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Drama is not just about acting, although if you like performance work or doing that helps! Those with an interest in the technical aspects of theatre (sound, lighting, costume and set design) can also follow those elements of the course. If you have an interest in any of the expressive arts, you will probably benefit from studying drama.

GCSE Drama

From Drama, you will get opportunities to develop your:

  • creativity
  • self-expression
  • critical appreciation
  • confidence and self-awareness
  • knowledge and understanding of social, cultural, historical and political issues




The subject content for GCSE Drama is divided into three components:

  1. Understanding drama
  2. Devising drama
  3. Texts in practice

In the practical components students may specialise in performing, lighting, sound, set, costume and/or puppets.

Component 1: Understanding drama

What's assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of one set play from a choice of six
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers 

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE


  • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)
  • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (46 marks)
  • Section C: one two part question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (30 marks)
Component 2: Devising drama (practical)

What's assessed

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it's assessed

  • Devising log (60 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 80 marks in total
  • 40% of GCSE

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

What's assessed

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1.

 How it's assessed

  • Performance of Extract 1 (25 marks) and Extract 2 (25 marks)
  • 50 marks in total
  • 20% of GCSE

This component is marked by AQA.