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Performing Arts BA (Hons)

About the course

Book your place on our next Open Day - Saturday 20 February 2016

The Performing Arts course at DMU focuses on contemporary innovative performance. You will learn live performance skills including dance and contemporary acting alongside film-making, sound composition and the use of media manipulation software. An emphasis on your practical work will be underpinned by developing contextual knowledge of performing arts in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Reasons to study a Performing Arts degree course at DMU

  • DMU is nationally recognised as a Higher Education Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts

  • Excellent facilities include spacious dance studios and fully equipped performance spaces, and the opportunity to make and perform work in venues across Leicester

  • Arts management modules enhance your employability by developing the skills you need to manage yourself or others in the performing arts industry

  • Construct your own specialist programme from three pathways: Contemporary Performance, Digital Performance and Applied Arts and Education

  • Our excellent industry links give you the opportunity to do placements and work with professional practitioners; previous visiting arts groups include Théâtre de Complicité and Kyuu Theatre Company

  • You will also have the opportunity for a meaningful international experience as part of your studies through #DMUglobal


Key facts

UCAS course code: WW45

Duration:  Three years full-time, six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria

  • 280 points from at least 2 A'levels or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DMM or 
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or Literature at grade C or above.

We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs. including English at grade C or above.

Audition/Interview required:  Yes

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 13 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 25 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.

Course modules

Year one modules

  • Performance and Digital Arts Lab (compulsory)
  • Contemporary Performance Making (compulsory)
  • Perspectives on Performance and Digital Arts 1 (compulsory)
  • Managing and Marketing the Arts (compulsory)

Year two modules

  • Advanced Performance Lab (compulsory)
  • Performance Making in the City
  • Perspectives on Performance and Digital Arts 2 (compulsory)
  • Performing Mixed Reality
  • Arts in Community and Education
  • Devising
  • Performing with Technology
  • Dance Artists in Education and Community
  • Promoting Dance

Year three modules

  • Performance Research Project (compulsory)
  • Major Performance Project 2 (compulsory)
  • Improvisation and Performance
  • Performance, Interaction and Digital Technologies
  • Education and the Performing Arts
  • Teaching and Leading Dance
  • Live Art
  • Music, Media and Community Arts
  • Music Industry Management
  • Media Industry Management
Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Academic expertise

Performing Arts is staffed by a large and diverse team. Staff members are practitioners, nationally and internationally recognised for creative and scholarly work in the performing arts. Professional profiles include work in improvisation, contemporary dance, sonic art, autobiography, intermediality, live art and digital arts. Scholarly work includes publication and research in interdisciplinary arts, creative collaborative practices and the management of festivals and events.

Industry links and professional accreditation

You have many opportunities to work with visiting professional practitioners. Previous visiting artists and practitioners include imitating the dog, Théâtre de Complicité, Kyuu Theatre Company and Citizen 598. You will also see live performances at local and national theatres.

There are placement opportunities in and around Leicester in education, community and arts management. Our excellent links with the local performing arts industry have also resulted in internships for many of our students.

Graduate careers

This degree has employability at its heart. The interdisciplinary nature of the course equips graduates to work in a wide variety of fields such as performance, creating work, project management, teaching, research and community arts.

You will gain real-life experience of working as a creative practitioner and manager, which is attractive to potential employers and invaluable for graduates who want to create their own work.

You will also be well-equipped to pursue further study at postgraduate level.

Hear from our graduates

Fees and funding

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees:  £11,750 per year 

Learn more about fees and funding information 2016.

It is likely there will be some additional costs wherever you choose to study. Here at DMU, we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist laboratories and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs, which vary from course to course. We provide full details of all course fees, but these extra costs may include general living expenses, field trips, travel for work placement opportunities, materials, additional text books and others such as supplementary printing.


We offer some of the finest facilities in the sector. The Performance Arts Centre for Excellence (PACE) building has two spacious dance studios and two large, fully equipped performance spaces. There are also three further studios in the Campus Centre. You can book rehearsal space and equipment including digital video cameras, sound recording equipment and edit suites. All these facilities are on one campus surrounded by newly developed student accommodation, and it’s all just ten minutes’ walk from the city centre and cultural quarter. Here you will find Curve Theatre and the digital media centre, Phoenix Square.

Discover more about our facilities in the Performance Arts Centre of Excellence building

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Pathway details

The degree has a strong core of modules that develop your skills in performance-making for stage and screen-based media, alongside contextual knowledge of contemporary performing arts through the 20th and 21st centuries. Around the core, you have the freedom to construct your own specialist programme within three broad pathways:

  • Contemporary Performance: 
    This pathway develops your understanding and skills in a range of innovative contemporary practices across live and digital media. You can study a range of optional modules including Devising in the second year, as well as Improvisation and Performance and/or Live Art in the final year. Recent graduates from this pathway have gone on to the Performance Practices MA or pursued a career in performance making in the UK and overseas, including Frankie who is currently making and touring solo work in Berlin. 

  • Digital Performance:   
    This pathway explores the extraordinary use of digital technology in the context of live theatre, dance, interactive installation, music, gaming and internet performance and software development. You can incorporate a range of option choices including the second-year module Performing Mixed Realities, followed by Interaction, Performance and Digital Technologies in the third year. Recent graduates of this pathway include Amy and Ruth who set up a professional company delivering mixed reality workshops to schools, James who has created sound designs for several professional theatre companies, and Laura and Andrew who set up a successful media production company in the East Midlands.

  • Applied Arts and Education:  This pathway develops your understanding and skills in how arts can inform and enrich our lives in community, healthcare and educational settings. Option choices for this pathway include the second-year module Arts in Education and Community which leads on to Education and the Performing Arts in the final year. These can be combined with other specialist applied arts modules and/or a wide range of practice-based modules such as Devising or Live Art. This pathway prepares you for further training in teaching or applied arts careers such as leading community workshops. Recent graduates pursue careers in a broad spectrum of applied arts including Alex who works with adults with special needs in Staffordshire and Sarah who teaches performing arts at a school in Shropshire. 

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