Advanced Higher Drama


The Advanced Higher Drama Course will provide a challenging and satisfying Course for candidates who wish to specialise in both the academic and practical aspects of the subject. It also provides opportunities to develop transferable skills for learning, life and work.
The course allows learners to explore both the practical and analytical aspects of the subject. It provides opportunities for learners to develop skills through practical aspects of theatre, the creative exploration of the art of theatre and its forms and practices.
Learners will investigate how theatre practice has been shaped by key practitioners. They will expand and develop their own skills within their chosen area of acting, directing or design.

  • The aims of the course are to enable learners to:
  • develop autonomy and independent thinking skills
  • develop skills in performing within their chosen area of acting, directing or design
  • develop individual creativity when applying skills in problem solving, analysis and evaluation
  • analyse current theatrical performance
  • develop analytical skills in the interpretation of texts
  • develop knowledge and understanding of 20th-century theatre practice and key practitioners develop knowledge and understanding of social and cultural influences on drama.


This course anticipates the first year of university and is a very well respected qualification due to its academic and practical applications.
The new updated AH course will run in session 2015-2016. There are 2 units, Drama Skills and Production Skills, as well as a final performance exam. There is no final written exam, this has been replaced with a 3000 word dissertation which will be submitted to SQA for marking in March.

Unit 1: Drama Skills

Pupils will research and study the work of 2 theatre practitioners and use their methods and theories to create a piece of original work which will be performed to a live audience.

Unit 2: Production Skills

Pupils will study a text and chose a specialism area in acting, directing or design. Using the methods and theories of one of the practitioners studied in unit 1 they will create a performance. Pupils will also analyse a live theatrical event, considering performance concepts.

Practical Exam

A preparation for performance essay will be completed.
Pupils will choose their specialism area from Acting, directing or design.

  •  As an Actor they will choose 2 performance pieces one of which will be a monologue lasting 3 mins and one an interactive piece, these will be performed for the examiner
  •  Directors will rehearse part of an identified section of script for the examiner
  •  Designers will create design concepts for two production areas as well as a scale set model and plans for set for a production.

Project (this replaces a written exam)

Pupils will write a dissertation linking to one of the practitioners studied in units 1 and 2. Their work should be based on any area of drama or theatre and the final word count should be approximately 3000 words. This project will be developed throughout the year and submitted in March.


Component 1 — Practical Exam
The practical exam will have 60 marks (60% of the total mark). The practical exam has two sections.

Section 1 will have 50 marks. (For performance in the chosen role of acting, directing or design) Section 2 will have 10 marks. (These marks are awarded for a report based on their chosen role and production)

Component 2 — Project
The project will have 40 marks (40% of the total mark).
The candidate will select a topic from relevant and current performance theories and practice. The project will consist of a written report and may contain visual evidence.

Total 100 Marks

Recommended Entry Level

While entry is at the discretion of the department, students of Advanced Higher Drama should have achieved an A/B pass at Higher Drama and Higher English. In some instances, students who have other previous experience of drama may also have access to the Advanced Higher course.

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