Performing Arts: Creative Practice and Leadership MA

About the course

Whether your passion is hip hop theatre, dance, Shakespeare or the newest approaches to interdisciplinary and intercultural performance making, you are encouraged to develop your understanding of a range of performance practices.

You will be supported to develop distinct and innovative practical work which you will present in our professionally equipped theatre spaces. You will develop your skills as both a collaborator and leader in your chosen area of practice and further your understanding of how to position yourself to take advantage of opportunities that will support your future development.

You will also be encouraged to consider how your practice engages with audiences and responds to concerns to widen access to the performing arts. Your final project, which can either be practice based or a written document, aims to be both a culmination of your studies and a vehicle for your future career as an emerging performing arts practitioner.

Performing Arts: Creative Practice and Leadership - MA - Bedford Campus

  • Apply Via - DIRECT ENTRY
  • Course level - Postgraduate
  • UCAS Code -
  • Campus Location - Bedford Campus
  • Start dates - Oct
  • Duration - 1 Years
  • Attendance - Full time | Part-time day
  • Download Course Specifications

Why choose this course?

  • 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.
  • Benefit from the expertise of performing arts professionals
  • Gain from opportunities to present your choreographic or theatre based explorations in our professionally equipped theatres
  • Explore practices at the boundaries of theatre making and choreography
  • Learn how to engage people in your work and to access new opportunities
  • Develop your skills in leadership, networking, project management and collaboration

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?

  • Researching Performance
  • Performing Arts Research Project
  • Performing Artists and Communities
  • Project Planning and Leadership for Performing Artists
  • Inter-professional Working Project
  • Choreographic Research or Contemporary Theatre Making
  • Somatic Practices or The Dancing Mind: Dance Psychology or
  • Performance for Inclusion and Diversity

How will I be assessed?

Assessment of practice mirrors professional working environments and expectations as far as possible, and tests skills and abilities as a means of enhancing and preparing you for the demands of future employment.

Assessments are designed to help you acquire professionally equivalent skills and abilities, while also promoting and testing your independent critical thinking to develop you as a reflective and articulate artist and researcher  as well as an independent and confident future leader.Methods of assessment typify expectations of postgraduate study in advanced performance and include: public and in-studio performances, presentations, oral examinations, literature reviews, essays, and portfolio.

This range and diversity of testing offers opportunities for you, and for the staff team, to explore your relative strengths and weaknesses, and to respond positively to individual challenges through a supportive and personalised learning environment.

Entry requirements

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.

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

You will be equipped to develop and promote projects and to apply for opportunities in the performing arts suited to your particular skills and abilities. Depending upon your choice of electives these may include:

  • Performer: independent/freelance performer Interdisciplinary Performance Practitioner: collaborative and interdisciplinary performance work, self-generated performance-based practice
  • Choreographer: independent dance maker/artist, choreographer to specific brief and/or group/project, collaborative artist in interdisciplinary projects
  • Director/Theatre maker: independent theatre director and theatre maker
  • Educator: lecturer/teacher/leader in a range of formal HE, FE and schools context, in addition to freelance work in wider community and professional environments
  • Independent Portfolio Worker in the Creative Industries: consultant and researcher

Previous graduates from the University of Bedfordshire courses currently work as directors of their own companies, entertainers, workshop leaders and lecturers.

The MA Performing Arts: Creative Practice and Leadership develops your capacity to create and lead projects in the performing arts with a focus on dance or theatre practices. Experienced performing arts professionals and researchers will support you to consider new ways of developing your practice so that you can place your work to take advantage of new opportunities.
Quote from a lecturer

Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Fees and funding

  • Fees are £6,800. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees and living costs. Visit

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Fees are £12,000

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.


See UK/EU Postgraduate students for full information on fees and funding.


A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

See Fees and Funding for International Students for full information.


Physical Education and Sports Science Centre

Sports Hall

The sports hall is an integral space in the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity, complementing discipline leading Sport and Exercise Science and modern muscle cell and molecular biology laboratories, all co-located on the Bedford campus.

The sports hall is a major teaching facility for the University's Sport and Physical Education degree courses which have trained physical educators in the UK for over a century.

Together with its associated facilities it provides our trainee teachers and coaches with a superb environment in which to coach and teach pupils from local primary schools who are also benefiting from this new facility.

The sports hall is proud to host all Bedfordshire Bulls students' sports matches as well as national standard sporting events including British University College Sports championships – one of the few indoor sporting venues in the county to host prestigious tournaments all year round.

The facility also plays host to a number of University promoted Get into Sport activities which are open to all University students and staff.

Specialist labs

Our specialist labs give students a fantastic environment to develop their research skills and expertise, where a student can explore the genetics of an elite athlete who could be performing simultaneously within the sports hall.

Few Sport Science courses in the country offer students such unique discipline leading research experience and skills, alongside intimate access to world leading researchers within their field. Students are regularly offered the opportunity to be involved within discipline defining Sport, Health and Exercise Science research

Our state-of-the-art laboratories are purpose built for research and teaching in the fields of exercise and nutrition science. This includes specialised equipment and facilities for assessing human health risk and delivering exercise and diet interventions for health promotion.

This includes:

  • Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for assessing bone density and body fat content
  • BodPod and underwater weighing tank for body composition assessment
  • Environmental chamber that controls temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels in the air
  • Wet lab for assessing metabolic and hormone markers in blood

Our £8m Physical Education and Sport Science Centre was used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics.

Theatre and dance studio facilities

  • 280 seat theatre
  • 80 studio theatre
  • Four fully-sprung dance studios
  • Dance studios equipped with ballet bars, mirrors, audio playback, internet and projection
  • Large dressing rooms with en suite showers
  • A scenery workshop reserved solely for student productions
  • Large 6m by 12m white Cyclorama screen for projection and lighting
  • State of the art HD projectors
  • Full backstage comms system with audio and video relay
  • Extensive lantern stock including Led fixtures, strobes and moving lights
  • State-of-the-art, industry-standard lighting and sound consoles
  • Built in media desk and roll-down screen

Gateway Building

Opened in January 2015 the Gateway is an impressive building featuring high-quality teaching spaces, informal learning spaces, and lecture theatres (including a Harvard style lecture theatre); as well as a new student services centre.

Campus Centre

Campus Centre featuring a 280-seat professional theatre, dance studios, a fairtrade café and social space for students.

Accommodation at Bedford

For on-campus student accommodation choose from luxury living at Liberty Park's modern en-suite study bedrooms or the Student Village which offers standard rooms with shared bathroom facilities, and en-suite rooms with a private shower. All have fully-equipped kitchens. Our rooms are on-campus and have easy access to the town centre and train station.

Subjects studied at Bedford campus

  • Primary Education
  • Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education
  • Education Studies
  • Physical Education and Sport Studies
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Tourism and Leisure
  • Accounting and Business Management
  • Performing Arts and Dance
  • Social Work

Bedford town location

The Bedford campus is a 20-minute walk from the town centre. The University offers a free bus service for staff and students that runs between Bedford town centre and the campus.

Directions to Bedford campus

Bedford offers excellent transport links to the rest of the UK as it sits between the M1 and the A1. The town connects by train to Luton (20 minutes) and London (40 minutes).

How to Apply

  • UK students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form

  • EU students applying for most postgraduate degrees at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or apply online

  • International students applying for a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country.

    You can also apply online

    Find out more about how to apply

Bedfordshire University

Apply» Courses» Postgraduate» Next Year» Performing Arts: Creative Practice and Leadership