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English and Drama

QW34 BA (Hons) 3 years


For full information about life in the School and the programmes we offer, please see the School of English and Drama Website.

On this joint degree programme you will examine the study and practice of performance, and you will read texts from a broad spectrum of genres and periods.

The degree combines practical and theoretical study in a wide range of interconnected areas, providing you with a variety of approaches to drama and literary studies as active and dynamic subjects. Along with an understanding of how approaches to Drama and English complement one another, you will be encouraged to locate texts and performances in their political, cultural, and historical contexts.

Why study English and Drama at Queen Mary?

Queen Mary offers you the opportunity to study English and Drama in one of the world’s greatest theatre cities and one of the world’s most important cultural hubs.

We have well-established links with key national institutions - such as Shakespeare’s Globe, the Barbican, and Tate Modern - and with community groups in London’s East End. This means you will work with active practitioners and arts professionals. As well as enhancing your studies, these links will increase your employability through networking and work placement opportunities.

You will also be studying alongside academics who are leaders in their field. In the latest national assessment of university's research, Drama was ranked 1st and English 4th in the country. Our academics are committed to using their own theoretical and practical research to inform their teaching. Our diverse faculty offers a wide range of modules so you can pursue the varieties of performance and writing that most interest you.



Year 1

Core modules:

  • Shakespeare
  • Reading, Theory and Interpretation
  • English in Practice
  • Cultural Histories of Theatre
  • Performance Texts in Practice
  • Practices
  • London/Culture/Performance

Year 2

In Drama, you will take sixty credits including at least one of:

  • Cultural Politics and Performance (DRA259) 
  • London/Archives/Resources (DRA260) 
  • Group Practical Project (DRA242) 

In your second year in English, you will select one module from Lists 1 and 2 below, and another module or modules from Lists 3 and 4.

List 1

Arthurian Literature: From Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones (ESH283) [30 credits]

Renaissance Literary Culture (ESH267) [30 credits]

Renaissance Drama (ESH280) [30 credits]

List 2

Representing London: Writing the Eighteenth Century City (ESH288) [30 credits]

Romantics and Revolutionaries (ESH286) [30 credits]

Victorian Fictions (ESH279) [30 credits]

List 3

Architexts (ESH243) [30 credits]

Modernism (ESH213) [30 credits]

Postcolonial and Global Literatures (ESH285) [30 credits]

List 4

List 4 comprises of a wide range of optional modules. You can get a sense of what might be on offer by viewing our English module directory.

Final Year

You will select at least one of:

  • Written Research Project (DRA329) 
  • Practice-based Research Project (DRA344)
  • Performance Company Research Project (DRA353)
  • English Research Dissertation (ESH6000) 
You will also take the compulsory, but non-assessed, module:
  • Livelihoods (DRA346) 

Optional Modules

In your second and final years you can choose from a wide list of optional English and Drama modules which reflect your own particular interests.

Entry requirements

Typical tariff or grades required: 320-340 points from 3 A-levels, equivalent to ABB-AAB at A-level with an A in English Literature or combined English Language and Literature.

Excluded subjects: General studies and Critical Thinking

International Baccalaureate:
Subjects and grades: At least 34 points overall. Must include at least 6 points in higher level English.

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

We teach our programmes in a variety of ways, some traditional, some new. You will take part in workshops, lectures, seminars, and unsupervised practice sessions. We try to vary our teaching as much as possible so that you learn by encountering different situations and points of view. Many of our modules feature guest lecturers (professional writers, creatives, and publishers, for example). Others make use of the unrivalled resources that London offers by taking you out of the classroom.

As you progress, you’ll spend more time in smaller classes where you’ll be expected to take more responsibility for your learning as you develop confidence and skills. But whatever the format, you’ll be taught by experts in their field who are passionate about their subject and committed to good teaching.

Independent Study:
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 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; rehearsing; 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 and viewing 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.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways. Some modules will be assessed by traditional exams, but the majority are assessed by coursework.

Coursework can mean essays, projects, individual or group presentations, log books, practical pieces, oral or memorisation tests. All coursework is compulsory because each piece of coursework contributes towards the final mark for a module. Drama frequently involves working with others, so 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. 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

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

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 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

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

Our graduates go on to work in a wide variety of roles in a range of sectors including the arts, publishing, the media, heritage and charity.

The national 2014 destination survey confirmed that 92% of graduates from the School were in employment or study six months after graduation, with 71% of this group already working or studying at graduate level. Queen Mary undergraduates have an average earning power of £23,000 six months after graduation.

The broad range of skills gained through undergraduate courses in the School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into careers such as:

  • Junior Producer - ITN
  • Actor - Self employed
  • Script Reader - Writers Avenue
  • Editorial Assistant - Dazed & Confused Magazine
  • Associate Producer - Idle Motion
  • PR Assistant - Proud Gallery
  • Research Assistant - Tatler
  • Programme Compiler - Channel 4
  • Market Researcher - Maritz
  • Global Mobility Project Assistant - Diageo
  • Marketing Coordinator - News Quest Ltd

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 90 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. Recent events include an Experience Journalism workshop run by News Associates, Experience Teaching with TeachFirst, Careers in Law for non-law students and Start Up Stand up for those aspiring to start their own social enterprise or business.

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, including a chance to volunteer for QMedia (which produces QMTV, The Print newspaper and CUB Magazine from the Students’ Union).

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



Name: Rebecca Coxon
Studied: BA English and Drama
Rebecca secured a place in the BBC production Talent Pool and since graduating she has worked as a Production Management Assistant and Personal Assistant to an Executive Producer in the BBC's Factual, History Department

When did you graduate, and what was your final-year undergraduate research project on?

I studied English & Drama and graduated in July 2012. My final year dissertation was a research project on mental health and performance, focusing particularly on the work of performance artist Bobby Baker.

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
The interview and open day I attended really made up my mind. The staff were lively and engaging, and the interview was challenging in a good way. The students who showed me around were lovely and helpful - I could tell they really enjoyed life at Queen Mary. Both the English and Drama departments offered an amazing variety of module choices: from more traditional modules like Shakespeare, Modernism or Chaucer, to the more experimental avant-garde, performance art and visual culture ones - so there was no doubt I would find modules that I liked. I chose a mixture of both and really enjoyed them all. It’s a cheesy thing to say but I can’t imagine having studied anywhere else and have never regretted my decision!

What was the highlight of your time at Queen Mary?
Many of my best memories come from my experiences with societies, sports clubs, volunteering and my part-time job working for the Student’s Union cafe on campus. I highly recommend new students to get involved with societies, sports and the Student’s Union in general. It’s a great way to make friends, build up your skills and enjoy your time between lectures. If I was pushed for a specific answer... winning QM society of the year, becoming cheerleading national grand champs and meeting royalty (Princess Anne opened the new Arts Building) are probably in my top three highlights though!

How did you find life on campus and in London?
I really enjoyed it. My halls were great and the East End of London is such an interesting place to live; there’s a lot of creative stuff going on so it’s a really fun place to be at the moment. And of course being so near to central London makes it a dream location for English and Drama students – there are so many arts venues and theatres, as well as endless opportunities to find relevant part-time jobs, internships or volunteer alongside your studies. For example I stewarded at Shakespeare’s Globe, helped run the Theatre Company, performed at Edinburgh Fringe, was a course ambassador and performed in the Olympic Ceremonies – all of which were relevant to my degree, boosted my CV and allowed me to meet lots of interesting and creative people. There's a huge diversity of opportunities for English and Drama students in London; it’s really the perfect place to be.

What have you been doing since graduating, and how did studying at Queen Mary prepare you for it?

Just before graduating, and after a 4-month rigorous application and interview process, I secured a place on the BBC Production Talent Pool: a scheme that hires 100 people around the country and fast-tracks them into entry-level jobs in BBC Television and Radio production. I’ve been a Production Management Assistant and Personal Assistant to an Executive Producer in the London Factual, History Department for 8 months now and am really enjoying it. I’ve already been on two research and filming trips abroad and am currently working on a feature-length film that will be shown on BBC One later this year.

Studying at Queen Mary helped to prepare me in lots of ways; in fact the only reason I found out about the BBC talent pool was because the manager of the scheme came and did a talk at QM! During my three years at uni I went to lots of career events organised by QM and the University of London Careers Group: everything from networking events with people in the media, to interview and presentation skills workshops. Along with improved writing and communication skills developed throughout my degree, the career workshops helped improve my confidence when it came down to applications and interviews in particular. I also volunteered for the charity Nightline (whom QMSU supports), working 14-hour overnight shifts every few weeks. The extensive training I received for that role was invaluable and I use the skills I acquired from it every single day; I’d highly recommend volunteering for Nightline, or one of the many other charities based in London or on campus.

However, it was being part of the Queen Mary Theatre Company (QMTC) though that was the most enlightening and rewarding experience. Every year QMTC takes 30 students cast in 4 student-written and directed plays to Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as well as hosting 3 sold-out drama festivals and 30 plays throughout the year. I was lucky enough to be elected co-president in my final year which was such a fantastic learning curve and an amazing opportunity to organise these festivals, as well as make links with local East-end art venues, engage with other societies and be in charge of the budgeting/admin side of things - something I had never done before, and something that has become very useful for my current job.


Please visit the School of English and Drama website for more student and alumni profiles.

David Wilkinson

BA English

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

“I chose Queen Mary because I live in East London and because I was aware of its good reputation for English. I was impressed by the open day where I was made to feel welcome as a mature student and where I saw how much choice there is within the course; in the first year we covered areas from medieval literature to contemporary theory; this year I am learning about post- colonialism, 18th Century satire and literature after the First World War. There are dozens of interesting modules to choose from.

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

“The university is located in a nice part of London. It’s a lovely campus on the Regent’s canal with lots of good coffee shops and places to study. It's within walking distance of places like Victoria Park and Brick Lane.

“The teaching staff are very helpful and everything is well planned, we are set interesting and challenging work every week. I’m being trained to become a better thinker and I feel like I've learned a lot in the last year. I think the course is great and would highly recommend it.”

Emmanuel Avdijan


Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

“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.

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

“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.”


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