Performing Arts (Theatre)

BTEC L3 Subsidiary Diploma

Course Entry Requirements

4 A* – C grades at GCSE or equivalent in at least three subjects including a 4/D in GCSE English Language.

You must be able to perform confidently in front of others and will be required to informally audition for this course in the first few weeks.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication, September 2018, however, the College may need to make some changes by September 2019 in the light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College’s control.

Download Course Information

What will I study?

Year One Units – Certificate

Unit 103 – The Voice and the Actor

Throughout this unit you will learn to devise a vocal development programme in response to your own needs, complete a vocal development programme, demonstrate a command of vocal technique in response to material and demonstrate acting techniques in both contemporary and classical performances.

Unit 15 – Variety Performance

During this unit you will research a form of variety performance of your own choice. This may be anything from a mime act, magician, clowning to stand-up comedy, a monologue in a particular style or a musical performance. You will then rehearse your chosen act and ultimately perform this to an external audience.

Unit 7 – Performing to an audience

Throughout this unit you will undertake a performance role for a live audience, interpret performance material for an audience and perform a role, communicating meaning to an audience. You will work with discipline within an ensemble. You will perform a play that is either scripted or devised in the summer term.

Year Two Units – Subsidiary Diploma

These second year units will expand on the knowledge you have gained in the first year.

Unit 19 – The Principles of Acting

Throughout this unit you will learn about how acting techniques can be employed in a performance within two contrasting short performances. You will be assessed on your research skills and your ability to apply the acting techniques from each genre in performance.

Unit 18 – Auditions for Actors

Throughout this unit you will learn how to interpret and realise text suitable for different types of auditions and audition situations

Unit 11 – Theatre for Children

In this unit you will embark on learning about the types of children’s theatre and how to effectively perform to a group of children. You will devise a piece of theatre appropriate to the age chosen and deliver this to them. You will be assessed on your devising and performing skills.

What skills do I need?

  • Enthusiasm
  • Commitment
  • Energy
  • Performance Skills – the ability to act confidently in front of others

Examining Board


Why should I study this course?

You should choose to study Performing Arts if you enjoy performing along with a keen interest in learning about acting techniques. It is a practical course with many opportunities for performing in plays and acting, variety and singing skills (in your second year) most of which form part of your assessments. As well as performing you will study the elements of acting and singing, how to stage plays and in your second year you will further develop acting skills and will be asked to perform in a theatre performance.

You need a keen interest in acting and have the confidence to perform in front of others. If you are experienced in performing arts already your skills will be put to good use especially in the units that require you to perform in front of an audience. The course is mainly practical but you will need to complete some written work.

In addition to your studies there will be various trips and visits throughout the year allowing you to see a wide range of performances that will open your mind to new performance experiences, question and answer sessions and workshops.

The Certificate in Performing Arts is equivalent to 1 AS Level in its first year so you will also be able to study up to 2 more A Levels or their equivalent alongside it. If you progress to the second year you will achieve a full A Level equivalent (Subsidiary Diploma).

How is the course assessed?

The course is structured by assignments and every task you are asked to do will feature within one of the assignments. There are often 3 assignments per unit per year. Most of the assignments include assessments which look at your practical performance or written tasks such a rehearsal logs that are assessed by your tutor.

What will the course prepare me for?

You can progress to a number a careers or higher education from this course. For example many of our students go on to university to study drama, performing arts, musical theatre, music, creative, media and performing arts courses with great success. Other careers open to you would be roles that required outgoing, confident people who communicate to a high standard. There are many past students who have become professional actors and singers or work and perform on or for bands, become music teachers, entertainers, children’s presenters and entertainers, the list goes on…

Private study

You will be given a homework task per week. These homework tasks will be something which requires you to think about the subject you are studying and will further your knowledge accordingly. Sometimes you may have to complete an assignment outside of lesson time which may involve writing, editing or rehearsing practically.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught multiple units per week by different teachers who have expert skills in the units they are teaching you. The lessons will be mostly practical inspired but some theoretical exploration will be needed depending on the topic being covered.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Performing Arts (Theatre) is for you if:

You love performing arts, drama, west end shows, enjoy performing and are creative in your approach. If you enjoy practical work and thrive on learning new performance, acting skills, variety and vocal skills.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Performing Arts (Theatre) is not for you if:

You are not prepared to try old and new theatrical styles or do not enjoy rehearsing and performing in groups. We will do our best to encourage and praise you and we are confident that you will make very quick progress with your performing confidence under our specialist guidance if you choose to undertake this course.