BA Music and Drama / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Performance Practices 1

Unit code DRAM10101
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Drama
Available as a free choice unit? No


This module gives students experience of aspects of theatre and performance practice and facilitates and develops an enhanced ability to approach theatre as both practitioner and critic.

Performance Practices 1 introduces students to aspects of theatre practice that they will draw on during the rest of the degree. All students will follow two Master Classes, each focusing on a specific theatre and performance skill – for example, writing for performance, devising, physical theatre, body and voice work. The three-day long Master Classes lead to an opportunity to share and evaluate work with peers. Thinking about and developing effective approaches to the documentation and recording of practice is an important part of this module and students will develop skills in journaling - charting and reflecting on their progress. 


Available on which programme(s)?

All Drama programmes at Level 1

Available as Free Choice (UG) or to other programmes (PG)? Yes
Pre-requisite units

Not applicable

Co-requisite units 

Not applicable



  • To provide students with the opportunity to specialise in two key theatre/performance practices
  • To introduce students to key readings in theatre/performance practice
  • To prepare students for the practical work and theatre-making they will engage with during the rest of their programme
  • To introduce students to ideas and concepts around critical and reflective practices in relation to theatre making.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student will:


Indicative syllabus:


Week 1: Introductory Workshops 1

Week 2: Introductory Workshops 2

Week 3: Specialist Class 1.1

Week 4: Specialist Class 1.2

Week 5: Specialist Class 1.3


Week 7: Showing work for assessment

Week 8: Specialist Class 2.1

Week 9: Specialist Class 2.1

Week 10: Specialist Class 2.3

Week 11: Showing work for assessment

Week 12: Essay consultation

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be taught via:


·         Practical workshops and master classes

·         Discussion

·         Small group work and performances

·         Demonstrations


The course unit will be complemented by a Blackboard site that conforms to minimum requirements including a course handbook, weekly course breakdown, provision of reading material, reading lists. Supplementary material from workshops will be added as appropriate. The blackboard site will be prepared and available to students at least one week prior to the beginning of the first teaching week each semester

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate an understanding of the role of reflection and analysis in developing practical work, and understand the role of practice in creating original work for performance
  • understand the role of co-operation and collaboration in developing practical work for performance
  • demonstrate a knowledge about appropriate skills to use in specific settings

Intellectual skills

  • reflect on their own practical skills in a critical and analytical way
  • demonstrate a knowledge of their own skills in relation to professional practice
  • demonstrate that they can apply an analysis of their experience to the completion of an assessment exercise 

Practical skills

  • demonstrate that they have acquired skills to a level of specialisation in specific areas of theatre/performance practice
  • evaluate different approaches to theatre/performance making
  • develop a style of journaling and record keeping and understand the importance of this in creating work for performance
  • execute a collaborative piece of live performance

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Transferable skills that students can expect to gain from successful completion of this module include:

  • Basic interpersonal communication and team-working skills
  • Developing an awareness of effective leadership and group-work skills
  • Developing an ability to solve problems creatively and critically
  • Performing with confidence and precision for an audience
  • Working to deadlines and under pressure, independently and as part of a group

Employability skills

Group/team working
¿ Ability to work in a group to create original responses to briefs ¿ Ability to use reflexivity and emotional intelligence when working in group-work settings ¿ Ability to work in groups to conceptualise, manage and deliver projects to time
¿ Developing an understanding and ability to use effective leadership skills ¿ taking initiative, listening, responding, delegating, taking responsibility
¿ Maintain professional standards as regards self-presentation and time-keeping

Assessment methods


Assessment task

Formative or Summative


Weighting within unit (if summative)

Practical assessment –  group presentation of practical work

Formative and Summative

Variable, depending on the nature of the practical exercise. Normally 2 x 10 minute performance pieces


Reflective journal – kept by students throughout the course. One journal entry is submitted for formative assessment




Reflective essay


1500-2000 words



Re-sit Assessment

Assessment Task Length
Reflective essay 2000 words


Feedback methods

Feedback Method Formative or Summative
Group presentations – oral and written Summative
Reflective essay - written Summative
Journal entry – oral and written Formative


Recommended reading

Barker, C. (1977) Theatre Games: A New Approach to Drama Training, London: Methuen

Bogart, A. (2007) And Then You Act, London: Routledge

Govan, E., H. Nicholson and K. Normington (2007) Making a Performance: Devising Histories and Contemporary Practices London: Routledge

Johnston, C. (1998) House of Games: making theatre from everyday life, London & New York: Nick Hern Books

Johnston, C. (2007) The Improvisation Game: Discovering the Secrets of Spontaneous Performance, London: Nick Hern Books

Keefe, J. and S. Murray, (eds), (2007) Physical Theatres: A Critical Reader London: Routledge,

Keefe, J. and S. Murray, (eds), (2007) Physical Theatres: A Critical Introduction London: Routledge


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 77
Independent study hours
Independent study 123

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alison Jeffers Unit coordinator

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