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Performing Arts


The BTEC Extended Certificate (360 GLH = equivalent to one A level) is a two-year vocational course that will suit creative individuals who enjoy innovative theatre practice and working with others. Practical workshops and performance projects are combined with written research tasks which aim to develop learners' acting to a high standard. On this course you will:

  • Investigate the work of directors and participate in workshops to develop acting styles and techniques
  • Develop skills for live performance
  • Work as an ensemble in a creative environment producing work for performance to a range of audiences in different venues

The BTEC Diploma (540GLH = equivalent to one and a half A levels) is a two-year intensive programme structured around the development of personal acting skills and preparing to work in the performing arts industry. This course is 100% coursework, internally assessed over 4 units. This is a highly recommended course for those focused on progression to drama training and careers in the performing arts. You will take part in practical workshops throughout the course, participate in scripted and devised performances and have opportunities for involvement in Brighton's vibrant theatre scene through theatre visits and performances in local venues. In addition to the areas explored in the Extended Certificate above, you will:

In addition to the areas explored in the single BTEC Level 3 above you will:

  • Learn how to plan, budget and market performances
  • Create commission-based performance
  • Develop storytelling for performance skills
  • Take part in a major performance project

Both the Extended Certificate and Diploma are exciting and practical two-year programmes. There is a significant amount of written coursework in each, which forms part of the assessment of the course. Theatre visits locally and to London are an important part of the course and will incur additional costs. At times students will be called for rehearsals outside timetabled lessons.

I did drama at GCSE and have been part of extra-curricular drama schools since the age of 5, so have always been willing to perform onstage. However, I wanted the chance to enrich my knowledge of drama further as I have often thought about continuing this in the future. The freedom to explore and create roles has allowed me to develop my storytelling and characterisation skills and these will be useful in my future as I study English Literature and Creative Writing at university.

Angelica Blake-Lawson, King’s School

Course Essentials

Courses Available
BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate Performing Arts (Acting) (equivalent to 1 A Level)
BTEC Level 3 Diploma Performing Arts Practice (Acting) (equivalent to 1.5 A Levels)
Entry Requirements

Grade 5 in GCSE Drama or Merit in L2 BTEC (if taken)
OR
A background of successful experience in productions
How The Course is Assessed
Both courses are assessed through ongoing performance projects supported by written portfolios, which includes research, documentation, analysis and evaluation. The Diploma course is 100% internally assessed on coursework and performance projects. However, for the Extended Certificate course, two of the four units are externally assessed, timed-written assessments.
Career Pathways
HE courses in Acting, Performing Arts, Drama & Theatre Studies, Physical Theatre and related fields. Previous students have gone on to Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, Chichester University, Guildford School of Acting, and Rose Bruford amongst others. Some go directly into the industry and others to a range of other degrees such as law, history and fine art. Our BTEC courses can lead directly into careers in the industry or give access to a host of other jobs which value problem solving skills, ability to work in a team and an active, engaged, approach.
Transferable Skills
Creativity; teamwork; leadership skills; problem solving; independence; communication; project planning; how to work effectively with external clients; funding & performance arts marketing.
Enquiries To
Steve Bates: ssb@varndean.ac.uk