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BA (Hons) Performing Arts Education

Help others to express their creativity.

Perform and practice at the Marjon Arts Centre

2020 entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above.

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above.

Or Access 23-36 with min 6D

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above.

Experience of performing arts should be demonstrated via your personal statement. DBS check required.

UCAS points 96

UCAS code N2L8

Duration 3 years full-time

How to apply for this course

Course Summary

If you have a passion for the challenge of performance and want to share this with others, this performing arts degree is for you. The course will help you to understand how to bring out the best in people through participation in dance, drama and music, as well as developing your own performance skills. You’ll learn how to help them to overcome challenges such as vulnerability or lack of confidence, and you’ll provide memorable experiences in which others can discover what they are really capable of.

As a member of The Actor's Wheel Theatre Company, you’ll train intensively in music, dance and acting alongside our actors and actor musicians, and benefit from our excellent track record in teacher training as you work alongside students on our education degrees to explore how people of all ages learn. Through projects in educational and community settings you’ll perfect your practical teaching and facilitation skills, preparing you for employment or to set up your own business as a community arts practitioner. You’ll explore your love of the arts, perhaps discovering career paths you hadn’t previously considered, and have the opportunity to perform yourself as well as facilitating others’ performance.

Show video transcript

Kate Massey-Chase: Performing Arts Education, I think is a really important and exciting degree, that works in collaboration with us here, in Performing Arts Department and the Education Department as a really respected degree course around the country, with a long history at Marjon. It’s a degree program as I say that split between the two departments, but we try to work in a really integrated way to make sure that the learning compliments each other. So over in education the students will be learning with the other education students, philosophies of pedagogy, theories of education, how people learn, all of those kinds of things, classroom-based work, and with opportunities to go into schools. And over here they will get a really solid foundation in performance skills, including drama, dance, and music, working with the students across acting and musical theatre. So, they get that really solid basis in acting, dance, and music skills that they can then integrate with their understanding and their learning within education, to think about how they can use those skills together, working in education and in the community.

Annia: I’ve always wanted to look in something with Performing Arts or Drama, and I think it is just mostly that my A-level teacher, and my GCSE Drama teachers sort of inspired me to really take up teaching as well.

Robbie: I wanted to be a teacher. So, and I’m quite keen on the drama aspect of things, and I looked at Drama degrees, but I liked how Performing Arts degrees ties drama with education. We’re doing Aladdin this year, which is really good to design your own musical, and as part of the module you have to adapt your performance to schools and take it into different primary schools, and perform it to them, and in front of the kids, which is really fun because they always love it. And then you got to go to theatre to perform at the end of the week.

Annia: So, last year we helped the second years, which are now third years, with Alice in Wonderland. So it’s given us an idea of what we were going into, and now it’s time for our assessment. So we get to become the main characters and sort of talk through the choreography and what we’re doing with Kate, she’s absolutely amazing. It’s really exciting. And taking it into schools, and just seeing the children just sit down and watch, and just look really amazed by it. It’s just really nice to do.

Tom: Well, I think Performing Arts is vitally important for children’s development. And I looked at a variation of different Performing Arts courses across the UK, and it was Marjon that stood out to me, because it valued the education element as much as it did the Performing Arts, and which is what made me come down here. In September, I officially launched my theatre company. So I go to schools and I deliver a CPD for teachers, extra curricular activities, which include lunch clubs and afterschool clubs. And I’m currently starting to launch holiday clubs, but that’s coming, hopefully, in 2020. Marjon has supported me throughout my degree, and my lectures, and helped me to be able to get into schools, which helped me to be able to secure my clients where I go now and who I teach. I also use the office space here on a day to day basis. I come in, which gives me a professional address. It makes me as a company, and personally look professional because I’ve got somewhere where I can call home, professionally. This year I’m being sponsored by Marjon, to be able to go into primary schools and give children the opportunity to be able to perform. And then I use the theatre here as well to serve them. The children have a real experience that stays with them throughout their childhood of performing on a professional stage. I’d say if you value learning and if you want a fun, exciting course that can potentially lead to exciting, self-directed careers afterwards, then Marjon is the place to be.

Why this course at Marjon?

Opportunities to develop work for and with a range of groups through our close links with hundreds of schools and community groups.

Intensive training in drama, music and dance led by industry professionals.

Perform in our 300 seat theatre and black box studio theatre.

Long history of creating exceptional teachers, blended with an innovative and inspirational performing and acting community.

Taught by practicing professionals in teaching, performance and applied theatre.

Three varied work placements.

This course is perfect if you're curious about

Is talent born or made?

How can performance lead to social change?

Which is more important in a school play: high quality or participation from everyone?

Why does creativity in communities matter?

How can performing arts help children learn other subjects?

Why use performing arts in prisons, rehabilitation centres or special education needs schools?

What might you become?

At the end of the course you are well placed to begin a PGCE or School Direct qualification to become a secondary or primary teacher specialising in drama. Or you could move into roles in the broader education or theatre sectors such as educational management, community theatre groups or informal educational environments such as those around tourism or events. You could also choose to lead children’s and community theatre groups as well as potentially setting up your own performing arts company. 


Tom Mallender

“The course allowed me to perfect the practical side of my work, and to understand all the educational and performance theory. Among my standout moments at university were when I directed a performance of ‘The Jungle Book’ in a local primary school and organised and led a school trip to Marjon Arts Centre. I’ve now launched my own education theatre company and have recently been working in a school, teaching teachers how to use performing arts skills in their day to day practice.”

Tom is founder of the Mallender Theatre Company.

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

"During your first year you will learn the fundamentals of education and explore how music is used in an educational environment. You'll also learn about the origins of theatre while working towards a performance. In the second year you will learn how childhoods differ around the world; discover different attitudes to education over time and learn how to lead acting workshops in the community. The third year has a focus on developing your own philosophy of education. Modules are also run on theatre production, music and supporting young people in schools."
Sarah McAdam - Director of the School of Arts and Humanities


1st Year

Craft and Discipline
Begin to develop your actor’s tool kit, with a foundation in core rehearsal techniques and skills in voice, movement, acting and improvisation that you can utilise and develop throughout the course and your career.
Dance Technique and Improvisation
Practical dance training focussing on a range of contemporary techniques and development of individual creativity through exploring the process of choreography from stimuli through to performance.
Singing and Music: Theory and Practice 1
Introduction to the core singing and music skills of the Actor Musician, focusing on developing the technical skills as both a solo and ensemble performer.
The Interdisciplinary Practitioner 1
Development of core practical skills for the educational performer including movement, music, acting and storytelling with a focus on understanding how these skills can support and develop creative practice through a creative project in a community or educational setting.
Children’s Literature and Drama in Education
Students look at a variety of picture books and design a dramatic performance of one to take into school for a literacy festival and character lunch.
Introduction to Education Studies
Students are given a question each week that they explore during their module. This module ties together all the information and provides an opportunity to give answers.

2nd Year

Theatre for Social Change
Develop and apply facilitation skills, leading workshops and theatre for social change projects with groups in community or educational settings.
Singing and Music: Theory and Practice 2
Intensive development of singing and music skills for performance, focusing on extending technical skills as both a solo and ensemble performer.
The Interdisciplinary Practitioner 2
Building on the Interdisciplinary Practitioner 1 this module creates a framework for students to develop a portfolio of performing arts workshops, suitable for a range of formal and informal educational contexts.
The Actor as Theatre Maker
Explore a range of improvisation, devising, and creative processes within acting and directing leading to the creation and performance of an original piece of theatre.
Delivering dance in the school and the community with inclusive practice
Learn a variety of different ways of delivering dance in schools from primary through to secondary. Explore delivery of dance in a community setting to enhance engagement with physical activity.
Educational Research
Apply an understanding of education theories and research methodologies the development of a piece of social research.

3rd Year

Portfolio Career Management
Gain the creative marketing and business skills necessary to build a portfolio career as an applied arts practitioner. Develop an understanding of networking, legal and financial requirements. Create your brand, and develop a business plan and marketing materials with which to launch your portfolio career.
Acting Through Song*
Apply acting skills to the exploration of plot, character, context, relationships, and subtext to the development of songs and scenes for performance.
Developing a Personal Philosophy of Education*
What is important to you? What drives you to be interested in education? You will articulate what you believe about education and how you see that playing out in your practice in the classroom.
Supporting Children and Young People*
What are the various ways you might support children and young people in schools to cope with the pressures of their lives?
Performing Arts Education Honours Project
With support from a supervisor you will carry out your own research into a topic that interests you, and present your findings as a written dissertation.
Global Education and Sustainability: Formal and Informal Learning and Change*
Explore the experiences of young people and community within a global perspective and gain a holistic understanding of global education and education for sustainability.
Collective Performance Making
Propose, create, rehearse, produce and perform a project of your own choice, under the guidance of experienced staff members or guest directors, exploring approaches to contemporary performance making that take the view of the practitioner as maker.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,000 per annum

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Teaching takes place through lectures and seminars as well as workshops, rehearsals and performances.

How will you be assessed?

Assessment is through a variety of tasks including essays, log books, performances, running workshops and presentations.

Course leader

Dr Sarah McCourt

Sarah has extensive experience teaching acting and drama in further and higher education. She is an actor who has worked across theatre, TV and film roles; she is also an Artistic Director at Restless Theatre CIC.

View full profile


Kate Massey-Chase


View profile

Kate is an experienced Performing Arts teacher. She is passionate about social justice and the use of drama and theatre for social and political purposes, and as a platform for individual or social change. She is currently researching the use of theatre in mental health contexts.

Katy Morse

Visiting lecturer

View profile

Katy is a professional actor and has performed in many musicals on UK national tours, including at the Victoria Palace, London and the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. She teaches Performing Arts in Education and Musical Theatre.


Thomas Nicholls

Lecturer and Study Skills Librarian

View profile

More information

In addition to the structured course elements there will be extra curricular opportunities to develop your practice and CV which are actively encouraged.

  • Workshops from visiting professionals and companies.
  • Opportunities to work on student led projects in filmmaking and radio, including getting involved with our student radio station.
  • Theatre visits and film screenings.
  • Being part of a buzzing creative community based at Marjon Arts Centre.

Show video transcript

The black box performance theatre is a large and versatile 300-seat space. Some acting students are rehearsing while other students look on. It is used for a variety of events and performances.

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All postgraduate courses


  • Applied Sport Psychology - MSc
  • Coaching and Mentoring - PG Cert
  • Communication Disorders - MRes
  • Counselling and Psychotherapy for Children and Young People – MSc
  • Early Years - MA
  • Early Years with Initial Teacher Training - PG Dip
  • Education - Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership - MA
  • Education - Disability - MA
  • Education - Leadership - MA
  • Education - MA (Plymouth and Truro Campuses)
  • Literature for Children and Young Adults - MA
  • Management for a Sustainable Future - MSc (Open Distance)
  • Master of Research (MRes Courses) Framework
  • Primary Education (PGCE) including School Direct and Teacher Apprenticeships - PGCE
  • Professional Education Practice - MA (Open Distance)
  • Psychology - MSc
  • Psychology of Leadership - MSc
  • Public Health - MPH
  • Secondary Education (PGCE) including School Direct and Teaching Apprenticeships - PGCE
  • Social Policy - MA
  • Sport and Exercise Science - MSc
  • Sport Rehabilitation - MSc
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School of Sport, Health & Wellbeing  Marjon Business


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  • Physical Education with Dance (BA Hons)
  • Psychology (BSc Hons)
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling (BSc Hons)
  • Speech and Language Therapy (BSc Hons)
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  • Sport Business Management (BSc Hons)
  • Sport Coaching and Physical Education (BA Hons)
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  • Sport Development and Coaching (FdA)
  • Sport Rehabilitation and Conditioning (BSc Hons)
  • Sports Therapy (BSc Hons)

School of Education, Marjon Teacher Education Partnership and School of Arts and Humanities


  • Acting (BA Hons)
  • Childhood Practice (BA Hons)
  • Criminology (BA Hons)
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  • Early Years (FdA)
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  • History - BA (Hons)
  • Journalism (Sport Journalism) (BA Hons)
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  • Learning and Teaching (FdA)
  • Musical Theatre (BA Hons)
  • Outdoor Adventure Education (BA Hons)
  • Outdoor Learning in Early Years and Primary Education (BA Hons)
  • Performing Arts Education (BA Hons)
  • Physical Education in Secondary Education (11-16 with enhancement) (with QTS) (BEd Hons)
  • Primary Education (BA Hons)
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  • Primary Education (with QTS) (BEd Hons)
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Studies (BA Hons)
  • Youth and Community Work (BA Hons)
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