Arts & humanities

Top universities where you can study art, performing arts & design

Performing arts degrees mix the nurturing of creative talent with practical aspects of arts management and self-promotion, which is excellent preparation for entering the world of performance.

A performing arts degree can be practise-based, with a large amount of actual performing, or academic, combining practical work with background analysis. Teaching is done through a blend of practical workshops and lectures.

Students who enjoy more of a variety or want to keep their options open at the end of their degree, can study performing arts as a joint honours or triple honours degree, with subjects like art and design.

Whichever combination you choose to take, work experience placements will be essential. Whether students participate in voluntary projects, support industry professionals in the creative process, or organising dance or acting workshops, this on-the-job training will generate opportunities and create an open exchange with industry professionals.

Skills gained from a degree like this include stamina, confidence, teamwork, time management, analytical, critical and research skills and the ability to take and develop with constructive criticism. Performing arts graduates may move between different fields once they have graduated, with short-term or freelance contracts and collaborations with other artists.

There is no set path for a performing arts graduate, but the common employers are the local government, arts organisations, education institutions, leisure companies and voluntary organisations.

The common theme in all three disciplines is the importance of presenting oneself around the clock – this is no 9 to 5 profession – creatives find opportunities for employment in the strangest of places and must remain open-minded and self-aware to make the most of their individual talents. A degree, with dynamic work experience and projects alongside, will equip graduates to do so.

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