BA Drama and English Literature

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Drama in Education

Course unit fact file
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


Please note that this unit is delivered on-campus only and is therefore not available to remote learners

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 leading drama workshops 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.  


Available as Free Choice (UG) or to other programmes (PG)?

No (although students with evidence of practical experience in drama and/or education to substitute for the pre-requisites are welcome to make enquiries to the Course Director)


Pre-requisite units

Performance Practices 1 or 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 

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

Analytical skills
Emotional intelligence ¿ ability to use emotional and cognitive capacities when approaching challenges
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
Ability to utilise engaging and dynamic forms of self-presentation
Project management
Project management ¿ planning, undertaking, managing and evaluating projects
Oral communication
Advanced communication skills ¿ verbal, written; prepared/rehearsed and improvised
Problem solving
Creative thinking ¿ creative and critical approaches to problem-solving;
Understanding of professional cultures/environments ¿ professional approaches to timekeeping, peer support/review, self reflection/evaluation and dealing with sources of concern/complaint.
Written communication
Ability to present self and ideas effectively, including when dealing with complex and sensitive topics
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

Group project: Planning and facilitation of a series of process drama workshops & submission of corresponding workshop session plans 60%
Essay 40%
Group Presentation NA (formative)


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
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Simon Parry Unit coordinator

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