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Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

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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.

Welcome to The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA)
- a specialist university-level provider of learning for performers and those who make performance possible. Co-founded in 1996 by Sir Paul McCartney who remains our Lead-Patron, we are based on the site of the old Liverpool Institute - the former high school of Paul McCartney and fellow Beatle George Harrison - and the Liverpool Art College, which a third Beatle, John Lennon attended.

Today, we are home to 1,000 students, 25% of whom are international and represent over 40 countries worldwide. 

Our courses 
We teach 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
Collaboration across courses giving you practical, real life experience from the start is one of the many aspects which makes us unique. Over a typical year we stage more than 50 performances raging from dance to musicals, costume drama, gigs and festivals, and anything else that's dreamt up. 

In England, an undergraduate major is three years - rather than four - in duration. With no general education classes you are allowed to focus entirely on your course and passion from the very start. Similarly a postgraduate/grad school degree is typically only one year in duration. This often means it is quicker and cheaper to study in England than the US. We are also FAFSA approved meaning we can authorise and accept US Federal Loans. 

You can view our prospectus/brochure (download or request a printed copy) by clicking here . You can also browse course content, faculty profiles and more on our website: 

Our facilities 
We have great courses. Great teachers. But what about the place, the resources and the kit? 

Our buildings house a 400-seat auditorium, a studio theatre, film, TV and dance studios, recording and live sound kit, practice rooms, rehearsal and performance spaces. As well as a management suite, scenic workshop, costume and wardrobe department, broadcast audio, ICT and offline workstations. And our canteen and bar, which frequently get taken over.

All these facilities are high spec. All are industry standard. It's not always easy to keep up - but we are supported by sponsors and manufacturers. On average we invest around £500,000 (GBP) annually to update equipment and/or improve the learning environment. 

Our city
Liverpool, in the North West of England, is one of the UK's top arts,tourist and student cities. It's a fun loving and diverse place to live and study. Home to five major theatres, more museums, galleries and listed (landmark) buildings than any UK city outside of London, and a UNESCO City of Music, Liverpool is listed in The Guiness Book of Records' as the 'World Capital of Pop'. The city is also a favourite film industry location. A digital and design city. A festival city. A rock 'n' roll city - what else would you expect?

Our success 
In a competitive, often insecure sector, our focus is on equipping you with the craft, knowledge, skills and contacts to get in work, stay in work and build a career. 

Did you know 76% of people in the creative and performing arts are self-employed? 84% of business in the sector employ four people or less. You need to know how to set up and run your own business, so so we teach business skills across all the discipline areas. It's the business of show business. All part of the training: helping you to get work and keep you in work.

You'll find our graduates working internationally around the globe: for performers this includes as actors, arrangers, choreographers, composers, dancers, directors, educationalists, facilitators, instrumentalists, producers, session musicians, singers, solo artists and songwriters. If you see yourself as someone making performance possible, our graduates are working as artist and event managers, art marketers, costume designers and makers, filmmakers, lighting designers and operators, music publishers, producers, production managers, pro makers, scriptwriters, set designers and builders, sound designers, engineers and mixers and stage managers. 

Awards and nominations aren't everything - but they are nice to have. The approval, and, sometimes, the admiration of your peers, critics and judges. Our students and graduates - and we're proud of this - have garnered well over 100 of the ones that matter - we can't list them all here but check out our website and prospectus/brochure for more information. 

What next?
We'd love to hear from you. The International Team are on hand to answer any questions you may have, and support you through the application and audition/interview process, or you can contact us here, via the 'Interest Form'. You may also like to speak to some of our current students and read blogs about their time at LIPA or perhaps request a prospectus/brochure.

Ryan, Darren and Katie

International Team, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts