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Drama and Theatre A Level  studied at  LSU and PHS



To find out what qualifications are needed for each pathway/entry route click here.

6 or above in English literature and an evidenced talent in drama


A Level Drama will help you develop a creative and analytical framework for making, performing, interpreting and understanding drama and theatre. You will study theoretical research and apply that to the processes and practices involved in creating theatre and see how practical exploration, in turn, informs theory. You will develop an understanding and appreciation of how social, cultural and historical contexts of performance have influenced the development of drama and theatre.


  • Students will need to show knowledge and understanding of the ways in which theatre is made from the perspective of a theatre maker, director, practitioner, critic, performer, designer and historian.
  • Students must be prepared to take part in practical work every lesson comprising of a range of activities from discussion to physical technique. 
  • Written work in the form of research, workshop logs and portfolios, intention concepts as well as the two 2-hour written exams, comprises a large proportion of the assessment.
  • Students are expected to attend rehearsals outside of school hours, organised by their group.
  • Students are expected to take a personal, extra-curricular interest in the theatre and take every opportunity to experience live work.  

Drama A level requires long hours of hard work and dedication.  In return the A-level will develop your skills in understanding and expressing your response to the world around you.  You will foster skills that universities look for: collaboration, practical and academic communication, critical thinking, decision–making, independence, emotional intelligence, creativity and self-expression.  


Exam board: OCR

Some blurb about the exams. Specify the length and weighting of it in relation to the overall A level qualification


Type of Assessment



Component 1 

Practitioners in Practice  

Exploration and performance 

Written report (2000 words) 

Portfolio (3000 words)

In lesson assessment and rehearsals after school


Coursework completed for homework


Component 2 

Exploring and Performing Texts 

Performance exam & written concept

 Performance minimum time of 20 mins


Coursework - 3 pages of A4 completed for homework


Component 3  

Analysing performance

 Written exam

 2 hours 15 minutes


Component 4  

Deconstructing text for performance 

 Written exam

 1 Hour 45 minuets


 Students must study a minimum of five texts that must represent a range of genres, styles and periods.  These will be selected by the school that you study at. 

Component 1- Practitioners in Practice (40%, internally-assessed exploration, performance and approx. 5000 words written report and portfolio)  

Section 1: You will research and explore practically the work of 2 Theatre practitioners and one extract from a text completing a research report on your findings. 

Section 2: You will create a devised performance influenced by your findings from section 1, creating a portfolio of evidence of practical work and the analysis and evaluation of the creative journey. 

Section 3: You will perform the final, polished devised piece for an audience  

Component 2- Exploring and Performing Texts (20%, externally marked performance exam by visiting examiner and written concept) 

You will study one performance text in its entirety and work collaboratively to perform part of the play.  The creation and realisation of the performance will involve realising your artistic intention through performance.  You will explain this intention in a written concept document which will be sent to the visiting examiner a week prior to your examined performance. 

Component 3– Analysing Performance (20%, externally marked 2 hour 15 minute written exam) 

Section A: You will study 2 different texts joined by a common theme and explore them practically in order to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the written exam, of how the texts can be rehearsed and interpreted in performance. 

Section B: You will visit the theatre to write about the production in an exam essay in which you will evaluate and analyse the production.  

Component 4– Deconstructing Text for Performance (20%, externally marked written paper) 

You will practically study a set text by the exam board exploring the possibilities of staging the text through the role of the director.  You will deconstruct, analyse and interpret the text in depth and write your responses to the questions in the exam in both annotation and essay form. 

Both the above exams are closed text (where books are not allowed). 


Drama A level can lead you to many pathways at university:  performance studies, acting, media, literature and the expressive arts. Some students go on to study drama and theatre studies/performing arts at a higher level and progress to working in theatre, television, film and video. For others, the A-level has also proved invaluable in the journalistic, teaching and legal professions.  Many employers now actively seek those who have studied the arts and the creative industries have moved into first place to be the fastest growing economic sector in the UK1, responsible for 5.6% of jobs, and worth £76.9bn to the UK economy.