Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Performance and Cultural Industries


BA Theatre and Performance


This information is for 2019 entry only. Information for 2018 entry.

This degree offers you a unique opportunity to blend practice and theory, rooted in real-world experience and the wider context of the cultural industries.

You’ll develop your own practice in our professional theatre, stage@leeds, and have the chance to work outside the theatre with particular external partners and community groups. You’ll also explore the role of theatre and performance in society over time, innovations in practice, performance design, arts management, cultural theory, performance technologies, composition and devising and impact of the cultural industries.

Core modules will introduce you to key thinkers and approaches in theatre and performance studies, as well as enabling you to explore them through practical work. You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules offering specialist knowledge in the topics that suit your interests. It’s a challenging and rewarding opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of performance and how it relates to the world around it.

Specialist facilities

The School is based in stage@leeds, a purpose-built, landmark building that sits at the heart of the campus.

It houses two professional standard, publicly licensed theatres. The main space seats 180 and is equipped with the latest technologies. It hosts a range of work by students and visiting theatre companies. The other theatre studio provides a technically advanced performance research facility. The building also contains a dance studio, dressing rooms, box office and meeting rooms.

Other facilities in the School include rehearsal rooms, two black-box studios, costume construction and wardrobe stores, design studio, scenic workshop, computer aided design and video-editing and sound recording suites.

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Your first year will lay the foundations of the degree, with core modules introducing you to theories and approaches in theatre and performance and allowing you to explore them through different modes of practice. You’ll develop your performance and devising skills and look at the relationship between text and performance.

In the following year you’ll continue with your creative practice, devising performances and workshops for an external organisation such as a school, museum, hospital or prison. You’ll also learn to apply different research methods and think about the political, historical, social and cultural contexts of performance practitioners. You’ll choose from a range of optional modules to explore your interests, from dance to arts marketing or cultural history.

By your third year you’ll have more independence in your practice and research, producing a self-directed independent project and choosing how you’ll be assessed. You’ll either take part in a collaborative, large-scale public performance or try your hand at an enterprise project. A core module will allow you to explore important issues in the contemporary arts and cultural sector, and you’ll demonstrate your knowledge and skills with an independent research project on a topic of your choice.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Studio Practices 30 credits
  • Performance Project 1: From Text to Performance 20 credits
  • Exploring Performance: Cultures and Contexts 20 credits
  • Performance Perspectives 20 credits
  • Studying in the Digital Age 5 credits
  • Studying Theatre and Performance 5 credits

Optional modules

  • Making Dance Theatre 20 credits
  • Managing Festivals and Events 20 credits
  • Exploring the Performing Arts 20 credits
  • Exploring the Musical 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Creative Practice and Performance Contexts 20 credits
  • Researching Theatre and Performance 20 credits
  • Performance Project 2: Collaborative Project 20 credits
  • Interpreting Theatre and Performance Histories 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Theatre Directing 20 credits
  • Cultural Flashpoints in the Performing Arts 20 credits
  • Arts Marketing 20 credits
  • Exploring Musical Theatre 20 credits
  • Performance Design 20 credits
  • Industry Study 20 credits
  • Somatic Practices in the 20th and 21st Centuries 20 credits
  • Performer Training in the C20th and C21st 20 credits
  • Politics, Identity and Performance 20 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Independent Research Project 40 credits
  • Contemporary Issues in Arts and Culture 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Enterprise Project 40 credits
  • Performance Project 3: Public Performance 40 credits
  • Independent Practice 20 credits
  • Arts and Cultural Management 20 credits
  • Inter-cultural Performance 20 credits
  • Performance Design and Space 20 credits
  • Contemporary Theatre Makers 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Theatre and Performance BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Your tutors will have a wide range of performance and research expertise which informs their teaching. We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you expand your knowledge, including studio practice and workshops in practice-based modules, or lectures and seminars for theory modules.

Independent study is also an important part of the degree, since this is where you develop your critical and research skills. This could be in a library or a studio, depending on the module, but the University Library does offer full training to help you make the most of our excellent resources.


We also use a range of assessment methods, depending on the modules you study. Performances, presentations, essays and portfolios are among the methods we use, depending on the theoretical and practical elements of each module.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA-ABB

This should normally include at least 2 arts and humanities subjects e.g. Drama, English, Performing Arts, Theatre Studies, History. We don’t accept General Studies.

Alternate Qualifications


DDD in areas relevant to the subject

International Baccalaureate

34 overall (6 higher in areas relevant to the subject)

Other Qualifications

If you’re taking an EPQ qualification, we may make an alternative offer one A-level grade below that of our standard offer with a grade A in the EPQ.
We consider alternative profiles and experience as long as you can demonstrate that you’re suitable for the programme. We welcome applications from mature students and entry requirements can be flexible in these cases.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Performance and Cultural Industries Undergraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Next steps

We usually select applicants through an interview process, and we’ll decide whether to invite you for interview based on the strength of your UCAS application.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £18,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250. 

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, youll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

A degree in Theatre and Performance equips you with valuable subject knowledge, cultural awareness and an understanding of the performance and cultural industries. It also gives you transferable skills that are very attractive to employers.

As well as your understanding of performance and the theory behind it, you’ll develop strong research and analytical skills. You’ll be a confident communicator, who can present and defend your point of view clearly either verbally or in writing. You’ll be able to collaborate with others or work independently.

The cultural and creative industries offer a wide range of opportunities for graduates, such as writing, performing directing, production, events management, the media, arts administration, marketing, cultural policy, PR, community arts work and outreach, education and dramatherapy.

However, you’ll acquire the skills for professional roles outside of the sector such as finance, law and business. Many of our graduates progress to postgraduate study in related disciplines.

Read more about Employability

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

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