Find out more about studying on the BA Performance & Creative Enterprise from students and tutors in the video above.
BA (Hons) Performance & Creative Enterprise
In association with the Barbican Centre
Three years full-time | New from entry 2015 | gsmd.ac.uk/pace
About the course
The Performance and Creative Enterprise degree is aimed at artists from a range of music and theatre backgrounds - including musicians, composers, theatre makers, devisors, spoken word artists, beatboxers and poets - who want to develop their performance, production, collaboration and leadership skills for employment in the arts industry.
Through cross-artform projects, you will collaborate, communicate and lead in a range of cultural and socially-engaged contexts. The programme will develop your curiosity, stimulate your imagination and help you to generate original work, while preparing you for life in the professional arts industry, with a strong focus on entrepreneurship and employability.
The programme focuses on the following areas:
- developing your own individual artistic craft through bespoke training (one-to-one lessons and mentoring)
- working as part of a cross-arts company, creating new work which is live, recorded and digital
- collaborating with people in a range of community settings (e.g. schools, hospitals and healthcare, criminal justice), creating participatory and socially-engaged artistic work
- cultivating employability through developing creative enterprise skills, including project management, fundraising and budgeting, pitching proposals, marketing and online resources
How we teach
The programme is taught through on-site specialist training and mentoring, and through real world off-site projects and placements. Delivered in association with the Barbican Centre through the Creative Learning Department, a joint department with the Guildhall School, the programme features guest artists and tutors from across the Barbican and Guildhall School’s roster such as poets Jacob Sam-La Rose and Rick Holland, director and playwright Matthew Dunster, digital artists and Just Jam organisers Tim & Barry, MOBO award-winning singer Zara McFarlane, and internationally renowned music educationalist Paul Griffiths.
Other examples might include beatboxer Shlomo, and the Barbican’s Associate companies Complicite, Boy Blue Entertainment and Told by an Idiot.
Year 1: Experiments and Explorations
The first year gives you space to experiment and create new work, while learning fundamental skills such as being part of a company and helping to deliver socially-engaged work. Modules include:
- Starting Out, The Identity Project: personal story telling and autobiography, creating work together as a company which leads to short performance pieces. Workshops include stage presence, group formation, devising and improvising techniques.
- Collaborative Performance Project: working as a company, deepening your collaborative skills, and devising new work. Visiting guest artists will share a range of working practices with you, and you will link with Creative Learning’s Dialogue festival.
- Outside In: this introduces you to the notions of participatory and socially-engaged practice. Through a series of lectures and seminars, practical workshops and off-site observations, you will gain an understanding of both theory and practice. You will participate and co-lead in a range of community contexts including hospitals, schools, the criminal justice system, and working with the elderly.
- PREP (Practice, Reflection, Enterprise, Portfolio): 30 hours of one-to-one lessons developing your individual craft; 10 hours of one-to-one mentoring sessions developing your ideas and ambitions; workshops on developing a reflective practice and giving/receiving useful feedback; seminars on project management skills and pitching proposals; keeping an artist’s sketchbook as a journal of your learning and experiences; starting a multi-media portfolio (to be developed over the three years).
Year 2: Developments and Discoveries
In the second year, you will use your new knowledge and skills to deliver more advanced projects, including off-site participatory work, site-specific performance, and working to a commission. Modules include:
- Inside Out: two off-site projects, where you collaborate in smaller groups and lead the planning, devising and delivery of the projects, mentored by experienced professionals. These projects will range from work in healthcare, with the elderly, in schools, in housing estates and community groups, with young people and within the criminal justice system.
- Pop Up Performance: a short performance project where students lead on devising a piece of creative work which is then toured and performed off-site in a range of different contexts. You will be asked to create work which is technically and artistically appropriate for unusual spaces, blending collaborative and socially-engaged practice skills.
- Commission: This module further extends the notion of the creative entrepreneur, providing a real-world scenario and contact with the industry. An industry professional or organisation sets a brief to work towards a ‘professional’ commission: for example, a piece of work which responds to an exhibition in the Barbican Art Gallery and develops a wider audience for the exhibition at the same time.
- PREP: this module continues and deepens the work from the first year. You will further develop your artistic technique and creative mastery, and will learn how to deal with multiple stakeholders, fundraising, managing budgets, marketing and contracts.
Year 3: Placements and the Profession
By your final year, you will be expected to lead and curate artistic collaborations, both as an individual and as part of a company. You will also benefit from a work placement in a relevant organisation, and take specific career preparation sessions. Modules include:
- The Residency: students take part in a residency, off-site and out of London, which takes the shape of a lab for experimentation. Examples of residencies might include working with participants from Culture Tech (digital), Verbal Arts and Wall2Wall Music in Derry, Ireland or an ecologically focused residency with Schumacher College in Dartington. You will be expected to drive the artistic collaboration with support from professional artists as mentors and co-participants.
- Final Project: this module runs over two terms and is split into three components:
- Placement: you will spend 150 hours in an organisation relevant to your skills, interests and ambitions.
- Enquiry: an opportunity for you to delve more deeply into a particular area of your artistic practice, which can be presented in a range of forms e.g. presentation, exhibition, written, digital.
- Performance: you develop a project, using collaborators of your choosing, leading to a performance at a final student-curated showcase festival.
- PREP: here you culminate your learning from across the programme into a cohesive ‘calling card’ to the industry. You will identify your own individual voice and artistic vision. There is a strong focus on career preparation, including refining your online/digital resources and career plan.
Find out more
Download the guide to applying
Did you know?
Did you know that we offer application fee waivers for this programme? Find out more and see whether you're eligible for one here.