Drama KS4 Programme

Exam board: AQA

GCSE Drama is an exciting and challenging course which focuses on performing and presenting skills, providing opportunities for you to work as part of a team in both scripted and devised drama. You will develop essential communication and presentation skills during the course which transfer to the workplace in any profession. Indeed, previous drama students have gone on to occupations ranging from theatre and theatre administration, teaching and the law to medicine, the services and business enterprise.

The course offers students the opportunity to explore drama as a practical art form in which ideas and meaning are communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention.

Students will create, perform and respond to drama informed by their theoretical knowledge of drama and theatre.

The subject content details the knowledge, understanding and skills that students are expected to develop throughout the course of study.

The subject content for GCSE Drama is divided into three components:

  1. Understanding drama
  2. Devising drama
  3. Texts in practice

For the practical units students choose to work as performers or designers (design students may choose lighting, sound, set, costume or puppets).


Component 1: Understanding drama

What's assessed

  • 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

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE


  • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)
  • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (44 marks)
  • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (32 marks)


Component 2: Devising drama (practical)

What's assessed

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it's assessed

  • Devising log (60 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 80 marks in total
  • 40% of GCSE
This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.


Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

What's assessed

  • 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

How it's assessed

  • Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks)
  • 40 marks in total
  • 20% of GCSE
This component is marked by AQA.

There is also the opportunity to work with older students on joint projects. Not only does Drama GCSE help you develop your confidence, it encourages self-discipline, independence and critical thinking. Furthermore, there are opportunities to develop knowledge of the technical aspects of theatre such as lighting, sound, costume and set design. If you enjoy a challenge, want to develop your confidence and presentational skills, and have excellent attendance, then this course is for you.