Why study Drama at Liverpool John Moores University?
- Drama at LJMU ranked 20th best in the country in the 2019 Guardian University League Table
- Opportunities to perform regularly in theatre productions all over Liverpool plus paid or voluntary work placements to improve your employability
- Professional guidance from working practitioners to help you develop your creative skills in acting, stage management, directing, marketing, publicity and many more
- Strong links with local organisations including Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, The Unity Theatre, Hope Street Ltd and the BBC
- Friendly and creative atmosphere in the Joe H Makin Drama Centre and a final year Festival entirely organised and delivered by students
- One of our graduates, Claire Foy is currently playing the lead role in the Netflix hit, 'The Crown'
About your course
As a student on the BA (Hons) Drama at Liverpool John Moores University you will have extensive opportunities to develop your creative and performance skills using our dedicated drama centre and newly refurbished drama studio, and also through our links with leading theatre companies and drama organisations in Liverpool and beyond.
For millennia, groups of people from all corners of the earth and from all cultures have got together to watch other people act out stories. Performing drama takes us to places through characters so far from ourselves that it helps us learn about ourselves and what makes us tick.
There are few better places to study drama than Liverpool, a city with many theatres and a rich tradition of producing some of the country’s best-known playwrights. Thanks for LJMU’s links with many local drama organisations and TV companies, you will have a wide choice of work placement opportunities open to you, as well as being able to collaborate on some creative projects.
Our partners include:
- the Unity Theatre
- Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse
- Off the Ground Theatre
- Spike Theatre
- The Royal Court
- Lime Productions
- LA Productions
- ITV Granada
- Tmesis Theatre
Hear our amazing students talking about studying Drama at LJMU:
"I was bitten by the directing bug and the third year modules gave me the skills required to see how all aspects of a production are run. Being responsible for everything was a real tester and a real insight in to the world, which was worthwhile and thoroughly enjoyable."
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
This BA (Hons) Drama degree equips you with key transferable skills in performance, presentation and interpersonal communication - all of which are highly valued by employers.
We are proud of our graduates and the careers they have gone on to forge after leaving LJMU. Below is a list of some of our graduates and their current roles/achievements.
Playwrights and Screen Writers
- Helen Blakeman: Award winning (BAFTA) freelance playwright and screen writer (BBC)
- Ella Carmen Greenhill: Freelance playwright and screen writer for TV including Coronation Street and The Dumping ground (ITV and BBC)
- Collette Cane: Award winning freelance playwright and screen writer (BBC)
- Joe Ward Munrow: Award winning freelance playwright: winner of 2018 Mercury Weinberger Playwriting Prize
- Esther Wilson: Award winning freelance playwright and screen / radio writer BBC (BAFTA)
- Heather Robson: Award winning freelance playwright and screen writer (BBC and Channel 4)
- Jessica Lea: Screen writer (BBC and Channel 4)
Artistic Directors / Directors / Producers
- James Blackman-Mackenzie: Chief executive, Eden Court Arts Centre, Inverness
- Lorne Campbell: Artistic Director, Northern Stage, Newcastle
- Gordon Miller: Artistic Director, The Unity Theatre, Liverpool
- Ben Petit-Wade: Artistic Director / Director, Hijinx Theatre Company, Cardiff
- Elinor Randle: Artistic Director / Director, Tmesis Theatre, Liverpool
- Michelle Grant: Producer, Everyman and Playhouse
- Grace Gallagher: Artistic Director, Ugly Bucket Theatre, Liverpool
- Alex Medlicot: Artistic Director, Liverpool Arts Society, Liverpool
- Ryan Byrne: Artistic Director, Dead Leicester and MFATS, Liverpool
- Lauren Dickson: Freelance Director, London
- Chantelle Walker: Freelance Director, London
- Jen Heyes: Freelance Director, Liverpool
- Jack Cooper: Freelance Director, Liverpool
- James Anders: Freelance Director, Liverpool
- Chris Tomlinson: Associate Director (YEP) Freelance Director, Liverpool
- Ellie Hurt: Freelance Director (currently working at National Theatre)
- Gitika Butoo: Director and Associate Artist, Birmingham Opera Company
Actors: Stage and Screen
- Felix Heyes: RSC, National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, BBC
- Claire Foy
- Alexandra Wright
- Thomas Galashan
- Siwan Bowen-Davies: National Theatre of Wales, BBC, S4C
Arts Administrators / Agents
- Siofra McKeown Carter: Assistant Administrator, 20 Stories High, Liverpool
- Fiona Curtis: Production Co-Ordinator, National theatre of Wales
- Carly Henderson: Head of Learning and Engagement, Oldham Coliseum
- Kate Watkins: Company Manager, Northern Ireland Opera
As demonstrated above, with a degree in Drama you could be destined for a career as an actor, director or stage manager in theatre or related arts organisation. The broad skills you develop on the degree could also enable you to move into areas such as arts administration, television production, the law, museum and gallery work, journalism, freelance writing and criticism as well as teaching.
We are a practice-orientated course with a very successful retention rate and all members of staff have either professional theatre experience (in areas such as acting, directing and script writing) or significant research and academic experience.
The presentation of theatre in all its varied forms is one of our driving aims and we do a lot of productions. We want you to become the next generation of theatre-makers.
One recent graduate became the Chief Executive of the National Youth Theatre, another is Claire Foy, an actor who has regular lead parts on TV. Most notably, Clare is currently playing the lead role in the Netflix hit, 'The Crown', and previously played the lead in BBC's 'Little Dorrit', BBC's 'Wolf Hall', Channel 4's 'The Promise' and Sky's 'Going Postal'. She also completed 'Season of the Witch' with Nicolas Cage. Another student played Hamlet for the RSC and other alumni are successful actors, playwrights and directors at venues such as the National Theatre, The Traverse Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse as well as marketing consultants, community workers and arts officers.Alongside other work-related learning opportunities we offer specialist advice and practical classes in audition and interview techniques, as well as the chance to investigate other industries through study and research.
Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.
Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.
Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:Programme specification document (PDF)
This module introduces you to a range of theories and approaches to acting, including aspects of voice and movement. You will establish a shared sense of ensemble and the codes of conduct and professional work ethic expected of actors. Practical work will link to an understanding of the social and historical roots and evolving processes of the actor, and you will be introduced to a constructive vocabulary and method of observing and evaluating both your own practice and that of others.
Play and Spontaneity
This module introduces you to the principles of play and spontaneity as they relate to the processes of performing, and the work of relevant practitioners. You will be encouraged to develop a level of freedom of imagination and body/voice expressivity through the use of theatre games. You will also be introduced to methods of using play/improvisation both as a rehearsal tool and as a way of creating performance material.
This module introduces you to the professional working vocabularies surrounding different aspects of production and technical activities in making performance, and the origins and development of key roles in these areas. You will also be introduced to the theatres of Liverpool and their respective infrastructures/operational bases, including funding. You will be offered the opportunity to undertake roles in both stage management and front-of-house as contribution to public and in-house production work.
Practical Text Analysis
This module introduces you to a range of models of analysing theatre texts, both as script and performance. You will have the opportunity to assess and develop your skill in writing and presenting in academic formats.
Theory in Practice
This lecture based module allows for the exploration of key concepts through discussion and, where appropriate, practical work on the studio floor. You will be introduced to a range of contemporary and historical theoretical perspectives on performance and play texts which will extend your critical and theoretical vocabularies, alongside offering you the opportunity to explore theory as a practical rehearsal tool.
Production Project 1 (Scripted)
This practical workshop based module consolidates and develops aspects of voice, movement, acting and production skills already introduced through rehearsal, leading to the performance of an extant text. The opportunity to consolidate and nurture acting skills through research, rehearsal and performance will be provided, alongside practical and cognitive strategies for performing a text.
This module expands your theatre making skills by introducing you to the background and crafts of the director, writer and associated design and production processes. You will develop collaborative working practices in a creative and interpretive context, alongside the development of your ability to present creative ideas in oral presentation.
Contemporary Performance and Practitioners
This module introduces you to a range of contemporary performance forms and practitioners. It expands and enhances your level of conceptual understanding associated with critical approaches to performance, and develops your ability to write coherently about contemporary performance with appropriate academic presentation.
Production Project 2 - (Adapting)
This module engages you in the techniques and processes associated with adaptation for the stage from a primary stimulus. You are offered the chance to work collaboratively in producing new work for theatrical performance. This module equips and facilitates your capacity for peer and self evaluation.
In this workshop module you will develop further skills leading to a sharing of material explored in an appropriate format. You will be offered a choice of specialist areas of practice which activate and extend your awareness of the practical processes involved in creating/performing in a specialist area of Drama. You will then develop your understanding of the particular conventions and stylistic approaches within the chosen specialism, and the critical field in which it sits.
Production Project 3 (Applied)
In this module you will engage in the techniques and processes associated with producing off-campus work (either original or existing) for a specific community, socio-cultural function, arena of presentation, or target audience. It will offer you the opportunity to work collaboratively and self-direct in producing work for, and engaging with, a specific market.
Drama Research and Proposal
This module enhances your ability to deal with advanced concepts, philosophies and critical frameworks appropriate to drama and theatre practice research. It equips you with appropriate enhanced skills in use of supporting technologies in designing and proposing a piece of focussed academic research.
Advanced Theatre Practice 1
This module offers you an opportunity to extend independent preparation and practice and develop advanced skills in a chosen role. It enables you to realise work that will be useful as part of a professional portfolio or in accessing further advanced skills training.
Production and Company Management
This module further offers you the opportunity to develop either a festival event pitch or a personal company business plan as a means of enhancing potential future employability. Where appropriate the module will invite alumni who have real world experience of founding and running their own companies, or who have run festivals or similar events, to contribute to delivery.
Drama Platform Presentation
This module offers you the opportunity to share your personal interest in a chosen aspect of drama or theatre practice. You will develop advanced skills in researching, planning and delivering effective presentations.
This module aims to form a balance between the Drama Dissertation and Advanced Practice 2 in offering you a cumulative opportunity to set practice and scholarship side by side. You will learn to locate, collect, review and evaluate relevant research material and justify clearly its relevance, and to develop a critical and analytical argument, according to conventions of academic papers and in a form related to your chosen subject.
Theatre Practice Portfolio
The module enables you to develop materials appropriate to self-marketing in relation to future employability, and may draw upon recorded material from previous modules. You will be provided with a variety of practical and administrative skills associated with a range of Drama workplaces to enhance and support your career aspirations.
Advanced Theatre Practice 2
This module is the cumulative point of application of skills and creative practice developed during the course, and provides a public platform for showing work. This creative and practical module is designed to give you the opportunity to develop and work independently with an ensemble.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
Work-related learning is vital in preparing you to enter the world of work, and our extensive links with organisations in the local community and beyond mean that you will have plenty of work placement options to choose from.
This work could be paid or on a voluntary basis and could be within or outside the performing arts industries. It provides an invaluable opportunity to practice the skills you have learnt during the course and gain professional experience that will add real value to your CV.
Other work-related learning opportunities could include specialist advice and practical classes in audition and interview technique, or study and research into other areas of work such as teaching, administration and marketing.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
If you decide to join the Drama programme, you will become part of a lively and creative group of individuals who value teamwork and peer support. Your tutors’ ‘open door’ policy means you can seek help and guidance at any time and you will also be assigned a personal tutor who will be responsible for your academic progress and deal with any concerns that you might have throughout your time at LJMU.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
Practical assessments could be in the form of presentations (performing in or directing a show, for example), painting a set or designing lights or costumes, writing a script, managing a production, or performing a stand-up set.
Theoretical assessments could be exams, essays, seminar presentations, class tests, viva voces and portfolio work. Constructive feedback is always useful in helping you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work, and this is provided either online, in writing or at a one-to-one meeting with your tutor. We also utilise self and peer assessment to further enhance the quality of our assessment and feedback.
What you can expect from your School
The School is based in the Redmonds Building, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, TV studios, radio suites, green screen, editing rooms and news rooms, social spaces, and a café. It is only a short walk from LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications: 104
GCSE and equivalents
Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:
- Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
- NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
- Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
- Higher Diploma in Maths/English
- Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/English
- Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
- Subject specific requirements: Not applicable
- Is general studies acceptable? Yes
- Average A Level offer: BCC
- Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20
- National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D from a relevant subject area if no other Level 3 qualifications are taken
- National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM required from a relevant subject if no other Level 3 qualifications are taken
Access to Higher Education Diploma
- Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Further information: At least 9 Distinctions and 36 Merits, or any other combination that equates to 104 UCAS Tariff points
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 104 UCAS Tariff points from IB Composite parts, or in combination with other Level 3 qualifications
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: 104 UCAS Points including 5 Highers
Alternative qualifications considered
Applications are welcomed from mature or non standard applicants. These students should demonstrate potential and motivation and/or have relevant experience. Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend an interview and audition.
International Applicants: We welcome overseas applicants, who will be considered in line with normal entry requirements.
Before an offer is made, promising applicants are selected and must attend for interview, workshop and solo audition. Candidates receive written feedback. Video/DVD auditions will be accepted from overseas candidates.IELTS
6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each component)Can this course be deferred?
YesIs a DBS check required?
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
All applicants should possess the following essential qualities:
- Evidence of an enthusiastic and sustained interest in Drama.
- Good performance skills: vocal, physical and intellectual - appropriate to the demands of the working practices on the course.
- Time management, as you will have to work to show deadlines on a regular basis.
- Flexibility: we often rehearse and perform in the evenings and at weekends.
These qualities will be assessed through an interview and an audition after having initially been assessed from your UCAS application. Your initial UCAS application will inform our decision on whether to offer you an interview and audition, but will by no means wholly inform our decision on whether to offer you a place to study Drama or not. Therefore, any information that you can give on your UCAS form which allows us to get a sense of how well you manage your time, how engaged you are with external activities and how proactive you have been in seeking out interesting challenges (of all sorts!) and creative engagements would be very useful as they will inform the above-mentioned essential criteria.
Drama Interview and Audition Criteria
Applicants who attend for audition and interview will be assessed on the following criteria:
We'll be looking for this in the Solo Audition:
Individual Solo Speech: one 60-90 second speech from each applicant.
- Vocal/Tonal presence
- Facial/Visual presence
We'll be looking for this in the Individual Interview:
- Critical ability: How well you knew your subject area and could offer opinions.
- Academic potential: Did your grades or predictions marry with your performance at interview?
- Presence: How well did you present yourself in terms of confidence and engagement?
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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