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Student performance of work developed on the Performing Arts degree course at DMU

Performing Arts BA (Hons)

Highly practical, this distinctive course immerses you in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary practice, preparing you to enter the 21st-century performing arts industry.

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Overview

Watch: Our Performing Arts students and their programme leader explain why block learning works for them.

DMU has a long-established reputation as a Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts, which reflects our commitment to innovative and excellent teaching and learning.

This course incorporates many contemporary arts disciplines, such as acting, dance, voice, physical theatre, music theatre, sound design and digital video. It celebrates and investigates the possibilities of live and digital arts in a range of performance contexts, from the traditional to the avant-garde.

With a focus on making performance, you can tailor your studies to your own passions and aspirations in areas such as contemporary performance, digital performance and applied arts and education. You will be supported to develop as an innovative artist able to create, perform and manage yourself, and others, within the national and international performing arts industries. 

Our graduates are dynamic, creative practitioners who can take a piece of performance right through from creative brief to public performance – skills that are attractive to potential employers. As a graduate, you will be equipped with a high level of resilience and a range of skills and experience that will enable you to respond flexibly to the changing landscape of the sector.

Key features

  • You will study a range of topics such as physical theatre, dramatic performance, digital sound and film, site specific, and contemporary music theatre in an intensive project-based approach mirroring the performing arts industry.
  • Graduates have gone on to pursue a variety of roles and performance opportunities, including teaching and training, projects at Curve theatre and collaborative research and development.
  • Gain practical experience by collaborating with industry professionals. Recent internationally renowned visiting companies have included dance-theatre company Lost Dog and theatre collective Gob Squad.
  • Develop transferable skills in marketing, fundraising, budget management, general administration and outreach activities to prepare you for the contemporary professional arts-making sector and beyond.
  • DMU is recognised as a Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts, with great facilities providing specialist studios and rehearsal spaces designed specifically for performance learning activities. Access digital video cameras, sound recording equipment and editing suites to enhance and perfect your craft.
  • Take part in our international experience programme, DMU Global. Students have benefited from trips to the Utrecht Spring Dance and Theatre Festival in the Netherlands, a performing artist’s residency in Valletta, Malta, and the opportunity to visit creative spaces and perform in New York.
  • Benefit from the cutting edge research and practice carried out by Performing Arts staff in the Research Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies Research.

Follow us on Facebook DMU Performing Arts, Instagram @dmu_performingarts and Twitter @DMUPerfArts.

Scholarships:

DMU Sports Scholarship
Apply for the DMU Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

DMU Global High Flyers Award
Our dedicated DMU Global High Flyers Award offers ambitious students a discount of up to £1,000 towards a DMU Global opportunity (terms and conditions apply).

More courses like this:

Dance BA (Hons)
Drama BA (Hons)

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: WW45

Duration: Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement. Six years part-time.

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250.

Find out more about tuition fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information, call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement.

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for international students: £14,750

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information, call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

  • 112 points from at least 2 A'levels or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ Points

Plus five GCSEs grades 9-4 including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above.

  • Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits at Merit (or equivalent) and GCSE  English (Language or Literature) at grade 4 or above.

We will normally require students have had a break from full-time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English Language or Literature at grade 4 or above

 

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (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.

Interview and audition

Applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to submit an audition clip. Please see our digital audition advice for full details.

Non-standard applicants may be invited to attend an online interview via MS Teams with an audition clip.

Student experience

Hear from Millie about how the course has prepared her for industry.

Structure and assessment

Education 2030

We want to ensure you have the best learning experience possible and a supportive and nurturing learning community. That’s why we’re introducing a new block model for delivering the majority of our courses, known as Education 2030. This means a more simplified timetable where you will study one subject at a time instead of several at once. You will have more time to engage with your learning and get to know the teaching team and course mates. You will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, and have a better study-life balance to enjoy other important aspects of university life.

Find out more information about Education 2030.

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

 Industry links

 

First year

  • Block 1: Performance Company
  • Block 2: Contemporary Performance Making
  • Block 3: Physical Theatres
  • Block 4: Performance Festival 1

Second year

  • Block 1: Multi-media Performance
  • Block 2: Making Theatre and Performance
  • Block 3: Applied Performance
  • Block 4: Performance Festival 2

Third year

  • Blocks 1 and 2: Choose one from:
    • Artists in Residence
    • Education and the Performing Arts
    • Personal Research Project
    • Live Art and Experimental Theatre
  • Block 3: Choose one from:
    • Professional Performance Company
    • Creative Media in Performance
    • Music Industry Management
  • Block 4: Performance Festival 3

Overview

The intensive delivery project-based format specifically reflects the structure of funded projects in the professional arts sector, preparing you for careers in this industry. The first year is designed to focus on key kills development, the second year will enhance your performance making skills and finally the third year will emphasise performance, producing and professional practice with an increased level of independent learning. Each year will culminate in a creative festival for public performance that draws on the skills and knowledge developed throughout the course. A variety of assessment methods will enable you to develop different skills including performances, presentations, research demonstrations, critical essays and viva voces.

You can deepen your own interests within the modules and tailor the course more closely to your individual aspirations with optional modules. By choosing ‘Education and the Performing Arts’ you will explore how arts inform and enrich our lives in community, healthcare and educational settings. Or you can discover the extraordinary use of digital technology in the context of live theatre, dance, interactive installation, music, gaming and internet performance and software development. By focusing on contemporary performance, you will develop your skills in the creation and performance of a range of techniques, including immersive theatre, site specific, music theatre and Live Art. An optional module in ‘Music Industry Management’ will help prepare you to enter a career in this exciting industry and in ‘Artists in Residence’ you can take part in a one-week residential trip to explore the embodied experience of working and living on location as an artist.

You will be taught by tutors who are engaged in the industry through professional practice and research and are recognised nationally and internationally for their research, teaching excellence and innovation. We will encourage you to bring your own identity into your learning and connect with personal and political themes such as gender, race, ethnicity, class and privilege.

Contact hours

In your first year you will normally attend around 13 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 25 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.

 

Opportunities

You have many opportunities to work with visiting professional practitioners. Previous visiting artists and practitioners include Lost Dog, Gob Squad, Frantic Assembly, Imitating the Dog, Théâtre de Complicité, and Kyuu Theatre Company. You will also see live performances at local, national and international theatres.

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

Facilities and features

Performance facilities

Recognised nationally as a centre for excellence in performance arts, DMU has outstanding courses, teaching and facilities. Our Performance Arts Centre for Excellence (PACE) building provides sector-leading spacious studios, rehearsal rooms and fully equipped performance spaces.  We also have fully equipped performance spaces in the Campus Centre and The Venue@DMU.  

All of our spaces can be transformed to turn your ideas into a reality. Your creative work is supported by expert technicians and you can book rehearsal space and equipment such as digital video cameras, sound recording tools and editing suites.  

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the PACE building and facilities at dmu.ac.uk/perform

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

 

Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

 

Opportunities and careers

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Placements

During this course you will have the option to complete a paid placement year, an invaluable opportunity to put the skills developed during your degree into practice. This insight into the professional world will build on your knowledge in a real-world setting, preparing you to progress onto your chosen career. Our careers programme DMU Works can help to hone your professional skills with mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and an assigned personal tutor will support you throughout your placement. 

Sydnee undertook a placement as a Teaching Assistant in the special educational needs department at a local high school. She highly recommends undertaking a placement: “It has taught me valuable skills that I will take into my future career and relationships. My career prospects were originally on becoming a full-time performer, but have now moved to teaching and leading so I have launched my own performing arts company.” 

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DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers. 

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer overseas opportunities in the future.

 

Thanks to DMU Global, students on this course have visited the Netherlands to take part in the Utrecht SPRING performing arts festival, Malta to learn from a performing artist’s residency in Valetta, and New York to explore and perform in creative spaces. 

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Graduate careers

Our performing arts graduates have real-life experience of working as creative makers, performers and managers, responsible for taking a piece of performance right through from a creative brief to a public performance.   

They have skills that are sought after by potential employers and valuable for artists who want to create their own work. Recent graduates have developed careers in teaching and training, worked on projects at Curve theatre and Audience of the Future, or have gone on to postgraduate studies such as DMU's Performance Practices MA.

Graduate Sarah Little has set up her own business delivering yoga classes and online coaching. She said: “My degree gave me the confidence to stand up in front of a group of people and teach. It taught me how to put on successful events and market them. But most of all it taught me to be super creative and think outside the box.” 

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