Hellesdon High School

& Sixth Form Centre

A-Level Drama

The A Level Drama course focus is on the direction and performance of plays throughout history and the critical analysis of live theatre seen on stage. One of the main appeals of the subject is the emphasis on group activities, so the learning takes place through the shared experience of watching theatre and of making drama as part of a group.


Why study Drama?

A-level Drama and Theatre Studies is for students who enjoy reading and watching plays, and taking part in them, whether performing, directing or designing sets and costumes. It offers students the freedom to choose both the content and the form of all the practical presentations. This course will help students to develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of practical drama skills including:

  • Acting and performing/ Directing/ Costume/set designing/ Technical design
  • Understanding of the major theatrical styles
  • Performance techniques – interpretation, voice, physicality, stage relationships with others
  • Design skills – interpretation, visual and design impacts and set creation
  • Technical abilities – lighting and sound design, special effects, technology and appropriate equipment
  • Practical skills – from making masks and building sets to creation of period style and make-up
  • Confidence, team-building, communication and other life skills.


What makes a successful Drama student?

A successful drama student is a positive, hardworking young performer who is passionate and enthusiastic about collaborative working. A sense of fun and the willingness to take risks is important in the development of practical work and being supportive and encouraging towards others is essential. Punctuality and attendance is vital to success.


To study this course, what qualifications will I need and in which subjects?

A GCSE in Drama would be advised and a grade 5 or above in GCSE English is required.


Course Structure

Component 1: Drama and theatre

What is assessed:
– Section A: one question (from a choice) on one of the set plays from List A (25 marks)
– Section B: one two part question on a given extract from one of the set plays from List B (25 marks)
– Section C: one question on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (30 marks)

How it’s assessed:
– Written exam: 3 hours
– Open book
– 80 marks
– 40% of A‐level

This component is marked by AQA.

Component 2: Creating original drama (practical)

What is assessed:
– Process of creating devised drama
– Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director). Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner

How it’s assessed:
– Working notebook (40 marks)
– Devised performance (20 marks)
– 60 marks in total
– 30% of A‐level

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3: Making theatre (practical)

What’s assessed:
– Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play. Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3. This is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)
– Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts

How it’s assessed
– Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks)
– Reflective report (20 marks)
– 60 marks in total
– 30% of A‐level

This component is marked by AQA.


What opportunities are there for me to study beyond the classroom?

Out of classroom opportunities in Drama and Theatre Studies include:

  • Theatre trips both locally and Nationally
  • Cultural trips to the V&A Museum and the National Theatre Archives in London
  • Site specific Theatre in the local community
  • Professional Workshops and presentations with industry specialists
  • Performances to friends and families
  • Rehearsals and study sessions after school and during the holidays


What kind of career does this subject/qualification prepare me for?

A‐level Drama and Theatre Studies is useful for students considering Higher Education in any arts or humanities subject including English Language and Literature, Journalism, Dance, Music, Art and Design, and Media Studies.
Career opportunities for students who study A‐level Drama and Theatre Studies include, Arts/theatre administration, arts journalism, director, actor, designer, playwright, stage management, theatre management, theatrical agent, technician, broadcasting, media presenting, education, drama therapy and scriptwriting.