Theatre and Performance BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC at A level and a pass in the Access to Leeds module
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Student in a theatre at technical lighting desk

This course offers a dynamic combination of practical and theoretical study. With a focus on collaborative, contemporary performance, you’ll investigate different types of professional practice and actively engage with the cultural industries locally, regionally and internationally. The course provides you with a challenging and rewarding opportunity to combine ambitious practical projects with rigorous critical thinking.

You’ll develop your own creative practice within small groups at our specialist studios, based in our on-campus professional theatre, stage@leeds. Using digital technologies, you’ll having the opportunity to work with external partners and community groups which may include: Leeds Playhouse, Opera North and local theatre companies, schools, galleries, museums and institutions within the criminal justice system.

You’ll be introduced to a range of devising techniques and to digital performance as a key manifestation of contemporary performance practice. You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, workshops, practical experimentation and working with both specialist and readily available digital technologies.

With compulsory and specialist optional modules spanning theatre, performance, applied theatre, design, digital performance, directing, musical theatre, event management, acting and collaborative practice, you’ll be able to follow a broad range of interests suited to your own academic and professional development. These will help you develop the behaviours, knowledge, literacies and skills to make an impactful contribution as a future University of Leeds graduate.

The course will allow you to reflect on the impact that performance has on societies and the place that performance occupies globally. You'll become an advocate of the creative arts and apply socially engaged performance practices in diverse ways.

A collage of images from performances. The first has a group of students dressed in 1930s clothing, standing in a line mid-performance. The second has a solitary female sat between a number of empty white chairs, holding a microphone.

Additional highlights

The course offers a unique blend of study across performance and cultural industries that sets it apart from similar courses both in the UK and internationally. Studying these two areas in conjunction with each other allows our students to develop:

  • the creativity of the artist
  • the insight of the cultural activist
  • the dynamism of the entrepreneur

These attributes prepare our graduates for a wide variety of employment destinations across the creative and cultural industries. Opportunities to connect with industry and professional practitioners are embedded within the course and are supported through our Industry Advisory Panel and our close connections with regional, national and international cultural organisations.

A distinctive feature of the course is an engagement with the social impact agenda, where you'll be invited to interrogate and practice the ways in which performance can make a difference to society and to consider themes such as sustainability, ethics, responsibility and inclusivity.

You’ll work in collaboration with external agencies and organisations as a compulsory aspect of your studies and learn to apply performance skills in challenge-based projects for public audiences. The quality and diversity of these partnerships provide rich learning experiences that will enhance your future employability and an understanding of the impact that performance can make both within and beyond the theatre environment.

The curriculum focuses on 20th and 21st century theatre and performance practices and consists of a core set of modules that deliver key conceptual frameworks for theoretical and creative study. These are complemented by an exciting range of options and discovery modules that are rooted in staff specialisms and research activity.

After experiencing a range of different approaches to theatre and performance in the first year of study, you'll be able to choose specialist modules to define your own learning journey. You’ll also have the option to broaden your experience and to strengthen global and cultural insights through choosing to study abroad at a partner institution or to opt for a year in industry.

The teaching team offers a wide variety of disciplinary specialisms from across the fields of performance and the cultural industries. These include: performer training, applied performance, movement and physical theatre, arts management, performance design, arts and cultural education, enterprise and cultural policy, history and dramaturgy, musical theatre and immersive performance, writing and textual analysis, devising and directing, interactive and digital performance.

The School has a wide range of external links with leading arts and cultural organisations including:

  • national and international touring theatre companies, DV8 Physical Theatre, Red Ladder and Blah Blah Blah
  • Leeds Playhouse (with which the University has a formal partnership)
  • award winning national opera company Opera North (with which the University has a formal partnership)
  • Leeds based companies including: Slung Low, Invisible Flock, Riptide, Manic Chord, Phoenix Dance Theatre, City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds Grand Theatre
  • TV film and digital companies and organisations: Channel 4, BBC, Limehouse Productions, Human VR, Live Cinema UK, Megaverse, XR Stories
  • independent artists and producers, Fuel Theatre, Louise Ann Wilson Company, I.O.U.
  • regional and city-based events including: Compass Festival, Leeds Light Night, Transform Festival, Yorkshire Festival, Leeds2023, Kendal Mountain Festival, Furnace Festival

The School’s relationship with the University’s public licensed professional theatre provides many opportunities for you to become involved in its activities both through the curriculum and as volunteers, or as a member of one of the many Student Union performance societies. These opportunities offer the unique experience of working in a professional theatre environment within a university context.

Suitably qualified students can study abroad or opt for an industry year, thereby broadening your University of Leeds experience and strengthening global and cultural insights.

The School hosts the National Centre for Cultural Value which works alongside cultural practitioners and organisations, academics, funders and policymakers to build a shared understanding of the differences that arts, culture, heritage and screen make to people’s lives and society. The centre advocates for cultural policy and practice to be based on rigorous research and evaluation of what works and what needs to change.

View more of our student work

Specialist facilities

Our School is based in stage@leeds, a purpose-built landmark building that sits at the heart of campus. As our student, you’ll have access to its two professional standard, publicly licensed theatres: the main space seats 180 and is equipped with the latest technologies, and the theatre studio provides a technically advanced performance research facility.

stage@leeds hosts a range of work by students and visiting theatre companies all year round. Within the building you’ll also find rehearsal rooms, two black-box studios, costume construction and wardrobe stores, a design studio, a scenic workshop, computer aided design facilities and video-editing and sound recording.

Take a tour of our School

Join current student, Eva, on a tour of our building and its specialist facilities to get a feel for life as a student in the School

In addition to stage@Leeds, Leeds University Library is one of the UK’s major academic research libraries, and has extensive holdings to support your studies including Special Collections offering a huge range of rare books, manuscripts and art. You’ll have access to materials relating to Red Ladder, Leeds Playhouse, Phoenix Dance Theatre, and more.

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Course details

Year 1

Compulsory modules will introduce you to theories and approaches in theatre and performance, 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 and be introduced to models of digital performance making.

Year 2

You’ll continue experimenting and developing your creative practice and create performances and workshops for an external organisation. You’ll also learn to apply different research methods and think about the political, historical, technological, social and cultural contexts of performance.

Year 3

You’ll have considerably more independence in your practice and research. You'll produce a self-directed independent project and choose specific areas of study and how you’ll be assessed. You’ll have the opportunity to create a collaborative public performance, gain hands-on business experience with an enterprise project or choose to undertake an individual research project.

Throughout the course you’ll have the option to take optional modules to gain a wide range of experiences and develop specialist skills, from directing and performance design, to arts marketing and digital cultures.

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read Theatre and Performance BA in the course catalogue.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Studying Theatre & Performance (20 credits) – In this introduction to the foundational skills in research, scholarship and performance practice required to study in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, you will develop your own self-leadership as a learner and practitioner in Theatre and Performance through gaining greater insight on your strengths, understanding more about the aspects of Theatre and Performance that excite and inspire you, and developing strategies for the challenging and complex aspects of learning in this subject area.

Lectures, seminars and workshops are designed to prepare you for practical work in our theatre spaces, including health and safety procedures, use of lighting/audio-visual equipment, introduce you to core digital literacy skills, and ways of collaborative working. You will also develop foundational skills in personal responsibility and self-knowledge, sourcing and critiquing materials, ethical working practices, presentation skills, critical thinking and writing.

Performance Perspectives (20 credits) – This lecture and seminar-based module will introduce you to a wide range of theatre and performance practices, concepts and practitioners through a focus on key perspectives such as: body, space, time, and technology. Selected texts, performances, events and cultural organisations will be closely examined within the appropriate historical, political and cultural contexts of their production. Seminars are used to debate concepts and to help you understand the range of performance practices introduced in lectures.

Studio Practices (20 credits) – Primarily studio-based, this module will introduce you to key concepts and techniques. This will encourage you to develop critical and practical tools, shared languages and working processes that will form the foundations to underpin your future creative practice across all levels of the programme. Studio practices will encompass diverse approaches to creative work and may include writing, physical, digital, applied and design-led approaches to performance-making. You'll work collaboratively in small groups to create performance work.

Performance Project: From Text to Performance (20 credits) – This module provides an opportunity for a realised ‘public’ performance that emerges from staff-led research interest. You'll respond to a specific brief and text(s) to devise and stage a performance. Working under the close guidance of a tutor and in tandem with technical, design and production support, you’ll be introduced to the processes necessary for creating work for a public audience. This experience will provide a model for working methods and processes which will underpin creative work for Levels 2-3 and beyond.

Performance Matters (20 credits) – This lecture series with seminar-based learning will ask you to consider the role of performance in the broader context of performance studies and selected theoretical perspectives. Using a wide range of case studies (e.g. political resistance, environmental activism, community-making, feminist performance, sustainability, indigenous place-making, etc.) you will explore the potential of performance to make a difference in society and the ways in which it can be used as a positive force and an agent of change.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Managing Festivals and Events (20 credits) – This module provides an exploration of the principles and practice required to manage events and festivals. The fundamentals of customer expectations, customer care, event and project structure and quality enhancement will be explored through case studies and detailed analysis of contemporary events/festivals. You'll understand the essential managerial elements required for festival and event management and explore decision making processes and techniques to aid creative and lateral thinking in creating new ideas. Detailed case studies will require you to synthesise the appropriate management structures and frameworks to ensure quality delivery and to generate exciting proposals for an event.

Exploring the Performing Arts (20 credits) – This module is aimed at challenging traditional attitudes towards the analysis of the performing arts. The arts are too often examined in isolation and yet that is seldom the way in which they were conceived or are performed today. This module presents a range of contextualised case studies drawn from dance, drama, music (classical and pop), film and musicals drawn from iconic performances from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. You’ll be asked to question what specific performances reflected at the time of their creation and whether artists were influenced by the world around them.

Introduction to Musical Theatre (20 credits) – This module provides a guide to the history and development of the Hollywood, Broadway and West End musical. You'll study examples of musicals from a range of 20th century composers and explore the relationship between cinematic, theatrical narratives and musical structures. You'll examine elements such as narratives and sub-texts, 'dream sequences' social/political propaganda in the musical, the 'exotic musical', the ‘mega musical’, the ‘juke-box musical’, non-mainstream musicals and contemporary musical trends. You’ll consider the impact of economic, political, social and technological factors upon the musical and film industries.

Stage Management (20 credits) – This module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of stage management and technical theatre. It will focus on the role of the deputy stage manager and the preparation of a prompt copy for a live performance of a classic text. Through a combination of lectures, demonstrations and practical workshops, this module provides an understanding of the hidden key skills, organisation and methods that are essential in underpinning backstage work and creative processes in theatre.

Introduction to Digital Culture and Technology (20 credits) – Through a combination of theory and practice, you’ll explore contemporary developments in performance and the cultural industries that have taken advantage of developments in digital technologies. This will include Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) mobile devices and the potential of digital technology to create new experiences for audiences.

Year 2 compulsory modules

Re-thinking Theatre & Performance Histories (20 credits) – In this module you'll engage in a rich investigation into global theory and performance practice from the late 19th century to the present. Beginning from examples of current professional practice from across the globe and a breadth of performance, theatre, design, dance and live art, you will learn about the historical influences and lineages that have informed the ideas of current practices, and which have created the foundations for specific pieces of work.

Creative Practices (20 credits) – This studio-based module offers the opportunity to develop aspects of contemporary performance practice. Areas of focus may include: comedy, physical performance, site-specific performance, walking performance, immersive performance, socially engaged performance, design-led performance and technologically mediated performance. You'll be encouraged to experiment and situate your own creative practice within the context of contemporary performance. You'll study selected practitioners and consider the social, political, and cultural impact of the practices they are engaging with. You'll use relevant concepts, theories and techniques to interrogate practice and to articulate your growing capacity as a practitioner through performance, presentations, documentation and reflection on your own developing practice.

Reflection and Research (20 credits) – This module explores research methods in the fields of theatre and performance in the context of the cultural industries. You'll be introduced to a range of contemporary case studies and engage with a broad range of disciplinary perspectives, theories and research methods that represent both traditional and innovative practice. You’ll be required to reflect on your own development as a researcher/practitioner and undertake detailed plans that will define your final year of study.

Collaborative Performance Project (20 credits) – This externally facing module combines practice and theory to explore modes of performance, partnership engagement, and audience development and interaction. You'll work in a group, under close tutor guidance, to devise work in response to a specific brief from an external organisation. You may work in partnership with the Prisons and Probation Service, or a museum or art gallery. In recent years students have created museum theatre, site-specific work and applied digitally augmented performances responding to concerns such as climate change, social injustice and homelessness. Students have also chosen to collaborate with the educational wing of organisations such as Leeds Playhouse or Opera North, to explore arts engagement with local school children. This module is taught through a dynamic mixture of lectures, workshops and tutorials, as well as studio-based self-directed rehearsal and study.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Theatre Directing (20 credits) – This module explores the role of the director through different responses to text in relation to aspects such as dramaturgy, space, design and collaborative working. It offers the opportunity to explore a range of directorial approaches to working with actors using the work of theatre directors such as Katie Mitchell and Eugenio Barba as key reference points. You'll experiment with rehearsal techniques in a studio environment, analyse the work of contemporary directors (such as Ivo Van Hove, Emma Rice, Robert Lepage) and explore ways of presenting your own directorial vision, both in a portfolio and a studio setting.

Cultural Flashpoints in the Performing Arts (20 credits) – This lecture-based module examines case studies from across the performing arts disciplines: theatre, dance, music theatre, film and popular music. You’ll take specific examples that originate from creative, cultural and political flashpoints in the 20th and 21st centuries. The works are examined within the socio-political framework in which they originated and how they relate to a specific time and place; you'll be required to assess their influence and legacy.

Arts Marketing (20 credits) – This module enables you to understand and critique core marketing theories and principles and apply them to the arts sector. You'll draw on a range of real-world examples in the dynamic field of arts marketing and explore the key drivers and impacts of the arts on audiences. You'll review different delivery methods for marketing and communication, understand ways in which arts organisations build a brand, connect with their audiences and the importance of digital and online strategies. This will give you an insight into arts marketing as it is currently practised in the arts sector. It will enhance future employability opportunities through exploring how marketing theory is applied in practice and provide you with an appreciation of the opportunities and challenges faced by professionals in the cultural sector.

Exploring Musical Theatre (20 credits) – This module explores the development of musical theatre on stage and screen in the 21st century. By listening to examples of musical theatre from a range of 21st century genres, including West End, Broadway and Hollywood musicals, you'll study the relationship between theatrical narratives and musical structures and consider the impact of economic, political, social and technological factors. You’ll also examine the latest works and innovations of recent musical theatre practitioners through contextual study and investigate, question and challenge some of the conventions and assumptions of the genre.

Performance Design (20 credits) – This module investigates the spatial, technological and material aspects of contemporary performance. Through a combination of practical workshops and examples of contemporary international performance design practice, you’ll gain an understanding of the possibilities of performance design. Practical experimentation in studio work will allow you to develop an e-portfolio that documents your own development and to communicate a proposal for a design-led performance.

Towards the Future: Skills in Context (20 credits) – This module aims to provide you with an opportunity to think about the ways in which your knowledge and expertise can be applied beyond your university studies. To participate in the module, you'll need to secure an opportunity to volunteer or work in an external context (such as school education, third sector, or with community groups). You'll be encouraged to consider the relevance of your academic studies and skills beyond higher education and to reflect on how framing your studies within an external context can inform your learning and academic practice. The module will support you to reflect on your personal skills development and the ethical implications of working with external partners.

Students into Schools (20 credits) – Do you have an interest in teaching or education as a career? Would you like to develop your skills and expertise in supporting young people in the classroom, while building up your understanding of key issues in current UK education? Over the course of this module, you'll spend a minimum of 40 hours in a local school, contributing to the teaching and learning of your specialist subject. A series of seminars, delivered by a range of educational professionals, will help you to contextualise your placement experience and assist you in becoming a more effective classroom practitioner. You’ll gain greater self-awareness and confidence in your ability to communicate with a range of audiences and to appreciate how your subject knowledge can be applied to a school setting.

Developing Your Professional Identity: Preparing for a Career in the Arts, Heritage and Creative industries (20 credits) – Interested in working in arts, culture, heritage or creative Industries? Want to know how to develop and prepare yourself for each stage of the recruitment process? This module aims to prepare you for this growing and competitive sector. There'll be the opportunity to work with an external organisation to make a difference, create change and have a positive impact. This is a practical and interactive module delivered by specialist career consultants and professionals including alumni who work in the sector giving a ‘real’ view of what it means to work and thrive in this sector.

Opera in Practice (20 credits) – Taught in partnership with Opera North, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the operatic production process and to study opera in practice through critical perspectives. Opera North will be introduced as a company in its artistic, regional and historical contexts. Students will observe the production process at Opera North, from model showings through to rehearsals and final performances. There's a broad choice of critical angles and perspectives in studying these operas, which will also be introduced in seminars and lectures. These typically include musicological, ethnomusicological, dramaturgical, contextual, historiographical, cultural, conceptual and semiotic approaches, as well as work with literary, dramatic, musical and cultural policy. The University’s newly acquired Opera North archive will support students’ investigations of operatic practice. Students are expected to choose one of the operas from Opera North’s winter season as a research topic for their final project.

Year 3 compulsory modules

Independent Research Project (40 credits) – In this module you'll embark on a research enquiry pertinent to performance and the cultural industries. You'll choose a current topic to explore, design research questions, select appropriate methods, undertake ethical approval, and present your findings following appropriate academic conventions either in written form, or through performance presentation with an accompanying written document.

Enterprise Project (40 credits) – In this module you'll apply theoretical approaches to a specific individually negotiated project, in which you develop an entrepreneurial solution to an identified problem or opportunity. You'll work with your tutor to identify an opportunity to develop your entrepreneurial skills and apply your entrepreneurial knowledge.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Opera North: Opera in Practice (20 credits) – Taught in partnership with Opera North, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the operatic production process and to study opera in practice through critical perspectives. Opera North will be introduced as a company in its artistic, regional and historical contexts. Students will observe the production process at Opera North, from model showings through to rehearsals and final performances. There's a broad choice of critical angles and perspectives in studying these operas, which will also be introduced in seminars and lectures. These typically include musicological, ethnomusicological, dramaturgical, contextual, historiographical, cultural, conceptual and semiotic approaches, as well as work with literary, dramatic, musical and cultural policy. The University’s newly acquired Opera North archive will support students’ investigations of operatic practice. Students are expected to choose one of the operas from Opera North’s winter season as a research topic for their final project.

Arts and Cultural Management (20 credits) – This module will be of particular interest to students currently studying or interested in learning more about: the creative, performing and visual arts, theatre, music and design, museum studies, cultural studies, English literature, management and business studies. The module aims to enhance participants’ employability and cultural insight by exploring the benefits and challenges of applying business and management theory to the arts and culture. It's tailored towards students seeking to acquire a deeper understanding of Arts and Cultural Management and explore the key practices and theoretical debates in this dynamic and growing field.

Performance Design and Space (20 credits) – This module explores recent trends in performance that use spatial, temporal, aural, visual and material means to intervene in places and sites. The module looks at site-responsive and site-specific performance, street performance, environmental performance, immersive and interactive performance. On this module you'll investigate the key characteristics of this work, including its aesthetic, social and political dimensions and develop your own creative ideas for original performance events.

Contemporary Theatre Makers (20 credits) – This module focuses on key international theatre makers and provides an in-depth critical investigation of their work. The lectures will use a range of case studies to help you gain an understanding of the working methods, aesthetic decisions, strategies and visions of the selected theatre makers and how this work speaks to a contemporary audience.

Intercultural Shakespeare (20 credits) – This module is a dynamic, active encounter between different cultural groups, involving the exchange of ideas and practices in relation to Shakespeare. Inter/intra and trans cultural practices consider how elements of culture are absorbed, translated and transmitted across the stage. It requires an ability to look deeply at both originating and target societies with an awareness of history and an attitude of tolerance and openness. You'll be encouraged to use your own cultural identity and understanding of specific theatre genres to move towards an understanding and appreciation of the values of other individuals, groups and societies, and to the role of Shakespearean drama in cultural representation. This will be explored in practice working towards a realised group performance.

Options Level 2/3

We also run specialist modules in alternate years where you can take them in your second or final year. These typically include:

Performer Training in the C20th and C21st (20 credits) – This studio-based module is aimed at promoting an in-depth understanding of various performer training systems and methodologies. It concentrates on the 20th and 21st century, as this is the key period during which acting and performing became theorised and systematised. The module examines how training is passed on and what factors play a part in this transmission. It will outline how training systems work and will debate the extent to which they adapt to specific cultural contexts and pressures.

Politics, Identity and Performance (20 credits) – This module will explore theoretical engagement with politically oriented 21st century performance practice texts. It will offer the opportunity to reflect on how identity is constructed and experienced through the intersections of gender, sexuality, class, disability, race, and ethnicity. Considering performance as political protest and an exploration of identity, the module maps key texts, practitioners and practices onto contemporary political discourse.

Interactive and Immersive Performance (20 credits) – This workshop-based module explores key issues and concepts associated with making work with and for specific audiences. Notions of interactivity and immersion will be explored and how these relate to contemporary performance examples from game-based scenarios, escape rooms to site-based, site-responsive and digital practices. There will be opportunities to explore the work of key practitioners and to explore specific techniques and ethical considerations in working with audiences as co-creators.

Digital Performance Practices (20 credits) – This workshop-based module explores practices and concepts inherent in the realisation of performance works that are mediated through digital practices. You’ll explore strategies for performance-making where there is an intersection between the live body and digital tools (such as mobile phones, projectors, headsets, 360-degree cameras, binaural microphones, media servers, programmable devices) which will allow you to create your own performance in response to a specific brief.

Digital Culture and Technology (20 credits) – A lecture and seminar-based module that investigates key theoretical concepts and contemporary developments in digital culture. Through focusing on a wide range of practices and the work of key practitioners, you’ll consider the potential of new intersections between digital technologies and performance to create experiences for a wide range of audiences which have an impact beyond the theatre space.

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area. This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Your tutors will have a wide range of performance, research and scholarship expertise that informs their teaching. We use a wide range of innovative learning and teaching methods to help you develop your creative skills and expand your knowledge. This includes: studio practice and workshops in practice-based modules, lectures, seminars and self-directed experimentation, tutorials and group learning. Collaboration is a vital skill in the creative arts and the course fosters an inclusive and active approach to learning with reflective learning instilled as a key skill from the beginning of your studies.

Independent study is an important part of the degree, since this is where you develop your critical and research skills. This could be in a library, in a specialist studio, or working with specific digital technologies for example, depending on each module.

Learning is supported through Minerva, our virtual learning environment and through our expert technical staff and your Academic Personal Tutor. The University library is one of the very best in the country and offers full training to help you make the most of our excellent resources.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use a range of assessment methods, depending on the type of modules studied and the learning outcomes that are specified. We use a mixture of live, digital and online performances, presentations, essays, reports and portfolios with reflective writing, depending on the theoretical and practical elements of each module. Each mode of assessment underpins specific transferable skills and relates to likely future modes of work and career needs.

Assessments will often require you to synthesise evidence from a variety of sources (eg lectures, seminars, own research, practical experimentation and wider reading) and to apply the knowledge gained in new contexts. For presentations and performances, you will be required to work collaboratively with peers within a small group, often responding to a brief to produce work for a specific audience.

In creative work, we encourage experimentation and risk-taking and expect you to be able to reflect critically on your own development of skills. Assessments are designed to be fair, meaningful and inclusive, often relating directly to professional and industry practice and with a significant amount of choice and flexibility built in. In the final year of study, you'll be able to negotiate elements of how you will study, what you will create and produce and how you wish to be assessed.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

We would normally expect at least one essay/discursive subject within the range of A-level subjects taken.

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.

GCSE: usually 5 at A-C, including English at Grade C/4 or above

Other course specific tests:

We interview all eligible applicants for this programme.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

The Diploma must be in a relevant subject with 60 credits overall, with at least 45 credits at level 3 to include 30 credits at Distinction and 15 at Merit


At BTEC Level 3 or equivalent, DDM with relevant subject and content balance. BTEC qualifications in combination with others will also be considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2 or D3, M2, M3.

Pre-U qualifications will also be accepted in combination with other qualifications such as A-levels.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall, including 6 at Higher Level in a relevant subject area, and 16 points overall from Higher Level subjects.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

  • BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers
  • B in an Advanced Higher and AAABB in Highers
  • AABBBB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

We can consider the Individual Project Element of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate, and offer BBB + Distinction in the Independent Project (instead of ABB).

Other Qualifications

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma: Distinction.

European Baccalaureate: 75%.

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 School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual 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 contextual admissions.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 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.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £26,000 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll 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.

You'll be expected to maintain an awareness of contemporary creative practice in theatre and performance. Accordingly, there is an expectation that you will attend live performances and screenings as part of your commitment to engaging with professional practice. You should allocate an amount of your own funds (approximately £25) to attend live performances one or more times during each semester.

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

Next steps

We select applicants on the basis of your UCAS application and are looking for a strong personal statement and suitable grades.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK 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

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Performance and Cultural Industries

Contact us

School of Performance and Cultural Industries Undergraduate Admissions


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 particularly attractive to employers. These include leadership, working collaboratively as part of a creative team, presentational and organisational skills, people and resources management, critical analysis, negotiation and conflict resolution, and digital creativity.

As well as your understanding of performance and the theories 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 and you’ll understand how your experiences on the course and in co-curricular activities can translate to future employment opportunities.

The cultural and creative industries offer a wide range of opportunities for our graduates who have gone onto pursue a wide variety of careers in many different sectors. These include: writing, performing, directing, production, teaching, events management, digital technologies, arts administration, marketing, media, cultural policy, PR, community arts work and outreach, education and drama therapy.

However, you’ll also acquire the skills for professional roles outside of the sector such as human resources, health care, social work, finance, law and business. Many of our graduates progress to postgraduate study and research in related disciplines, including our own wide range of MA degrees. These include: Applied Theatre and Intervention, Performance Design, Writing for Performance and Digital Media, Audiences, Engagement & Participation, Culture, Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

Recent graduate job titles include: theatre director (RSC, West-End, Broadway, Regional, Touring), museum interpreter, performer (film, television, theatre), arts administrator, producer, marketing assistant, postgraduate researcher, drama therapist, theatre company director, arts festival assistant producer, teacher, university lecturer, festival co-ordinator, arts outreach worker, recruitment officer, designer, casting agent, disability awareness trainer, corporate relations manager, marketing leadership development graduate, freelance artist and theatre-maker.

Reach your potential

Hear more about the School and Faculty support you can access from our employability lead, Professor Karen Burland.

Careers support

The School has a strong commitment to enhancing student employability. We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one and several modules have a focus on developing specific skills towards future employment opportunities. That’s just one of the reasons University of Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

As part of your studies, you'll also have access to many opportunities to help with your career prospects including a range of industry talks, networking events and placement opportunities. You can also develop transferable skills through supporting your fellow students as a Peer Mentor or acting as a student course or school representative and contributing to the school community through engagement in the student-staff partnership forum.

Your own Academic Personal Tutor in tandem with Leeds for Life and My Career offers a unique approach to helping you make the most of University life by supporting your academic and personal development and offering a wide range of co-curricular activities and opportunities. We benefit from close support from the specialist employability team within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures and the Careers Centre, which host regular events focused on working in the arts and the creative and cultural industries. You’ll receive a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

In your second year of study, you’ll have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partnerships worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, South Africa and Latin America.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you’ll have the option to choose to undertake a placement module during your second year of study, and to apply to take a placement year with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas. In recent years students have worked with theatre and events companies, broadcasters, arts organisations and major international companies such as L’Oréal and Paramount Pictures.

Student profile: Natalia Izquierdo

I really like the balance between theory and practice developed throughout the course, and that the modules allow for consistent collaboration (which most courses do not have).
Find out more about Natalia Izquierdo's time at Leeds