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About LIPA

Learning for the performing arts

 The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts opened in 1996 to forge a new approach to performing arts training. It was co-founded by our Lead Patron Sir Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Witty RNOM OBE (LIPA's Principal), and is housed in his old school, which underwent a multi-million pound renovation to transform it into a state-of-the-art performing arts higher education institution.

Today LIPA is an acknowledged part of the UK’s higher education provision for the performing arts, recognised and ranked alongside institutions a lot older. LIPA provides learning for the main skills needed for putting on a show (performers and those who make performance possible), uniquely blending specialist and generic skills.

LIPA offers degree courses in Acting, Applied Theatre and Community Drama, Dance, Management of Music, Entertainment, Theatre & Events, Music, Sound Technology, Theatre and Performance Design and Theatre and Performance Technology. We also run full-time one year Foundation Certificates in Commercial Dance and Popular Music and Music Technology.

We train students for a future of sustained work. Most recent figures have shown that over the most recent four year period, 96% of LIPA’s graduates are in work three years after leaving, while 87% work in the performing arts. To achieve this, our curriculum is constantly being revised.


We offer a range of programmes, including:

The above courses are validated by Liverpool John Moores University

LJMU logo 2014

Find out more about LIPA

Find out more about our history, philosophy and the contributions of our distinguished patrons and LIPA Companions in this section.

Quality Assurance Agency - UK Quality Mark 

QAA Quality markWe are pleased to note the excellent outcome from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), following its review in May 2015.

A team of QAA reviewers visited Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and judged that its academic standards, the quality and enhancement of its student learning opportunities, and the quality of information about its learning opportunities all meet UK expectations.

The review identifies a number of examples of good practice. These include:

  • the comprehensive range of individually tailored and flexible support provided for students
  • the strategic approach to the use of deliberate and collaborative interdisciplinary practice, which prepares students for long term employability.

The review made one recommendation for improvement: to work with the awarding body to clarify and implement the policy on assessment to ensure that students receive feedback and marks in a timely manner.

QAA's Higher Education Reviews are carried out by experts from other universities and colleges. Every review team includes a student reviewer, because QAA believes that students should be partners in the quality assurance of their education.

The team that reviewed Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts included Professor Hilary Grainger (University of the Arts, London), Associate Professor Alan Howard (University of Reading) and Laurence McNaughton (student reviewer from the University of Southampton).

The quality marks we achieve are reassuring for many. This one from QAA is especially welcomed.

- Mark Featherstone-Witty RNOM OBE

Read the full QAA report here

Please also see the agreed Action Plan in the downloads to the left of this page.

Student Representatives were consulted on the agreed action plan at the meeting of Institute Student Advisory Board on Thursday 26 November 2015 and confirmed that they endorsed the actions outlined.

Information in this section includes…