Performing Arts

  • Explore your creativity

    Establish your own technique to flourish as a unique artist because we believe in developing individuals

  • Pursue your passion

    Develop your skills to a professional level, learn about the creative industries and secure the skills employers are looking for

  • Take the stage

    Stanwix Theatre is the premier performance space for our students. Over 250 shows are staged at our theatre per year, including visiting professional productions.

Do you love drama, acting, performing, singing and dancing? Welcome home.

Home to two theatres, with the main theatre seating almost 200 people, the Institute of Arts here at the University of Cumbria is a special place for the study, practice and enjoyment of performing arts. It's a drama school at heart, so you will feel at home here.


Our students are taught by experts with a wealth of experience and industry connections. They also benefit from theatre research trips; visiting directors and choreographers from leading national performances; enviable studio facilities for rehearsing, practising and project activities as well as lectures; and most importantly, our end of course ‘Show Stopper’, when we host two auditioning events in London and Manchester and invite talent management agencies as well as theatre companies to preview the talent graduating from our Institute of Arts.


Close to the city centre of Carlisle in a beautiful, leafy setting, our campus is everything you need to inspire your creativity and our hand-on courses are at least two thirds focused on the development of your practical skills.


If you love performing, acting and musical theatre, we've got you. Study Performance Arts at the University of Cumbria and let your passion become your career. See you there.


93% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2018).

Performing Arts courses

Career Prospects with a Performing Arts Degree

Our aim is to develop your professional knowledge and skills in order for you to forge a career in the relevant industry, be that theatre, media, education, technical or stage management.


In addition, we have students who discover skills at university that help them go on to be directors, writers, designers and choreographers. Performing Arts graduates also have great communication and team-working skills and are in high demand in many creative, problem-solving or public-facing roles.


Graduates from our various courses have gone on to work in the West End, in Touring Theatres, in TV and Film and in community and education.


But don't take our word for it. Our graduate and Alumnus of the Year, Katie Slavin-Trower, tells her story studying at Cumbria and how Performing Arts changed her life.



Browse our Performing Arts courses


Working with Industry Professionals

Our experienced staff have professional backgrounds in relevant areas and a strong commitment to nurture all our students to realise their potential.


In addition, all our performance work is directed by visiting practitioners currently working in the industry. So you have an excellent chance to experience the “real world” and make contacts for future placements and jobs. At any one time there are six to eight artists-in-residence, directors, musical directors and choreographers working at our Institute of Arts.


Meet the Team

Why study Performing Arts at the University of Cumbria?

More about the Stanwix Theatre


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Hear about our performances, what is happening at the Institute of Arts and be part of the conversation.


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