Theatre and Performance BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2025
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

Group of performers dancing in a circle

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.

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 also 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.

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 to reflect on the impact that performance has on societies and the place that performance occupies globally.

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. You'll become an advocate of the creative arts and apply socially engaged performance practices in diverse ways.

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.

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

The skills gained on the course will prepare you 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.

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 Freedom Studios, Bloomin Buds, Mind the Gap
  • regional and city-based events including: Compass Festival, Leeds Light Night, Transform Festival, Yorkshire Festival, Kendal Mountain Festival, Furnace Festival.

View examples 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.

The School’s relationship with the 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.

stage@leeds hosts a range of work by students and visiting theatre companies all year round. You’ll also have access to a wide range of specialist facilities, including multiple black-box studio theatre spaces, costume construction and wardrobe stores, a scenic workshop, dance studio and rehearsal rooms, video-editing and sound recording suites and a range of technical resources such as; portable recorders, 360-degree cameras, VR headsets and green screen technologies. You'll be supported in using these facilities by our experienced technical team.

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


The course information 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.

Year 1

In your first year 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

In 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

In your final year 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.

Module Catalogue

For more information, please read BA Theatre and Performance in the course catalogue

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
  • 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.

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.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds

Hear from our students

Discover how Access to Leeds supported our students to embrace the next chapter of their lives.

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: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

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 the Schools wide range of Masters courses.

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: Amy Cregor

Doing a year abroad was the perfect opportunity to thrust myself into a new situation, giving me the opportunity to travel, learn about new cultures, meet new people, and make lifelong friends.
Find out more about Amy Cregor's time at Leeds

Student profile: Merveille Nsumbu

I have no worries about looking for a job after university, the University puts a strong emphasis on career support, as well as the amazing range of networks I have been able to establish.
Find out more about Merveille Nsumbu 's time at Leeds

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