Explore and specialise in dance, drama or musical theatre or work towards being a triple threat performer. Whether you wish to dance, act, devise, choreograph, teach or facilitate in the community this course will give you the skills, techniques, confidence and experience to be professional and industry ready.
Personalise your studies to suit your evolving interests and aspirations.
Study performing arts in a multidisciplinary way – which you will know is reflective of the industry. Experiment with new things, create a personal pathway, with a focus on dance, drama or musical theatre or a mix of all three. Build the necessary skills to succeed in higher education, recognise your own strengths and develop as a versatile employable practitioner.
If you were seeking to study on our BA (Hons) Dance or BA (Hons) Drama courses, we encourage you to apply for this course instead. Our links with industry show that employers are looking for graduates with a wider understanding of performing arts and we want you to graduate with the best opportunities possible that will prepare you for a dance or drama related career.
- Musical theatre strand embedded in the course, a popular choice of our students
- We have a residency with Live Theatre Emeritus Max Roberts, who joins us as a Visiting Professor until 2021 delivering industry relevant modules and employability workshops, including sessions taught at Live
- Professional theatre venues used for assessments plus external opportunities to perform in professional productions. Previously students have appeared in Cilla: The Musical, Evita and have performed alongside Jack Whitehall
- We’re part of the Live Tales Sunderland project with Live Theatre, giving our students opportunities to build their professional experiences
- Opportunity to specialise in Stage 3 in either drama, dance or musical theatre
- Placement opportunities throughout the three years of study in both education and community adds to the development of skills for a broad range of careers
- ‚World-leading’ research in Music, Dance and Performing Arts, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
- 100% of our BA (Hons) Performing Arts graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)
- Flexibility to create a pathway of study based on your areas of interest or career destination
Teaching is largely studio-based with supporting lectures, seminars, workshop discussions and independent learning. Most modules integrate theory and practice and we use tasks and problem-solving to engage you in interactive learning.
Assessments are often practical or performance-based and also include presentations, essays and evaluations. We provide regular feedback to help you identify strengths and build on areas of weakness.
For those of you with a dance focus expect to study contemporary, classical and commercial styles, to choreograph, stage and tour dance work.
If you have a drama focus you will explore contemporary and devising practices, acting and directing styles.
You can mix up your choice of modules and all students can choose to undertake a placement. Whatever your route, you will perform at a range of venues and in professional theatres including Arts Centre Washington and The Customs House, South Shields.
If you study this course on a part-time basis you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the day time and you will be studying alongside full-time students.
This course is based at the Priestman Building, the main base for art, design and performance on City Campus. Thanks to a major renovation programme, the Priestman Building provides state-of-the-art teaching space and resources as part of a vibrant and creative learning environment.
Dance City and Live Theatre recently opened studios, just a stone’s throw from campus. With the city investing in culture, it’s an exciting time to become a performer in Sunderland.
You can also take advantage of opportunities to participate in University-based drama and dance societies, musical theatre performance projects and the choir.
You will gain highly transferable skills in communication, presentation and collaboration with others. These skills, together with a track record of creativity, provide a valuable advantage when it comes to applying for many different fields of employment.
This course prepares you for roles in the performing arts such as:
- Performer (dancer/musician/actor)
- Teacher of dance/music/drama
- Entrepreneur in dance/music/drama
- Arts administrator/manager
- Freelancer/self-employed in community arts education
- Practitioner of arts/music therapy
Links and contacts
The academic team have an extensive network of professional, education and community contacts in the region. You will benefit from these in your negotiated projects, workshops and visits. Extracurricular dance technique classes are available throughout the week with a range of guest teachers.
Where possible we invite visiting companies and artists to the University. Examples include Opera North, South Paw Dance Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rosie Kay Dance Company, Rambert Dance Company, Live Theatre; Newcastle, Open Clasp, RashDash, Dramatrain, Geese Theatre Company, Bell & Bullock Circus Theatre, Dell A’Mimi Circus Training and The Stand Comedy. We also encourage visits to theatres, events and exhibitions.
Work by our students is hosted by venues such as The Customs House South Shields, National Glass Centre, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Washington Arts Centre, The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Arts and The Empire Theatre. These venues also hold masterclasses led by visiting artists.
Placements and projects
‚Live Project’ modules allow you to take educational and professional opportunities as they arise. Examples include the production of a new play performed at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a cross-generational performance with a professional choreographer and dancers. Many projects are sited in schools and the wider community.
We also arrange end-of-year performances within a professional arts venue, working alongside schedulers, box office staff, technicians and professional performers. Your involvement in these performances develops skills in marketing, design and communication with venues.
All students studying on-campus undergraduate Performing Arts courses can take up a CV-enhancing work placement, a University-led industry initiative, or a professional and business development boot camp. By the term placement, we mean we are offering you a taste of the industry which might last anything from two days to four weeks on a part-time basis.