Performing Arts - 'Acting' Pathway has been added to My Courses


Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSE’s at grade 4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and will count as 1 GCSE equivalent.
  • A grade 3 in English Language is accepted for this course providing you have a grade 4 or above in English Literature. You will also need to enrol on English Language GCSE alongside your A-levels.
  • All students are required to audition for a place on the course which will consist of a practical workshop and the preparation of a 1-2 minute monologue.
  • Drama GCSE or equivalent Level 2 BTEC Diploma advantageous but NOT essential



Exam board: Edexcel

100%of students gained Distinction and Distinction* grades (2018)

This practical course focuses on developing skills in performance. It is designed for drama students who love to act, and wish to further their skills in a range of performance styles.

It is largely contemporary in the selection of texts and explores applying acting styles, practitioner techniques, physical theatre, work as well as more conventional acting skills. If appropriate, there may be the opportunity to accredit work done outside of college and/or select specialist units to suit the student.

Students will complete the Extended Certificate over two years, and the qualification is the equivalent of one A-level - it attracts UCAS points in the same way as a standard A-level.



Trailer for DNA

Course Structure

The course is made up of the following units: 

Investigating Practitioners’ Work

Learners investigate the work of performing arts practitioners and develop critical analysis skills and contextual understanding of how practitioners communicate themes in their work.

Developing Skills and Techniques for Performance

Learners explore technical performance skills with a focus on developing skills and techniques in at least two performance styles.

Group Performance Workshop 

Learners explore and integrate creative, physical and vocal skills and techniques, working collaboratively to create a performance in response to a given stimulus.

Acting Styles

Learners develop acting methods by exploring different acting styles. They will apply techniques to the development, rehearsal and performance of their practical work.

Course Delivery

The course is taught by specialist practitioners. Assignments are set at regular intervals throughout the course and a very high level of student involvement is expected in all areas. Lessons are a mixture of practical workshops and rehearsals, and theory-based lessons aimed to provide students with the necessary key skills required for further training in this area at HE or beyond. Performances are especially important and it is expected that evening rehearsals and performances will take priority over work or social commitments.

BTEC Acting Second Year Devised Piece


Trips to the theatre to view a range of performances are essential to the course. In addition, visiting theatre companies perform at the College. Students will have the opportunity to take part in a Film and Television Acting course delivered at the college. Students may have the opportunity to participate in exciting projects, which have recently included the National Theatre’s Connections project, and their New Views playwriting competition. Extra-curricular sessions where they can learn about theatre design are on offer. Some of these opportunities are available at a cost, but will work to supplement their experience and qualifications.

As this is a very practical course, and looking to use real theatre experiences wherever possible, there is an expectation that students will be available to perform in a range of showcases throughout the year usually in the evenings, and also students should all experience being part of a supporting backstage crew. All students will be timetabled to do Enrichment on Thursday 1.00-2.30pm as extra rehearsal time to support their practical work.


Assignments are marked on a regular basis. Students are expected to work independently to keep their folders updated, to include detailed information about their personal development in all areas. Performances will be assessed, but all work will also need to be accompanied by research, rehearsal and evaluative notes in a written portfolio folder. The students can opt to submit their work in a range of formats including; blogs, PowerPoint presentations, viva voce, video diary and written work.

42% of the assessment of the course is via internally marked coursework and 58% is via external assessment.


The facilities relating to Performing Arts include:

  • Fully equipped performance space including substantial sound and lighting systems.
  • Excellent state of the art technical/backstage equipment.
  • A bespoke Dance studio with a sprung floor.
  • A technician to support performance work and aid students in theatre design.


Level 3 BTECs are valued by employers and higher education providers.  Students completing this course have gone on to Higher Education courses such as BA Honours degrees in Drama, Performing Arts, and a selection of students have gone on to Performing Arts or Drama Schools. The education element of the course would also be ideal for a Teaching qualification and career, or to gain work in a theatre education department. Students may progress into careers such as acting, theatre backstage production and arts management. In addition to this, the transferable skills developed over the duration of the course also enable students to progress into a range of other employment in the creative industries, business, law and teaching.

Additional Costs

A fee of £30 is requested from each student as partial payment towards college organised trips to live theatre and workshop events. Students are expected to take part in theatre trips to London and Bristol where a charge will be made based on ticket price and cost of transport. There are further opportunities to take part in a range of courses and enrichment activities, some of which come at a small cost.

Partnerships and Links

We have strong links with Bristol Old Vic, West Acting Workshop/ITV Studios, Screenology Film School, and many local theatre companies and professional actors. This year, companies have included The Paper Birds and Travelling Light Theatre.

Students benefit from regular workshops, visiting speakers and theatre trips. Our Career Ready Scheme which matches successful applicants with a professional mentor who works in the industry.

Excerpts from 'Oliver!'

Audition date for 2020 entry: 17th March

Details will be sent to those who have applied for this course.