Whether your interest is in theatre-making or theatre-going, UQ’s undergraduate and postgraduate Drama programs will help you understand the performances that you see and the performance that you may wish to make.

Our focus is on examining, experiencing and creating theatre. At UQ, you will encounter the entire spectrum of theatre practice, from Antiquity to the present day, and most stops in between. We include contemporary performance taking place in Brisbane, now – beyond the limitations of conventional performance spaces. We look at theatre from around Australia and in many different countries across the world – but always in the context of “the big picture”. Our staff includes not only full-time educators, but industry professionals, and writers with international reputations.

Why Choose Drama?

Undergraduate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree can enrol in a Drama Major or Extended Major. In second year and beyond, you can study a range of eras or theatrical movements, including Contemporary Drama, Twentieth Century Experimental Theatre, Australian Drama, Greek and Roman Theatre, and European Theatre from the Renaissance to the French Revolution, as well as practical coursework in Playwriting, Directing and Dramaturgy. There are also performance courses in which students develop a full-scale production over a semester, with the assistance of a director. Secondments to local theatre companies can be arranged for credit for students who wish to consider working in the theatre industry (through DRAM 3104), and we support students who wish to apply for international study exchanges from second year onwards.

Do I need to audition?

To study Drama you don’t need to audition. Nor do we have a quota. While Drama at UQ does not specifically teach performance skills, it does include performance in all courses. Full scale performance courses are available at advanced levels.


As well as developing your creative practice, enhancing professional opportunities and completing academic qualifications, a major in drama can lead to arts related careers or vocation.

Some drama graduates make careers in the theatre industry. Such possibilities include performing, directing, dramaturgy, stage management, writing or reviewing, as well as professional positions such as publicity/marketing, arts administration, arts policy, or youth and community arts work.

And, of course, many of our graduates go on to become first class drama teachers and academics.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Study Options



Postgraduate/Higher Degree Research

What our graduates are doing

Richard Jordan
PhD (in progress)

Richard Jordan is an award-winning Brisbane-based playwright, whose work has been performed in the UK, Australia, and the United States. His first play Into the Nile was shortlisted for the Queensland Theatre Company Young Playwrights Award in 2002. His second play like, dead was produced at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts in 2005, and again by Vena Cava Theatre Company in 2009. He was a member of the prestigious Royal Court Theatre Young Writers Programme in London from 2007-08. His third play 25 Down won the 2008-09 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, was produced by Queensland Theatre Company in 2009, and published by Playlab Press. Richard is the recipient of two Matilda Awards (2010), a Marrickville Council Artist’s Residency (2011), and a MacDowell Colony Creative Fellowship, New Hampshire (2012/13). He is a full member of the Australian Writers’ Guild, and his latest play Machina (2014) has received rave reviews with the Courier-Mail stating "Jordan has his finger on the pulse of his generation".  He is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing.

Stephen Carleton
MPhil / PhD

Stephen is a Brisbane-based playwright and academic. His plays have been produced across Australia and won awards including the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award (2005) and New Dramatists’ Award (2006) for Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset. That play and others including The Narcissist (2007), Bastard Territory (2012) and Hotel Beche de Mer (2014) have been shortlisted for a range of awards including the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award, the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Queensland Literary Awards (Drama) and an AWGIE.

Companies he has worked with include Queensland Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, La Boite Theatre Company, Darwin Theatre Company, Brown’s Mart, JUTE, the Queensland Music Festival, Tamarama Rock Surfers, La Mama and now The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

Geoffrey Rush
Bachelor of Arts

Geoffrey Rush has earned acting's coveted "Triple Crown" (Academy, Emmy & Tony Awards), was the 1998 UQ Alumnus of the Year and was awarded a UQ honorary doctorate of letters in 1997. His honours also include four Screen Actors Guild awards, three British Academy Film Awards and two Gold Globes. Dr Rush's acting credits range from Shakespearean plays to his Oscar-winning 1996 performance as pianist David Helfgott in Shine; the voice of a pelican in Finding Nemo; Captain Hector Barbarossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise; to playing speech therapist Lionel Logue in The King’s Speech.

The Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio at the University’s St Lucia campus honours his contributions and is a training space for UQ drama students. 
Dr Rush is the foundation president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts and is known for his support of young actors and arts companies.
Born in Toowoomba in 1951, Dr Rush moved to Brisbane in 1968 and performed with the College Players, a theatrical group formed by Bryan Nason at The University of Queensland. While studying at the University between 1969 and 1971, Dr Rush was also active in the drama society he and Bille Brown, later also an internationally renowned actor, renamed "Unique". Dr Rush graduated Bachelor of Arts from UQ in 1972.