Theatre study guide 2023/24

Theatre at Bristol

Welcome to Bristol Theatre

Founded in 1947, the University of Bristol was the first in the UK to offer a degree in drama. To study at our Theatre Department is to be part of the home of Theatre Studies in the UK, working in one of the most vibrant, beautiful, and creative cities in the country.

World-leading experts

Study with innovative and enthusiastic pioneers in everything from Shakespeare to contemporary performance practices. Working between the theatre, the classroom, and the city, learn how to bring history to life through performance, engage your audiences, and use theatre as a powerful means of interrogating our most pressing social issues. For us, theory and practice are always intertwined.

Industry experience

Just a short stroll from the department, down one of Bristol’s famous cobbled streets, is the beautiful Georgian theatre Bristol Old Vic. Students benefit from an exclusive partnership with this historic theatre, learning about marketing, management, programming, and artistic development from its professionals – and even getting opportunities to make performances there, too. The Bristol Old Vic is just one of many relationships with leading Bristol arts organisations, including Watershed, Travelling Light, Tobacco Factory, Wyldwood, and more.

Join the Family

With alumni including Simon Pegg, David Walliams, Mark Ravenhill, Sarah Kane, Laura Wade, Pearl Mackie, and Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Gregory Doran, our students are the theatre-makers, performers, and scholars of the future. With employers increasingly looking for innovative thinkers, collaborative creatives, and persuasive communicators, theatre graduates are in demand. You will find Bristol Theatre alumni throughout the creative industries, with successful careers as directors, writers, producers, stage-managers, designers, educators, and entrepreneurs.

Unit structure

The department offers many classes that are based in a single semester, and can therefore accept unit requests from Study Abroad students who want to join Bristol for just the autumn or spring semester.

Unit levels

The department offers units across all undergraduate levels of study: year 1 (level C/4), year 2 (level I/5), and year 3 (level H/6) units. Postgraduate units are not available.

Unit codes

Unit codes in the Department of Theatre begin with 'THTR'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • THTR10000 = year 1 unit
  • THTR20000 = year 2 unit
  • THTR30000 = year 3 unit.

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2023/24. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2023/24 is updated by April 2023.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

The following units from the Department of Theatre are open to incoming Study Abroad students.

Year 1 (level C/4)

  • Introduction to Performance Practices (TB1) - THTR10011
  • Introduction to Performance Studies (TB1) - THTR10008
  • Performance Contexts (TB2) - THTR10003
  • Staging the Text (TB2) - THTR10006

Year 2 (level I/5)

  • Applied Theatre (TB2) - THTR20002
  • Clowning Through History (TB1) - THTR20014
  • Decolonising Performance (TB2) - THTR20019
  • Early Modern Theatre Practice (TB2) - THTR20013
  • Melodrama (TB1) - THTR20008
  • Performance Histories (TB1) - THTR20010
  • Performing the Archive (TB2) - THTR20012
  • Politics of Performance (TB2) - THTR20005
  • Popular Performance (TB1) - THTR20018

Year 3 (level H/6)

  • Contemporary British Theatre (TB1) - THTR30019
  • Professional Development in Theatre (TB1 or TB2) - THTR30023 - IMPORTANT NOTE: this unit involves students finding an unpaid work placement/volunteering opportunity. This is only available to students who will be studying in Bristol on a Student Visa which permits them to undertake a certain number of hours of paid/unpaid work in the UK (or students with a UK or Irish passport where there are no visa implications). Students studying in Bristol on a Visitor visa will be unable to take this class as they will not be permitted to complete unpaid or volunteering work in the UK.
  • Site Specific and Immersive Performance (TB1) - THTR30006
  • The Age of the Actress (TB1) - THTR30022
  • Translation and Adaptation (TB1) - THTR30007

Year 4 (level M/7)

None available

Application queries

Contact the Global Opportunities Team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

Edit this page