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French and Drama

WR41 BA (Hons) 4 years


Studying Drama and a modern language gives you the opportunity to explore connections and interactions between cultural traditions. You divide your time equally between the two subjects, following modules designed to help you develop your linguistic skills and the key concepts and techniques required to study cultural practices and make performance.

You will engage with a variety of performance and cultural traditions that inform both contexts and investigate the parallels between the two. You normally spend your third year in a country where your chosen language is spoken. You can choose either to study or take up a work placement.

Why study French and Drama at Queen Mary?

In the Department of Drama all our teaching is research-led, by staff members who are leaders in their field with more than 90 per cent of our academics working at a world-leading or internationally excellent level (Research Assessment Exercise 2008). This means you will learn from people who are involved in creating new work and adding to the sum of knowledge in this field, making for a truly inspiring study experience.

Drama at Queen Mary also does extremely well in university rankings and student surveys. Drama was ranked top in UK by the Guardian University Guide 2013 and second by the Times University Guide 2013.  In the latest National Student Survey (2011), 100 per cent of students felt that staff were enthusiastic about what they were teaching; 98 per cent that staff were good at explaining things; and 94 per cent that the programme is intellectually stimulating.

We have close links with London’s cultural institutions including Shakespeare’s Globe, the Barbican Centre and Tate Modern, which means you will have the opportunity to work with theatre and other arts professionals as well as lecturers who are leaders in their field. Our teaching takes place in state-of-the-art facilities, including the Pinter Studio Theatre, and a suite of purpose-built rehearsal rooms. You have full access to these facilities, along with the necessary technical support.

Our location in east London is an important element in our work, and you are encouraged to see the site of your studies as being part of your exploration of your subject. Whether in groups, or individually, you are also encouraged to investigate the unknown and the unexpected, and we have developed modules that will invite you to consider drama and performance in a variety of settings, which might include schools, hospitals, prisons, art galleries or streets as well as theatres across the UK and internationally.

French is taught in one of the leading language departments in the UK aim for excellence in both teaching and research. Queen Mary was ranked in the top twenty in the UK for French in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008). This means that you will learn from people who are at the forefront of their field. In the last National Student Survey (NSS 2011), 86 per cent of our students were satisfied with the quality of the course overall.

You will spend a year abroad in the third year of your degree. This gives you an exceptional opportunity to develop your language skills among native speakers. You have three main options for how to spend the year abroad: teaching English as a foreign language assistant; attending university abroad on an Erasmus exchange; or in the professional world, either on a work placement, with the School’s support, or independently, with the School’s approval.

We pride ourselves on the facilities we offer. Our computing services make us one of the best equipped languages departments in the UK. Advisers are on hand to help you take advantage of multilingual word-processing and to point you towards websites useful for language study. Our custom designed Language Centre provides state-of-the-art language teaching and learning facilities. We also subscribe to many foreign newspapers and journals.

The College Library has extensive audio-visual facilities, a large collection of videos and DVDs and is equipped for viewing satellite TV. Students also enjoy lively language clubs and societies which organise film showings, outings, drama productions and social meetings which gives you the chance to practise your language as well as have fun.


Year 1

Drama core modules:

  • Theatre and its Others
  • Performance in History
  • Making Theatre Work
  • London/Culture/Performance

French Core modules:

French I
French Foundations

Years 2 and 4

  • You will design a programme of study with option modules which may include:
  • Theatre for the People
  • Adaptations
  • Dramaturgy and Translation
  • Making Contemporary Theatre
  • Naturalism

French Core modules:

  • French II
  • French III

Plus additional French modules, options include:

  • Art in France: Manet to early Picasso
  • French Phonetics and Phonology
  • The Edutainers: Francophone Children’s Literature
  • Language and Identity in Québec
  • Imagining Modernity

Year 3

Year abroad spent studying or working.
  • Written Assignment

Entry requirements


Typical tariff or grades required: 320 UCAS tariff points from 3 A-levels, equivalent to ABB at A-level. An A in Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences and a B in French is also required.

Exlcuded subjects: General Studies

International Baccalaureate:

Subjects and grades: At least 34 points overall. Must include at least 6 points in Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences at higher level, and a 5 in Higher level French.

Vocational and other qualifications:

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Please visit our further information page below.

Further information on our entry requirements

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration. 

Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching

Drama teaching happens in small seminars, workshops, small lectures, field work, tutorials and some workshop activities outside Queen Mary (for example, in local schools). You will do group work and work independently. Theory and practice are integrated across the curriculum so that in seminars you will also do some practice-based learning and in workshops you will also discuss critical reading.

As well as working with Drama staff, you will also have the opportunity to work with experts and theatre professionals from outside the College. You can expect to be in taught classes eight hours per week but also to do additional unsupervised practice in dedicated studio time four hours per week. You will sometimes dedicate additional time to preparing performance work and extra studio space is bookable for you to do this.

You will also be responsible for preparing assigned reading, doing independent research and attending theatre and other cultural events across London as well as preparing work for assessment. Seminar groups generally take no more than 21 students and workshop groups are normally no larger than 15.

Independent Study

For every hour in classes you will be expected to complete a further 5 - 6 hours of independent study.  Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments.  However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area.  This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Assessment includes written and practical assignments, which might include lecture-demonstrations, essays, critical reviews, funding applications and performances. As Drama frequently involves working with others, some assessment is based around group work. However, we always try to find means of assessment that suit the subject matter being studied.

We offer a wide range of practical and seminar-based module options, as well as required core modules, including, in the final year, either a written research project or an independent practical project. Drama modules involve a high level of commitment to the collective work done in practical classes and with other students outside of usual working hours.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2015 entry

Tuition fees for International students

2015 entry

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2014):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £7,751 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • A Maintenance Grant of up to £3,387 to help towards your living costs
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • Extra amounts of loan or grant if you study for longer than the standard academic year or if you have travel costs because you are studying away from your main campus

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film Studies go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as interpreting, teaching and publishing, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into areas such as marketing.

The national 2012 destination survey confirmed that 87% of the School’s graduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation with 64% already working and/or studying at graduate level. Graduates from this School have an average earning power of £20,153 six months after graduation.

The broad range of skills gained through our language courses, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:

Global Technical Support RepresentationBloomberg
Assistant Tour ManagerSony
Trainee ManagerMajestic Wine
Training Centre Co-ordinatorESI International
Fundraising AdministratorMildmay International
International Product AnalystMeta-Pack
Marketing ExecutiveMano
Graduate Account ExecutiveHall & Partners
Publishing AssistantMedikidz
JournalistSelf Employed
InterpreterSelf Employed
English as a Foreign Language TeacherBritish Council

Throughout the course, students have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 70 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.

Recent careers events for language students include a workshop for returning 4th years, "What a Difference a Year Abroad Makes”, and a “Make Languages Work for You” speed meet event with alumni working in a variety of roles. Students also have access to our central careers programme, with a range of events including workshops on journalism, teaching, and employer-led recruitment skills training.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers pages.


Student Profile: Emmanuel Avdijan

“I decided to study at Queen Mary because it was based in the heart of London, one of the most diverse, experimental and culturally packed cities in Europe. Everything from theatre shows, to late night comedy clubs is on your doorstep.

“I love the way our lecturers approach teaching. In one session we may start by looking at the reasons people visited the original 1599 Globe theatre, and finish with a discussion of how contemporary live art performances have pushed the boundaries of theatre to offend, judge and perhaps even reconfigure modern day theatre goers.

“I live at home but try to get involved in the social side as much as I can. There is always something taking place on campus and all societies are very open to recruiting new members.”

Student Profile: Vaithergei Vijayathas

“The programme is excellent. It has exposed me to so many aspects of theatre, some which I had first covered at A-level Drama, and some that were completely new. This was very beneficial because it helped enhance the skills I had acquired in the sixth form and helped me ease my way into developing my own ideas and writings. The tutors are brilliant, particularly because most of them are performers in their own right. They are really helpful when it comes to advising us on how to start our individual research.

“The social life is pretty good. There's the Drapers’ Bar on campus, as well as a good local pub. The campus is only fifteen minutes from exciting Brick Lane, and all the London clubs and theatres are in Soho which is not far away at all.

“The Uni has a gym so you can slot in a work-out while you’re on campus, and they also have classes for things like aerobics, pilates, yoga, circuit training and so on. I have also joined the Queen Mary Theatre Company and did a show with them for the New Writers’ Festival. They offer plenty of opportunities to perform, with three plays going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival every year. It’s not only fun, but an excellent thing for my CV. My favourite place on campus is down by the canal. It's a lovely place to relax with friends during lunch. It’s also a good place to study in the summer.”

Graduate profile: Lauren Davis
Studied: Drama (Performance)

Currently: Gallery Assistant, Barbican Arts Centre and Freelance Producer

Why did you choose Queen Mary?

Drama at QM is considered a “powerhouse” of research and performance, and is active in National and International events such as SPILL, the National Review of Live Art and PSi. QM provides unparalleled in-house opportunities for its students to work closely with internationally renowned artists and organisations. I knew that if I went to QM, I’d be given the opportunity to work professionally with artists that students from other universities only get to read about.

What did you gain from your time at Queen Mary?

In addition to the contacts and relationships I developed with institutions and artists whilst a student, studying at QM gave me a broad base of skills such as time management, writing and the presentation of ideas, which have proved to be essential to my working environment.

How did you find your current job?

During my studies, I worked part-time at the Barbican Centre. As a result of this work, I developed a strong connection with the Art Gallery and was taken on in my permanent position last November. The knowledge and experience gained from my studies at QM contributed immensely to my suitability for the job, and left me familiar with a broad range of artists and theoretical concerns which are immediately relevant to my work.

In 2009, Professor Lois Weaver and QM Drama launched the AiR Project – an initiative that sustains established Live Art Practitioners, supports emerging artists and invests in the spaces that nurture their work and their audiences. Immediately after graduating, I worked with the first Artist in Residence, Helena Hunter, as a Personal Assistant. My work with Helena and the skills I developed have led to further freelance production work.

Graduate profile: Jen Holton
Studied: Drama

Currently: I have been offered a role in a professional London pantomime, which should be a fun way to ease myself into the entertainment industry! I am pursuing my ambition to be a television presenter. I am currently in talks with agents regarding representation for the double act Jen and Jade.

Why did you choose Queen Mary?

As soon as I visited Queen Mary, I knew it was the right place for me to study. I was immediately drawn to the university as it is the only campus based college in central London, and I liked the community feel, but also the fact that it has all of the advantages of a city university. The fact that Queen Mary is one of the top places to study Drama in the country made it the ideal choice.

What did you gain from your time at Queen Mary?

Throughout my time at Queen Mary, I represented the College as a member of the first team in netball and competed in both BUSA and ULU leagues. I was voted President of the Theatre Company in my final year of study, after performing with the company for two years.I also created and presented ‘Flirt TV’, which is nationally recognised by the Flirt franchise, resulting in the launch of Flirt TV at many other universities. I think the emphasis on extracurricular activities as well as study is one of the best aspects of studying here, and is also one of the reasons why Queen Mary students have such a high employment rate after university.

What are your career plans in the next five years?

In the next five years, I will continue working on my presenting career and aim to support myself solely on this venture. My main ambition is to present Saturday night television, although I am aware this may take a few years! Have a look at our work

Tom Symmons

BA Film Studies and History

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“The critical skills and depth of knowledge I acquired during my BA Film Studies and History provided me a solid foundation for my postgraduate studies. My doctoral research thesis on the New Hollywood of the late-1960s and 1970s is now nearing completion and I intend to pursue a career in academia.

The joint honours degree course is structured to allow plenty of flexibility, and the modules on offer are diverse and well formulated; the interdisciplinary course 'Critical Approaches to Film: Alfred Hitchcock', was a particular favourite. It is also led by academics who are both leaders in their respective fields of research, and take a great deal of pride and interest in providing the best educational experience for their students.”


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