Option Subject - Category B

Examination Board: AQA

Specification Code: 8261

Why Take This Course?

GCSE Drama will develop a wide range of skills in creating and performing drama work.  Students are given the opportunity to work with others, solve problems and share their ideas.

Drama lessons will enable students to explore play texts, create their own drama plays and review live productions.  GCSE Drama can help improve self-confidence and communication skills and therefore prepare students to deal with a range of different situations and people.

The course compliments other areas of the curriculum such as English, Music and Dance.

GCSE Drama could lead to Further Education courses (‘A’ levels, BTEC Nationals) in Performing Arts or Drama and Theatre Studies.  Drama GCSE may also be beneficial for Media and Film Studies courses.

Aim Of The Course

GCSE Drama enables students to explore issues and existing play texts, through drama explorative strategies and mediums within practical workshops.  Students are encouraged to be creative and confident in their own ideas and develop high quality performance skills.  The course aims to use drama to improve imagination and self-confidence as well as team working and communication skills.  Students have the opportunity to create their own group performance in a final devised piece.

Course Structure And Content

The GCSE Drama course is in three parts:

Component 1: Understanding Drama [40% of GCSE]:

Candidates will take a written exam at the end of the course.  It will last 1 hour 45 minutes.
Students will be assessed on their 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
  • 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).

Unit 2: Devising Drama - Practical [40% of GCSE]:

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  •       Devising log (60 marks), Devised performance (20 marks)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

Unit 3: Texts in Practice - Practical [20% of GCSE]:

  • 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


Component 1: Understanding Drama

Written Exam 1 hour 45 minutes [40% of GCSE]

Component 2:  Devising Drama (Practical)

Devising log (60 marks), Devised performance (20 marks) [40% of GCSE]

Component 3:  Texts in Practice (Practical)

Performance of Extract 1 (25 marks) and Extract 2 (25 marks) [20% of GCSE]

Entry Requirements

You will enjoy this course if you want to study a subject that is both practical and creative and if you enjoy working as part of a team, as Drama involves a lot of group work.

GCSE Drama follows on from drama work that you may have done at Key Stage 3.  You will develop your improvisation and acting skills to a higher level.

Previous experience of acting is preferred, either through attending the school’s Fulston Youth Theatre group or involvement in drama or theatre work outside of school.