Fine Art Performance BA(Hons)


Image: Hannah Wasileski, 4-screen video performance reconstructing Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden'. Selected for presentation at the National Review of Live Art.

The College of Arts and Humanities is currently refreshing its provision of performance degrees and will not be offering specific Performance and Visual Art or Fine Art Performance BA(Hons) for the coming application cycle.

For students keen to consider how performance informs their practice, we have many courses that allow for performance-centred work across art, design or media. You may like to consider: Fine Art: Critical Practice ; Fine Art: Sculpture ; Interior Architecture ; Digital Music and Sound Art ; Moving Image or Digital Film.  

Our expert staff in theatre, dance and music inform modules in a range of courses and are an integral part of our fine art research and masters programmes. 

We offer a practice-based course that helps you to explore performance in relation to:

  • the physical and virtual body
  • the physical and social architecture of space and situations 
  • the participation of individuals, audiences and communities.

The Fine Art Performance BA(Hons) course helps you to develop the practical skills and critical vocabulary to make your own creative work and prepares you to think critically, show initiative and independence, demonstrate confidence and adapt to a range of diverse circumstances.

The course offers three main areas for making work:

Performance & Media - addressing performance in relation to forms and modes of (re)presentation including photography, drawing, video, sculpture, sound, internet and social media.

Performance, Audience & Site - addressing performance in relation to audience as viewer, listener, participant and community. You will have the opportunity to present your own work across a range of sites where audiences meet the artist and the artwork, these include the gallery, the exhibition, the stage and the screen.

Performance in Time & Space - addressing the interplay between performance, environments, temporality and architecture.

Immersive environments, participatory interactions, live presence and choreographed screen and sound are among the approaches that are explored in relationship to temporal and spatial structures.

You will be studying with a team of tutor/ practitioners who work across different arts practices for example, live performance, site-specific intervention, installation, screen-based practices, voice, sound and music, drawing, choreographic practices, puppetry and devised theatre.

The work of your tutors is multi-disciplinary, and situated at the crossroads bridging Performance Art, Fine Art and the Performing Arts (Music, Dance and Theatre).


Key facts

UCAS code

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individual offers may vary

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The fees listed here are for full-time courses for the upcoming academic year only. Further fees are payable for subsequent years of study.

The tuition fee you have to pay depends on a number of factors including the kind of course you take, whether you study full- or part-time and whether or not you already have a higher education qualification. If you are studying part-time you will normally be charged on a pro rata basis depending on the number of modules you take. Different rules apply to research degrees - contact the course team for up-to-date information.

Visit for more information, including advice on international and island fee paying status, and the government's Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) policy.



Hannah Nicholls from university of brighton degree dance course Performance and Visual Art (dance) Image: Hannah Nicholls, 'Dress Undress'

The first year of study comprises of the following:

Two performance as practice modules:  

Semester 1: Performing Liveness

Semester 2: Mediated Performance

You will experience practical workshops, seminars and tutorials to support your learning. You will be asked to develop your own areas of interest through live performative work. You will be challenged to address questions of live and mediated performance, which may include testing the boundaries between the live and the virtual body, questioning the role of temporality and space in performance, exploring the representation of performance and the body on screen. You will receive a thorough induction to the course media resources, workshops and performance studios.

Historical and Critical Studies  I

You will join with fine art students in painting, printmaking, sculpture and critical practice for a series of lectures and seminars to address key works, theories and contexts within the fine art and performance traditions.

The second year of study comprises of the following:

Two performance as practice modules:  

Semester 1: Performance as Agency  

Semester 2:  Living Structures  

You continue to develop and broaden your skills and knowledge of performance. You will sharpen your academic and practical understanding of the relations between fine art and performance. You will consider and make work in relation to different spheres of social, cultural and personal life. This may include an investigation of the public and the private, the individual and the collective, the real and the virtual in relation to performance and audiences engagement. Through our networks and partnerships with local and regional performance agencies, you will have the opportunity to make and present work in real professional contexts.

Semester 1 & 2: Historical and Critical Studies II

Building upon the first year of study, you continue to work alongside students in painting, printmaking, sculpture and critical practice for a series of lectures and seminars to address key works, theories and contexts within the fine art and performance tradition.  You will also begin to map out your own field of interest and begin to prepare a set of scholarly questions which will be developed in the final year of study.

Semester 1: College of Arts and Humanities Optional Module

You have the opportunity to step outside the Fine Art Performance course and take a module in one of the many courses that are offered within the School of Arts, Design and Media. This allows you to develop a whole new set of skills and knowledge, meet with staff from outside of  your course and learn alongside students from across the entire school.

The third year of study comprises of the following:

Research Essay Project

This modules builds upon the HCS II modules of the second year. You develop and complete an extensive piece of academic writing that relates to your area of interest. This module is taught primarily through seminars and one-to-one tutorials.

Research, Documentation and Professional Practice

You are given the opportunity to learn skills and knowledge in relation to presenting yourself to the professional world. You will be challenged to produce a high level of professional skills in the documentation and archiving of your work, strategies for developing real and virtual audiences for your work. You will meet with professional artists and practitioners within the cultural and arts industries.

Semester 1 & 2: Final Project

You will dedicate a significant proportion of your time throughout the final year to creating and developing a single or body of practical work, which is presented to the public at the point of assessment. The platforms, situations and contexts for the presentation of your work will be driven by the interests of the student and the guidance of tutors.



PAVA seminar group 

Fine Art Performance at the University of Brighton College of Arts and Humanities offers an experiential learning environment. You will have a direct encounter with the making and development of creative works, in tandem with the development of contextual and critical thinking.

The emphasis on process, self-evaluation and self-reflective exercises, live performance and collaborations, field and studio workshops, and personal development, stem from the guiding principle that research through experimentation and investigation offers you the opportunity for substantive intellectual and practical learning experiences which endure and reach beyond graduation into adult life and throughout the development of their professional careers.

The context for learning within the university has rapidly expanded within recent years, student blogs and discussion boards extend the network of associates and broaden fields of reference and dialogue. Our students have used online services to document soundwalks, extend seminar discussions, critique and evaluate the work-in-progress of peers, and self-evaluate their own learning experiences. They have also used the online learning environment, studentcentral, for uploading, storing and sharing video files of workshops, field projects, exhibitions and performances.

Processes for making work in performance often overlap but also often differ from the set of working processes that occur within visual art practices. In broad historical terms, performance art lends itself easily to collaborative processes and working in groups, whilst methodologies rooted in traditional visual art practices tend to be more solitary and individualised.

As a performance student you will have the opportunity to explore the varied methods associated with both these processes in the development of your art practice, and will ultimately be required to consolidate your own working methods in a manner which best fits the nature and characteristics of their practice.

The teaching model oscillates between learning in groups through workshops and seminars, and learning as an individual through periods of independent study and one-to-one tutorials. Your development takes place within two broadly defined categories: the learning of conceptual & thinking skills; and the learning of practical skills. These occur in both group and individual learning models.

Students discovering Pieter Vogel sculpture 

Independent Learners and Learning in Groups

Throughout years 1,2 and 3 you will have the opportunity to experience the similarities and differences between independent learning and learning within groups. You will be encouraged to reflect on the dynamic of social responsibilities and personal commitments which differentiate these two modes of learning, to explore their benefits and adapt models for making which best fit your own emerging practice.

Speaking of the experience of working in groups one student reported;"the element of the course I take most pleasure in is seeing each others work. I am constantly amazed at how individual and talented everyone is and I learn so much from their example. I also really value comments from my peers, and feel a sense of community and support when we all present our work. The progression that every person has made since the beginning of the year is really inspiring."

As a performance student you will experience lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials within the Performance Practice Units and Contextual & Critical Studies. You will be introduced to historical and critical contexts for analysis and debate and, by considering and evaluating this material, will develop your own individual points of view.

The programme offers periods of individual study both within units of study and between semesters. These moments in the your learning experience test self-motivation and self-discipline, they foster the internalisation of personalised motives, where the obligations of attendance, punctuality and timetables are minimised. Encouraging students to experience these periods of free activity, as part of the processes of developing a personalised discipline, of strengthening character and resolve are integral to the learning within the course and the building of a capable and independent artist.

Building in gallery 

Learning Conceptual and Practical Skills

Our aim is to incorporate and build upon the skills students bring with them to the course, whilst introducing a range of new skills and devising processes for the creation of self-directed and original work. Practical workshops include development of the body as creative material (e.g movement research, choreography, live art, voice) audio recording and visual making techniques (e.g drawing, sound composition, collage, sculpture) and technical / time-based media (lighting, sound and video editing, Photoshop, photographic darkroom, and screen-based work).

Throughout the course the acquisition of technical skills is linked to the development of conceptual and thinking skills. In this way, practical skills are designed to be supportive and instructive to your emerging art practice. By the final year of study you are required to formulate a synthesis between ideas and practical skills.


Additionally, we are very mindful of providing a curriculum which prepares you for a vibrant and successful career. We recognise that many employers in both the commercial industries and the arts sector are looking not only for competent and ambitious individuals who can be innovative and bring fresh ideas to given problems and situations.

In this regard we value the development of practical and thinking skills that can be applied to a range of different contexts. These transferable skills are crucial to the adaptability and flexibility of any creative person. We recognise that employers are looking for individuals who can manage their own time, have good presentation and interpersonal skills, who can initiate, develop and see an idea through to completion. An arts course is an excellent platform in which to develop such skills whilst at the same time, develop a personalised artistic vocabulary.

We attract students who are energetic, dynamic and ambitious, who are seriously minded in developing careers within the arts sector.

Professional development is embedded in the course at every level. It is implicit in the first year and second year (level 4 and 5) through practice projects that support students in the process of taking responsibility for producing their own creative work, exercising self-motivation, time management, determination and problem solving, presenting and talking about their creative work and that of others in an articulate, clear and informed manner.

Maximising a student’s achievement is first and foremost a matter of awakening students to the fullness of their own potential. The programme addresses this issue on various strands such as introducing students to artists, including former students at different points in their career. The programme presents ‘established’ career paths in recognised industries whilst encouraging students to be innovative and imaginative in forging new career routes. In this regard the courses link to Beepurple, run by Business Development and Enterprise Office to stimulate entrepreneurship amongst students and alumni.

Fostering a culture which questions, considers and challenges and which helps students to manage their own intellectual, political and social empowerment is core to the ethos of teaching and learning shared by staff.

A professional practice unit in the third year (level 6) involves a range of visiting professionals who offer practical advice on key aspects and skills of the industry, such as self-promotion (website development), CV writing, networking (arts organisations and companies), online publishing, presentation skills, and financial management. Sessions on postgraduate education are also provided. Alumni are regularly invited as visiting speakers for the professional practice element of the course.</p> <p>Ultimately the degree enhances quality of life through enabling students to discover and develop their own creativity and critical thinking, and that of their peers, within a community committed to exploring and questioning the significance of interdisciplinary forms in contemporary performance practice. 

Conall Gleeson and student in gallery


Our dance studio and two theatre workshop studios are fully equipped with theatre lighting and sound equipment. We have two visual art studios for making and experimenting and several seminar and tutorial rooms. In addition we have four modern digital production and post-production studios equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software, and two sound isolated recording booths. For digital production, we support Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. We have developed a Sound Diffusion Lab where students can experiment with spatial projection, multichannel sound and unconventional speaker configurations. We also have access to the TV recording studios at our neighbouring campus. We provide a workstation area for individual student use, teaching presentations and demonstrations equipped with all taught software.

A dedicated tutorial room is set aside for individual and small group consultations and there is a separate workshop area where students build customised instruments and devices. Additionally you will have access to the faculty’s computer centre, equipped with Mac based audio-visual editing and processing software, word processing and on-line/off-line publishing software.</p> <p>Our spaces and resources are maintained by a team of expert technicians with specialisms in dance, theatre and music technologies, while the dedicated Art and Design Library has a well-stocked Music, Theatre, Dance and Visual Art area and provides access to a wide range of on-line resources.

Students in gallery




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