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Drama with Irish - BA (Hons) - Video

Explore contemporary performance to develop your creativity, critical thinking & practical skills for a career in creative industries and beyond.

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Explore contemporary performance to develop your creativity, critical thinking & practical skills for a career in creative industries and beyond.


Drama in the School of Arts and Humanities provides an exciting and challenging programme with an emphasis on contemporary performance practices. Our approach to teaching and learning integrates theories and practices of performance in order to extend our understanding of Drama as an art form in its social, political and cultural contexts.

Our expert lecturing staff are internationally-recognised researchers with a range of industry-related experience. Students are able to take advantage of our nationally-acknowledged teaching expertise and will have opportunities to extend their experience of contemporary performance practices through contact with part time staff and key visiting lecturers. The Drama programmes benefit from extensive links with theatre practitioners and key Irish theatre companies, who use our spaces for performances and delivering practice-based workshops.

Drama allows students to learn in a rigorous and stimulating environment where they are encouraged to develop essential skills as thinking creative practitioners.

Magee’s proximity to the Donegal Gaeltacht enhances its attractiveness as a base for studying Irish and Irish society. Language courses organised by Irish Studies staff in the Donegal Gaeltacht are an ideal chance to spend time with native speakers and increase your fluency and awareness of Gaeltacht life and culture. Students can opt to carry out research for their final-year sociological dissertations in Irish-speaking social contexts, such as in the Gaeltacht.

Ulster University is the largest provider of Irish at third level in Northern Ireland and you will find that students and staff on the Irish modules are only too willing to speak Irish with you at every opportunity.

Students study 2 modules per year enhancing oral and written fluency in contemporary Irish, exploring the place of the language in areas of Irish society such as education, the media and the legal system, and examining the role of the Irish language in Irish concepts of identity.

Taking Irish as a minor will allow you to develop core language skills in our Irish Language and Culture modules while affording you the opportunity to sample a range of genres from the Irish literary tradition in our Irish literature offerings. You will not only acquire communicative skills but you will learn important analytical techniques and the capacity to form coherent arguments in both spoken and written form. A minor in Irish comprises of two from the total of six modules you complete per year (students take three modules in total each semester). These draw on extensive staff expertise and internationally-recognised research.

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About this course

In this section


The degree in Drama allows you to develop a broad base of knowledge of Drama practices and systematic approaches to the analysis of works in performance. You will be able to prepare yourself for the kinds of mosaic careers characteristic of the creative industries and increasingly common across a range of sectors.

There are particular areas of specialist practice that you can develop as you progress through each level of the degree. If you wish to pursue a creative career, although we do not provide full-time conservatoire training for actors, you can take modules that introduce you to the principles of acting, writing, directing, design, stage management, arts education and working with community groups. These can prepare you for further specialist professional training at post-graduate level.

You will develop a core set of academic skills in research, analysis and communication in written and oral formats. Alongside these, you will also develop transferable skills in group work, project management, problem solving and the use of key technologies.

The BA Drama programme is designed specifically to facilitate the development of your ability to work independently. We will offer you extensive support and guidance throughout your studies, as you develop the skills necessary to carry out rigorous and sustained independent research and practice. In this way, you will develop key skills alongside foundational professional competencies you can draw on in your future career.

Associate awards

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards


3 years fulltime

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is grades BBC∆ at A2 including grade B in Irish.

∆ = Applicants may satisfy the requirement for the final A level grade in the above grade profiles (C ) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University .


BTEC National Extended Diploma

A minimum of:

DMM including a minimum of 8 distinctions in level 3 units

The subject requirements for Irish must be satisfied by other qualifications.

BTEC National Diploma

The Diploma may be accepted in combination with the Irish grade B A level or equivalent qualification in Irish.

Our standard A level offer is BBC∆ with a B in Irish so candidates should present a profile of Diploma to satisfy the remaining BC grades of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. we normally ask for a Diploma at BC equivalent which is a Distinction, Merit award that includes 5-6 units at distinction).

A*A* = Distinction*, Distinction* (plus 10 units at distinction)

BB= Distinction , Merit (plus 6 units at distinction)

BC = Distinction, Merit (plus 5 units at distinction)

CC = Merit, Merit (plus 10 units at merit)

The subject requirements for Irish must be satisfied by other qualifications.

∆ = Diploma and Sub-Dip applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - C or B) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.


The SubDip/National Extended Certificate may be accepted in combination with A levels or equivalent qualifications. A levels should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if two A levels are offered with a SubDip and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for BB at A level (to include Irish) with the SubDip offer at the appropriate differential to satisfy the A level grade profile - grade C).

A* = Distinction* (To include 5 units at distinction)

A = Distinction (To include 4 units at distinction)

B = Distinction (To include 3 units at distinction)

C = Merit (To include 5 units at merit)

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is grades

H3,H3,H3,H3,H4 at Higher to include grade H3 in Irish

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is a minimum of grades


The Irish subject requirements must be satsfied by other qualifications.

∆ = Applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the above grade profiles by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard (equating to A-level grade C) as defined by the University.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is a minimum of grades


The Irish subject requirements must be satisfied by other qualifications

∆ = Applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the above grade profiles by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard (equating to A-level grade C) as defined by the University.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum of:

25 points to include 12 at higher level

The Irish subject requirements must be satisfied from other qualifications.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Access to Higher Education

For Access qualifications validated by Ulster University or QUB the entry requirement is:

An overall mark of 65%. The Irish subject requirements must be satisfied from other qualifications.

For GB QAA accredited Higher Education Diploma qualifications the entry requirement is as follows:

Award of the HE Diploma in a related subject area, achieving a minimum of 18 credits at distinction and 24 credits at merit in the 45 level 3 graded credits. The Irish subject requirements must be satisfied from other qualifications.


Please refer to the University’s general entrance requirements.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements


Applicants holding a HND should achieve an overall Merit award (for entry to Year 1 ). Candidates must fulfill the subject requirements for Irish via other qualifications.


Applicants holding a HNC with overall Merit award will be considered on an individual basis for Year 1 entry only. Candidates may fulfill the subject requirement for Irish via other qualifications.

Foundation Degree

Applicants studying on Ulster Foundation Degree courses should achieve an overall mark of 55% in level 5 modules for Year 1 entry only. Candidates must fulfill the subject requirement for Irish via other qualifications.

Diploma in Irish

Applicants who hold the Ulster University Diploma in Irish will be considered for year one entry.

Accreditation of Experiential Learning

The University will consider applications on the basis of experiential learning for those who do not hold the normal entry qualifications. Those applicants seeking entry with advanced standing, (eg. Transfer from another institution) will be considered on an individual basis.

Teaching and learning assessment

Learning and teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical workshops, group work, projects, rehearsals and production meetings. Particularly at Levels 5 and 6, divisions between these class types dissolve and an individual session with a tutor may involve a range of student-tutor activities. Tutor-led classes provide the core structure and support on individual modules, but the emphasis in learning remains on the student’s independent engagement with the scope of the module. Students are routinely expected, therefore, to prepare in advance for taught sessions.

Within this context, lectures are used selectively to introduce key concepts and practices with which students will engage. The emphasis in lectures at all levels is on an interactive learning process, often based on students' prior preparation, through in-class tasks, or engaging with students' existing cultural capital.

Seminars are the focal point for student-led discussion and engagement and students are required to prepare materials in advance and to follow-up issues independently as a response to this. Students may be required to undertake presentations or performances within the seminar format.

Practical workshops are used to explore and test concepts and practices and, as appropriate, to develop experiential knowledge, practical skills and techniques. In some instances this will be through the production of creative projects. These projects will be driven by a specific brief, and at Levels 5 and 6, such briefs are geared towards professional practice.

Tutorials are scheduled within modules to provide opportunities for face-to-face supervision; and where appropriate, feed-forward and feedback on assessed tasks.

Digital resources are used to support students’ learning, made available primarily through the University's VLE, Blackboard Learn. Students are supported in using these resources from their Level 4 induction programme onwards through dedicated training sessions, support handouts and manuals and online tutorials.

Group work is used within the taught settings and as a significant part of the independent learning process, particularly in areas of creative practical work. Students are given guidance and training in group work processes throughout the programme. Through negotiation and reflection within class they are supported in independent group working.

Assessment strategies include essays, presentations, performances, literature reviews, dissertations, workshop demonstrations, creative writing, reflective essays and vivas, portfolios, and websites. Assessment strategies are constructively aligned with learning outcomes for the module and programme overall. While there are a relatively small number of summative assessments for any module (normally two, a maximum of three), these are supported by a range of opportunities for formative feedback.

Exemptions and transferability

Students may transfer between the Single Honours, Major, and Minor subject strands up to the end of Level 5, depending on the satisfactory completion of a sufficient number of relevant modules from level to level and demonstration of the ability to achieve the relevant programme learning outcomes. Students may also switch between full-time and part-time study to address their specific needs.

Students may apply to transfer into the programme, having completed a Higher National Diploma in Drama, Theatre, Performing Arts, or equivalent. While the Northern Ireland Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (NICATS) allows for transfer into Level 6, this remains exceptional. In the experience of the Subject Team, HND students benefit from transfer into Level 5 as a period in which to firmly ground themselves within the approach to study at degree level. Where students seek to transfer into either Level 5 or Level 6, the application is assessed in terms of a written application, references and an interview. In some instances students may be required to complete written and/or practical tasks to allow them to demonstrate to the subject team the capacity to meet the Programme Learning Outcomes.

Students transferring into the programme from other BA programmes may be considered for entry at any level. The application is assessed in terms of interview, references, and the transcript from the student’s current HEI.

Depending on the level of their achievement, graduates of the Drama programmes will be eligible to apply to the Masters programme in Contemporary Performance Practices. Students may also progress to a taught graduate programme at postgraduate diploma and Masters level in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies within the School. The current M.Res. programme offered in the School provides an opportunity for students to pursue postgraduate research. Doctoral research supervision is provided also within the subject area.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Employment opportunities exist in a wide range of areas including education, the media, publishing, government, librarianship and various areas of business.

The employability profile of our students in recent years has been more than impressive, with a disproportional number of our ex-students holding senior positions in Irish language organisations throughout Ireland.

Students completing a course with Irish as a minor are well equipped to undertake postgraduate work in relevant areas of study. A degree containing a significant element of Irish equips you for the wide variety of careers that require advanced communicative skills, both written and oral, including teaching, broadcasting, translation, publishing, journalism, community development and civil service.

Academic profile

Dr Tom Maguireis a graduate of the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and is a Distinguished Teaching Fellow of the University. He teaches in the areas of contemporary performance and applied theatre. His research interests are in contemporary British and Irish theatre, particularly storytelling performance and Theatre for Young Audiences.

Dr Lisa Fitzpatrick studied at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and the University of Toronto. She teaches in areas of critical theory and contemporary theatre. Her research interests are: violence and performance, Irish theatre, Canadian drama, and gender and performance.

Dr Giuliano Campo is an Italian performer, director and writer whose research and teaching interests include actor training and theatre anthropology. His works are published in several countries in different languages, such as Italian, Polish, English and Portuguese.

Dr Matthew Jennings has worked as an actor, musician, writer, director and facilitator in Australia, Ireland, the UK, Italy, Morocco and France. His research interests include: Applied and Community Drama; Performance and Health; Arts and Conflict Transformation; Arts Management and Cultural Policy

Dr Tanya Deanstudied at Trinity College Dublin and Yale School of Drama. Her research interests include dramaturgy, playwriting, contemporary and modern Irish theatre. She has worked extensively as a dramaturg in Ireland and the USA, and serves on the research committee for Waking the Feminists.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

There are a number of prizes awarded for academic achievement or contribution to practice in Drama.

Evelyn Burgess Scholarship for Drama

This scholarship of £1,000 is for the Major Drama or BA (Hons) Drama student with the highest mark in Year 2.

Theatre Awards for Contribution to Practice

There is a special prize available to the student in each year of the Drama single honours or major programmes who has, in the opinion of the Examination Board, “made the most significant contribution to the development of practical work in creative arts.” In awarding these prizes, the Examination Board considers contributions to practical work in any form and through any role, and will seek to reward consistency and professionalism as well as creativity and artistic excellence.

These prizes are kindly supported by three of the theatres in our region, The Playhouse (for year 1 students) and the Millennium Forum (for year 3 students) in Derry, and An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny (for year 2 students). Each of these theatres offers complimentary tickets to their performances for a year to the award-holder.

Greer Garson Theatre Award

This prize of £500 is for creative work in theatre is the result of an endowment by Miss Greer Garson and is available annually to a student or group of students registered for any programme of study within the University.

Additional mandatory costs

Students visit the Gaeltacht for a week in the Autumn and in the Spring each year. The cost of each course is circa £125 to cover travel, accommodation, food, activities, excursions and classes.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


For further information about this programme, contact the School of Arts and Humanities on +44 (0)28 7167 5133 or email Catherine Russell at

For admissions queries contact


Name: Luke Merritt

Course: Drama

Campus: Magee

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time

Background: I am a 21 year old second year Drama student from England. I love travelling and experiencing new life and culture - and that’s how I ended up in Ulster Uni!

Why did you choose Ulster?

I chose Ulster for the experience of moving away from my comfort zone; to try out a totally new environment far from home. I also enjoy the way the university helps me to shape my own learning - I can shape my career goals tailor the course to my needs/interests.

How do you think studying at Ulster has prepared you for your future career?(e.g. work placement, careers advice/guidance, opportunities available)

We have a lot of work where we work closely with others, so I’ve learnt about how to work on a professional level with a team. The course is challenging but a lot of fun; so I’ve learnt how to work to targets and under pressure. There’s always a sense that I’m part of a bigger community at this uni, that I am making some small difference, which I love.

Describe the support you have received at Ulster.(e.g. from lecturers, fellow students, support services, Students’ Union)

The students union have been great in helping me settle over the past year, with meet ups and events through the year. Lecturers have also supported me through tough times and think outside my usual zones - I always feel able to talk to someone if theres ever a problem.

What university facilities or resources do you find most useful and why?

I find the 24 hour computer labs hugely beneficial - sometimes you just need a bit of time in a lab environment to get some quiet work done and focus. The library is also really well stocked and helps me concentrate. I also love the fact we have access to the Foyle Arts building most of the time; it feels like our building, which really personalises this degree journey for me.

Why did you choose to study at Magee/Coleraine?(If you live in halls, describe what student accommodation is like.)

I love Derry as a city; it is vibrant, unique and steeped in culture and history. There is always something going on and I still haven’t seen it all, which I love! I love the challenge of studying at Ulster, and the academic and personal awards at the end of each semester!

Why would you recommend Ulster?

Ulster is a fresh, modern university that really does welcome everyone. They understand that their students want the opportunity to shape their own futures and they help every step of the way. They want their students to succeed beyond university and they really make me feel part of a community - a living uni world where everything is constantly changing!