Become a honed specialist in theatre directing
Direct and perform your own work
Our BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre and Directing course offers you numerous opportunities to both perform in and direct your own performance work, as well as working with pre-existing texts.
This will develop your creative and theoretical skills ready for real-world application after you graduate, as you learn to cultivate your own ideas in response to seeing other contemporary performance practices and the world around you.
Study the key aspects of dramatic practice
You will explore the cultural and critical significance of dramatic practice, process, and product throughout history, as you consider a wide range of historical and social theatre practices and contexts.
When you graduate you will have a confident understanding of the complimentary disciplines of drama, theatre and directing, alongside a range of practical experiences suited to diverse careers in a range of professional contexts.
Immerse yourself in the theatrical world
We have a strong link to the world-renowned Chichester Festival Theatre, where you will discover and experience established theatre practice and perform throughout your studies.
On this course you will:
- Develop your theatre and directing skills.
- Perform in and direct your own work as well as existing texts.
- Explore the cultural and critical significance of dramatic practice, process, and product.
- Work with the Chichester Festival Theatre.
- Access placement opportunities including roles at The Chichester Festival Theatre, Forest Fringe, Edinburgh Festival and more.
Learn the key aspects of contemporary theatre directing
Select a year
Critical and Cultural Theory 1: Theory-Lite
The aim of this module is to introduce students to a variety of theoretical, cultural and critical ideas used in the practice and evaluation of the arts. It aims to explore ways of describing, analysing and interpreting theoretical concepts that are vital to an understanding of the arts. Vocabularies and models such as intersectionality that describe the cultures in which the arts are seen and made are drawn upon and developed in order to explore the methods by which meanings are created and understood in the arts.
Critical and Cultural Theory 2: Modernism
This module interrogates the changing theoretical models and perspectives of the period that is often categorised as ‘Modernist’. You will explore, examine and debate the historical, social, cultural and theoretical influence of Modernism(s) challenge to traditional structures, forms and styles and investigate the impact this has upon contemporary arts practice.
Introduction to Directing
This module introduces you to a number of examples of innovative contemporary theatre directors and practitioners in the UK and abroad. It will introduce a wide range of practices for working with actors and performers, offering theoretical and practical classes to inform the understanding of key directorial concepts. You will pitch your own ideas for a possible theatre production; communicating creative ideas, justifying a critical context for the work and visually illustrating the potential aesthetic possibilities for the work.
Practical Dramaturgy – Modernism to Now
This module examines various approaches to the discipline of dramaturgy. A number of post-nineteenth-century texts are examined from the canon of theatrical practice. Texts are explored with reference to their particular cultural, social, historical context, as you explore the reciprocal relationship of texts informing culture – and culture informing texts. You will identify tropes and conventions of different theatrical movements through time and explore them theoretically and practically. You will then direct your own chosen extract from a play addressed during the module. the extract will demonstrate your understanding of the text through critical research and practical engagement – whilst also realising the theatrical potential of the material.
Theatre Project 2: Physical and Visual Performance
This module introduces you to different modes of connecting conceptual ideas of the body with practical modes of creating visual and physical performance work. You will engage in analysis and practical exploration of the compositional challenges to dramatic conventions within existing performance works and professional theatre practices that are oriented in body-based aesthetics.
Theatre Project 3: Text and Deconstruction
This module introduces you to practices and approaches to making text-based devised theatre. the module also serves as an introduction to theories and practices of ‘Deconstruction’: to identify and investigate deconstructive processes used by contemporary theatre practitioners, companies and thinkers, and apply that learning to a project of their own.
Theatre Project: Narrative
This module explores a variety of stimuli for performance-based devised theatre products, with a particular emphasis on narrative. It aims to investigate different approaches to devised story-telling theatre and identify specific crafting devices and methodologies to develop work.
Theatre Project: Site Specific
This module encourages you to consider the possible relationships of performance to everyday experience, society and political/historical contexts. Through the analysis of a range of site-specific practices, you will explore geographic, architectural and philosophical approaches to the creation of site-specific theatre. You will question the various definitions of “Site-Specific” practice, developing your critical awareness and understanding of how performance interrogates ideas of place and space.
Children and Young People’s Theatre
This module introduces you to a number of examples of innovative contemporary theatre work for children and young audiences in the UK. You will produce your own short (20-30 min) work for children ensuring that a dialogic relationship with students inform their research agendas and devising methodologies. Your compositions and professional work are analysed and evaluated with specific reference to appropriate devising methodologies and theatrical concerns.
Critical and Cultural Theory 3: Romanticism
This module explores the importance of revolution, the sublime, the gothic, landscape, and imagination as motive forces in the making of art and culture. By examining the notion that Classicism and Romanticism are opposites, as the reaction of many 19th century artists to 18th century Enlightenment would appear to demonstrate, the module aims to investigate notions such as wilderness, fantasy, heroism and nationalism and to initiate a discourse between the art of the present day and that of 19th century romanticism.
Critical and Cultural Theory 4: Postmodernism
This module relates theories of postmodernism to contemporary arts practice. It begins by considering postmodernism’s relationships to both romanticism and modernism, exploring ‘definitions’ of postmodernism and illustrating postmodern features in a range of arts practices. A selection of postmodern term and practices such as Pastiche, Hyperreality, Event, a crisis in subjectivity, Intertextuality, the merging of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, Deconstruction and recognition of the ‘Other’ are explored in more detail in relation to specific arts practices and texts. the module also allows you to debate the cultural, social and philosophical implications and validity of postmodernism for arts practice today.
Directing and Devising in the Contemporary Ensemble
This module equips you with knowledge of the working practices of notable companies across the last sixty years. You will appropriate and develop existing working methodologies to begin to refine your own performance practices. Indicative performance companies explored as part of the module include: Stan’s Cafe, Forced Entertainment, Fevered Sleep, Gobsquad, Goat Island, the Performance Group, the Wooster Group, GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, Elevator Repair Service, the Builders Association, Action Hero and Ontroerend Goed. At the close of the module, you will compose your own piece of original theatre in response to a performance company studied during the course.
Gender, Sexuality and Theatre
This module will develop your critical understanding and creative engagement with how notions of gender and sexuality inform approaches to the creation and analysis of theatre and performance. It aims to examine a variety of artistic approaches to the politicisation of gender and sexuality in contemporary performance. Rooted in a critical understanding of feminist discourse and gender studies, the module introduces you to the work of key artists and performance theorists, providing appropriate case-studies to frame the creation of the student’s own performance work.
Performance Skills 3: Devised Text and Character
This module develops your devising, dramaturgical, directing and writing skills as they collaborate to produce and perform a staged dramatic scene.
Production 1: Ensemble Practices
This module provides you with extensive performance and production experience, as you explore the devising process rooted in character narrative, specifically in relation to dance theatre. You will be given insight into the way that characters can define (and hinder) a clear making process and, in the process, will consider structural processes, such as narrative as a key determinate to the progression of the piece.
Production 2: Postmodern Theatre Project
This module is designed to give you additional extensive performance and production experience as an integral development towards individual and independent arts practice.
Theatre, Politics and Activism
This module aims to explore the relationships between theatre and politics, alongside the idea of theatre as politics post-Brecht. You will be introduced to a number of artists and theorists exploring political ways of thinking about theatre and political approaches to theatrical engagement.
Adaptation and Direction
This module explores the process of the adaptation of materials from a source text to theatre performance. the development of both a conceptually informed directing process is set alongside the employment of a breadth of devising skills. the research involved in and informing the adaptation and direction will be used to support the process alongside extension and application of prior learning. the project engages devising/performance experiences and handling of performance texts with rehearsal organisation and workshop delivery.
This module you the opportunity to plan and deliver a devised community production or arts-based workshop for/with a community client group.
This module introduces you to a professional practice environment – the creative and cultural industries. You will how to take work into public and professional venues, platforms, festivals and events; regionally, nationally and internationally, post-graduation. This module provides the opportunity for you to develop “professional” knowledge and skills as creative artists, and create a portfolio and career plan to aid your pathway as a creative artist.
Directing A Script
This modules allows you to explore directing short plays with a small cast. You will conduct extensive research into the text itself and previous adaptations to inform your directorial visual and delivery of the final performance.
This module develops your practical skills and critical understanding of documenting performance. Initially, you will analyse and discuss the problems and possibilities of documentation practices from a wide variety of Performance disciplines.
Performance and Material
This module explores the crossovers and intersections between visual art and contemporary performance, as you explore the performativity of different materials and the connection of materiality to the performance encounter. As part of this process, you will create an original piece of performance drawing on current practical models and theoretical frameworks on materiality, live art and participation.
This module enables you to produce an original performance text through the acquisition of playwriting and dramaturgical skills by means of a systematic exploration of traditional plays and Post Dramatic Theatre texts.
You will have an opportunity to select an area of study of your choice over an extended period, to research and present their findings in written form.
The module offers you the opportunity to work in an ensemble, as you develop your creative and performance vocabulary in a major performance of an original theatrical event.
This double module provides invaluable experience working as a performance analyst within a sporting organisation. It will enable you to foster an acute understanding of how performance analysis is used within sport, offer insight into organisational culture, develop essential professional knowledge and skills, facilitate reflective practice, and develop a network of professional contacts.
Workshop Project: Practice As Research
This module develops your devising, research, theoretical and interactive skills as you design, initiate and facilitate a series of creative workshops exploring key performance practices in an academic context.
Cycle weeks give you the opportunity to explore different areas of theatre performance throughout your degree. Three times a year every year, you will have the option to choose one of four areas to participate in alongside students from other courses within the Theatre Department:
These projects allow you to showcase your talents and ideas in a supportive and collaborative environment, as well as gain experience in a variety of roles in putting on a production.
Teaching and Assessment
Feel the support of expert and industry-experienced tutors
Your teaching will vary depending on the type of module studied:
- Projects and Productions: These modules are central to the course. These specialist performance projects will inspire and challenge you to make innovative theatre. You will be involved in at least twelve examined performances, including three major productions, during the three years.
- Critical and Cultural Studies: Taught in lecturers and small seminar groups, these modules will explore theatre theory. You will learn about philosophy, sociology, psychology and critical and cultural issues and matters.
- Professional Development and Careers: These practical modules explore the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in theatre, arts practice and related fields as you prepare for your career after you graduate.
You will be assessed through a wide range of practical and performance contexts including:
- Group and individual performances
- Directing exercises
- Creative installations
- Written evaluations
- Final year dissertation
There are no formal exams.
Discover a collaborative create community and dedicated performance spaces
The ShowRoom is recognised nationally for presenting some of the most exciting companies touring on the UK circuit, and the programme is shaped to support the learning of students.
We often run workshops and post-show discussion for Theatre students with visiting artists. We believe that one of the best ways to learn about professional theatre is by watching a training with arts industry professionals. This is at the heart of the ShowRoom’s ambition.
The ShowRoom is highly adaptable, with retractable seating, making it an excellent teaching and workshop space in addition to its role as a venue. It is run by our Theatre Manager and Department Technician, who work closely with our students, helping them to realise creative and adventurous ideas in a professional working space.
Other facilities include:
- Studio spaces exclusive to the department
- Rehearsal Rooms
- Recording studio
- Editing facilities
- Audio/visual equipment
- In-house lighting and sound technicians to assist student projects
Gain vital experience within the theatre industry
Our BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre and Directing course has a strong vocational focus and supports you to find work in professional contexts.
You will benefit from the Theatre Department’s excellent links with the professional theatre industry and have opportunities to work closely with a range of artists, theatre companies, producers, and festival programmers.
Past students had opportunities for placements with:
- The Chichester Festival Theatre
- Total Theatre Awards, Edinburgh Festival
- Forest Fringe, Edinburgh
- The Marlborough, Brighton
- The Paper Birds Theatre Company, Leeds
- Arts Admin, London
- Bootworks Theatre
- The Basement, Brighton
- Battersea Arts Centre, London
- Search Party
Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad
As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.
Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.
You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.
Prepare for a career within the theatre industry
This BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre and Directing degree prepares you for a range of careers in the industry. You will gain the skills, experience, and knowledge to have an impact when you graduate.
Previous students from the Department of Theatre have become:
- Successful actors
- Solo performers
- Artistic directors
- Festival directors
You could choose to continue your studies at postgraduate level.
Study options at the University of Chichester include:
- MA Theatre and MA Theatre Collectives
- PgCert in Performance
Course Fees 2023/24
Typical offers (individual offers may vary):
You will need to attend an audition. You will present two prepared speeches, discuss your interests with staff, share ideas for making theatre and take part in a devising workshop. You will have the opportunity to meet current students over lunch.
Interviews and Auditions
You will complete all four parts of the audition process, whichever degree you are applying for.
You will meet and work with current students and members of staff and during the audition movement classes, workshops and your speeches.
You will be led by a member of staff through a physical warm up that will prepare you for the day ahead. You will be asked to work physically through the body, touching on ideas of how the body can be used in performance. This section of the workshop will feel like a class.
You should wear clothing appropriate for movement and work to your own limits and the capabilities of your own body.
For your interview we ask that you research a local OR national OR international cultural event and come prepared to discuss the event you have chosen.
You should be prepared to discuss:
- Why this event is significant to you
- Your ideas for directing an imaginary new play based on this event.
Think about where you might perform the play, what it might look like and who the ‘characters’ might be.
This part of the audition will feel like a tutorial. You should approach this task from a perspective that supports your chosen course. For example BA (Hons) Theatre Performance & Production applicants could describe a project from a design perspective, whereas BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre and Directing candidates might offer more dramaturgical insights.
You should choose an event that is important to you and consider discussing the event with a friend in preparation for your interview. Try to imagine a practical project that you would love to do no restrictions, for example what would you do if money was no object? Explore how the event informs the nature of the idea.
During the workshop section of the audition you will be given a stimulus and asked to create a short performance in a small group in response. The brief will set up clear parameters, but members of staff will mostly observe the way you work with other applicants to create a new performance. We are looking at how you work with others and how you collaborate in the creation of new performance material.
This section of the audition will feel like a devising workshop. We expect applicants for BA (Hons) Theatre to excel in this section of the workshop.
You should focus on producing something that you enjoy, not choosing something that you think will impress us. You should be prepared to work with others and be challenged by their ideas, but also offer your own ideas.
You will be asked to perform two short, contrasting speeches; one contemporary and one classical. You will do a short warm up exercise with a member of staff and then will present the speeches. At least one of the speeches will be performed, whilst the other may be used as part of a rehearsal exercise to see how you work with direction.
This section of the audition is completed in small groups, so you will perform in front of some of the other applicants.
This part of the audition will feel like a rehearsal for a production. We expect applicants for BA (Hons) Acting
to excel in this section of the audition.
You should choose speeches that are appropriate for your casting range and read the the whole play of your chosen piece, not just a section from an audition book. You need to be prepared to work with the speeches and offer positive feedback on other candidates’ work.
Booking Your Audition
If you are invited to audition you will receive an email asking you to book your audition date on ChiView. If you are unsuccessful we will email you to let you know.
You can usually choose between two or three different days on ChiView at one time. Once these dates are close ChiView will refresh to show new options. If none of the current dates suit you then you should wait until the dates renew and check again. Dates are released two to three weeks in advance.
Once you have booked your audition you will have access to the relevant documents on ChiView.
Log in to the ChiView portal, click on ‘Events schedule’ and then ‘View details’ to view, download, or print documents telling you how to prepare for your audition and what to expect on the day.
If your situation changes and you can no longer attend your interview date you should cancel your booking in ChiView by visiting your ‘Event Schedule’ and clicking ‘Cancel Attendance’. You also need to inform the admissions team by emailing email@example.com so we can send you a new audition invitation.
Sometimes if you are viewing your ChiView portal on a phone you will not be able to see the page correctly. If this happens you should try again on another device.
You may need to clear your browser history.
If you are still unable to see the ‘View details’ button, please check that you have successfully booked your audition by clicking ‘respond to interview invitation’.
If all else fails please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your query and applicant number.
Your Audition Day
You will need to prepare a three minute piece, in any style, but if you’d like to perform something slightly longer or to perform on more than one instrument, or on an instrument and as a singer, just let us know on the day. Composers can opt to bring a recording of some of their work, with a score if there is one, and play this instead if they prefer.
You can park on-site if you buy a pay-and-display ticket but please note that the demand for car park spaces exceeds the spaces available, particularly during term time. For this reason, there are specific parking controls and restrictions to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the University, equity of access and fairness.
There are clearly marked disabled parking bays available at both campuses.
After Your Audition
After your audition the panel will discuss your application and pass our decision onto the admissions team who will update UCAS.
- We make bespoke offers: Your offer is specifically for you. If we offer less than your predicted grades, this will reflect the potential and quality of your audition and we’d like to take a bit of pressure off of you heading into your exams.
- We don’t do unconditional offers: Unless you already have your grades (you are a mature student), we will always insist on certain grade achievements because we want you to succeed in all aspects of your academic life including your A levels, BTEC, etc.
- If you do not get the grades you wanted: Don’t panic. You received an offer because you were good enough for the department at audition. Ring us on the clearing hotline so we can discuss things with you.
- We may offer you a different course: We may offer you a place on a course within the department that is different to the one you applied for. If this is the case we will speak to you about this at your audition or shortly afterwards. We will explain our reasoning, which will revolve around placing you on the most appropriate course where we think you will thrive.
Frequently asked questions
How do I apply?
Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.
What are UCAS tariff points?
Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.
How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?
Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.