends with a programmed festival of student work in the summer term.
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 conditions apply.
We offer the option to study abroad for a term or a year at one of our partner institutions in Europe, the USA or South Africa. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply.
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 term
- Musical Theatre – produces musicals and musical showcase
- Circus – a collective of artists and creative characters
- Glee – a choir for people who love to sing
- Costume for Stage and Screen – design and sew costumes
- Music Society – orchestras, chorus, concert and big bands
- Sports 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 theatre
- 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 Ostermeier
- Oily Cart
- Reckless Sleepers
- Shakespeare’s Globe.
Drama at Kent was ranked 13th for research quality and 19th overall in The Complete University Guide 2018.
For graduate prospects, Drama at Kent was ranked 8th in The Guardian University Guide 2018. Drama and Theatre at Kent was ranked 3rd in the UK for the percentage of students who found professional jobs or further study within six months of graduation in 2016 (DLHE).
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customize your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
- DR338 - Making Performance 1
- DR339 - Making Performance 2
- DR340 - Introduction to Mask
- DR345 - Puppet and Object Theatre
- DR346 - Popular Performance: Pubs, Clubs, and Citizenship
- DR347 - Ancient Greek Theatre
- DR549 - Acting
- DR594 - Popular Performance
- DR612 - Shakespeare's Theatre
- DR684 - Introduction to Musical Theatre Dance
- DR685 - Theatre and Adaptation
- DR687 - Sex, Gender, and Performance: Beyond the Binary
- ART522 - Disability and the Arts
- DR663 - Physical Theatre 1
- DR667 - Site-Specific Performance
- DR674 - Media and Performance Art
- DR678 - Creative Project
- ART500 - Independent Project
- ART501 - Arts Internship
- ART508 - Transgressive Women
- ART520 - Psychology of the Arts
- DR619 - Playwriting I: For Beginners
- DR636 - The Shakespeare Effect
- DR648 - Applied Theatre
- DR659 - Acting Shakespeare
- DR610 - Performing Lives: Theory & Practice of Autobiographical Theatre
- DR683 - Theatre and Ideas
- DR676 - Introduction to Stand Up
- DR664 - Physical Theatre II
- ART526 - Arts Funding and Policy: Making it Happen
Teaching and assessment
We are renowned for our innovative teaching and assessment methods, which include modules that allow you to:
- perform in a variety of styles and settings
- create exhibitions or work in the community
- write your own stand-up routine or produce a variety show
- attend a variety of theatre shows and write reviews
- discover how the art industry works
- learn how to watch performances and read texts critically
- learn about theatre from different times and cultures
Our graduates have developed careers as:
- literary managers
- scriptwriters for television
- stand-up comedians
- casting agents
- event managers
- arts administrators
- community theatre officers for local councils
- drama teachers.