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  • BA (Ed) in Theatre and Drama

    The Theatre and Drama programme explores critical aspects of theory, practice and pedagogy, to reflect an integrated approach to drama education. The programme identifies how theatre and drama theories and practices provide platforms to incorporate new educational thinking that includes 21st century competencies. Theatre and drama processes and practices will be applied to nurture individual and collaborative learning, reflective and reflexive practice, active problem-solving, empathetic engagement, inter- and intra-cultural understanding, and social and self-awareness. The programme draws from Asian and Western theory, practice, history and philosophy to respond critically to global trends in arts education and cultural policy.

    There are no academic pre-requisites for specialisation in Drama. Students who are interested to do Theatre and Drama at NIE must attend an interview-workshop which offers students an opportunity to discuss the programme and participate in a short drama workshop that conveys some of the approaches and pedagogies used. No academic pre-requisites are required. Some background in performance and theatre-making is however preferred. What is most important is that students are willing to collaborate, be imaginative and participate fully in practical and theoretical learning.

    Students will do a combination of Academic Subjects (AS) and Curriculum Subjects (CS) in Theatre and Drama, depending on whether they elect to do Theatre and Drama as a Major (AS1) or Minor (AS2) study. The modules include the following:

    Academic Subjects (AS):

    AAU 10A Acting 1: The Actor’s Voice and Body

    AAU 10B Theatre & Drama in Society: Historical Perspectives                  

    AAU 10C Acting 2: Physical Theatre and Embodying Character

    AAU 10D Contemporary Theatre: Styles and Conventions

    AAU 20A Dramaturgy and Directing

    AAU 20B Evolution of Theatre and Drama: Practice and Philosophy

    AAU 20C Playwriting and Script Analysis

    AAU 20D Traditional Theatre: Styles and Conventions

    AAU 20E Devising Theatre: Methods and Practices

    AAU 20G Performance, Imagination and Play

    AAU 30A Technical Theatre: Staging and Design                   

    AAU 30B Performance Processes: Rehearsing, Staging and Responding

    AAU 30C New Theatre Practices (Secondary only)

    AAU 40A Applied Theatre: Theory, Practice and Pedagogy (Secondary only)

    AAU 40B Young People’s Theatre Practices (Secondary only)

    AAU 40C Research Frames for Theatre and Drama Education

    Curriculum Subjects (CS):

    ACU 22A Theatre and Drama Education

    ACU 32A Planning and Facilitating Theatre and Drama Education

    ACU 42A Critical Pedagogies in Theatre and Drama Education

    ACU 42B Curriculum and Assessment in Theatre and Drama

    Please follow this link for detailed course descriptions for BA(Ed) Primary (Drama).

    Please follow this link for detailed course descriptions for BA(Ed) Secondary (Drama).

    For general information on Undergraduate Programmes, please follow this link.

  • Minor Study in Drama and Performance

    ADP courses are theatre and performance electives offered to ALL students from NTU and NIE except NIE BA/BSc (Ed) & B Ed student teachers doing Drama as an Academic Subject. These can be taken as general electives or as part of a ‘Minor Study in Drama and Performance.’ These courses introduce to students a broad range of concepts, theories, histories of, and practices in, theatre and performance: some courses focus on theatre’s relevance and engagement with contemporary and traditional society, both Western and Asian, while others offer students opportunities for more practical work in acting, playwriting and directing.

    To obtain a ‘Minor in Drama and Performance’ a student will have to complete 5 modules in total – one Foundation Level module and four other modules. The Foundation Level module, ADP16A: Introduction to Theatre and Performance, is a pre-requisite for access to other modules.

    ADP16A will be offered every semester, and at least two other courses from the Secondary Level will be offered each semester. Each module is worth 3AUs.

    The modules offered from August 2017 are as follows:

    Foundation Level (Compulsory and Pre-Requisite for other ADP Modules):

    ADP16A Introduction to Theatre and Performance
    This course, an introduction to theatre and performance, will engage and marry both theory and practice from the perspectives of the theatre maker and theatre scholar. It examines how theatre is developed from a range of sources, and explores ways in which scripted text is transformed, interpreted and manipulated. Working with the body, voice and performance space as critical performance elements, two 20th century theatre-making methodologies will be explored and examined. These include the theories and practice of Konstantin Stanislavski and Bertolt Brecht. Where practice approaches are concerned, there will be a particular focus on Realist (Stanislavsky) and Epic (Brecht) dramaturgical and performance strategies. In addition, the course will also introduce the basics of performance analysis and ways to ‘de-code’ performances. The objective is that students will learn how to engage with and articulate an informed personal and theoretical vocabulary of theatre skills and practice.


    Secondary Level (Choose and Complete at least 4 Modules):

    ADP26A Contemporary Theatre: Styles and Conventions
    This course examines the dynamics, principles and practices of contemporary theatre in relation to developments of modern, post-modern and avant-garde theatre in a global context. It brings together cultural vocabularies and practices from diverse parts of the world and explores the styles and conventions that have emerged in contemporary performance making and thinking, with a particular focus on theatre from the mid twentieth to early twenty-first century. The course will examine the work of innovative and pioneering local and international theatre practitioners and engages students in research, practice and discussion on the historical, political, theoretical, practical and philosophical relevance of contemporary theatre.

    ADP26B Theatre for Young People: Methods and Practices
    This course will investigate current philosophies, practices and approaches of involving young people in the process of making theatre, for young people, particularly in Singapore. It will focus on modes of devising and presenting children’s theatre, youth theatre, Theatre‐in‐Education and community‐based performance in a practical workshop format. Students will work through a play building process to devise material suitable for the aforementioned groups of people, with them taking on the roles of performers and/or facilitators. The course will question the relevance and value of existing practices of theatre-making by and for youth and the community.

    ADP26C Acting: The Actor’s Voice and Body
    This course examines what it means to act in theatre and explores the processes of personal preparation for the task of acting on stage, through working towards an understanding of the Actor’s Voice and Body. It provides opportunities for students to engage in thinking through experiencing representational (realist) and presentational (non-realist) modes of performance. It also develops an understanding of fundamental principles that are involved in acting in an ensemble and individually. The course emphasises personal commitment to and ownership of the process, requiring participants to actively contribute to improvisations and discussions, rehearsals and performances with a strong intent to build on skills and improve on an overall understanding of theatre and live acting.

    ADP26D Theatre and Technology
    The course will be an investigation of performance across a range of new media and technologies. It will apply contemporary theories of performance, such as postmodernism and posthumanism, consciousness and the virtual double, telematics and telepresence, and liveness and mediatisation to critique and devise performance in contexts alternative to conventional theatre. It seeks to inform students of the increasing use of technology in performance and encourages students to think critically about the various philosophical, aesthetic, cultural and critical issues arising from this interface of technology and theatre.  Topics include televisual theatre, immersive game-theatre, digital performance, cyborg theatre, and virtual theatre.

    ADP26E Playwriting and Script Analysis
    In this course students will work both individually and in small groups as they examine playwriting processes and conventions. They will consider the role of the sole and collaborative playwright through writing exercises, improvisational and playbuilding techniques and research. Students will examine a playwright’s methodologies and analyse a range of scripts that have been published as texts and used in performance. They read, watch and/or critique works by local playwrights as well international ones. A range of writing processes will be explored, leading to a variety of end-products – for example, from scene-work to the development of treatment for multi-media performance; from dramaturgical and/or critical approaches to script analysis to the development of short playscripts.

    ADP26G Independent Study in Theatre
    This course is designed to accommodate flexibly advanced topics for the Drama and Performance student. This course could take the form of an academic pursuit or a more practical experience. The course will be individually tailored to the members of the class. Where appropriate, independent study methods will be introduced. Examples are: a small‐team guided research project on an aspect of drama in the community; a detailed study of an innovative dramatist or company, considering both theory and practice; a researched and theorised chamber production.

    ADP26H Directing and Dramaturgy
    This course engages students in learning and analysing the skills and capacities of a director and dramaturg in relation to theatre-making. It explores the practices and philosophies that underpin the work of directing and dramaturgy as critical aspects of performance and production. Students will examine how directing is informed by particular aims and objectives, ideologies and aesthetics that engage the director, and develop dramaturgical approaches to researching, critiquing and questioning how these frameworks can be concretised and advanced.

    ADP26J Traditional Theatre: Styles and Conventions
    The course will examine some major traditional theatre forms that continue to be practiced and taught in Asia and further afield. These will include forms such as Kathakali, Noh, Chinese Opera and Wayang Kulit. It will involve discussions focussed on the histories of these forms, their socio-political contexts and continued applications in contemporary culture. The course will entail negotiating a process of working with traditional theatre forms as contemporary theatre practitioners and educators. There will be opportunities for practical learning through workshops, watching audio-visual media and classroom dialogue to explore connected ideas and interrogate their relevance. Students will also engage in making short performances that draw on their own application and understanding of these forms.

    ADP26K Contemporary Theatre in Singapore and Southeast Asia
    The course will examine socio-political and aesthetic issues that stem from making Contemporary Southeast Asian Theatre, with particular emphasis on Singapore and a brief exploration of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. It will consider questions of identity, history, social and cultural change and the emergent trends that appear to characterise theatre in the region. Using plays from the region, the course will explore the emerging themes, issues and images and consider the fusion of theatre forms in contemporary Southeast Asian theatre that indicate a wide range of global and regional influence. This will include engaging with theatre in relation to Southeast Asia as a region, the influence of traditional theatre on contemporary work and vice-versa, and the importance of socio-political contexts in relation to theatre performance. The course will also briefly consider the contemporary Southeast Asian theatre today as it experiences cross-cultural through-flows, globalisation and regional interchange.

    ADP26L Devising Theatre: Methods and Practices

    This course will engage students in contemporary approaches for devising theatre that include improvisation, storytelling, scene-building and interactive staging. It introduces aspects of devising theatre and playbuilding that move from process to product, giving students opportunities to create and perform short devised works and critically reflect on that process and performance. Comprehension is enhanced by critical considerations of how to structure performance, articulate thematic frameworks, and respond aesthetically to critical feedback. Students will participate as performers/facilitators/devisers in generating collaborative processes, researching relevant ideas and issues, as well as developing and incorporating resources for staging. The course will also explore the ideas of leading theatre practitioners and companies locally and internationally.

    ADP26M Applied Theatre: Theory, Practice and Pedagogy
    This course will articulate and examine the different approaches to, and forms of, Applied Theatre such as Community Theatre and Theatre for Development.  It will involve reading about, discussing and understanding the histories of Community Performances and why they continue to be practiced and advance in various parts of the world.  The course will engage students in the theory and practice of Applied Theatre within non-formal educational contexts such as Community Centres, Hospitals, Youth Centres, etc. Students will look at the theoretical and pedagogical approaches that inform how Applied Theatre projects are created, planned and evaluated.  They will engage in basic principles related to the making of such forms, and will also look at the socio-political implications of generating Applied Theatre projects within the Singapore context.

  • Master of Education in Drama (MEd Drama)

    The Master of Education in Drama is a specialised Master’s by Coursework or Master’s by Coursework and Dissertation degree that provides opportunities for advanced academic study in drama, professional practice in drama, and drama education. It addresses drama performance and processes, their application to educational contexts, and the multi-disciplinary approach needed for drama learning and performance. Both theoretical and practical issues of drama pedagogy are discussed, focusing on contemporary issues in drama and drama education. Students will develop insight and understanding of the creative processes of drama and drama education, including performance, and skills in the teaching of drama as a subject and as a vehicle for learning.

    Entry requirements include a good Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university, a teaching qualification such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Education from the National Institute of Education, Singapore or at least one year of relevant working experience in education.

    We currently only offer part-time candidature, that would take a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years to complete.

    The next intake will be offered in January 2018, and the course includes the following modules:

    Complete Coursework Route

    Coursework plus Dissertation Route

    Core Course

    MED900 Educational Inquiry

    Core Course

    MED900 Educational Inquiry

    Required Specialisation Courses

    MDR901 Theatre Making

    MDR902 Drama Education, Curriculum & Assessment

    MDR903 The Teacher as Facili-Actor

    MDR904 Arts-based Research

    Required Specialisation Courses

    MDR901 Theatre Making

    MDR902 Drama Education, Curriculum & Assessment

    MDR903 The Teacher as Facili-Actor

    Elective Courses (Select 2)

    The course(s) to be selected from either the specialization electives

    MDR921 Page to Stage

    MDR922 Theatre in the Community

    and/or any of the courses offered in NIE's Master degree programmes

    Open Elective Courses (Select 1)

    The course to be selected from either the specialization electives

    MDR904 Arts-based Research

    MDR921 Page to Stage

    MDR922 Theatre in the Community

    and/or any of the courses offered in NIE's Master degree programmes

    MED999 Integrative Project (2 AUs)

    Dissertation (6 AUs)

    *AUs, or Academic Units, refer to the number of contact hours per week over a 13 week semester. All courses are 4AUs (52 hours) unless otherwise stated. Courses involve face-to-face time and online learning.

    For detailed course descriptions, please follow this link.

    For application processes, fees and frequently asked questions, please follow this link.

  • Master of Arts (Research)

    The Master of Arts (Research) in Drama is an advanced degree that is done by independent but supervised research in an approved area of drama studies, drama education or drama pedagogy. The award of the degree is dependent on the successful completion of 40,000 to 50,000 word thesis.

    Candidates must have a good Bachelor's degree with Honours of at least a Second Class Upper level in a relevant area and must have the ability to pursue independent research in the proposed field of advanced study.

    The Master of Arts degree by research is offered on both full-time and part-time basis. The candidature period for full-time study is a maximum of 3 years, and for part-time a maximum of 4 years.

    At present, the following areas of research specialisation are offered:

    • Issues in Drama Education and Drama Pedagogies
    • Performance Studies in the School Context
    • Emergent Asian Theatre Forms and Training
    • Intercultural Theatre and Intercultural Shakespeares
    • Contemporary Southeast Asian Theatre
    • Theatre in Singapore
    • Digital Performance and Virtual Theatres

    Current and past research areas by MA candidates include:

    • Using drama for English Language learning in primary schools
    • Exploring the Subjectivities of teaching theatre artists through Performance Ethnography


    For more information on the Master of Arts programme, including application processes, please follow this link.

  • AAU: 08A Theatre Games: Engagement Through Play

    This course examines a range of theatre games conventionally used in a participatory classroom to build specific skills and capabilities.  Participants will be introduced to theatre practitioners such Augusto Boal, Viola Spolin, Clive Barker and Chris Johnstone, who have developed theatre games for actor training as well as team-building. These theories, methods and practices will be used to engage participants in a range of reflective processes, critical dialogue and physical activities that promote stronger social-emotional learning opportunities, inter-personal and intrapersonal skills, as well as civic and social awareness through activities that enhance team-building, trust, confidence, collaboration and the extension of imagination. The principles of practice that underpin the use of theatre games will be explored and explicated in relation to non-traditional theatre contexts.

    AAU 28C: Twenty –First Century Learning through Theatre & Drama

    This module examines how drama can be applied as 21st Century pedagogy. Participants will explore how they can nurture young people by infusing drama into the classroom in order to begin to equip young people with the life skills necessary for be active and concerned 21st Century citizens. In this rapidly changing world, growing importance is being placed on the need for young people to develop 21st century skills in order to become skilled members of the global workforce.  This course will examine and apply why and how Drama Education has long been recognized for its ability to foster social and self-awareness, self-confidence, empathy, communication skills, critical thinking, intercultural understanding, and collaboration and negotiations skills.

    AAU 28B: The Creative Classroom: Introducing Drama through Imagination and Play

    This course allows participants to explore theories and practices of imagination and play and their creative application using drama. Participants will be introduced to reflective and reflexive practice in the work of Donald Schon and Dorothy Heathcote, as well as thinking on creativity and education though the work of Lev Vygotsky, Howard Gardner and others. Participants will be introduced to the ‘grounded-imagination’ that the classroom is a stage, or laboratory, where exchanges between teacher and student through drama, can forge creative alliances for pedagogical learning essential for the 21st century classroom. 

    AAU28A: Drama as Engaged and Collaborative Learning

    This course will introduce key concepts and developments in the practice and pedagogy of drama as an artistic medium for engaged and collaborative learning.  Through group improvisations that engage students in drama conventions and practices, students will participate in thematic and issue-based processes of storytelling, scenario-building and symbolic creativity to understand how drama operates aesthetically and pedagogically as a creative, engaged and empowering process.  It will be introducing frameworks and methodologies that enable student teachers to develop skills and capacities in how to apply and use drama as a medium that enhances socio-cultural and aesthetic engagement, reflexivity and agency.  In varying contexts drama has been used for: artistic communication, personal development, meaning-making and empowerment.  Student teachers will come to understand a range of philosophical viewpoints relating to the educative purpose and power of drama and how they are realized in practice.

    AAU28D: Voice Studies and Production

    This course aims to strengthen and enhance the professionals’ natural voice and their use of the voice in various working contexts, particularly that of the meeting room. This course uses established approaches to develop physical and personal awareness, a feeling for the dynamics of language, and understanding of basic theory of physiology and voice production.

    The course also focuses on the use of the voice in a working environment: for professional presentations for diverse audiences and incorporates technology to enhance presentation. Students will be introduced to how sound is produced through its interconnectedness with the breath, body, mind and space. This will be a practical & theoretical workshop where participants will be introduced to different styles of creative speaking. Participants will be encouraged to find their own voice through specially designed exercises.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Drama)

    The Doctor of Philosophy programme is a andvanced degree that is done by independent but supervised research in an approved field of drama studies, drama education or drama pedagogy. The award of the degree is dependent on the successful completion and oral defence of a 70,000 to 100,00 word dissertation / thesis.

    Candidates must have a good Bachelor’s degree with Honours of at least Second Class Upper Level and a Master’s degree in the field of drama, drama education or drama pedagogy.

    The degree of PhD by research is offered on both full-time and part-time basis. The maximum candidature for full-time study is 5 years, and for part-time a maximum of 7 years.

    At present, the following areas of research specialisation are offered:

    • Issues in Drama Education and Drama Pedagogies
    • Performance Studies in the School Context
    • Emergent Asian Theatre Forms and Training
    • Intercultural Theatre and Intercultural Shakespeares
    • Contemporary Southeast Asian Theatre
    • Theatre in Singapore
    • Digital Performance and Virtual Theatres


    Current research areas by doctoral candidates include:

    • Drama Pedagogies
    • Drama and Literacy
    • Singapore Theatre


    For other application processes and other information, please follow this link.