Drama Higher

Course Aims 

This course is designed for anyone who has an interest in Drama, whether from an academic, vocational or personal point of view or a combination of these. It is designed to give you knowledge and understanding of many aspects of theatre, including an appreciation of theatre forms and styles, theatre practitioners and drama plays/scripts. In addition, the course aims to develop your theatre skills and increase your experience of theatrical performance, as well as develop knowledge of the social/historical/theatrical contexts of plays.

What are the recommended entry levels for this course?

• National 5 Drama at a grade A-B
• Intermediate 2 pass at a grade A or B

Course Content

Higher Drama develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of theatre, focusing on acting, directing and group work skills. The course consists of two units:

1. Drama Skills – practical group work where a significant theme or issue is explored to create a performance piece.  Individuals take on a director’s responsibility for a section of the devised production, which is performed in front of an audience. They will also learn how to develop and write scripts, develop character in a range of ways and develop understanding of form, structure, genre and style when creating and presenting drama. Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural influences on drama. They will also learn evaluation skills.

2. Production Skills – learners will perform in a group production, where they can choose to be assessed on their acting skills or on their performance of a theatre production/theatre arts role.

What skills will I develop?

• Responding to text, including stimuli, when creating drama
• Developing knowledge and understanding of social and cultural influences when creating drama
• Exploring drama form, structure, genre and style
• Gaining knowledge and understanding of production skills e.g. lighting, sound, costume, make-up
• Working with others to share and use drama ideas and to use production skills when presenting
• Using evaluative skills within the creative process

What learning and teaching approaches will I experience?

You will experience working both in the Drama Studio for practical work and in the classroom for theory work. You will encounter a mixture of classroom practice in Drama: direct teaching; pair and group work; whole class discussion and independent research.

How will I be assessed?

Pupils will sit an SQA written examination paper (40% of final grade) and an examination performance (60% of final grade) which is assessed by a visiting SQA examiner. The Drama Skills and Production Skills component units of the course are internally and informally assessed by the teacher.

What are the homework requirements?

The course requires a significant amount of study time in and out of school.  Assignments will vary according to the unit of work and will include essays, dramatic commentaries, evaluations, background reading and research, learning lines, drawing plans and designs and performance rehearsals.

What are the possible progression routes?

• Advanced Higher Drama – an excellent ’stepping stone’ to Further Education at university
• Higher Drama is accepted by many universities and colleges as an entry requirement and is an essential requirement for any Performing Arts FE Qualifications
• Higher Drama is highly valued as a qualification by employers

 Higher Drama is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 6.