The UK is widely regarded as one of the best countries in the world for studying unique and rewarding performance arts degrees in subjects such as drama, theatre and acting. Pursuing an undergraduate degree in Drama can be a challenging but rewarding labour of love in a highly competitive but creative field.
With the main focus of learning by doing, you will study a combination of theory and practice to develop knowledge and skills when studying drama in the UK. Studying drama at UK universities will teach you how to communicate with an audience through performance and educate you in the history of drama and acting. Moreover, talented and qualified professionals in performing arts, such as drama, are in demand in the UK and are even mentioned in the latest UK Shortage Occupation List.
Learn about studying drama and theatre at the best UK universities and conservatoires below (Guardian University Guide 2024), or start your UCAS application by arranging a free consultation with SI-UK India today.
Top Five Universities for Studying Drama and Theatre in the UK
Below are some of the best drama schools in the UK offering popular drama and theatre programmes according to the latest Guardian University Guide Rankings 2024 for Drama and Dance.
The BA (Hons) Dance at Conservatoire for Dance and Drama's Northern School of Contemporary Dance offers a comprehensive education for aspiring professional contemporary dance artists, performers, choreographers, and artist facilitators. With rigorous training, students develop highly-tuned technical and creative skills through diverse dance experiences.
The programme explores theory and practice, enabling curiosity about contemporary dance's role in the broader arts landscape. The curriculum covers technical training, artistic intelligence, and movement understanding, preparing dancers for the dynamic demands of contemporary choreography. Students also engage in industry-relevant practices like dance films, site-specific work, and social responsibility in dance.
- Suggested course: BA (Hons) Dance (Contemporary)
- Entry requirements: Five GCSE passes (grade C/4 or above), including English Language, and two A Level passes.
- International fee: £17,500
The BA (Hons) Applied Theatre degree at Birmingham City University's Royal Birmingham Conservatoire cultivates the skills and understanding necessary for creating impactful and purposeful theatre. Focused on practical experience, students develop facilitation, devising, and theatre-making skills, applying them in diverse settings like schools, communities, and healthcare facilities.
The curriculum highlights how theatre is made and explores the why. With opportunities for placements, independent work, and forming professional 'companies,' the programme concludes with a showcase festival, bridging students to employment and highlighting the impact of theatre on social and political objectives.
- Suggested course: BA (Hons) Applied Theatre (Community & Education)
- Entry requirements: IB diploma: A minimum of 24 points overall.
- International fee: £19,020
The Acting and Theatre Arts Top-Up course offers a detailed course covering writing, scenography, and theatre-making using state-of-the-art facilities. Designed for HND/FdA graduates in relevant Acting/Drama disciplines, the programme integrates academic study with practical drama-school training. Key aspects include acting, directing, contemporary drama, and applied theatre, with lecturers having diverse industry experience.
The school has strong links with local theatres, guest lecturers, and industry-standard facilities for better education. The flexible final year allows students to tailor their studies, engaging in productions, directing, creating films, or gaining industry experience. Assessment involves presentations, productions, and coursework, with no formal exams.
- Suggested course: BA (Hons) Acting and Theatre Arts (Top-up)
- Entry requirements: Completion of a relevant HND or FdA in an Acting/Drama discipline.
The University of Essex offers an environment of creative and technical excellence where you are encouraged to push your artistic boundaries. With strong industry links and ongoing relationships with many experienced practitioners in the field, you will enjoy drama school-level training to mould you into a versatile performer and launch your career. With an emphasis on practical experience, you will be taught through intensive technical training, extensive studio time, collaborative projects and performance opportunities.
- Suggested course: BA Acting
- Entry requirements: IB: two Higher Level certificates with 33. A-levels: EE, or 32 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels.
- International fee: £20,500
The University of Surrey helps students engage in collaborative works in modern venues like GSA, Ivy Arts Centre, and PATS Theatre, including plays, musicals, and devised projects. The exhaustive curriculum covers core subjects and allows specialisation in areas like sound, lighting, video, stage management, and construction.
Also ranked 3rd in the UK for drama, dance, and cinematics (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024), the practice-based BA Theatre Production course at Guildford School of Acting (GSA) at Surrey offers professional training in various production skills. GSA, a highly esteemed theatre school, promotes a vibrant community of performers, creatives, and technicians.
- Suggested course: BA (Hons) Theatre Production
- Entry requirements: GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent).
- International fee: £22,500
Study Drama in the UK
Turn your passion into your profession by studying drama in the UK. Book a free consultation today to connect with our expert consultants and enquire about Drama courses, entry requirements, scholarships, post-study work visas and more.