A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons). Significant relevant industry experience will also be considered in place of a formal qualification. IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Please contact us for more information.
Months of entry
Explore the potential of performance design with this wide-ranging programme.
You’ll develop an awareness of the performance events and experiences that can be created with the aid of lighting, projection, settings and objects, puppetry, props, costume, sound as well as newer technologies such as digital and pervasive media. You’ll have space to experiment and come up with innovative and creative ideas for performance, while learning more about the theories and concepts that are shaping emergent forms of theatre, art and performance practice.
As you build up your MA portfolio you’ll engage with contemporary performance and arts practices – including immersive and participatory forms of performance, as well as those outside of the theatre – while considering the role they play in their wider social, cultural and economic landscape. This is the only research-orientated programme in the UK tailored towards academic and practical engagement with performance design.
The degree is also available to study part-time over 24 months. The part-time MA may be of special interest to those who are working in related fields as part of their career development.
Facilities and Resources
On and off-campus, you’ll benefit from opportunities to get involved in various cultural activities. The School of Performance and Cultural Industries organises the annual Little Leeds Fringe Festival, a series of cultural events on campus giving you the chance to volunteer in the management and programming team. What’s more, you can join any of the student societies that run events, campaigns and productions throughout the year.
You’ll study in a city with a rich cultural life that’s also a hub for business and entrepreneurship – home to the Leeds International Film Festival and Leeds International Piano Competition, as well as a variety of galleries, museums, theatres and other cultural facilities.
Our purpose-built landmark building stage@leeds houses two professional-standard and publicly licensed theatres that regularly host work by both students and visiting theatre companies – one of which is a technically advanced research facility.
Our School includes rehearsal rooms, two black-box studios, costume construction and wardrobe stores, a design studio and scenic workshop, video editing and sound recording suits as well as computer aided design.
Our links with external organisations are among our biggest strengths, giving you the chance to take performance to different environments outside of the university context. We’re always developing new relationships with partners in different contexts to offer you more opportunities to participate.
Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, the National Media Museum, Leeds City Council, Red Ladder Theatre Company, Limehouse Productions, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the National Coal Mining Museum for England, HMP New Hall, Blah Blah Blah Theatre Company, the BBC and HMP Wetherby are all among our partners.
Throughout the programme, you’ll develop an awareness of research methods and approaches in performance and the cultural industries. In Semester One, you’ll also take a core module which introduces you to key concepts, theories and ideas in performance design, exploring ideas such as visuality and the theatre, spectacle, audience experience and multi-sensorial performance.
This foundation will inform the rest of your studies, including your practice. In Semester One you’ll also work with a range of scenographic materials to develop your own creative practice, spending time in practical workshops alongside lectures where you’ll consider current issues and debates in performance design and the role of practice-led research.
In Semester Two you’ll apply all the knowledge and skills you’ve gained to an independent research project, which could be practice-led or a written dissertation on a topic of your choice. You’ll also be able to spend more time on your practice – you’ll have the chance to complete an individual project, or to collaborate with fellow students from across the School, or work on another small-scale research project based on a two-week placement in an external organisation. Alternatively you could choose from optional modules on topics such as audience engagement or debates on culture and place.
Fees and funding
We have a generous range of funding available for postgraduate study. Find out more on the University of Leeds Postgraduate Scholarships database here.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Postgraduate Admissions Team
- +44 (0)113 343 8714