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Do you have a love of theatre and performance? Do you enjoy working collaboratively and creatively as part of a team? Taking Drama and Theatre A level will allow you to build on your performance skills and give you the opportunity to explore drama as a practical art form in which ideas and meaning are communicated to an audience. Through practical experience and exploration you will gain confidence as both performer and theatre maker.

AQA Drama and Theatre (7262)

A level Drama and Theatre combines a very practical approach with theoretical study and you will explore a wide range of theatrical styles and contexts.

This is a linear qualification and the course is divided into three components - Drama and theatre, Creating original drama and Making theatre.

Drama and theatre is the written component and for this you will undertake an in depth study of two play texts from a prescribed list. Through a combination of discussion and practical exploration you will consider how to interpret and bring the texts to life for an audience from the perspectives of performer, designer and director. You will also learn how to discuss live theatre performances seen during the course. This component is assessed through a written exam.

For the Creating original drama component you will work in groups to create your own original piece of performance work. You will record the process in a document called the Working Notebook.

For the final component, Making theatre, you will explore three different extracts of plays from a practical perspective as a theatre maker. You will choose one of these to develop into a polished piece of performance for assessment in a formal exam setting. You will record and evaluate the process in a written document called the Reflective Report.

For each of these practical components you will also study the work of an influential theatre practitioner and you will use your knowledge and understanding of this practitioner to inform your own performance work. 

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of theatre visits to further enrich your learning.

Whatever career you ultimately hope to pursue, Drama A level will equip you with a valuable toolkit of transferable skills and help you to develop confidence as a communicator and collaborator.

Examples of student work

See examples of performance work created for Components 2 and 3.

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Course content

  • Component 1: Drama and theatre
  • Component 2: Creating original drama (practical)
  • Component 3: Making theatre (practical)


Component 1: Drama and theatre

What's assessed:

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of two set plays
  • 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 (25 marks)
  • Section B: one three part question on a given extract from one of the set plays (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
  • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts

Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3. Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece.

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.