GCSE Drama

The course

Drama is an immensely exciting subject leading to the understanding of a wide range of play texts; an awareness of the historical forces which shaped them; increased self and group awareness and, finally, creativity, self-confidence, self-discipline and communication. The subject is a perfect complement to English Literature and English Language; it is also an appropriate preparation for the former subject at A level as well as, of course, Theatre Studies. Full advantage is taken of the college’s proximity to London theatres, enabling us to take full account of section B of the examined unit. Overall, the course enables students to explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of drama and the theatre arts and that balance is maintained in the teaching itself, week by week, as students move between the practical and academic demands of the course.

What skills do I need?

You need an interest in performance and performing.

How is the course assessed?



The GCSE is composed of three components. Component 1 (Understanding Drama) is an openbook written exam that tests your knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre. You will be tested on the play you have studied and you will be required to analyse and evaluate the work of live theatre makers. It lasts 1 hour 45 minutes and is worth 40% of the GCSE. Component 2 (Devising Drama) is a practical component. You will be assessed on how the creation and performance of a piece of drama that you and others devise. You may contribute as a performer or a designer. It is internally assessed and externally moderated, and is worth 40% of the GCSE. Component 3 (Texts in Practice) is also a practical component. You are assessed on the performance of two extracts from one play where, again, you may contribute as performer or designer. It is externally marked and is worth 20% of the GCSE.


The play to be studied will be determined at the start of the academic year.

Exam Board and Specification Code

AQA 8261

Richard Martin
Head of Department