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Unit information: Contemporary British Theatre in 2021/22

Unit name Contemporary British Theatre
Unit code THTR30019
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Mr. Peasey
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will explore a diverse range of contemporary theatre practices and voices, with a focus on British theatre, new writing and the approaches of contemporary directors. The unit may also examine the revival of plays from earlier periods, such as 19th century Naturalism or Shakespeare and other early-modern playwrights. It will investigate appropriate critical, historical and theoretical frameworks through which to analyse and reflect on the creative strategies used by playwrights and directors, as well as aesthetic, cultural and political issues relevant to current theatre practices.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have:

(1) in-depth knowledge of key contemporary UK writers and directors, of the British theatre scene and its place in the broader field of cultural production;

(2) the ability to read play texts closely and to analyse them using advanced understanding of critical, historical, political and theoretical frameworks;

(3) carried out sustained research, planned and effectively collaborated on a group presentation;

(4) organised critical ideas, contextual information and individual interpretations into an insightful argument, expressed articulately in a longer piece of writing.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, seminars, online discussion forums and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

(1) 3,000-word essay (60%) [ILOs 1, 2, 4]

(2) Group seminar presentation of 20 minutes for a group mark (40%) [ILOs 1, 2, 3]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. THTR30019).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.