About the Division of Dramatic Arts

We offer programmes of study in the following areas:

Performance Studies

Directing for Stage

Design Studies

Writing for Performance

Film, Media and Cultural Studies

Arts Management

Physical Theatre

Students work with specialists, educators, facilitators and scholars in a creative community alongside colleagues from the Divisions of Digital Arts, Music, Fine Arts, History of Art, Film and Television, and Drama for Life in the Wits School of Arts. Students explore different facets of life in theatre, but are also part of a broader artistic vision.

Vision Statement

The Division of Dramatic Arts aims to produce graduates who are informed and critically aware practitioners and consumers of the arts, conscious of their cultural and social environment. Dramatic Arts draws on the diversity of its surroundings, a committed staff of artist-scholars, and dynamic student body to promote creative and socially productive engagement through a range of degree programmes.

Mission Statement

Dramatic Arts offers a four year undergraduate professional degree (Honours equivalent) in theatre and performing arts. It combines a focused, discipline-specific foundation in areas of specialisation with a flexible, interdisciplinary programme to enhance student innovation and experimentation and preparation for the world of work or further study.  We also offer postgraduate degrees at Honours, Master’s and Doctoral levels. 

Our mission is to introduce a range of conceptual and creative vocabularies and practices.  We value students who enjoy intellectual adventure and the complex challenges and rewards posed by indigenous and globally established systems of knowledge and practice.  We strongly encourage critical debate, independent enquiry and active citizenship through understanding as well as challenging established conventions and practices.

diepe grond
Diepe Grond
Directed by Gys de Villiers, Designed by Jenni-Lee Crewe (Photograph: Sally Gaule)


As a Division we value bold critical engagement, independent experimentation and innovation in both practical artistic and academic work.  We value moments of inter-disciplinarity, seeking to collapse borders and foster a community of engagement and dialogue.  Through cultivating both curiosity and self-discipline in our student body, there is an emphasis on the technical and conceptual aspects of crafting work and a cultivation of professional excellence balanced with integrity and accountability.


Who is right for Dramatic Arts?

Anyone with an interest in acting for stage or in theatre studies concerning creative and technical input and administration, movement, design, and arts management. We are interested in developing scholars, performers, theatre-makers, directors and choreographers, production and arts managers, teachers/facilitators/academics, designers and writers. We are looking for outstanding practitioners in their chosen fields of practice, as well as theorists and critics who want to familiarise themselves with the practical aspects of the arts.

Qualifications Offered within the Division of Dramatic Arts

The prestigious professional Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts (BADA) Degree is awarded after the successful completion of 4 years of intensive professional, practical and academic training. [link to DODA UG page for BADA degree info]

  • Undergraduate Students in the Wits School of Arts may also apply for admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Performing and Visual Arts (BAPVA) Degree which allows students to major both in a Dramatic Arts subject and in one other Wits School of Arts subject or in a General BA subject.  This degree is also awarded after the successful completion of 4 years of intensive professional, practical and academic training. [link to DODA UG page for BADA degree info]

 BA graduates with undergraduate training in Dramatic Art may apply for the Honours degree in Drama and Film. [link to DODA PG page for Hons info]

  • Master of Arts degree with specialisations in Theatre Directing, Performance, Writing and Design Studies. [link to DODA PG page for MA info]
  • PhD by dissertation only or by dissertation and creative work [link to DODA PG page for PhD info]


Facilities and  Opportunities within the Division of Dramatic Arts

Hamish Neil in Aquamine, Directed by Gys de Villiers (Photograph: Sally Gaule)

Wits University is exceptionally well-resourced. Our four theatres namely: The Amphitheatre, Downstairs Theatre, The Main Theatre and The Nunnery, offer a variety of experiences of diverse works.

Together  with the Wits Theatre Complex Dramatic Arts stages more than twelve student productions with leading professional directors annually. 


We also present a range of productions at the National Arts Festival and a number of events in collaboration with the Wits School of Arts.

Dramatic Arts also has six experimental/class/practical theatre laboratory spaces and two movement studios.

Dramatic Arts is home to a dynamic community of outstanding academics in drama, theatre, and performance; drama and theatre artists, directors, educators and scholars. 


Our members of staff  are actively engaged with groundbreaking traditional and creative research. The Arts Management programme offered at third and fourth year levels enables students to participate in traineeships, providing them with work experience related to their course work, allowing them to network with industry practitioners and to begin to develop their livelihoods

Wits University offers a scholarship to Matric students who have received three or more distinctions, and a Postgraduate Merit Award to postgraduate students who have excelled academically

during their undergraduate studies. 

Find out more on the Wits Financial Aid and Scholarships page.