My advice and tips for studying Theatre at Lancaster University

by Holly Bell

I’m in my last term of my final year of studying theatre here at Lancaster and I thought I would use my experiences to share some advice and tips that could be helpful to you if you are planning on studying theatre at Lancaster.

Prior to the course

To prepare for the course I recommend having a look at what opportunities are available in your local area. Useful opportunities might be watching theatre, attending drama groups or volunteering in the creative industries. These experiences will help you gain some knowledge about theatre and performance and gain some experience being a part of the creative industries, which should help to prepare you for starting the course. It may also be helpful to do some reading to get some background knowledge before you start studying. I recommend having a look at the module overviews on the course information page on Lancaster’s website and it might be useful to email staff for recommended reading lists once you have accepted your place to study at Lancaster.

During the course

I highly recommend being aware of what is going on in the cultural and creative industries during your studies. Keeping up with current events is useful for discussions in class and assignments. I also recommend watching as much theatre and performance as possible, even if it’s online. It is great to view performances that you can talk about and use as inspiration for your own work. It is also a good idea to make the most of being in a great city for theatre. During my studies I got a supporter pass for Lancaster Arts which allowed me to watch theatre without even leaving campus. There is also The Dukes Theatre and The Lancaster Grand in Lancaster Town which I have enjoyed visiting. These theatres also offer opportunities to get involved with what they have to offer including volunteering opportunities, part time roles and internships, which are great ways to get involved in the local theatre industry.

Time Management

My next piece of advice is about time management. As this course consists of both the practical and academic sides of drama it is important to manage your time so you can complete both sides of the course. I used a planner to plan out my week which helped me see the timetabled hours and how I could fit my independent study, assignments and rehearsals around my classes. I used to-do lists to work through the tasks I had to achieve and keep on top of my work. It is also great to make time for socialising and to make some time for yourself to relax away from your studies and make the most of what Lancaster has to offer.

Asking for help

Do not be afraid to ask the staff for help if you are struggling during your studies. They can point you to the right service whether that be welfare support, careers support or provide academic advice such as writing and exam guidance. It is easy to email your tutors and they can be helpful in giving your advice to improve your work.

Say ‘yes’ to opportunities

My final piece of advice is to take advantage of the opportunities available to you whilst you study. I highly recommend getting involved in a society. I enjoyed being part of Lancaster University Dance Society which I believe gave me a release from studies but also helped me to practise my performing skills. There are many other societies if dance is not your thing including Theatre Society, which is always popular with theatre students. You will also be able to participate in college and university events and access services provided by the university. I definitely recommend making the most of the opportunities offered whilst you study and enjoy studying theatre at Lancaster as it will be over before you know it.


Holly is a third year undergraduate at Lancaster University and is studying Drama, Theatre and Performance.

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