Welcome to Stellenbosch University

BA (Drama and Theatre Studies)

This three-year selection programme is aimed primarily at training well-informed, creative and well-equipped theatre practitioners and scholars, who can make a meaningful contribution to the theatre industry and related fields in the South African context. 

In the first two years the programme focuses primarily on drama and theatre in the traditional sense of theatre as an art devoted exclusively to the stage. In the third year the training focuses also on the performing arts and the entertainment industry in the broader sense. We offer two areas of specialisation between which prospective students choose:

  • Acting and performance training
  • Technical and management training

These practical specialisation areas are underpinned by a strong theoretical basis, including text analysis; principles of theatre research; and basic marketing and business skills.

Which subjects do the programme consists of?

Three compulsory subjects form the core of this programme, namely Theatre StudiesTheatre Skills and Theatre Arts. On basis level (first year of study) students choose two further subjects (of which one must be a language) that are offered by other departments in our faculty – the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. One of these subjects is continued with on intermediate level (second year of study).

Theatre Studies is a theoretical subject that is divided into semester modules. This means that a written exam is taken down at the end of each semester in the relevant modules. (The academic year of the University is divided into two semesters: February till June and July till November.) Theatre Studies is currently the only subject that the Acting and performance students and the Technical and managements students take together. 

Theatre Skills and Theatre Arts are primarily practical subjects, although both also include theoretical components. The content of the subjects differ however according to the area of specialisation which students have chosen. Theatre Skills and Theatre Arts are year modules and are subdivided into different components. A system of flexible assessment is used to determine progress and achievement. This means that each component, according to its nature and content, is assessed in a specific manner. Examples of forms of assessment are: practical tests (solo or group performances, theatre performances, film and radio recordings); creative products (set designs, costume pieces, props); creative processes (progress during class work); and/or written tests and assignments.

The following table shows the programme layout and subject choices of the BA (Drama and Theatre Studies) programme

BA (Drama and Theatre Studies)

Programme layout and subject choices


(First year)


(Second year)


(Third year)


Theatre Studies 114, 144

Introduction to theatre history. Western theatre and principles of text study (Greeks until 20th century).

Theatre Studies 212, 222, 242, 252

Textual analysis in context.  Theory and forms of drama and theatre.

Theatre Studies 314, 324, 344, 354

Film studies and analysis. History and nature of non-Western theatre (Eastern and African theatre). History and nature of South African theatre.

Theatre Arts 178

Basic theory and skills in acting and improvisation.


Introduction to technical skills for stage production. Paint techniques. Costumes.

Theatre Arts 278

Continued theory and skills in acting. Stage make-up.


Theatre Arts 288 

Application of technical skills for stage production. Costumes. Stage make-up.

Theatre Arts 379

Continued theory and skills in acting. (Television and film, Radio and Theatre).


Theatre Arts 389

Continued application of technical skills for stage production. Costumes. Make-up.

Theatre Skills 178

Basic theory and skills in speech, voice and movement.


Basic theory and skills in technical aspects of theatre and media (including: Stage management, Design, Props, Décor).

Theatre Skills 278

Continued theory and skills in speech, voice and movement.


Theatre Skills 288

Continued theory and skills in technical aspects of theatre and media (including: Lighting, Sound, Video production, Design, Masks).

Theatre Skills 378

Performance Creation


Theatre Skills 388

Continued theory and skills in technical aspects of theatre and media (including: Production management, Video production, Lighting, Design).


Choose TWO:

Afrikaans and Dutch

Afrikaans Language Acquisition

Ancient Cultures

Basic Xhosa (only basic level)

English Studies


Practical Music Studies (only basic level)


Visual Studies


Continue with ONE from basic level:

Afrikaans and Dutch

Afrikaans Language Acquisition

Ancient Cultures

Applied English Language Studies

English Studies



Visual Studies




PLEASE NOTE: The Drama Department follows an approach of bilingual actor training. Candidates who are applying for the Acting and performance training should bear in mind that the BA (Drama and Theatre Studies) programme is offered bilingually (English and Afrikaans). In order to acquire the degree students have to complete and pass compulsory Afrikaans and English components.

Admission Requirements

It is not necessary to have any former drama and/or theatre training to be considered for the BA (Drama and Theatre Studies) programme. You simply have to comply with the following admission requirements:

  • An average final mark in the NSC or the IEB school-leaving certificate (excluding Life Orientation) – 65%
  • Home Language – code 5 (60%).
  • First Additional Language – code 4 (50%).​

​(* List of designated university admission subjects: Accounting, Agricultural Sciences, Business Studies, Consumer Studies, Dramatic Arts, Economics, Engineering Graphics and Design, Geography, History, Information Technology, Languages (one language of learning and teaching at a higher education institution and two other recognised language subjects), Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Music, Physical Sciences, Religion Studies and Visual Arts.)

How to ap​ply

To be considered for the BA (Drama and Theatre Studies) programme, you must complete and submit (1) an Undergraduate Application for Admission to the University and pay the application fee, and (2) complete and submit a Personal Information Sheet so that it reaches the University  the previous year of intended studies. The Personal Information Sheet will be sent out to students after they have applied to the University via the official channels. 

If you are unsure about the application process or experience problems with the application process, contact Ms Karla Koopstad telephonically at 021 808 9111 or via  e-mail at karlak@sun.ac.za.

PLEASE NOTE: The closing date for applications that have to be considered for University accommodation is 30 June of the previous year.

The Selection Process

The selection process consists of two rounds. The first round evaluates candidates' academic profiles and compliance with the admission requirements of the programme. The second round of the selection process takes the form of a personal audition (Acting and performance specialisation) and/or an interview (Technical and management specialisation). 

The second round of selection is only administered at the Drama Department of Stellenbosch University. It is usually scheduled over one of the weekends of the September/October school holiday. The second round of selection is by invitation only and is compulsory for all candidates who want to be considered for the BA (Drama and Theatre Studies) programme. 

The final results of the selection process are communicated via e-mail. Telephone enquiries in this regard can be made from the end of October to Ms Karla Koopstad (karlak@sun.ac.za).

PLEASE NOTE: The results of the selection process are final. No correspondence will be entered into after the announcement of the results of the selection process.

Important Dates​ and Information

The important dates for auditions and application dates will be made available in the near future. ​


For more information on the BA (Drama and Theatre Studies) programme, contact:

Ms Brenda Chordnum (General Drama Office) (Office hours:  08:30 - 16:00) 

  • Telephone: 021 808 3216
  • E-mail: bchord@sun.ac.za

For more information on Stellenbosch University and admission requirements, contact:

Ms Karla Koopstad (Office hours:  08:00 - 12:45)

  • Telephone: 021 808 9111
  • E-mail: karlak@sun.ac.za