Learning Theatre

Performing Arts at Derby has never been more exciting!

students working back stage at Derby Theatre

When you study at the University of Derby you will have direct access to the resources of Derby Theatre a professional theatre in the city centre owned by the university of Derby and funded through a unique partnership between Arts Council England and the University. This is a unique venue leading the way as a ‘Learning Theatre’ offering a resource for training, mentorship and artistic excellence.  The Theatre produces professional theatre for the audiences of Derby and beyond and the academic team works alongside the Theatre team and students from across the School of Arts, studying Contemporary Theatre and Performance, Technical Theatre, Film Production, Music and Dance all of whom benefit from have a truly unique learning experience.

Students study, work and perform in this nationally renowned producing theatre, and learn by working alongside professionals on top quality performances. Students gain experience, which enable them to form their own theatre companies and pursue professional roles, emerging as new talent, mentored by Derby Theatre and the academic team.  

Previous students have sat in on professional rehearsals, assisted with the youth theatre programme, worked with the professional technical team, assisted the marketing team and take on roles across the theatre learning from the professionals. Many students are now working professionally in the industry, some at Derby Theatre and others at venues across the UK.

This joint endeavour also enables students to take part in workshops with world class visiting artists to the theatre.   For example, our recent workshops and residencies have provided students with skills and experiences working with Gecko, Headlong and Pilot Theatre as well as taking a role alongside our artistic and technical teams on home-grown Derby Theatre productions. Once students have trained we support them entering the first stages of a professional theatre career through graduate internships and a comprehensive artist development programme.

BA (Hons) Theatre Arts

Our single honours degree course is a vibrant and exciting programme taught by practising professional artists with expertise in their own specialist fields.

We'll encourage you to consider theatre from many perspectives and we'll offer you the opportunity to explore different elements of working practice related to Theatre Arts.

During the course you will encounter a range of practices including acting, directing, applied drama, writing for performance, technical theatre and promotional/administration work in theatre production.

Performance opportunities

You will also take part in public performances in the main house of Derby Theatre, in studio based productions and at off-site specialist community environments and schools (if you choose the Applied Drama modules). Public performance is an integral part of this course and there is also the opportunity to be involved in extra-curricular activity at the Theatre such as performances and workshops with the theatre team.

We work regularly with other partners, such as Buxton Opera House (with whom we regularly co-produce performances such as the Shakespeare in the Dome project) and participate in festivals (such as Edinburgh Fringe Festival, National Student Festivals and the Buxton Fringe Festival).

Learn more on the Derby Theatre website