The University of Bristol is a pioneer in the study of theatre and performance. We were the first department in the UK to offer a theatre studies degree. We are proud of our history but we don't stand still; we continue to innovate and you will be taught by leading scholars and practitioners.

Theatre and performance at Bristol offers you the chance to study in an environment that has produced some notable alumni, including actor Tim Pigott-Smith, playwrights Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill and David Greig, and RSC director Gregory Doran.

Why study Theatre at Bristol?

Theatre and performance studies at Bristol is characterised by the way we blend historical and theoretical study with practice-based investigations. You will encounter a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical workshops.

You will study historical contexts, consider critical perspectives and engage in practice-based activities, using our two in-house theatres for your presentations. You will also have access to our museum-accredited theatre archive and 24-hour rehearsal space. Facilities include the professionally equipped Wickham Theatre, sound and design studios and a costume workshop.

The first year introduces histories, contexts, ways of analysing performance, and practical skills in theatre production. In the second and final years, optional units will deepen your expertise around particular performance contexts and practical skills in theatre-making.

The Department of Theatre has strong links with a wide range of arts organisations and theatre companies. In your final year you can undertake an industrial placement within the creative industries.

What kind of student would this course suit?

The course is suitable for those interested in the practice, history and theory of theatre and performance.

You should be able to demonstrate a commitment to the study of theatre and performance in an academic context, for example, through extra-curricular reading and theatre-going. You will also be motivated and have evidence of achievement in performance and theatre-making, which could be by having taken part in extra-curricular or community drama productions.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars and practical workshops. You will also be taught by industry professionals and practitioners during the course of your studies.

Assessment is by a combination of essays, individual and group presentations, practice-based productions, reflections on performances, and critically reflexive journals.

In your final year you also take two supervised independent projects: a written dissertation, a practical project and/or an industrial placement.

What are my career prospects?

Our students develop excellent transferable skills. Graduates have gone into theatre production, research, broadcasting, arts administration, education, finance and related business sectors, as well as further study and research.

Read more about what our graduates are doing six months after graduation

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.


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