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How to begin your career with a Performing Arts degree

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Our Performing Arts courses are for true creatives with a bonafide passion in the industry. We place a strong emphasis on ensuring you have the skills and experience that will catch the eye of a wide range of employers and prepare you to start your career from the moment you graduate. As a result, our graduates have gone on to enjoy careers in a range of varied and diverse careers including performance, management, education and many more.

You will have access to a range of different schemes here and will be presented with opportunities to gain valuable real-life experience and skills to prepare you for the world of work. Taking full advantage of these could be key to beginning your career in the industry. We spoke to three recent graduates about how you can push yourself to the front of the queue in an increasingly competitive jobs market.

Janie Smith, BA (Hons) Dance Graduate

For Janie Smith, the ability to create, design and implement her own dance projects allowed her to improve upon her real-life skills and fulfil her dream of becoming a dance instructor following her graduation. “Studying here helped me develop the skills necessary for having a career in the Dance industry. It particularly prepared me for knowing what to expect working in this profession as some of the modules were geared towards gaining an insight into future work in this industry.
“We were given freedom to do a project whether that be setting up our own dance classes/workshops or creating a dance piece to perform to the public,” she adds. And Janie, who graduated in 2012, has one final crucial piece of advice for students: “Stay on top of your work so you don't cause yourself too much stress on deadline day and enjoy each and every second of your university experience.”

"Set up your own projects to gain experience and never let work get on top of you."

Lucy Eager, BA (Hons) Dance Graduate

Here at Sunderland, you will become a part of our own production company, working on creating, organising and performing shows in front of the public with fellow students. The opportunity to develop new skills in a variety of different roles within the company inspired Lucy to go on to complete a PGCE and make the move into education.

"We completed a unit where the entire dance student body acted and was ran like a professional dance company. We were all performers, however we each had specific company roles. I, for example, was company manager. You had the choice within this of which role you took on, from marketing to spokesperson, allowing you to develop your skills in the direction you wanted to go. My role allowed me to develop leadership skills and my professionalism which I am still developing today, however, my time on my degree gave me the confidence and the basic skills to start from.”

"Pick up new skills by being part of the University's authentic production company."

Emma Beswick, BA (Hons) Dance Graduate

Here at Sunderland, you can mix and match your modules to suit your own interests and passions, which enabled Emma Beswick to take a closer look at a variety of careers. “The great thing about the Performing Arts courses, was that you could tailor your modules to suit your needs and career aspirations. I chose modules and took opportunities that allowed me to teach in order to experience something different and I am able to use these to my advantage in the job that I am doing,” says Emma, who now leads her own Dance department at a Lincolnshire secondary school.

Our revered teaching team boast a range of experience and provide high-quality support, and Emma urges all students to take full advantage of the insight and expertise they can offer you. “I can honestly say that my lecturers were so supportive and there whenever I needed them. They continuously inspired me, and the love I had for my subject only increased with their help and support. I still remember and use the techniques they introduced me to and it has very much informed my practice as a dance practitioner and teacher.”

"Tailor your course to your own aspirations and build relationships with your lecturers - they're hugely knowledgeable."


Published: 12 September 2017