General information about applying for our undergraduate courses and the interview process.
Throughout my degree, I had amazing placement opportunities ranging from month-long school tours in New Zealand to a three-month placement at Theatre Royal Stratford East, which in turn propelled my career in theatre. Whilst at Central, I was introduced to industry professionals who have since become mentors and colleagues.
Shereen Jasmin Phillips
Graduated 2010, playwright and community arts producer who has worked in the creative learning departments of the Lyric Hammersmith and Hackney Empire.
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3 years full-time, October 2019 start
Institution code: C35, Course code: W490
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Contemporary Performance Practice
On the Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (DATE) course, you can:
Applied Theatre at Central is highly regarded internationally and the Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (DATE) is a world leading course that will train you as a highly adaptable theatre maker. You will focus on performance making in diverse settings such as community centres, parks, prisons, pupil referral units, refugee camps, hospitals, playgrounds, schools and nursing homes, in the UK and abroad. Such innovative work aims to bring about change in communities and participants from all walks of life.
We believe that excellent professional applied drama theatre makers are skilled practically, intellectually and come from a diverse set of backgrounds themselves. We work with you to help you meet the challenge of developing your practice and intellectual abilities. You will have the opportunity to develop skills in areas such as facilitating, devising, directing, performing, playwriting and filmmaking.
The course offers an unparalleled breadth of experience, tailored to your developing aspirations. Whilst lively debate and energetic discussion are a cornerstone of the course, you will have the opportunity to participate in professional quality, fully-realised directed productions, for example a commissioned site-specific show and touring ensemble works, a show for young audiences, or a theatre in education show in the north of England. Alongside performance work in the community, you will have the opportunity to make and show work at Central.
As you progress, you develop your own creative performance making skills and show, in small groups, performance-based projects for specific communities and groups.
You will work alongside visiting professional practitioners, playwrights, filmmakers and applied theatre specialists from organisations which have, in the past, included Tamasha Theatre Company, Royal Court Theatre, Complicite, Talawa Theatre Company, London Bubble Theatre Company, Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre and Synergy Theatre Project.
You will learn through a programme of performance making, formal lectures, essay writing, workshops, skills sessions, movement and voice classes, seminars, group and individual practice and placements. Being at Central means you benefit from the specialist expertise and resources available because of the course’s distinctive positioning within a drama school.
You may have the opportunity to travel and explore the use of drama in diverse community settings. In recent years, students have undertaken projects in places such as New York, Johannesburg, Bulawayo, Hong Kong, Santiago de Chile and Mumbai. Most of this work is undertaken in partnership with international arts organisations, which work closely with course tutors and students to design, develop and deliver projects. Central has the only applied theatre courses on which students have access to funding from the Leverhulme Trust to support these distance projects (see below).
Graduates from this course are uniquely placed for a broad range of different career paths, going on to pursue careers in performance, directing and drama facilitation, and educational roles in theatre companies, for example. DATE graduates are highly employable and lead the field in applied theatre internationally. They have high-level professional skills because Central works in collaboration with many professional organisations and practitioners. There is also financial support available for participation in placements and outreach work in many arts, community, health or education settings within London and beyond.
Assessment is carefully integrated into the experience of learning and you are encouraged to place your own experiences and practice at the heart of your studies. The assessment methods include presentations, practice, drama workshops, research projects, traditional essays, a dissertation and professional placement work, which is assessed by professionals working in the industry.
3 A Levels at B (preferably including English, Drama and Theatre Studies, Performing Arts, Communications or Media Studies), or equivalent, 5 GCSEs at C or above (must include English).
For details of admission with academic credit see Undergraduate Applications.
We look for these qualities in applicants:
We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.
Find out more about the interview process for this course.
Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.
BA DATE works closely with major organisations internationally and in the UK, and has excellent partnerships within the applied theatre industry:
In the UK, companies have previously included the Royal Court Theatre, National Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Graeae Theatre Company, Half Moon Youth Theatre, Clean Break, Shakespeare’s Globe, London Bubble Theatre Company and a number of smaller, innovative, community-focused theatre organisations, such as Little Fish Theatre Company.
Throughout the degree you will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with a wide range of industry professionals, from visiting lecturers and workshops by leading practitioners and academics in the field of applied theatre, to creating projects and performances with professional companies and artists.
The course nurtures relationships with local, national and international community and educational arts organisations, from Tender in London (involved in the prevention of domestic violence and sexual abuse) to Sibikwa Arts Centre in Benoni, South Africa, and from Camden Carers in London (involved in support and respite for family and unpaid carers) to Stage Left, supporting both teachers and slum dwellers in Mumbai, as well as a wide range of theatre, education and arts organisations nationally.
Students have also participated in staff-led research projects and workshops led by artists from companies such as Graeae Theatre Company, Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah, Ice and Fire Theatre Company, Punchdrunk Theatre Company, National Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre.
All students participating in placements will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This is a mandatory government safeguarding scheme for all those seeking to work in any capacity with minors or vulnerable adults.
Alecky Blythe, Playwright (London Road); Oladipo Agboluaje, Playwright (The Hounding Of David Oluwale, The Christ Of Coldharbour Lane), Performance Artist; Ola Animashawun, Artistic Associate, Royal Court Theatre; Stella Duffy, Co-Director of Fun Palaces; Divya Bhatia, Stage Left, Mumbai; Professor James Thompson, author of Performance Affects; Professor Helen Nicholson, author of Applied Drama: The Gift Of Theatre; Amit Sharma, Graeae Theatre Company; Rob Watt, Youth Programme Manager, National Theatre; Evan Placey, Playwright; Terry O’Leary, Associate Artist, Cardboard Citizens; Bola Agbaje, Playwright (Gone Too Far!, Off The Endz); Vicky Ireland MBE, Director and Founder of Action for Children’s Arts; Karen Tomlin, Director; Vishni Velada-Billson, Director and Deputy Head of Education (Learning) at Clean Break Theatre Company.
Graduate employment and career pathways include:
Chloe Marriott (2013) Education officer, London Fire Brigade.
Roxan Kamali (2006) Participation Officer, Polka Theatre.
Laura Woodward (2013) Programming and Participation Assistant, Arts Deport.
Emma Friend (2012) Assistant Producer, National Theatre Connections.
Becky Warnock (2010), Head of Arts, Only Connect.
Shereen Phillips (2010), Playwright ( Oval House, Talawa Theatre Company).
Chris Stafford (2002) is currently Chief Executive of Curve Theatre.
View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.