Performing Arts

The success of any nation can be measured by its cultural output. That output generates enormous income which in turn enhances greatly the lives of all citizens. Not only are the arts of great monetary benefit to a nation, the impact on national psyche and the wellbeing of its people is immeasurable. In Scotland alone, the creative industries generate a turnover in excess of £5.2 billion and employ over 58,600 people.

Why QMU?

What better place to study the arts than the Festival City. The Edinburgh International Festival (the jewel in the nation’s artistic crown), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (the world’s largest arts festival), the Edinburgh International Book Festival (the largest celebration of the written word in the world), the International Film Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, plus the national companies and an abundance of innovative theatre and dance companies all wait to be explored.

Our courses are relevant, stimulating, challenging and practical. Our staff team is award winning and includes many dedicated industry professionals and practitioners, all of whom have strong, current industry connections.

Our graduates can be found across stage and screen. For example, River City, Scot Squad, Nina & the Neurones, Casualty, The Tunnel, Doctor Who, Merlin, Grey’s Anatomy, The Night Manager, and The One Show have all featured QMU acting talent. Our graduates are to be found at the top of performing arts companies around the world, lobbying for the creative industries at all levels. They generate social and cultural value through education, outreach and community theatre. They strive to ensure that costume in film, TV, and on the stage is of the highest quality. Quite simply, they strive for excellence in everything they do.

Our approach to learning and teaching

Our approach to learning has, at its core, a very clear philosophy: experiential learning leading to individual reflection, self-discipline and excellence. We ensure that the recognition of the history and traditions of performance and the understanding of theoretical contexts is at the very heart of learning. We aim to challenge conventional assumptions and encourage our students to embrace a variety of aesthetic practices and develop collaborative partnerships that will feed the industry of the future.

Teaching includes not only traditional lectures and tutorials, but also creative workshops, opportunities to work on live performances in a variety of roles, and invaluable sector-based learning opportunities. There are core modules at the heart of each of the courses complemented by options that enable students to specialise in areas relevant to their future career paths. Our programmes develop students who examine the creative process closely, find their own style, develop their consciousness and become forward thinking and ready to take a leading role in Scotland’s creative industries.


Our staff are actively involved in research, scholarship and professional practice, ensuring course content is up to date and relevant. You will be taught by staff who are active practitioners in their own right and who maintain very close links with the industry, as well as publishing in academic journals.

Career prospects

Our courses open up a multitude of career opportunities, ranging from creative practice to management, producing, teaching, directing, fund-raising and marketing. Our graduates go on to work in theatre, film and across the wider creative industries.

We prepare our students for the challenges of the 21st century and actively encourage entrepreneurial understanding and aspiration. We develop students who have a clear idea of their individual style, the knowledge and understanding to create and manage contemporary performances, and most importantly have connected to a passion that is unique to the individual.


Find out more information on how to apply for a course at QMU.


Each year QMU's BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction students put on a theatrical runway show which celebrates and showcases their work.

See our QMU Costume Showcase 2017 video below