Art and culture

The University of Leicester has a vibrant and lively arts scene with lots of opportunities for you to participate: whether you want to build on an interest you already have or try something new, you can participate, learn or just sit back and enjoy.

Attenborough Arts Centre Building 

Attenborough Arts Centre

Our on-campus arts centre (formerly Embrace Arts) is named in honour of actor and director Lord Attenborough who grew up on the campus when his father was Dean of the old University College, The Centre hosts a wide range of performances including dance, fringe theatre, puppet shows, burlesque, classical music and folk and jazz gigs, plus each February it is a key venue for the Leicester Comedy Festival. There is also an extensive programme of courses in performing arts, visual arts, writing and creative arts and crafts. A new extension provides exhibition space for the visual arts.

O2 Academy

For more than 50 years the University of Leicester has been a venue for some of the biggest and best bands to tour the UK. Jimi Hendrix played here, so did Queen and The Who, Elvis Costello and the Arctic Monkeys. In 2010 we opened the O2 Academy Leicester, one of the best music venues in the Midlands – right at the heart of our campus. For big name bands, up and coming artists or just incredible nights out, the O2 Academy is very much the focal point of student nightlife in Leicester

Student societies

Whether you want to play an instrument, sing, dance, act or… do whatever it is that burlesque actually involves – there is a society for you within our Students’ Union. We have a chamber choir, a concert band, a chorus, a big band, an orchestra and officially the best university gospel choir in the country (UGCY winners 2015). We also have societies for streetdance, modern dance, Asian dance and ballroom dancing, plus an acclaimed drama society which has performed Shakespeare at Stratford and premiered a Joe Orton play. Not forgetting Band and Gig Soc for those who want to be the next big thing.

Arts in the Village

Arts at the University are not restricted to the campus. Over in the Oadby Student Village, where most of our freshers live, you will find a whole load more opportunities. Rehearsal rooms, music lessons, film nights, open mic nights and free stand-up comedy gigs are all on offer. The Arts in the Village common room is somewhere to hang out with like-minded people, share creative ideas and information, get involved – or just swap a novel on the book amnesty shelf.