UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Performing Arts Medicine MSc

Performing Arts Medicine at UCL offers a unique programme as an MSc, PGDip (Blended Online & Campus Delivery) or PGCert (Distance Learning). 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

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

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

The MSc and PGDip are offered through blended delivery with most modules online and two residential weeks scheduled in Term 3 (April/May). Most lectures are pre-recorded and available on our Virtual Learning Environment. Any live sessions take place on 2 weekdays during term time. Attendance and learning are flexible and tailored according to the selection of modules and mode of study. Dates for the two compulsory residential weeks are announced from the beginning of the academic year to give all MSc and PGDip students ample time to organise their travel to London and attend on UCL campus.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£14,300 (FT)
£7,150 (PT)
£28,500 (FT)
£14,250 (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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. 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: Distance learning programme

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

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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 to MSc or Diploma at a later time.

The PGCert is offered by distance learning only and more information can be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/performing-arts-medicine-by-distance-learning-pg-cert 

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 and Dissertation - 60 credits (MSc)
  • Musculoskeletal and Neuromuscular Performance Related Injury - 15 credits (MSc, PGDip)
  • Clinical Assessment and Rehabilitation of the Performing Artists - 15 credits (MSc, PGDip)
  • Pain and Disability Management within the Performing Arts World - 15 credits (MSc, PGDip)
  • Research Methodology - 15 credits (MSc, PGDip)
  • Clinical Management of the Professional Voice - 15 credits (MSc, PGDip, PGCert)
  • Environmental & Lifestyle Issues for the Performing Artist - 15 credits (MSc, PGDip, PGCert)
  • Performance Psychology - 15 credits (MSc, PGDip, PGCert)
  • Science of Dance and Music Performance - 15 credits (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 online lectures, tutorials and discussion forums. Our Virtual Learning Environment provides a wealth of E-Resources and guides the student to our taught and self-learning activities. Clinical examination practical sessions and observed clinics are scheduled during our two residential weeks in Term 3 (April/May) of the final year of MSc/PGDip. 

Assessment is mainly through coursework and online examinations. A variety of assessment formats is used such as essays, blogs, infographics or oral presenations. For our clinical module we use objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) that take place during the residential weeks.

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.

  • Full-time (1 year) MSc and PGDip in Semester 1 and Semester 2 - approximately 12 hours teaching & 10 hours intependent learning per week
  • Part-time (2 years) MSc and PGDip in Semester 1 and Semester 2 - approximately 6 hours teaching & 4 hours independent learning per week
  • PGCert (1 year) in Semester 1 and Semester 2 - approximately 6 hours teaching & 4 hours independent learning per week
  • PGCert (2 years) in Semester 1 and Semester 2 - approximately 3 hours teaching & 2 hours independent learning per week

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. MSc students will be required to print and bind two copies of their Dissertation 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.

In addition, students will be required to pay for their travel costs to teaching, clinic observations or project locations when necessary during residential weeks or research study.

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 accessable.co.uk. 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 (PAM). 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 MSc or PGDip 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. Careers in Performing Arts Medicine vary from academic and educational to clinical and health supporting positions. Performing Arts Medicine gives opportunities for self-employment or participation in multidisciplinary clinical settings or performing arts college/company in-house health services.

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: 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 Zoom 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

All applicants
31 May 2021

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021