Working with students

The Cultural Institute offers a single contact for cultural and creative organisations that might wish to work with our students, whatever their academic discipline.

We broker contacts and opportunities across the entire University for our cultural partners.

Many of our students are interested in finding bridges to the world of work through placements, for collaboration in their research projects, internships and volunteering with cultural and creative organisations in Leeds and beyond.

The internship programme has worked very well for us by providing students of a very high calibre who have proved a real asset to our business.

Stefania Nistri, Business Support Executive, WPA Pinfold

Building skills for the sector

The Cultural Institute runs the acclaimed National Summer School in Arts Fundraising and Leadership, in partnership with Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy and funded by Arts Council England.

This innovative week-long residential course for arts managers and fundraisers offers time out for reflection, and intensive study, as well as a range of practical activities. Successful completion of the summer school and a 12-month work-based distance learning assessment programme results in a postgraduate certificate in Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy - the first of its kind in Europe.

We are building on this pioneering model and would welcome collaboration with our partners for the creation and delivery of relevant continuing professional development for the sector.

Developing the next generation of creative thinkers

Incubating the Future is a creative development programme led by the Cultural Institute aiming to help form the young creative entrepreneurs who will be cultural leaders in Leeds.

Working with over 400 young people from across the city, the programme will create opportunities and raise the aspirations, social and creative capital of young people who may not think culture is for them. It will build an infrastructure within and out of the city that will provide experiences, skills and support structures to nurture new and diverse voices for culture. The programme will also connect young people with creative innovators in Europe and globally. 

This programme will be supported and delivered by a diverse range of partners including Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds Arts University, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds College of Music, The Geraldine Connor Foundation, NCOP, ArtForms, IVE, East Street Arts, Together for Peace and a number of smaller community arts organisations. 

Delivering courses together 

By consulting with our cultural and creative partners we will be increasing the number of co-created and co-delivered courses we offer to ensure that they are informed by the latest thinking and practice in the sector.

MA in Writing for Performance and Publication

We currently offer an MA in Writing for Performance and Publication through our School of Performance and Cultural Industries in partnership with Leeds Playhouse, one of the UK’s leading theatres. This provides a link to the Playhouse’s exciting schemes for new writing. Directors and associate artists from the Playhouse regularly run workshops and masterclasses for us, and we collaborate with the theatre on projects such as new writing events and festivals.

The Civic Researcher: Engaging the Modern City module

A pioneering new module at the University of Leeds is giving students the opportunity to address real-world issues facing local businesses and communities. Aimed at postgraduate students studying arts, humanities and social sciences, The Civic Researcher: Engaging the Modern City module is a year-long programme where students from different disciplines team up to work with organisations in the city. Partner organisations apply to the programme with an idea, and are matched with a group of students to negotiate the brief together. Email the Cultural Institute via to find out more.

The University of Leeds is proud to be leading nationally in our teaching and learning provision. We aim to not only help our students achieve their existing aspirations, but also open up opportunities that they never thought possible. By embedded problem-oriented experiences into our curriculum, we ensure our students are challenged and stimulated through the broadest possible educational experience. We also place a premium on equipping our students to succeed in an increasingly competitive, global market place and give them the drive and desire to make a difference to the world they live in.

The Engaging the Modern City programme was developed when academics, students and partners from the Leeds City Region co-created an interdisciplinary curriculum that takes scholarship beyond the boundaries of the University and into civic, professional and public contexts.

Showcasing student talent

Our inaugural Short Film Prize in Digital Engagement encouraged student filmmakers to showcase some of the University's ground-breaking research in digital creativity and explore the power of new technologies. Watch the Short Film Prize 2017 video, which responds imaginatively to new research ranging from capturing community memories to diversity in computer gaming.

The films were presented at an award ceremony as part of Leeds Digital Festival 2017 and judged by two Leeds alumni who have themselves forged successful careers in the media – IMDb movie database founder and Chief Executive Officer Col Needham, and Karen Emanuel, Managing Director of music manufacturer Key Production.

Our alumni have made a major contribution to the national and international cultural landscape, including Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate Wole Soyinka, musician Corrine Bailey Rae, screenwriter Peter Morgan, Turner Prize-winning artist Elisabeth Price, and choreographer Wayne McGregor.