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Diploma in Performing Arts (Dance) - Level 3 - Full-time (Brannams)

Level 3 Vocational
Course Code:
Brannams Campus
Two years

Exploring a range of dance styles, the programme focuses on technical training and performance skills, you will work as a company to take part in full-scale productions for public audiences. Our results are outstanding and students from our courses go on to study professionally at prestigious dance and theatre schools.

Based at Brannams' purpose-built dance studio, this exciting course gives you an insight into life as a dance professional. We have a reputation for producing outstanding productions. In addition to your training and studies you will also have the opportunity to work with visiting artists through workshops, and make trips to see professional productions including an educational visit to New York.


This BTEC Diploma/Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Dance) course is designed for those wanting to pursue a career within the dance sector. The content focuses on developing dance technique across a range of styles and fosters creative practice and choreographic studies. The programme prepares the dancer for professional training as a performer but also provides the knowledge and understanding required to pursue alternative career pathways. You will study the wider areas of the dance sector such as performing arts business, historical context, the healthy performer, physical theatre and dance in the community, providing a comprehensive understanding of the dance sector. Technical training will cover ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and musical theatre. Basic anatomy and physiology, healthy living and injury prevention are also integral to your studies.

These topics are taught within seven mandatory units and six optional units which are assessed by experienced teachers who are professionally trained in in their respective specialist areas.

Mandatory units include:
- Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance
- Group Performance Workshop
- Final Live Performance to an Audience

These units develop performance and technical skills and are centred around practical assessment. Investigating Practitioner's Work, Employment Opportunities in the Performing Arts, Individual Performance Commission, Performing Arts in the Community are theoretical externally assessed units which develop a deep understanding of contextual studies.

Optional units focus on the technical development of specific performance genres such as:
- Contemporary
- Jazz
- Tap
- Ballet
- Physical Theatre
- Musical Theatre
Assessed work will be graded pass, merit, or distinction (the A-level equivalents are E for pass, C for merit and A for distinction). These are then condensed down to the three grades you will receive at the end of the course. Each of the three grades is equivalent to an A Level and accepted as such by universities and the industry.

The course is mainly assessed through coursework: rehearsal, performances, research, portfolio, presentation discussion and evaluation.
Practical work is assessed in public and studio performances. All assessed work is scheduled to strict deadlines over the course of the programme. Failure to submit work on time can affect the overall grade awarded. All assessments are marked by two lecturers and a sample is verified by an Edexcel examiner. This ensures that all marking is fair and matches Edexcel national standards. There are three externally assessed units one of which consists of a timed written exam.
To be accepted onto a two-year Level 3 programme, all entrants must hold at least a grade 4 in GCSE Maths and a grade 4 in GCSE English, as well as at least three other GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above. Certain subjects require a minimum of GCSE grade 6.

Entry onto the course is by audition and interview, you will be required to prepare and perform a one-minute dance in a style of your choice.
Successful completion of the programme will provide progression to Higher Education routes where you can study a broad range of dance related degree programmes. Dance students from Petroc have also progressed to higher education at establishments such as Laban, London Contemporary Dance School and Northern Contemporary Dance School. Students are trained to a high standard of technical and performance skills, beyond this they will learn about the wider aspects of the dance and performing arts industry. This opens up the opportunity to work across a broad spectrum of jobs.
The college has a fully equipped theatre, purpose built dance studio and rehearsal rooms.
Please contact the Advice & Guidance Centre on 01271 852422 for more information.
Q: What types of employment can you engage with if you have this qualification?
A: Students are trained to a high standard of technical and performance skills, beyond this they will learn about the wider aspects of the dance and performing arts industry. This opens up the opportunity to work across a broad spectrum of jobs such as dance therapy, teaching; formal and private, community dance practitioner, dance company education officer, dance company administration roles such as manager, marketing and fundraising, theatre management and administration, local and national dance agency managers and administrators and many more!

Q: Do I need to have GCSE Dance to do the course?
A: No, as long as you have some experience in dance in addition to your GCSE then you can do the course.

Q: Will doing a full time vocational course limit my career opportunities?
A: No, the course develops a wide range of transferable skills beyond the subject specialism. Students will learn how to work as part of a company or team to produce, as well as perform, in shows. They will learn how to: communicate effectively, use their own initiative, lead a small team of people, perform under pressure, meet the demands of a competitive employment market, create their own employment opportunities, present themselves with confidence in interviews. This provides learners with skills needed to progress in careers outside of the performing arts industry.

Diploma in Performing Arts (Dance) - Level 3 - Full-time (Brannams)
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