The axis where creativity and technology meet
The School of Film, Music & Performing Arts fosters a culture of creation and participation. We are proud shapers of, and contributors to, the cultural life of this great Northern city – a city that is the original birthplace of film. We nurture the arts pioneers of the future: influencers who will not just reflect the outside world, but impact upon it.
This culture is enabled by a team of experienced practitioners and academics who produce award-winning work of international repute. We foster an immersive environment that breeds originality, invention and ambition. Join our community of producers, led by staff such as David Bowie music producer Ken Scott and Oscar nominated cinematographer Phil Robertson; and our community of alumni, such as Piers and Kesi from Rudimental and Oscar winner Peter Baumann. This is a school of learning and practice, but also of research. Students, with staff, are currently contributing to a number of live, funded projects, including the exploration of film and performance as a contributor to positive mental health and active ageing and creating a new type of documentary film, ‘Mansfield 66/67’ with Hollywood producers.
From contemporary dance and theatre, to documentary film and epic soundtracks; take advantage of our unique links with the cultural and creative industries, regionally, nationally and internationally. Exposure to professional bodies is integral to the student experience – from our Performing Arts Students being taught at Northern Ballet and Yorkshire Dance and performing at the Edinburgh Festival; to our film students working on ITV drama ‘Victoria’ and on the visuals for the Glastonbury Festival; to our music students working on live events such as the Audio and Radio Industry Awards and performing at national festivals such as Leeds-Reading and Latitude. Learning from the best, from day one.
This expertise and exposure is enhanced by the highly respected (and accredited) nature of our course design. For example, our Northern Film School (creators of over 200 films a year) was recently rated as one of the top 5 International film schools in the world to watch by the Hollywood Reporter, and in 2016 our MA in Filmmaking achieved 100% graduate employment.
Learning and teaching at this School is enabled by state-of-the-art technology. We have ten professional-quality recording studios, 5 professional film studios in the heart of the Leeds ITV media hub, acoustics labs, spatial audio and post-production facilities, and dedicated rehearsal spaces for dance, performance and choreography.
This is a School for people who want to be part of something bigger – part of a thriving region and a renowned University – to be at the axis of where creativity and technology meet; to understand and redefine the territory of creative practice in the 21st century. Because all day, every day, our mission is to nurture a multi-talented and multi-skilled community of creative professionals who have the knowledge, skill and expertise to make and be the difference we all need.
New Creative Arts building
Leeds Beckett University has received planning permission for its new £75 million Creative Arts building. The building will provide a new home for the School of Film, Music & Performing Arts. Work is due to start on site at the end of this year.
Celebrating Louis Le Prince
The Northern Film School are hosting a celebration of the cinema pioneer Louis Le Prince. Le Prince is internationally recognised for shooting the very first moving images here in the city of Leeds.
Reader in music, Dr Nikos Stavropoulos has been selected to represent the Great Britain membership of the International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music at the 35th general assembly in Moscow.
Andrew Fryer is Dean of the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett University. He is a songwriter and music producer with 20 years of experience in the music industry.Read More
Our Academic Team
Northern Film School
Music and Sound
Short Courses and CPD
We provide a wide range of short, part-time and accredited courses. Whether you are looking to learn more about film, music or performing arts, considering a change in career or are a professional looking to enhance your skills, we are sure to have a course to suit your needs.
Echochroma New Music Research Group
The Echochroma new music research group consists of four composers and technologists whose work is having an increasing impact in the contemporary music scene, with recent performances, prizes and conference presentations across the globe.
Our new professional performance studio provides an open and spacious environment to the study the live art practices of theatre, dance and radio plays.
Film Editing Suite
Our Northern Film School at the Electric Press has dedicated edit suites featuring industry-standard technology, enabling projects to be accessed from any edit station in the building.
At our Prime Studios base we have the North’s largest infinity cove studio, with drive-in vehicle access, green room, changing rooms and make-up stations.
Film Studio Set
Our Northern Film School at the Electric Press has purpose-built, fully-equipped studio spaces to enable the building of substantial film sets and props.
Live Music Room
Our specialist live music room has a control room and live area for instruments and amps, plus mixing facilities and editing suites.
Our specialist music studios will give you the tools to write, produce and record music the way you want – it's an opportunity to hit the right notes in mixing your own tunes for music, games audio and TV.
Good News in Brief
Third year BA (Hons) Dance student, Eleanor Greasley has had a number of recent successes.
Eleanor applied for and has been selected as one of a small number of young people to participate in the highly competitive Siobhan Davies Next Choreography. The group will meet for training weekly in London at Siobhan Davies Studios. As part of this Eleanor has been selected to show her work at Artists Feedback Forum, a prestigious platform for emerging artists.
Eleanor’s choreography was also selected to be performed at Bish Bash Bosh – Yorkshire Dance’s public Light Night programme, where MA Choreography student Maria Popova was also selected to perform.
As a partially sighted person Eleanor has been a participant in a recent three-day Candoco Intensive training project. Candoco is the UK’s leading contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.
Course Director, for Postgraduate programmes in Music and Sounds, Richard Stevens presented a paper at the Music and Sound Design in Film and New Media conference, in Vilnius in September. Richard’s paper, "Mario, Mickey-mouse, and Morricone: Interactivity and Synchronisation in Video-game music", examined the conflicts between the interactivity of video games and musical form. A solution to these conflicts was outlined, and the results of experimental research on the impact of musical forms on the player experience were discussed.
Six films brought together by Mark Carey, Senior Lecturer and Head of Cinematography at the Northern Film School, were screened as part of an exhibition, Jasmina Cibic: A Shining City on a Hill, at the Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017 celebrations in Denmark. The centrepiece film, NADA Act II, was filmed in March with Northern Film School students Luis Zarzo and Joel Maudsley taking on significant roles within the crew. The film is based on the 1958 production of Béla Bartók’s pantomime ballet, The Miraculous Mandarin – the work Yugoslavia chose to represent its new direction at the Brussels Expo almost 60 years ago. Meanwhile, Mark served as a cinematographer on Jasmina Cibic’s film Tear Down and Rebuild, which was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Price 2017. The film was shot on location in the former Palace of the Federation in Belgrade. The Northern Film School sponsored the project, providing a camera with lenses and two BA (Hons) Filmmaking students, who worked alongside the professional crew. The film won the MAC International art prize in 2016.
In May, Senior Lecturer Dr Sue Miller presented the Recontextualising Ragtime: Connections, Influences, Perspectives symposium, organised in collaboration with Professor Rachel Cowgill (University of Huddersfield). The two-day symposium, held at the University of Huddersfield, examined the ragtime style and brought together dancers, performers and scholars and practitioners in the fields of music history, musicology and Caribbean and Latin American music and jazz studies, with the aim of analysing the style in its own terms and not as a precursor to jazz. The symposium featured invited talks, round-table discussions, performances, workshops and a special Speakeasy public event.
Sue has also received very positive reviews of her research, including her first monograph, Cuban Flute Style: Interpretation and Improvisation (Scarecrow Press, 2014). Sue’s research has been described as “pioneering” (Jazz Journal) and “without precedent” (The Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal). Nestor Torres, renowned Cuban flute improviser based in Miami, stated the book’s “historical, cultural, and pedagogical value cannot be overstated”. Sue is currently working on a second monograph, due to be launched before the end of 2018, which will build on previous work by looking at Cuban music and improvisational style in New York. In other reviews, Sue’s article Activating Improvisational Creativity in the Performance of ‘World’ and ‘Popular’ Music, featured in Activating Diverse Creativities for Changing Higher Music Education: Contemporary Research Practices, was praised for offering “rich inspiration for new spaces in which students can explore multiple creativities”.
Principal Lecturer Teresa Brayshaw and Karen Christopher, of Haranczak/Navarre Performance Projects, performed at TwoFold, a festival of duet performances staged at Chisenhale Dance Space, London. Teresa and Karen staged Seven Falls, an outdoor performance sited next to a body of water. It “concerns our preoccupations with safety, and the underlying assumptions and reactions instilled by continuous danger and risk assessments… With a light touch, it coaxes out the institutionalised dread and fear that constant disaster preparedness brings”. Originally commissioned and performed in 2011, the latest version of Seven Falls integrated local professional and amateur performers.
Eight Leeds Beckett students volunteered at the first World Island music festival, which took place at Leeds Town Hall in May. Students gained valuable experience and made useful industry contacts working as production assistants and in artist liaison roles at the festival. Students from across the University also volunteered at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival, which took place in the centre of Leeds and attracted more than 10,000 music fans. Students worked as production assistants and in artist liaison, ticketing and press roles, building on the University’s reputation for supporting festivals across the region.
Billboard interviews Music academic
Music academic, Ken Scott was interviewed in the prestigious USA music magazine Billboard on the 10 January. In an article titled ‘David Bowie Producer Ken Scott Remembers the Moment He Realized 'Oh Sh-t, He Could Be Huge!', the legendary producer/engineer looks back on his studio time with Bowie and the Beatles during the late '60s and early '70s.
ITV drama series to feature work by Northern Film School students
ITV’s Victoria , which received the highest drama ratings for ITV last year, is to return for a second series and is currently filming at the Yorkshire Studios in Church Fenton. Final year Production Design students at the Northern Film School are currently working on the set of Buckingham Palace at the studios, as they did last year for series 1.
Mental Health consortium music production course to be delivered by Music students
Students and staff will be delivering a CPD course in Electronic Music Production for adults experiencing mental health difficulties as part of the Converge consortium, in partnership with York St John, University of Leeds, Leeds Trinity, Leeds College of Music and NHS Mind. The Education for Recovery programme features courses in Songwriting, Film, Drama and Sports Coaching as well as the 5 day course in EDM and Hip Hop delivered by students and staff at the School.
USA Film Festival award for film scored by Music academic
Return of the Hat with music score by academic, Yoni Collier has won Best Comedy at the Erie International Film Festival in Pennsylvania. The film is a comedy horror about a murderous flat cap, directed by Alec Birkbeck, who Yoni previously worked with on Ex-Men: The Carehome Wars.
Woman and Film Festival screening for two Masters films in Spain
Two Masters films from the Northern Film School, Beyond the Blue and In the Shadow of the Mountain, have been selected for the Woman and Film Festival in Spain.
Media conference presentations for five academics from across the School
Five academics from the School presented at the first Leeds Beckett Media Research Festival, held in the Rose Bowl on the 11 January. The Lebeme: Interdisciplinary Media, Communications and Mediated Cultures Festival explored how studies of media, communication and mediated cultures are ideally placed to explore and practice interdisciplinary work.
New Zealand Screenwriting Research Network Conference paper to be delivered by Northern Film School academic
Northern Film School academic, Dan Weldon has been accepted to present at the 2017 SRN conference in New Zealand. The 10th Screenwriting Research Network (SRN) International Conference will be hosted by the University of Otago’s Department of Media, Film and Communication, in partnership with the New Zealand Writers Guild. It will take place in Dunedin, Aotearoa/New Zealand, on Monday 28th through Thursday 31st August 2017.
New course approval
Congratulations to the Course Development Team for our new BA (Hons) Performing Arts award for success at the validation event held last week. The course was approved with no conditions and 5 commendations - relevancy, course identity, integration of staff research, excellent links to the city and cutting edge/innovative curriculum design.
New academic appointment
Welcome to Brian Machin, who has been appointed to the post of Senior Lecturer in Documentary in the Northern Film School. Brian is an experienced TV Producer and Director with a BAFTA Grierson award for the news and documentary series Miners’ Tapes for Channel 4 and outputs that include Jonathan Miller’s Madness for BBC2, The Other Side of Midnight with Tony Wilson, The Krypton Factor and The Hit Man and Her. His research includes the politics of memory and the nature of memory on film.
Entertainment Management students join the School
The BA (Hons) Entertainment Management course will be moving from the School of Sport to FMPA in September. The course teaches music and nightclub promotion, marketing, theatre and artist management and how to attract audiences to live events, media and visitor attractions. This is an exciting development for the School and we look forward to welcoming academics Stuart Moss and Vivienne Gaskin to our academic community.
Masters of Philos Success
Congratulations to Michael Ward on the confirmation of his Master of Philosophy Research Degree award for his thesis An Investigation into Signal Processing for Machine Listening to Percussive Performance.
Utah Saints and to work with students during Futures Fest
The School launches Futures Fest this week with academics and guest artists running workshops with students. Artists in residence, Utah Saints (Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt) will be working on three projects during the week, each with the possibility of a commercial release. They will be creating a new dance track, a sample pack and dance top lines for a publisher. Students will work collaboratively with the artists as studio engineers, producers, musicians and songwriters.
Choreographer and feminist punk icon reconstruct work from 1984 with Performing Arts students
Choreographer, Gaby Agis and punk singer and guitarist, Ana Da Silva have been working with Performing Arts students on a reconstruction of their 1984 work Shouting Out Loud for a performance next Wednesday, 1st of February in our Beckett Studio Theatre. Shouting Out Loud was originally choreographed in 1984 for thirteen women and set to a soundtrack by the iconic feminist punk band The Raincoats.
International Sound Art Composition Award
Music academic, Nikos Stavropoulos has been awarded 3rd prize at the Viseu Rural 2.0: Explorações sonoras de um arquivo rural International Competition.
Portrait V composed during a research sabbatical residency at the University of Sheffield Sound Studios in September, was awarded the prize as part of the Creative Europe project Rural Viseu 2.0 co-organized by Binaural / Nodar and the Municipality of Viseu. Portrait V is a sound portrait of the rural district of Viseu using the soundscape recordings collected during the project.
European City of Culture Commission
Northern Film School Head of Cinematography, Mark Carey has been commissioned to create a film with Irish Arts Prize winner Jasmina Cibic for the European City of Culture Aarhus 2017. The film installation Nada Act 2: The Spirit of Our Dreams will also feature the work of Choreographer Lea Anderson MBE.
Shooting will take place in March, 2017 with 2 Northern Film School students working with the professional crew. The location is Aarhus City Hall, Denmark, completed in 1941, designed by architects Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller.
First "Theatre Company of Sanctuary"
Performing Arts academic, Hannah Butterfield’s theatre company is the first in the UK to have been awarded Theatre Company of Sanctuary status by City of Sanctuary. SBC Theatre (Rosie MacPherson, John Tomlinson and Hannah Butterfield) were awarded the status for their commitment to making work with, about and for those seeking sanctuary in the UK. An extract of their show Tanja, about an asylum seeker at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, was performed at the Houses of Parliament as part of Sanctuary in Parliament 2015.
City of Sanctuary is a movement committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution, and includes Leeds, York, Sheffield and Hull.
Film, Music & Performing Arts
Leeds Beckett music students make 6Music’s top ten albums of 2017
An album performed, arranged and recorded by music students at Leeds Beckett University features in 6Music’s top ten albums of 2017.
Graduates’ chip shop documentary hooks top film award
A team of Northern Film School graduates are celebrating after scooping an award at this year’s Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF).
Film students and staff collaborate to unleash Book of Monsters
A new action-packed horror feature film has been produced by Northern Film School staff members with help from a team of students and graduates.
The Echochroma concert series is a bi-annual event presented by the Echochroma New Music Research group. The concert series feature electroacoustic music, noise and sound art works.
Leeds Beckett University Winter Platform
Two evenings of dance showcasing the work of Leeds Beckett University BA (Hons) Dance and BA (Hons) Performing Arts students.