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  • Enjoy opportunities to act, direct and devise performance work, while engaging with cutting-edge practice
  • Make the most of our excellent Performing Arts Studios, which provide six bespoke spaces and the latest technology for your productions
  • Performing Arts at Winchester achieved more than 90% overall satisfaction as rated by final-year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey
  • Benefit from successful working partnerships with local venues, festivals and award-winning theatre companies
  • Play your part in staff and student productions which take place throughout the year, some touring the country

If you are passionate about creating your own performances, excited about discovering your potential and ready to face a few challenges, then our Performing Arts degree is a rewarding choice for you. It is a highly practical, interdisciplinary course that engages with cutting-edge practice, equipping you to find work in contemporary theatre and performance.

Over three years, you explore performing arts, from popular to experimental forms, and reflect on the history and theory of performance. The course emphasises being on stage. It is geared towards making performance and incorporating all the performing and creative arts disciplines in a practical and reflective exploration of current practice.

Backed by the support of an experienced and innovative team of lecturers, who are committed to developing you as an individual, you consider what the performing arts mean for modern audiences and your place in performance. You have the opportunity to devise, discuss and critique a wide range of professional performances and arts events. To support this we bring in visiting companies to deliver hands-on workshops.

In Year 1, you are introduced to a range of practical performance skills and knowledge of the history and context of performing arts. You engage with others in creating group and solo performances, and undertake critical analysis of performance from a historical perspective.   

In Year 2, you extend your study of different critical and reflective methods. Optional modules, including Digital Performance and Physical Theatres, enable you to develop your skills in areas that inspire you within contemporary performance.

Year 3 shines a light on your own creativity. It is almost entirely self-directed. You debate issues and develop careers and business planning skills. You take two of three options: participating in a collaborative performance, being a member of a large directed ensemble performance, or taking a professional internship. We have close links with vibrant, forward-thinking local theatres, where student performances are regularly produced.

The curtain comes down on a full final year having completed an extended independent study which you may present as a performance, a dissertation, or a combination of both.

During the course you gain key transferable skills in communication, critical thinking and team building. These are valued in a variety of employment contexts including the theatre, education and beyond.

Graduates have formed their own production companies, entered community drama work or performing arts education in schools and theatres, or moved into arts administration, the creative industries and business.


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.

94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course.

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.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.


Suitable for Applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Study Abroad

Our BA (Hons) Performing Arts course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA).

For more information see our Study Abroad section.

Learning and Teaching

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.


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


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% coursework
0% written exams
75% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

47% coursework
0% written exams
53% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

95% coursework
0% written exams
5% 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.

Further information

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

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.




2018 Entry: 96-112 points.

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

International Baccalaureate: 25 points

If English is not your first language: IIELTS 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.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International Students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Additional Requirements

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

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Creative Practice and Critical Thinking 30

This module will introduce students to a range of cultural, pedagogical, philosophical, social, and political perspectives and discussions for Performing Arts and the arts. On the module students will engage with critical discourses on the arts as well as with philosophies and cross-disciplinary practices that have informed, inspired and shaped performance and arts practices.

Through examples from practice as well as critical writing and artist writings the module will look at the processes of creativity and introduce students to different perceptions, definitions and articulations of art and the creative process. This is done in part to help students understand how and why the definitions of art, performance and audience and the public have become flexible, fluid and elastic terms within in contemporary practice and culture, and in part for students to start contextualising their own practice and learning. Moreover, it will enable them to dialogue with different positions on art, theory and practice-based research.

The module will also prepare students for academic studies, and it will embed different writing and presentation styles as well as research methodologies into the delivery.

Solo Performance 30

The aim of the module is to give students a basic grounding in practical skills, which students will be expected to employ in their practice and which will support their performance making work in the Making module.

This module takes introduces students to the full range of approaches to solo performance in the current artistic environment. Building on understandings of performance composition developed at pre-University level, students will be guided, largely through practical workshops accompanied by appropriate critical and practitioner readings, through exercises and formative tasks in exploring different modes of performance introducing them to the possibilities of defining their own performance style. This module is a university-level primer performance technique for the solo performer and will engage students in a range of strategies for making solo work, and will require extensive in-class showings and critical feedback sessions in preparation for the end of year task.

Making 30

This module takes students on a year-long journey that introduces them to the process of making Performance in the current artistic environment. Building on understandings of performance creation and composition developed at pre-University level, students will be guided, largely through practical workshops accompanied by appropriate critical and practitioner readings, through exercises and formative tasks in inventing new work that take them into the realm of the unknown and that help them expand their capacity to create unique and original creative material for their academic age and experience. This module is a university-level primer in creative and compositional technique for the ensemble group and will engage students in a range of strategies for making work, and will require extensive in-class showings and critical feedback sessions in preparation for the assessment.

Histories and Contexts 30

The module will be presented as a series of lectures introducing performance practitioners, concepts and their contexts, exploring how the history of ideas informed – and was informed by – social and cultural developments across cultures and art forms.

It will encourage the students to study its historical, cultural, social and political contexts through case study of key practitioners. It will actively question performance in all its manifestations and encourage students to build on their personal experience. By studying performance as ‘living history’ and placing the study firmly within these specific contexts, the students will be able to reference and manipulate the information to inform their own future creative work.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Dramaturgy: Analysis and Creative Development 30

This module introduces students to a number of different critical and reflective methodologies in viewing and analysing and for creating texts and performance work. Thus the module develops students’ ability to discuss, analyse and structure content, both in terms of being viewers and critics as well as being makers of performance. It seeks to develop students’ reflective and analytical approach in order that they can engage with performance making as a process of investigation, reflection and exploration. It introduces students to the dramaturgical questions involved in developing a concept and proposal for performance.

The module introduces students to a range of approaches and maps the development from classical dramaturgy and narrative structures to the ‘new’ dramaturgies and compositional approaches found in contemporary cross-disciplinary performance practices.

This module will be undertaken as a series of presentations, seminar discussions and workshops leading to a presentation of analysis of text, film or performance (semester 1). The presentation should reflect a grasp of critical analysis and contextual awareness. The presentation can be a live presentation or written submission.

In semester two the module culminates in a presentation of performance concept (semester 2). The presentation should demonstrate and reflect a rigorous exploration of source material (an idea, theme, text, concept, etc.), and it should give a vivid sense of the project and should be underpinned by research and reflect a conceptual grasp and practical understanding. The presentation can be a live presentation or written submission.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules

Digital Performance 30 Credits

Writing for Performance 30 Credits

Puppetry and Object Manipulation 30 Credits

Physical Theatres 30 Credits

Performance Criticism 30 Credits

Open Project 30 Credits

Musical Theatre in the U.K. and U.S.A 30 Credits

Immersive Performance 30 Credits

Contemporary Cultural Heritage 30 Credits

Transcultural Practices 30 Credits



Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Creative Entrepreneurship and Production 15

Arts practitioners need to be aware of how their work is produced in on a practical level, how to create productive and sustainable relationships with creative producers, how to become creative entrepreneurs and producers themselves, and to develop wide ranging skills associated with this function such as writing bids, funding applications and business plans. They may want to embrace the profession of creative producer as part of defining themselves as practitioners and to understand the problems associated with the tasks at a practical and artistic level.

The module will look at the function of the creative producer and entrepreneur both practically and critically, seeing the student as both as creators and stakeholders within the wider infrastructure of creative production. They will present and defend a project to a panel. They will also apply their knowledge to negotiating their own collaborative projects

Performance Now: Debates and Discourses 15

This module engages with current performance practices, debates and discourses relevant to the study of various subject areas (interdisciplinary and devised performance, new writing, dance and vocal work). It thus places performance in a contemporary interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary context acknowledging the wider cultural and political dimensions which inform the diversity of performance practice and theory today.

The precise content of the module will depend on the issues of the day and students will be encouraged to bring in issues that have particular relevance to them.

Extended Independent Study (Portfolio) 30

This double module is intended to provide students with the opportunity to plan and implement an individual piece of research. Students will be required to submit a research proposal for consideration before moving to supervised learning. The outcomes of this individual research project will be a written document of either 8,000 – 10,000 words, or 4,000-5,000 words written document and a practical outcome (e.g. performance statement; series of workshops) equivalent to 5,000 words.
In making proposals for the dissertation students will be required to demonstrate:

a) A clear rationale for the proposal
b) An understanding of the context
c) An ability to formulate relevant key questions
d) Ability to identify appropriate research methodologies
e) Emerging primary and secondary sources

Students will make their initial proposals during Semester 4.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules

Collaborative Project 30 Credits

Directed Performance 30 Credits

Internship 30 Credits


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.

Course Tuition Fees 

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK and EU students. 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. 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.

Full-time £9,250 p/a

Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)

UK/EU 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 £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. 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 £6,938

International Students

Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)

International 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 £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.



As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


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.


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.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

UCAS code
3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
Typical offer
96-112 points
King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester