Performing Arts - Acting has been added to My Courses


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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.
  • 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

89%of students gained Distinction and Distinction* grades (2019)

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 selection of texts and explores acting styles, performance skills and directing, as well as more conventional acting skills.

Students will complete the Extended Certificate over two years, which is the equivalent of one A-level. The course attracts UCAS points the same way as a standard A-level.

You also have the option to specialise further by taking the Diploma in Performing Arts which is worth two A Level’s, where you will complete an additional 4 units on top of the 4 completed in your Extended Certificate (Acting) class.

Entry Requirements

All students will prepare for, and attend, a workshop audition. These take place in the spring/summer term and students will be invited to attend following their application. Students will prepare a monologue and will take part in a practical workshop. Students should be able to demonstrate confidence as a performer, be able to work confidently as part of a group and show a suitable skill basis from which to develop. 



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.


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.

58% is via external assessment, of which 25% is an externally assessed written exam.

Meet the Performing Arts Teachers

Performing Arts Academy

You will automatically become a member of our highly successful St Brendan’s Performing Arts Academy which provides an enrichment programme and exclusive opportunities in association with our partner organisations: Bath School of Acting; Curtain Up Theatre School; West Acting Workshop & 3rd Stage Dance Company. Students benefit from regular workshops, performance opportunities, visiting speakers and theatre trips both locally and in London. 


Trips to the theatre are arranged regularly and are an essential element of the course.  In addition, visiting theatre companies perform at the college and regular practitioner workshops are available.  Students have the opportunity to take part in film and television acting workshops delivered by West Acting Workshop / ITV at the college.  Students may have the opportunity to participate in exciting projects, which have recently included the National Theatre’s Connections project.St Brendan's production of Want by Barney Norris was chosen to be performed by our students at the National Theatre in 2018.


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.