UCL Graduate degrees


Performing Arts Medicine MSc

Performing Arts Medicine at UCL offers a unique programme as an MSc, PGDip or PGCert (Distance Learning available for PG Cert). It provides specialised training to those interested or already involved in health services or health education to this very special sector of instrumental musicians, singers, dancers, actors, circus artists and other performing artists.

Key information

Please note: We are only accepting applications for 2020/21 entry on our Distance Learning PG Cert.

Please visit the Performing Arts Medicine PG Cert (by Distance Learning) for more information.

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 2 years
Distance learning: available

The PG Cert is offered either on-site or by distance learning.

Application dates

Entry for Performing Arts Medicine MSc/PG Dip is suspended for 2020 however Performing Arts Medicine PG Cert (by Distance Learning) is open for 2020 entry.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

£13,130 (FT)
£6,695 (PT)
£26,380 (FT)
£13,130 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A primary medical qualification (MBBS or equivalent) or a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline (e.g. medicine, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, nursing, sports science, biomedical sciences, athletic training) or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A second-class Bachelor's degree (or the overseas equivalent) in psychology, speech therapy, or performance science is also acceptable for the PG Cert.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

The MSc and Diploma cover musculoskeletal injury, performance psychology, pain management, assessment and rehabilitation, disability, travelling and touring, dance and music performance science, management of the professional voice and research methodology. MSc students also engage in a research project and dissertation. The Certificate is a limited curriculum version for non-clinicians or clinicians who wish to upgrade at a later time.

From September 2020 the Certificate is also offered as a Distance Learning option.

Students undertake modules up to the value of 180 credits depending on their course.

The MSc programme consists of eight core taught modules (120 credits) and the research project (60 credits).

The Postgraduate Diploma consists of eight core taught modules (120 credits).

The Postgraduate Certificate consists of four core taught modules (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Performing Arts Medicine. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Performing Arts Medicine. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Performing Arts Medicine.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project & Dissertation
  • Musculoskeletal and Neuromuscular Performance Related Injury (MSc & PGDip)
  • Clinical Assessment and Rehabilitation of the Performing Artists (MSc & PGDip)
  • Pain and Disability Management within the Performing Arts World (MSc & PGDip)
  • Research Methodology (MSc & PGDip)
  • Clinical Management of the Professional Voice (MSc, PGDip & PGCert)
  • Environmental & Lifestyle Issues for the Performing Artist (MSc, PGDip & PGCert)
  • Performance Psychology (MSc, PGDip & PGCert)
  • Science of Dance and Music Performance (MSc, PGDip & PGCert)

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/research project

All MSc students undertake a research project which culminates in a written dissertation of approximately 7,000 words and an oral presentation and viva. The dissertation consists of a literature review and an original paper, both parts ready for publication submission and written according to authors’ guidelines of a chosen peer reviewed journal. A third 1000-word article is also included in the dissertation and targeting lay readership.

Teaching and learning

The delivery of the programme is through lectures, tutorials or workshops. Performing arts clinics and performance settings when possible are also included in the programme. 

Assessment is through coursework, written examinations and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs).

Our tutors are experts in specific areas of Performing Arts Medicine and the students have the opportunity to meet a number of specialists who will cover a variety of topics on the extensive curriculum.

The campus-based programme is based taught at Charles Bell House and the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health (ISEH) on 2 days per week, October to December (Semester 1) and January to March (Semester 2).

  • Full-time (1 year) MSc and PGDip students attend two days per week in Semester 1 and Semester 2.
  • Part-time (2 years) MSc and PGDip students attend one day per week in Semester 1 and Semester 2 in each year of attendance.
  • PGCert (1 year) Campus-based students attend one day in Semester 1 and 1 day in Semester 2.
  • PGCert (1 year) Distance Learning students follow the taught curriculum and the module assessments at the same time as the campus-based students. They join our Virtual Learning Environment and they communicate with the programme lead regularly online.

Additional costs

The core textbooks for all modules are available in the UCL Libraries and journal articles in your reading lists are also mostly available electronically from E-resources @ UCL. Students will be required to print and bind two copies of their Research project at approximately £25-£50. 

Some students like to purchase their own text books or print course documents and we suggest allowing approximately £200 per year for this.

All students are required to pay for their DBS check if required for your programme or placement if relevant. This can cost students between £25 - £44 - for the latest details please check the government website.

In addition, students will be required to pay for their travel costs to teaching, work placements or project locations.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Graduates gain in-depth knowledge of the diverse field of performing arts medicine. Their specialised skills can be incorporated in their own professional practice or they can participate in performing arts clinics in various settings e.g. conservatoires, orchestras, music or dance colleges.

Graduates' knowledge and experience is valued and they may be invited as educators and trainers in Performing Arts Medicine and will become members of an ever-growing medical community with common interest in the wellbeing of the performer. 

Graduates who have aspirations for further academic study and research activity, such as progressing to a PhD, will receive appropriate guidance.


Assessing a performing artist requires specialised skills and the ability to associate health issues with the particular artistic activity. The programme provides its students with broad knowledge of the art forms and their demands on the performer and how these impact on their wellbeing. With focused tutorials and real life scenarios the student builds the confidence to assess and diagnose or refer appropriately as well as to monitor rehabilitation and return to performance. The privileged position of the health professional in helping performers overcome often career threatening adversity is a most rewarding experience that enriches this type of work.

Why study this degree at UCL?

No other MSc programme currently exists that brings together all elements of Performing Arts Medicine. This unique programme has been designed for health professionals entering this diverse field.

‘The curriculum is very diverse and lecturers are experts in their field, creating a great learning environment with interesting discussions, where every student is encouraged to contribute their expertise. I was able to expand my knowledge in so many more ways than I’d expected.’

Sarah, Physiotherapist, Austria

The programme is taught and supervised by lecturers working in this and affiliated fields. Research is supported by the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health, the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine,  orchestras, theatre companies, and music and dance colleges.

‘The Performing Arts Medicine MSc course has been a delight to be a part of. Not only are you learning incredibly interesting topics that you can relate to your profession, you are taught by experts in their field and you are becoming part of a close knit family of people who all share your passion for helping performing artists.’ Aisha, Sport Rehabilitator, UK

Graduate students present in international conferences and publish in journals becoming members of the global performing arts medicine community.

Department: Division of Surgery & Interventional Science

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Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

We welcome students from diverse healthcare backgrounds including medicine, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, manual medicine, nursing, sports therapy, athletic training or biomedical sciences. For the PG Cert we also welcome students from a psychology, speech therapy or performance science background. For other professions, we review  applications on an individual basis.


We offer personal visits or Skype chats for prospective applicants. If you wish to meet with us, email dsis.performingarts@ucl.ac.uk and we will arrange a convenient time to talk to you.

Application deadlines

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Performing Arts Medicine at graduate level
  • why you want to study Performing Arts Medicine at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

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Page last modified on 13 August 2020