Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Do you want to see your stories on stage? Are you fascinated by live theatre performance and the written word? With this BA Writing and Performance, you will investigate theatre as a live event, as dramatic text and in its historical contexts. Based in the heart of central London’s vibrant cultural scene, you will develop your skills as a writer and learn from the expertise of our award-winning staff. You will explore theatre histories and theories in depth, the ways in which it is possible to tell stories, and experiment with the relationship between creative and critical writing. You will get to grips with the craft of writing:

  • poetry
  • fiction
  • drama
  • for the screen.
Option modules across arts, literature and theatre-making will enhance your developing writing practice, culminating in your final dissertation project. Throughout your degree, you will visit the world’s most exciting theatre institutions and analyse live and digital performances. BA Writing and Performance brings you guidance from our world-leading academics, theatre-makers and authors, and the opportunity to create new and original work. If you opt for the Foundation Year route, this will fully prepare you for undergraduate study. It is ideal if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied the relevant subjects, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on your chosen undergraduate degree. Highlights
  • Our BA Writing and Performance is the only undergraduate evening study course in writing and performance in central London. It offers you multiple opportunities to originate creative work and a chance to gain specialist industry knowledge from guest speakers, including theatre artists, critics and funders.
  • Birkbeck is located in the heart of literary London - in Bloomsbury, WC1 - and writers and academics maintain strong links with publishers, broadcasters and the creative industries. You could be studying in a building that was once home to Virginia Woolf and frequented by members of the Bloomsbury Group. The building houses our own creative hub which includes the Peltz Gallery, the Gordon Square Cinema and a theatre and performance space.
  • You will be eligible to submit work to the annual Birkbeck creative writing journal, the Mechanics’ Institute Review, the Scratch Night as part of Birkbeck Arts Week, and to attend public events and performances curated by Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre.
  • Birkbeck was ranked 2nd in the UK for its English Language and Literature research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
Careers and employability Graduates can pursue career paths in theatre, creative writing, journalism, education, media production and the creative arts. Possible professions include:
  • author
  • journalist
  • arts administrator
  • charity officer
  • theatre director
  • higher education lecturer.
We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.


For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

Assessment methods include research essays, research exercises, creative projects, group presentations, performance presentations, critical reflections on practical work, group vivas and individual vivas.

How to apply

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. We also accept other English language tests.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential. FOUNDATION YEAR DEGREES Our 'with Foundation Year' route is designed to give you extra support as it provides you with an additional year (full-time) or two years (part-time) of supported study. This is an ideal route if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you did not achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree. Once you successfully complete your Foundation Year studies, you will automatically advance onto the main degree.

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £6935 Year 1
Northern Ireland £6935 Year 1
Scotland £6935 Year 1
Wales £6935 Year 1
International £13215 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Writing and Performance at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS