Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts Insights

Admission Insights: Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts

Liverpool Institute stage performance

Our newly created “Admission Insights” articles aim to bring greater attention to international universities as viable options for students. While we’ve traditionally focused on US colleges, it’s also become clear that tremendous opportunities exist beyond our own borders that are worth a closer look. Here, through a series of interviews with admission officers, we provide key details about their schools and links where you may find more information.

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1. Please share a brief overview of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

Whichever aspect of the performing arts you want to learn about and do, we can help you do it. We offer one of the widest ranges of skills and teaching in performing arts education in the UK.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) is a specialist university-level provider of learning for performers and those who make performance possible. Co-founded by Paul McCartney who remains our Lead-Patron, we are based on the site of the old Liverpool Institute – the former school of Paul McCartney and fellow Beatle George Harrison – and the Liverpool Art College, which a third Beatle, John Lennon, attended.

We feature a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and foundation certificate courses across eight discipline areas:

  • Acting
  • Applied Theatre
  • Dance
  • Design/Technology
  • Filmmaking
  • Management
  • Music
  • Sound Technology

Our newest postgraduate courses include MA Costume Making and MA Music Industry Professional Management.

One of the many aspects that make us unique is collaboration across courses, which gives you practical, real life experience from the start. Over a typical year we stage more than 50 performances, ranging from dance to musicals, costume drama, gigs and festivals, and anything else that’s dreamt up.

2. What is typically your percentage of enrolled international students?

We are home to 1,000 students, 25% of whom are international and represent over 50 nationalities worldwide.

3. Are there any special requirements for international students versus domestic? If yes, please share them. e.g. In the US, we require a TOEFL score or equivalent.

Students of a non-majority English speaking country (as determined by UK Visas and Immigration) will be required to provide evidence of meeting UKVI minimum standards for English language. This is not required at the point of application or interview/audition. In many cases we will undertake an Institutional Assessment of English or students will provide an IELTS certificate.

4. What resources are available at your school to help support international students?

As a small, specialist institution, our international team is on hand to support international students throughout their application and interview/audition, and beyond. We are a single point of contact including for visa application, choosing accommodation and travelling to the UK. We host International Orientation allowing new students to meet each other and get to know LIPA and the city in more detail. Once enrolled, each student is allocated a Learning Guidance Tutor. Students can also access Student Support and attend additional English Language classes.

5. Do you offer financial assistance or scholarships for international students?

No, but students are welcome to find financial assistance or scholarships in their home country.

6. For US universities, there is great emphasis on Extracurricular Activities as part of an applicant’s overall credentials. Of what relevance are these in your admission requirements, and are these encouraged for student participation once enrolled?

All of our courses will either audition or interview applicants prior to making an offer. We are typically looking for applicants to have experience in their chosen area and to evidence this. Experience can be gained from education but in many cases our applicants have undertaken extracurricular work or projects which relate to their chosen course.

7. What would you say is unique or stands out about your university among others?

LIPA is for performers and those who make performance possible. Here not only will you find musicians, actors and dancers, but also costume makers, designers and technicians (lighting, sets, props etc.) filmmakers, managers and sound technicians. All of our students work collaboratively and have a shared interest in each other’s work.

We have a focus on preparing students for a sustained career within the performing arts industry. All of our undergraduate students complete a module called “The Professional” which runs throughout the three years of the degree. This module focuses on the business element of show business.

8. Have you found that graduates are well prepared for the international workplace upon completing their degree?

With a large number of international students joining us from an ever growing number of countries worldwide you’ll find our graduates living and working across the world. The International Team and Course Leaders are happy to share relevant examples for specific courses/countries.


*For more information, be sure to visit our Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts Profile