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Performing Arts BTEC Level 2 First Extended Certificate at St Brendan's Sixth Form College

Course description

The Performing Arts are a continuously developing and growing area in the UK, providing cutting edge entertainment, high-class technical support and engagement for the masses.

Our Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Performing Arts offers a wide choice of units to reflect the range of opportunities available within the performing arts sector. They are an ideal foundation for students, providing them with an understanding of performing arts through engagement with techniques, the work of practitioners, industry conventions and community projects. This leads to the application of practical and creative skills that transfer easily into the workplace.                          

This is a practical one year course equivalent to 3 GCSE grades

A*-C. It allows students to develop skills in the three key mediums of Dance, Drama and Music. There is a focus on understanding the theatre as an industry linked to employment and real life settings. Units are predominantly practical and offer genuine individual learning options for students to extend their performance skills, including backstage work and technical theatre experience.

Course content

Lessons are a mixture of practical workshops and theory based lessons aimed to provide you with the necessary key skills required for further training in this area at level 3 courses in college, or even get access to work and apprenticeships in the theatre.

Below is an example of the range of units included in the extended certificate:

Core Units:

  • Individual Showcase (externally assessed)
  • Preparation, Performance and Production

Mandatory Units

  • The Performing Arts Industry (externally assessed

Specialist Units

  • Acting Skills
  • Dance Skills

Additional Specialist Units

  • ​Performance In Context
  • Voice and Speech for performers
  • Performing Scripted Plays
  • Exploring Urban Dance Styles
  • Sound for Performance


Internal Assessment: Internal assessment is coursework based and students will complete a range of activities within each unit to evidence their learning.

External Assessment: The course has two units that are externally assessed. This assessment takes the form of an online test and a filmed presentation or performance in response to a brief. Both are set and marked by EDEXCEL.

Students are expected to work independently to keep their folders updated, to include detailed information about their personal development in all areas. Performances will be assessed, but all work will also need to be accompanied by research, rehearsal and evaluative notes in a written portfolio folder.

Financial information

There are no direct charges on this course.  However, we will also run regular trips and workshops which are not funded.

Future opportunities

Level 2 First Extended Certificates are a way to gain qualifications to move on to Level 3 BTEC and A level courses at college. There is a clear progression to Level 3 Performing Arts (Acting), or Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) as well as Music courses, Drama AS or other performing arts courses. Students’ progress and enter careers such as Acting, Theatre backstage production and management etc. The course would also be a foundation from which to aim for Higher Education courses such as BA Hons degree in Drama, Performing Arts, or go to a Performing Arts or Drama School, or continue to study BTEC courses at a Higher National Diploma level.

Further information

There are numerous trips to the theatres locally and beyond. You will be expected to see Theatre in a multitude of forms. Skills workshops are available in addition to lessons, and will be delivered by acting, dance or music teachers. 

As this is a very practical course and looking to use real theatre experiences wherever possible, there is an expectation that students will be available to perform in a range of small scale shows throughout the year, usually in the evenings, and also students should all experience being part of a supporting backstage crew.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Brendan's Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 24 October 2016

Key information