Department of Education


Course Leader: Karen Hall

What does the Sussex ITE partnership offer?

You can apply directly to the University to study for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) specialising in Drama. Alternatively, many schools work in partnership with the University to offer School Direct places which also lead to a Drama PGCE award. Either route will prepare you, as a trainee teacher, to teach Drama at Key Stages 3 and 4 (11-16 years) with enhancement opportunities in the Post-16 Drama curriculum.

This course can also be undertaken part-time over two years by suitable candidates. 

Successful trainees will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Why is Drama teacher education distinctive at Sussex?

Drama offers school pupils the opportunity to enrich their lives and communities, explore complex issues and emotions, and build their self-confidence and practical skills. Whether at Key Stage 3, GCSE or A level, Drama nourishes pupils, gives them a wide range of experience from working in groups, and makes them use their imagination to acquire technical and design expertise. Cross-curricular opportunities also enable the transferral of skills. Teacher trainees studying on the Secondary Drama course are engaged in teaching one of the most rewarding subjects in the school curriculum. You will develop your understanding of the place of this subject within Secondary education, and learn a range of strategies for teaching this exciting subject. Beyond the classroom, you will engage in the broader role and position of Drama in school life, supporting - and sometimes leading - performances and productions.

Our partnership believes that Drama should be an inclusive experience for everyone. Distinctive features of our course include the different inputs offered by local school practitioners, as well as teaching labs where cohorts can stretch and challenge each other in practice-based workshops.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will learn to be a Drama teacher through a combination of taught sessions at the University and school-led professional development and classroom practice. You will start your course with a 2-3 week induction at the University in September, which is followed by a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops every Friday. These involve presentations, group work, role play, classroom modelling and peer teaching for which you will explore ideas and approaches and reflect on your own experiences.

Over the course of the acdemic year, you will undertake two periods of professional practice in two different schools (these may vary slightly in length, but will equate to a minimum of 120 working days in total). You will be supported in your professional placements by a Drama specialist who will act as a mentor, offering you tutorial support and developing a programme of practice-based professional studies for you. Your progress will be assessed through observations, feedback and discussion. To this end, you will create and maintain a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how you have met the various Teacher's Standards.

You will engage with the theoretical foundations of classroom practice and demonstrate the depth of your professional knowledge by completing three academic assignments during the course.

Additional entry requirements

To be accepted on this course, you must meet the partnership's established entry requirements for Initial Teacher Education. See 'Our Entry Requirements' at the bottom of our Applying web page. Additionally, given the competition for those applying for a place on the Drama Initial Teacher Education course specifically, you should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A strong knowledge and understanding of Drama and performance, and an awareness of how the subject is currently taught within Secondary state schools
  • A good honours degree (2:2 or above) in Drama or a performance-related degree (or equivalent qualification). Candidates are occasionally considered with a degree other than in Drama if they have significant theatre or performance vocational experience

Undertaking a short classroom type teaching task and showing an awareness of the curriculum and school life is part of our interview process, so candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.

All candidates offered a place on a teacher training course will be required to satisfactorily complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a CRB check), including a check of all cautions and warnings as well as convictions, before their place can be confirmed. The University will pay the costs of this check on your behalf.

How to apply

Applications for all Initial Teacher Education courses are made online via the Government's Department for Education websiteSee also our 'Applying' web page for a step-by-step process for how to apply to train to teach at Sussex.


See our Scholarships, fees and living costs web page for information on fees and eligibility for financial support. Specific information on bursaries, financial incentives and other sources of funding for Initial Teacher Education are available on our PGCE & School Direct Trainee Fees & Bursaries: 2023 and from the Department for Education.


See full details of the Secondary Drama PGCE course at Sussex on the Prospectus.

General enquiries about any ITE course, including application queries, should be directed to the ITE admissions team:

Specific course enquiries can be directed to the Course Leader: