The small and specialist institution near Leeds that’s welcomed some of the world’s biggest artists through its doors

The Academy of Live Technology.

Now this is an opportunity unlike anything else you’ll find in the North.

The Academy of Live Technology is paving the way for a whole new generation of live entertainment and production specialists.

No matter what point you’re at in your career, heading down to the Academy at Production Park is an opportunity to learn more about live experiences: there’s top-up and short courses for those want to find out more about the industry, degree and master-level courses for those wanting to get the practical experience whilst studying towards a professional qualification and even bespoke training programmes available upon request.

Students are all encouraged to make as many industry connections through work placements throughout their courses, and we’re told that there’s ample opportunity to jet-set around the globe to work on festivals and arena tours in the UK, Europe and America. 

Images: The Hoot Leeds

This said, students are often rubbing shoulders, or at least on the same site as internationally-acclaimed names: Production Park is home to two full-size arena spaces that’s hired out by artists before they head on tour.

It’s all a little hush, hush on the full list of names that hire out the space for a host of privacy reasons, but the public name of artists that have spent time over at Production Park is incredible.

We’re talking: One Direction, Beyonce, Jay Z, Kanye West, The Rolling Stones, Little Mix, Arctic Monkeys, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Def Leppard, Elton John, McFly, Meat Loaf, The 1975 – the list is simply endless.

Image: The Hoot Leeds

Now you’re not going to find this kind of professional-studying environment anywhere else are you?

Based over in South Kirkby, the campus is set on what seems like an unassuming industrial park at first, but walking through the door you’ll find a colourful Academy that houses three teaching studio spaces, prev-vis and computer suites, lecture rooms and  student breakout spaces as well as a myriad of office, performance and prep spaces shared between students and by artists rehearsing for upcoming events.

There’s history in the walls, and just about everywhere you look. The site is decorated with set memorabilia: walls are covered in truck tickets, the breakout spaces feature guitar cases from The Who and a tour print, plus the giant black heart from that BRIT performance from Dave, which sits as a sculpture near the canteen – casually.

This really is the place where people from all ages, walks of life and points of their career can come together to learn more about the creative industries: those already in the know of the stars and new students alike.

Images: The Hoot Leeds


There’s four undergraduate courses and six postgraduate courses in total, each specialising in different areas of live entertainment design and production.

Undergraduate level

The degree-level courses are naturally centred around live events, with the option to specialise in either Live Events Production, which features four specialist opportunities to study lighting design and technology, live sound, live visuals and event business, either as a full three-year traditional degree course, two-year FDA course or a one-year top up.

Live Visual Design and Production is all about creating those visual experiences for audiences on a global scale: utilising a combination of gaming platforms, immersive technology like VR and motion tracking and projection over a three-year course to

Stage and Production Management is a degree-level course that covers a wider area of theatre, live music, concerts, touring, sports, corporate events and more. 

Postgraduate level

Master of Science qualifications cover either Creative Technologies for Live Events or Virtual Production, each of which has the latest cutting-edge technology available for students to develop event-tech for artists and design-led applications with their own research projects.

Meanwhile, the Master of Art qualifications cover Immersive and Interactive Media Design; Live Event Design and Visual Effects for Live Events, led by industry professionals that help students to find their niche across different sectors of technology, management, design and production.

Images: The Hoot Leeds

Short Courses

For those wanting to dip their toes into the world of live events and production, the Academy of Live Technology also runs a range of shorter courses and boot camps across the year.

Running across ten sessions, usually twice a week for five weeks, the Skills Bootcamps  courses cover topics like Event Management, Event Production, Stage and Screen Rigging, Virtual Production and Unreal Engine. The Skills Bootcamps are fully funded courses for adults aged 19 and over based in either West Yorkshire or the Hertfordshire region.

Images: The Hoot Leeds

How to apply to the Academy of Live Technology

All courses can be accessed on the Academy of Live Technology website here.

For degree courses, entry requirements vary depending on the course, but sit around 64-104 UCAS points. This said, the Academy of Live Technology stresses that it’s not about your grades, but the ‘type of person you are’ and if you show a willingness and genuine interest in the live experience industry, you’ll fit right in.

The UCAS deadline for those looking to enrol in September 2024, the current application is 31 January 2024 at 6pm GMT.

Feature Image – The Hoot Leeds


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