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The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation/Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Practice (Acting Pathway) is a course designed to be studied over two years and aims to support progression to a range of sector-related degrees with the goal of leading to higher education and employment in performing arts.

During this practical and varied course, students will cover a range of acting and performance skills, contextual activities related to theatre arts and will also be given the opportunity to be involved in public performances. It will provide students with an understanding of performing arts through engagement with techniques, the work of practitioners, industry conventions and community projects. The method of learning is a mixture of both tutor led and practical sessions and the qualification combines practical and theory-based assignments.

Those enrolled on the course will study a range of different acting and performance styles as well as advancing their technical proficiency and development of performance for different audiences. There will also be a focus on enhancing their ability to carry out independent research to further their knowledge and understand plays, characters, key drama practitioners and the performing arts industry in general. This will culminate with a final performance at the end of each year, researched, devised and delivered by the students. The course will also prepare students for next steps, such as auditioning for drama/stage schools and university.

The course is taught by subject specialists, and you will be working both independently and in small groups, utilising our state of the art facilities. There may also be opportunities for students to attend external performances or workshops with local theatres.

  • What will I study?

    The units and modules you will study across the two years are likely to include:

    • Acting skills development
    • Exploring performance styles
    • Creating performance material
    • Performing as an actor for an audience
    • The performing arts industry
    • Planning a career in the industry
    • Personal performing arts profile
    • Using development plans to refine skills
    • Producing a personal project
    • Using material for self-promotion and networking
    • Collaborative performing arts project
    • Undertaking a defined creative or administrative role
    • Using creative collaboration to develop a project
    • Producing a collaborative project

    All units are subject to change and may be withdrawn or amended by the awarding body.

  • Who is this course for?

    This course is ideal for students with a passion for acting and performing arts, and are looking to progress to studying the subject at a university level or gain entry level employment in a performing arts related career.

    Students should be self-motivated and be confident in performing on a stage to an audience.

  • How is the course assessed?

    There will be both internal assessment of practical and written assignments throughout the programme, depending on the unit.

    If you are studying maths and English, you will sit these as external exams.

  • Your Study Programme

    If you are aged 16-18, you will join a Study Programme this could be a vocational or technical qualification. We will make sure you are working at the right level on your core qualification and are challenged to achieve the highest level of qualification you can.

    Work experience will be part of your study programme and complement your college study and prepare you for employment. You will also get involved in activities to help you develop life skills and to build your confidence so you can make progress in your career.

    If you have chosen to study for a T Level qualification, this will involve college-based theory and practice lessons along with relevant work placement to enable you to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers are looking for.

    Weekly timetables will include tutorial support which may comprise of full group activities or one to one sessions to discuss individual progress or support needs.

    All students will continue to improve their maths and English and if you don't have a grade 4 (C) at GCSE, we will work with you towards achieving that goal (subject to specific entry requirements for particular courses).

  • Knowledge

    You will develop a thorough knowledge and understanding of:

    • The key elements and influences in your discipline (Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre or Technical Theatre) and refining an investigative approach to the Performing Arts industry

    • A range of activities and competences through in-depth subject specific study, enabling the practical, written, presented and evaluative academic work to further your reading, writing and digital skills

    • Subject specific context; for example an awareness of equality and diversity in the performing industries and an up-to-date approach to casting, skills itineraries and CV writing.
  • Skills

    You will have the ability to:

    • Explore and enhance personal performance and technical skills through practical and research-based study and practical sessions including specialist disciplines of Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre & Technical Theatre
    • Develop core specialist skills at relevant levels including taking correction (in Dance and Musical Theatre for example) practical feedback, critical listening skills around others work, communicating ideas with your peers,enhancing your skills levels both individually and collaboratively
    • Integrate and develop previously acquired skills, alongside new and challenging work enabling a broader repertoire and experience, and therefore develop your own approaches to your directed and creative work.
  • Behaviours

    What is required?

    • Developing the behaviours and expectations to help you work in the industry that are specific to your discipline, such as reliability, time keeping and organisation, respect and communication skills
    • Taking responsibility in the management and commitment to rehearsals and production work or for an assignment of personal interest and prepare for progression within a chosen discipline

    • Demonstrate professional and respectful behaviours that will help you network, develop connections in industry and contacts, including taking initiative, organisational skills and developing resilience.
  • General info

    After being interviewed, applicants will be invited to a taster day in the summer. On this day, we will expect students to perform a short piece to give us an insight into their level of ability and suitability within performing arts or offer advice and guidance on other pathways in college.

    Students will be expected to purchase some basic equipment relevant to the course and have access to IT at home. This will be conveyed to them in the form of a kit list, sent via email during the summer before they enrol. For those eligible, bursary applications are available to cover the cost.

    There may be opportunities to go on trips throughout the year, the cost of these will be discussed with students ahead of time.

  • Progression and Career Opportunities

    Upon successful completion of this course, students have had the opportunity to further their training at universities, drama schools, stage schools and performing arts colleges. They can also choose to apply for our HNC/HND Performing Arts (Acting) course at Northampton College.

    With a performing arts qualification, career pathways could include work as an actor, community arts worker, theatre director, stage manager, set designer or lighting/sound technician.

  • Entry Requirements for new students

    4 GCSEs Grade 4 or L2 Diploma Performing Arts + GCSE English and maths Grade 3, complete the tasks that you will be sent & attend the onsite/online Taster Day. You may be offered a place on another level to your original application.

  • Admissions Process

    We recommend that you attend one of our exciting open events so that you can look around the department, the college and meet the tutors. You are welcome to do this before or after you apply. These events have proved very successful in ensuring students and their families see the best of what the college has to offer such as our inspirational teaching areas, teachers, library facilities and places to eat.
    Once you have applied our experienced Enrolment Team will consider your application carefully and will let you know, by email, if the College would like to make you a conditional offer based on you meeting the specified entry requirements. If your predicted grades or career aims suggest that an alternative subject area or course level would be more appropriate for you at this stage, we will contact you either by telephone, email or text. If you have told us that you have some additional support needs we will contact you to find out more so that we can help you.