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Professional Diploma in Performance

This qualification will provide you with an opportunity to stretch and refine your practical skill levels whilst defining your own personal interests and area of expertise – by choosing Musical Theatre or Dance pathways – within a qualification structure that is stimulating and demanding.

Through applied learning, by locating learning within a professional context, you will work alongside industry experts to gain first-hand experience of the sector.

The qualification consists of three core units:
– Applied Professional Practice: This unit will introduce you to the realities of a professional working environment and will equip you with the necessary rehearsal etiquette and professional practice standards required within the industry. You will gain an understanding and appreciation of the demands placed upon the performer in (and outside) of the rehearsal room and you will start taking responsibility for your own professional development.

– Specialist Performance Technique: In this unit, you will practically take part in a range of performance activities in order to develop your performance technique. You will advance your technical competency skill levels across a range of performance styles and contextual periods, and apply the requisite professional standards in both rehearsal and performance. You will develop your analytical skills through the exploration of your own practice and consider the impact of your artistic choices on the audience experience.

– Specialist Performance Project: The focus of this final unit is for you to realise your professional performance ambitions by instigating, rehearsing and performing in a specialist performance project. You will take control of your own professional development and explore a self-defined area of practice that will bring together your applied professional practice and specialist performance techniques combined with your knowledge and understanding to carry out a performance project. This will involve you identifying the project objectives, clarifying and agreeing on the scope of the work, managing your time and resources to achieve a final outcome for a clearly identified audience. The precise form and content of the project will be dependent upon the specialist skills you have developed.

Delivered by industry experts, this course also has strong links to the industry, working in partnership with international theatre companies and welcoming guest lecturers from West End productions and dance companies.

“I would be proud to contribute and bring world-class Musical Theatre training to Petroc.” Nigel Richards, International Musical Theatre Performer and Patron of Petroc’s Professional Diploma Performance company.

Our aim is to provide high quality, low-cost professional training and replicate a conservatoire environment where you will be able to thrive and learn your craft.

Apply for this course

Sep 2022 : Brannams : Full-time
Course Code : FTB376 (2022)
Level : Level 4
Duration : 1 Year
Brannams campus Apply

Course details


Assessments will take the form of practical demonstration and performance, research and reflective practise portfolios.

Units 1 and 2 can be awarded a grade of Pass or Fail.

Unit 3 can be awarded a grade of Pass, Merit, Distinction or Fail.

Entry Requirements

To be accepted onto a Level 3 programme, you must hold at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including GCSE Maths and English language.

You will be required to have completed a Level 3 programme, and have a strong skillset in at least one performance discipline: acting, singing or dancing.


This is an exciting performing arts programme that will prepare you to progress into higher education or conservatoire training. The skills developed throughout the qualification may also support you if you intend to progress directly into employment in the creative industries.

We have an outstanding record of progression with our students winning places to study acting, dance, musical theatre and production at high profile establishments like E15, Central School of Speech and Drama, Arts Ed, Lamda, Laine, LIPA, Rose Bruford, Bird, Urdang, LIPA, Laban, London Contemporary Dance School, Northern Contemporary Dance School, Rambert Dance School, Oxford Stage School and Bath Spa University. Some students go straight into the profession, starting exciting careers in a range of jobs relating to the performing arts.

Facilities and resources

Our courses are delivered at Brannams in our purpose-built theatre and dance studio. Your teachers are all professionally trained industry experts.


Q: Will I perform whilst on the course?

A: Yes. At Petroc, we believe the core of vocational training in this area is to be able to use and learn from your work as you progress.

Q: Can I specialise in a pathway?

A: Yes, you can focus on a particular discipline.

Study Programme

Every full-time student at Petroc will have their own Study Programme which will include:

– Your academic or vocational qualification.

– Maths and English Language development – if you have not achieved GCSE grade 4 in either of these subjects.

– Work Experience – hours will vary depending on your qualification and course level.

– Tutor Support – to support your personal, academic and professional development.

– Sustainability – helping you to identify how you can improve the sustainability of your future employment sectors.

– Personal Development Awards – developing six key areas of personal and employability behaviours to prepare you for the working world.

Apply for this course

Staring Date : 12/09/2022
Course Code : FTB376 (2022) Brannams campus Apply

Why Petroc should be your first choice

Petroc offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

Photo by Guy Harrop. Pic of Petroc college students, Devon

image copyright guy harrop
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We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community. 


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments. 


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.