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Performing Arts (Dance) BTEC Diploma-Extended Diploma Level 3 at PETROC

Course description

Based in Brannams' purpose-built dance studio, this exciting study programme gives you an insight into life as a dance professional. Exploring a range of dance styles, the programme focuses on technical training and performance skills, you will work as a company to take part in full-scale productions for live audiences.

Course content

This course is designed for those wanting to pursue a career within the dance sector. The content focuses on developing dance technique across a range of styles and fosters creative practice and choreographic studies. The programme prepares the dancer for professional training as a performer but also provides the knowledge and understanding required to pursue alternative career pathways.

You will study the wider areas of the dance sector such as performing arts business, historical context, the healthy performer, physical theatre and dance in the community, providing a comprehensive understanding of the dance sector. Technical training will cover ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and musical theatre. Basic anatomy and physiology, healthy living and injury prevention are also integral to your studies. 

These topics are taught within seven mandatory units and six optional units which are assessed by experienced teachers who are professionally trained in in their respective specialist areas. 

Mandatory units include: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance, Group Performance Workshop and Final Live Performance to an Audience. These units develop performance and technical skills and are centred around practical assessment. Investigating Practitioner's Work, Employment Opportunities in the Performing Arts, Individual Performance Commission, Performing Arts in the Community are theoretical externally assessed units which develop a deep understanding of contextual studies.

Optional units focus on the technical development of specific performance genres such as : Contemporary; Jazz; Tap; Ballet;Physical Theatre and Musical Theatre.

Entry requirements

All entrants must hold GCSE English Language at grade 4/5 or above and preferably GCSE Maths at grade 4/5 or above, amongst the 5 GCSEs at grade C required for entry. 

Entrants not holding a grade 4 in Maths, but who have a grade 2/3, will study GCSE Maths and take the examination at the end of the year. Completing first years will not be able to automatically continue into their second year without achieving GCSE Maths at grade 4.

A minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C or above, or equivalent, including English, Maths and dance or equivalent experience or training. Entry onto the course is by audition and interview, you will be required to prepare and perform a one-minute dance in a style of your choice.


Assessed work will be graded pass, merit, or distinction (the A Level equivalents are E for pass, C for merit and A for distinction). These are then condensed down to the three grades you will receive at the end of the course. Each of the three grades is equivalent to an A Level and accepted as such by universities and the industry.

The course is mainly assessed through coursework: rehearsal, performances, research, portfolio, presentation discussion and evaluation. 

Practical work is assessed in public and studio performances. All assessed work is scheduled to strict deadlines over the course of the programme. Failure to submit work on time can affect the overall grade awarded. All assessments are marked by two lecturers and a sample is verified by an Edexcel examiner. This ensures that all marking is fair and matches Edexcel national standards. There are three externally assessed units one of which consists of a timed written exam

Future opportunities

Successful completion of the programme will provide progression to Higher Education routes where you can study a broad range of dance related degree programmes. Dance students from Petroc have also progressed to higher education at establishments such as Laban, London Contemporary Dance School and Northern Contemporary Dance School.

Students are trained to a high standard of technical and performance skills, beyond this they will learn about the wider aspects of the dance and performing arts industry. This opens up the opportunity to work across a broad spectrum of jobs.

Further information

The college has a fully equipped theatre, purpose built dance studio and rehearsal rooms.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact PETROC directly.

Last updated date: 17 February 2017

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