Why choose A Level Theatre Studies

Students will be expected to have met St Paul’s entry requirements of 2 Grade 5’s and 4 Grade 4’s. A minimum of grade 4 in English and Maths is essential for all courses.

The course demands practical, creative and communication skills in almost equal measure. You will extend your ability to create drama and theatre, either in a performing or production role. You will also be required to write about drama and to develop your powers of analysis to become an informed critic. The course will involve taking part in drama productions, as well as studying plays and playwrights.

What kind of student is this course suitable for?

You need to be curious about issues and ideas and have a creative instinct for communicating your views through drama. You may be keen on acting, writing or on the visual and technical side of theatre and wish to develop your skills in some or all of these areas. Equally you will be interested in going to the theatre to see plays performed by different theatre companies.

Assessment Board: AQA

Component 1: Drama and theatre

What’s assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 3 hours
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of A-level


  • 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)

Component 2: Creating original drama (practical)

What’s 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 (Extract 3 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

Why choose Theatre Studies?

The combination of academic, collaborative and creative skills required to succeed in Theatre Studies is considered very important by Higher Education Institutions and employers. The practical work in lesson times contrasts well with more intensively text-based lessons. There is a significant amount of work that relates well to other subjects. For example, the analysis of text and visual performances relates well to A Level English Language and Literature.

We have a fully equipped and functioning 280 seat theatre. A dance studio with a sprung floor, mirrors and Barres. A drama studio with easy reach lighting and full black out capability. Both studios have prop and costume stores, laptops, theatre lights and sound systems. The sound recording studio will enable students to create sophisticated recordings for their work.


Five taught lessons and one allocated study period per week plus an equivalent amount of homework. Attendance at extra-curricular workshops and performances is highly recommended.

Drama and Theatre Studies is an exciting, practical and innovative course for anyone with a real interest in theatre who wants to know more. You will explore plays both practically and theoretically, gaining an understanding of a range of styles and genres of theatre. The great thing about this course is the focus on practical work and the development of skills in a range of theatre roles, including performer, designer and director. This course is an excellent base of learning for students wanting to study drama in higher education and just a fantastic opportunity to study a subject that you love and find fascinating.

An A-level in Theatre Studies can facilitate your route into university to study most subjects. It can also take you to drama school, or could see you go straight into the theatre in some capacity, perhaps as an apprentice. You will also develop higher-level transferable skills in terms of speaking, listening, reading, writing and analysing. These skills are sought-after by a whole spectrum of employers.

For further information, please contact:

Mrs Gillespie Mendes (fgillespie@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk) or

Mr Hayes (dhayes@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk)