Drama & Theatre

The study of drama and theatre encourages you to ask questions and opens up experimental spaces for things to unfold and happen, all in the excitement of shared time. It gives you an opportunity to experiment with texts, practices and production work and encounter a wide range of historic and contemporary theatre forms, from scripted drama to site-specific performance and from Shakespeare to experiments in new media. 

By exploring drama and theatre from a variety of current and global perspectives, including different cultures, histories, politics, aesthetics and ethics, you can develop a detailed understanding of theatre and its important place in our modern lives. You will learn through a combination of practical and theoretical explorations, by critically examining and engaging with a wide range of contemporary practices from playhouse theatre to site-specific performance, and from environmental theatre to performance installation. As you progress through your studies, you will begin to develop your own practice as an independent artist, applying your acquired knowledge and skills to the making of work that is fresh, radical and expressive for you, within or beyond the context of drama and theatre. 

  • Top 5 in the UK for Student Experience for the subject of Drama and Dance (Good University Guide, The Times and Sunday Times 2022)
  • 90% overall student satisfaction for the department and 98% of our students agreed that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Satisfaction Survey 2020)

Why study Drama & Theatre at Aberystwyth University?

  • You will be taught and mentored by staff who possess a wealth of expertise in research and/or professional theatre-making. 
  • At Aberystwyth, you will encounter a radical and innovative approach to theatre and performance design. 
  • You will take part in two performance or production projects each year. 
  • You will be part of a vibrant and exciting department where drama, theatre, film, media, scenography and theatre design collide. 
  • You will benefit from our connections with key industry partners, such as National Theatre Wales, Music Theatre Wales, Quarantine Theatre Company, and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. 
  • We have excellent facilities and resources that are second to none - see the 'Facilities' tab. 
  • We have close links with Aberystwyth Arts Centre, one of the largest arts centres in Wales, which regularly presents national and international theatre and dance work.
  • Aberystwyth is surrounded by a stunning landscape that is sure to inspire your creative endeavours as well as give you plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and find relaxing activities away from your studies.  

Employability

The skills and knowledge that you will gain on a Drama and Theatre degree will mean that you graduate with a set of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, and you will be well prepared for a variety of careers in the creative industries and elsewhere. 

Many of our students have been successful in obtaining employment in fields such as acting and performing, directing, teaching and education, and arts administration. 

You might be interested in our four-year pathway - W402 Drama and Theatre (with an integrated year in professional practice). In addition to your core studies, you will have the opportunity to apply for our Creative Intern Scheme with Aberystwyth Arts Centre in your second year. 

By studying Drama and Theatre you will gain valuable skills that are sought after by employers. These include the ability to: work effectively in group settings to develop, rehearse and produce live events; apply creative, imaginative and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations; and being entrepreneurial in developing cultural projects. You will also have access to a dedicated Careers Consultant who provides support with Employability through bespoke webinars, guidance appointments, dedicated careers pages and sessions within the curriculum. They will also be able to give you information about all work experience opportunities. 

Facilities

Students studying Drama & Theatre have access to superb facilities, resources and equipment that accessible acrossall of our modules. These include: 

  • three fully-equipped performance studios 
  • a television studio and gallery 
  • an analogue film laboratory
  • three large well equipped rehearsal rooms 
  • costume and wardrobe facilities 
  • a dedicated scenography studio in the centre of town 
  • the surrounding landscape: a resource for creative inspiration. 

In addition to this, we enjoy a close partnership with and are situated very near to the following: 

  • Aberystwyth Arts Centre, housing a main stage theatre, a studio theatre, concert hall, four galleries and a cinema 
  • The National Library of Wales - one of the five copyright deposit libraries of the UK, including the specialist National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales and National Broadcast Archive. 

In and around the town of Aberystwyth, there are a wealth of locations and sites for performance and filming, which we use throughout the year. These locations, along with the facilities of the Arts Centre meet the wide variety of needs of our students, staff and guest practitioners. 

Research

Our research foregrounds the study of theatre, film, performance and media within historically, geographically and politically located cultural contexts. It emphasises formal innovation, technological developments and interdisciplinary enquiry. 

We are playwrights, performers, theatre directors, scenographers, filmmakers, curators, media communicators and academics working at the intersection of theory and practice. We are involved in a range of exciting creative collaborations, both nationally and internationally. 

Our research areas include site-specific performance; performance and rural community; relational scenography and the everyday; space, place and landscape in Welsh film and television; media, performance and sport; performance and architecture; dance and disability; theatre and new media; ecology and new materiality. We collaborate with artists, theatre companies, film and arts festivals, production companies, environmental organisations, archives, broadcasters and policy makers. 

As part of our commitment to producing and sharing new and innovative research, we host numerous research events every year. Our ongoing series of research seminars allows postgraduate students, staff and distinguished speakers – including both academics and artists – from other universities to share and develop their ongoing research in a constructive and supportive environment. These seminars are open to any students and staff within and outside the university.