Available through Fast Track to Clearing

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

112 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Derby Theatre

Course description

This Contemporary Theatre and Performance programme will develop your theatre and performance skills such as acting, directing and devising for your career as a professional theatre artist. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to showcase your work and be involved in performances regionally, nationally and internationally.

Your course will be delivered at Derby Theatre, a fully equipped, professional theatre and major live performance venue, allowing you to gain valuable industry experience and contacts as you learn. To find out more about the work that Derby Theatre do outside of the University, please visit their YouTube Channel.

This dynamic and exciting Contemporary Theatre and Performance programme is taught by practising professional artists with expertise in their own fields. During the course you will encounter a range of practices to explore and develop performance skills, new theatre making, performance and rehearsal strategies, contemporary play-texts and political issues evoked by new performances. You will take part in a number of public performances across your years of study and in a variety of venues, including main house and studio theatre spaces, off-site in the community, schools, and art centres.

In 2018, we went on tour with Peacemaker, working in primary schools across the city and county. In two weeks, the students worked with over 1,000 children in areas of social deprivation and cultural diversity.

People at the box office at Derby Theatre
A technical theatre student works on sound equipment in the theatre

Derby Theatre

Our students have a rare and exceptional learning experience at Derby Theatre. We are one of the only universities in the country to own and run a professional producing and receiving theatre.

Take a look at the theatreTake a look at the theatre
A ballet dancer in front of a set of neon yellow chevrons

Fast track to Clearing

Why wait for results day? Jump the queue and fast track to Clearing now. We’ll call you to talk through your options and we may be able to make you an offer there and then.

Register now for fast track to ClearingRegister now for fast track to Clearing

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • Introduction to History and Theory (Professional Development Portfolio)
  • Introduction to Voice and Physicality 
  • Introduction to Performance and Production Analysis (Professional Development Portfolio)
  • Introduction to Devising: Theatre Lab
  • Exploration in History and Theory (Professional Development Portfolio)
  • Exploration: Contemporary Performance Practice
  • Exploration in Research Methodologies (Professional Development Portfolio)
  • Exploration: Applied Theatre

At Stage two you will have the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience on an optional work placement. As part of this experience you’ll also have an opportunity to gain an additional qualification; the Diploma in Professional Practice. 

  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice 
  • Major Project in Contemporary Theatre and Performance 
  • Professional Practice in Contemporary Theatre and Performance (Professional Development Portfolio)
  • Independent Study in Contemporary Theatre and Performance 1 and 2

Watch the below video to get an idea of what studying at Derby Theatre is like...

About Derby Theatre and how students can access this venue during their studies

View Study at Derby Theatre video transcript

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Contemporary Theatre and Performance

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

This Contemporary Theatre and Performance programme involves a combination of practice-led, studio-based exercises and lecture or seminar activity. There will be major performance projects, study of devising strategies, case studies and analysis of movements and practices in the 20th and 21st centuries.  You will learn through workshop presentations, rehearsal strategies, directing and dramaturgy, new theatre writing and contemporary performance practices.  The work will be underpinned by research, academic criticism and the professional production programme of Derby Theatre. You will carry out coursework that will be subject to academic criticism both written and practical. 

Teaching is through a combination of practice-led, studio-based exercises, workshops, performances and lecture or seminar activity. You will learn from expert lecturers who are also practising artists, as well as from theatre professionals based at Derby Theatre and visiting companies and lecturers. There will also be the opportunity to take part in masterclass residencies and engage in a variety of field trips.  You will have the opportunity to learn by working within your own student-led theatre company with full professional technical support and mentoring. The work will be underpinned by the professional production programme of Derby Theatre. 

Assessment is through a range of methods including written coursework, presentations, creative portfolios, assessed rehearsals, practical workshops and public performance. Below you will see our third year students performing in "Something Wicked This Way Comes" from Autumn 2017. 

Take a virtual tour of our facilities at Derby Theatre.

A 360 look around Derby Theatre

Degree Show

Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June and is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:

For a glimpse of last year’s Degree Show take a look at our flickr photo album.

Students taking part in a performance at Derby Theatre
A Student taking part in a performance at Derby Theatre

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionYes - see interview details

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees


£9,250 per year



£13,250 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


Students from this discipline area regularly go on to successful careers in film, television and theatre industries for example as actors, directors, theatre crew, teachers, artistic directors of their own theatre companies and other arts professionals. Alternatively, many students go on to postgraduate study and employment in a wide variety of professions.

Notable graduates

Please note these are graduates from the subject discipline, not the course, as it is new

Graduate Danny Hendrix stars in War Horse

Danny Hendrix graduated in 2014 in Theatre Arts and is currently in the National Theatre touring production of the iconic First World War drama, War Horse. His tour of War Horse will visit Hong Kong and New Zealand – and his 2019 will end with a month of performances in Paris.

Danny is playing Billy Narracott, Seargent Klebb and Heine in the National Theatre tour, which is also visiting a string of theatres in the UK and Ireland.

His acting career has previously taken him to Australia to perform in Sydney Opera House and seen him appear in the West End and touring production of David Walliams’s Gangsta Granny.

If you’re interested in studying theatre at Derby, Danny has some tips for you: “Get involved in any way you can, not just in performance but also backstage and in technical roles, because the industry demands it. Use your time wisely and give 100% but also enjoy every second – I had the time of my life."

Danny Hendrix in The Snow Dragon
Danny Hendrix in Tall Stories: The Snow Dragon

“The University provided me with opportunities and stepping stones that enabled me to put myself out there into the theatre/performing business. My lecturers inspired me in many different ways by challenging my abilities and skills but also by having faith in my talent and abilities to undertake such large roles.” - Danny Hendrix

More notable graduates

Programme leader

Amanda Wallace

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.


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