Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (Acting)

  • NFQ Level 7
  • Points Required 235*
  • Course Code SG236
  • Award Ordinary Bachelor Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 3

Course Summary

This course is designed to provide graduates with the skills to work as actors in theatre, film and television. Coursework includes skills classes, workshops, masterclasses from industry professionals and performances in the Institute’s Black Box theatre.

Throughout the three years you will be introduced to the main acting genres and be given a range of approaches to acting. In addition to vocal and movement skills, you will learn how to create characterisation. Although we will want to see you develop as a creative individual, you will also learn to be part of an ensemble.

Although the training is essentially practical, it is important that an actor learns how to intellectually engage with the text and become an informed actor. To this end, Cultural and Performance Studies will engage you with cultural and historical backgrounds and will explore a range from textual analysis to performance art.

In addition to an experienced staff, you will work with other industry professionals in masterclasses and workshops to extend your range of approaches to self, text and audience.

With a programme which has been endorsed by the industry, you would be choosing to study on a course which is committed to your future employment, which will let you work closely with other would-be developing professionals and which will give you the skills you will need for your future in the industry.


This foundation year introduces the students to the collaborative disciplines essential to making theatre and performance, including acting, theatre design, directing and performance/cultural studies.


The second year in Acting focuses on a variety of acting skills assessed through performance.Students will be exposed to a range of dramatic genres, acting styles and plays, from the classics through modern to contemporary works; and they will explore a range of approaches to acting.

Cultural/Performance Studies introduce students to a variety of visual, literacy and critical faculties from a range of cultural and historical backgrounds. Plays, film, productions and live performance are considered from practical and academic contexts.


The focus of the Acting modules shifts to considering the relationship between the actor and audience. Students engage in a variety of performance contexts and spaces outside of the Institute.

Cultural/Performance Studies: Students critically engage in theoretical and practical learning across a range of areas including postmodernism, gender theory, post-dramatic performance and post-colonialism.


A new creative teaching hub for the North West of Ireland will include state of the art performance facilities including two large black box theatres/studios, production design studios, costume design studios, computer aided design and fabrication studios and dance/rehearsal spaces. The facilities will make studying Performing Arts at the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture an especially rewarding experience leading to great employment prospects in the expanding Film, TV and Theatre creative industries.

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:

Please 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 strong demand for qualified practitioners in the theatre and film industries. Graduates will be qualified to work either as an actor in film and TV, or alternatively in a range of areas across the performing arts, teaching, or careers in the broader cultural context (e.g. graduates have founded new theatre companies, written plays, etc.)

Further Study

Graduates may progress to the final year of the Level 8 BA (Hons) in Performing Arts.

BA (Hons) in Performing Arts

Upon completion of the Level 8 degree, graduates 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 can study the Master of Arts in Creative Practice here at IT Sligo.

Master of Arts in Creative Practice


“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) in 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?

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

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.

Coursework takes full advantage of the Institute’s close ties with Sligo’s arts community, including the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company, Model Arts Centre and the Hawk’s Well Theatre.

Mathematics is not a requirement to study this programme.