Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Mutually Exclusive
Successful completion of part one drama. Optional for Single Honours students only
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Working notes.  20%
Semester Exam Group oral examination (20 minutes)  30%
Semester Exam EXAM/ASSESSMENT Group presentation/ Classwork (Max 15 minutes)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Individual presentation/ Classwork (6 minutes)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Working notes  20%
Supplementary Exam Individual oral exam (10 minutes)  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Appreciate and appraise a range of methods for devising theatre texts
  • Describe and evaluate the contribution of selected theatre companies and relevant practitioners skilled in the process of devising
  • Produce a series of working notes under workshop conditions
  • Work collabotatively in small groups to create,present and analyse a short piece of devised theatre work.

Brief description

The module will offer an introduction to the processes of devising theatre texts and scenarios, for a number of different theatre contexts. It will enable students to investigate and explore, in theory and practice, established methodologies and proven approaches to creating (as opposed to interpreting) theatre texts. It will also examine the relationship between the methodologies chosen and the contexts and purpose of the performances created.


The module will be taught through a series of 10 one-hour lectures and 10 two-hour practical seminars led by Departmental staff. It is hoped to invite representatives and guest practitioners working in this field in Wales to contribute to the teaching programme. These would, of necessity, vary from year to year and may include Theatre Powys, Hi-jinks Theatre Company; Arad Goch; the National Youth theatre of Wales; Theatre Clwyd;and Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

The Lectures and practical seminars would focus on the following:-
  • Definitions of devising
  • Contexts of devising
  • Strategies and methodologies of devising
  • Time Management and structure
  • Researching, improvisation, exercises and games
  • Director led and edited creation
  • Devising as a group
  • Creating the text.
  • Creating to order: commissioned devising
  • Embracing the unexpected
Students will be encouraged to develop their own improvisation structures, exercises and creative strategies as well as learn from the approaches used by the tutors, and other practitioners studied.


  • To offer students the opportunity to encounter the skills and processes of creating theatre through devising at a mid-stage in their study so they may be able to reflect on their suitability and aptitude for this specialist discipline within theatre practice.
  • To prepare them for practical assignments in the third year which would make use of devising skills

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not developed in this module
Communication Written communication skills are developed through a series of working notes and script exercises. Oral communication skills through seminar discussion, participation in exercises and performance and are also assessed through the oral presentation
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will required to reflect and analyse their level of creative achievement attained individually and in the small group presentaion
Information Technology Students will be expected to employ IT resources where possible and appropriate
Personal Development and Career planning Personal development and career planning skills will not be explicitly developed through this module; however, many of the generic skills developed through the practical and written work of this module will have significant transferability to a wide range of career contexts
Problem solving Problem solving skills are fundamental to the successful employment of devising strategies. Strategies will be addressed and experienced during all parts of the module
Research skills Will be developed through the collection of information necessary to complete the assignments for the module.
Subject Specific Skills Yes. It will further and develop the students¿ understanding of the potential of theatre as a means of expression in the community and increase their written, communication and performance skills.
Team work Much of the work is carried out through group collaboration

Reading List

Recommended Text
Abbott, John (2007) The Improvisation Book Nick Hern Books Primo search Ayckbourn, Alan (2002) The Crafty Art of Playmaking Faber & Faber Primo search Bogart, Anne (2001) A Director Prepares Routledge Primo search Clements, Paul (1993) The Improvised Play:The Work of Mike Leigh Methuen Primo search Edwards, Betty (1993) Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Harper Collins Primo search Etchells, Tim (2000) Certain Fragments Text and Writings on Performance Routledge Primo search Flemming, Michael (2003) Starting Drama Teaching David Fulton Publishers Primo search Goat Island: School Book 2 Greig, Noel (2005) Playwriting Routledge Primo search Johnstone, Chris (1998) House of Games: Making Theatre for Everyday Life Nick Hern Books Primo search Johnstone, Chris The Improvisation Game Nick Hern Books Primo search Linklater, Kirstin (2007) Freeing the Natural Voice (revised edition) Nick Hern Books Primo search Oddey, Alison (1994) Devising:A Practical and Theoretical Handbook Routledge Primo search Pisk, Litz (1998) The Actor and His Body Methuen Primo search Spolin, Viola (2000) Improvisation for theTheatre North Western University Press Primo search Zinder, David Body-Voice-Imagination: A Training for the Actor Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5