BA (Hons) Performing Arts

The University of South Wales’ Performing Arts degree offers an all-round intensive study of performance skills focusing on acting for theatre, film and voice, devised performance, technical production and directing for theatre. It will introduce you to varied traditions such as drama, dance, music, circus, carnival, storytelling, cabaret, stand-up comedy, mime and more and ways in which those practices are combined.

Our Performing Arts course explores the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of contemporary performance. From circus skills to street theatre to live music performance, our core teaching team are all experienced performers, practitioners and academics working across the full range of contemporary performance. Your performing arts training will explore the dynamics of voice and body in live performance, including physical conditioning through preparation for circus and movement work. Your study of music and sound, acting and physical theatre will also include considering important histories and critical perspectives to help you create original work for public performance.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W000 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W000 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

You will learn the craft of performance and show making, dance and physical theatre, circus skills, the use of technology in performance, text analysis, and writing for performance. You will also have a chance to work with established professionals as part of the international arts scene in Cardiff and further a field. You’ll learn about the theory, history and origins of practice across the performing arts, sites of performance, postmodern performance perspectives, creative project management and street theatre techniques.

There will be many opportunities for you to complete independent practical projects – you can pursue a specialist area of your choice in years two and three, as well as placements and the chance to create and perform a showcase project in year three.

Year One: Performing Arts degree 

  • Theories. Histories and Origins of Performance
  • Interdisciplinary Practice Project
  • Analysing Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Site, Space and Place [Practices]
  • Circus, Street Performance and Performance Technology

Year Two: Performing Arts degree

  • Modern and Postmodern Performance Perspectives, Research and Analysing Practice
  • Creative and Project Management
  • Investigating Performance Project
  • Circus, Street Performance and Performance Technology 2

Optional modules include:

  • Stand Up Comedy
  • Specialist Elective
  • Music and Performance
  • Improvisation and Role Play
  • Emergent Technology for Music
  • Global Perspectives (Music)
  • Ensemble Studies 2 (Music)
  • Dance Technique

Year Three: Performing Arts degree

  • Contemporary Performance Practice
  • Professional Portfolio
  • Graduate Showcase Project
  • Investigating Performance


Our Performance and Performing Arts degree involves the close association of theory and practice. Students will explore ideas in workshops and in rehearsal as part of the creation of live performance and recorded performance. Students will also experience seminar classes, presentations and tutorials. There will also be workshops or instruction in the use of technology and other production skills.


The work submitted for assessment by our students is varied and includes performance making, conference presentations, online portfolios, reflections on practice, and workshop delivery, essays and reports.


We offer impressive performance facilities at the enhanced USW Cardiff. This includes a 160-seat auditorium theatre with a sprung stage floor, full lighting rig, two brand-new dance studios and new drama spaces. There are also four black box studio theatres, and professional film studios with green screen and motion capture facilities on campus.


Rob Smith & Dr Hilary Ramsden, Performing Arts Course Leaders
Steve Fisher, Academic Subject Manager
Matthew Gough, Senior Lecturer
Sarah Crews, Senior Lecturer
Nigel Long, Lecturer

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.


You will be asked to take part in a group workshop (around 2 hours) which will guide you through a range of performance activities including the creation and devising of work and text based activity. The workshop will include some discussion and you will also have a chance to ask questions. This will be followed by your group interview.

You don’t need to prepare anything but please wear comfortable clothes that you can move in/work practically in.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include a relevant higher subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes in a relevant subject (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes in a relevant subject (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £12300 

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) * £150
Appropriate class wear and shoes
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £500
It is suggested that students have their own laptop computer and smart phones
Other: Travel £100
Student may be expected to travel to master classes/conferences/events/performances at their own cost. All academic years

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

Performance and Performing Arts graduates have a wide range of skills, which can be applied in a number of employment contexts. This course will equip students with a range of performance related skills such as project management, technical skills, performance skills, performance direction and creation as well analytical, research and writing skills. Graduates can also further their studies by going on to postgraduate study and research.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.