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The Professional Performace Programme - Acting/Dance/Musical Theatre - UAL Level 3 at Runshaw College

Course description

Why should I come to Runshaw to study the Professional Performance Programme?

The Professional Performance Programme (PPP) is a challenging and rewarding course that is only available at Runshaw. It offers intensive, high-quality training for motivated students who want to pursue careers in the performing arts. Whereas A Levels focus more on theory than practical work, the PPP teaches hands-on performance skills and thus gives students a much better chance of passing auditions for prestigious dance, drama and musical theatre schools.

We take the very best young performers in the North West and help them improve and develop their skills before they progress to drama school or university.

One graduate from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts commented that the PPP was the best preparation for drama school that she had encountered.

It is the students on the PPP who are our elite performers at Runshaw, and it is these students that we use to showcase the high quality of our Performing Arts provision at Open Days and Open Evenings. It is also the PPP students that we take out on tour to deliver professional-standard performances to local primary and secondary schools.

If you meet the entry requirements, you can also opt to study for an A Level in Dance, Music or Theatre Studies alongside your main PPP course (this would be arranged by course leaders at your audition or enrolment).

A wide range of exciting enrichment activities are available to you on the PPP:

  • Perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  • Drama school auditions at Runshaw
  • Workshops form visiting professionals
  • A wide range of cross-college shows in dance, drama and musical theatre
  • Become a member of the Runshaw Dance Academy and compete in the Barcelona Dance Grand Prix

In 2018, 79% of PPP Acting students; 93% of PPP Musical Theatre students; and 91% of PPP Dance students achieved high grades.

What will I study?

When you choose to train on the PPP, you will need to decide which of the three specialist pathways you would like to follow (the specific route you want will be noted at your admissions interview):

PPP: Dance
On this pathway, you will be encouraged to develop your skills in a range of styles. Ballet classes will help you to develop your technique throughout provides the foundation for many other styles and you will work on your ballet technique throughout the two years. Alongside this, you will have classes in Jazz and Commercial, and will also study a range of different approaches to the field of Contemporary Dance. You will also take part in major dance shows to public audiences, with the opportunity to showcase your own choreography

PPP: Acting
The Acting pathway focuses primarily on acting, with some dance and singing technique. You will develop your technique in a range of styles, from naturalism through to physical theatre and classical performance. You will learn how to direct actors in a play and take part in two week-long tours, one for primary schools and one for secondary schools. The Acting pathway culminates in a major show performed for a public audience.

PPP: Musical Theatre
The Musical Theatre pathway offers equal levels of training in the three disciplines of acting, dance and singing. There is a strong focus on vocal technique and acting through song, along with technique classes in ballet, jazz and commercial dance. Other acting classes cover naturalism and classical theatre. In the second year, all students will take part in a full-length Musical Theatre show for a public audience.

Entry requirements

For access to our Advanced Vocational courses, our entry requirements are 5 x Grade 4 equivalent (5 x Grade 4 or C). This should include Maths or English (Language or Literature) at Grade 4, and no less than a 3 in the other.

For the Professional Performance Programme specifically, this should include a successful audition.


How is the course assessed?

You will take part in a number of projects over the two years. Most assessments last for 6-8 weeks and consist of skills classes where you are taught relevant techniques, and then development sessions where you apply those techniques in front of a live audience. You will also complete project books and evaluations for some of the practical work that you have done on the course. All of these will take the form of coursework as there are no written exams.


Financial information

No course fees are applicable for 16-18 year old learners who meet funding regulations.

Future opportunities

What will this course prepare me for?

A high proportion of our students move on to prestigious institutions. 

Some of the places that our students have recently progressed include:

  • Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA)
  • Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts
  • Rose Bruford
  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA)
  • East 15 Acting School
  • American Academy of Dramatic Art

Where are you going?

  • Actor
  • Choreographer
  • Dancer
  • Musical Theatre Performer
  • Teacher

Further information

Our website also contains up to date further information on all courses that we offer. Please visit

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: 21 September 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Course code: LVU3ACT/LVU3DAN/LVU3MTH

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