Experimental Performance

Is your creative practice hard to categorise? Do you create interdisciplinary work? If you want to study performance that’s out of the ordinary, with or without a focus on sound, then this might be the ideal course for you.

Designed for emerging arts practitioners, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire provides a unique opportunity to undertake independent artistic projects in a fully supportive environment.

Music courses

We offer a wide range of music performance degree courses and programmes at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Music courses

What is Experimental Performance?

Student James Mcilwrath and Tanna Chamberlain share an insight into their experience on the course and why they chose Experimental Performance as their pathway.

Student stories

Variety of disciplines

The course enables practitioners from a variety of disciplines (including, but not limited to, instrumental/vocal performance, composition, dance, choreography, theatre, visual and performance art and creative writing), and particularly those who sit between them, to come together with likeminded people.

It doesn’t ask you to measure yourself against the expectations of tradition but gives you agency. We emphasise idea-development and rigorous conceptual thought. By focusing on these non-discipline-specific aspects of performance, you will contribute to a collaborative, discursive and interdisciplinary working environment.

Mentoring team

Your own artistic ideas are at the heart of your studies and will be developed, through research and dialogue, into practical projects.

You will be allocated a mentoring team comprising of a personal tutor who has experience in collaborative and conceptual approaches alongside additional specialist support according to your individual needs. Your mentoring team is there to help you realise your ideas into fully developed performances in the best possible way.

Diverse contemporary creative practice

Our Experimental Performance pathways will equip you with the skills you need to engage successfully with diverse contemporary creative practice. Optional modules are intended to enhance your wider professional development. These will be chosen, in discussion with your personal tutor, from a varied list shared with other postgraduate Principal Study disciplines.

Assessment of your principal study is through the submission of a portfolio at the end of every year (at the end of years 2 and 3 in the part-time option), followed by a viva voce.

Staff spotlight

Michael Wolters (born 1971 in Mönchengladbach, Germany) has maintained the position of an “other” in the world of contemporary music with works that queer traditional concert and performance situations. He has written music for traditional ensembles like Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and prefers to challenge conventional set-ups and rituals.

Social media

Follow our social media channels and discover more about life at BCU, including what the University and city will offer you if you study here.

Follow us

Open days

When possible, the best way to explore what's on offer is to come and see us in person, and we host a number of Open Days throughout the year. Come and be taught by our trailblazing academics and study in our innovative facilities.

Open Days

The Lab

RBC has created a space, the Lab, that is dedicated to experimental work. It’s a black box theatre space with theatre lighting and a surround sound system that offers maximum flexibility in terms of performance set ups.

The venue has fixed acoustics with a low reverberation time and duplicate input points for a mobile sound desk to be installed at either end of the room. This enables complete flexibility in the set-up and layout of the performance and audience areas.

The Lab

Facilities

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million teaching and performance facility offers unrivalled opportunities for our students.

Our facilities