Studying the performing arts provides students with the opportunity to engage the mind, the body and emotions into a collaborative expression of all that it means to be human. Through study and performance, students explore and present great themes and ideas.

They discover their own voice, grow in confidence and develop empathy and ethical insight into the contradictions and paradoxes of the human condition. Performing arts students grow in understanding of what it means to not only be human, but to be good, noble, honourable, kind and compassionate.

Departmental Courses

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts.

Pearson BTEC Level 3

National Foundation Diploma in Performing Arts.

Equivalent in size to 1.5 A Levels. 6 units of which 4 are mandatory and 2 are external. Mandatory content (76%). External assessment (41%).

Who is it for?

The Foundation Diploma is for learners looking to study performing arts alongside another area of contrasting or complementary study, as part of a two-year, full-time study programme. If taken as part of a programme of study that includes other BTEC Nationals or A Levels it supports progression to higher education. It also supports progression to an Apprenticeship in the performing arts sector or to a further year of study at Level 3.



Investigating Practitioners’ Work

Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance

Group Performance Workshop

Performing Arts in the Community


Include dance or drama techniques

Choreography, writing or directing


Who do I contact for more information?

Mrs B Ellicott (


How do these qualifications provide employability skills?

In the BTEC National units there are opportunities during the teaching and learning phase to give learners practice in developing employability skills. Where employability skills are referred to in this specification, we are generally referring to skills in the following three main categories:

  • cognitive and problem-solving skills: use critical thinking, approach non-routine problems applying expert and creative solutions, use systems and technology
  • intrapersonal skills: communicating, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation
  • interpersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and development.

There are also specific requirements in some units for assessment of these skills where relevant, for example, where learners are required to undertake real or simulated activities.

How do these qualifications provide transferable knowledge and skills for higher education?

All BTEC Nationals provide transferable knowledge and skills that prepare learners for progression to university. The transferable skills that universities value include:

  • the ability to learn independently
  • the ability to research actively and methodically
  • being able to give presentations and being active group members.

BTEC learners can also benefit from opportunities for deep learning where they are able to make connections among units and select areas of interest for detailed study. BTEC Nationals provide a vocational context in which learners can develop the knowledge and skills required for particular degree courses, including:

  • reading texts
  • extended writing
  • analytical skills
  • creative development
  • communication skills
  • collaborative skills
  • independence
  • preparation for assessment methods used in degrees.