Drama at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh - UCAS

Course summary

What is theatre? Why did it develop? What role does it play in society? To have a successful career in the theatre, you need to understand its historical context, techniques and craft. On this course you’ll learn the collaborative skills and process involved in creating and staging plays, and will experiment with key contemporary performance practices. You’ll explore all aspects of theatre both front and back stage, including the audience. Who are they? (They may not be like you!) What do they want from a performance? How can you reach your audience? We challenge conventional assumptions of what the performing arts can be and who they are for – from both a practitioner and audience perspective. You’ll engage with a vibrant diversity of practical and theoretical approaches that balance practice, history, research, critical thinking and employability skills. Whether you intend to be a theatre maker, scholar or teacher, the course will guide you in the development of your creative and critical prowess while providing very distinct routes into the professional world. Creative entrepreneurship and employability is something we are passionate about and it is embedded throughout our course. Many of our students have formed their own theatre companies and are supported by QMU as they set up their businesses – including the chance to be located in our graduate start-up space called the Business Innovation Zone. The world’s largest arts festival happens right here in Edinburgh and many students successfully perform, produce or get involved in the Festival Fringe. By the time you graduate you will know how and why a theatre team brings a performance to life, and the many ways in which drama can be understood and made relevant to contemporary audiences. In Years One and Two you will work in collaborative experimental workshops, finding creative solutions to the staging and performance of classic and contemporary genres and texts. Bringing a range of interests and skills (performing, directing, playwriting, dramaturgy and scenography), students will share their different perspectives and insights. Lectures will also cover theatre history and critical and performance theory, which will inform the decisions students make in their creative work. In Years Three and Four you will study core modules plus optional modules allowing you to focus your interests in specific areas. You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad or go on placements. In Year Four you will complete a personal final project, which can be a practical or a written dissertation.


Year One Play and Performance Introduction to the Study of Theatre and Performance Introduction to Theatre Production The Origins of Theatre Analysing Texts and Performance Performance Practices Year Two Theatre of Ideas and the Stage (From Romanticism to Theatre of Absurd) Making Theatre Contemporary Scottish Theatre in Context Practitioner Researchers British Theatre Since 1945 Creative Writing for New Media Year Three Devising Practices Current Debates in Performance Theory OR Arts Funding in its Policy Context Performance Project Designing a Research Project Plus two optional modules Year Four Creative Practice and Enterprise Honours Project Plus two optional modules Years Three and Four options Photography and Visual Culture Screenwriting Student Initiated Module Scotland on Screen Film and the Family Photography Practice Storytelling in Convergent Media The American West in Popular Culture Problematic: Criticism, Culture and Social Justice Experiential Learning Placement The Only Way is Ethics: Art, Participation and Ethics Performance Art Practices Site and Sound Playwriting Writing for Radio Creative Learning and the Community Producing for the Stage Directing for the Stage Directing, Designing and Performing Shakespeare Directing, Designing and Performing Contemporary Plays Decoding Dress: The Cultural Significance of Costume Staging the 20th Century: How Scenography Built the Modern Imagination Advanced Theatre Production Devised Physical Theatre Devising Practices Theatre Laboratory Practices Drama in Education (Community Workshop Placement) Arts Funding in its Policy Context The modules listed here are correct at time of print (April 2021) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2022. Please check back here for any updates.

Assessment method

You will be taught in lectures, seminars and through practical workshops. There is a strong focus on group work and on independent study outside timetabled sessions. You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, reports, portfolios, vivas, post-show discussions and exams. You will complete a Year Four honours project. There will be individual and group assessments. Please check the course entry on our website for full details. Below you can read about Teaching and Learning Activities and Assessment Activities. We believe this will give you a good indication of what the course will be like, but the exact balance of activities may differ depending on the academic year and on the modules you choose. Teaching and learning activities Our Teaching and Learning Activities are focused on building your confidence, developing your problem-solving skills and preparing you for a successful career. Here you can read about how much time you should expect to spend undertaking these activities for this course along with a general description of the activity for all courses. Teaching You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and in some cases practical workshops or laboratories. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. Year One: 20% Year Two: 18% Year Three: 15% Year Four: 8% Independent Learning When not attending lectures, seminars, practicals or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the Learning Resource Centre, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. You independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the Learning Resource Centre and the Hub. Year One: 80% Year Two: 82% Year Three: 79% Year Four: 86% Placement Courses with placements give you the opportunity to put what you are learning into practice and to observe and work with a wide range of individuals and groups of people in diverse settings. Some courses offer placement opportunities in the UK and overseas. Year One: 0% Year Two: 0% Year Three: 6% Year Four: 6% Assessment Activities Assessment Activities provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject and receive feedback on your performance. Here you can read about how much of your final mark is based on each type of formal assessment for this course along with a general description of the activity for all courses. Exams Assessment by written examinations normally takes place at the end of each module or semester, but they may also happen during modules. Year One: 33% Year Two: 17% Year Three: 0% Year Four: 0% Coursework Coursework assessments take place in a variety of ways, including assignments, essays, reports, portfolios, project output and your level 4 Honours project. We aim to provide you with feedback on your assessment within 20 working days of the submission date. Year One: 25% Year Two: 25% Year Three: 67% Year Four: 43% Practical Practical assessments can include oral presentations, performance, practical skills assessment, costume design and construction, film making, lab work or clinical practical skills depending on the nature of the course. Year One: 42% Year Two: 58% Year Three: 33% Year Four: 57% NB This data is based on activity undertaken by students during academic year 2018/9. Updates will be made shortly.

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

To work as a teacher at a state school in England or Wales, you will need to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). This is offered on this course for the following level:

  • Course does not award QTS

How to apply

This course has limited vacancies, and is no longer accepting applications from some students. See the list below for where you normally live, to check if you’re eligible to apply.






Northern Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Queen Margaret University
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

Successful completion of your HNC Acting and Performance with a B in the graded unit can allow entry in to year 2 (if spaces are available). Successful completion of your HND Acting and Performance with a CB in the graded units can allow entry in to year 3 (if spaces are available). We can consider some applications for entry to years 2 and 3. Agreed articulation routes from Scottish HNC and HND courses can be found here: https://www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/college-leavers-and-mature-students/

Entry requirements

Standard Qualification Requirements

We accept many different qualifications, but cannot list them all here. Please contact the Admissions Team for further information or advice if you are thinking of taking a course of study. We welcome applications from international and EU applicants and you can find information on specific entry requirements by country here: https://www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/information-for-your-country/. We also welcome applications from mature students, or people holding qualifications such as Access courses or OU modules. The Scottish Wider Access Partnership (SWAP) offers a range of local Access courses and those that are accepted for entry are listed here: https://www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

Minimum Qualification Requirements

English language requirements

IELTS with an overall score equivalent to 6.0 and with no individual component less than 5.5.

QMU English Language Requirements


Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Scotland £1820 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
International £8000 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students from England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Republic of Ireland: full-time Rest of UK fees will be charged for the first three years of study. The fourth year is free.
Drama at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh - UCAS