Why GSA?

Our Theatre and Performance programme will provide you with extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of one of the oldest and most significant forms of human expression. Our students are part of the thriving community at Guildford School of Acting and benefit from the University of Surrey’s long-established reputation for dance.

Programme overview

Through our Theatre and Performance degree you will explore the ideas and practices that inform current theatre and performance making, both nationally and internationally. You will also consider a breadth of performance practices and dramatic literature, from the mainstream to the contemporary, considering the connections between theatre texts and cultures.

Your studies will be grounded in artistic enquiry, theatre history, culture and performance analysis, and informed by research, practice and reflection.

Through performance, analysis and debate, you will engage directly with the specialisms that shape this changing field and be provided with a firm foundation in the study and practice of theatre, allowing you to thrive in the creative and cultural industries.

Programme structure

Year 1 

In the first year, emphasis is placed on performing bodies and theatre and performance texts. Key concepts and a foundation of core knowledge, practices and methods are also introduced.

As part of the practical pathway you will look at strategies to develop character, while in theoretical modules you will explore the different ways in which text and the body have been understood at key points in the history of theatre.

We will also introduce you to foundation elements of theatre production and design.

Compulsory modules:

Year 2

The thematic emphasis in the second year is on space and place in performance, and on less textually centred approaches to stage craft, with introductions to a range of theories and methods to encourage and guide effective performance analysis and critical thinking.

In practice-led modules you will explore devising for performance, taking the metaphor of the laboratory to focus your practice, as well as autobiographical performance. The professional pathway focuses on the theory, craft and core skills involved in theatre production.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Year 3

In the third year the thematic focus settles on theatre and performance audiences, as well as the contexts that support and develop theatre and performance production.

Different kinds of audience engagement are explored (spectatorship, participation and immersion) and research is considered not only as an integral part of analysing theatre and performance, but of making, producing and programming it as well.

Collaborative, practice-led initiatives are complemented by an individual dissertation project, which can involve a practical element.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

During this year, you will be supported in gaining valuable experience in degree-related professions such as marketing, education, outreach, audience development, community work, media or arts administration.

A University supervisor and a workplace mentor will guide you through an original work programme in an industry context.


Disclaimer: Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Professional Training placements

Unusually for a Theatre and Performance degree, we offer you the option of a Professional Training placement, giving you valuable experience in a theatre-related organisation.

A pioneer in integrated professional training, the University has operated the placement scheme for the last 40 years and employers have been impressed by the maturity and professionalism of those who have undertaken it.

In Theatre and Performance, we have established good connections with employers, both locally and internationally but are always keen to help students identify placements with companies that are of particular interest to them individually students.


Theatre and Performance is taught through a combination of practical classes, lectures, seminars and tutorials. Through practical modules, you establish a professional approach to performance creation.

Academic sessions develop informed thinking about theatre in a shared space that values both individual contribution and peer reflection.

You are encouraged to own your individual learning experience while at Surrey and to become familiar with building and sustaining peer networks.

Learning is fully supported by the University’s e-learning environment, and you will be able to develop skills in using academic software and become familiar with the ways in which new technologies can support work and learning.


You will be encouraged to articulate your ideas through a range of forms and to understand key aspects of these forms, whether in practical performance, essays or presentations.

Assessment methods include:

  • Performance workshops
  • Performance analysis
  • Essays
  • Book reviews
  • Critical reflections
  • Documentation practices
  • Manifestos
  • Portfolios
  • Presentations
  • Viva voce
  • Dissertation

As a modular programme, Theatre and Performance enables you to monitor your progress throughout the degree.

2017 entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

A-Level ABB
European Baccalaureate 74 per cent
International Baccalaureate 32 overall including 6, 5, 5 at Higher Level 
Scottish Highers Scottish Highers AABBB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass overall with ABB in the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-Levels
Access to HE Diploma 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)

Grade A at A-level in an arts, humanities or social science subject.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades. Suitable candidates may be invited for an audition and/or interview.

During their visit to the University, candidates will be able to find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course options

Qualification BA (Hons) BA (Hons)
Course Length 3 years 4 Years
Professional Training
UCAS Code W440 W441

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it. Find out more about bursaries and scholarships.

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

Global opportunities

In order to add an international element to your University of Surrey experience, you might decide to spend one or two semesters overseas doing a Professional Training placement abroad or studying at one our partner universities.

In previous years, students have studied at:

  • La Trobe University, Melbourne (Australia)
  • Monash University, Melbourne (Australia)
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane (Australia)
  • University of Sydney (Australia)
  • Victoria University, Wellington (New Zealand)
  • North Texas University (USA)
  • North Carolina State University (USA)
  • University of Central Florida (USA)
  • Brock University, Ontario (Canada)

Discover where our global opportunities can take you.

Career opportunities

During your time on the Theatre and Performance programme, you will have a personal tutor who will monitor progress and offer advice and guidance. You will identify an individual career path and establish a plan that will support your career aspirations.

Teaching on the programme is informed by professional practices, to support your work on the degree and to prepare you for life on the Professional Training placement and in a career after university.

Graduate prospects 

Our Theatre and Performance degree will equip you with skills, knowledge and experience that are valuable for a range of careers in such areas as:

  • Performance and contemporary theatre practice
  • Arts administration and management
  • Technical production
  • Education and community arts
  • Events management
  • Cultural policy
  • Media and creative arts

Throughout your degree, you will secure goals and competencies that will help you to prepare for a specific career path.