Directing and Composition (Q3261)

30 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module introduces you to a range of historically situated practices, approaches and methods that have become established (to greater and lesser degrees) and are commonly applied in directing and composing performance today. Through seminar, focused dialogue, presentations and collaborative workshops you will focus upon a number of distinctive styles and approaches to making theatre works that have dominated and shaped the development of performance-making and theatre production since the middle of the 20th century to the present day. You will investigate methods and strategies (visual, critical, written, practical) through case-studies of a range of productions and/or directors and theatre-makers in order to gain a deeper understanding of some of the concerns that determine and shape contemporary practice. You will be encouraged to evaluate how such approaches have both advanced and constrained the way we think about directing and composition (collaboration versus director-led work, for example) and the implications facing theatre-makers and writers in the current cultural climate.

From the most traditional plays that take place in main stream theatres to outdoor, immersive spectacles, small installation works and interdisciplinary performances, from plays to newly-devised versions of classical works to the generation of new material by ensembles from initial idea and workshop through to production, the aim of Directing and Composition is to help deepen both your knowledge in this area of study as well as your creative practice.


76%: Practical (Practical, Workshop)
24%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 53 hours of contact time and about 247 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: