Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts


The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) is one of the United Kingdom’s leading institutions for performing arts. The university is situated in the English city of Liverpool.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) was co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Witty (LIPA’s principal). The LIPA is based in McCartney’s old school. Prior to its opening, the building underwent a multimillion pound regeneration in order to make it a suitable location for housing performing arts higher education. It took seven years of planning, fundraising and building to launch the project. In 1996, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was opened by the Queen.


LIPA offers training in:

  • Acting
  • Applied Theatre & Community Drama
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Management of Music
  • Entertainment
  • Theatre and Events
  • Sound Technology
  • Theatre and Performance Technology
  • Theatre and Performance Design

It offers ten full-time B.A. Honours degrees, as well as two Foundation Certificate programmes of study.


In general applicants have 2 A Level and 5 GCSE passes. Specific entry requirements at LIPA vary by course. The students should always check the specific entry criteria for the course of their choice. Applications are submitted via UCAS. All undergraduate courses require that applicants attend and pass an interview/audition before being admitted. Detailed guidelines for audition/interview will be sent with invitations.


LIPA was designated in 2006 – the first new higher education institution to have been started from scratch in living memory. As a performing arts HEI, LIPA is attended by the highest number of international students in the UK.

LIPA has been awarded the Gold Standard from Investors in People – the only HEI to have achieved this level in the UK. LIPA also has the highest concentration of Fellows and Associates recognised by The Higher Education Academy.


LIPA does not want to issue its own degrees, so rather than issuing Honorary Degrees like other British universities, it awards “Companionships”. LIPA awards companionships to individuals in recognition of their contributions to the world of art and entertainment, particularly within the sectors to which LIPA is linked. Prospective companions usually attend the Institute at least once before they are invited to become companions in order to give masterclasses to students, or to participate in “Conversation with” type question and answer sessions. Some then revisit the Institute at later dates.


The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts has a range of facilities for students to utilise.  Students have access to recording studios, performance spaces and various other facilities to assist them in their work and studies.

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