Bristol was the first UK university to offer a theatre studies degree. The University continues to be a pioneer in the study of theatre and performance.

Theatre and performance studies at Bristol are characterised by the way we blend historical and theoretical study with practice-based investigations.

Why study Theatre at Bristol?

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

The first year introduces histories, contexts, ways of analysing performance, and practical skills in theatre production. In subsequent years, optional units will deepen your expertise around particular performance contexts and practical skills in theatre making. You will be taught by renowned scholars and practitioners.

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.

Our alumni include renowned playwrights, actors and directors, including actor Tim Pigott-Smith; playwrights Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill and David Greig; and RSC director Gregory Doran.

Download the Theatre leaflet (PDF, 173kB)

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 should also be motivated and have evidence of achievement in performance and theatre making, perhaps by having taken part in extracurricular or community drama productions.

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 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 will also undertake two supervised independent projects: a written dissertation, and a practical project and/or industrial placement.

What are my career prospects?

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

Read more about what students from theatre go on to do after graduation.


Important disclaimer information about our courses.

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 (LLB Law)

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