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Drama and Theatre: A-level

Qualification: A-level

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel

Entry Requirements: Grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

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in-depth exploration of theatre

This course involves the study of theatre with a clear focus on practitioners and understanding the different media found within the theatre–from acting to design realisation. 

The course also allows students to workshop and meet artists in industry.


The course

Students will develop either their performance or design skills, and further advance their skills of analysis as they are encouraged to think critically about theatre and interpreting life itself. Students learn how to analyse play texts, both historical and contemporary, whilst incorporating practitioners’ styles and methods. Equally, they will develop their written word through in-depth critical comment on live theatre.

Components one and two explore a theatre practitioner in depth and apply this knowledge to the different texts being studied. This is a fantastic insight into contemporary theatre and develops each individual’s understanding, creativity and ability to analyse and evaluate their own response to professional works.

In examination students will be asked to respond to live theatre performances they have seen and extracts from studied texts. This involves skills of both critical evaluation and reimagining the extract for performance from the perspective of a performer and a designer. They will also have the opportunity to demonstrate how the work of their chosen theatre practitioner has influenced their overall production  concept, and demonstrate an awareness of the performance text in its original performance conditions.

Assessment is split as follows:

  • Devising (40%) 
    Split between: portfolio (60 marks) and realisation performance/design (20 marks).
  • Text in performance (20%)
    Split between: group performance/design realisation (36 marks) and monologue or duologue/design realisation (24 marks).
  • Theatre Makers in Practice (40%)
    Split between: live theatre evaluation (20 marks); page to stage - realising a performance text (36 marks); and interpreting a performance text (24 marks).


Beyond the classroom

Our performing arts department is very active. There are regular performances and shows throughout the year–both inside the school and within the wider city.

We have good links with Sheffield Theatres (where some students have had work experience) and other theatre groups, with many students taking part in performances outside of school time.

Students can also take part in clubs within school, or take on a leadership role working with lower school students. There are regular trips organised to local theatres, where students are encouraged to sign up for the discounted membership cards.



The qualification is a perfect accompaniment for students wanting to go on to any further education it obviously significantly supports the arts and the study of law and media. However it is supported as a gateway subject to any higher education subject and all redbrick universities regard its merit therefore, if this is your strongest subject, it should be a definite 'yes' for study at A-level. Stage and screen is a multibillion pound industry in the UK therefore this is a step in the right direction.