Performing Arts

(Applied General Certificate / Extended Certificate)

Please note:  government expectation is that students should not take more than one certificate course as part of an A level programme.


This is a two-year, modular, A Level equivalent course. It is an exciting and versatile course which combines the three art forms of music, dance and drama. We explore and promote performance in a range of disciplines, genres and styles, with significant emphasis on musical theatre. A diverse range of works and approaches are studied from a variety of time periods and cultures.

Performing Arts is a subject that can be helpful in progressing to either Performing Arts colleges or university and can be combined with A Levels or other BTEC courses, including other performing arts courses. The skills learnt and developed on this course include transferable employment skills that can be utilised in any industry, including communicating and negotiating in pressured situations, practical problem solving, delivering presentations to peers and performing to the public.

All staff in the Performing Arts Department work co-operatively to produce joint and individual subject performances. Practical group work and presentations are all essential components of any Performing Arts student’s experience. We have very good links with former students and a variety of professionals working in the field.

The Performing Arts Department runs a range of extracurricular performance activities, including visiting workshops led by professional artists and top conservatoire and university providers, to prepare students for their future training in the industry. We offer a range of opportunities throughout the year to see and experience professional works, in college, locally and in London.


The Certificate (BTEC) course comprises two units:

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners’ Work (50%) - This involves the study of practitioners’ works in musical theatre, dance and drama, looking at contextual factors that influence their work, developing knowledge and understanding of the creative intentions, performance, production and repertoire needed for the sector. This will be achieved through the research and investigation of two practitioners and a given theme in a written exam.

Unit 2: Developing Skills and

Techniques for Live Performance (50%) - You will develop appropriate skills and techniques in the performance disciplines of acting, dance and musical theatre, then choose one of these in which to perform a final practical exam. This will be achieved through participation in regular workshops, classes and rehearsals.


Unit 1: a written exam, comprising three questions, for which you have 4 weeks’ preparation time.

Unit 2: a practical performance, a presentation and a log book.



Following your success in the exam and assessments for the Certificate in Performing Arts, you will have the opportunity to take the Extended Certificate in Year 2 (equivalent to one A Level). You will need to achieve at least a Pass in the Certificate qualification to do this.

The Extended Certificate in Year 2 comprises the Certificate units taken in the first year, plus the following two units:

Unit 3: Group Performance Workshop - Assessment will include a group devised performance, encompassing the three art forms of musical theatre, dance and acting, and a digital process log, which is completed as a controlled assessment over four hours.

An optional unit - with options to specialise in either dance, musical theatre or acting. Assessment will include a presentation, a log book and final practical exam performance.


Standard College entry requirements and a minimum of:

Grade required Subject required

Grade 4

In both GCSE English Language and English Literature. If only one is taken then Grade 5 is required.


Essential Skills/


Performance skills/experience in at least two performing arts subjects, such as Dance, Drama or Music and  successful participation in a supportive audition workshop prior to the start of the course. 


This course can lead to further study of the subject at either university or performing arts colleges; the communication and confidence-building aspects of the subject can also be invaluable in a variety of different careers.


Students will be supplied with guidance materials, such as a scaffolding booklet for their log book, a weekly diary of lessons and self-reflection models. There is an expectation that students will participate in the range of professional workshops offered and go to see professional productions organised by the department and independently.