Performing Arts

The Performing Arts course has a proven track record of getting young people into Drama School. On this course you will study fundamental acting techniques for the industry, as well as singing and vocal technique and dance and movement skills. Year 1 is focused on developing your core skills in acting, devising, ensemble performance, singing and dance. In Year 2, you will specialise in a chosen career pathway: acting or musical theatre, with bespoke units for each pathway. Year 2 will conclude with a large musical theatre performance or play and an individual specialist performance project. Alongside course content, you will develop employability skills for the Performing Arts industry, including audition technique, CV and application writing and LAMDA performance exams. You will also have the opportunity to join the Sundial Theatre Company, the performance enrichment company, which does multiple performance projects throughout the year, including National Theatre Connections.

Awarding Body

Available As


UCAS Points

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What will I study?

The course is continually assessed throughout practical workshops, rehearsals and performances. The written assignments on the course underpin the practical work, with focused research, reflective analysis and evaluations linked to the performance style and genre you are developing practically. The course is a mixture of internally and externally assessed units.

Year 1

Unit 2: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance

Actor training in expressionism and psychological realism, with a final performance assessment of a play in a realistic style. You will also research what it takes to be a successful performer, and complete a portfolio of character development and performance analysis.

Unit 3: Group Performance Workshop

Training in devised theatre using stimuli and a combination of contemporary and experimental performance techniques and styles. You will research and apply techniques and current industry practice for devising theatre, to create an enitrely unique production using your own ideas. Alongside workshops, rehearsals and performances, you will complete milestone written logs, reflecting on the development of the piece and your own ideas.

Unit 4: Performing Arts in the Community

Training in physical ensemble and chorus techniques for interpreting plays, which will be applied to a whole group performance of a chosen play that will be toured to a local community, such as secondary schools. Throughout this project you will contribute performance skills and ideas to develop a piece for a specific community audience. You will research professional community arts practice and complete a self-assessment portfolio on your project.

Year 2

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners' Work

This unit is focused on research and analysis of performing arts practitioners' work in specialist styles and disicplines. You will produce a report on your chosen practitioner from acting, musical theatre, dance, physical theatre or another performance discipline. In your report, you will analyse and evaluate the practitioner's work. This unit is a chance to develop in-depth knowledge on a type of performance that you might be interested in for your career.

Unit 5: Individual Performance Commission

This unit requires you to prepare solo audition and performance material in response to an industry-style advert or callout. This unit allows you to specialise in your chosen performance area. You must select and develop technical and artistically impressive performance material to industry standard. You will also justify your choice of performance material and your development in a written application for a performance project and evaluation of your practical work.

Unit 6: Final Live Performance to an Audience

This is the last unit on the course, which finishes with a large scale musical theatre production, which will apply all the skills learnt throughout the course. As well as rehearsing and performing, you will produce a detailed character and performance portfolio. This is often the final highlight of the course, giving all students the chance to display their skills and expression in a high quality final performance.

Career Pathway Units

You will select either of the following career pathways, with two specialist units per pathway:

Musical Theatre - Unit 10: Jazz Dance Techniques and Unit 23: Singing Techniques for Performers.

Acting - Unit 18: interpreting Classical Text for Performance and Unit 26: Physical Theatre Techniques.

In Year 1 you will complete a Grade 6 LAMDA Exam, alongside the course content. In Year 2, you can choose a higher grade acting or musical theatre exam. LAMDA exams are excellent for audition skills and preparation. 

As well as doing assessed performances for the course, there are also multiple non-assessed performance showcases, with three planned showcases for acting, musical theatre and dance, as well as a Christmas showcase.

How will I learn?

Performance skills training workshops.

Rehearsal of performance material.

Multiple performances of rehearsed material.

Research presentations on specific styles and practitioners of performance.

Consistent reflection and evaluation of developing performance skills, characterisation and technical ability in each project.  

How will I be assessed?

  • Practical workshops, rehearsals and performances.
  • Research presentations.
  • Portfolios of performance self-assessment and evaluation.
  • External and internal assessment.

Are there any trips on this course?

  • Performing Arts Residential trip to London to watch four shows over two days.
  • Additional trips to theatres to watch shows linked to performance styles and disciplines studied on the course.

Are there any extra costs?

  • You are required to wear black movement clothing for all practical lessons. You may also need to purchase movement shoes, such as jazz shoes.
  • You will need to buy scripts for some projects.
  • For some shows, you may need to contribute towards the cost of your costume.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

The standard college entry requirements apply, but you must have enthusiasm, aspirations and motivation for Performing Arts. You must have some experience, skill, technique and knowledge in Performing Arts.

Careers Information


What sort of productions are on offer?

A wide range of acting and musical theatre performances, including showcases with a collection of different performance pieces, and an end of year play and musical.