Writing for Performance

Foundation Degree

Key features

  • Provides foundation for progression to a suitable top-up honours degree
  • No specific level 3 entry requirements
  • 100% achievement rate for students with no/few qualifications


1 year | September 2017 – May2018

Course validation

Open University

Delivered at Ruskin College
Dunstan Road
Old Headington
Oxford, OX3 9BZ


Have you ever thought about writing your own play, script or performance piece? This course is outstandingly creative and vocational, and linked to the real world of writing and performance industries. The course is a continuation option for those who successfully complete the Certificate of Higher Education in Writing for Performance or equivalent.

Second-year students will have the chance to choose from a range of professional industry placements – in theatre, film or radio, or in a range of community settings - which cater to virtually any writing for performance genre.

We invite professional actors to perform your play scripts, and through collaboration with Oxford Brookes University you will have the chance to see your screenplays brought to life. If you have an aptitude for writing and a passion for theatre, film, TV and the spoken word then this course could be for you.

This course is regulated and validated by the Open University

Students receive all course information and timetables on enrolment.

All modules on this course are compulsory.

Level 5 – Year 2




Assessment, length (percent of credit)



Script and Screenwriting 2



Portfolio (100%)

Contact: 42

Tutorial: 4

Independent: 154


Theatre in Practice 2



Portfolio (100%)

Contact: 42

Tutorial: 4

Independent: 154


Facilitating Other People’s Creativity





Programme design and reflective journal (100%)


Contact: 42

Tutorial: 4

Independent: 154


Practice Learning Placement



EITHER Two pieces of original creative writing of the student's own produced during the placement.

OR One piece of the student's own and one by another person whose writing the student had facilitated on placement.


Supported by a Portfolio of work (100%)

Contact: 10

Placement: 160

Independent: 230



Foundation Portfolio



Portfolio (100%)

Contact: 21

Tutorial: 8

Independent: 171

If you have a Certificate of Higher Education or 120 Credits in a relevant subject you may be eligible for direct entry onto the Foundation Degree year (Level 5).

You will be expected to attend 12 hours of teaching per week with around 12 hours spent on independent self-directed study. Class sizes are small, with typically fewer than 25 students in each cohort.

You will write three separate assessments at the end of each of the two semesters; these will each ask for scripts of over 5000 words each and reflective essays of 1000–2000 words. Your creative output is our priority; everything you write will be read and discussed with your tutors.

In the second semester, you will undertake a work placement with one of the College’s established partners or you can find your own placement partner. The placement learning is fundamental to the Writing for Performance programme.  Through your time in a work-based setting, you will have the opportunity to apply and reflect on what you have learnt; to demonstrate your skills and competence and to be assessed on the quality of your work.

The diverse range of teaching methods and assessment types allows you to develop a wide range of skills. Within the formal lectures and seminars there are also opportunities to work with other students and to discuss and debate. You will also experience lectures, films, workshops, discussions and all forms of exercise that will involve you working in pairs and groups, as well as individually. Feedback from the tutor on summative assignments can be expected within three working weeks.

Members of staff involved with the delivery, teaching and assessment of the course have a range of industry experience and academic skills and a keen involvement within research and active creative output in the industry.

You will be assessed entirely on your coursework, with one formal assessment per module.

On successful completion of course you will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Writing for Performance.


We have a Learning Development office that offers free one-to-one tutorials for support with the following:

  • Individual study support, e.g. essay-writing, reading and note taking, or study confidence
  • English as a foreign language
  • Specific cognitive or physical learning needs, e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, ASC, Paraplegia.

Learning Development tutorials can be face-to-face, over the phone, or via Skype, and run in addition to your subject tutorials. Library and computing staff are also available for support in their specific areas.

Questions to do with the Library are best addressed to the library staff.  Questions to do with Computing are best addressed to the Computing Staff, who are available at different times. 


We offer a free and confidential counselling service to students.

Ruskin College supports counselling as part of this mission. We regard emotional intelligence as an integral aspect of learning, towards which counselling has much to offer. In order to transform society, individuals must first learn to transform themselves. Counselling at Ruskin extends beyond the traditional notion of support for mental health issues, into the realm of personal and professional development.


Please visit our staff webpage to learn about our course tutors.

Students are able to meet with our Student Money Adviser before enrolling on the course to discuss any fees or funding issues. For more information, contact enquiries@ruskin.ac.uk


Home/EU tuition fees are £9,000 per year for full time students. The International fee is £9,000 per year.

Fees are payable to Ruskin College on enrolment. Please note that these fees may be subject to change. Subject to eligibility, most full time students will be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Student Loans Company.


Subject to eligibility, full time students may be eligible to apply for help with their living costs with a Maintenance Grant/Loan.


Funding is available from Student Finance England if you live in England (www.gov.uk/studentfinance, 0845 300 5090). If you live in other parts of the UK please contact Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland or the Student Award Agency for Scotland. International students will be responsible for the payment of their own tuition fees. Further information on funding can be found here.


Once offered a place, full-time students can apply for a single study bedroom for the entire academic year. Accommodation for students on site is of a high standard, recently-refurbished and offering study/bedrooms in small blocks on the peaceful, semi-rural campus.

Students who are not resident in college need to budget for transport to the college, and for placement - although we try to ensure placements are as close to residency as possible. Student accommodation costs are: Study Bedroom (standard) £103/week; Study Bedroom (en-suite) £124.50/week.

All students will need to consider the additional costs of books and stationery items – although much of the reading material that you need will be available in the college library.

Students who take up the Work Placement module will be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check prior to commencing their programme. This currently costs £59.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply MORE INFORMATION

Ruskin College is committed to widening participation and has no specific Level 3 academic entry requirements for students to study on its higher education programmes.  Students must demonstrate that they have the ability to benefit from studying the programme and fulfil the learning outcomes of the programme. Students must demonstrate an interest in the field of study they wish to undertake.

Students may be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check prior to commencing their programme if they plan to undertake external work experience or placement opportunities offered by that programme.

All candidates must also be able to satisfy the general admissions requirements for Ruskin College on application or at interview:

  • You must demonstrate a commitment to the ethos and vocation of Ruskin College
  • You must demonstrate an interest in the field of study you wish to undertake
  • Selection interviews are conducted as a two-way process in which you can make an informed decision about the suitability of the programme for you.
  • You must attend a selection interview for the course
  • We must receive a satisfactory reference
  • A satisfactory health check `
  • You must participate in an induction week, which includes sessions on all aspects of the college

Suitability for students taking up study will be assessed on a case by case basis, through a range of exercises including group work, individual interviews, and individual written tasks.  


To make an application, complete our online application form


Once you have successfully completed this course you will have the skills needed to work in various roles such as within theatre, as a writer, or as a performance poet. People who do this course go on to work in the film, TV and radio industries or work within their communities. 

Graduates are also eligible to apply for a programme at another institution to top-up their qualification to a full honours degree. In the past, students have applied to a variety of universities, including the Central School of Speech and Drama.