Master of Performing Arts [MPA] Course, Career, Colleges & Job
College Disha

Master of Performing Arts [MPA] Course

19 Feb,2019


5 min read read

Performing Arts is a kind of creative activity that is performed in front of an audience, which includes drama, music, and dance. MPA stands for Master of Performing Arts is a postgraduate degree. This degree is pursued by those students who desire to have studied in their chosen specialisation of performing arts. MPA is a multi-disciplinary curriculum which provides comprehensive knowledge in all the means of performing arts. The duration of Master of Performing Arts course is two years which is divided into four semesters. The course offers three specialisations such as Music, Dance, and Theatre to help the students to take up a career related to these fields. However, the three mentioned streams are further divided into specialisations such as Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Kathak Bharatnatyam, etc.

During the course, the theoretical and practical knowledge of dance/drama/music is imparted to the students. Aspirants are trained to organise effective research activities in drama and theatre, have some opinions and theories on modern and contemporary drama. Scholars are prepared for the theatre discipline such as artistic director, director, scenographer, stage manager, technical director, artist, producer, production manager, researcher or educationist etc. Candidates who possess a bachelor of arts degree can pursue an MPA degree.

Highlights of MPA Course Details



Full Form

Master of Performing Arts


Course Duration of Master of Performing Arts [MPA] is 2 Years.


No specific age

Minimum Percentage


Subjects Required

Bachelor Degree

Average Fees Incurred

Rs 3000 - Rs  40,000 per annum

Similar Options of Study

MA (Performing Arts), BPA, BFA, MFA, BVA, MVA

Average Salary Offered

Rs  4 L per annum

Employment Roles

Community Arts Worker, Drama Therapist, Music Therapist, Theatre Director, Graphic Designer, Assistant Professor, Music & Dance Teacher, Actor, Theatre Organiser etc.

Placement Opportunities

Cultural Organizations, International Festival Organization, Museum, Street Plays, Film Industry, Theatres, Stage Shows etc.

Why Master of Performing Arts (MPA)?

Performing arts is a wide field. Here are diverse job opportunities for arts graduates students. They can get jobs in a variety of multimedia entertainment, film, and production companies.

  • After completing successful graduate studies, aspirants can go for acting, directing, casting, and management roles.
  • Graduates are also involved in work stages starting from pre-production, conceptual writing, workgroup forming, and production workings to post-production.
  • The area of the MPA degree program is also dedicated to international affairs. MPA degree holders get the chance to travel abroad.
Required Skill Set for MPA

Master of Performing Arts course is the most suitable course for aspirants who are keen about making their career with a unique talent.  Here we have mentioned some of the required skills and traits that aspirants should have to pursue an MPA course.

Skills Required for MPA

Attention to detail

Interpersonal skills



Ability to respond spontaneously

Visualisation skills

Imaginative skills

Artistic ability


Communication skills



Eligibility Criteria

For getting admission in MPA course, the aspirants need to be eligible for the course first, then only they will be eligible to apply for the same. The eligibility criteria may vary from one college to another as the requirements may range from college to college.

  • Candidates must pass Bachelors of Performing Arts or related field with specialization as a core/elective subject.
  • Must secure at least 50% marks in aggregate or equivalent grade from a UGC recognized Indian University or AIU recognized University abroad are eligible for Masters of Performing Arts (MPA) course.
  • Candidate with B.Com, B.Sc, BA or equivalent degree is also eligible for the admission in the course.
  • Applicants who have stage experience is given special preference.
Admission Procedure-

The students can take admission in MPA Course either by entrance examination or merit-based.

  • Some of the Colleges/Universities offer direct admissions whereas the reputed universities require candidates to give All India entrance examination to take admission in MPA Course.
  • Aspirants can check the details of the course and obtain the application form through the University website or by visiting the Admission cell of the university.
  • Generally, the entrance examination for the MPA course is based on reasoning. Every entrance test has a different exam pattern.
Popular Specializations-

Following are the most popular MPA (Master of Performing Arts) Specializations.

  • Kathak
  • Tabla
  • Theatre Techniques and Design
  • Violin
  • Bharatnatyam
  • Flute
  • Sitar
  • Acting
  • Guitar
  • Harmonium
Subjects and Syllabus

Syllabus for an MPA course depends on the specialisation in which a candidate is pursuing the programme. However, given below is an overview of subjects taught in three popular MPA specialisations – dance, music, and theatre.

MPA Course Curriculum

History of Dance – Dance and Sculpture

Traditional Folk Dances and Folk Theatre of North and South India



Critical Study of the Practical and Theoretical Aspects of Dance

Traditional Folk Dances and Folk Theatre of East and West India

Dance in Sanskrit Treaties

History and Development of World Dance

Dance in Natya Shashtra and Abhinaya Darpan

Rasa and Nayak Nayika Bheda

MPA Course Curriculum
Music (Vocal)

Analytical Study of Ragas and Talas

Indian Aesthetics

Performance of a Choice Raga and Performance of Other Genres

Critical & Comparative Study of Component of Prescribed Ragas and Talas

Comparative Aesthetics

Stage Performance of  Choice Raga and Performance of Other Genres

Rag Classification Systems

Compositional Forms of Indian Vocal Music

MPA Course Curriculum
Drama and Theatre

Physical Exercise and Theatre Games

Foundations of Modern Theatre

Dramatic Literature – Western Drama

Theories of Acting

Fundamental of Visual Design

Fundamentals of Music

Improvisation, Mime and Choreography

Voice and Speech

Play Production (Contemporary)

Theatrical Martial Arts

Classical Indian Theatre

Dramatic Literature – Indian Drama

Theatre Architecture Oriental and Occidental

Acting for Stage

Theatre Music

Design Technology: Lighting Design

Design Technology: Scenic Design

Play Production (Western)

Direction Theories

Film Theories & History

Stage Management and Event Management

Traditional Theatre

Acting for Camera

Design Technology: Costume Design

Design Technology: Make­up Design

TV and Film Production

­ Play Production (Classical Indian Theatre)

Children’s Theatre

Play Production

Folk Performances

­Advanced Acting Techniques

Theatre in Education

Script Writing/ Play Writing

TV and Film Production

Performance Sound Design

Master’s Thesis

Prestigious Colleges for MPA course

There are the following most popular MPA (Master of Performing Arts) Colleges in India. Students can opt for these colleges for further MPA study.

Institute Name


Fee in Rs

Christ University

Bangalore, Karnataka

Rs 1,12,500

Arunachal University of Studies

Namsai, Arunachal Pradesh,

Rs 2,40,000

Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya

Wardha, Maharashtra

Rs 2,650 (per annum)

Department of Performing Arts, Pondicherry University

Pondicherry, Puducherry

Rs 13,650 (per annum)

Bharathidasan University

Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu

Rs 7,675

Asian Academy of Film & Television  [AAFT]

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

On Request

School of Performing Arts, Sambalpur University

Sambalpur, Odisha

Rs 3,455

Pondicherry University


On Request

Kurukshetra University, [KU] Kurukshetra


On Request

Masters of Performing Arts (MPA): Career Prospects

The degree of Performing arts is a mingle of creative talent with solid aspects of self-promotion and arts management. This blend of disciplines is good preparation for entering the world of performance. There are immense opportunities in the Arts field. Aspirants can choose this career to get fame, prestige and handsome remuneration. It can be a challenging career for freshers but once one gets established money and fame come gradually. Postgraduates of Masters of Performing Arts (MPA) can avail several career opportunities in areas like art studios, publishing houses, advertising agencies, magazines, films & television, production houses, educational institutions, theatre productions and other departments belonging to performing arts.

Job Profile for Master of Performing Arts [MPA]

Music Teacher:

A music teacher is responsible for teaching scholars the music theory and instrumental techniques, scales, and sight-reading. A music teacher also helps students for preparing the different music exams, auditions, and live performances.

Dance Teacher:

A dance teacher imparts dancing techniques for various styles of dances such as jazz, ballet, Kathak, contemporary, etc. A dance teacher can work for public or private schools or dance studios.


A choreographer is a professional who designs as well as directs routines used in dances and performances. A choreographer is also responsible for teaching dancing steps to performers during rehearsals.

Stage Manager:

A stage manager has the responsibility of performing various tasks such as scheduling and running rehearsals, coordinating the work of the stage crew, communicating the director's wishes to designers, etc.

Theatre Director:

A theatre director is responsible for the practical as well as creative interpretation of a dramatic script. A theatre director works with the technical crew, producer and other supporting staff like music director to collaborate on extensive production designs.   


An actor is a performer who plays various characters in stories using his/ her voice, appearance, body, and gesture. An actor can work for films, television, theatre, commercials, etc.  


A dancer can dance either as a job or for pleasure. One is able to move his or her body and feet in rhythm to the music. A dancer is a professional who uses movements to express ideas and stories in different performances. There are several types of dances in which a dancer can specialise such as ballet, Kathak, contemporary, jazz, Bharatnatyam, hip-hop, salsa, and the list continues.

Musical Theater Performer:

Musical theatre performers showcase their musical talent on the stage in front of the audience. He/She is a professional who combines songs, dialogues, acting as well as dance to perform for a live theatre audience.

Employment Areas for Master of Performing Arts [MPA]
  • International Festival Organization
  • Museums
  • Street Plays
  • Stage Shows
  • Film Industry
  • Theatres
  • Cultural Organizations
Remuneration Package

Salary in performing arts field is quite subjective and mostly depends on the one’s talent and skills in the chosen field. A great singer/dancer/drama artist can earn up to lacks per performance if he/she has excelled in the field.  Whereas working as a freelancer is a good decision for many artists. Interested students can also pursue PhD courses in Arts specialisation. The time duration of the programs varies from 3 to 5 years and can be studied in full time and part time mode

S. No

Job Title

Salary in Rs


Theatre Artists

Rs 1 to Rs 2 Lacs


Dance Teacher

Rs  1 Lac – Rs 5 Lacs


Theatre Manager

Rs  3.5 Lacs – Rs  4 Lacs



As per project/assignment


Music Teacher

Rs  1.5 Lac – Rs  3 Lacs

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