BA (Hons) Drama and English Literature
Why study Drama and English Literature at Liverpool John Moores University?
- Popular joint honours programme designed for people with a love for literature and performing arts
- Exciting and unique opportunity to undertake work placements
- Opportunities to perform in theatre productions all over Liverpool
- Teaching from critically acclaimed writers, directors, actors and academics
- Extensive range of literary texts studied, from Shakespeare to Fight Club
- Paid or voluntary work placements to improve your employability
About your course
The BA (Hons) Drama and English Literature at Liverpool John Moores University offers you the chance to complete a work placement in the USA plus extensive opportunities to take part in theatre productions across Liverpool.
Hear from our students about what it's like to study a Drama degree at LJMU:
There are few better places to study Drama and English Literature than Liverpool with its many theatres and a rich tradition of producing some of the countrys best-known playwrights. LJMUs strong links with local drama organisations and television companies mean that there will have a wide choice of work placement opportunities open to you. Our partners include:
- the Unity Theatre
- Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse
- Off the Ground Theatre
- Spike Theatre
- Lime Pictures
- Tmesis Theatre
You will be taught by published, performed and performing writers, directors, actors and academics. Literary, theatrical and artistic events take place every day and night of the year, minutes from your rehearsal and workshop rooms.
You will have opportunities to perform but you will also learn to stage manage and direct. You will experience the challenges of group work and be required to produce new plays and perform them to audiences in our own drama centre and in venues all over Liverpool, as well as learning the meaning behind plays and the social significance of drama. You might even have the chance to work on TV or radio drama, perform stand-up comedy or make musical theatre.
The English modules provide an opportunity to explore some of the key ideas of our time through a range of literature, from the classics through to more controversial literary themes such as madness, sex and race.
"The teaching and support I received was outstanding. I think of Liverpool as a city where my mind was opened to new ways of thinking by a unique English course."
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) degree equips you with key transferable skills in performance, presentation and interpersonal communication all of which are highly valued by employers. So not only could you be destined for a career as an actor, director or stage manager, you could also move into areas such as advertising, marketing, museums, publishing, retail, leisure, charity management, educational administration and accountancy.
Teaching is not the main occupation for Drama and English graduates, however some do continue on to PGCE study or use their skills in other types of teaching, such as English as a second language or adult education. Another option is to continue in education with a Masters, PhD or vocational course such as journalism or marketing.
Recent graduate successes include the Chief Executive of the National Youth Theatre and an actor who has regular lead parts on TV, most notably in the BBC's 'Little Dorrit' and Channel 4's 'The Promise'. Another of our students will soon play Hamlet for the RSC and other alumni are successful playwrights and directors at the National Theatre, The Traverse Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: email@example.com.
A life-changing experience
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What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules may also be 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.
Literary and Cultural Theory
The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the basic strands of literary and cultural theories, such as feminism, Marxism, postcolonial theory, and psychoanalysis. It will allow you to explore and evaluate these theoretical perspectives through practical application to literary texts as well as to other primary sources.
Critical Keywords for English
This module will introduce you to Liverpool as a global city with a rich literary heritage, tracing the creativity and multiculturalism which has shaped, and continues to shape, our world-famous city. You will read a range of works authored by or about Liverpudlians and consider the historical, social, and geographical contexts for writing in and of the city.
This module introduces you to a range of theories and approaches to acting, including aspects of voice and movement. It establishes a shared sense of ensemble and the codes of conduct and professional work ethic expected of actors. It will link your practical work to an understanding of the social and historical roots and evolving processes of the actor, alongside introducing you to a constructive vocabulary and method of observing and evaluating both your own practice and that of others.
The Physical Text
This practical workshop based module offers you the opportunity to explore a range of non-verbal aspects of performance text and their place in the creative and interpretive process. You will examine models of analysis and a range of examples of historical and contemporary practice where non-verbal text is the predominant mode.
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.
This module offers you the opportunity to develop original script work through workshop application of performance and, where appropriate, directing skills. You will explore a range of texts for their performance potential alongside enhancing your understanding of dramaturgy and story structure.
Body, Mind and Soul: seventeenth-century literature and culture
The aim of this module is to introduce you to a range of seventeenth-century writings in their historical and cultural context to enable you to recognise different forms and genres used in the period. This module will also facilitate an understanding the concept of the Early Modern and issues of historical change and continuity.
Modernism and Modernity
This module focuses on the emergence of a modernist movement in Europe and America at the beginning of the 20th century and lasting until the decades after the close of the Second World War. You will be introduced to the literature, culture and politics of modernity through an engagement with a variety of modernist texts.
This module enables you to develop a critical vocabulary to enhance your understanding of poetry. You will be introduced to a range of poetry from different periods, in different forms and from different cultural locations. Alongside this, you will learn to identify the aesthetic qualities of different poetic traditions.
Postcolonial Writing: Power, Art and Protest
This module will introduce you to the field of postcolonial studies through a selection of literary and critical works. It will introduce the debates on the relationship between art, politics and culture at the heart of postcolonial literary criticism.
Romanticism: Revolution, Reaction and Representation
In this module, you will develop an understanding of the manifestations of Romanticism in nineteenth-century literature to assess the cultural afterlife and importance of Romanticism and its modes. You will explore the connections between politics, social history, and literary culture in Britain during a period of social instability and intense and rapid changes in many areas of life at home and abroad.
Short Cuts: Writing in Brief
The aim of this module is to analyse a wide variety of short writing from the post-Second World War era to develop skills of close reading and textual analysis. You will also explore the relationship between short writing and modernity/contemporary culture.
English Work Experience
This module will enable you to develop a range of professional and transferable skills relevant to the world of work. You will be able to critically reflect on your self-development and acquisition of skills and attributes through experience of work in conjunction with their academic studies.
English Independent Study
This module promotes independent learning activities to give you an opportunity to pursue their own research-informed projects. This module promotes key skills relating to Level 5 work identifying a set of aims or key questions exploring a body of published literature relevant to the project, and effectively communicating information, arguments and analysis.
Life Stories: Telling Tales and Keeping Secrets in Auto/Biographical Writing
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the diversity of auto/biographical writing. It will equip you with the critical vocabulary and analytical tools to explore and analyse modern life-writing. You will understand key critical topics relating to life-writing, including the relations of subjectivity and form; the intersections of gender, race, class and embodiment; the role of memory and nostalgia; narrative strategies of confession and secrecy.
Forms of Slavery
This module examines slavery from a long historical interdisciplinary and transnational perspective. It will analyse a range of 'slave texts' such as autobiographies, novels about slavery, abolitionist poetry, and contemporary film, to interrogate the diverse ways in which slavery has been represented historically, and contemporary debates around that history.
This module will develop your understanding of the relationships between gender, sexuality, and literature. Building on the feminist theory you will encounter in your first year, you will explore literature’s role in the developments of the sexual politics and gender norms of Western society and culture since the nineteenth century and up to the present day.
Writing Race in Britain
This module focuses on post-1948 literature about ethnic diversity in Britain. You will explore a tradition of writing by and about post-colonial migrants and their British-born children, including works of prose, poetry, and drama, and read these texts in relation to contemporary debates about multiculturalism, race and (anti-)racism, and British identity and society.
Words and Music
Working Class Writing
This module covers a range of working-class literary traditions and genres from the nineteenth century to the present. You will examine the relationship between literary form and social class, consider how working-class writers have appropriated and developed particular genres, and explore the intersections between class and other markers of identity.
Building on your encounters with key strands of critical theory in your first year, this module offers you the opportunity to further explore contemporary theoretical concepts and ideas, including postmodernism, posthumanism, gender and queer theory, and critical race theory.
Study Year Abroad - Drama and English
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
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.
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.
The Victorians: Realism and Sensation
Within this module, you will extend your familiarity with a range of Victorian texts including novels, poetry and essays. You will explore how the Victorian age was characterized by rapidly developing scientific discourses and popular interest in them and understand how contemporary understanding of genre and cultural prestige were inherited from the Victorian period.
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.
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.
This module will reinforce the ability to critically analyse texts in close detail to examine a range of Shakespeare's plays in the context of their original cultural production.
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.
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.
This is a year-long module, at the end of which you will have produced a dissertation of 7- 8,000 words. As such, it offers you the opportunity to investigate a topic of personal interest within the field of English Studies: you might wish to revisit something studied on a previous module, with a fresh approach or in greater detail, or choose an area as yet unexplored. You will be given guidance by a supervisor through the different stages of researching and writing, but above all you will be expected to work independently in the formulation of ideas, selection of key texts, and production of the final piece.
English Independent Study
This module will give you an opportunity to pursue your own intellectual interests to undertake an independent academic study, working on your own initiative and building strong time management skills.
Our House: Representing Domestic Space
The aim of this module is to analyse domestic space as an important aspect of contemporary culture, to familiarize you with a range of disciplinary and philosophical traditions which have focused upon domestic space.
Post-Millennial British Fiction
This module will extend your knowledge of the diversity and range of British writing in the twenty-first century in order to explore key events that shape literary culture in Britain today.
Race in America
You will learn important critical and theoretical views relating to racial formations, racial identities, and racism in American history to develop cultural and historical understanding of the dynamics of race in post-war America.
Terrorism and Modern Literature
Terrorism and Modern Literature will establish terrorism as a significant and persistent literary, political and cultural preoccupation in modern literature (1880s to present), and examine key instances in which the language and concept of terror is at issue.
Vamps and Villains: Exploring Gothic Fiction
This module will examine the genre of Gothic fiction as it has developed over two centuries to explore the cultural, historical and intellectual contexts that shape the moment of its production.
World Literature: Writing from the Periphery
This module will introduce the concept of 'world literature' through a selection of texts from the twentieth to the twenty-first centuries in relation to the rise and expansion of a global modernity. You will examine on-going critical debates around key areas of research in the global humanities: a singular modernity, the politics of translation, the periphery and the world system.
Transitions: Identities in the Interwar Years
This module examines shifting identities and the intersections of class, sexuality, gender and regionality in British literature of the interwar years. It moves across popular, middlebrow and experimental fiction and looks at poetry, non-fiction and magazine publishing as a means of examining the changing cultural formations of the period.
Violence in Nineteenth-Century Literature
This module will establish violence as a significant and persistent literary, political and cultural preoccupation in nineteenth-century literature (1800-1900), and examine key works in which the issues of class, empire and gender were explored by authors of this period in relation to conflict and crisis.
This module explores how Victorian writers responded to environmental changes. It examines key historical and intellectual developments shaping debates about the natural world in the Victorian period; you consider links between the historical past and current modes of environmentalism.
Space and place: travel writing at home and abroad
Developments in Contemporary Writing and Publishing
Modern Fiction and Environment Crisis
This module focuses on modern fiction focused on the urgent environmental crises with which we are now obliged to reckon. Some of the issues you will engage with on this module include climate, the environment as a concept, the non-human, and the alternative approaches to nature represented in indigenous narrative systems.
Black Lives in American Literature
This module explores writing by and about African Americans from the mid-twentieth century to the present; you will consider how Black writers and artists have contested racial injustices, articulated new identities, and identified grounds for solidarity and alliance.
Migrants to the Screen
This module focuses on recent works of transnational fiction that have been adapted for the screen. Drawing on literary studies, film studies, adaptation studies, and postcolonial studies, you will examine novels about migrants alongside their film adaptations, considered as ‘migrants’ from page to screen.
The Literature of Extinction: American Writing and the Environment
This module explores how extinction on various scales, from the local and national to the planetary, is conceptualized and represented in American environmental and ecocritical texts, including fiction, nature writing, and ecocritical theory.
This module will deepen your understanding of the early modern world (or worlds) through attention to travel writing, early science fiction, early colonialism, and approaches to race and slavery, through topics such as the representation of piracy, and utopian writing.
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.
Teaching is delivered via a combination of practical and workshop classes, lectures, seminars, online activities, individual tutorials, peer presentations, film screenings and online discussion groups. Private study and research is an important aspect of degree-level study, and so you will be expected to spend about 40% of your Drama course and 60% of your English course working independently.
Initially you will have approximately six hours of practical work and three hours of theory each week but when you are rehearsing and performing, these hours will increase significantly and include evenings and weekends. On top of this, you will have around six to seven hours of English teaching each week.
One aim of this course is to develop your confidence, imagination and self-knowledge, together with your skills in communication, expression and teamwork, all of which are highly valued by employers.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
If you decide to study Drama and English Literature at LJMU, you will join a friendly and stimulating environment where you will be encouraged to achieve your full potential in both your studies and your future career plans.
From the moment you join LJMU, you will be assigned a personal tutor who will be responsible for your academic and personal progress throughout the course. This kind of one-to-one support is particularly useful for discussing course-related issues or concerns you may have during your studies.
You will also receive regular feedback and guidance from your course tutors. We know from surveys that students appreciate this level of support.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
We believe that all students perform differently depending on how they are assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. In some final year modules, you can choose how you want to be assessed.
You will have practical assessments for Drama, which could be in the form of presentations (performing in or directing a show, for example), painting a set, or designing lights or costumes.
Theoretical assessments for both Drama and English Literature could include exams, essays, presentations, reports, blogs, class tests, viva voces, portfolio work, analytical exercises, wiki entries or a dissertation.
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 21 days but your personal tutor and course lecturers will give regular constructive feedback as well. This is particularly useful in helping you to identify your strengths in addition to the areas where you may need to put in more work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Nicholas Phillips
Dr Nicholas Phillips
Nick is an experienced director/MD specialising in musical theatre as well as cabaret, pantomime, revue. He performs and is an experienced composer/lyricist. Passionate about developing new work. Nick holds a PhD in musical theatre and highly experienced in actor training/coaching.
Where you will study
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 Liverpools 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 caf. It is only a short walk from LJMUs 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 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 A Levels (maximum of 20 AS points accepted). An English subject is preferred, e.g. English Language, English Literature, English Language/Literature or Creative Writing. Subjects such as Drama, Theatre Studies, Film Studies, Religious Education, History and Media Studies will also be considered.
Performing Arts, Production Arts or Creative Media Production are preferred from applicants studying BTEC qualifications.
104 UCAS points from IB Composite parts to include a relevant subject at Higher Level (HL).
Alternative qualifications considered
Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification: • 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 • Welsh GCSE in Maths • Welsh GCSE in Numeracy • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number All applicants are required to attend an audition and interview.
Other international requirements
International applications will be considered in line with UK qualifications. Any applicant whose first language is not English will be required to have IELTS 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each component) or acceptable equivalent.
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.
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 Group Workshop:
Ensemble Skills: How well you work with other people in a group - are you co-operative and proactive?
Creativity: What creative qualities did you bring? Did you generate ideas and respond to suggestions?
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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