Sixth Form: Drama and Theatre

“Universities, like many employers, value a rounded education. If, for example, a budding young scientist has met their course’s requirements by taking biology and maths A-levels, why shouldn’t they vary their experience with a language or arts subject?”

Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive, Russell Group

Subject Overview

A Level Drama and Theatre follows on from GCSE as we use the same exam board for both: OCR. At A Level, students get the chance to create their own devised project based on theatre practitioners and stimulus material which allows them freedom to experiment with different styles and genres and to follow their own interests in these areas. We also study several play scripts in depth, looking at the playwrights’ craft and how they can be brought to life on stage in different interpretations. Students will look at theatre from all perspectives across the course: deviser, performer, designer, and director. The course is well rounded and suits the interests of all. Of course, there is controlled assessment and written exams, but there is still assessment on the practical side of Drama through performance, and most of our lesson time will be spent working practically on the units.

Entry Requirements

  • Standard entry requirements
  • It helps if you have studied Drama at GCSE level but isn’t essential

Syllabus (Course Outline and Structure)

Unit 1: Practitioners in Practice 40%

  • You will study 2 practitioners in depth and create a research report about them
  • You will study a text extract as a stimulus
  • You then create your own devised performance project based on your practitioners and text stimulus


  • Final performance outcome
  • Research report
  • Portfolio

Unit 2: Exploring and Performing Texts 20%

  • You will explore a play and perform 2 extracts from it


  • Live performance to visiting examiner
  • Concept document (outlining intentions)

Unit 3: Analysing Performance 20%

  • You will study 2 set texts from a set theme that links them
  • You will also analyse a piece of live theatre that we go to see


  • Written exam

Unit 4: Deconstructing Texts for Performance 20%

  • You will explore a set text
  • You will create your own concept for the text from the point of view of a director considering design elements, acting, directing


  • Written exam

Activities and trips

As part of the course you will be required to attend theatre trips which are essential to the course content. When available we also take part in extra workshops from theatre companies.

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

Drama suits combinations of many subjects including English Literature, History and Psychology. Every year there is a School Musical in which A level students can take a key role. This is not essential but helps with performance skills and working as part of a large cast if you choose to be involved.

“The arts teach us how to express ourselves – and give us freedom to fail”

Daisy Buchanan

Subject Resources

The OCR website has everything you could ever ask for:

Schemes of Work

See the OCR website for topic exploration packs – these may be used in your lessons

Past Papers

Available on the OCR website

Useful Links (internal and external)