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Drama & Theatre Studies A Level


TITLE: AQA Level 3 Advanced GCE in Drama and Theatre Studies (601/8494/2)


This qualification is linear. Linear means that students undertake all non-exam assessment (NEA) in the certification year and sit the written exam at the end of the course.

The subject content details the knowledge, understanding and skills that students are expected to develop throughout the course of study.

The subject content for A-level Drama and Theatre is divided into three components:

  1. Drama and theatre
  2. Creating original drama
  3. Making theatre

Guidance is also provided on the theatrical skills students will need to work on.

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


Component 1: Drama and theatre

What's assessed?

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 3 hours
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of A-level


  • Section A: one question (from a choice) on one of the set plays from List A (25 marks)
  • Section B: one three part question on a given extract from one of the set plays from List B (30 marks)
  • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (25 marks)
Component 2: Creating original drama (practical)

What's assessed?

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)

Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner

How it's assessed

  • Working notebook (40 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 30% of A-level

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3: Making theatre (practical)

What's assessed?

  • Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play
  • Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3
  • Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece
  • (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)
  • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts

How it's assessed

  • Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks)
  • Reflective report (20 marks)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 30% of A-level

This component is marked by AQA.


There is a minimum number of students required for this course to run.


Communication and inter-personal skills acquired through Drama are becoming increasingly sought after by employers and these skills are transferable to many different careers. You could work in the theatre or performing arts industry, either on stage or in one of the many backstage roles, such as theatre management, marketing, lighting, directing, arts funding, costume and staging.