Global Performance and Cultural Industries MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0
UK fees
£11,500 (Total)
International fees
£26,750 (Total)

Course overview

Student in library

This Masters course explores the key disciplines of performance and cultural and creative industries in a global context.

You’ll examine live and digital performing arts that are produced with international audiences in mind.

Throughout the course you’ll develop a critical understanding of what performance is, and how it is produced and consumed locally and globally within a variety of social, political and economic settings.

You’ll apply your learning through lectures and seminars. This course will equip you with the skills to build your global career networks, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a variety of cultural organisations, and gain valuable insight into the cultural and creative industries from guest lecturers and industry experts.

Additional highlights

This course is taught by the School of Performance and Cultural Industries which is based in stage@leeds, a publicly licensed theatre at the heart of the University campus. As a student you’ll also have access to stage@leedsDigital, a virtual creative space for students, researchers, professional artists and international theatre companies. You’ll also have the opportunity to observe the process of performance making, as well as to gain practical experience through optional modules and work experience.

Leeds has a thriving cultural scene and is home to large-scale events like Leeds International Film Festival, Light Night, Transform Festival and Leeds Digital Festival. Our industry connections allow you to engage with local cultural organisations such as Leeds Playhouse, Opera North, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the BBC, the National Science and Media Museum, and East Street Arts.

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

Course details

Compulsory modules introduce you to perspectives on performance and the creative economy in a global context. You’ll develop specialist knowledge about how aspects of global performing arts is influenced by historical, political and socio-economic evolution. Global performance in this context refers to both live and digital forms that are produced for educational and/or commercial purposes with international audiences in mind and is informed by international policies and regulations, such as the UNESCO 2003 Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention.

You can focus your studies in the areas that suit your interests and career plans by choosing optional modules which allow you to specialise in areas that include cultural policy, audience engagement, and individual and collaborative projects.

By the end of the course, you will demonstrate your skills and knowledge by completing an independent research project on a topic of your choice.

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.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Global Performance and Cultural Industries MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Independent Research Project (MA) 60
The Creative Economy in Global Contexts 30
Perspectives on Global Performance 30

Learning and teaching

The course draws on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary theories and research methodologies, such as theatre and performance studies, sociology and media studies. Selected case studies, such as Sleep No More in Shanghai, Korean palace ritual performance and mobile performance linking global audiences/players, are applied to assist learners to contextualise how the symbolic, aesthetic aspects of global performance products are influenced by respective historical, socio-economic conditions and how the process in turn contributes to the development of cultural and creative industries, in a digitalised and globalised world.

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.

The course will equip you with knowledge the to either progress onto a research degree and/or pursue a career globally.

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.


You’ll be assessed using a range of methods including small group presentations, reports, academic essays and extended individual research projects, or negotiated creative projects.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a minimum 2:1 (Hons), or equivalent.


Our admissions team are experienced in considering a wide range of international qualifications. If you wish to discuss whether your qualifications will meet the necessary entry criteria, contact the School’s admissions team.

You can also check the accepted qualifications for your country or region.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Please see our How to Apply page for information about application deadlines

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you need

  • A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts, or partial transcripts if you're still studying (please submit an official English translation if necessary)

  • Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language

  • A personal statement in response to the questions asked in the supporting statement section of the application form. Please respond to the questions in the application form.

  • A full up-to-date CV

Next steps

We usually invite candidates for interview whenever possible – for all applicants, this can be done by phone.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

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

Postgraduate Admissions



UK: £11,500 (Total)

International: £26,750 (Total)

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

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 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 may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

You may also be eligible to apply for a scholarship to help support your studies.

Career opportunities

This degree will open up a broad range of career opportunities within and around the cultural and creative industries. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of theatre and performance in a global context allowing you to pursue an international career.

Careers may include an artistic practitioner, producer, administrator, theatre manager, policy maker, and educator, among others. There is a wide variety of careers and employability support available across the University to help you with your career.

Graduates from similar courses have continued with their research and progressed to PhD study.

Careers support

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

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 about Careers support.