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Performing Arts Acting Level 3 at Sheffield College

Course description

If you are interested in developing your performance skills and are prepared to work hard to do this, the Extended Diploma will provide the right pathway for you. This exciting course combines a range of practical work with closely related written assignments.

You are ideal for this course if you are flexible and receptive, willing and eager to learn, and prepared to perform in front of an audience. Excellent attendance, punctuality and commitment are essential in order to craft performances which can be presented to the public. You also need to be able to work positively with others. You need to be able both to respond positively to direction in performance work and to develop your own creative ideas. The course will teach you a lot but also requires you to take responsibility for your own learning. It is challenging and intensive and you will need high levels of focus and enthusiasm throughout the two years

What will I learn ?

Throughout the 2 years, there will be opportunities for public performances, both touring and in college, as well as small-scale in-house presentations. The first year of the course focuses particularly on the developing of understanding and techniques, culminating in a major performance at the end of the summer term. The second year of the course in particular is largely performance-based with students applying and developing their skills through three major assignments– a musical production, a T.V project and a final major performance.

The modules you will study are :

Year 1

  • Performance Workshop
  • Performing Arts Business
  • Historical context of Performance
  • Acting Principles
  • Physical Theatre
  • Devising
  • Special Subject Investigation
  • Site Specific Performance

Year 2

  • Rehearsing for Performance
  • Performing to an Audience
  • Applying Acting Styles
  • Auditions for actors
  • Musical Theatre
  • Production for Theatre Performance
  • TV and Film 

What else will I gain?

The course will not only help you develop your knowledge and understanding of every aspect of performance but it will help your communication skills and should give you confidence in working both on your own and with others. These are skills that you can apply whatever you decide to do after you have finished the course. You will also be able to carry out research and reflect with thought and perception on your own working practices.

Why study this course at The Sheffield College?

The Performing Arts department is based at Hillsborough campus in a new purpose-built Creative Arts Centre. You will work in a fully equipped theatre and three drama studios all fitted out to professional standards. The facilities have been specially designed and equipped to give you the best possible environment in which to learn about the industry.

The BTEC course is extremely well established and many of our previous students are now working successfully within the industry, either as actors and directors or in production and design. You will be taught by tutors who have strong links with performance specialists and companies both locally and nationally, and the team includes tutors who themselves have worked extensively in theatre and television as actors, directors, writers and producers.

Hillsborough campus is a bright and friendly college with excellent facilities and good public transport links. 

Course content

During your course you will be performing in the evenings on a number of occasions. You are given a year planner at the start of the course to enable you to ensure that you are able to prioritise college commitments and participate fully in all projects.

Visits to theatres will be organised during your course and you are encouraged to see as much live performance as possible.

You will need to wear appropriate clothes when attending college as you will be taking part in practical sessions where this is essential. You will be given guidance as to suitable clothing and footwear at the beginning of your course. The wearing of jewellery is also not advisable because of the nature of the work.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language.

An audition will be required.


The course is assessed entirely by coursework, therefore you need to have good time management skills and be able to work to targets and deadlines.

Financial information


At The Sheffield College we will always do our best to support you through your studies, to make them as stress free as possible. We have a specialist support team who can give you all the advice you need on all things financial, including what might be available to you, so that you don’t go short and you can concentrate all your efforts into your studies.

Free meals

If you meet the eligibility criteria we’ll be able to support you with free meals. You’ll get an amount of money that you can use within the college shops and diners per day. This will be added to your student ID card which you will just swipe to purchase items.

Travel passes

Students (including Apprentices) of The Sheffield College who live in South Yorkshire are eligible for a 16–18 Student Pass which entitles pass holders to cheaper travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire. Pass holders are also entitled to half fare on Northern train services in South Yorkshire.

Learner Support Fund

If you are enrolled with us, you may receive support towards the cost of:

  • Travel

  • Books and materials

  • Uniform and equipment

  • Essential course trips

  • NUS extra

  • DBS checks needed for your course (previously known as CRB)
  • UCAS registration fee and travel to interviews when applying for university

Future opportunities

Where can it lead?

Most students go on to do a degree or foundation degree, at a University or Drama School. Students from the course have gone on to many different Universities and Drama schools, and a significant number of ex-students are now working successfully in TV, Film and Theatre. Other students have formed their own acting companies. Some students remain at Hillsborough to complete the Foundation Degree in Performing Arts (Drama). While some students progress onto courses in the performing arts, students do also go on to degree courses in a wide range of other areas where artistic understanding and communication skills are important, including Hospitality and Events Management, Tourism and Nursing.




Further information

How to apply   

School pupils in Sheffield should apply online with the help of their school. Other students can apply using a paper application form available from any college campus, by phoning 0114 260 2600, or downloading one from our website

Open Days

Why not come and see for yourself. Visit us on one of our open evenings and meet the people who will be teaching you, have a chat about what the course involves and look round our fantastic facilities where you’ll be learning.

Our City, Hillsborough, Peaks and Olive Grove campuses will be open on the following days:

  • Monday 20th November 2017, 3.30pm-7pm
  • Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 3.30pm-7pm
  • Wednesday 7th March 2018, 3.30pm-7pm
  • Thursday 17th May 2018, 3.30pm-7pm

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 20 December 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two year
  • Course code: HFNPA1


  • More information
    • Welcome to Hillsborough Campus

      Our Hillsborough campus in the north of the city is our creative hub with Art and Design, Photography, Fashion, and Music all based at the campus alongside more traditional courses such as A-Levels and our strong Sports base.

      The facilities at Hillsborough really have to be seen to be believed (why don’t you check out the tour!) from shiny Mac suites, which there are numerous, to sprung dance studios, a theatre and a TV studio.

      Hillsborough’s not just for those who are confident on the stage or in front of the camera, it also has a stage production workshop for set design and prop making, a wire tension grid which provides a strong, safe and virtually invisible platform for lighting changes to be made.

      Hillsborough also has a gym, a 3G sports pitch and a sports hall which is available for use for all, not just those studying Sport.

      If you need childcare, no problem! The Hillsborough campus has an Ofsted Outstanding rated nursery onsite.


      Hillsborough Campus, Livesey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 2ET

      By Car

      From the M1 take Junction 33 onto the Sheffield Parkway.

      Take a right onto Derek Dooley Way/A61 and follow the A61 for approximately 2 miles.

      When you reach a KFC restaurant on your left and Owlerton Stadium on your right, turn right onto Livesey Street. Hillsborough Campus is located approximately 300 metres down Livesey Street, on the right hand side.


      Unfortunately the only on-site parking available at Hillsborough is for Blue Badge holders (more access information can be found here), however there is pay and display on-street parking and car parks available nearby.

      By Train

      Once you arrive at the station your best bet is to hop on a tram – the train station even has its own tram stop. See the Tram section below for more details.

      By Tram

      Pick up a blue line tram heading towards Malin Bridge and get off at Hillsborough or Hillsborough Park – both of which are around 5 minutes away.

      You can use the Supertram website to plan your journey and get up to date information about fares.

      By Bus

      There are a number of different buses that stop near Hillsborough Campus – too many to list here in fact!

      Check out the Travel South Yorkshire website for further details.

      By Bike

      Hillsborough has secure bike storage on site. Please speak to Student Services to register and gain access to the storage facilities.


      For accessibility information please see the Disabled Go website here.