Drama and Theatre Studies

Awarding body: AQA Drama and Theatre Studies

Advanced Subsidiary        AS (1241)

Advanced GCE A Level         (2241)

Course content and examination requirements:

The course allows students to develop their skills in a range of practical drama elements including acting, directing, costume, setting, mask and technical design. Assessment for the practical units takes account of the students’ contribution throughout the preparation period as well as of their final performance. This is not, however, an A level that is assessed only practically; there is a 60% written paper weighting.

At both AS and A2, candidates are required to show knowledge and understanding of:

  • How performers, designers and directors communicate meaning to an audience.
  • Theatre practice through their own engagement with the medium as both participant and informed audience member.
  • The appropriate vocabulary and specialist terminology for the subject.

At both AS and A level, candidates are required to develop:

  • The ability to form judgements about live theatre based on their understanding of drama and theatre.
  • Skills in the use of subject-specific terminology in a range of contexts.
  • Performance and/or production skills appropriate to the creation and realisation of drama and theatre
  • The ability to work creatively and collaboratively to achieve shared dramatic intentions.
  • The ability to respond to plays imaginatively, conveying ideas clearly and coherently.

The Drama Department aims to incorporate a range of methods into teaching and learning including group work, improvisation, presentations, workshops, master classes and theatre visits, the use of ICT, as well as individual reading, research and writing. In addition to lessons, students will be expected to complete about six hours of independent study a week.

Year 12 - AS Units

Unit 1:

Live Theatre Production Seen and Prescribed Play (DRAM 1)

This is 60% of the AS and 30% of the A level

It comprises a written examination which is one hour and thirty minutes in length and is out of 100 marks

Candidates have to answer one question from each of two sections:

Section A – response to live theatre seen during the course.

Section B – study of one set play from a choice of six.

Unit 2:

Presentation of an Extract from a Play (DRAM 2)

This is 40% of the AS and 20% of the A level

Practical Performance out of 80 marks

It involves performance by a group of an extract from a published play. The assessment also includes candidates’ preparatory and development work and supporting notes.

Year 13 - A2 Units (full GCE)

Unit 3:

Further Prescribed Plays including Pre-Twentieth Century (DRAM 3)

This is 30% of A Level and consists of a two hours written examination out of 100 marks

It involves the study of two further set plays

Unit 4:

Presentation of Devised Drama (DRAM 4)

This is 20% of A level

Practical Performance

It involves performance by a group of devised drama. The assessment is out of 80 marks and also includes candidates’ preparatory and development work and supporting notes.

Entry requirements:

GCSE Drama/Theatre Studies Grade A is normally the minimum requirement.

If GCSE Drama or Theatre Studies has NOT been taken as a GCSE option subject, AS and A level can still be taken successfully. In this case, a significant commitment to extra-curricular practical drama must be demonstrated and will, in any case, be a compulsory requirement for all AS/A level students.

Relevance to further studies and careers:

This specification, with its 60% written paper weighting, enables candidates to gain an entry qualification for courses in higher education, whether in the area of Drama and Theatre Studies or together with English and/or other subjects.

As a subject with a substantial practical element, it will appeal to students who wish to focus on developing their communication skills, who enjoy working with others and are prepared to commit themselves to demanding rehearsal schedules. Drama and Theatre Studies A Level can prepare students for a wide range of career options. These include (but are not limited to): Journalism, Media, Marketing, Teaching, Acting and Writing.

Teaching staff / further information:

Miss S Collett