Creative and Performing Arts
This sector offers a wide range of job opportunities and encompasses careers in acting, music, dance, production, writing, technical work, and funding.
As well as the support from the Career Zone team, the Drama Department has produced a comprehensive Drama Careers Toolkit about the creative industries, which can be accessed via the Drama: Student Information ELE page.
Although the majority of University of Exeter graduates that enter this profession are from the Humanities and more specifically from our Drama department, graduates from other disciplines have found success in this area and society participation is a great way to gain experience in this area.
Career Zone Employability Schemes
To help increase your work experience and networks in this area
- Career Zone Internship schemes: Internships can be extremely useful, so try and get relevant vacation work or placements.
- Ask an Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.
- Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period.
- Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage A sector specific programme, consisting of employer-led training, group work and a paid internship.
Have a look at the following brief videos for an overview of this sector.
- Performing Arts – icould
- Television & Radio – My Career Zone Digital
- Performing Arts – My Career Zone Digital
If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be very useful:
- Prospects: Overview of the UK’s Creative Arts Sector – A summary of different financial careers, information on top employers, internships, and skills.
- Target Jobs: Creative Careers for Graduates – An overview of the jobs, internships, events, and employers in the sector, as well as industry specific advice for career progression.
- Broadcast – News and commentary for researching TV and Radio industries.
- Career Zone Enterprise and Entrepreneurship – Advice on freelancing and setting up a portfolio.
- HM Revenue & Customs: Self-Employment – Information and resources on self-employment.
- KFTV – Newsletter providing news and insights into TV and film production
- ScreenSkills – Resources on film and TV industries, including this great section on starting your career.
- Spotlight – Information and advice on acting jobs and auditions.
- Start in TV – Free talent resources and information on landing a first role in the TV industry, for both on-screen and production roles.
- The Guardian Culture Professionals Network – The latest news on the UK media and culture sectors.
Internships and work experience in this sector will enhance your chances in most areas of employment, and an increasing number of organisations now offer graduate employment to students who have a successful placement with the company.
For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page. For sector specific job listings, the following resources may be particularly helpful:
- ArtsJobs – Arts Council England’s free mailing list for jobs in the art and culture sector
- Arts Professional – Arts management and charity jobs
- Creative Access – A range of internships and entry-level roles in creative industries, particularly promoting opportunities for those from under-represented backgrounds
- BBC Work Experience – Various training, graduate, apprenticeship, and work experience schemes across the BBC throughout the year
- Channel 4 – Work Experience with Channel 4
- Entertainers Worldwide Jobs – For creatives and performers looking for auditions and local/global jobs and opportunities
- ITV – Apprenticeships and work experience placements with a national broadcasting network
- Mandy – Jobs and auditions for creative professionals
- Sky – Various internship and work experience placements
- Target Careers – Sector specific job opportunities in the creative arts
- Theatre Bristol – Networking with local employers in the arts, including news, advice, and support for creatives
If you have studied a related degree, check if your course is accredited by one of the professional bodies. Being a member of a professional body is voluntary however, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing your professional development, and generally keeping up to date with what's happening in the sector.
- The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) – Access to training, advice, and safety regulations for technical theatre roles
- The Association of Lighting Porduction and Design (ALPD) – A professional network for those interested in lighting and video for live performances
- Association of Sound Designers (ASD) – A community for UK theatre sound professionals offering support and education
- British Actors Equity – Members have access to paid vacancies, personal careers advice, and networking
- The British Association of Dramatherapists – Offers a range of Dramatherapy services including training, conferences, and networking
- The British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD) – Provides scholarships, workshops and advice on Dance Education Qualifications
- BECTU ‘The Union for Creative Ambition’ – A Union for the creative industries providing support for and representing over 40,000 workers
- British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) – The oldest association for professional photographers, which offers qualifications, awards and competitions in the photography field
- Directors UK – A professional network for UK directors with a focus on career development
- Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) – The UK’s professional body for musicians
- Institute of Acoustics (IOA) – Offers professionally recognised courses related to acoustics
- Institute of Videography (IOV) – Professional training in video production
- Independent Theatre Council (ITC) – Management association representing independent performing arts
- Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA) – A professional network for live entertainment technology roles
- Stage Management Association (SMA) – Resources, training, and current vacancies in stage management
- UK Theatre – The leading theatre and performing arts membership which provides a range of events and resources
If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study.
Courses to consider for further study and training in theatre and performing arts include:
It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic but, beware, there are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". You can always complement your degree with professional qualifications to show your commitment towards the industry (see Professional Bodies section).
As jobs are not always advertised, it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively.