Careers and employability

Student at desk

A degree in theatre and performance equips you with the skills you need to pursue a career in the cultural and creative industries. You’ll develop strong research and analytical skills and become a confident communicator with the ability to collaborate with others and work independently.

Our graduates have gone on to pursue a wide variety of careers in many different sectors including writing, performing, directing, production, events management, television and film, digital media, arts administration, marketing, cultural policy, PR, community arts, education and dramatherapy.

As part of your studies, you'll have access to many opportunities to help with your career prospects including a range of industry talks, networking events and placement opportunities. You can also support your fellow students as a Peer Mentor or represent them at course or school level by acting as a student representative or sitting on the student-staff forum.

As a student in our School you can also choose to take a year out in your third year to use your theatre skills volunteering with external organisations within the creative and cultural industries as part of your degree. This option will extend you degree to four years. Many of our students have volunteered with local community groups and small arts organisations to help support their development.

You can also choose to complete a two week placement as part of our optional industry study module.

Many of our graduates go on to postgraduate study, either here at Leeds or elsewhere. We offer a range of Masters degrees that allow you to explore an area of interest in greater depth and enhance your graduate employability.

External links and partnerships

The School has a wide range of external links with leading arts and cultural organisations including;

  • National and international touring theatre companies, DV8 Physical Theatre, Red Ladder and Blah Blah Blah

  • Leeds Playhouse (with which the University has a formal partnership)

  • Award-winning national opera company Opera North (with which the University has a formal partnership)

  • Leeds based companies including; Slung Low, Invisible Flock, Riptide, Manic Chord, Phoenix Dance Theatre, City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds Grand Theatre

  • TV film and digital companies and organisations: Channel 4, BBC, Limehouse Productions, Human VR, Live Cinema UK, Megaverse, XR Stories

  • Independent artists and producers, Fuel Theatre, Louise Ann Wilson Company, IOU

  • Regional and city-based events including; Compass Festival, Leeds Light Night, Transform Festival, Yorkshire Festival, Leeds2023, Kendal Mountain Festival, Furnace Festival 

Careers support

There is a huge variety of careers support available across the School and University including;

  • the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in industry for a year by undertaking an industrial placement
  • experience life in another culture by choosing the option to study abroad in your third year
  • develop entrepreneurial skills or start your own business with help from our Enterprise Centre and SPARK Business Start-up service
  • over 300 student-led clubs and societies, where you can develop valuable skills and broaden your life experience.

Lifelong Learning Centre

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The Lifelong Learning Centre provides support for mature and part-time learners across the University, including advice on how to apply to university and support throughout your studies.