Performing Arts

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Do you have an interest in performing? Do you want to be a part of many productions, gain experience and increase your abilities in acting, performance and theatre design? If you want to develop your skills and become the best you can be in the field then this could be a great course for you. 

What is Performing Arts?

Performing Arts covers fields of acting, performance and theatre design while allowing you to develop your skills, confidence and experience in the area. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas: 

  • Performing Arts – IT Sligo


  • Musical Theatre
  • Musical Theatre & Dance
  • Music/Modern Language
  • Music with Drama
  • Music Production
  • Music, Film and Drama

Studying Performing Arts in college

Performing Arts is a course offered by IT Sligo. It is a Level 8, four year course that will give students the opportunity to to develop their skills and knowledge in acting, performing and theatre design. There are other sitar courses available as well as PLC courses that might give you an idea of if this is the right area for you. 

Your first year of any undergraduate course will act as a foundation year. You will become familiar with the basic principles of Performing Arts. You will also become familiar with what is to come throughout your course and develop your skills and interest in different areas. The main skills you will learn are acting, theatre design, cultural studies and many transferable skills. 

In your first year you will be introduced to basic principles and become familiar with the main areas you will build on throughout your course. You will study different areas from acting, theatre design, voice and movement and cultural studies to digital media, performance analysis and directing. 

Your second year will introduce you to more complex and in depth information and areas of study. At this point you will begin to choose the area you want to study. You will choose between either acting or theatre design as well as studying cultural studies and directing common to both strands. 

Your third year will introduce you to theatre and film industries as well as participating in a work placement for 4-6 weeks in a place of your choice. Examples of places you can work will include the Abbey Theatre, CBC Television and many more as well as other theater companies across Europe and the US.

Your fourth year will see you focus on your professional placement to gain experience in the field and become familiar with the working world of Performing Arts which will help you to highlight the main areas of your interest or areas you want to improve on. You will gain feedback and advice from specialists as well as work with other students alike.

The above information is based on the course offered by IT Sligo. Other similar courses may differ in their course content or structure. 

Career options

There are a number of options to choose from in this career path. Theatre Design is a large area of employment you will be qualified in to work in TV or film design as well as stage design. You will also have career opportunities in acting and become an employable and entrepreneurial self-managing artist. 

There is also the opportunity to study a postgraduate course of your choice to specialise in a particular area of your interest as well as opportunities in education and research. There are also opportunities in setting up your own acting school, design company and more. 

Skills and qualities that are important in this area include excellent creativity skills, confident, disciplined, excellent communication skills, the ability to work well with others, organisation skills, time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure. You will also need a creative streak. 

Related Jobs

  • Theatre Designer 
  • TV/Film Designer
  • Actor 
  • Musical Theatre Performer
  • Stage Dancer
  • Singer
  • Arts Administrator
  • Director 


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule. Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

Specific courses may have their own requirements. Certain QQI courses may be accepted. 

The points needed to study this course in Performing Arts in IT Sligo was 328 points last year. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • Broadway was earlier known as The Great White Way
  • Phantom has changed 15 times in the last 30 years
  • Theatre Design enhances the experience the audience can have at a performance.


Student Grant Scheme 

Course information

Careers with a Performing Arts Degree

Aedín Dunne

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