The Department of Performing Arts includes courses in Music, Music, Sound and Technology to professional dance and musical theatre.
The department brings together the prestigious musical theatre training provider, Urdang, with our renowned Department of Music which has been a part of City’s fabric for more than 45 years.
This acquisition is part of an ambitious new strategy to enhance and innovate our existing Music offer, to develop a new portfolio in performing arts, creative practice and production, sound and design. Urdang will retain its identity as a leading facilitator of musical theatre training whilst feeding into a wider performing arts curriculum and benefitting from the student support and connections City can bring.
Our music courses are regularly reviewed to make sure we are offering distinct industry relevant education. Our BSc Music, Sound and Technology has recently been reaccredited by JAMES with special commendation to our "Critical listening" education.
All our performing arts courses are taught by internationally-renowned experts and leading practitioners in their fields, and our students are among the most satisfied in London.
Our students experience conservatoire-level tuition, with all the benefits of a university setting. They study in industry level facilities in Northampton Square that includes advanced recording and production studios, and performance and practice spaces: For the majority of teaching, Urdang still operates from Old Finsbury Town Hall, close to both the theatre district and Northampton Square campus.
All our students benefit from opportunities to perform and experience the performing arts across each academic year and students from both Music and Urdang put on annual productions of student work in the spring and summer terms. This sits alongside a wide range of ensembles – including classical, contemporary, jazz and world music, and industry connections with the rich performing arts industry London has to offer, allowing students access to a wealth of cultural experiences and work-placement prospects.
We help our students indulge their passions, whilst developing valuable technical and creative skills, which ready them for a range of performing arts-related careers: in disciplines including music production, theatre performance, choreography, talent management, audio engineering, sound design, and composition for film and TV.
The Department of Performing Arts at City, University of London offers courses at undergraduate and postgraduate degree level.
See which course is right for you:
Music, Sound and Technology BSc (Hons)
Professional Dance and Musical Theatre BA (Hons).
Music Prizes, Awards and Bursaries
The Department awards a number of prizes each year, in recognition of outstanding achievement by students.
This includes prizes made possible by the generosity of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, the Robert Chalmers Memorial Bursary and JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support).
- Worshipful Company of Musicians Prize for the Undergraduate Final Year Major Project in Music
- Final Year Music Prize for Major Project: Dissertation
- Final Year Music Prize for Major Project: Composition
- Final Year Music Prize for Major Project: Performance
- Final Year Music Prize for BSc Music, Sound and Technology Major Project
- JAMES Richer Sounds Outstanding Achievement Award (BSc)
- Final Year Department Prize for Overall Achievement and Contribution to the Department.
- 2nd year UG prize for overall achievement
- 2nd year UG prize for contribution to the department.
- 1st year UG prize for overall achievement
- 1st year UG prize for contribution to the department.
(Prizes are not awarded in each category every year)
We also offer a prize for the best performance of a work by a female composer in the final recitals.
Students are also nominated or invited to apply annually for the following bursaries:
- Robert Chalmers Memorial Bursary (based on financial need): three awards of £1,000 each.
- Worshipful Company of Cordwainers Bursary (based on financial need; students need to be strong performers to play at Cordwainers’ dinners): two awards of £2,000 each.
Our research outlook is both cosmopolitan and international with an active postgraduate community and a research centre with a focus on contemporary sound and composition practices. Our research identity is based around three overlapping areas:
- Ethnomusicology, particularly of the urban environment
- The interface between music and technology, notably in relation to music and other media
- The various relationships between musical scholarship and performance.
Our department has a status as an internationally pre-eminent centre of research excellence. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 placed us 1st in the UK for Music research rated as world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*), with 98% assessed as having reached these standards.
Further international recognition has been achieved through a wide range of publications, performances, recordings, broadcasts and conference presentations, to which all members of Music staff have contributed.
Our innovative research centre SPARC (Sound Practice And Composition @ City) also hosts international visiting artists who lead research seminars, guest lectures, masterclasses, and performances.
- Dr Newton Armstrong, Reader in Music
- Naomi Barber, Lecturer in Performing Arts
- Dr Joseph Browning, Senior Lecturer
- Dr Aaron Einbond, Reader in Music
- Neo Gordon, Lecturer - Commercial & Street Dance
- Dr Adam Harper, Visiting Lecturer in Music
- Neil Kagan, Lecturer in Production
- Dr Shay Loya, Senior Lecturer
- Dr Claudia Molitor, Senior Lecturer in Music
- Professor Laudan Nooshin, Professor of Music
- Dr Erik Nystrom, Lecturer in Music
- Professor Ian Pace, Professor
- Dr Tullis Rennie, Senior Lecturer in Music
- Jennifer Smith, Lecturer in Music
- Steve Stanton, Emeritus Professor of Music and Performing Arts
City boasts state of the art facilities where students develop their creative and technical skills. These include advanced recording and composition studios, and performance and practice spaces.
Students have access to facilities including four 5.1 surround studios, one 7.1 surround studio, and two stereo studios. All of the studios are equipped for sound editing, processing and mixing, and are equipped to deliver multi-track recording and mixing to a professional standard.
Alongside our Music Production studios, we have a further 6 dance studios including the iconic Great Hall and Council Chamber fully equipped with sprung floors, professional dance floors, barres, mirrors, and sound systems.
Other performance facilities include 2 large spaces dedicated for acting and singing, and 10 acoustically treated practice rooms which are equipped with pianos available for 1-1 tuition.
All our facilities provide both practical and inspiring spaces for auditions, training, and music production.
Our Music alumni work for a wide range of organisations including the BBC, Royal Opera House and Sony. Other graduates have gone on to become music teachers, music managers, and music marketing specialists.
Those graduating from our Music, Sound and Technology course are forging successful careers as audio engineers, sound designers, composers, working in live music and theatre, and providing technical support for the record industry.
Many alumni pursue further study at postgraduate level, including Masters degrees in sound art, and applied performance.
Urdang’s students and graduates are highly sought after within the industry and many alumni land roles in leading West End shows. A bespoke in-house agency, Link Talent, offers representation to third year students and recent graduates. This helps maximise support and industry advice, and to place them in high quality productions. Link Talent has successfully placed Urdang students in prime TV dance and talent shows and has organised auditions for acclaimed West End productions, UK tours, commercial dance, films, TV programmes, and commercials.
For 2023 Entry: we are offering twelve Performance Scholarships, worth up to £2000 each, plus London Mayor Scholarships.