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Performing Arts BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at Brockenhurst College

Course description

The Extended Diploma in Performing Arts is a full-time Level 3 nationally recognised qualification designed to provide training in the range of performance disciplines of drama, dance and music. It gives learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for specific areas of employment and training in the performing arts or to progress to drama and dance school or university.

The course is focused on developing practical skills in acting, singing and dancing as well as having the opportunity to learn about stage management and arts administration. You will be expected to work in groups and individually for different projects where you will develop a strong team ethos and self-discipline.


Course content

This is essentially a practical course, however there will be some written assignments linked to the practical work. 

Much of the time will be spent working as part of a group in technique sessions and preparing performances, but you will also have opportunities to work on your own and to specialise in a particular area. 

There may also be master classes and demonstrations from visiting artists. 
The course is comprised of 18 different units covering a range of performing arts disciplines which allows the students to continue to progress in their main discipline but also to develop new skills. Over the 2 years you will study 18 units, which include:

  • Performing Workshop
  • Community Arts Project
  • Devising Plays
  • Musical Theatre
  • Auditions for Actors
  • Choreographing Dance
  • Dance Performance
  • Singing techniques for Performance
  • Music Workshop

You will be taught by professionally trained, expert and experienced staff meeting the specific needs of young talented future professionals.  There are regular trips to the theatre and a residential trip abroad in the 2nd Year to study aspects of the Performing Arts Industry.

There are 15 hours per week allocated lesson time to the course and students are expected to use independent time for research, group rehearsal and practical performance.

Entry requirements


You will need to have at least 4 GCSEs with grade C or above (normally at least grade D in English and Mathematics) or BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Performing Arts with Merit or Distinction. Ideally you will have a real interest in every area of performance and stage production.  We shall require you to be well motivated, enthusiastic and able to work as a member of a team.

Other Optional Qualifications:
LAMDA drama exam and Associated Board Choral Singing.

Following an interview you will be invited to an audition in either January, March or June.

You will:

  1. Take part in 45 mins drama workshop
  2. Perform a solo (approx. 2 mins) either a song, instrumental piece, monologue or dance (bring with you all music or backing track)
  3. Short written assessment
  4. Interview ( bring with you any evidence you have to support your application onto a Performing Arts course).

The process will take no more than 2 hrs.


You will cover 9 units in each year and be awarded at Pass, Merit or Distinction level. Assessment varies and these could include performance, rehearsal, written rehearsal log, evaluations of performance and presentations.

There are no written exams.

The L3 Diploma (1 year) is equivalent to 2 full A Levels.
The L3 Extended Diploma (2 years) is equivalent to 3 full A Levels.

Financial information

You will be required to wear blacks in all practical classes.

 You will be asked to contribute £150 a year to help cover the cost for trips and workshops

 You will be asked for a £20 non-refundable theatre/studio fee per year which will cover the range of equipment used throughout the course.

 In cases of genuine hardship, there may be assistance with these fees outlined above.

Future opportunities

The Extended Diploma in Performing Arts will qualify you to carry on to Higher Education to study various aspects of the Performing Arts. 

There are many Higher Education establishments, drama schools, music colleges and dance schools that offer specialist theatre courses, such as acting, musical theatre, set design, costume, stage management, music performance, composition and contemporary dance technique.

You can also use this nationally recognised qualification to gain employment in the industry, for example in the Theatre or Art Centres

Further information

A full-time vocational course in Performing Arts has been running at Brockenhurst since 1996 with results being consistently high and way above national and local college benchmarks.

This summer saw 100% of students achieving Merits and Distinctions. Some students have progressed onto top vocational schools such Central School of Speech and Drama, Italia Conti, East 15 and Lamda.  Others have gone the more traditional route and progressing to universities with good Performing Arts Departments such as Winchester, Chichester, Falmouth and Middlesex.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 18 February 2016

Key information