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Performing Arts
Undergraduate course
BA (Hons)

Performing Arts

International Scholarships available

Overview

Study the performing arts while nurturing your artistic individuality. You will learn more about your current artistic interests as you draw from a range of disciplines as inspiration for your project work.

Your passion might be to develop your skills in creative text writing, dance, acting or directing. You will use project work to explore your particular area of interest and you will enhance your practical performance skills through weekly technique classes and creative workshops, also developing confidence in your ability to create performance work.

You will study a range of practical modules that develop your knowledge in many different performance areas, from creating work specifically for festivals, to the role of art in society and the realities of applying for funding.

You will undertake a professional placement during your second year, and your third-year project work will be showcased in front of professional artists and producers at the University's annual Lift Off festival.
Leeds is home to hundreds of professional theatre collectives, dance companies and arts festivals so you will be surrounded by a vibrant creative community and an exciting range of performance work.

We will support you in setting up your second year professional placement. You could spend a semester learning alongside and networking with one of the many artistic companies in Leeds or you could choose to travel abroad to work for an international organisation. Our students have previously completed placements at Company Chameleon in Manchester, BMotion Festival in Bassano del Grappa, Italy and with theatre company Third Angel based in Sheffield.

All of the staff teaching on your course are practising artists, which means our teaching is based on real professional experience. You will also have the chance to attend additional workshops delivered by external artists and companies. Our partnerships with organisations such as Compass Live Art Festival and Yorkshire Dance will give you the opportunity to learn from guest lecturers at the top of their field.

You will have access to specialist studio spaces used by professional artists at Northern Ballet and Yorkshire Dance as well as our own studios at our picturesque Headingley Campus.

We understand that full-time study does not suit everyone. That’s why we offer courses which give you the opportunity to decide where, when and how you can get involved in learning. Studying a distance learning course offers the convenience and flexibility to make education work for you. Whether you’d like to fit your studies around childcare, develop your skills while working or, quite simply, want to learn from the comfort of your own home, we can help you gain a qualification at a time and pace that suits your lifestyle.

Like our students on campus, you will have the same excellent teaching and learning resources, however you’ll find these online instead of in a lecture theatre. Not only are all the modules taught online, but you will also have access to an online community and more than 140,000 books and journals in our online library.

Visit our Distance Learning Website

Course Features

  • Placements
  • Part-time study available
  • Study abroad option
  • Expert careers service
  • 24/7 Library
  • University accommodation
  • TEF Silver Award
Play Life in Leeds Video
Life in Leeds
 

Entry Requirements

120
POINTS REQUIRED
If you're applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.
UCAS Tariff Points: 120 points required. (Minimum 80 from two A Levels or equivalent, excluding General Studies).

Additional Requirements


GCSEs:
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C or above (Grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards) or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.
Access to HE Diploma:
Pass overall with a minimum of 120 UCAS tariff points.
Scottish Awards:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade B at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade C1 or above at Higher Level of which at least 3 must be at B2. If you're applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.
Selection Criteria:
We may use selection criteria based on your personal attributes; experience and/or commitment to the area of study. This information will be derived from your personal statement and reference and will only be used if you have met the general entry requirements.
Interview & Portfolio:
Applicants who meet the academic entry requirements will be invited to attend a selection day where you will be interviewed individually and take part in a Group Performance Workshop. You are assessed for suitability to the course, on your background skills and knowledge, and on your ability to contribute constructively to a working ensemble. The selection days are scheduled for 15 November, 29 November, 6 December, 10 January, 31 January, 14 February and 28 February. Invitations are sent via UCAS and you should check your UCAS Track account for further details.

International Baccalaureate

26 Points
IELTS:
IELTS 6.0 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification. The University provides excellent support for any applicant who may be required to undertake additional English language courses.
Mature Applicants
Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu. If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website. Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.
UCAS Tariff Points: 120 points required. (Minimum 80 from two A Levels or equivalent, excluding General Studies).

Additional Requirements


GCSEs:
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C or above (Grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards) or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.
Access to HE Diploma:
Pass overall with a minimum of 120 UCAS tariff points.
Scottish Awards:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade B at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade C1 or above at Higher Level of which at least 3 must be at B2. If you're applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.
Selection Criteria:
We may use selection criteria based on your personal attributes; experience and/or commitment to the area of study. This information will be derived from your personal statement and reference and will only be used if you have met the general entry requirements.
Interview & Portfolio:
Applicants who meet the academic entry requirements will be invited to attend a selection day where you will be interviewed individually and take part in a Group Performance Workshop. You are assessed for suitability to the course, on your background skills and knowledge, and on your ability to contribute constructively to a working ensemble. The selection days are scheduled for 15 November, 29 November, 6 December, 10 January, 31 January, 14 February and 28 February. Invitations are sent via UCAS and you should check your UCAS Track account for further details.

International Baccalaureate

26 Points
IELTS:
IELTS 6.0 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification. The University provides excellent support for any applicant who may be required to undertake additional English language courses.
Verify your qualifications
If you are an international student, we can help you to compare and verify your qualifications. Please contact our International Office on +44 (0)113 812 1111 09.00 to 17.00 Mon-Thurs / 09.00 to 16.30 Fri GMT or email internationaloffice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.
Need to improve your English Language skills?
Don't worry if you don't have the level of English required for your chosen course. We offer a wide range of courses which have been designed to help you to improve your qualifications and English language ability, most of which are accredited by the British Council. Check your English and find out more about our English courses.
More questions?
No matter what your questions, we are here to answer them, visit our International website to get more information and find out about our online open days.

Careers

Jenny Duffy

Careers

Teaching and learning

In this highly practical and heavily taught programme, you will be trained how to become an interdisciplinary maker in the performing arts sector, developing upon your existing theatre, performance and dance skills. You will explore how different disciplines may merge together to create innovative works that challenge how we understand contemporary performance practice.

The tabs below detail what and how you will study in each year of your course. The balance of assessments and overall workload is indicative and may be subject to change.

Gain an introduction to the physical, creative and academic languages relevant to the performing arts. Through practical, studio-based work and technique classes, you will be introduced to different 'strategies' for making within theatre, performance and dance, through the study of choreography, improvisation practices, devising, and text based work. Your studio practice will be supported by an introduction to the academic study of the discipline and independent research.
Overall workload
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410 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
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790 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
Assessment proportions
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
58%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
42%
Core Modules

An introduction to the lineage of contemporary performance practices within the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly those that have emerged from the formal and artistic experiments of the 1960s.

In this second of a set of four critical modules, you will focus in on the performance practices that have emerged from the formal and artistic experiments of the 1960s, exploring seminal companies and artists framed within social and historical contexts.

Develop the creative skills necessary to generate material for performance, using as a starting point existing performing arts texts, including scripts, scores and documentation of theatre and performance work.

Use the strategies and skills you learned during Performance Strategies 1 to develop a new performance work under the direction of an in-house artist. You will focus on the idea of the 'performing ensemble' and will therefore take part in a lot of group work as well as individual tasks and tutorials.

Develop your understanding of the models and strategies for improvisational and compositional processes in dance making.

Building on the choreographic approaches and strategies studied in Making Dance Work, you will explore the idea that choreography, as an approach to making, can exist both within and outside of dance practice. You will consider where else, and how else, the body and/or movement may be choreographed and choreograph your own performance work.

You will become more immersed in interdisciplinary practices through studio-based modules, technique classes, and your lecture based study. The emphasis will be for you to advance your creative and technical skills developed and achieved in Year One with a gradual shift towards mentored, self-directed projects, increasing your independence as a creative problem solver.
Overall workload
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408 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
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752 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
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40 hours Placements Some modules will give you the opportunity to undertake a work placement. These hours will be spent working in industry, gaining practical knowledge and professional skills that can be valuable to employers.
Assessment proportions
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
23%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
77%
Core Modules

Further develop the knowledge gained during your first two critical contexts modules as you gain the ability to make complex and nuanced readings of live performances. You will learn to evaluate and analyse work through the critical lens of various key theories, and engage with theoretical texts and live and mediated performance works.

This final critical contexts module will develop your ability to interrogate performance works at a deep critical level paying significant attention to social, cultural, historical and theoretical contexts.

Your first opportunity to embark on a journey of self/group-determined practical study, you will learn how to creatively pool your practices toward the realisation of a creative performance project.

Working collaboratively with students from the BA (Hons) Theatre & Performance and BA (Hons) Dance courses, you will form small groups and work alongside an in-house artist to create a new piece(s) of performance work.

Explore 'self' and 'cultural identity' as concepts within professional artistic practice. You will study the key theories, concepts and practices surrounding dance and performance 'cultures' specifically focusing on global movements and trends. You will learn to apply these choreographic strategies to your work and use your learnings to reflect on your own 'cultural identity'.

Gain experience of employment in the creative sector as you undertake a 40-hour placement. We will support you in securing a placement relevant to your interests. Your tutor will remain in contact throughout your placement and you will critically reflect on your experiences in an e-portfolio.

Become fully prepared for professional practice through the use of independent projects that have a direct social impact. You will make work to a specific brief for a specific such as Light Night, Latitude or Compass Live Art. You will also develop more autonomous skills such as leadership and management, and enhance your ability to generate complex arguments. You will realise your artistic independence and the challenges of developing a 'professional' identity in preparation for a career after graduation.
Overall workload
Clock icon
323 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
Clock icon
877 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
Assessment proportions
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
55%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
45%
Core Modules

Create high quality performance work in response to a specific festival brief. You will experience the process of applying, creating and producing work for different festivals in a safe and supportive environment, as well as reflecting on the work you have made for particular festivals.

Examine socially engaged arts practices that operate within different social environments with the purpose of engaging communities of people. You will develop the skills needed to facilitate workshops and performance works that can be used as vehicles for social advocacy and gain an understanding of how to respond to the needs to various community groups.

Engage with the knowledge, tools and methods of fields of study outside performing arts. You will be introduced to a range of academic fields of study and participate in a process of making and researching trans/cross-disciplinary practice.

Produce a substantial piece of critical research and analysis reflecting your interests in the cultural critical contexts of performing arts. You will work with your supervisory team to decide the best form for your submission, which could include (but is not limited to) an essay, a series of lecture videos or a blog.

The first of two modules during which you will develop your final performance work of the course. This module will involve an in-depth investigation of your practice, using the knowledge you have gained throughout the course. You will pool your practical experience to develop your final work, which will then be showcased in Lift Off 2.

Hone and polish the material you developed during Lift Off 1 in preparation for your final performance. You will showcase your work at the Lift Off festival in front of an invited audience.

Oliver Bray
Oliver Bray
Head of Subject
Oliver is Head of Performing Arts at our University and is a professional theatre maker. He has toured to venues and festivals including Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Romania, In Between Time in Bristol and the National Review of Live Art in Glasgow. His current practice uses the constraint-driven techniques of writing group the Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (OuLiPo). Oliver also edited the book Voicing Trauma & Truth: Narratives of Disruption and Transformation (2013).
The world of performing arts is broad, multidisciplinary and hugely exciting, so our performing arts students have to be all of those things too. I love working with our students on bold, new performance projects - I’m a performance maker just like them, we learn from each other.
Play Life in Leeds Video
Life in Leeds
 

Fees & funding

Fees for this course are not yet confirmed. See further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our Bursaries and Scholarships.

Tuition fees
Your tuition fees cover the cost of registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessments and examinations.
The following are also included in the cost of your course:

  • 24/7 Library and student IT support
  • Free wifi via eduroam
  • Skills workshops and resources
  • Library membership, giving access to more than 500,000 printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to software, including five free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to install on your PC, laptop and MAC, and access to free high-end software via the Leeds Beckett remote app
  • Loan of high-end media equipment to support your studies

Course specific

  • Use of studio spaces on campus and with our professional partners.
  • Study materials – we provide all core materials during your studies. This includes any costumes or props.
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence for compulsory educational visits.
  • If you choose to take up a placement where a DBS check is required, we will cover the cost of the DBS check.

Additional costs
In many cases, costs associated with your course will be included in your course fee. However, in some cases there are ‘essential’ additional costs (those that you will be required to meet in addition to your course fee), and/or ‘optional’ additional costs (costs that are not required, but that you might choose to pay). We have included those essential or optional additional costs that relate to your course, below.

Course-specific compulsory costs

  • When undertaking work placement opportunities, you will need to pay for your travel expenses to and from that placement.

Course-specific optional costs

  • You may wish to purchase additional study materials, but this is not compulsory and will depend upon the projects you undertake.
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence for optional educational visits
    (The nature and cost of these visits will vary from year to year)

Other study-related expenses to consider: books (the library stocks books from your module reading list but you may wish to purchase copies for yourself); placement costs (these may include travel expenses and living costs);student visas (international students only); printing, photocopying and stationery; field trips; study abroad opportunities (travel costs and accommodation, visas and immunisations); PC/laptop (provided on campus in social learning spaces and in the library. However, you may prefer to have your own); mobile phone/tablet (to access University online services); academic conferences (travel costs); professional-body membership (where applicable); and graduation (gown hire and guest tickets). 

This list is not exhaustive and costs will vary depending on the choices you make during your course. Any rental or living costs are also in addition to your course fees.

Fees for this course are not yet confirmed. See further information on fees and finance on our Financing Your Studies webpage.

Tuition fees
Your tuition fees cover the cost of registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessments and examinations.
The following are also included in the cost of your course:

  • 24/7 Library and student IT support
  • Free wifi via eduroam
  • Skills workshops and resources
  • Library membership, giving access to more than 500,000 printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to software, including five free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to install on your PC, laptop and MAC, and access to free high-end software via the Leeds Beckett remote app
  • Loan of high-end media equipment to support your studies

Course specific

  • Use of studio spaces on campus and with our professional partners.
  • Study materials – we provide all core materials during your studies. This includes any costumes or props.
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence for compulsory educational visits.
  • If you choose to take up a placement where a DBS check is required, we will cover the cost of the DBS check.

Additional costs
In many cases, costs associated with your course will be included in your course fee. However, in some cases there are ‘essential’ additional costs (those that you will be required to meet in addition to your course fee), and/or ‘optional’ additional costs (costs that are not required, but that you might choose to pay). We have included those essential or optional additional costs that relate to your course, below.

Course-specific compulsory costs

  • When undertaking work placement opportunities, you will need to pay for your travel expenses to and from that placement.

Course-specific optional costs

  • You may wish to purchase additional study materials, but this is not compulsory and will depend upon the projects you undertake.
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence for optional educational visits
    (The nature and cost of these visits will vary from year to year)

Other study-related expenses to consider: books (the library stocks books from your module reading list but you may wish to purchase copies for yourself); placement costs (these may include travel expenses and living costs);student visas (international students only); printing, photocopying and stationery; field trips; study abroad opportunities (travel costs and accommodation, visas and immunisations); PC/laptop (provided on campus in social learning spaces and in the library. However, you may prefer to have your own); mobile phone/tablet (to access University online services); academic conferences (travel costs); professional-body membership (where applicable); and graduation (gown hire and guest tickets). 

This list is not exhaustive and costs will vary depending on the choices you make during your course. Any rental or living costs are also in addition to your course fees.

Facilities

  • Performance Spaces
    Performance Spaces

    As a performing arts student, you will have access to our own studio theatre, black box and dance rehearsal studios and, thanks to our industry connections, our students also benefit from using the professional studios at Northern Ballet / Phoenix Dance Theatre and Yorkshire Dance.

  • Beckett dance studios
    Beckett dance studios

    Our Leeds Beckett performance spaces include dance studios at Headingley Campus and black box spaces at City Campus.

  • Library
    Library

    Our Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, providing you with access to specialist books and journals, learning spaces, computers, multimedia facilities and media equipment hire. Tens of thousands of our Library's digital resources, including ebooks, ejournals and databases, can be accessed online at a time and place to suit you.

Location

Headingley Campus

Headingley Campus

Home to our first-rate sporting facilities – Headingley Campus has a rich and diverse history having played to visitors such as Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde. Set in 100 acres of parkland, with easy access to Leeds city centre, many of our buildings look out onto our grassy acre – a perfect place for hanging out, playing games and catching up with friends on long summer days. Headingley Campus has modern sport science laboratories, animation and music studios and the latest computing labs, as well as one of our libraries, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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