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Study a graduate program in drama, dance and performance

What will I study in a graduate drama, dance and performance degree?
If you think you’ve got the skills to be the next Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie you are probably kidding yourself. However, getting a graduate drama, dance and performing arts program will refine your skills and put you on the path to Hollywood or Broadway stardom.
Postgraduate courses in drama and performing arts focus on developing your technical skills through lectures and performance work. You can also expect to improve your knowledge of different theoretical approaches to performance drama or dance as well developing production skills, such as writing, directing and producing.

Length of program

The length of a graduate drama, dance and performing arts program depends on where you study and how far you want to go into academia. Postgraduate courses generally last the following duration in these countries: 
  • UK – 1-2 years
  • US – 1-2 years
  • China – 1-3 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

Most graduate drama, dance and performing arts programs require students to have a background in performance, whether through a previous undergraduate degree, conservatoire training or professional acting or performance experience.

It may be possible to get on related courses such as screenwriting, theatre studies or scenography without a related qualification. You should always check with your chosen institution prior to applying.   

Career development

A postgraduate course in drama, dance and performing arts obviously lends itself to a future career in acting, films and theatre production. However, as with all creative industries, a qualification is not normally necessary to get ahead – talent is the driving factor.

What a postgraduate course can do is hone your existing skills and teach you new methods. Graduates will still have to audition in the same manner as those without qualifications – however the contacts you make can help you break through quicker.

Some of the jobs included in this field are:
  • Actor
  • Screen writer
  • Costume design
  • Theatre administration

Fees and funding

The cost of graduate drama, dance and performing arts programs varies widely from country to country and university to university. Remember that fees depend on whether you are a home, EU or international student. As a guide, expect to pay the following in these countries per year:
  • UK - £4,500 - £17,000
  • USA - $5,000 - $30,000
  • Germany  €2,000 - €5,000
  • Canada - $4,000-8,000
  • China – RMB 21,000-24,000

What to do next

If you would like more information about studying a graduate program in drama, dance and performing arts, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with information tailored to your needs, including some great courses in this area.