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Performance (BTEC Level 3) at New College Swindon

Course description

This is an essential foundation for anyone wanting to become a performer.  Whether you want to be an actor, singer, musician, dancer or all-round entertainer, it enables you to develop your talent, acquire necessary knowledge and bring depth and range to your performing skills.  The course is about study and application with sessions telling you things or you discovering them, and then putting what you have learned into practice.  At New College, Performing Arts means Performing!

To be successful in today’s highly competitive leisure industry you need to understand and have some experience of all the performing arts.  You learn about your own special skills, but you also try out and become more proficient in others.  The modern stage needs people who can act, sing and dance.

This is full time and cannot be taken with any other course.  It is a two-year course of 18 hours a week, including tutorial, Key Skills and career support.  You will also undertake one hour per week in backstage work and a further three hours per week in Drama, Music or Dance, depending on your interests and performance specialism.  It’s hard work, but it’s fun!

Course content

Your classes will help you develop several types of study skills as you undertake practical, research, group discussions and seminar work.  Below are some of the modules you can take in both versions of the qualification, the Diploma and the Extended Diploma:


Performance Workshop and Performing

All members of the course work together on productions: musicals, showcases, pantomimes….  You learn to work on a show as part of a team, whether you’re a star or an extra.

Backstage/Production Project

Could you slot into a professional company and start work?   Front of House, lighting, preparing a prompt copy…. you name it, you’ll do it!  In Year 2 you can run your own production company.


Acting Techniques/Film and TV Acting

The history of the acting profession from Ancient Greece to modern and television.  Develop your technique in stage movement, voice, gesture and your understanding of the characterisation.


Singing and Musical Theatre Performance

Learn to sing in a variety of styles and perform in concerts and musical shows.  You will learn basic reading of music, part harmony and aural skills, as well as developing your voice.


Physical Theatre

How to use body expression and how practitioners such as Grotowski and companies like Volcano and DV-8 put theory into practice.  Devise your own work and use physical expression and theatrical imagination.


Movement Skills and Dance Performance

Skills that help performers use their bodies fully and communicate with audiences - dance and the portrayal of character through movement.  Learn the artistic skills demanded by the business.


Performing Arts Business

Will you be able to survive in your chosen performing profession?  This unit teaches the self-marketing and business aspects of performance as well as the financial, legal and administrative procedures.


Arts in Context

Where the jobs are and how to get them; why people keep coming and the theatre keeps attracting them.

Entry requirements

Normally, you will need to have 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, or their equivalent.  In addition, all applicants will undertake an audition.

Future opportunities

This course could lead you directly into the Performing Arts industry - you certainly get the know-how and the experience to make you a valuable member of a professional company.

It is recognised by Universities, Drama Schools, Music Academies, Dance Studios and Technical Institutions.

It also prepares you for any career where communication skills, the ability to work in a team or dealing with the public are important.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact New College Swindon directly.

Last updated date: 28 April 2016

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