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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL1070 Drama: Text and Performance

20 creditsClass Size: 80

School of English

Module manager: Dr Brett Greatley-Hirsch

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Module replaces

ENGL1286: Drama: Reading and Interpretation

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module invites you to think critically about drama as performance and a literary genre, drawing on a range of plays from different cultures, theatrical traditions, and historical periods. By approaching the plays thematically, you will explore how dramatic texts work on page and stage, developing skills in close reading and a basic understanding of theatre mechanics—the relationship between actor and audience, blocking and the layout of the stage, the use of lighting, costuming, props, movement, and gesture.


On completion of this module, students should be able to read plays as works of literature and as blueprints for performance, with an awareness of historical, cultural, and theatrical contexts. Students will have acquired the fundamental critical skills and vocabulary required to produce close readings of drama and demonstrate familiarity with a range of critical approaches to dramatic literature, complemented by introductory skills in dramaturgy and theatre practice.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module, you should be able to:

1. Show familiarity with a range of interpretive strategies applicable to the study of drama;
2. Analyse dramatic texts as works of literature and performance; and
3. Approach dramatic performance both critically and creatively.

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

4. Weigh up different arguments and perspectives, to use supporting evidence to form opinions, arguments, theories, and ideas (Critical Thinking, Academic Skills);
5. Develop and acting on creative and purposeful ideas (Creativity, Enterprise Skills); and
6. Recognise and express knowledge and understanding as well as how they relate to experience, learning, and personal growth (Reflection, Academic Skills).


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly discussion in seminars; scheduled discussion and tutor response to group collaboration in practical sessions and skills workshops; opportunity to meet tutors during consultation hours; opportunities to develop skills with writing mentors; written feedback on assessments.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment1,000 words33.00
PortfolioEssay (2,000 words), or critical proposal (2,000 words), or performance response (15 minutes)67.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The Assignment asks students to imagine directing a theatrical production of a chosen play: selecting a stage layout, designing a basic set, pre-blocking a chosen scene, and reflecting critically on their decisions – i.e., how they help to communicate important aspects of the play to the audience and their intended effects. Students annotate a script with stage directions and are encouraged to incorporate diagrams into their reflection to help visualise the stage space, the relationship between actors and audiences, entrances and exits, movement, and so on (LO2). The assessment is authentic and rewards creative thinking and critical reflection (LO4, LO5, LO6). The Portfolio gives students the option of either (a) writing an essay on a chosen topic or (b) producing a critical proposal for a stage production of any one play studied on the module (excluding the play chosen for the first assignment) or (c) working in small groups, presenting a 15-minute performed response to a scene from any one play studied on the module that engages the material in a contemporary manner. All three options expect students to conduct independent research, consult primary and secondary sources, consider a variety of historical performances, apply chosen strategies creatively, and reflect critically on their decisions (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/06/2024 11:40:26


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