BA (Hons) Performing Arts

Performing Arts at Winchester is a highly practical and interdisciplinary course that engages with cutting-edge practice, equipping students to enter the field of employment in contemporary theatre and performance.

BA (Hons) Performing Arts at University of Winchester

UCAS code: W431

Entry Requirements*

Typical offer:

2018 Entry: 96-112 points

*UCAS has changed the way they calculate the tariff for courses starting in September 2017. Find out more about the new tariff.

A GCSE A*- C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

Degree duration:

3 years full-time; 6 years part-time

International Baccalaureate:

25 points

If English is not your first language:

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or a TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) or equivalent

Selection process:

Suitable Single Honours applicants are required to attend an interview and/or a group workshop

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

2018 Entry Full-time £9,500** p/a
Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £79.17 and a 15 credit module is £1,187. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £7,125.

Total Cost: £28,500** (3 years) 

International Students

2018 Entry Full-time £11,900** p/a
Total Cost: £35,700** (3 years) 

For further details, click here

Additional costs:


  • Core Texts: Multiple copies of core texts are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however due to limited availability students are recommended to purchase a copy for their own use. It is possible for students to buy second-hand copies. Cost £50. 
  • Live Performances: Students will be encouraged to attend live performance whenever they are able, to develop their understanding of performance.  Costs and travel expenses will need to be covered by the student.Cost £50. 
  • Travel: Students may have the opportunity to perform at festivals and platforms in the region throughout their degree. Costs for travel and expenses will need to be covered by the student. Cost £50. 
  • Open Project Module: Students who choose the optional modules 'Open Project' (Level 5) and 'Internship' (Level 6), will be expected to pay for their own travel costs and other expenses should they incur them. Cost £50. 

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Other Information

Study abroad (optional):



Taught elements of the course take place on the King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World


The University has close links with the Theatre Royal Winchester and The Point, Eastleigh, among others.


Staff and student productions take place throughout the year, some touring the country.

Student Satisfaction:

As rated by final year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey, Performing Arts achieved greater than 90 per cent overall satisfaction.

Pre-approved for a Masters:

University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.

Terms and Conditions 

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here

**Indicative Fees for 2018/19 Home and EU students are £9,500 per year. Whilst the inflationary fee increases in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Minister, they are still subject to formal parliamentary approval and the approval of The University of Winchester Board of Governors. International fees are still subject to approval from the University of Winchester Board of Governors.

If you are starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,500. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £28,500 (Home and EU), £35,700 (International). However, please be aware that this may change. Our fees will be reviewed annually before the academic year begins and in-line with Parliament's approval of inflationary increases or decreases to fees for institutions with high quality teaching. 

Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. You can find out more here.

If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future so make sure you know what is on offer to support you. 

The programme explores the exciting variety of Performing Arts from popular to experimental forms, and includes studying the history and theory of performance. It is geared towards making performance, incorporating all the performing and creative arts disciplines in a practical and reflective exploration of current practice. The programme encourages student development by focusing on making practice-based contemporary work in an environment that is supported by critical, reflective reading, writing and thinking. Students are asked to consider what the performing arts are for twenty-first century audiences, and what the student's place in performance might be.

Students have the opportunity to devise, think about, discuss and critique a wide range of professional performances and art events. To support this we bring in visiting professional companies to give practical workshops. The programme has built strong relationships with local venues including The Point in Eastleigh and the Theatre Royal Winchester. Increasingly student performances are produced at these venues. Students also have the opportunity to attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August with staff and students from across the Department of Performing Arts.

The programme is targeted to students who are passionate about performing; interested in creating their own performances; creative, risk-taking and ready to learn through facing challenges; and excited about discovering the potential of performance.

Year 1 is introductory and explores a wide range of practical and critical approaches to performing arts. Students are introduced to a range of practical performance skills and knowledge of the history and context of Performing Arts. They spend more than half their time creating group and solo performances and the rest of the time discussing and writing about performance from an analytical and historical perspective.

In Year 2, students study a number of different critical and reflective methodologies in viewing and analysing and for creating texts and performance work. Students are then given the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules so they can develop and pursue their own particular interests within the broad field of contemporary performance.

Year 3 is almost entirely self-directed as it encourages choice and independent study. Students explore a number of debates around issues in performance practice in the Performance Now: Debates and Practices module and have the opportunity to develop organisational, CV writing and business planning skills in Cultural Entrepreneurship and Production. Students can spend the majority of the year taking two of three options: to take part in a collaborative performance; to be a member of a large directed ensemble performance; or take a professional internship.

Finally, all students undertake the Extended Independent Study - an independent study on a topic which students are passionate about. Performing Arts students may negotiate to present it as a performance, although students may also opt to present it as a dissertation of 8,000-10,000 words, or as shorter dissertation with a practical performance.


The University offers excellent facilities for both performance and rehearsal. The Performing Arts Studios provide six bespoke spaces and offer the latest technology for student productions. The Studios are located on the King Alfred Campus close to the Performance Gymnasium and other facilities in the Bowers Building.

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Histories and Contexts
  • Making
  • Solo Performance
  • Creative Practice and Critical Thinking

Year 2

Core modules:

  • Dramaturgy: Analysis and Creative Development

Optional modules:

  • Digital Performance
  • Writing For Performance
  • Puppetry and Object Manipulation
  • Physical Theatres
  • Performance Criticism
  • Open Project
  • Musical Theatre in the UK and USA
  • Immersive Performance
  • Contemporary Cultural Heritage
  • Transcultural Practices
  • Volunteering

Year 3

Core modules:

  • Extended Independent Study
  • Performance Now: Debates and Practices
  • Creative Entrepreneurship and Production

Optional modules:

  • Collaborative Project
  • Directed Performance
  • Internship

For further information about modules, please view the course leaflet (see right hand side).

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above. 

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.                     

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
  • Independent learning: 936 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 288 hours
  • Independent learning: 912 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 132 hours
  • Independent learning: 1068 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.

The student, the performer, as creator of their own work, the course is focussed on practice and there are theory modules in which students are introduced to companies working in the field, for example Quarantine, Punchdrunk, Rimini Protokoll, and Pina Bausch, amongst many others. In addition, students must organise their own studying and find time for practical group rehearsals and reading. Throughout the three years of study, students gradually become independent learners, choosing to study the areas of performance which interest them most.

Students are expected to research through performance and wider reading. Students write essays, analyse performances, write critical journals and give oral presentations of their ideas. Help in essay writing is given and some modules ask for drafts of essays before the writing up, to identify areas which can be improved. In addition to the formally scheduled contact time (i.e. lectures, seminars etc), students are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, personal tutors and the wide range of services to students within the University.

Key features of the student experience are solo and group performance modules and assessment, professional internships, workshops from international Performing Artists, the chance to work with staff and on their own directed performance projects and research activities.

Programme Leader

  • Dr Richard Cuming is a performer, director, deviser and teacher whose specialism is in innovative devised practice, especially in physical and visual performance and the synthesis of different forms, including clown and popular performance.

Teaching team

The Performing Arts team of lecturers are committed to developing students as individuals - they engage in a learning process that leads to the discovery of their creative intelligence, the cultivation of transferable skills and the awareness of their own individual development.

  • Synne Behrndt works as a dramaturg in contemporary devised performance. Her specialisms are dramaturgy, devising and critical analysis. She has published on Dramaturgy and is the co-editor of the book series New Dramaturgies for Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Professor Yvon Bonenfant likes voices that do what voices don't usually do. He likes unruly bodies. He makes artworks starting from these voices and bodies. He currently holds a Large Arts Award from the Wellcome Trust and funding from Arts Council England to collaborate with speech scientists on the development of a series of participatory, extra-normal voice artworks for children and families including the Voice Bubbles iPad app. His publications range from traditional academic formats to creative and online alternatives. He has presented, shown work and guest taught in 14 countries in the last 10 years.
  • Janet Lee is a physical theatre performer and puppeteer whose specialist areas are Physical and Visual Theatre. She has directed for and performed with Strange Arrangements for the past 10 years as well as collaborating with Australian puppetry company Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. Steve Solloway is a flautist and composer. His specialist academic interests are in soundscape, music improvisation and composition.
  • Philip Stanier's interests are in live art and durational performance work. He has published numerous articles, chapters and reviews of performance and is artistic director of the Strange Names Collective. Dr Olu Taiwo teaches both dance and performance in a virtual setting and has a background in Fine Art. He is an actor, dancer and drummer.
  • Professor Millie Taylor was a professional musical director. Her academic interests are in the interaction of music and drama in all forms of music theatre from pantomime and musical theatre to experimental music theatre and extended voice.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures library

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

  • 25 per cent coursework
  • 0 per cent written exams
  • 75 per cent practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

  • 47 per cent coursework
  • 0 per cent written exams
  • 53 per cent practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

  • 95 per cent coursework
  • 0 per cent written exams
  • 5 per cent practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.


At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Graduates have set up their own production companies, entered community drama work or moved into arts administration. Others undertake postgraduate study in the field and also go on to complete PGCE programmes in order to develop their career as teachers. Many  graduates go into other careers in the creative industries and business where they are in demand for their creative thinking and confidence in public speaking.

For more information about graduate employment visit From Freshers to Future-what will your be?


The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

While DLHE provides accurate information about first destinations, this data needs to be viewed with some degree of care. Six months after leaving university is often a time of much uncertainty and change for leavers; many will be unsure of their long-term career plans and may take a temporary job or time out. The destinations of graduates only six months out of university do not necessarily reflect longer term career success and are therefore a crude measure of employability. Therefore, DLHE data should be viewed as merely a 'snapshot' of one particular year's experiences at a specific point in time.

At the University of Winchester, we are committed to ensuring all our students gain employability skills to enable you to enter graduate level jobs and pursue the profession of your choice, for more information please read the Employability Statement

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
UK and EU Students:Send us a message

International Students

International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to or call +44 (0)1962 827023

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