Careers and employability

University of Manchester drama students graduate with the skills to work in the creative industries and in other career paths.

The transferrable skills you will leave with include:

  • interpreting and critically analysing theatre, performance and film;
  • creating original work for live performance and film;
  • critical and analytical thinking and writing;
  • interpersonal communication, group work, leadership and creative problem-solving;
  • presentation and research. 

The University of Manchester is one of the most targeted universities in the UK for top graduate employers according to High Fliers Research.

Work placements

You can apply to spend a year gaining valuable workplace experience on a work placement as part of most undergraduate courses at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

Watch the video below to learn how drama students got on at a recent placement with the Manchester International Festival.

Drama Society

Our Drama Society offers lots of opportunities to gain experience of holding and taking part in theatrical productions, with links to venues including the Contact Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

The society puts on a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival each summer and also organises the Manchester-In-Fringe-Theatre-Festival, where Manchester is transformed into one big theatre with up to 12 plays being performed in three weeks.

Find out more on the Drama Society page.

Flexible honours

Many employers seek graduates who have skills in multiple fields of expertise to demonstrate their adaptability and resourcefulness.

Our Flexible Honours option may allow you to study another subject within arts, languages and cultures as a minor in addition to your major within Drama.

Alternatively, you could study selected course units from other courses around the University through the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning.

Industry links

We run regular workshops and discussions with industry professionals, giving you the opportunity to gain expertise and advice directly.

Study abroad

Drama students will have the chance to study abroad during the second semester of Year 2 in Europe, Australia, Canada, USA, Hong Kong, or Singapore. This is an excellent opportunity to see the world, experience new cultures and form new networks.

See the Study abroad page for more information.

Theatre and Prisons and Probation project

Theatre in Prisons and Probation (TiPP) develops and implements participatory arts projects and undertakes training for artists and for professionals working in the criminal justice system.

Your options after graduation

You'll find our graduates in a broad range of occupations - a fact that underlines their considerable adaptability. These include:

  • applied theatre (education, museums, development, the criminal justice system and community theatre);
  • television and radio, often following specialised BBC or ITV training courses/work experience (production, research, scriptwriting, script editing, acting, directing, presenting and compiling programmes);
  • theatre (acting, directing, writing, design, usually following further postgraduate training/work experience);
  • film and broadcast industries;
  • journalism;
  • teaching at schools, colleges and universities (usually following postgraduate training/research degrees);
  • community arts and arts administration (managing arts centres and theatres, museum design and exhibition administration);
  • law and business management (short conversion courses are often available specifically for arts graduates and are especially applicable for those with demonstrable skills in communication and work in the community). 

Others continue their studies to postgraduate level, and some take up a career in university teaching and research.

University-wide careers and employability initiatives

You will be able to access a rich variety of volunteering opportunities that help students build transferable skills and form part of the University's Stellify initiative.

In addition, Manchester's Careers Service is a great starting point for discovering the wide range of opportunities and activities available across the University and beyond to help you develop your employability and transferable skills alongside your studies, including:

  • internships and other forms of work experience;
  • work experience bursaries;
  • part-time, casual and holiday work;
  • overseas opportunities, for example, our Global Graduates scheme;
  • networking events, talks and workshops;
  • mentoring.

Students and new graduates have access to a full range of in-person and online help, including careers guidance and CV and applications support.

You'll receive regular, dedicated updates from tutors about internships, volunteering and openings specific to drama – including opportunities to work as an extra on film and screen.

Where are they now?

You can read profiles of some our previous students in the Alumni section to find out how their degree helped them into their current jobs.

You can also read posts by some of our alumni on the Manchester Drama blog:

Lucy Sparks - Family Placement Social Worker

Annie Woodson - Freelance Filmmaker

Rob Drummer - Associate Dramaturg

Shereen Perera - Capital Bid Coordinator

Amy O'Toole, Ella Peterman, Jennifer Chamberlain and Matilda Thaddeus-Johns - Co-Founders, Tie-Dye Drama