| DMU logo

Performing Arts BA (Hons)

About the course

Book your place on our next open day - Saturday 10 January 2015|

Our Performing Arts BA (Hons) is an  innovative, cutting edge degree programme designed for students seeking to develop their skills and knowledge in contemporary performance. As a Higher Education Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts, DMU’s Performing Arts degree offers exciting course content, delivered by nationally and internationally recognised practitioners and researchers, in sector-leading facilities..


Reasons to study a Performing Arts degree course at DMU

  • The course focuses on contemporary performance , in which a range of live and digital media may combine in the same event. You learn live performance skills including dance and contemporary acting, alongside film-making, sound composition and the use of media manipulation software such as Isadora .

  • There is an emphasis on practical work that is underpinned by a strong thread of contextual understanding developed through lectures, seminars, student presentations and written submissions.

  • You have access to all the excellent studio spaces within PACE and the valuable opportunity to make and perform work in venues and sites across the city of Leicester.

  • The degree has a strong core of modules that develop 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, Digital Performance and Applied Arts and Education

  • The degree incorporates arts management, through which you learn how to manage yourself, or others within the performing arts industry. These skills are put into practice alongside performance and creation, making graduates attractive to potential employers, and self-sufficient as creative practitioners

  • Our excellent industry links mean you will also have the opportunity to take up placements and work with professional practitioners across the city and the region.



Key facts

UCAS course code: WW45

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

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria

  • Normally 280 points with a minimum of 180 points from 2 full 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

The majority of your time as a first year student is spent in studio practice, developing practical skills whilst engaging with key theories and practitioners. Theoretical modules involve lectures and seminars, in which you are actively involved in discussion and debate. You take an interdisciplinary core, and can select from option modules at years two and three, that allow for specialisation. In addition to timetabled contact time, you carry out independent study time, rehearsing, researching, meeting with collaborators, completing assignments, and preparing for the next week’s classes.

Assessment is through coursework, including performances, class contribution, devising, presentations, essays, reflective writing, blogs and portfolios. There are no exams. You have regular tutorials with your Personal Year Tutor, who assists with pastoral care. In addition, academic staff provide tutorial time, which you utilise on a weekly basis, in order to ask questions, discuss assignments and gain feedback.

You will develop subject specific skills within performance, the creation of digital arts (including sound and image), movement, approaches to ‘text’ and knowledge of the creative industries. The course develops your creativity as an emerging performing artist, focussing on the creation and management of new and innovative performance work. This encourages creative thinking, self reflection and self management, and transferable skills which will give you a competitive edge as a graduate.

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 within the performing arts. Professional profiles include work in the areas of improvisation, contemporary dance, sonic art, autobiography, intermediality, live art and digital arts. Scholarly work includes publication and research in areas of interdisciplinary arts, creative collaborative practices and the management of festivals and events.

Industry links and professional accreditation

At DMU you have many opportunities to work with visiting professional practitioners. Visiting artists and practitioners have included imitating the dog; Théâtre de Complicité; Kyuu Theatre Company and Citizen 598. You will see live performances at local and national theatres. In addition there are placement opportunities in and around Leicester, the contexts ranging from educational and community to arts management.

Our excellent links with the local performing arts industry have also resulted in internships for many of our DMU students.

Graduate careers

The degree has employability at its heart, and extensive research has been carried out into employment opportunities for performing arts graduates. The interdisciplinary nature of this course enables graduates to work in a wide variety of fields, such as performance, creating work, project management, teaching, research, and community arts.

The degree gives you real-life experience of working as creative practitioners and managers, which is attractive to potential employers, and invaluable for graduates who want to create their own work upon leaving DMU.

You would also be equipped to pursue further study at postgraduate level if desired.

Hear from our graduates|

Fees and funding

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees: £11,250 per year

Learn more about fees and funding information 2015|


DMU offers 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. Three further studios are found in the Campus Centre. You are able to 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. Within ten minutes walk is the city centre and cultural quarter. Here you will find Curve theatre, and the digital media centre, Phoenix Square.

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com|

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 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: 
    The Contemporary Performance pathway develops your understanding and skills in a range of innovative, contemporary practices across live and digital media. Complementing the core of the programme, 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.  In recent years, graduates from this pathway have gone on to study successfully on the Performance Practices MA course or pursue a career in performance making in the UK and overseas, including Frankie who is currently making and touring solo work in Berlin. 

  • Digital Performance:   
    The Digital Performance pathway explores the extraordinary use of digital technology within the context of live theatre, dance, interactive installation, music, gaming and internet performance and software development. There are a range of option choices that may be incorporated into the pathway 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 set up a successful media production company in the East Midlands.

  • Applied Arts and Education:  
    The Applied Arts and Education pathway develops your understanding and skills in how arts can inform and enrich our lives in community, healthcare and educational settings. There are a range of option choices that may be incorporated into the pathway including 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 graduates very well for further training in teaching or applied arts careers such as community workshop leadership. In recent years graduates from the course have gone on to pursue careers in a broad spectrum of applied arts including Alex who now works with adults with special needs in Staffordshire and Sarah who teaches performing arts at a school in Shropshire. 

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.