Taught course

Performing Arts: Creative Practice and Leadership

University of Bedfordshire · Bedfordshire Institute of Media and the Creative and Performing Arts

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree at Honours level, or equivalent. Applicants must demonstrate skills, knowledge and understanding in performing arts either though an audition/interview or by submitting an e-portfolio that includes video examples of solo and ensemble performance and/or leadership practice and a statement in support of the application. International Students IELTS score: IELTS overall score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each element. International applications will be assessed using UKBA and University of Bedfordshire policy.

Months of entry


Course content

About the course

The MA Performing Arts: Creative Practice and Leadership develops your capacity to create and lead projects in the performing arts.

From Shakespeare to hip hop theatre and dance, you are encouraged to engage with and reconceptualise classical, avant-garde, contemporary and global practices into distinct and innovative practical work.

You will enhance your understanding of the exciting and varied approaches to work in this key sector of the creative industries, while also considering the specific challenges that face emerging leaders in this field.

Reflecting upon your own artistic viewpoint you will explore the role of the arts in today’s complex societies and the implications from your practise.

You will be encouraged to develop as an agent of innovation in professional and/or community contexts, fostering your capacity to both lead performing arts projects and to work collaboratively.

Key features

  • Study with the University’s team of performing arts professionals, visiting artists and facilities that include a professionally theatre.
  • Engage with lecturers who draw on their research into, and experience of, creative practices to facilitate your reflections upon the role of performing arts today to refine your own artistic vision.
  • Develop as an agent of innovation in professional and/or community contexts, fostering your capacity to both lead performing arts projects and to work collaboratively.
  • Explore a unique approach that places the emphasis on practice as the focus for critical reflection and development.
  • Benefit from our links with professional networks locally, nationally and internationally as you work towards your final project where you present the culmination of your studies in the manner that best represents your approach to performing arts.

Areas of study:

  • Interprofessional Working Project (PER003-6) Compulsory
  • Performing Artists And Communities (PER020-6) Compulsory
  • Performing Arts Research Project (PER018-6) Compulsory
  • Project Planning And Leadership For Performing Arts (PER017-6) Compulsory
  • Researching Performance (PER015-6) Compulsory
  • Choreographic Research (PER008-6) Optional
  • Contemporary Theatre Making (PER019-6) Optional
  • Performance For Inclusion And Diversity (PER006-6) Optional
  • Somatic Practice (PER007-6) Optional
  • The Dancing Mind: Dance Psychology (PER009-6) Optional

Career prospects

The course foregrounds your development as a professionally equipped and skilled arts practitioner and researcher, who is realistically able to pursue a range of career options in performance, and in wider creative and cultural industries. Additionally, it focuses on developing your creative, reflective, enterprising and independent management skills as an underpinning for future self-sufficiency and career longevity.

In recent years significant research has been conducted into issues concerning graduate employment in performing arts and the creative arts industries including Arts Council England (2015) Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case: A Data Report, 2012-2015 and Burns and Harrisons sponsored report; Dance Mapping: A Window on Dance (2008).You will make use of such publications in the course as a key resource in gaining currency and knowledge of the professional field.

Career management information is offered to you as part of the course at Induction, where you will attend an introduction to the Universitys Careers and Employability service and you will be made aware of the support services they can offer. These include; one-to-one careers advisory sessions, on-line tools to develop your career management skills, assistance with constructing and editing CVs, interview techniques, opportunities for volunteering and work placements, and job searches.

Throughout the course you will develop the capacity to flourish in a project orientated sector developing work that responds to current concerns in the field and the skills to bid for opportunities and to promote your artistic practice through established and emerging networks. In particular the unit project planning and leadership will enable you to develop and test your ideas for real projects that you will be encouraged to develop further at the culmination of your studies.

The course is staffed by academics whose career profiles include Internationally significant roles as practice-led researchers, dance and theatre practitioners and educators. Visiting professionals contribute their insights into current issues that shape opportunities in the field The work of the staff team therefore extends into a range of elite, vocational and recreational settings and it is anticipated that you will be able to take advantage of opportunities to engage in this professional network through, for example, roles as research assistants and performers. This opportunity builds and extends your knowledge and access to professional contacts and is an important resource in developing professional profile. In addition trips and group tutorials will further encourage you to develop the capacity to promote your work appropriately to identified to targets.

The course has a professional focus and you will be expected to demonstrate equivalent and relevant professional skills and attitudes throughout. You will utilise these skills to enable you to design and manage academic and creative projects, and be responsible for critical assessment of the outcomes against intended goals. These learning opportunities reflect professional working contexts and expectations, and demand ambitious and sustained scrutiny on your part as preparation for future roles in creative project development, leadership and delivery.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)1234 400 400