Theatre Arts Diploma programme



Since the inception, many years ago, of the Nigeria Home Video Industry, the deregulation of the Broadcast Industry leading to the establishment of more private, public, and Community Radio and Television Studios, Cultural Centres, and Community Development Theatre and NGOs, the demand for middle-level qualified theatre technicians, studio personnel, designers, film actors, producers, directors, editors, decorators, drama teachers and production managers, has increased.

In addition, it is common knowledge that there are quite a good number of candidates seeking admission into Theatre Arts Department with relatively low Jamb Result, but who in our opinion may be qualified to pursue a Diploma Course in Theatre Arts.

We have observed that many students offered admission into Theatre Arts Department through the supplementary admission exercise, rarely have interest in Theatre Arts studies but often use the Department as a stepping-stone into the University. Majority of them constitute a problem to the Department. They sometimes cannot fit into the Department’s planned programmes. It is therefore our fervent belief that with a Diploma Course in Theatre Arts studies, we can also breed a good number of students to fit into the main/regular undergraduate programme.

It should be noted that in the South East, no University, College of Education or Polytechnic offers Diploma or NCE in Theatre Arts studies. Therefore, it becomes a matter of urgency that Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, should establish such a programme in Theatre Arts studies; the first ever in the South-East geo-political zone to meet the above mentioned demands in Nigeria and aid in the positive development of the culture and entertainment industry.


The Philosophy of the Diploma Programme

The Diploma Programme is intended to provide comprehensive training for potential theatre artists in the theory and practice of the performing and media arts. It is designed to emphasize on practical theatre with supportive theory in the various areas of Theatre Profession and Entertainment Industry. The combination of theory and emphasis on practical training offered, will enable the students analyze, practice and communicate African and World performance idioms and also to practice the various trajectories of the arts of the theatre in general as obtainable in the literary, performing and media arts.

Objectives of the Programme

The aims and objectives of a Diploma Programme in Theatre Studies will be:

  • To provide students with adequate knowledge, skills and understanding of theatre practice and related functional discipline.
  • To train and produce sustainable professional theatre technicians, actors, costume/make-up artists, scenic construction personnel, producers, directors, managers, presenters, writers, dancers and allied personnel.
  • To produce middle-cadre personnel that can administer and manage the technologies of Radio, Television, Film Studios (Stations), Cultural Centres, Publishing and Newspaper Houses, Advertising and Public Relations Agencies and Production Companies.
  • To produce Community Development Officers for Local Governments; who carry out informative and National Orientation duties- like (N.O.A) and other communicative and grassroots educational programmes. It is also hoped that they can establish and control, or join other NGOs for community development and social mobilization programmes.
  • To prepare students for competence in Theatre Arts as a base for further studies in it.
  • To enhance students’ acquaintance with play production processes and dynamics for the entertainment and enlightenment of both the University and the Nigerian audience.


This is in line with the current university approved fees for existing Diploma Programmes.

The Diploma Programme is self-sustaining and will enhance our internally generated revenue. The students, subject to approval by SENATE and COUNCIL and subject to annual review shall pay the following fees:

(a) Purchase of Form (online)-   N6,000.00

(b) Tuition                            – N30, 000.00 new students

(c) Other Charges                 – N7, 000

(d) Any other fees considered necessary by

the University.


  1. Staff involved in the teaching, training and supervision of students for course work, practial/field work shall be paid some Honorarium based on his/her rank.
  2. Honorarium shall also be paid to the Administrative/Secretarial staff in the Department for services rendered in the Diploma Programme.
  3. The remuneration (35%) for these staff will be based on the existing criteria approved by the University.


Sharing of Revenue between University and Theatre Arts Department

  1. All the revenue realized from the Programme shall be shared at the following ratio: 30% to Theatre Arts Department for improvement of facilities, 35% to the University, and 35% for honorarium to qualified staff.
  1. The 30% for the improvement of facilities shall be paid into the Theatre Arts Department account at the Bursary, which shall be operated and managed on behalf of Theatre Arts Department by the Head of Department and the Coordinator of the Diploma Programme with the approval of the Departmental Board. It is expected that required facilities not available at present shall be procured from this revenue. Similarly, available facilities shall be maintained and replenished from the accruing revenue.

Entry Requirements

Every candidate for Theatre Arts studies must possess one of the under-listed minimum qualifications:

(a). At least Five Credits level passes at SSCE/GCE/NECO or other equivalent examination in English language, Literature-in-English and three other related subjects, at not more than two sittings.

(b). OND, HND in any related field of the Arts with Upper Credit Level Pass

Procedure for Selecting Candidates

  1. Entrance by way of written tests and/ or admission auditions will be held for every shortlisted candidate before actual admission.
  2. The auditions shall be held ONE MONTH before the admission letters are written.

Transition into the B.A (Hons) Regular Degree Programme

For candidates to gain entry into the B.A. (Hons) Degree Programme in Theatre Arts, he/she must have satisfactorily completed the prescribed Diploma Programme and maintained an Upper Credit Level Pass. The CGPA must not be lower than the University Minimum Entry Requirement for Direct Entry admission.  The successful candidates shall be admitted through Direct Entry to join the Degree programme at Year Two (200 level).

Syllabus/Scope of the Programme

The syllabus for the full-time four (4) – semester programme is planned to cover, in an integrated course design system, the following:

  • The Artiste in performance
  • Voice and Speech Arts
  • Music, Dance and Choreography
  • Costume and Make-up Designing
  • Acting Techniques for the Stage, Radio, TV and Films
  • Stage, Radio, Television and Film Directing
  • Scriptwriting for the Stage, Radio, TV and Films
  • Stagecraft (Lighting, Sound, Scenography, Architecture, Effects, Carpentry, Painting, Décor, Pyrotechnics etc.)
  • Applied Theatre
  • Entrepreneurial Studies in Theatre Arts
  • Theatre Management and Administration Procedures
  • Children’s Theatre and Creative Dramatics
  • Theatre for Development: Theory and Practice
  • General Journalistic Principles and Media Practice


Facilities will be as used for the regular undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The University Auditorium and the new studio at the Permanent Site when completed, will accommodate the students for both practical and theoretical studies. It is also hoped that the open grounds in the permanent site will provide space for some practical production exercise pending when a befitting theatre architectural structure is constructed for the Department.

It should be pointed out here that the Theatre Arts Department lacks facilities like:

  1. A proper theatre house architecturally designed with spaces and studios for public shows and professional theatre practice.
  2. Voice and speech laboratories. The Department has depended on the Laboratory meant for Mass Communication and Languages Department for practical voice training.
  3. Scene shop to serve as construction bay for “props” and as laboratory for vital training in theatre crafts.


Job/Educational Opportunities

Graduates of the Diploma in Theatre Arts programme can proceed to a first Degree in the Arts as Direct Entry candidates, or return, (terminally trained) to the film industry, Radio and Television studios (stations), as producers and actors, designers, broadcasters, and production personnel. They may be absorbed in the Tourism Boards, Information and Communication Ministries and Parastatals, Museums, Cultural Centres, National Archives, NGOs as Cultural Officers, Planners and administrators of grassroots programmes. They may also become independent entrepreneurs as self-employed Theatre Technologists, Dancers, Actors, Scriptwriters, Producers, Printers, Publishers, Newspaper Media Agents/Aides, Educational Dramatists for Schools, Churches and Children Groups, Showbiz Executives, Concept Developers and Client Officers In Advertising and Public Relations, Corporate Affairs Managers as well as Special Events Managers and Product Promoters.




Percentage Scores                Grades                                    Point

70        –           100                             A                                  5

60        –           69                                B                                  4

50        –           59                                C                                  3

45        –           49                                D                                 2

40        –           44                                E                                  1

0          –           39                                F                                  0




Average (C.G.P.A.)

4.50     –           5.00                                                     Distinction

3.50     –           4.49                                                     Upper Credit

2.00     –           3.49                                                     Lower Credit

1.00     –           1.99                                                     Pass

Below –           1.00                                                     Fail


The class of the certificate shall be based on the average numerical point earned at the end of each semester as well as at the end of an academic session. The Final Cumulative Grade Point is then calculated at the end of the two-year programme.

Nature of the Diploma Certificate

The Diploma Certificate shall be an equivalent of National Diploma as approved by N.U.C. and Federal Ministry of Education.

Age Limit

The minimum age limit for admission into the programme is 18 years.

Number of Students

The Programme shall admit one hundred students’ or as many as are qualified each academic year. Ten percent (10%) of the admission into the Degree Programme of the Theatre Arts Department shall be reserved annually to the Diplomats strictly in the order of merit.


The Standard Four (4) Semester Programme

It is made up of Departmental, and general University wide Courses totalling Seventy-Two (72) credits spread into four (4) semesters.




Course Code  Course Title                                       Credit

Departmental Core Courses

THA 011         Philosophy of Theatre & Dramatic Lit        2

THA 012         History of Drama & Theatre                                    2

THA 013         Traditional African Drama & Theatre        2

THA 014         Rudiments of Theatre Crafts                                   2

THA 015         Basic Dance Principles & Techniques         2

THA 016         Theatre Workshop I                                     2

THA 017         News Writing & Reporting                           2


General University Courses

GSS 101          Use of English I                                              2

GSS 104          History & Philosophy of Science                 2

GSS 107          Nigerian Peoples & Culture                         2

Total                                                              20





Course Code  Course Title                                                   Credit

Departmental Core Courses

THA 021         Film and Video Appreciation                                   2

THA 022         Introduction to Acting & Communication  2

THA 023         Designing Radio & Television Productions            2

THA 024         Entrepreneurial Studies in Theatre Arts I 2

THA 025         Writing for Radio, TV, Film & Newspaper 2

THA 026         Advertising, Publicity and Public Relations            2

THA 027         Theatre Workshop II                                                2

General University Courses

GSS102           Use of English II                                            2

GSS 103          Introduction to Logic and Philosophy                    2

Total                                                               18



Course Code  Course Title                                                   Credit

Departmental Core Courses

THA 031         Script Analysis & Role Interpretation                     2

THA 032         Entrepreneurial Studies in Theatre Arts II            2

THA 033         Choreography & Dance Performance                    2

THA 034         Children’s Theatre and TV programmes   2

THA 035         Scripting for stage and screen                                 2

THA 036         Culture and National Development            2

THA 037         Theatre & Studio Management                   2

General University Course

CSC 101          Computer programming I                            3

Total                                                               17






Course Code  Course Title                                                   Credit

Departmental Core Courses

THA 041         Theatre Design & Technology                     2

THA 042         Costume & Make up Design and

Management                                                  2

THA 043         Popular Theatre for Development             2

THA 044         Directing for Stage and Screen                    2

THA 045         Introduction To Film & Video Production 2

THA 046         Project/Industrial Exposure                                   4

General University Course

CSC 102          Computer programming II                           3

Total                                                               17




THA 011:        Philosophy of Theatre and Dramatic Literature

This course initiates the newcomer into the nature of theatre as cultural phenomenon, a discipline, and a storehouse of concepts and conventions. The literature that has powered and defined theatre will be examined text by text. Ideology and practice in UNIZIK Theatre will be focused.

THA 012:        History of Drama and Theatre

A chronological survey of development in theatre through the periods: Primordial origins to Classical Greece and Rome; Medieval, Elizabethan, Renaissance and Neoclassical, 18th Century and contemporary theatres, with special emphasis on trends in the growth of theatre in Africa, the orient, studying the effects of Colonialism and Festivals on theatrical developments.

THA 013:        Traditional African Drama Theatre

A study of traditional theatre in Africa in its festival, ceremonial, ritual and rustic form, as non-written drama practiced in many African communities as theatre which has evolved from the festivals and myths in its different contexts and settings.



THA 014:        Rudiments of Theatre Crafts

The course introduces the student to the various crafts in the theatre that constitute the design and technology employed in production. The student shall acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge of sketching, ground plans, fabricating props using various media and materials, costume design, scene painting, carpentry, décor, and electrical and electronic repairs and connections for lighting and sound production.


THA 015:        Basic Dance Principles and Techniques

This course is designed to acquaint the student with practical exercises to the fundamental principles and techniques of traditional and modern styles of Dance. Body mechanics and the dynamics of movement will be explained.

THA 016:        Theatre Workshop 1

This is a purely practical course designed to enhance students’ participation in a given production as directors, actors, managers, technicians and designers, in which supervising lecturers will educate them. This workshop ensemble enables students’ to present a production and appraise the workings of the various arms of the theatre in symbiosis.

THA 017:        News Writing and Reporting

This is a study of the techniques and principles of news gathering, writing and reporting for the electronic (Radio, TV and Internet) and Print (Newspaper, Magazine, Bulletins and Tabloids) media. Issues concerning methods, approaches and ethics will be underscored.

THA 021:        Film and Video Appreciation

The course is designed to give students the basic knowledge of the arts of Motion Picture. The concept of movies, types of films and the ideology of the cinema are studied. The course also lays emphasis on explaining the various elements of film and video as communication arts, content and political economy of films and the emergence of the video genre. Students are expected to watch and analyse different films (local and foreign) as practical work.

THA 022:        Introduction to Acting  and Communication

An introductory course in the techniques of poise and body control in interpreting a role: characterization, improvisation, character analysis and interpretation. It also involves a workshop session designed for intensive laboratory work in speech arts; voice development and speech articulation in specific roles and contexts.

THA 023:        Designing Radio and TV Programmes

A critical study of programming concept, development and strategies, and season planning for Radio and Television. Students are expected to produce practical programmes, texts for transmission as if for closed circuit, using the Univerisy FM Radio Studio. Visits to Radio and Television houses will complete the process of training.

THA 024 :       Entrepreneurial Studies in Theatre Arts I

This course teaches and prepares the student for 21st Century labour market. It outlines the various areas open to the theatre artist to operate as independent, self-employed and successful entrepreneur and employer of labour. The second segment of the course is completed in Year Two.

THA 025:        Writing for Stage, Radio, TV, Film and Newspaper

This course is designed to teach the students the basic techniques in writing scripts for the four major media of dramatic expression and performance and the techniques for collecting and writing news materials in the print medium.

THA 026:        Advertising, Publicity and Public Relations

This course is an exploration into the techniques and principles of Publicity and Advertisement for promotions. It is designed to expose students to the processes of product promotion, marketing communication and sales, target audience engineering and catering. The student also learns the basic principles of Public Relations (PR) which enhance positive corporate image and the successful marketing of individual and corporate images, products and services.

THA 027:        Theatre Workshop II

This is the second part of the practical workshop experience where the student learns backstage and “front of house” management and the other arts of the theatre as a team. Assessment is based on a practical production presented by the students to an audience and they shall be expected to write a critique of the production and/ or essay on their experiences.

THA 031:        Script Analysis and Role Interpretation

The course focuses on techniques of analysis, exploring and discovering the various meanings nderlying scripts: style, theme, structure, and language are considered the keys that unlock meanings which clarify the development of the role of the actor, designer and director. Students will learn to analyze scripts and interpret same from the perspectives of performance as actors, designers and directors using the script as guide and raw material.

THA 032:        Entrepreneurial Studies in Theatre Arts II

This course is designed to be an advanced training in self-employment and self-sufficiency for the theatre graduate. It is a logical continuation of THA 024. At this level, the students will attend skill acquisition and entrepreneurial workshops, develop ideas and concepts for business in the arts and explore possible funding avenues open to beginning entrepreneurs. It is expected that ideas generated in the course will be further tested during the industrial work exposure (THA 046).

THA 033:        Choreography  and Dance Performance

An intensive practical course in the art of making dances and their performances so as to equip the student with the tools for evaluating such works and performance methodically.

THA 034:        Children’s Theatre and Television Programmes

The course acquaints the student with the principles, techniques and media for producing educational drama, theatre and variety programmes for children and young people’s development. The psychology of children, creative dramatic processes, mascots, puppets, fantasy storytelling, colour scheme, visual aids and whimsies for children are studied. Practical aspects of the course requires producing a play on stage or creating a TV Programme for children.

THA 035:        Script Writing for Stage and Screen

An advanced study and practice of the principles of putting ideas, pictures, characters and themes together to make a script for stage and screen according to original material and sources. Experimental scripting for stage and screen will be practiced: that is, created, adapted, presented.

THA 036:        Culture and National Development

The course reviews the National Cultural Policy and the organs of its implementation. It critically appraises the Culture Industry as expressed through the Theatre, Movies, Radio, TV Programmes and content as well as Museums, Archives and Cultural Centres. The promotion and propagation of Nigerian cultures for national integration and development are evaluated. Visits may be made to Cultural Centres, Museums, Archives and Royal Palaces. The materialities and cultural content of artistic productions on stage and screen: drama, music, carnivals, dance and the visual arts are also studied.

THA 037:        Theatre and Studio Management

A study of how to manage theatres and studios from pre to post production in community, educational and professional environments or setups to cater for various audience and clientele interests, build up patronage and achieve financial targets and sustenance for the industry.

THA 041:        Theatre Design and Technology

This course is designed to develop student skills and techniques in scene design, stage lighting, props, costume and make-up, sound design and special effects. There shall be emphasis on practical work using some performances or short workshops to assess students under this course. Designing for different stages and media will be emphasized.

THA 042:        Costume and Make-Up Design and Management

A study of the history and development of designing clothes and dresses for stage, television and film productions; the relation of face and body decoration on costuming; kinds of costume: silhouettes, drapes, fits, millinery, and accessories. The place and role of masks, papier-mâché, as well as the care and management of costumes and make-up materials before, during and after productions will be studied..

THA 043:        Popular Theatre for Development

This is a study of the technique and practice of community/popular theatre for societal development, taking into consideration its practices in the Western world, Africa and beyond. The basic methods of information gathering and imparting to individuals and/ or communities through role-playing and improvisation, sensitization and mobilization on critical governmental, health, educational, social and institutional subject matters are studied. Students will embark on community theatre projects at approved locations based on selected but topical subject matter.

THA 044:        Directing for Stage and Screen

A study of the skills involved in organizing and the interpretation of a play script for performance on a given stage: or set. Group analyses and discussion, script/text reading, casting, rehearsals, blocking and general composition and picturization using actors, cameras, set elements; the inter-relationship of the designer, composer, manager, actor, audience and the director in a production ensemble will be studied. Students shall select short plays or scenes and attempt a directional interpretation as the practical work.

THA 045:        Introduction to Film and Video Production

This is an introductory course on the art and craft of film and video production. It exposes students to the processes and allied demands of film making and production. Students under the supervision of a Lecturer and Technical Staff shall script, shoot, produce, edit and submit a short film of not more than ten (10) minutes duration as the practical work.

THA 046:        Project/Industrial Exposure

This is the final long-essay in the student’s specific area of interest: directing, play scripting, technical theatre, dance and choreography, acting, costume and make-up, management, community theatre and media arts. The project shall not exceed 35 pages. The essay shall capture the content and essence of the student’s field experience. The logical links between THA 024 and 032 are underlined and strengthened in THA 046.