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BA Joint Honours Drama and English (UCAS Code: WQ43)

Drama Studies

School of Creative Arts

Degree Selected

BA Joint Honours Drama and English (UCAS Code: WQ43)

Contact Information

For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838

For course information
Michelle Donnelly
School of Creative Arts
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5231

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Entrance Requirements and Selection Criteria

BA Single Honours

  • Drama 3 yrs (W400)

BA Joint Honours

  • Drama and English 3 yrs (WQ43)
  • Drama and Film Studies 3 yrs (WW46)

How We Choose Our Students

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

A-level: BBB

Irish Leaving Certificate: B2B2B2B2CC/B2B2B2B2B2

All applicants: there are no specific subject requirements to study Drama, however, students should have an interest in issues of performance, and be prepared to participate in practical theatre classes. If you plan to study Drama as a Joint Honours degree you should refer to the subject requirements for the other course.

International qualifications
For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you are an international student and you do not meet the English Language requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will develop the language skills you need to progress. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses. For a full list click here

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The Subject

Queen's Drama boasts exceptional links to the professional theatre industry, a truly international range of reference, and a strong specialism in Irish Theatre. Our undergraduate degree programme combines history, theory and practice in an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to discover why and how theatre works.

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Course Content

Queen's is not a vocational drama institution, but practice is a key element of our degree programme.

Level 1
Beginning at Level 1, workshops and performances enable students to draw upon their reading of literary, cultural, historical and sociological studies to inform their practical understanding of performance. All students participate in a performance showcase held in the Brian Friel Theatre at the end of the year.

Levels 2 and 3
At Level 2, students enrolled on Single Honours pathways have the opportunity to undertake a variety of roles in a professionally directed production, before embarking on their own independent projects at Level 3.

In the past, students have designed sets, costume and lighting, directed and acted in a variety of projects ranging from classical theatre to contemporary work of all types, and have performed in our theatre, outdoors and in site-specific contexts.

Assessment is by performance, presentation, exams and written coursework.



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Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.


On the Drama and English degree programme we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.   Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:


  • Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).


  • Practicals:  where you will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.  You will be expected to attend weekly practical workshops for the Drama modules DRA1003 and DRA1004.


  • E-Learning technologies:   Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example:  interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.


  • Seminars/tutorials:  Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students).  These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers.  You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.


  • Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.


  • Work placements:  Students have the opportunity to undertake a work placement in Year 3 of the Drama course.  This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.


  • Professionally directed theatre production: In Year 2 of the Drama course students are able to participate either as actors or in a production role in a professionally directed theatre production.


  • Supervised projects:  In final year, you may choose a year-long double-weighted Dissertation module in either Drama and/or English (literature or language) which requires you to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic that you have chosen.  You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on at least 2 occasions during the write up stage.


  • Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development. 


  • Study Abroad: Both Drama and English have Erasmus links with a number of universities in Europe, including Denmark, France, Germany, Holland and Spain. Students may avail of the Study America programme, which enables them to spend a year at a university in the United States, as well as established links with universities in Canada and Australia. 

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Assessment and Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module.  Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.  Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:


  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.


Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

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Studying for a Drama and English degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.  Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline.  Many students also apply the skills they develop through the degree entrepreneurially to create their own work opportunities and the University runs a number of extra-curricular programmes in entrepreneurship. 

The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:



  • Theatre and Performing Arts
  • Publishing and the Media
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Librarianship
  • Fast Stream Civil Service
  • Management Consultancy



Employer Links




We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, the Lyric Theatre, Tinderbox Theatre and BBC Northern Ireland who provide sponsorship for the English course in Broadcast Literacy (currently offered at postgraduate level but soon to be offered at undergraduate level also).   


Graduate Careers and Achievements


Many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures; for example:



  • Lucia McAnespie (Actress RADA trained)
  • Lisa McGee (Writer for theatre, film and television)
  • Cat Barter  (Singer and actress trained in Musical Theatre in Royal Academy of Music)
  • Ciaran Mc Quillan (Outreach Officer with Tinderbox)
  • Connor Phillips (Broadcaster, Cool FM)
  • Ian Baxter (Broadcaster, UTV)
  • Tom Finlay (Artistic Director, Rainbow Factory)
  • Alison McCrudden (Lecturer)
  • Des Kennedy (Theatre Director, Royal Court Theatre, Out of Joint Theatre)
  • Karen Hassan (Actor, Hollyoaks)
  • Jennifer Neil (Teacher, Banbridge Academy)
  • Richard Gray (Teacher, Strangford College)
  • Philip Hilditch (BBC Cameraman)
  • Adrian Dorrian (Church of Ireland minister)


  • Seamus Heaney, Nobel prize-winning poet;
  • Paul Muldoon, academic and poet;
  • Stephen Rea, actor;
  • Helen Madden, writer and actor;
  • Annie Kelly, journalist and writer;
  • Annie Mac, radio presenter.


You should also take a look at the Prospects website for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Drama and English graduates.


Further study is also an option open to our graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics.


Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.  See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.

Degree Plus and other related initiatives:  Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports. 


Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students).  Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts.  As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.


Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies.  These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.

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Special Features

Facilities: our main teaching space, the Brian Friel Theatre, is a fully-equipped, 120-seat theatre. We also boast a rehearsal room/studio theatre, dressing rooms, green room and workshop.

Performance Opportunities: extra-curricular performance opportunities are offered by the Tyrone Guthrie Society and the student Drama Society, which have taken productions to student festivals in Ireland and the UK. Productions have also been taken to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and to festivals in Belgium and Italy.

Placements: students have the opportunity to undertake a work placement in year 3. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity. Past students have gained work placement with organisations such as the Lyric Theatre, Tinderbox Theatre Company, Replay Productions (Northern Ireland's longest established professional Theatre-in-Education company) and the BBC.


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Student Work

Below are some productions featuring our Drama students.

Work Work Work Proirities 
 Justyns Jammie Kitchen  

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