BA (Hons) Performing Arts

This Performing Arts degree invites you to explore the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of contemporary performance. You’ll be introduced to the varied traditions within the performing arts, including dance, music, circus, carnival, drama, storytelling, cabaret, stand-up comedy, mime and more, as well as ways in which they are combined. You’ll have opportunities to explore street performance and circus, the uses of technology in performance, and the chance to work across disciplines and study specialist modules.

You’ll be encouraged to be an innovative, contemporary performance practitioner, and make work for public performance in Cardiff. You’ll explore the voice and body in live performance, and how different spaces and technology can extend and transform the act of performance. Your study of music and sound, acting and physical theatre will include important histories and critical perspectives to help you create original work.

Optional modules allow you to build a particular performance profile. For example, you may have an interest in our study areas of popular music, creative sound and musical theatre. Students with an interest in physical performance could, for example, study dance and cabaret.

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.


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 art and design 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 art and design 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 a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 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.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £12600 

August 2020 - July 2021 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.