BA Music and Drama / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Drama in Education

Unit code DRAM21252
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Drama
Available as a free choice unit? No


In this course students will explore the theory and practice of drama in education, developing hands-on skills and experience in planning and delivering drama workshops in schools. The first half of the course will introduce a range of techniques that belong to the traditions of process drama and are widely used within educational and community contexts while asking critical questions about the social function of drama (as education) and about the role of creativity within education. In the second half, students will work in small groups delivering drama workshops in a local school or similar educational setting under the supervision of the course tutors. At the end of the module, we will reflect as a whole group how this practical experience has re-shaped our understanding of the key questions introduced at the outset.  Students will thereby continue to develop as critical reflective practitioners. 


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Performance Practices 1 DRAM10101 Pre-Requisite Optional
Performance Practices 2 DRAM10102 Pre-Requisite Optional

Pre-requisite units

Any L1 Drama Practice module – Performance Practices 1; Performance Practices 2






  • To engage with the theory and practice of drama in education
  • To explore drama techniques used within educational contexts
  • To discuss and debate the role of drama in education
  • To develop students’ skills in process drama and workshop facilitation
  • To reflect critically on how practice might challenge our understanding of process drama and its educational potential


Indicative content and structure (subject to alteration each year):


Introduction to Drama Education in theory and practice (Weeks 1 – 5)


Week 1: Introduction to Drama Education and Playful Pedagogy

Week 2: Creating Dramatic Settings and Collaborative Learning

Week 3: Character and Role in participant led Learning

Week 4: Dramaturgy and curriculum

Week 5: Facilitation and Critical Reflective Practice


Week 6: Reading Week and group session planning


Weeks 7-10: Delivery in an educational setting & reflective mentoring sessions


Weeks 11 & 12:  Critical Reflection and evaluation

Teaching and learning methods

Week 1-5: 90min lecture and seminar + 90min practical workshop

Weeks 7-10: Students deliver workshop sessions in schools in small groups, followed by reflective mentoring session with tutors

Weeks 11-12: 3 hour lecture/seminar


Weekly reflective journaling

Session planning and feedback on session plans

Group reflection and mentoring

Reading and rich media resources on drama education practice provided via Blackboard

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identify the key features of the main traditions of process drama
  • Understand key arguments for the value of drama as pedagogy
  • Understand key theoretical issues about the role of drama in education
  • Articulate process drama aesthetics

Intellectual skills

  • Describe and analyse drama in education practice
  • Evaluate and critically reflect on their own and colleagues’ practice
  • Articulate the relationship between their own practice and broader traditions of drama in education
  • Reflect critically on their own practice as workshop facilitators

Practical skills

  • Plan, structure and deliver process drama workshops in educational contexts
  • Evaluate and reflect on their own and others’ practice
  • Facilitate creative work by children or other non-professionals

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Work professionally within an external context e.g. a school
  • Work to a deadline
  • Work confidently with children from a range of backgrounds
  • Collaborate with peers
  • Stimulate and facilitate the creative work of others

Employability skills

Group/team working
¿ Ability to work independently and as part of a team, as part of creative and critical projects that present unpredictable and challenging scenarios
Project management
¿ Project management ¿ planning, undertaking, managing and evaluating projects
Oral communication
¿ Advanced communication skills ¿ verbal, written; prepared/rehearsed and improvised ¿ Ability to present self and ideas effectively, including when dealing with complex and sensitive topics
Problem solving
¿ Creative thinking ¿ creative and critical approaches to problem-solving
¿ Awareness of the importance of contributing to public life and demonstrating good citizenship ¿ our curriculum is socially and politically engaged, and encourages students to develop a sense of social responsibility in their professional and personal life

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 60%
Written assignment (inc essay) 40%

Feedback methods

Verbal and written feedback on draft and final session plans

Formative and Summative

Verbal feedback on group presentation


Peer and discursive feedback on practice in group reflection sessions

Formative and Summative

Written feedback on final reflective essay


Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment)

Formative and Summative


Recommended reading

Bolton, G. (1998). Acting in Classroom Drama: A Critical Analysis. Staffordshire: Trentham Books Limited

Bowell, P. and Heap, B. (2013).  Planning Process Drama: Enriching teaching and learning.  Oxon: Routledge

Davis, D. (2014). Imagining the Real: Towards a new theory of drama education. London: Trentham Books 

Moyles J. (1989). Just Playing. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Neelands, J. (2009).  “Acting Together: ensemble as a democratic process in art and life”.  Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 14 (2), pp.173-189

Nicholson, H. (2009). Theatre & education. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

O'Neill, C. (1995). Drama Worlds: A framework for process drama.  Portsmouth: Heinemann

O’Neill, C. (Ed.) (2014). Dorothy Heathcote on Education and Drama. London: Routledge

Winston, J. (1997).  Drama, Narrative and Moral Education. London: Routledge

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Simon Parry Unit coordinator

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