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Performing Arts

Music and Performance

Where talent is showcased

  • deepen your knowledge

    You’ll develop the techniques and knowledge to equip you for professional practice. Thinking critically about performance will deepen your understanding of your craft.

  • learn from Professionals

    You will work with professional practitioners on UEL’s academic team and through master classes delivered by visiting professionals.

  • evening classes

    You can study for our MA degrees even if you’re in full-time employment or looking after a family. Both courses run full time or part time and teaching takes place in the evening to accommodate those with other time commitments.

About us

Your tutors and lecturers will encourage you to be daring. Everything we do at our well-equipped University Square Stratford (USS) site is geared towards helping you develop your individual and creative potential in the world of music, dance, applied theatre and performance.

This may include working with organisations such as Stratford Circus or the National Youth Theatre on large-scale productions, or spreading your wings with performances at lively east London venues in Shoreditch and Brick Lane. Throughout your course you’ll take part in masterclasses and workshops with industry professionals, work on industry briefs with arts production companies, or get hands-on practical experience at COLL!DE, one of Britain’s most vibrant and innovative annual student-led dance festivals.

You’ll be taught in hi-tech studios and specialist performance spaces by professional practitioners with major reputations in writing, performance, production and applied practices. Our unique, trailblazing Urban Dance course is a perfect example. We pioneered it, and it’s still the only course in the UK to focus on urban dance styles from around the globe.

Thanks to our reputation, you’ll have numerous opportunities throughout your course to work with acclaimed professional artists, such as renowned choreographers Kenrick Sandy (Boy Blue) and Hofesh Shechter, as well as top companies like the Half Moon Theatre Company, the Hackney Empire and the London International Festival of Theatre.

See our courses.

Since the MA I have gone on to develop pieces initially developed within it, direct new writing within London, create new productions with my theatre company and extend my practice into the beginnings of further study. UEL’s MA helped give me the space and support to research and discover more about the work I want to create.

Tom Drayton , MA Theatre Directing
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Our facilities

Multi-purpose studios

The School of Arts and Digital Industries (ADI) Dance, Music and Theatre facilities are located in the newly built University Square Stratford building. The multi-purpose studios have fully sprung professional grade dance floors, mirrors, ballet bars and high quality lighting, HD video and sound infrastructure. These two spaces are dedicated to teaching Dance and Movement performance as well as being spaces for professional performance production. All of our studios are available for rehearsal use by our student body outside of lectures as well as on our graduate rehearsal support programme.

Black Box Studio

The Black Box studio is a professional theatre production space. Equipped beyond industry standards with high quality lighting, sound and HD video infrastructure. The Black Box studio is acoustically treated and has a fully sprung dance floor. This is a space designed for full technical, performance and teaching flexibility, devoted to producing high quality performance work.

Music recording studios

The spacious Live Rooms contain a Boston GP-218 concert grand piano, Yamaha Motif 8 synthesiser workstation, Yamaha Stage Custom drum kit and various percussion instruments. Control Room A is kitted out with Apple Mac Pro with Logic Studio 2, Avid Pro Tools 10, Abelton Suite 8 and Waves Diamond plugins, Native Instruments Maschine 1.8, Novation Impulse 25 USB/MIDI keyboard controller, Euphonix MC Mix and MC Control v2 control surfaces giving a total of 12 available faders, 2 x Focusrite Octopre MkII 8 channel microphone preamplifiers with a total of 16 mic/line inputs, MOTU 2408 MK3 24 channel digital audio interface and PMC TB2 transmission-line monitor loudspeakers.Whilst Control Room B houses our advanced Pro Tools Suite: Apple Mac Pro with Avid Pro Tools|HDX 10, Logic Studio 2, Abelton Suite 8 and Waves Diamond Plugins, Native Instruments Maschine 1.8, Novation Impulse 25 USB/MIDI keyboard controller, Avid HD I/O audio interface, Avid C|24 24 fader control surface with 16 microphone pre-amplifiers, Universal Audio 6176 valve channel strip (microphone pre-amplifier, EQ and compressor/limiter) and Genelec 8040A active monitor loudspeakers. In addition, students also enjoy access to 7 Practice Rooms and an Equipment Store with a large array of musical instruments and recording equipment for hire.

To find out more and experience our facilities first-hand, visit us at an Open Day or take a virtual tour.

Our staff

Find out more about our staff.


What we're researching

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), a six-yearly national review of higher education research, underlined the quality and impact of our work.

An impressive 50 per cent of the research we’re undertaking in the field of Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts was judged to be either ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’.

Our Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD) has become an international centre for research in the performing arts and supports research that is concerned with political, philosophical, cultural, ethical, socially-engaged and community applied issues.

All of our academics are teachers, practitioners and researchers. Dr Sheila Preston, our Head of Performing Arts, co-published with Tim Prentki The Applied Theatre Reader, which is the key text book on undergraduate and postgraduate courses nationally and internationally.

Dr Dominic Hingorani, Course Leader for the MA Acting and Theatre Directing degrees, is also an accomplished writer, director and producer who runs his own theatre company and recently toured the country with a production of his latest play, Guantanamo Boy. He’s also co-artistic director of Brolly Productions - a cross-arts performance company that engages new and diverse audiences.

He has long-standing research interests in theatre for young audiences and British Asian theatre, focusing on issues of marginalisation and exclusion from the narrative of the nation. He’s the author of British Asian Theatre: Dramaturgy, Process and Performance.

Lecturer Jorge Lopes Ramos is joint artistic director of internationally acclaimed Zecora Ura, an independent theatre company based in east London and Rio de Janeiro since 2001.

Jorge creates playful theatrical structures that allow for a participatory, immersive and interactive experience. He focuses his professional practice and research on the unspoken contract between the audience and the actor, which is underpinned by his work on the dramaturgy of participation.


Our courses will set you up to take full advantage of the demand for innovation in creative and technical practice across the private and public sectors.

We’ve produced actors, arts administrators, teachers, broadcast journalists, advertisers, designers and scriptwriters, music producers, sound designers and DJs. One of our Applied Theatre graduates went to work as an assistant director for National Theatre of Wales and now runs his own theatre company. One of our Urban Dance graduates featured on TV’s Got to Dance. Some of our music graduates have signed to an independent record label.

When you consider the range of careers that just a small cross-section of our students have gone into since graduating, anything seems possible.

At UEL, you’ll have access to:

  • Employability skills training such as interview techniques and CV writing.
  • Gradscore, a groundbreaking electronic tool that allows you to complete a mock application and find out if you’d be shortlisted for interview. It has been created exclusively for UEL with help from leading employers and employability experts.
  • UEL Skills Academy, where external professionals deliver sessions on the competencies most prized by graduate employers.
  • Internships, placements and volunteering opportunities from our work placements team.
  • Professional mentoring scheme, matching students with staff from major companies.
  • Networking opportunities and annual careers fair.
  • Support with setting up your own business.

Our location in one of Europe’s largest regeneration areas and our extensive links to local employers will also give you access to fantastic internships and placements. From heavy industry to high-tech, health and social care to the arts, there are so many opportunities right on our doorstep.

Work placements

We always keep your future career in mind. We’re affiliated to the Association of Illustrators and the Associations of Photographers, while our photography department also has industry links with Ilford, Canon, Calumet, Metro and Manfrotto.

You can follow our students who have gone on to succeed in the arts world in diverse roles such as choreographers, actors, dancers, composers, sound artists, songwriters, arts education officers, event organisers, teachers and community artists.

Undergraduate courses

Postgraduate courses

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