Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
Sunday 01 July 2012
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
History: Set up in 1996 by Mark Featherstone-Witty, founder of the Brit School in London, and Paul McCartney of Beatles fame. After watching the film Fame, Mark Featherstone-Witty started thinking about what learning experiences might best prepare people for a career in the business.
Address: Ten minutes walk from the city centre in Liverpool’s cultural quarter, opposite the Anglican Catherdral.
Ambience: Based in Paul McCartney's old school. The original building is a 19th century Greek revival grade two listed building and lies in a conservation area. This has been extended with a contemporary annex, built with sandstone so as to complement the old building. A pop-aholic's dream where you can soak up the ghosts of pop stars past while sharing a snifter with celebs-to-be.
Vital statistics: Around 670 full-time undergrads. The institute provides eight BA (Hons) courses in performing arts, arts design and management. It also runs Saturday morning and afternoon performing arts classes for 4 to 19-year-olds. Degrees are validated by Liverpool John Moores University.
Added value: Regular master classes and workshops are provided. These have been held by the likes of Ian McKellen, Alan Rickman, Dawn French, Richard Wilson, Tim Wheeler from Ash, songwriter Guy Chambers, Trevor Horne, music producer, Will Young, and Elvis Presley's guitarist James Burton. Teachers have wide professional experience. The institute puts on two seasons of more than 30 public productions each year, and has its own radio station.
Easy to get into? No. Applicants are asked to apply via UCAS and in some cases also have to fill out a LIPA application form. You'll need between 180 and 280 UCAS tariff points from 2 A-Levels (or a BTEC National Diploma), but it is evidence of commitment and passion in your chosen area that really counts here. Applications are assessed against tough entry criteria, before being invited to an audition or interview.
Glittering alumni: Singer-songwriter Sandi Thom; Liz White, who starred as WPC Annie Cartwright in 'Life on Mars'; R&B artist Raghav; all members of The Wombats; Rachel Leskovac, better known as Natasha Blakeman in Coronation Street; Dawn Porter, TV presenter; and Mike Crossey, producer for Razorlight and Arctic Monkeys.
Transport links: Liverpool Lime Street railway station is a 15-minute walk away, and trains take two and a half hours to London.
Who's the boss? Mark Featherstone-Witty is the principal.
Teaching: Scored 74 per cent for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey.
Nightlife: As well as the enriching silt of the Mersey scene, there's the LIPA bar with gig nights by local musicians and open mic nights for that occasional Beatles cover.
Any accommodation? Yes – LIPA has partnership arrangements with local halls of residence providers to supply accommodation for its students, which costs from £64 to £105 per week (self-catered).
Cheap to live there? Not bad at all. Rents in the private sector are around £65 per week.
Fees: £8,950 per year for full-time undergrads in September 2012 – a flat rate for all students.
Bursaries: The LIPA Bursary awards full-time home undergraduate students £564 per year if they are in receipt of a full maintenance grant or £282 per year if they are receive a partial maintenance grant.
Prospectus: 0151 330 3000; www.lipa.ac.uk
UCAS code: L48
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