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The Drama major allows students to study aspects of the history, performance and the relevance of drama in contemporary culture. Courses available cover a broad range of subject areas including practical acting skills, drama teaching, dramatic writing and exploration of historical concepts and issues. Graduates of this major are valued for their communication skills, artistic and creative ability, technical drama knowledge and understanding of interpersonal and group dynamics.
Employment opportunities exist in the arts in both the government and private sectors, as well as in other creative industries such as advertising, journalism, public relations and marketing. Drama majors may find their employment opportunities in these areas are improved by combining their studies with related courses. Additionally, post-graduate study may provide a variety of other career opportunities in the education, legal and management sectors.
Past students' productions showcase may be viewed on the online gallery.
For more information about Drama, visit the School of Drama, Fine Art and Music site.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a degree with a major in Drama include:
Post Graduate Study:
Masters by Research
As the global job sector can be competitive, it is of great advantage to complete a postgraduate qualification, particularly by independent research (such as Masters by Research, or PhD). See examples of research areas within this discipline here.
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The following list provides some example jobs for the Drama major. Some of these jobs will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, and the combination of other majors and electives studied, for example some may require further study.
- Acting/Drama Coach
- Arts Administrator
- Arts Manager
- Broadcast Journalist
- Casting Director
- Community Arts Worker
- Dramaturg and Literary Advisor
- Entertainment and Media Production Manager
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained from a major in Drama.
- Booking Manager
- Cultural Development Officer
- Diplomat / Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
- Foreign Correspondent
- Front of House Manager
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Grants Officer
- International Aid/Development Worker
- Lighting Designer
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Drama graduates find employment opportunities in a wide variety of industries in small, medium or large organisations. Below is an example of some of the organisations that recruit this major.
- ACP Magazines (Australia)
- Allen & Unwin (International)
- Arclight Films (International)
- Ausfilm International (International)
- Austereo (Australia)
- Australia Council for the Arts (International)
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economists (Australia)
- Australian National Library (Australia)
- Australian Professional Theatre Companies (Australia)
- Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Australia)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- Belvoir Street Theatre (Australia)
- Beyond International Films (International)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
- Dendy Cinemas (Australia)
- Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (Australia)
- Granada Productions (International)
- Hopscotch Films (International)
- National Archives of Australia (Australia)
- National Museum of Australia (Australia)
- NSW Local Government (Australia)
- Red Rock Global Media (International)
- Regional Arts Australia (Australia)
- RHI Entertainment Australia (Australia)
- Saatchi & Saatchi (International)
- SBS Television (Australia)
- Splash Entertainment (Australia)
- State Theatre Company (SA) (Australia)
- The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
- Sydney Theatre Company (Australia)
- Wesfarmers (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Arts Law Centre of Australia Online (Australia)
- Arts NSW (Australia)
- Arts Queensland (Australia)
- Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama & Performance Studies (ADSA) (Australia)
- Australia Council for the Arts (Australia)
- Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association (Australia)
- Australian Directors Guilde (Australia)
- Australian Film Commission (Australia)
- Australian Publishers Association (Australia)
- Australian Writers' Guild (Australia)
- Communications Law Centre (Australia)
- Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (Australia)
- Community Broadcasting Foundation Australia Ltd (Australia)
- Drama Australia (Australia)
- Live Performance Australia (Australia)
- Local Government and Shires Association of NSW (Australia)
- Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (Australia)
- MusicNSW (Australia)
- Octapod (Newcastle) (Australia)
- Regional Arts NSW (Australia)
- Screen Hub (Australia)
- Screen Producers' Association of Australia (Australia)
- Theatre Australia (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Sample Job Ads and Tips for Applying
Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice
Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice graduates majoring in Drama will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to:
- Hold a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and political life in Australia.
- Have capacity and skills to identify, challenge and develop policy, work and social practice which are culturally and ethically inclusive of diverse cultures.
- Developed a competitive ability to gain employment and work effectively, autonomously, responsively in a collaborative work environment in and across a broad area of vocational professional careers.
- Developed a genuine understanding and advocacy of social justice in the workforce and community.
- Clear demonstration of the capacity to work productively and in a culturally appropriate professional manner, in partnership with Indigenous communities at all levels.
- Hold and practice the academic theory and skills to effectively expand and communicate their understanding of themselves as rational beings and their relationship with the broader community in the area of Aboriginal Studies and social justice.
- Capacity and skills to contribute to the emerging contemporary scholarly discourse and practice in Aboriginal affairs.
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts graduates majoring in Drama will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:
- An in-depth understanding of at least one specialist area in the Bachelor of Arts
- The capacity for analytical thinking and for creative problem solving
- Information literacy: skills in locating, evaluating and using relevant information
- Effective and appropriate communication skills, written and oral, across a range of forms
- Ethical sensitivity, including an awareness of ethical issues and standards within disciplines
- Intercultural awareness: a respect for and understanding of cultures other than one's own