Undergraduate study
Performing Arts

BA (Hons) Performing Arts

UCAS code: W470 BA/PArts

This degree offers opportunities for anyone who wants to study acting, dance, presenting, writing, choreography, directing, workshop leading, facilitating, teaching, or content creating.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information

  • On video

    Performing Arts at Teesside

    Our BA (Hons) Performing Arts programme teaches acting, voice, movement and performance techniques for mediums including theatre, TV, dance, and live art. You are at the heart of our degree as a performer, creator and facilitator of new work, and our strong industry connections and professional level projects directly contribute to your development.

 

You undertake projects in live performance and performance for the camera, as well as working with professional organisations, community groups, children and young people, health professionals and many other clients. You are prepared to not only fill existing jobs but to go out and create your own.The course is structured around a series of employer-focused projects where you work to professional project briefs using live performance skills or media-related skills as appropriate. You expand your potential career destinations by developing teaching and facilitation skills alongside those of performers. You also have many opportunities to create your own work as a writer, director, choreographer or producer, in either live performance or film and video.We encourage you to develop your own artistic identity and become confident, knowledgeable and critically reflective performance practitioners who will determine the future of our contemporary professional creative communities.

In each semester the course is built around a major project, usually in collaboration with an external professional or community organisation. The external partner sets the brief, provides advice or teaching input and evaluates your work, however you’re free to fulfil the brief in ways which reflect your own interests. Alongside practical classes and rehearsals, lectures and workshops provide the theoretical underpinning with entrepreneurial aspects supported by staff and professionals in the field.

You train in a range of state-of-the-art technical facilities for the production of creative projects and productions, including dance studio, TV studios, motion capture studios and radio station.

Semester one
The studio project focuses on the acquisition of basic skills in rehearsal and group work, leading towards a series of short performances in the classroom.

Semester two
The media project instils the basic knowledge of working for and with cameras, editing, scripting, studio working, and location working. You begin to collaborate outside the course, initially with others in the School, such as media production students.

Semesters three, four and five
From year two onwards you begin to collaborate with organisations outside of the University. Initially these will be young people's or community groups, exploring ways of working using both performance and facilitation techniques, with different clients and client groups. In semester five you work with a major professional organisation, a theatre, a production company or similar. These projects are designed around the creation of work under professional circumstances, and give you a wide range of contacts to draw upon.

Semester six
The final-year creative project gives you the chance to create your own projects. You have the freedom to create any project you wish, such as a live performance, film, workshop programme, event, or series of classes, and to work with whoever you want in the manner you want.

Teaching and learning, includes:

  • 20-30 students per class
  • 10-15 contact hours per week
  • live project work with industry and other disciplines
  • all staff currently work in the industry or are active researchers>
  • professional level placements available in third year

  • Course structure

    Year 1 core modules

    Developing Technique Skills

    This module reinforces Technique Fundamentals, in which you develop clear understanding and awareness of a range of contemporary performing arts techniques drawn from national and international perspectives, with a focus on those that relate to film and radio.

    You further develop your ability to critically analyse and evaluate your own technique and performance skills, as well as developing a reflective vocabulary to analyse and evaluate the technique and performance of your peers. We use digital resources to further the reflective cycle and engage you through a variety of teaching strategies.

    Individual progression and skills development is essential in this module and impacts on your ability to successfully engage with the project-based course modules.

    Digital Media Project

    This project is a large scale, individual piece of work, undertaken under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. It is a year-long module consisting of an initial period of lectures followed by the actual project work. The project involves the production of a substantial artefact related to the digital media field and culminates in the writing of a report and a viva consisting of the presentation, demonstration and discussion of the artefact.

    You are guided to develop an appropriate sense of work-discipline coupled with a professional outlook. This includes taking responsibility for the planning and execution of your work, involving the consideration of associated legal, social, ethical and professional issues. You are able to explore in depth a chosen subject area, and thereby demonstrate the ability to analyse, synthesise, and creatively apply what has already been studied on the scheme while demonstrating critical and evaluative skills and professional awareness.

    Studio Project

    This module introduces you to the world of the arts practitioner, where working to a brief for a client or after receiving funding is commonplace. You are introduced to a range of approaches to creating a performance that equip you with the skills needed to fulfil a project brief.

    During the module, you are expected to plan for, develop and produce a creative studio-based project. The project briefs, arranged by the module leader and/or tutors, define the theme or the problem that you must offer a creative response to by applying creative technique and/or production. The brief could be problem based or be an artistic response to a theme and enables an informed, creative, practical engagement with an emerging idea or ideas for performance. Within the limits of the brief, you have the freedom to create, select and apply subject-specific skills, crafts and techniques required to create your own new work.

    Technique Fundamentals

    This module introduces you to the fundamentals of movement and physicality, choreography, devising and voice. It also instils professional skills and expectations for engaging in performing arts training into practice.

    You demonstrate clear understanding and awareness of a range of contemporary performing arts techniques drawn from national and international perspectives, as well as a basic understanding of functional anatomy, health and fitness.

    You develop your ability to critically analyse and evaluate your own technique and performance skills, as well as developing a reflective vocabulary to analyse and evaluate the technique and performance of your peers. We use digital resources to further the reflective cycle and engage you through a variety of teaching strategies. Individual progression and skills development is essential in this module and impacts on your ability to successfully engage with the project-based course modules.

     

    Year 2 core modules

    Advanced Technique Skills

    Building on Embodied Technique, this module advances your understanding and implementation of a range of contemporary performing arts techniques drawn from a range of national and international perspectives. This module gives particular focus on advancing body, voice and storytelling skills and performing in work devised by staff.

    You advance and cultivate your skills towards a professional standard. You take an autonomous approach to personal development with the aim of successfully engaging with and striving for a future in the creative industries.

    Children and Young People Project

    This module introduces you to all aspects of producing work for children and young people, including the theory of drama in education, the art of storytelling, performance skills and the development of a sustainable production strategy for generating work in this field. The module brings these areas together through a live project brief where you work individually or as ensembles.

    The live brief allows for opportunities to work with a range of organisations and providers. Ranging from Theatre Hullabaloo, National Centre of Excellence for Children’s and Young People’s Work, to schools and youth clubs, you create work with and for young audiences. The content of the live briefs are developed on the basis of the opportunities available from educational institutions and organisations at the time.

    Alongside working on your briefs, you examine current programming trends for young audiences and identify how this work is currently funded and supported. You also learn how to develop sustainable relationships with creative producers, how to become a creative entrepreneur and producer yourself, and to develop the skills associated with this, such as writing bids, funding applications and business plans.

    The content creation of the brief is supported by the theoretical contexts of storytelling and child-centred learning and its relationship to pedagogical research.

    Embodied Technique

    This module expands your understanding and implementation of a range of contemporary performing arts techniques drawn from a range of national and international perspectives, with a focus on fundamentals of storytelling and somatic practice in the context of health and wellbeing.

    You increase your ability to critically analyse and evaluate your own technique and performance skills, as well as enhancing your reflective vocabulary to analyse and evaluate the technique and performance of your peers. We use digital resources to further the reflective cycle and engage you through a variety of teaching strategies.

    Individual progression and skills development is essential in this module and impacts on your ability to successfully engage with the project-based course modules.

    Health and Wellbeing Project

    Drawing upon staff expertise and departmental research, this module requires you to tailor your work to a briefs provided by clients and community groups around the various agendas thrown up by the growing field of arts in health and wellbeing. It depends on working with public sector, private sector or community organisations in providing performing arts-based activity, with possibilities for both performance and facilitation.

    You respond to briefs from clients, pitch proposals and realise your projects in line with the parameters set by those clients and organisations. You also engage with research skills training.

     

    Final-year core modules

    Final-year Creative Project

    In this module, you research, prepare and produce a substantial performance and/or creative arts event(s) or project suitable for presentation in a public forum. You plan, undertake and evaluate this tutor-negotiated but self-managed project, supervising all the production, technical, administrative, financial and logistical support work required to underpin a final performance and event.

    Your project is selected and designed based on your career trajectory and professional identity.

    Industry Practices

    Professional Organisations Project

    This module requires you to develop an understanding of the workings of a professional producing or promoting organisation or organisations in the arts or entertainment industries. You study the workings of all relevant aspects of organisations including programming, audience engagement, marketing, administrative and technical, and gaining an overview of the requirements of working for an organisation presenting work to the general public. Where possible you undertake a placement, residency, internship or volunteering with an organisation, to be given insight, both theoretically and experientially into the workings of a professional organisation.

    You develop a performance, event or series of events within the parameters of a brief set by an organisation or work-related brief set by the module leader.

    Examples of the sort of organisations might include arts centres, theatres, large-scale open air production, local authority cultural, arts or heritage departments, festivals and others.

    The Researching Practitioner

    In this module, you complete a self-managed research project that investigates an area of the arts, and may link to an areas of study in practice, academia, teaching pedagogy and/or business and entrepreneurship.

    The module develops your autonomy in decision-making including negotiating the project topic, form and assessment format. You can use and advance on your research, analysis, evaluation, critical reflection and communication skills through a field of study that is relevant to your own interests and potential future career prospects.

    You engage in a range of experiences of staff and external professionals’ research projects. You are also encouraged to join and contribute to a community of scholars and place your work in conjunction with the current arts industry and research landscapes.

     

    Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

We provide you with work-related learning experiences through interdisciplinary learning and/or professional placements that foster the creation of new work in the professional field of performing arts, for example collaboration with ARC Stockton, as well as students studying film and TV production, fine art, fashion, voice acting for animation and acting for motion capture.

All staff produce professional performance work, either for research or for industry. This work includes directing, acting, filmmaking, dance performance and new performance.

Placements are offered at Level 6 in arts and educational organisations, amongst other professional opportunities. You may also, subject to negotiation, arrange your own placement.

Class sizes are around 20 but less where there are projects and performances. The average contact time is 15 hours a week (maximum) and the workload is full time but flexible. The hours outside of contact include individual study, group rehearsal and theatre visits.





How you are assessed

You are required to pass all project modules to progress.

Formative assessment is a feature of every module. Summative assessments include performances, presentations, student-led classes or workshop sessions, essays, research portfolios and reflective analysis.

Assessment and feedback, include:

  • progression information
  • availability of formative assessment
  • an overview of summative assessment
  • arrangements for returning marked work and providing feedback


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

Career opportunities

We provide you with a knowledge of the current networks, funding opportunities, institutional frameworks and freelance opportunities required for a career in the arts and entertainment industries – including performer, content creator, facilitator, and teacher. In addition performing arts graduates have a high level of transferrable skills of interest to employers in other fields, having excellent communication skills, the ability to work in teams or alone, and a high level of presentational skills. Graduates from the programme have been encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial attitude and to be active problem solvers.

Entry requirements

You need to audition for this course, as well as having formal academic qualifications or professional experience. We welcome your application if you're a mature student without traditional qualifications but with relevant experience or abilities.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

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Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information