Accessibility links

Performing Arts (Dance) Extended Diploma Level 3 Year 1 at West Suffolk College

Course description

This programme leads to the equivalent of up to 3 GCE A levels and is run by Conservatoire EAST. The course is designed to help you take your next step in achieving your dream of a career related to dance. There will be three strands to your course; dance techniques (including tap, ballet, jazz and contemporary), choreography and rehearsing / performing. Conservatoire EAST classes are taught by professional staff with industry experience and are enriched by workshops from visiting professionals to ensure that the training you receive is current and relevant.

You will be working in a professional environment and we demand absolute commitment and self-discipline from you. You will gain hands-on experience not only through involvement with the Conservatoire EAST Season but also through our partnerships with local venues where you will have the opportunity to present work directly to the public. In past years examples have included the Christmas Fayre in partnership with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, performances at Haughley Park Barn, scenes for charity events at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and providing themed entertainment on a weekly basis for a local restaurant.


Course content

Over this two-year course, students will be taught and directed by performing arts industry experienced tutors and will have the opportunity to develop their own work which they will perform both in the College theatre and offsite as part of external commissions. All students will build their own individual portfolio which will give them a strong foundation for progression interviews and auditions. The course works on a project by project basis and consists of both practical and theory lessons.

Projects include solo and group pieces in a range of dance styles and with a variety of themes. Technique classes will support and enhance any additional technique classes taken outside at private dance schools. Students will have the opportunity to take part in many other extra-curricular productions and will mix with all other Performing Arts students during warm-up and other shows.

Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE A* to C (9 to 4 on the new grading structure) or equivalent qualifications in Maths and English by age 16 will need to continue to study these subjects in each academic year.


Entry requirements

Entry is by interview and workshop and occurs in three stages.

You will need to have previous dance training but this can be in any dance style or genre (although ballet and tap would be advantageous). (p> You will ideally have GCSE’s / BTEC’s / UAL qualifications at Level 2 in Dance at C / Merit or above. If however you can demonstrate a strong physical aptitude / talent we will also consider you. There may be conditions, specific to you, attached to your entry offer.

You will need five GCSE’s Grade C or above, including maths and English at Grade C (4)

You will also need a suitable level of physical fitness appropriate to the demands of this qualification.



The College offers a range of Level 3 Diplomas and Extended Diplomas. We will work with all students in their first six weeks at College to place them on the appropriate programme that best meets their individual needs and best ensures their success. Within Conservatoire EAST, students will have the opportunity to take University of Arts London (UAL) Level 3 Diploma in Performing and Production Arts.


Future opportunities

On completion of this course you can go on to further training in performance based (or other) subjects in Higher Education at degree or Fda (Foundation Degree) level. You can also do further performance and technique training at major dance or musical theatre specialist schools such as Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Performers College, Evolution Foundation College, Bodywork Company Cambridge, the Urdang Academy, and Arts Educational School.

If you choose to follow alternative routes, perhaps into employment, you will find that you are fully equipped with transferable skills such as team working, problem solving, independent working, meeting deadlines under pressure and creative thinking amongst others; all of which are valued by employers.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact West Suffolk College directly.

Last updated date: 13 December 2016
Provider logo

Key information