Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Derby Theatre

Course description

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 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 you may be involved in performances regionally, nationally and internationally.

This dynamic and exciting theatre arts programme is taught by practising professional artists with expertise in their own fields. Built around process, experimentation and risk taking you will encounter a range of practices to explore and develop theatre making and performance skills. An exciting part of your studies will be the professional work experience within Derby Theatre or partner organisations which will contribute to the development of your professional portfolio. 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.

Derby Theatre
The UK's unique professional, producing and learning theatre 

As a Learning Theatre, Derby Theatre provides a unique opportunity for students to learn to their craft by working alongside both academics and theatre professionals in the heart of a professional producing theatre, to develop your skills in technical theatre or performance. 

Students, academics and artists work, create and learn side by side at Derby Theatre. All decisions about the development of both the art and the learning opportunities are made together. At every stage, there is huge potential in the crucible of the arts, learning and research combining to both underpin and inform our future work.  

Derby Theatre provides an extraordinary platform for real life learning to take place, not only through the exciting main stage and studio programmes, but also through the work that the Theatre does with young people, young people in care, emerging artists and the community. Graduates of the programme can also be supported by our Artist Development Programme, In Good Company, which is part of a large regional funding programme. 

Winner: Excellence in Arts Education Award, UK Theatre Awards 2019
Derby Theatre won the Excellence in Arts Education Award at the annual UK Theatre Awards, in recognition of its learning theatre vision which has transformed the venue and provides opportunities for young people to take part in high-quality arts, sports and cultural activities across the city. The award was also in specific recognition and celebration of This is Derby, a unique project delivered by Derby Theatre and other cultural and sports organisations in the city, including Derby County Community Trust, Cultural Campus: Derby's Cultural Education Partnership and the City's Sports Forum.


Team from Derby Theatre stand for their photo at the UK Theatre Awards

Derby Theatre wins Excellence in Arts Education Award at UK Theatre Awards

Derby Theatre has won recognition of its learning theatre vision and innovative This is Derby project.

View the full storyView the full story
Students taking part in a performance at Derby Theatre
A Student taking part in a performance 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

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

You will be involved in a year of experimentation and risk taking as you develop your theatre making and performance skills. You will have regular vocal and physical training, devising and script writing, and theoretical study and critical debate. You will learn directly from Derby Theatre staff, working with your tutors, in industry focussed modules. 

  • Performance Skills
  • Theatre Lab
  • Writing in Action
  • Critical Dialogues
  • Spotlight on Industry Practice

You will continue to develop your experimentation and practical learning through professional practice. You will perform on Derby Theatre’s main stage, in the studio theatre and will tour work regionally. You will partake in professional work experience to support your career aspirations and develop your networking skills. 

  • Performance Practice
  • Theatre Making
  • Applied Theatre Practice
  • Spotlight on Research and Professional Development

You will enhance your portfolio through an ongoing programme of skills and career development. This will include a final independent production, seminars with a range of industry professionals and the development of your unique research interests. 

  • Directors and Directing
  • Independent Production
  • Research Project
  • Spotlight on Employability
About Derby Theatre and how students can access this venue during their studies

View Study at Derby Theatre video transcript

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

This Theatre Arts 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. 

People at the box office at Derby Theatre

Explore Derby Theatre through a virtual tour:

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:

Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.

Applied Theatre and Education students taking part in a performance for a group of school children

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
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

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*



£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

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 like Kira who secured a marketing role at Derby Theatre and Andy who started his own theatre company. 

Be inspired by their journey to employment in the below videos: 

YouTube video of University of Derby graduate Kira talking about her experience of studying Theatre and securing a full-time marketing role at Derby Theatre before she graduated

View our Theatre graduate YouTube video transcript

YouTube video of University of Derby graduate Andy talking about his experience of studying Theatre and what he has gone on to do

View our Theatre graduate YouTube video transcript

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

Phil Green

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, excellent 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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