Performing Arts courses in Kenya [All you need to know]

Last updated on July 27th, 2023 at 03:39 pm

Are you passionate about a career in performing arts?

If yes, below is what you need to know about Performing Arts courses in Kenya including the available courses, where to study, minimum entry requirements, and more.

Read on.

Performing Arts courses in Kenya: All you need to know

The first thing I have to mention is that nowadays you can take even advanced courses in performing arts including a PhD in Music so you can go as far as you may want in your career.

In addition, there are more performing arts schools in Kenya (including universities) so you have more options to choose from when it comes to Performing Arts courses in Kenya.

With that out of the way, below is what you need to know about various performing arts courses..

Degree (Bachelor’s) Performing Arts courses

Below are some of the performing arts related degree programs:

  1. Bachelor of Film and Theater Arts
  2. Degree in Drama and Theater studies
  3. Degree in Music

Here are the entry requirements and universities offering the degrees:

Bachelor of Film and Theater Arts

This course is offered by Kenyatta University and there are three different categories of students who are admitted into the course:

  • Students admitted through KUCCPS – for this group, you have to meet the entry grade set by KUCCPS, which changes from year to year.
  • Direct entry students- You need to have a Diploma in Theatre Arts/Film Production/Mass communication to get direct entry. You can also be admitted if you hold a recognized Diploma in Education as long as you have proven experience/interest in Theatre Arts/film
  • Self-sponsored students– At least a C+ (plus) mean grade is needed in KCSE (or Division III in your EACE exams or their equivalents) to get a chance.

Course duration:  Eight semesters

To view other details regarding the course, go to this link.

Note that you can also start by taking a Diploma in Film and Theater Arts (You only need to have a C mean grade in KCSE) or even a Certificate in Film and Theater Arts (This needs a C- in KCSE) at KU.

Below are the links to the two courses:

Diploma in Film and Theater Arts

Certificate in Film and Theater Arts

Overall, these courses are most ideal if you want to venture into acting and drama including tasks like drama instruction, plays directing, theatre Journalism, and theatre entrepreneurship)

Degree in Drama and Theater studies

If your passion is acting, your next option is Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Drama & Theatre Studies (With IT) at Maseno University.

You generally need a C+ to be admitted.

Here is more information.


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Degree in Music

This is the course to go for if your interest is music and dance (including dance techniques and/or choreography).

You will also learn related things including music composition, music entrepreneurship, music therapy, and how to stage exhilarating musical performances.

This is also offered at Maseno University and the basic entry grade is C+ aggregate.

Here is the link to the course.

You can again take a Diploma or a Certificate in the same.

Here are the links to these two lower level Drama and Theater courses:

It’s worth mentioning that KU has a range of music courses that you may want to check out (up to PhD level).

In fact, KU is a popular destination for students of music in Kenya.

Explore KU’s music and dance courses here.

Lastly, Kabarak University also offers a couple of music courses that might be attractive to you.

View their basic qualifications here plus other important information.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) In Film Technology & Performing Arts

With this performing arts course in Kenya, you could work as any of the following professionals among others:

  • Production technician,
  • Script-writer
  • Actor / creative artist for TV, film, online platforms (like YouTube) and other media
  • Playwright
  • Radio or voice-over artist
  • Teach speech and drama
  • MC events/festivals

You can also start a performing art/creative production company.

The course is offered by KCA university and you need a C+ (KCSE mean grade).

Learn more

If you did not get the university entry grade, you can go for a Diploma (You need a C-) or even a Certificate(You need a D+).

Here are the links:

Diploma in Performing Arts Theatre & Film

Certificate in Performing Arts Theatre & Film


Performing Arts courses in Kenya:  What exactly is performing Arts?

Performance arts are a collective name for music, drama, and dance.

Now, music is an area of study that teaches the theory (and history) of music and graduates can either perform, compose, conduct, arrange, or teach music.

On the other hand, theatre is the study of drama and how to use space, lighting, color, and texture in performances.

Overall, performing artists display their talent in performances that entertain, amuse, provoke, and delight either during live coverage or through video recordings.

Key skills and interest required to pursue a career in this field

  • Talent
  • Self-drive
  • Decent sense of humor
  • Enthusiasm
  • Eloquence in speech
  • Creativity
  • Team spirit
  • Good self-presentation and management
  • Physical stamina
  • Flexibility
  • Analytical mind
  • Self-reflection
  • Good organization and time management skills

What the job/career/professional entails

Depending on the area of performance arts, most of the professionals in the area must rehearse their parts in readiness for performance.

Other activities may include the following:

  • Interpreting music or dance composition
  • Performing in productions
  • Auditioning for roles
  • Rehearse for performances
  • Teaching in schools / colleges
  • Working with the art directors to fine-tune a performance
  • Performing on stage in front of live audiences
  • Reading scripts


General Career prospects in Performance Arts

Diploma level

  • Dancer
  • Musician
  • Vocalist
  • Voice over Actor
  • Choreographer
  • Instrumentalist (Example, Guitarist)
  • Comedian
  • Disc Jockey (DJ)

Degree level

  • Video Producer
  • Video Over Producer
  • Movie Director
  • Musician
  • Actor/Actress
  • Adjudicator
  • Comedian
  • Composer



Universities offering music courses in Kenya

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