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Performing Arts (Acting) BTEC Certificate-Subsidiary Diploma - Level 3 - Full-time (North Devon)

A-level equivalent
Course Code:
North Devon Campus
Two years

Wherever your talents lie within the world of Performing Arts, this in-depth course will challenge you creatively and prepare you well for higher education. You will learn a variety of methods and styles of acting, working as a company to take part in a performance for a live audience.

Perform in professional surroundings in our Petroc Theatre.


This course is vocationally-designed to give practical hands-on experience in the performing arts, exploring a variety of acting styles. Modules covered include devising drama, contemporary and classical theatre, improvisation and physical theatre.

We'll explore your use of the voice, character development, acting auditions and creatively develop performances throughout the two years.

The course consists of four units taught across two years.

In the first year you will study two units:
- Unit 1 Investigating Practitioners’ Work
You will investigate the work of performing arts practitioners and develop critical analysis skills and contextual understanding of how practitioners communicate themes in their work.
- Unit 2 Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance
You will explore technical performance skills with a focus on developing and demonstrating skills and techniques in at least two performance styles within a selected discipline.

In year two you will study two further units:
- Unit 3 Group Performance Workshop
You will explore and integrate creative, physical and performance skills and techniques, working collaboratively to create a performance in response to a given stimulus.
- Unit 4 Specialist Skills Development
This optional unit will develop the core skills relevant to musical theatre performance.
You will study four units, each of which 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 grade you will receive at the end of the course. The grade 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 two externally assessed units - one of which consists of a timed written exam.
All entrants must hold 4 GCSEs at grade 3 or equivalent or above, to preferably include GCSE Maths and English at grade 3 or above.
Entrants who do not have a GCSE grade 4 in Maths and/or English will continue studying these subjects.
At the end of the year, you are expected to have completed and achieved all the components of your Level 2 Study Programme and improved your Maths and English skills before progressing to your next course.

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades 9-4, including English Language, Maths, and Drama and/or evidence of involvement in theatre outside the classroom.
Students who have completed this course have progressed on to higher education at establishments such as E15, Central School of Speech and Drama, LIPA, Rose Bruford, Bath Spa University and the University of East Anglia.

We offer excellent foundation degrees at Petroc too, so you can take your performing to a higher level without the stress and cost of moving away.
The college has a theatre, rehearsal rooms and dance studio.
Please bring your GCSE results.
If you require any further information about this course, please contact Sarah Davies by emailing or by calling 01271 338120.
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, allowing skills to develop through team work, leadership, organisational and working to a strict deadline. These skills can be transferred to a wide variety of employment opportunities outside of the performing arts sector. Within the performing arts this can include opportunities to work across a broad spectrum of jobs such as drama therapy, teaching, community practitioner, theatre company education officer, theatre company administrator and many more!

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