Why choose AQA for GCSE Drama

Our specification engages and encourages students to become confident performers and designers with the skills they need for a bright and successful future.

Because performance is paramount

We've built in as much opportunity as possible for students to do what they like best – participate in performance.

All students devise drama.

All students explore texts practically and work on two text-based performances.

Students can choose to develop as a:
  • performer
  • designer (lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets)
  • performer and designer.

Whichever option they choose, students can be sure to gather many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons.

Aiming for success

Our written exam paper is designed to help all students realise their full potential.

We use a variety of question styles and ask students to combine what they’ve learned about how drama is performed with their practical experience and imagination.

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 AS and A-level

This specification ensures continuity for students progressing from GCSE Drama to AS and A-level Drama and Theatre.

Students who go on to AS or A-level are already familiar with studying a whole set text for the written paper. They have built solid foundations in reviewing a live theatre production and in interpreting key extracts.

All of these aspects feature in the AS and A-level as well as the GCSE.

Transferable skills

Students learn to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They gain the confidence to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts. Whatever the future holds, students of GCSE Drama emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable both in further studies and in the workplace.

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
  • good practice guides: helping you 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