Drama and Theatre Studies

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What are Drama and Theatre Studies?

Drama and Theatre Studies cover all of the aspects needed to put together a live performance. Important aspects such as costume, lighting, sound, directing, design, and even playwriting all form an important part of drama and theatre productions.

Drama and Theatre happen in our everyday lives in the way we tell stories and how we make sense of our place in the world and our understanding of emotion and human experiences.

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Drama and Theatre Studies courses in the following subject areas:

  • English and Drama – The study of the fundamentals of literary analysis, genre, and style.
  • Drama Skills – An introduction into drama in a classroom or facilitation context.
  • Creative Drama and Theatre Arts – Gain core performance knowledge and skills.
  • Drama and Theatre Studies – The study of Drama and Theatre
  • Higher Diploma in Arts in Drama Education – Gain the skills and knowledge to progress from drama student to drama teacher.
  • Certificate in Drama Teaching – The study of drama education teaching and qualifications.
  • Certificate in Drama Performance – This course is designed to prepare contemporary practitioners in drama performance and education.
  • Drama: Advanced Acting Course Level 6 – Gain the skills and knowledge to discover your creative voice and feel empowered to enter the entertainment industry with confidence.

Studying Drama and Theatre in college

Courses in Drama and Theatre allow students to explore the relationship between the theory and practice of the dramatic arts and allow them an opportunity to discover how and why they work. Courses require a blend of practical and academic skills and a high level of creativity and analytical ability.

Courses will cover all theory work through lectures, seminars, and workshops with a strong emphasis on practice-based learning and research through production opportunities.

Students will be expected to work independently and in group projects with participation in practical workshops from both regular and visiting staff. All work is supervised by staff and designed to encourage students to create.

Assessments will take place continuously with essays, reflections, practical assignments, written and oral examinations, presentations, and practical assignments combined to achieve the qualification.

You could also, consider work experience or work shadowing in a suitable setting to gain real-world experience. Many colleges maintain links with professional theatres and there may be opportunities to take productions on tour. Joining drama societies or local amateur dramatics clubs will help hone your craft and gain exposure to industry professionals. You can also sign up to an agency for work as an extra and in small roles or adverts while you are busy with your studies.

Career options

After completing a course in Drama and Theatre Studies you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of theatre, film, or television in areas such as directing, acting, design, playwriting, management, community drama, and teaching.

To work in a Dramatic Arts-based role you’ll need to be resilient and proactive, as roles are competitive and rarely permanent. Often part-time roles and freelance work are a good place to start to build up your portfolio of work and acting as a career involves more than just performing in movies – working actors perform in live theatre productions, at theme parks, in commercials, and on television shows.

Combining different jobs within the field can make up roughly the equivalent of full-time work when you are getting started and will help to support yourself financially, but you will need strong organization and networking skills to keep on top of your commitments and find new opportunities.

Take or send your CV to relevant organizations asking for any experience they can offer – don’t be picky about the opportunity, as even in basic roles you’ll learn a lot, make contacts and enhance your CV. Subscribe to industry newsletters and publications to keep up with developments and opportunities.

Related jobs include:

  • Actor
  • Performer
  • Producer
  • Broadcast presenter
  • Community arts worker
  • Playwright
  • Writer and Editor
  • Runner, broadcasting/film/video
  • Theatre director
  • Theatre stage manager
  • Arts administrator
  • Choreographer
  • Dancer
  • Special effects technician
  • Talent agent
  • Television floor manager
  • Theatre manager
  • Broadcaster
  • Drama/theatre critic
  • Magician
  • Stage Hand Supervisor
  • Assistant Director
  • Acting Director
  • Costume Designer
  • Designer
  • Senior Designer
  • Senior Art Director
  • Senior Copywriter
  • Light Technician
  • Technician
  • Electrician
  • Lighting Designer

Further study

After completing a course in Drama and Theatre Studies you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as teaching, arts management, public relations, and drama therapy.


Are there any particular qualities you need to study Drama and Theatre?

You need to enjoy public speaking and performance if you would like to work on stage or have a passion for the behind-the-scenes elements of theatre and drama if you would prefer to work backstage.

Drama and Theatre also require a basic range of physical skills and techniques that allow you to use your body to tell a story such as movement, body language, posture and gesture, and coordination. There are also facial skills such as facial expression, expression of mood, and eye contact that is very important within dramatic production.

You may need to be able to dance and sing and knowledge of choral movement will be extremely important if you would like a career in musical theatre as a performer.

Where can I study Drama and Theatre?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· If you say ‘Macbeth’ in a theatre, you are meant to walk three times in a circle anti-clockwise, then either spit or say a rude word.

· Shakespeare’s Globe is the only building in London allowed to have a thatched roof since the Great Fire in 1666.

· Two seats are permanently bolted open at the Palace Theatre for the theatre ghosts to sit in.

· Walt Disney World, Florida, has a record 1.2 million costumes in its theatrical wardrobes.

· The term Off-Broadway isn’t geographical. Broadway theatres have 500 seats; off-Broadway have 100-499 seats, off-off-Broadway have less than 100 seats. 

Mariza Halliday

Film Studies Courses


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