LIPA: What it's really like
Learn all about Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
If you’re looking to start a career in any element of the performing arts, then LIPA may just be the university for you.
LIPA at a glance:
|Length||3 years for a degree, plus 1-year foundation courses in certain subjects|
|Courses||Offers 12 full-time undergraduate degree courses plus 3 foundation courses|
|Great for||Students who want practical but supportive preparation for a career in the performing arts|
|Not for||Students who want to pursue more academically-based study|
Lauren MacLaren, WP Officer at LIPA, explains what makes LIPA an exciting place to study - and how to put together a strong application.
What is LIPA?
LIPA - or Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts - is a specialist institution for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts. Though best known for performance-based courses like acting, dance, and music, LIPA offers training for everything that goes into making a performance happen, from design to management and recently, filmmaking. You’ll find everyone you need to put on a show at LIPA.
With around 800 students at LIPA, it’s a close-knit community that’s really there to support and help one another. There’s a vibrant social and artistic life as well, with constant open mic nights, casting calls, and other activities to get involved with.
Why apply to LIPA?
LIPA’s goal is to prepare students to achieve sustained work in the performing arts. That means your education will be focused on giving you the tools you need to make it in professional industry conditions - so if that’s your dream, LIPA is the place for you.
At LIPA, you’ll get the experience, contacts, industry insights, and skills in networking that you need to build a long, successful career. You’ll get to use industry-standard facilities, and be taught by people with extensive professional experience in the field.
Another thing current LIPA students love about the institution is being in a creative environment surrounded by like-minded people. You’ll be encouraged to experiment and take creative risks.
A great benefit is location: the Liverpool city centre, which is a vibrant and diverse community that offers loads of opportunities both to take in some culture, and to find creative opportunities.
Who isn’t the right fit for LIPA?
LIPA’s courses are super hands-on and practical, so it’s not a great fit for those looking for a more academic, theory-based experience.
You need to be dedicated and disciplined, and students keep industry hours, sometimes training and working at night or on the weekends. It’s not a place for divas: you’ll be collaborating with other students from day one, and need to be someone who’s happy to put in hard work in a group, not just flying solo. Though the performing arts industries are competitive, LIPA fosters a supportive, non-competitive ethos amongst the students.
That said, you need to be able to work on your own initiative and try new things. You have to be ready to work hard at your discipline, and be receptive to learning more about your craft.
Any application tips?
First off, check out the website and read the guidelines for the specific course you’re interested in, because every process is a little bit different. For example, you may need to answer additional questions about yourself. All courses include an audition or interview portion, which is a key part of how students are chosen.
Don’t overthink what kind of ‘type’ of person LIPA might be looking for: just be yourself, and show off what you have to bring to the institution and the training.
Finally, drama schools are competitive. Some students at LIPA had to try more than once to be accepted - so don’t give up! If you’re passionate about this career, keep at it until you make it.
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