The Application Process
All applications, including those from international and mature students, should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
We use all of the information available to us on your UCAS form, so it’s really important that you fill it in as fully and carefully as you can. We look at:
- Your grades so far, and your predicted grades
- Your personal statement
- Your school or college reference
We also take into account any other relevant information on the form. We’re looking for academic excellence, but also evidence of your potential.
We look at these very carefully. We look at your results so far, paying particular attention to how you’ve done in Drama and arts-related subjects. Then, we look at your predicted grades. If there are any big discrepancies between the results you’ve achieved and your final, predicted results then this needs to be addressed—ideally in your teacher’s reference or, otherwise, in your personal statement.
If your predicted grades don’t meet our standard entry requirements, we won’t automatically discard your application.
In your personal statement, we want to see evidence not only of your enthusiasm for Drama but also your intellectual curiosity and capacity for critical engagement. Your personal statement should demonstrate a theoretical as well as practical interest in Drama.
Here are a few pointers about writing your personal statement. We’re looking for evidence that you can think analytically and make connections between theatre and wider social and cultural questions. Obviously, space is tight, but try to give examples. You might want to discuss one performance or a play you have been working on in some detail; or tell us about a new area of drama or theatre you’ve been exploring recently, and what you’ve discovered. Or you might want to write about the relationship between two or more of your A level subjects, and how the study of History, say, or Politics – or, for that matter, Physics – illuminates your understanding of theatre and drama.
We’re also interested in how your broader life might prepare you to study Drama. You might want to tell us about activities that demonstrate your ability to cooperate with others, to organise your time effectively, and to develop communication skills. We aren’t interested in a long list of hobbies and pastimes – we’re interested more in how your experiences show your potential to study Drama at university.
Finally, and we’re sure this goes without saying: proofread your personal statement. Get friends and teachers to look it over. You don’t want any writing errors to detract from your application.
One of your teachers will normally write your reference, often with input from other teachers (often your Drama teacher). References are never negative, but of course we are looking for outstanding positives. In particular, we’re likely to be persuaded by evidence that you’re motivated, reliable, work well independently and with others, and that you show real intellectual promise, especially in Drama. You can help yourself here by demonstrating to your teachers that you possess these qualities. You should also speak to your teachers if there are particular issues which you think need accounting for in your reference – including grade discrepancies, but also perhaps other specific circumstances which we should know about, such as any learning disabilities or prolonged teacher absence.