QMU offers hope for college Performing Arts degree


Prestigious performing arts courses at New College Lanarkshire under threat of being cancelled have been given fresh hope following interest from a Scottish University.

The BA Acting and BA Musical Theatre degree courses may be able to continue at the College’s Coatbridge and Motherwell campuses, after Queen Margaret University (QMU) agreed to partner with the College in order to take on the validation and accreditation of the courses, adding to its existing repertoire of highly regarded performing arts courses.

One of only a handful of degree level performing arts providers in Scotland, New College Lanarkshire has built a strong reputation in performing arts throughout the years, giving prospective students and budding artists from across the country the opportunity to study from HND through to degree level.

The partnership with Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh will allow the degree courses to continue at the College, following uncertainty over their future after the College’s partnership with former validator, Northumbria University, came to an end.

As well as extending options for those looking to study Acting and Musical Theatre at degree level, current students studying at HND level will now have the opportunity to progress onto one of the BA programmes at New College Lanarkshire – building their skillset and enhancing their opportunities for the future. 

Matthew Smith, Head of Faculty for Creative Industries at New College Lanarkshire, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled that QMU has stepped in to save our much loved BA Acting and BA Musical Theatre degree courses, essentially securing the future of so many of our students across Scotland who hope to progress to it.

“New College Lanarkshire already has a strong presence in the performing arts industry, but by having a partnership with a University as reputable as QMU, we will be enhancing our offering while providing more opportunities to our students.

“I’d like to thank the team at New College Lanarkshire who have been working hard for months finding a suitable validator for the course, and to QMU for handing our students a lifeline and for their ongoing support of performing arts in Scotland.”

Dr David Stevenson, Head of Division of Media, Communication and Performing Arts at Queen Margaret University, said: “QMU has been delivering courses in culture and creativity for over forty years and we are committed to the sustainability and diversity of the cultural sector in Scotland. It is vital that young people, irrespective of their background, have accessible routes into the creative industries and we are very keen to partner with other institutions to help create even more opportunities for this to happen.

“We are therefore delighted to work with New College Lanarkshire to help ensure the ongoing delivery of its high quality performing arts portfolio.”

Gregor Duncan, Curriculum Quality Leader for Performing Arts at the College, said: “The BA in Performing Arts is a vital course for students across Scotland who have completed the HN course and want to take their art to the next level.

“Having the backing of QMU is fantastic, and although it has been a mammoth task, we are up to the challenge and determined that these courses will be up and running in time to start in August this year to secure the prospects of all budding performers to reach their full potential.”

New College Lanarkshire offers a range of performing arts courses in professional dance, acting, performance and musical theatre across various levels up to degree. For more information, visit: http://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/performing-arts

Queen Margaret University also offers degree-level programmes in acting, costume design and construction, drama, and performance. For more information, visit: https://www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/undergraduate-study/undergraduate-subject-overviews/performing-arts/

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