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BADrama and Creative Writing

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By combining the study of Creative Writing with Drama, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how theatre performance and creative writing interact – whether you specialise as a playwright, or choose to take the the poetry or fiction options in creative writing.

Choosing to study Drama at Royal Holloway will put you at the centre of one of the largest and most influential Drama and Theatre departments in the world. You’ll create performances, analyse texts, and bring a range of critical ideas to bear on both. On this course the text and the body, thinking and doing, work together. There’s no barrier between theory and practice: theory helps you understand and make the most of practice, while practice sheds light on theory. By moving between the two, you’ll find your place as an informed theatre-maker, and by studying a variety of practices, by yourself and with others, you’ll get knowledge of the industry as a whole, and learn how your interests could fit into the bigger picture.

We are top-rated for teaching and research, with a campus community recognised for its creativity (rated 14th in the world, and 6th in the UK, for Performing Arts in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016). Our staff cover a huge range of theatre and performance studies, but we’re particularly strong in contemporary British theatre, international and intercultural performance, theatre history, dance and physical theatre, and contemporary performance practices.

Studying Creative Writing at one of the UK’s most dynamic English departments will challenge you to develop your own critical faculties. Learning to write creatively, you’ll develop your own writing practice.

Course units are taught by nationally and internationally known scholars, authors, playwrights and poets who are specialists in their fields who write ground-breaking books, talk or write in the national media and appear at literary festivals around the world.

Programme structure

Year 1

Theatre and Performance Making
You will encounter a range of creative methods for work-shopping practice, and produce a 20-minute performance as a response to one company.

Theatre and Culture
This module looks at the ways in which theatre reflects, intervenes and questions the culture around it. It will expand your horizons and introduce you to a range of unfamiliar practices.

Creative Writing: Introduction to Creative Writing
This module is designed to introduce you to the problems and challenges of writing creatively generally and to the specific problems and challenges connected to writing in specific genres: fiction, drama and poetry. In the first term you will look at all three genres as part of a general introduction, while beginning to focus on fiction – and the short story – towards the end of term. The second term is split into two five-week sessions, one on poetry and one on drama.

Creative Writing: Why Write?
This course introduces you to a range of historical perspectives on the function, forms, and value of creative writing. You will investigate the genesis of particular genres such as the short story, the novel and the manifesto, and will have an opportunity to work to the templates and prescriptions set out by these historical thinkers, as a means both to understand their demands and to investigate the relationships between historical genres and the contemporary writer. The course aims to encourage you to interrogate your own assumptions about creative writing and think critically about the relationship between creative writing and society.

Year 2

Theatre and Performance Making 2
You will choose an option that enables you to focus on a particular creative skill, such as acting for camera, dance, playwriting, physical theatre, site-based performance or scenography.

Theatre and Culture 2
You will choose an option that enables you to consider the ways in which theatre and culture reflect and resist each other within a particular context, including feminism, popular theatre, theatre for young audiences, dancing bodies and global culture.

Year 3

Creative Writing: Creative Writing Special Focus
The Creative Writing Special Focus concentrates on a particular mode of writing, genre, theme, issue or idea. Each focus draws on an individual staff area of interest and expertise, with the focus changing each term. You will take one particular focus in the Autumn term and one in the Spring and will be encouraged to make creative work in relation to the focus, and to develop your writing practice in relation to wider contexts relevant to the contemporary writer. This will make an important connection between the creative ambitions of the module and writing beyond the University.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Career opportunities

There are plenty of performance opportunities to get stuck into while you’re here, and they’ll stand you in good stead when you graduate. You’ll be familiar and confident in performance situations (skills which are vital for leading meetings and make you viable for visible leadership roles). You’ll come off as credible and composed. You’ll also walk away with considerable experience of technical, intellectual, imaginative, and practical skills, valued by most employers. Aside from these performance skills, you’ll also get skills in research and project management from the academic side of the course.

Our industry links mean you’ll be able to pursue work experience with theatres and creative arts agencies. Recent graduates in the Department of Drama & Theatre have gone into careers in acting, writing, broadcasting (including at the BBC), literary agency, arts management, sound design, marketing/PR, teaching and community theatre work, as well as postgraduate study in different fields. Lots of our graduates also start their own performing arts companies. Find out more about what our graduates are doing now.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States