BA (Hons) in Performing Arts

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 328*
  • Course Code SG241
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary

We have developed this course in consultation with arts practitioners in Ireland and abroad. It has the support of nationally- and internationally-acclaimed theatre and film practitioners as well as major locally-based arts organisations including the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company, The Model Arts Centre and The Hawk’s Well Theatre.

This programme is unique in Ireland, offering tuition to Level 8 in the linked fields of acting/performance and theatre design. The design strand is linked to the Abbey Theatre, giving students access to rehearsals, technical departments, work placements and backstage.

A common first year gives students an overview of all areas of the performing arts. In Year 2 students choose either Acting or Theatre Design to specialise in. This flexibility to change direction allows students to figure out where their passion lies.

Year One

All students study acting, theatre design, voice and movement, cultural studies, digital media, performance analysis and directing.

Year Two

Students can can chose either acting or theatre design, with cultural studies and directing common to both strands.

Year Three

Students are introduced to the theatre and film industries by participating in a 4-6 week work placement of their choice, for example, at the Abbey Theatre, Blue Raincoat Theatre Company Sligo, CBC television (The Tudors) as well as in theatre companies across Europe and the United States.

Year Four

The focus is on professional practice. Leading practitioners from the industry discuss their work with students and offer specialist advice.

Key Skills

Acting - You will be exposed to a variety of genres, styles and play texts from the classics, exploring a range of approaches to acting. You will develop a range of skills; vocal, physical, intellectual and emotional, in order to create characterisation. You will work effectively and creatively in acting in collaboration with others. You will take part in a solo showcase and graduation show. You will be an employable and entrepreneurial self-managing artist in an increasingly diverse profession.

Theatre Design - You will develop skills in performance design disciplines, including visual research and awareness; text and character analysis; spatial exploration; costume design and model-making; technical drawing and imaging for stage and film. The emphasis is on developing imagination, creativity and visual awareness along with interpretive and collaborative skills. Specific disciplines include film, TV, dance, opera, performance art and music video. You will collaborate with professional directors, prepare a portfolio of work and exhibit in the graduation exhibition.

Cultural Studies - Cultural Studies introduces you to a variety of visual, literacy and critical faculties from a range of cultural and historical backgrounds. The exploration of text to modes of performance is examined, including play texts, film, productions and performance art as well as visual and material culture.

Transferable Skills - You will develop generic and transferable skills such as research, critical thinking, analysis, written and verbal communication. Graduates can work both as creative individuals and as part of a team.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at IT Sligo are available for download below:

Mathematics is not required to study this degree.

Garda vetting:

You should note that all entrants to this course will be required to undergo vetting by the Garda Síochána. If you have a criminal conviction in Ireland or elsewhere, this may adversely impact on your ability to undertake a professional placement or to secure employment in the field of Performing Arts.

Career Opportunities

There is a steady demand for qualified practitioners in the theatre and film industries. Graduates will be qualified to work either as an actor or designer for theatre, film and TV, or alternatively in a range of areas across the performing arts and creative industries in Ireland and abroad.

Theatre Design: You will be employable in a range of careers in theatre design, TV and film design and related professions. Each year a graduate specialising in Theatre Design will receive a bursary from the Institute to take up a six month residency at the Abbey Theatre, called the Yeats Design Residency.

Acting: You will be an employable and entrepreneurial self-managing artist in an increasingly diverse profession.

Further Study

You can continue to a Higher Diploma in Education, Master of Arts, Masters of Education, MPhil in Theatre and Performance or embark on a PhD. Graduates may continue their studies with IT Sligo in the Master of Arts in Creative Practice.

Master of Arts in Creative Practice

Testimonials

“My qualification has given me the opportunity to build great connections with many other people working in the Arts. I gained priceless skills which I have used to build and maintain my theatre company.” 

Treasa Nealon, graduate of BA (Hons) Performing Arts, Theatre Maker/Actor Rabbit’s Riot Theatre Company 

"The course is brilliant! It was everything I expected and more. Class sizes are small so you get to know your classmates and lecturers. The lecturers are amazing and always there to provide support and encouragement. Everyone does a common first year, which is great for people who are a little unsure if they prefer acting or theatre design. You make great connections and get opportunities to work with top professionals from the industry"

Caoimhe Cassidy, BA (Hons) in Performing Arts

“The best thing about this course is you learn so much both academically and personally. The modules in first year are very varied, no two days are the same. It is a different style of learning, something you cannot learn from any textbook. The course is challenging but very rewarding. The lecturers are a huge support. Performing Arts is a course where your confidence will increase without you realising it while learning skills that are transferrable for many work places.”

Stacey Flaherty, BA (Hons) in Performing Arts

Did you know?

A common first year gives students an overview of all areas of the performing arts. In Year 2 students choose either Acting or Theatre Design to specialise in. This flexibility to change direction allows students to figure out where their passion lies.

Students are encouraged to take up short work placements in their third year. This allows them to create industry contacts and gain first-hand professional experience. Work placements take place in a variety of places such as schools, radio stations, arts centres and theatre companies. Work placements have included the Abbey Theatre, Blue Raincoat Theatre Company Sligo, CBC television (The Tudors) as well as in theatre companies across Europe and the United States. 

Theatre strand students on this programme can apply for a six-month Yeats Design Residency at the Abbey Theatre. Our unique partnership with the Abbey Theatre introduces core skills in all forms of stagecraft, including directing, lighting design and digital projection.

The Theatre strand is also linked with the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia where our students spend one week, intensively studying set, lighting and costume. Guest lecturers, well known in industry, visit and share expertise

The Acting strand has partnered with Debrecen University in Hungary where our acting students may go for two weeks of masterclasses in voice, movement and acting.

Mathematics is not required to study this degree.

Course Format

Semester 1

TitleCredits
Introduction to Drama and Literature05
Literature: The Critical Voice05
Acting 1 Introduction to Acting 05
Studio Skills 1 for Performing Arts05
Design for Performance 1 - Introduction to Set Design05
Introduction to Voice and Movement 105

Semester 2

TitleCredits
Introduction to Technical Theatre05
Digital Media for Performing Arts 105
Design for Performance 2 - Introduction to Costume Design05
Greek Theatre05
Introduction to Directing 105
Acting 2 Actors Work on Text05

Semester 3

TitleCredits
Film Studies05
Experimental Literature, Drama and Writing05
Visual and Material Culture 1 (Introduction & Historical Survey) [E]05
Voice and Movement 2 [E]05
Technical Theatre 2 (Production) [E]05
Acting 3 Playing Heightened and Poetic Text [E]05
Theatre Design 1 [E]05
Theatre Design Studio Skills 2 [E]05
Digital Media for Performing Arts 2 (Design) [E]05

Semester 4

TitleCredits
Modernism in Drama and Literature05
Facilitation and Drama05
Directing 205
Acting 4. Acting Techniques and Styles  [E]05
Physical Theatre [E]05
Devised Theatre [E]05
Studio Skills 3 (Introduction to CAD for Theatre Design) [E]05
Theatre Design 2 [E]05
Digital Media for Performing Arts 3 (Design) [E]05

Semester 5

TitleCredits
Live Art and Performance 05
Directing 3 - postmodern theatre05
Postmodernism in Drama and Literature05
Voice and Movement 3 [E]05
Acting 5 (for Production) [E]10
Costume Design for Stage and Screen [E]05
Theatre Design (for Production) [E]05
Studio Skills 4 (CAD for Theatre Design: 3D Modelling) [E]05

Semester 6

TitleCredits
Lighting Design and Digital Theatre10
Semester 6 - Creative Writing Practice05
Acting to Camera [E]05
Acting 6 Acting for production 2 [E]10
Theatre Design (for Production 2) [E]15

Semester 7

TitleCredits
Dissertation10
Global Shakespeares05
Acting 6 Audition Show [E]10
Voice and Movement 4 [E]05
Theatre Design 3 Design for Performance Adv [E]10
Theatre Design Studio Skills 5 (advanced) [E]05

Semester 8

TitleCredits
Irish Theatre 'Then and Now'05
Professional Practice in Performing Arts05
Theatre Design 4 Design for Performance (Graduation) [E]15
Theatre Design Studio Skills 6 (professional studio) [E]05
The Yeats Project [E]05
Acting 7 Graduation Show [E]15

[E] = Elective Module. Modules subject to availability.