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.


Take a look at this stunning showcase of our performance courses and facilities at DMU.

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 across three themes – contemporary performance, digital performance or 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 Audience of the Future – collaborative research and development with the intention of delivering an immersive live performance on multiple platforms. 

  • Boost your exposure in the field through our excellent industry links. Recent internationally renowned visiting companies have included Frantic Assembly, Imitating the Dog and Gecko. 

  • Real-life experience is offered though a placement module in your final year, where you can gain valuable knowledge with a professional organisation and develop your artistic voice by building a range of practical skills.

  • 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.


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: 

2023/24 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: 

2023/24 tuition fees for international students: £15,250

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.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

 Industry links


First year

  • Dramatic Performance Project

  • Post-Dramatic Performance Project

  • Contemporary Music Theatre Project

  • Physical Theatre Project 

Second year

  • Performing Mixed Reality
  • Site Project
  • Score Making Project
  • Deconstructing Performance
  • Perspectives on Performance and Digital Arts
  • Applied Performance
  • Dance Techniques 2 
  • Teaching and Leading Dance 1
  • Devised Theatre and Performance

  • Technical Stage Production
  • Performance Writing
  • Understanding the Theatre and Performance Industry
  • Promoting Dance

Third year

Students choose from a range of modules offered from the list below. This enables students, in their final year, to specialise. Modules offered may include:

  • Performance Company
  • International Performance Project
  • Performance Research Project 1
  • Performance Research Project 2
  • Education and the Performing Arts
  • Teaching and Leading Dance 2
  • Live Art and Experimental Performance 
  • Music, Media and Community Arts
  • Music Industry Management
  • Creative Media and Performance 1
  • Creative Media and Performance 2
  • Placement 1
  • Contemporary Screen Dance: Concept to Production


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 themes:

Contemporary Performance
This theme includes a range of innovative contemporary practices across live and digital media.  You will develop your understanding and skills in the creation and performance of all manner of contemporary performance, including immersive theatre, site specific, music theatre and Live Art. You can do this through a range of optional modules including Devising in the second year, as well as International Performance Project, Performance Company and/or Live Art in the final year. Recent graduates who focused on this theme have gone on to the Performance Practices MA or pursued a career in performance making in the UK and overseas, including Frankie who made and toured solo work in Berlin.

Digital Performance
This theme explores the extraordinary use of digital technology in the context of live theatre, dance, interactive installation, music, gaming and internet performance and software development.  Develop the skills to make work for screen, or digital soundscapes, or even performance in the virtual world.  You can explore this theme in a range of option choices including Performance, Interaction and Digital Technologies in the third year. Recent graduates who focused on this theme 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 theatre and media production company in the East Midlands.

Applied Arts and Education
This theme develops your understanding and skills in how arts inform and enrich our lives in community, healthcare and educational settings. Module option choices with this focus include the second-year module Applied Performance 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 Performance Company. This 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. 

Contact hours
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.



You have many opportunities to work with visiting professional practitioners. Previous visiting artists and practitioners include 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

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

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Works


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. Alongside assisting students in the classroom, she started up a dance club and taught the children a dance routine to perform in the annual Christmas concert with original music. Sydnee 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.” 


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.


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. 


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 that are 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 as a yoga teacher delivering physical classes in her local area and coaching online in the areas of self-love, body positivity and female empowerment. 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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