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School of English and Drama

Frequently Asked Questions

The Department of Drama at Queen Mary is recognised internationally for the outstanding quality of its research and teaching. We are an exciting, creative, and supportive place for scholars—established and emerging—to thrive. One of the leading centres of research in the United Kingdom, Queen Mary Drama was placed first among Drama departments in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. Both the 2016 Complete University Guide and the Guardian University Guide 2016 rated us as the best Drama department in London, and the sixth best in the country. In 2013, we had the best graduate employment rate of any humanities-based Drama programme in the country.

We typically require AAB - ABB grades at A level (or an equivalent qualification), with at least an A in one Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences subject. In addition, we welcome well-motivated candidates with non-standard qualifications who demonstrate achievement in these areas. See here for more details of our entry requirements.

We are interested in your performance at GCSE and AS level, but we do not take them into consideration as part of our standard offer.

The EPQ is a great way of developing, and demonstrating, your skills in independent research, so we value it highly. However, it is not taken into account as part of our standard offer.

We cannot guarantee a place to anyone who does not meet their offer. However, if you miss your offer by a narrow margin, and if we really think you’d be right for our degree programme, then it is possible that we may still offer you a place once results are published.

We never look down on anyone! Doing a retake shows enthusiasm for that particular subject. You have to be sure that second time around, you will actually be able to make some improvement and that you are capable of obtaining a higher grade.

If you are a mature student with no formal qualifications appropriate to the degree you wish to study you are required to pass an Access Course in a Social Sciences, Humanities, or Cultural Studies programme. For more detailed entry requirements for mature students please visit our Entry Requirements section.

Queen Mary offers you the opportunity to apply to join the undergraduate exchange programme, enabling you to spend a semester at a university abroad. You may only take part in the exchange programme in your second year. If you take one of our joint honours degree programmes with a language, your degree lasts for four years, and you spend your third year abroad (for example, if you’re studying Drama and German, you’d spend your third year in Germany).

We accept approximately 70 students for single honours Drama as well as around a further 40 students for joint honours Drama and another subject (this mix can vary from year to year). Our students come from the UK, continental Europe, and all over the rest of the world.

Queen Mary runs various subject fair open days throughout the year. We encourage you to attend one of these where you will be able to meet members of our academic team. If you apply and we invite you for an interview, you will also be able to meet and talk with members of our academic staff and current students. During term time, though, it can be quite difficult to arrange a meeting with a member of our academic team as they have teaching and various other work commitments. Please contact our admissions administrator in the School of English and Drama (020 7882 8571, should you have any degree or admission related queries.

Most semesters you’ll be required to attend eight hours of taught classes per week. This number can be a bit deceptive, though. You’ll also be required to attend weekly scheduled practical sessions (these may involve a member of staff or be student-led). Depending on the module, you may also be required to attend rehearsals, have supervisions with academic staff, see performances, and conduct fieldwork. In addition, you are also expected to spend a significant amount of time on independent study, including reading, research, and preparing your assessments.

We employ a variety of assessment methods, such as research essays, performances, lecture-demonstrations, critical reviews, written exercises, practical essays, funding applications, critical reflections, and portfolios. As Drama frequently involves working with others, some assessment is based on group work. At present there are no examinations in Drama, but if you are a joint honours student you may find that there are some exams in your other subject.

Drama offers lots opportunities to get involved. You could be elected as a student representative for your year. This means you can raise issues and discussion at the Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) meetings, attended by student representatives and members of staff. Becoming a Student Ambassador is also something you may wish to add to your CV. Ambassadors help out on our open days and other events. The Queen Mary Theatre Company, which is run by students, is always keen to recruit new members. In addition, when Drama staff stage productions or run festivals, internship opportunities are sometimes made available, and students are given the chance to work closely with directors, project managers, and events coordinators.

You’ll be assigned to a Personal Adviser as soon as you arrive to begin your degree with us. This will be a member of the academic staff, who is there to help to guide you through your degree, advising you on academic pathways, and module choices. They are also your first point of contact if you have any problems, and they can refer you to the comprehensive range of student support services at Queen Mary, such as the Advice and Counselling Service, Careers, Disability and Dyslexia, etc. The School of English and Drama also has a team of administrators who can provide day to day help and advice on a wide range of topics.

Many! See our After your Degree page for more detailed information.

As a research-led department, we’re interested in studying Drama through theory and practice. We’re not a Drama school and, consequently, our undergraduate degrees do not aim to train actors. If you’re looking for classes in such things as voice training, dialect coaching, or acting for the camera, it’s probably best to look elsewhere. Performance practice is still an essential part of studying Drama at Queen Mary, though, and our graduates have gone on to perform and create theatre companies successfully.

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