Why choose AQA for A-level Drama and Theatre

Our specification inspires students to become independent theatre makers with the skills they need to go on to higher education, whether that is to study a course in drama and theatre or another subject.

A practical focus

We want students to have an inspiring experience of A-level Drama and Theatre.

This qualification emphasises practical creativity alongside research and theoretical understanding.

Students learn through experience, seeing theatre and making theatre for themselves. Students are introduced to a wide range of theatrical styles and contexts as they explore plays practically, devise and work on performances.

Students choose to develop as a:
  • performer
  • designer (lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets)
  • director
  • combination of these.

Whichever option they choose, students will gain many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons.

Engaging exams

Each exam paper is designed to allow students to demonstrate their creativity and imagination in interpreting set texts and apply independent thinking as they evaluate a live theatre production.

We’ve gained considerable expertise in setting exam questions and writing mark schemes for drama and theatre so we know how to create papers that build students' confidence and help them achieve their full potential.

When setting the paper, quality of marking is at the forefront of our minds. We know how important it is that your students get results that reflect their achievements.

Clear progression to higher education

Higher education institutions (HEIs) value and respect the skills our drama and theatre qualifications give students.

We developed this specification with help from HEIs and we’ve really made the most of the advice they gave us. By incorporating the approach they take with drama and theatre undergraduates into this A-level, your students will be really well prepared for the demands of university and beyond.

Transferable skills

There’s another reason our A-level in Drama and Theatre is so valued.

Students of AQA Drama and Theatre develop skills that are not just essential for drama but applicable to a wide range of higher education subjects and in the workplace.

This specification refines students' collaborative skills, their analytical thinking and their approach to research.

Students grow in confidence and maturity as they successfully realise their own ideas. They learn to evaluate objectively and develop a sound appreciation of the influences that cultural and social contexts can have on decision making.

Whatever the future holds, students of A-level Drama and Theatre emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills preparing them for their next steps.

You can find out about all our Drama qualifications at

Support and resources to help you teach

We’ve worked with experienced teachers to provide you with a range of resources that will help you confidently plan, teach and prepare for exams.

Teaching resources

Visit to see all our teaching resources. They include:

  • schemes of work: ideas to help you plan your course with confidence
  • co-teaching guidance: suggestions for how to co-teach the AS and A-level specifications to aid planning
  • good practice guides: helping you to inspire and challenge students to think creatively
  • exemplification materials: marked student work supported by examiner commentaries and guidance
  • suggested plays: to help you choose appropriate material for practical study. We have developed a broad list of suggested plays that you might like to consider for your students and will keep this updated to ensure it reflects the best of contemporary theatre.

Support service

  • Training courses: helping you deliver AQA drama qualifications
  • Subject expertise courses: for newly-qualified teachers to experienced teachers looking for fresh inspiration
  • Drama advisory service: each school/college is allocated a non-exam assessment (NEA) Adviser. You can contact them for one-to-one advice on any aspect of the NEA and/or support with planning and delivery of course content.
  • Subject community: access free resources and services offered by drama organisations and universities
  • Support meetings: helping you with course delivery; offering practical teaching strategies and approaches that really work
  • Teacher network group: contact colleagues at other schools/colleges to share ideas about resources and teaching strategies for the AQA specification

To find out more about our support service visit

Preparing for exams

Visit for everything you need to prepare for our exams, including:

  • past papers, mark schemes and examiners’ reports
  • specimen papers and mark schemes for new courses
  • exemplar student answers with examiner commentaries.

Analyse your students' results with Enhanced Results Analysis (ERA)

Find out which questions were the most challenging, how the results compare to previous years and where your students need to improve. ERA, our free online results analysis tool, will help you see where to focus your teaching. Register at

For information about results, including maintaining standards over time, grade boundaries and our post-results services, visit

Keep your skills up-to-date with professional development

Wherever you are in your career, there’s always something new to learn. As well as subject-specific training, we offer a range of courses to help boost your skills.

  • Improve your teaching skills in areas including differentiation, teaching literacy and meeting Ofsted requirements.
  • Prepare for a new role with our leadership and management courses.

You can attend a course at venues around the country, in your school or online – whatever suits your needs and availability. Find out more at

Help and support available

Visit our website for information, guidance, support and resources at

If you'd like us to share news and information about this qualification, sign up for emails and updates at

Alternatively, you can call or email our subject team direct.


T: 01483 556 301