The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, or LIPA as its students refer to it, is a specialist university level institute aimed at educating and training in the various fields of the performing arts.

Founded in 1996 by the legendary Sir Paul McCartney of Beatles fame and Mark Featherstone-Witty who also set up the renowned BRIT (British Record Industry Trust) School with Richard Branson and who is now Chief Executive of the institute, LIPA is now one of the UK’s leading institutes for the performing arts and is regularly ranked as one of the top 10 specialist institutions.

The institute is based in two Grade II listed buildings; The Institute (formerly the Liverpool Institute for Boys, the school attended by Paul McCartney and George Harrison) and The Art School (formerly the Liverpool College of Art, where John Lenon studied).

LIPA offers eleven full-time BA Honours Degrees:

  1. Acting
  2. Applied Theatre and Community Drama
  3. Creative Technologies and Performance
  4. Dance
  5. Management of Music
  6. Entertainment
  7. Theatre and Events
  8. Music
  9. Sound Technology
  10. Theatre and Performance Design
  11. Theatre and Performance Technology

Three full-time one year Foundation Certificate programmes:

  1. Acting
  2. Dance and Popular Music
  3. Music Technology

And two full-time one year Masters-level degree courses:

  1. Acting (Company)
  2. Costume Design

Students come to LIPA to become part of a specialist and creative community of like minded people who aim to hone their skills and enter the world of work doing what they love and be paid for it.


Recent figures from the institute show that 91% of LIPA’s graduates find work four years after leaving and 83% of them go onto work within the performing arts industry. To ensure these percentages remain high, LIPA regularly update and revise their curriculum to fit in with new developments and modern technology. In fact LIPA has recently been granted money to develop new courses to equip students with the skills to work in immersive events, such as fusing digital and live performances. This money will also go towards funding new facilities that will include virtual reality, green screen and motion-capture technology.


Liverpool has long had a reputation for producing some of the UK’s much loved and esteemed performers and you too can be a part of that when you start your adventure at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.


Downing Student Accommodation is here to help you on your journey and we give you the choice of three spectacular student living spaces all located within walking distance of LIPA and Liverpool city centre.

Distance from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to Downing Student Accommodation in the area

Myrtle Street

Walk – 8 minutes
Cycle – 3 minutes

The Electra

Walk – 4 minutes
Cycle – 1 minute

The Arch

Walk – 5 minutes
Cycle – 3 minutes

Properties close to Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Downing Student Life

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